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 Enslaved Redemption

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Nerdanel
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Join date : 2013-11-25

PostSubject: Enslaved Redemption   Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:15 pm

Enslaved Redemption is a Kuroshitsuji fanfic based on the anime continuity, in the loosest sense of the word "continuity". The fic distinguishes itself in the area of history fail, but it also shows notable levels of geography and other fail. The Mary Sue element is mild by comparison, possibly because it doesn't have all that much space to develop in the four chapters that currently exist.

Another unusual thing about this fic is how paragraphs are separated by either one or two line breaks. It's not random or starting one way and then switching to another, but fairly evenly distributed, as if the author had developed her own system of paragraphs and sub-paragraphs.

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The summary may be very well the "best" part of the fic:

Quote :
"I'm not like the others, not at all. I can see, I can read, I can write, I can relate. Because of this, I've been chosen as my Master's vessel, the one to grant what may be his last wish. No matter what the cost, I will help him, even if I have to go to the very depths of Hell to do it."-Ndele, house slave of the Chantel manor. (Sebastian x OC x Ciel)
The summary sounds WTF racist, and nothing in the fic disproves that. Ndele the African house slave is on some sort of mission for her old, beloved master. I don't know about those others Ndele isn't like, but it's sure sounding bad.

1. Encounter

Ndele, our heroine, is running away.

Quote :
The cold breeze of winter whipped past me as I ran, air fogged by quick breaths, cobblestone damaged by heavy footsteps.
I'm confused about those breaths and footsteps. Did the air come pre-fogged by someone else's quick breaths? Are Ndele's running footsteps heavy enough to damage stone, more even than years of carts? I suppose it's a a combination, in that first it talks about Ndele's breaths and then refers to some unknown person's past footsteps.

Quote :
For the third time since my journey began, someone had recognized me from all of the fliers pinned up around the surrounding estates, and a generous amount of policemen had tracked me down, intimidating Dobermans at their beck and call.
I'd learned early on it'd be best to keep to the shadows, as not everyone here was as softhearted as my dear Master. Even now, I notice all of the citizens glancing over at the commotion and frowning in distaste. Not because of Scotland Yard's greatest officers chasing a supposed criminal, but just because of my appearance.
You can't have a Mary Sue not be a huge deal for the police, even bigger than Jack the Ripper from a little while ago. Jack the Ripper is small potatoes compared to our Ndele.

Ndele remembers the instructions about staying safe that were given by her master on his sickbed.

Quote :
With watery yet solemn eyes, I merely nodded, brushing a few strands from his forehead to kiss it.
Aww. They were so close.

Quote :
Everything was so…foreign to me. Just as all of my books said, there were pounds as far as the eye could see, bones littering the streets, and rabid strays always on the prowl. It was as if the words had jumped off the page and come to life.
She's a fan of post-apocalyptic science fiction, it sounds like. I think she means dog pounds, but I like to imagine the ground being covered with piles of pound coins.

Quote :
All at once, morbid thoughts of what would happen to me filled my head. More enslavement, more sexual assault, more physical assault, maybe a few toes so I can never do it again…
More angst, more ingredients for the requisite dark past...

Ndele has run to a dead end. Conveniently she sees a few convenient crates and hides in one.

Quote :
With much difficulty, I shimmied myself into a sitting position in one of the larger boxes, but not before retrieving a handful of pepper from my coat pocket and generously sprinkling it around the perimeter of the enclosure. I'd read many times in mystery novels how fugitives used that technique to baffle tracking dogs.
Ndele is a little boy scout, always prepared.

Quote :
Just as I expected, I could hear wet noses sniffing the ground fervently, approaching with caution. And just as I expected, the mutts got a whiff of my little present and walked back to their masters, tails between their legs and whimpering.
Just as she expected, the people searching for her do not see anything strange about their dogs' behavior but turn right back to search elsewhere.

Quote :
I was definitely positive I was in Houndsworth, their obsession with the mongrels was evident enough.
Ndele sounds like she prefers purebreed dogs. No race mixing (for dogs)!

By the way, this fic suffers from severe confusion about Houndsworth. Houndsworth appeared in two anime-original filler episodes. It is supposed to be a rural village.

Quote :
"Sebastian," the Young Master began, his voice clear and concise, "now that the Hell Hound ordeal has been closed, open each of these crates and burn all clothes and merchandise inside. Anything that's touched this city's gravel is to be considered tainted and burned."
That's... extreme. Ciel is acting really irrationally there. I wonder if Ciel will demand that his shoes will be burned too, not to forget his socks. Indirect touching appears to be enough for him to count as tainted.

