July 5th, 2015, 1:19 pm

vol1_ch03_p92

fishball dilemma

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average rating: 5.00

AUTHOR

July 5th, 2015, 1:33 pm

We're not late this week... yay, achievement. The characters are being so silly on this page... I mean each and every one of them XD. New scene starts next week.

Also an ANNOUNCEMENT
There will be some weeks when Joolita will be away relaxing from work and other duties, also the comic. So we're asking for your help to prepare some quick filler content.
We are making an "Ask a character" drive. If you are curious about something and you want to directly address any of the characters please do and they will answer. :D Please write your questions here in the comments or on tumblr or deviant art.
Thank you in advance for your help!



If you want to see how the page was created please follow our tumblr.
More drawings by Joolita on her deviantart page
New incentive here:

USERS

July 10th, 2015, 12:56 pm

Lol, I wrote this comment once, on the previous page- but for some reason it didn't show (propably because I used a swear word to emphasize my suprise, and it got blocked by autocensorship XD for a bit I thought you'll get the notice about this comment on the e-mail and it just needs your approval, but I suppose it wasn't the case). The comment was long, so it took me some time to gain motivation to rewrite it from scratch... anyway, here we go again, now with more cultured wording XD

Holy monkeys riding rockets!

I've realised I created a non-canon ship without even knowing that up till now! Took me long enough to realise, and now my world is upside down and I feel lost, and maybe a little bit sad.

All this time I was so sure this story will be partialy about romance. Not romance in conventional meaning, but I was, and I'm still sure, the relationships will play substantial role in this comic, especially one.

And before I managed to learn all the names and associate them with their respective characters I was so, so sure there will be some feelings between Uene and Raiso. I was SO SURE this comic will be about them, about bonds created between those people from completly different cultures.

I was looking at the DA drawing named "tell me what you want to say" convinced I'm looking at Uene, happy to notice, how much Raiso grew up comparing to already very tall Uene, indicating how many years must have passed since he was captured. I was imagining how he learnt the language, and how that helped him to form a bond. I was looking at Uene seeking emotional refuge in someone who is so different from her people. So I was imagining all that and I was eagerly waiting for their first interaction during the party. Then the day came, when I decided to...well, recheck and learn characters names properly (I could distinguish who is who based on looks, but I was mixing up names, since they mostly use their titles and clan names)

And...to my suprise...I found out Uene is just a supporting cast member 8V And It's not Ruiso and Uene on that picture, but It's Ruiso and Ragu!

Oh my...

Now, why I was so shocked...I was really suprised Uene is not the central character, considering how narrative was centering around her at the beginning. She was the first person introduced to us from this camp, like Raiso was the first one to be introduced in his camp. Her character conflict regarding her bonded mate, pressure from her mother side, and her being overall awkard and reculant about this whole ordeal is rather prominent.
She even had lots, I mean LOTS of introductory frames dedicated to just her, even several frames showing just her expressions in great detail - as if hinting we should pay special attention to her, especialy her inner mood - unlike Ragu, who was first introduced in group frame, and spend most of the time in groups while not standing out much, overall rather reacting to surroundings, absorbing type of character rather than the one giving special aura. Nothing against Ragu, she's a charming, curious and michievious teen, but the idea of Uene being the main heroine and possibly a close soulmate to Ruiso grew on me so much, it's so hard to replace her with Ragu now... Not that Ragu can't form amazing inter-cultural relatioship with Ruiso, but Uene has such potent, conflicted aura, while Ragu seems too content and resorcefull and fun-seeking, to quench my thirst for emotional drama xD

MY GOD, WAS I CRACK-SHIPPING WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING THAT? XDDDD

July 10th, 2015, 2:29 pm

@Fangirl: Wow... your crackship nearly made my head explode... I promise to deliver a more insightful comment later; for now, i'm just... wow... @..@

July 10th, 2015, 2:40 pm

...I apologise for making your head explode XD Such blasphemy wouldn't happen if I paid proper attention to names. I was just living in a false convinction xDDDD I myself don't know what to do with my feelings and expectations now, because I'm not too fond of crack-shipping xD

Edit: God, crack-ship aside, realising Uene's supporting cast...my poor heart, all these feelings, it's like the first time I've heard Pluto's not classified as a planet.

July 10th, 2015, 4:58 pm

@Fangirl

There is no reason to apologise! Also thank you so much for writing such a long comment. And for actually writing it again after losing it. We don't get any notifications from smackjeeves about anything actually. I'm not sure why that is. XD

It's not a bad ship and we both like it, it's just... unlikely to happen.
We designed the story to focus around Ragu and her 'entourage'. The confusion is partially our fault, since we insisted on creating such complex status-related titles and long names for the characters
and decided to establish the setting before introducing some of the key characters.
(And perhaps Joolita shouldn't have posted the early concept drawing up on DA, but she likes it so much...)

