User talk:Guido/Wishlist/Part 4

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Guido's Wishlist : trial scenes for Oni 2

  1. Avatar and Konoko
  2. Oldman, Konoko and SmallGirl
  3. Mushroom Drunkyard
  4. Show me the way to NeoTokyo


One good thing with these talk pages is that they can be reorganized at will.
I already mentioned how modular enough statements can be split in sentences or subsentences, that will be addressed individually by those who comment or reply.
Just split the statement you reply to, duplicate the signature, and insert your reply.
It helps it the starting statement allows for such a modular approach, i.e., if it doesn't make more than one point per sentence. If not, replying in a threaded way is harder.
Another advantage is that old talk can be moved away or completely deleted, when and if it becomes irrelevant.
Here we have such a situation : most of my comments and criticisms were due do an utter misunderstanding of what was actually happening in the scene.
We can blame it on Guido's English and underdetailed direction, on my own attention span and, generally speaking, on our poor communication.
I'll do what I can as for my own stupidity, but Guido : please do overstate whenever it doesn't hurt you.
The context of your scene is clear enough to you; it is not, by any means, immediate to any potential viewer of the scene.
Thus, if you offer only "distorted interpretations" of the scene by characters, if the directions themselves are subjective...
Then, for someone who hasn't conceived the scene, understanding what's actually going on is quite a challenge, and misunderstaning it is fairly easy.
Which is just not the purpose of the event, or so I'd think. So yes, I want your point of view as a narrator. Whenever it's at all possible.
Anyway, I'll be pushing the older stuff towards the bottom; most of it we may want to delete altogether.
Hope you'll be able to read it all, though, at least once. Sorry about the verbose elaborations.
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
I have been through it already twice. There's nothing you have to worry about, here. And I really appreciate both your review and commentary for their deep insight. They don't miss a clue.
Guido 23:45, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
Thanks. Can I expect These Other Three to get your attention in the near future? ;)
geyser 16:24, 30 October 2006 (CET)
Unfortunately I fear replying to you in a decent way is going to take me a while. So I wonder whether it wouldn't be better to add a short essay (for your pleasure).
Guido 23:45, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
Anything you like. Don't reply for the sake of replying : that's not the point of the talk. The point is to "adopt, adapt and improve". As long as we bear that in mind, anything goes.
geyser 16:24, 30 October 2006 (CET)
Please, do not humiliate me with the English issues, as I am the first one who acknowledges them.
Guido 23:45, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
I don't mean to dwell on grammar/vocabulary. I try to go beyond the problem and make the content better.
So when I say such-and-such is improper, I'm merely saying : let's replace it with something proper and that's it!
When I suggest alternative sentences for a character to say, I mean you to take it, or generate something in return, and then merge it in.
We're not supposed to talk forever, let alone to nitpick each other's grammar (my English is far from perfect). We're supposed to build.
Did you notice what I did to the actual scene? Your wishlist is imperfect but it's dynamic. It should live.
I won't mind if you edit everything in-place and delete every trace of "English issues". I encourage you to do so.
Post. Post raw, heck, post Italian.
Auto-spellcheck. Update.
Auto-check grammar (careful with those, BTW...). Update.
Compare with Google or Babelfish translation (just in case). Update.
Take in remarks by peers. Merge, update.
geyser 16:24, 30 October 2006 (CET)
Moreover I always have to confront with Microsoft Word automatic grammar check. But this is another story...
Guido 23:45, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
The spellchecker starts explaining things like "musk". In those cases, even the lamest translator Google is a better friend (the best friend you can get is, of course, a dictionary).
geyser 16:24, 30 October 2006 (CET)
I do know how to be precise (and when I say precise I say self-consistent), but in a creative process I prefer playing with riddles and with your curiosity. :)
Guido 23:45, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
That's not something I'd recommend, mainly because of the actual imprecisions (vocabulary etc) it cumulates with.
If we were all telepaths (or Italians), I believe we'd enjoy ourselves tremendously.
Because then your very understatements and ambiguities would be absolutely precise.
Right now, how should I say, the overall effect is not exactly that of a riddle session...
And you're not exactly playing with my curiosity when you give me "musk" or "crusty" and then have me wonder about "wheeze"...
You are free to leave certaing things out of the scope, but whatever you choose to focus on, precision should be there.
"siding a collapsed highway", "drawing water with an old tank" ... Can you hear my head exploding? Please do something about that.
Be on the lookout for false friends, for whatever can generate (unwanted) confusion rather than (wanted) ambiguity.
Again, I'd strongly encourage you to say more rather than less. As I said, "whenever it's at all possible". Whenever it doesn't hurt your sense of understatement.
geyser 16:24, 30 October 2006 (CET)