In other news, Ciel's words confirm us that this story is taking place in the autumn of 1888, whether the author knew it or not.

Quote :
I heard Sebastian get down on one knee, the smile audible in his voice. "Yes, my lord."
That's some good hearing on Ndele's part, but Sebastian doesn't really do the knee thing all that often, so maybe she imagined it.

Suddenly a policeman from the Scotland Yard arrives to ask if they've seen Ndele.

Quote :
"M-My apologize, Young Earl...!" the man managed to pant, keeling over slightly in exhaustion.
Forms of address can be really wonky in this fic.

Quote :
"A slave...?" The Young Master repeated, scrutinizing the paper further. "How could she have possibly traveled so far into London? And in the afternoon, for the Queen's sake!"

"W-We fear it might have been the work of local abolitionists, Young Earl. The damn people have no idea how to mind themselves..."
We learn that the author thinks Houndsworth is a district of London. That means that all those bones on the streets and rabid strays (and pound coins) are in London, and Ciel wants to burn anything that has indirectly touched the gravel of London, no matter how little sense that makes.

Also, no matter what Chapter 4 might retcon, in this chapter slavery is definitely legal in England and both the Scotland Yard person and Ciel agree.

Quote :
"Very well. I'll have Sebastian take me back to the hotel Angela and the other servants are staying, then he can search for the woman you so desire. As it seems we'll be staying in Houndsworth longer than expected, all burnings shall have to wait as well." With that being said, the policeman thanked the pair and sped off, probably searching for his men.
There wasn't a hotel in the anime. Ciel and the others were staying as guests at a local manor in which Angela worked as a maid. The closer I look at this story the more terrible research I see.

Ndele's box along with the rest are loaded in the "cargo hold" of Ciel's carriage. I didn't know horse carriages had cargo holds, let alone huge ones suitable for storing lots of large boxes. I also don't know what Ciel was doing with all those boxes of stuff he apparently owned but wanted to burn but chose to load to his hyperspace carriage anyway.

Quote :
It was well into the evening when I awoke, the stars shining brightly overhead.
It sounds like the cargo hold of the carriage has a glass roof, but more importantly: They were in Houndsworth. Their destination was a hotel in Houndsworth (or at least for Houndsworth). How large is Houndsworth anyway? It sounds like Houndsworth isn't a small village or a district of London, but an alternate name for England or something.

The next chapter says that the hotel is "trashy", so it can't be that Ciel had decided to go to a distant hotel in order to get rooms fit for his station. And anyway, we know that Ciel has a townhouse in London and that Ciel's manor is something like one or two hours of travel from London.

Quote :
"What's taking so long, Sebastian? Shouldn't you be looking for that slave already?" I heard the Young Master's voice ask from the carriage. "Yes, My Lord," the apparition responded,"I merely wished to return all of the luggage to the servant's room before I took my leave."
For some reason, Ciel prioritizes the hunt for Ndele even higher than his own evening tea and bath.

Sebastian removes all the boxes in front of Ndele, who suddenly isn't in a box anymore. Apparently the servant(s) have a lot of luggage, though it can't be anything important considering how Ciel wanted to burn it all just a little while ago. Cliffhanger: Ndele gets found!

In the later chapters: Ciel calls himself "Ciel of the Phantomhive estate". Ciel takes Ndele in as a servant. Ndele gets pretty dresses. Sebastian perceives with his demon senses that Ndele's soul is white(!) and completely pure, as befits a Mary Sue. Ciel switches to villain mode for no conceivable reason. (Ciel switching to villain mode is completely in character for him, at least in the manga, but he only does that for a good reason.)

From the author notes for the next chapter:

Quote :
Ooh, it's gettin' good! Okay, so, I'm having so much fun writing this (Probably because I actually have to do research for some of the backgrounds so they can be completely accurate)
What research?

Quote :
P.S. If you're offended by anything that happens for the duration of this fic, I'm truly sorry, but that was what it was like.
What can I say to that? I'm offended by how she mangles history, but I don't think she meant that.

Quote :
open a Social Studies book or something.
That doesn't substitute for a history book.


Last edited by Nerdanel on Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:56 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : link added)
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rachel
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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:08 am

Quote :
"I can relate."
I can't; not to any of this hot anachronistic mess.
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Denethor



Join date : 2014-04-29

PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Sun May 11, 2014 10:22 am

Crackpot theory to explain this fic:

The Phantomhive Estate, and all its inhabitants, have been sent back in time to somewhere between 1829 and 1833.