We know it might be a bummer if a story runs contrary to expectations, but we hope that the actual plot will not disappoint you. The fact that Uene is listed as a secondary character doesn't mean she is an unimportant character. On the contrary, she will just get less screen time.

There will be some relationships (romantic and non-romantic) and lots of emotional drama (some characters are very prone to drama, as you will soon-ish discover :P)

It's actually funny, because from the start we have planned to organise contests for the comic. To promote it but also to see what people think and like. And Joolita's idea for a contest after the first volume was to ask people to draw the ships they think are probable and well leave it almost completely to the imagination of the participant (with an exclusion for shipping family members).

July 11th, 2015, 9:53 am

Lol, I kinda feel obliged to explain myself, how it was working out in my head so seamlessly I didn't even saw any contradictions in that "pairing" xD
If the previous comment was long, then this one will propably kill you, *rotfl*

First, it's not your fault here - I just forget dates, rank titles and names easily. If characters don't adress themselves by names frequently, I actually have to sit down and cram such things. Unless I do that, I remember characters by their looks and actions. I don't mix them up based on what they do, so I would never think the girl who went fighting on the front lines, was the same as the one who snuck into oppossing camp and kidnaped the poor redhead "barbarian". I just sometimes forget which girl is called what xD That's why "Tell me what you want to say" description didn't ignited any red lights first time I saw it (which was after reading ca. 80 pages of the comic, but before -properly- reading character list). As for the fact that the girl in the picture doesn't look very "Uene-ish", I just thought that, "well, she's older here obviously" and "the image is older compared to comic, so her design might've developed since then".

But my bad memory when it comes to names was just part one of why I subconsciously created this crack pairing XDDD

This is how I perceived the character conflicts in the comic so far (and by that I mean their personal conflicts, not the main premise which is war between the nations)
I'll put a little disclaimer here - I'm only after the first reading of this comic. Not counting my terrible memory of names I see myself...as a rather carefull reader. But nevertheless, it's only a first reading, and I will be talking about the things, that stuck out to me first, the things I've remembered best, after first read. The first impressions, so to speak. So if it turns out my remory regarding the sequence of events isn't as good as I think, if I mess something up...feel free to disregard my blabling XD

So, back to the topic...
-We have Uene, who, as I said, has a strong conflicted aura around her. She seems mature, but troubled, responsible in carying on her duties, but reculant to accept her role in her clan, despite being consciouss of the importance of all that. She's not openly rebelling, but it's obvious the situation she's in is at least awkard and bothersome for her, and her pushy mom doesn't make things better. This is all deliciously subtle, and I really enjoy that sublety. On top on that she seems to have problems with her looks, poor thing. She stands out to me the most, and there's significant care in the way her expressions and emotions are shown. So far, she's a character I know the most intimately of them all, and she really stuck out to me.

-And we have Ruiso. He's more and more interesting the more I think of him. He's young, possibly still bratty and naive, but the more I observe him, the more potential in him I can spot. Because of adults from his country, his head was filled with bigoted, racist and sexist perceptions of Husza. And what we see him doing after he became captured? He observes. He questions the stuff he has been told and makes his own observations instead. Despite being enslaved, his youthfull curiosity is so big (at least visible in his expressions) he looks like he really tries to listen to those people at party, and figure out what they talk about. He can't help, but get to know Husza, even if it's only from his not-so-fortunate perspective. Right now he may be childlish (like when he calls the death-carrying-priest stupid concept, but I feel he was angry he couldn't watch, lol), but I feel like there's a big room for him to improve and mature. It will propably take years in the story, but he will become a really great character. He looks wiser and mature on that DA picture.

-Then there's the third conflict, with Ragu and her group, and the fact they sneaked into enemy's camp and kidnaped Ruiso. For me this part of plot doesn't seem like it will have many long-lasting consequences, except for Ruiso. Yeah, Ragu, Fuzs, Aio (and Zenwu for not looking after them) may be punished for that in some way or another. But when it comes to emotional aspect, for me, it mostly estabilishes Ragu's adventurous and mischievious character, but that's not enough for me to start digging into her...well, inner turmoils. Not to mention that, as I said, this whole mess concerns her whole group and brother, not only her, even if she got away with the biggest "spoils". Right now, her scenes are pretty lighthearted, and I find her really fun, but she didn't capture my attention as Uene did. I really don't want to seem like I'm bashing her, because I don't xD I'm really fine with her. It just... it never appeared to me that "oooh so this is THE main heroine!".