Ragged Konoko

Ragged Konoko
good. short, sweet, to the point.
I have a hard time imagining konoko ragged -- after all, she's the toughest and quickest to bounce back, and she has a lot of pride -- but that's my only crit.
once again, a well done scene.
Picture yourself spending a few weeks in a weather-battered wasteland, with no spare clothes, hardly any drinkable water, and nothing but rock-hard soil to sleep on.
Take someone who's been pedaling uphill, or climbing up a cliff... a whole day long, and under the pouring rain... and then try imagine what they'd look like after several days/weeks/months of such activity.
Guido & geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)

Quite a few inconsistencies in the first sentence, which I assume to be close to what Konoko is supposed to have experienced before the scene
  • Mud
    • if rain is there, then mud should be readily available as well (there's plenty in your scene). And mud (clay, sand) is an ideal material for a bed. BTW, Konoko improvises such a bed in your scene, too. ^^
    • if you find a shelter, just gather some mud/clay/sand, and you have a bed that's nowhere near the "hard as concrete" you mention.
    • Cozy enough. Especially if you keep your (dirty) clothes on. The only problem would be the lack of a shelter.
  • Water
    • "no water (only something to drink)" is a mystery to me. You mean not enough water for a hot tub and shower? "Beggars can't be choosers"... or can they?
    • Konoko took an acid bath in Oni, and is supposedly immune to toxins : not just any toxin there is; any toxin there ever will be
    • so if the rain doesn't skin regular people alive, I guess it wouldn't hurt Konoko to actually use rain water at her convenience :
      • she can drink it raw (in fact she's the only one who can consume contaminated stuff)
      • she can undress and take a shower (watching out for the post-apocalyptical paparazzi ^^ )
      • she can wash her clothes (they may get toxic, but as far as she's concerned, they'll be clean... if they don't dissolve ^^ )
You have to be practical : there are certain advantages to being a Daodan. Konoko wouldn't ignore them for sure, so why would you?
If you choose to picture Konoko as struggling with the environment rather than adapting to it, then you are missing Oni's "symbiosis" completely, and that's a shame.
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
GUIDO Who said I enjoy acid showers.jpg
Well let's take a look at the splashscreen in the end of CHAPTER 12 . SINS OF THE FATHER.
Konoko doesn't give me the idea she is enjoying the acid bath.
Do you think she is keen on repeating such an experience?
Guido 23:43, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
Hm, yeah, I still have to upload all the other splashscreens and complete the Chapters... thanks for reminding me.
I never said "enjoy", up there or at all. I said "take". Acid or not, a cold shower is usually not a pleasant experience.
Also :
  1. There's an obvious difference between complete immersion in a biomatter disposal vat, and an improvised shower under an acid rain.
  2. The rain's acidity is not even a given : class 3/4 toxins are the main issue of Oni's BioCrisis, and I focused on toxic rain in my argument.
  3. The other characters in the scene don't seem to care about the rain acidity/toxicity at all
    • (and I stressed that fact repeatedly, see above and below, section "Acid Rain")
    • (if humans can work/shout/whatever under that rain, Konoko can take a f##king shower)
    • (she doesn't have to enjoy it, but she will do it for the sake of staying clean)
geyser 15:07, 30 October 2006 (CET)
There is a subtle difference between possessing an enhanced self-healing power, and being immune to suffering and pain.
I think Konoko has become a die-hard, but the worst side effect of her condition is that she can endure pain more than anyone else.
Guido 23:43, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
That's another story. When I say "there are certain advantages to being a Daodan", aren't they always coupled to drawbacks? Sure are.
Perhaps the most obvious drawbacks are the loss of identity and/or free will; the rejection by mankind; the power to hurt and to kill.
As for the "power to suffer"... Muro has it all figured out, as far as I'm concerned :
Curious. Why bother programming you to feel pain so intensely?
Of course pain is a necessary response to certain stimuli, but they could have dulled the sensation
or given you a threshold that would limit the extent and depth of your agony. I'm glad they didn't.
Suppressing pain altogether is virtual suicide. Dulling it is an improvement. By all means the Daodan would ease Konoko's pain. IMO.
That being said, I'd love it if we used this opportunity to develop on the Lost Chapter 12.5, following Konoko between CHAPTER 12 . SINS OF THE FATHER and CHAPTER 13 . PHOENIX RISING.
How much can Konoko suffer? How much does she need to suffer? (story-wise and author-wise) That's something we ought to set straight.
geyser 15:07, 30 October 2006 (CET)