1829 is the creation of London's metropolitan police force, so that's the earliest cut-off date: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

1833 is the statutory abolition of slavery in the UK, so that's the last cut-off date:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Between those dates, you can thus theoretically have police and slavery operating in the UK (no underground railroad though).

The big problems then are explaining:

- The common law abolition of slavery in 1772:
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From the article though, you can claim loopholes post-1772:

Quote :

Furthermore, despite the ruling, escaped slaves continued to be recaptured in England, and contemporary newspaper advertisements show that slaves continued to be bought and sold in the British Isles


- the references to the Queen - Victoria didn't start her reign until 1837. However, since the fic only says the Queen, not Victoria, we can pretend the characters (for some reason) are talking about William IV's consort:

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In fact, we can eliminate 1829-1830 as dates, because the King at the time (George IV) had a consort who died in 1821 (thus there was no Queen).

So time travel to 1830-1833 (and overlooking common law) it is.
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Chris91
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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Mon May 12, 2014 6:21 pm

I'm with Rachel; that story makes zero sense whatsoever.
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Nerdanel
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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Tue May 13, 2014 5:57 am

That's some good research, Denethor, but I still don't believe in it. The previous plot seems to have happened in this story, while in cases where the characters are transported to another era that shouldn't happen and in my experience doesn't. I think the author probably either thought Jack the Ripper for example was fictional or didn't bother to check the dates.

And here's a lovely quote about how they treat their new slave, a quote which is just too precious not to include:

Quote :
Flipping through some of the dresses, I rejected one after another. Too frilly. Too pink. Too short. All of them were either too garish or skimpy for my tastes, and I really didn't feel worthy enough to wear clothing for fit a duchess to begin with. I was down to the last dress, a simple white gown adorned with a black trim. Cliché, but it would work.

Some of those clothes would have been completely indencent in the Victorian era, by the way, when legs were considered to be the most obscene part of the body. The manga actually talks about that. Also, the other servants would have had so much reason to be jealous, as they don't have the Mary Sue power of summoning a new wardrobe of fancy clothes from somewhere.

And as for Ciel calling himself "Ciel of the Phantomhive estate", let's hear from Ciel himself.

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Denethor



Join date : 2014-04-29

PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Tue May 13, 2014 7:56 am

On the title front, Ciel seems to be in error. The terminology is generally Earl of Somewhere, though here is a list of Earldoms that hinge on a surname, rather than a placename:

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If he's in the first category, he's Ciel Phantomhive, the Earl of ???????? The standard conversational usage would be Lord ??????????

If he's in the second category (more likely), he's the Earl Phantomhive, not Earl Ciel Phantomhive. The standard conversational usage would be Lord Phantomhive.

(Curiously, Aleister Chambers, Viscount of Druitt gets the terminology correct).
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Nerdanel
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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Wed May 14, 2014 7:24 pm

English-Japanese-English translations can be tricky. In this case we're dealing with the correct translation of "shieru fantomuhaiv hakushaku" which itself is supposed to be a translation.

Nevertheless, I remember reading a while ago from another page (written for reporters) that the form "Earl Ciel Phantomhive" is actually correct. Ciel isn't showing by example how he should be addressed, he is saying who is is. The context of that panel is that Ciel isn't undercover as a poor commoner anymore and doesn't appreciate being called "Smile", a nickname he didn't like or want in the first place and now doesn't have to meekly endure.

I imagine Ciel in the fic that is the subject of this thread was also supposed to introduce himself by saying who he was, only the author got it so wrong that the finer points of "of" usage and such don't even come into play.
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Denethor



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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Wed May 14, 2014 8:30 pm

Yes, but even if he was merely asserting his identity, Ciel in this context shouldn't even be using his first name. It undermines his importance as Head of the Phantomhive family. He'd have been Lord Ciel while his father was alive (or at least publicly alive), but now he should be saying something like "A servant shall not speak to me with such familiarities... I am Lord Phantomhive."

Literally the only current people who should be calling him Ciel are the Midfords; anyone else is showing unwarranted familiarity. Everyone correctly calls Druitt Druitt, or Viscount. Calling him Aleister would denote a close personal connection.

(Of course, all of this subtly is probably lost on the author of this fic. Wink)
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Nerdanel
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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Thu May 15, 2014 3:41 pm

I think Ciel's intention can be more verbosely expressed as something like, "My name is not 'Smile'. As you have undoubtedly already learned, my name is Ciel Phantomhive. Given that I am visiting here openly as an earl and you're a servant here, you really shouldn't address me by that nickname you pushed on me."