Now I can go to next stage, and explain, how I imagined Ruiso's fate in the context of those estabilished "character conflicts". I knew he was captured by heiress of a completly different clan, but still, a son of that clan will become a part of Uene's clan. After I saw that fatefull DA image, I got excited by my own mistaken perception and thought that he will somehow end up around Uene. After all, it's not like Gdezsu just gives away their son to Haibne? Even if it's the culture where a father isn't even considered a part of the family, just a mere, excuse my language, seed-provider, or even if he migrates into the clan of his mate, he (if I'm not mistaken) still may hold lower status than ninak, there must be some profits for the clan who gives away their boys. A union maybe? Distribution of goodies? Social status? I don't know, but I felt it's natural they would stay in contact somehow. Which, while it would make Ruiso's road to meet with Uene long and not so straight-forward, it would still give some opportunities. Small and scattered on the timeline, but still. And I thought that his curiosity and slowly increasing knowledge of her culture (which in my own interpretation would allow him to basically see Husza as -persons-, not some weirdo witches), and her feeling overall uncomfortable about the responsibilities placed on her by her social constructs will be the link to sparkle some friendship. Or companionship. Yes, not something romantic, but overall a very close bond.

I sincerily thought you've choosen the long road for the relationship to form! And I had a blast trying to predict how things would happen, and since I really love your story so far, little things sparkled a literal fire-storms of theories in my head xD
Too bad it all turned out into a lie, because of my sucky memory and THE PICTURE xDDD

By the way, I do love the picture still, even if I didn't had such grand expectations for Ragu as a character. I'll just have to correct few things in my mind xD And well...since you're now just introducing the world, there's still time for Ragu to suprise me.

And I don't think publishing that picture was a bad idea. It's not a bad thing to leave hints here and there, it creates a feeling of anticipation and gives us, as a readers, something to wait for. Sometimes it's cool to keep things in the dark, but sometimes it's good to know where the story is heading towards, so we can concentrate more on the "road". And for all we know, that picture can turn into a total red herring xD I don't think you should worry about things like that too much.

Regarding my expectations...I don't feel bummed at all, don't worry! I was just a little sad I've got them misguided while I became so attached to them, but it doesn't mean I stopped being interested in OCAC! The only way for me to feel disheartened in a story it's to waste it's potential...or in other words, it's not about what is happening in the story, but how well it's shown. Even if the story turns out to be completly different from what I imagined, as long as it keeps being interesting as it is now, I couldn't be happier.

Saying that, I think I will drop a little bit of critique here. Like I've said earlier, feel free to disregard it, if it doesn't feel relevant. After all, it's an opinion of an idividual with selective memory XD

Even without me mixing up the names, Uene, really does feel like a main character. I think it's a matter of distributing focus via framing and the narrative... like I said, when Uene appears on the frame, so many of her frames:

- show only her, or if she's not alone, others attention is focused on her, for example, when she asks Zenwu to do something for her, and then he looks at her when she walks away to battle, when her mother walks around her and judges her appearance and talks about her expectations regarding Uene, when her mother and she are approaching Zenwu to invite him for a dance. To put it simply, even if she's not alone in the frame, the scenes are definitely about HER or something that connects to her on personal level.

- show her expression with great detail. And it's not even the single frames, there are few whole sequences of her face changing expressions! There's a great care placed into showing how she feels.

- even other characters think about her after she left the scene! In this case Zenwu. As far as I remember, there were two situations, with close up on Zenwu, but it was Zenwu thinking about Uene. Even if he was in the frame, those frames were still about her, about how she feels, about how others(aka Zenwu) try to figure her out.

I don't think consciously about the technical side of narrative and framing while reading, but when analysing, I think that must be the case why I was so confused about who is main and who is side character.

Poor Ragu didn't really had a good introduction/estabilishing page D:
Even Ulmarei had a whole estabiling page just for her and her own activities - Hi, this is a person, you see her for the very first time as she cleans up her hands and pours water with blood on the ground, and says cool stuff, and hey, she managed to capture your attention, and then there's Ragu calling her name, and now you know this is Ulmarei! Really, that was great way for me to focus on this character and have time to recognise her existence before Ragu shows up and some action takes place, and then this "action" is centered around Ulmarei's job and solitary nature, and the intention, the context of those scenes was specifically to enable Ulmarei to go to the party...all that while also showing us the effects of war. Those scenes were GREAT btw.

But with Ragu it was group image, and the characters were focusing on the battle, and, well, talking about Uene again! Some people appear, Aio appears too and steals the scene for himself...Then turns out Ragu wants to see the camp and we see a close-up on her face but then Aio photobombs her having the same expression (which, well, which basically sidetracted me to thinking of this scene as not something that solely belongs to Ragu and her begging and curiosity but something that shows me emotions of teenagers as a group), then they visit a camp, we also have a scene focusing on what Ruiso is doing and thinking... in short, a lot of things were happening at once, a lot of characters were introduced at once, and I coulnd't really focus just on her. We have some scenes with Ragu later, but there are so few of them and maybe a bit too late? Many scenes of her, show her doing something for someone (like collecting food for Ruiso or helping Ulmarei), so technically aren't about her.
What I can think about at this moment, that could count as HER scene, are the "wink" scene and Ruiso blushing because of Ragu, and after the peeking scene, when she was talking with Ulmarei about how she captured Ruiso.