Follow-up discussion moved on Talk:Pain.

GUIDO When you need an umbrella.jpg
Ragged Konoko (redux)
Bottom line for me as for the explanatory sentences :
the lack of comfort (first sentence) is IMO not an argument in favor for Konoko's loss of lucidity and pride.
The elements (let's say bad weather rather than biking/mountaneering/whatever) should not have affected her morally (or physically) in the way you seem to suggest.
Unless, that is, you're looking at a completely different character, bypassing the intrinsic resilience and adaptivity of the Daodan concept as well as Konoko's strong will and self-esteem (possibly related).
However... the last part of the explanation is more convincing, because it deals with how the elements affected Konoko's aspect rather than her inner state.
Defiant as she may be, she still looks like a human wreck. Right?
Sure enough, if you instruct someone to spend a month or two under the pouring rain... with that special clause that they should be wearing plain clothes (no cloak/coat/umbrella of any kind)...
then when you check back on them, they will be visibly soaken through and through... no matter what's going on inside them.
If you had asked them to tear their way through barb wire at fixed hours during that little period, there's a good chance they will be ragged, too.
(BTW, ragged = torn or threadbare, are we 100% clear on that?)
You may also instruct them to systematically jump head first in every muddy puddle or thorny bush they see for a better result.
Not sure why Konoko would choose to roam the wilderness in clothes that easily get soggy or dirty or torn, though...
Or why she's undergo such a self-destructive programme. Tearing through barb wire in her spare time? Just so that her clothes can look ragged enough?
She pretty much chose to go : I wouldn't expect her to have any less style and dignity in her exile than when she was rogue...
(but that's just my general complaint about "your" rags : something affective for you, allergic for me... I guess)
Anyway, detail expected : how did she end up where she did (rags-wise, not geographically)?
Also, are we really looking at Oni's Konoko, rather than a female Bruce Wayne from Batman Begins?
Show me.
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)

Acid rain

Guido, I'm surprised you didn't address the rain's acidity/toxicity, either in your reply on the ragged Konoko or in the scene itself.
The convoy guys don't seem to be needing extra protection against the downpour, whereas heavy rain would likely be a major vector of intoxication and/or skin damage.
Even if you exclude absorption of toxins through the skin, a massive downpour virtually drowns you in toxic water.
Just the amount of (toxic) water vapor in the air is enough for toxins to eventually get in your mouth and stomach, nose and lungs...
Again, if atmospheric damage is at all an issue in your universe, this scene should look differently...
Rain is supposed to be the major enemy of the paramedics, and not just because it gets their trucks stuck.
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)

Ms. Hishikawa

"Mrs." means she's married. "Ms." means we don't know. Up to you.
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)


guido 22:34, 29 November 2006 (CEST)

Either an overlooked "bug" or an understressed "feature" : Ms. Hishikawa instructing Kazuo to take Konoko to the ambulance, and finally accompanying them all the way.
geyser 07:02, 16 October 2006 (CEST)
There is no problem with Mrs Hishikawa. We can adjust this minor detail as you say Geyser.
Guido 21:29, 26 October 2006 (CEST)
Maybe the detail is not actually minor? That's my point as for the "understressed feature"...
Ms. Hishikawa's inconsistence can tell a tale, depending on what you show her motives to be.
Does she want to make sure that Konoko is properly "disposed of"... or properly "taken care of", after all?
After a good look at Konoko, Kazuo reconsiders his initial impressions, maybe Ms. Hishikawa realizes something as well?
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
BTW, whatever "crusty woman" is supposed to mean... The meaning you put into it is almost clear, but isn't "crusty" completely improper?

as far as I know "crusty" can be referred sensu latu to a person , like a military officer.

guido 22:34, 29 November 2006 (CEST)
Also, the hearing range of Ms. Hishikawa is minimal because of the downpour
  • the heavy rain will dampen sound waves
  • the heavy rains will make a lot of noise by itself
    • on the ground, on the trucks, on Ms. Hishikawa's head and shoulders
  • she'd probably shut the truck's door to avoid more mud splashing inside
Just my nagging two cents. Not that Kazuo's behaviour doesn't make any sense.
But he realy has nothing to worry about (especially if the door is closed).
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)

What the...

From here on, just my own distorted impressions. geyser
Probably crippled by poor communication. Hopefully close (please confirm).
Such things shouldn't be guessed, if you ask me : that's an awful waste of time.
They should be clearly stated in a preamble to the scene, by no other than the author.
Sigh... Anyway...
Impressions ( >50% were completely misunderstood until now)
The scene is about Konoko coming back to society after a lengthy exile in the wilderness.
Her first "civilized" contact happens to be a convoy of paramedics. Truck gets stuck, convoy halts, Konoko comes upon it.
Konoko is not with the convoy before the scene. She's introduced to the paramedics in that very scene.
Her first contact ever with Ms. Hishikawa or Kazuo is when they "help" her out of the mud.
The scene can also be seen as introducing Konoko to the reader, through the paramedics' eyes
(a rather efficient way to inject Konoko's extraordinary character into a social frame, virtually from scratch)
The days/weeks/months Konoko spent in the wilderness didn't affect her physical and moral strength.
That is, despite the "rags", I assume she's just as cocky and defiant as ever in this scene :
thus, her "I'm fine" should be taken literally; the "wheezes" is probably out of place, though
She just came upon the stuck convoy and, confident of her strength, tries to help.
What the paramedics see, though, is a young woman trying to do a big bloke's work.
A walking corpse of a girl, by the looks of her (of course, that only works if she wears rags...)
What the? - they think - One of the afflicted, even though halfway to the cemetery, somehow doesn't ask for food and medicine, and instead helps around with pushing a truck. A girl...
Although the situation is more than a little unbelievable, the paramedics are probably too tired to shake away their assumptions.
Hence, Konoko stays a mere freak in their eyes. That's made all the easier when she slips in the mud.
I don't get why she'd eventually slip in the mud rather than ease the truck out... is she weak or clueless, or both?
Same thing about her not resuming pushing, and letting the two other protagonists drag her away on a low note.
So, weak, clueless, confused, "humiliated" (her???), actually looking forward to a "free lunch"?
Anyway, Kazuo gets to "handle" Konoko, who quickly forgets about the truck and conforms rather neatly to her new social role
(however, I really don't understand just what he stops her from doing once in the truck, or why she's doing it)
(also, her swift switching from truck-pusher to food-beggar is shocking, and least of all compatible with her trademark sense of pride and respect)
(that "Can you spare a meal?" confused me the most when analyzing the scene early on :
  • either she's already on familiar terms with Kazuo (e.g. if she's traveling with the convoy somehow)
  • or she is being deliberately rude and/or taking advantage of the situation
  • or she is "drunk", and prone to on-the-spot inconsistence and other genuinely freaky behaviour
If she's deliberate, then her numbness after slipping in the mud comes across as artificial.
If she's weakened and starving, then, really, why did she start pushing in the first place?
The only thing that would reconcile the whole scene is indeed Konoko being high on some kind of drug
(illusion of intelligence and strength on top of actual weakness and poor coordination).
Or madness (either permanent or transient). Not too sure that's what's meant by the author, though...
After Kazuo calms Konoko down and hands her "what she wants", there's an actual time gap in their conversation (I originally mistook the "hiatus" for a "meaningful silence").
Then, before Konoko falls asleep
(although Ms. Hishikawa's instructions were to usher her away...)
there's room for a few sentences of dialogue, meant to detail the characters in presence :
  • Kazuo, originally, got quite a bit of extra detail (personal stuff)
  • Ms. Hishikawa got her unfriendliness accounted for, along with the convoy's purpose
  • As good as no new information on Konoko. Most probably, Kazuo didn't ask.
To think of it, it's not too probable that the conversation should revolve around the convoy's purpose and the people in it. Why?
Because if Konoko is "just another victim", then she should be well aware of the situation, and nothing Kazuo says is big news to her.
Even though there were no paramedics in the wasteland, Kazuo doesn't need to expand on the whole humanitarian concept : at most, a quick hint of a sentence will suffice.
When and if it becomes clear that Konoko has just fallen from the moon (has she?), and that she's somehow special (not dying, for one thing) then she'd naturally become the center of the conversation.
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)