Do you think I'm making any sense here, or I'm helpfull at all?
If Ragu is the main heroine, I think it would be a good idea to have more scenes solely about her, centering around her and her thought, or having some characters concentrate just on her (not her barbarian)...She needs more insight. D:

But feel free to disregard my opinion if it doesn't make any sense, I don't intend to sound harsh in any way, or sound like a smart-a*s, analising so obsessively @_@ after all I love the story so far, I like the ideas, and I'm looking forward to next pages :D

And I realise, it may be too early to critique on Ragu, since there's propably still a lot of stuff that has to be told, and she will have multiple chances to prove herself, so... take my opinion with a pinch of salt! 8V

I hope I didn't put you to sleep with that comment lol.

July 12th, 2015, 1:01 pm

@ Fangirl

Thank you for the long comment and the whole analysis. And based on the information given in the comic so far your ideas as to what could happen next are not unjustified. We haven't provided the readers with all information yet and it is a slow-burning story. Also we somewhat vainly hope that it will explore some unusual story ideas, but we will see. Anyway, we are very happy that you have picked up so much info and ideas about Uene and Ruiso. Your impressions about their characters are actually very accurate so far. We hope to expand them as characters soon in the coming scenes.

Your criticism is very valid when it comes to how people are portrayed, especially Ragu and Uene.
Uene is a character that is quite easy to set up in this story, because she takes part in the fighting and well she is being subjected to her mother's politics. She is at the very centre of current events.

We have been afraid that Ragu might be a tough sell, because she seems like this cheerful sidekick and not the serious heroine. Ragu's character is difficult to explore in a concentrated manner, like in one scene, and we suspect that it will become apparent only after a while.
The other problem is that at this point of the story Ragu has the opportunity to be a social butterfly and she is taking advantage of it. We had to start the story here, because this is the moment which brings all the characters together in a sensible fashion, throws the reader into the story without some lengthy introduction. But this moment is about the clans allying to fight off a threat and possibly create a more lasting bond. And since Ragu is still very young she is not central to that, because well it's what the grown-up deal with.
Joolita feels that the panelling, how people are introduced is her fault. But not entirely, since we have to write off on it together. And well there is also this problem that we really try not to repeat information, so that each page brings something new. So that the reader doesn't feel treated like a stupid person. Like when u have these stories where characters don't talk to each other but make speeches to each other explaining what is going on around them even if all characters present should actually know that.
Anyway we will try to flesh out Ragu as soon as we can, but I'm afraid her crucial scenes will come first in chapter 5.

I have to make a strong objection against the word “kidnapped”, because nobody kidnapped Ruiso. He hasn't been snatched from a cradle. He is a part of an invading military and he has been caught. He wasn't caught together with the rest of the army, that is true, but still as an invading soldier he knew the risk, that if they lose they will be taken prisoner by the Huzsan “witches” and they will demand ransom for him like for any other nobleman.

July 12th, 2015, 2:06 pm

You're right, I shouldn't have been using this word!

Since we're on the topic of words we don't like, I want to express my objection against you using the word "fault" when describing your decisions regarding the story. :D
I know I've just written propably the longest critique of my life, but I can feel, that your decisions were consciouss, especially since you are aware of both pros and cons. But this is the thing you've decided to do, you opted to show the events in specific order, and place focus on specific things, and I'm sure, there will be a good payoff later.

And while I've expressed my opinion, I'm fully aware, that my critique regarding Ragu can (and propably will) render useless in the light of whole story, when it will be finished. I'm aware I could speak way too early. I just couldn't shut up, because I simply LOVE to discuss comics.

Ah, the thing you talk about is called "expositiory dialogue" Yeah, those things do require special care. It's good to trow in some once in a while, but too much, and there's no fourth wall, and immersion in story is broken.

BTW. "Ragu's character is difficult to explore in a concentrated manner, like in one scene, and we suspect that it will become apparent only after a while."
I don't know why, but those words made me think about that type of characters, where you read and read and read their story, and they seem unchanging. But then, after finishing a good chuck of story, you go back several chapters back, and the contrast between this character older and younger self hits you in the face. There was a character development. But it was super subtle and hard to notice. (great example of such character would be Sul from Cheese in the Trap manwaa) That type of development is great, maybe Ragu will end up as such? ;)

April 15th, 2017, 6:39 pm

Chivalry's not dead, just being strangled by shoddy communications work.

April 22nd, 2017, 10:50 am

@Frogsnack

Just one more example why one should know the language of a country one visits let alone invades. The locals can be unreliable translators :P

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