Part of the solution or part of the problem

One of them overused phrases... Dunno if that's good or bad.
I'd say it's bad unless "part of the solution" makes some sense. Solution to what? Why her?
One not-too-probable way to resolve that is that Kazuo is already acknowledging Konoko's "special" status.
He's reconsidering his first impressions about Konoko being drunk/weak/dying.
She's still a freak , but he's already seeing a fellow coworker in her, rather than a regular victim...
He's already willing to let her eat and sleep instead of driving her off as his boss instructed him to...
Perhaps he's already ready to talk her into becoming a paramedic, and to talk his boss into accepting her...
Perhaps... Dunno, really...
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)

Too many people

Dialogues are a trifle random "as usual" and sometimes, surprisingly, verbose. Example :
"Too many people carry their wounded to us - they beg us for some food and medicines. But we can’t afford all their requests."
...why the heck is he talking like he's giving an interview? He's changing subjects : he should be thinking aloud...
geyser 07:02, 16 October 2006 (CEST)
I didn't notice/mention it the first time around, but what wounded? Isn't the atmospheric damage an issue at all?
OK, there are possibly millions of wounded right after the blast, but a few months later...
The problem is only with "the dead and the dying", I'd say... Mass-production Jamie Hasegawas... A paramedic's nightmare.
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
That line makes me some trouble. We can replace it as well, but I find personally difficult to find something in alternative.
Guido 21:29, 26 October 2006 (CEST)
Let's "proofread" it for a start :
  • "bring" may be better than "carry"
  • "afford" is improper : either "we can't fill their requests" or "we can't afford to fill their requests". In a lighter way, "we can't help/save them all".
  • "Medicine" is uncountable. "Some" may be redundant. "They beg us", could be made into a gerund "..., begging for (some) food and medicine" for a more compact phrasing.
  • "requests" are (awkwardly) redundant of the "begging" from the previous sentence. From dramatic to interview-style in less than a second... Ahem.
The last statement (about incapacity) is redundant of the initial "too many". It could look natural with a more spontaneous speech pattern : right now it's more like official double talk.
He's supposed to be talking about human lives there... At any rate, there should be more heart...
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
Basically imagine an effective phrase that let us understand the reason of the expedition (something like the initiative of an aid association), and also explains Ms. Hishikawa's unfriendliness.
Guido 21:29, 26 October 2006 (CEST)
Well, a few red crosses or similar won't hurt, for a start. That will label the convoy as humanitarian since the very first wide shot of the vehicles.
Next, the convoy's purpose can be revealed through what the paramedics mistake Konoko for.
Practically, the dialogue between Hishikawa and Kazuo on the way to the incident could do with one or two extra lines.
The way Hishikawa doesn't tell Kazuo anything about his task, he could very well ask "What is it?" (or "let me guess...", for that matter ^^ )
She doesn't have to spoil his surprise, of course, but she could drop a few spicy ("crusty") "teasers" : "What is it? - Your evil twin - My what? - Your opposite extreme - Which is? - Embarassing initiative - ..."
Then, since you chose to make Hishikawa give Konoko more than the killer "It would be more helpful if you were less helpful"...
whatever she means with that "other way to get our attention" : maybe she could phrase it differently so that Konoko's status becomes clear?
"Look here, I'm not sure we have the kind of medecine you need, kid... NNGGG! (pulling her up)... but you really should have asked straight away... - I'm fine... - No, you're not fine, sweet Jesus, look at yourself... Kazuo, (etc)"
What she then says to Kazuo can be quite revelatory of the convoy's mission : then again, it already is.
Which is not to say that Kazuo's chat with Konoko should be completely scrapped... Just reconsidered.
Hope that helps.
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
Consider this line is following a small hiatus. The narration avoids the core of the conversation and we see only the end of it: Kazuo has become more confident with his special guest, as we notice he is getting more and more chatty.
Guido 21:29, 26 October 2006 (CEST)
Aha. I was confused by "hiatus", which I would have sworn was referring to an actual pause in the conversation (meaningful silence).
I should have known better, of course : there were plenty of secondary clues towards an actual gap.
Don't take risks with directions : use something as unmistakeable as a (double) hline to separate scenes (those are actually 2 scenes, right?).
Otherwise stupid/lazy/tired people like me overlook/misunderstand crucial points.
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
About changing subjects (the point was that if he's starting to talk about something completely different, spontaneously, then the sentences would look nothing like an interview).
At second sight, he's not changing subjects at all. Even if you forget the hiatus, that sentence actually comes in the disturbing context of :
  1. Konoko's odd question "Can you spare a meal?" (BTW, the negative form in inadequate, as it expects the answer No)
    • (the question is odd by the ease with which Konoko takes on her role of a victim)
  2. Konoko feasting on "an improvised collection of snacks, medical rations, and hot drinks"... even as Kazuo says they don't have enough "food and medicine" for the wounded
  3. Kazuo entertaining Konoko on the wonders of starvation and disease... and Konoko chewing as she answers...

If Konoko should be humiliated, it's by this situation and not by the rather obscure "part of the solution or part of the problem" earlier on...

Those are all examples of what I call "understressed features". You should be saying all this, Guido, not me.
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)

Probably irrelevant

Konoko's breakdown
I too have trouble imagining Konoko ("dead drunk"?) making an ass of herself.
If she's indeed drunk :
  • how did she manage to get drunk out on the range? Wine? Vodka? 90% spirit?
  • why in the world would she allow herself to attain such a state? What happened?
geyser 07:02, 16 October 2006 (CEST)
who said she is actually drunken? Don't take Kazuo's impressions for a fact.
Konoko is not drunken, if you want my point of view as a narrator
not every line is a trustful description of a situation
consider this line as the distorted interpretation of a character.
Guido 21:29, 26 October 2006 (CEST)
You didn't say she was drunk; I didn't, either. However, Kazuo's impression seemed too radical to be ignored (Capitals. "DEAD DRUNK". "ABSOLUTELY".)
And since I had no other guidelines than "distorted interpretations" by characters, I came to assume that Konoko wasn't 100% sound/sober.
Now I'm seeing the scene clearer, at last. But it was a helluva long way...
Actually, I still have trouble imagining her doing what she does in that scene without having a few screws loose.
It would help if she's indeed f##ked-up by her exile, but then again I have trouble imagining her f##ked-up, too.
geyser 21:13, 28 October 2006 (CEST)
I am convinced that the exile is a choice or a status mirroring Konoko's pride rather than a surrender. [...]
guido 22:24, 29 November 2006 (CEST)
Follow-up discussion moved on Talk:Pride...