That panel is read from right to left. I think that fact changes the meaning of Ciel's words a shade.

(And by the way, Denethor, have you taken a look at Kuroshitsuji or did you pick up all that trivia from my posts on this site? It can feel so lonely snarking about a topic other people don't know about.)
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Denethor



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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Thu May 15, 2014 11:50 pm

Nerdanel wrote:

(And by the way, Denethor, have you taken a look at Kuroshitsuji or did you pick up all that trivia from my posts on this site? It can feel so lonely snarking about a topic other people don't know about.)

I ran across your older posts, and decided that since I remember my literary tastes being broadly similar to yours, I'd take a look at it - I've now read the manga online. It's a bit heavily loaded with female-orientated fanservice, but I still enjoyed it. The fact that nearly everyone in the story is irredeemably evil amuses me too (I'm a big fan of the Undertaker precisely because although he is a murderous necrophiliac, he's a murderous necrophiliac with a sense of humour, and is a vanishingly rare example of an INTP-personality villain). The cricket bit was downright painful though - not because I dislike cricket, but because I'm probably among the tiny minority of the manga readers who not only follow cricket, but have actually played it (every time the word "points" was used, I wanted to scream).
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Nerdanel
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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Fri May 16, 2014 5:13 am

The funny thing about Kuroshitsuji is that it's officially a shounen even if the fanbase is mainly teen girls. Sometimes I wonder why I'm into a series like that and have even bought the paper volumes when I'm not in the target demographic.

Trying to explain/justify it to myself:
- Ciel and Sebastian are such interesting characters with an interesting, complicated, and unique relationship.
- There is a surprising amount of depth in general, psychological and otherwise.
- The story can get surprisingly dark and intense and avoids falling into the typical shounen tropes except to parody them. Ciel in particular is the opposite of the typical shounen hero. I love Ciel. In a normal story he would have been the villain antagonist.
- The art is really good.
- The Internet speculation potential is high indeed. I was there when the Murder Arc came out, and absolutely no one figured out who was responsible for the murders and why, even though the clues are clear in retrospect. That's some good, sneaky plotting.

On the other hand, the manga story has been so silly lately. I have certain theories about it getting a lot more serious again soon, but the change in tone has been slow in coming. I've been thinking that maybe the mangaka wants to show the fangirls that it really pays to pay attention to the small clues in Kuroshitsuji instead of just chalking everything strange as normal manga/anime silliness, and that's why there has been such an extended section of what on the surface seems like randomness but which will later be the target be the target of a shocking revelation about what was really going on all along.

Well, maybe I'm overthinking it. I was also the only person talking about the all-pervading dream-like symbolism and Jungian archetypes in the much-maligned second season of the anime and claiming that the supposed plot holes had been put there on purpose. (And I still think that way.) On the other hand, in one of the manga volumes the mangaka drew a little add-on about how they had given so much deep thought and dedicated all those pages on Baron Kelvin's psychology and then all the fans were only commenting about how hot Vincent and Diedrich were. I think that left a mark. Our mangaka may be wanting to do something about that and even retroactively redeem the second season of the anime by making people pay attention to it.

Well, at least the current situation produces piles and piles of badfic, if you want to consider that a bright side.

(Now, that was some off-topic posting...)
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Denethor



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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Fri May 16, 2014 5:36 am

It strikes me as trying to appeal to several bases of reader at once. Yes, there's the all-too obvious teenage girl thing, but buried underneath that fluffiness is proper Gothic Horror. There's the byronic protagonist (you can't really call him a hero), the Satanic pact and the demon himself, the ancestral edifice (destroyed and supernaturally rebuilt), the mad science, and so on.

There's also an interesting political thriller opportunity based on reality ensuing - the UK Constitutional model, even at that point, is that the Queen reigns and Parliament rules. I wonder what would happen if Parliament found out about Victoria illegally using someone like Ciel to have things "sorted" behind the back of the Prime Minister. It has the making of a constitutional crisis (not least because on paper both Ciel and Druitt are members of the House of Lords, and thus in theory bona fide parliamentarians themselves).
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ilovenoodles



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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Fri May 16, 2014 1:41 pm

I feel like anyone who posts theories as dumb as yours on kuroshitsuji fan sites has no room to snark others.
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Nerdanel
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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Fri May 16, 2014 3:59 pm

Hi, is it Trancy4Eva perhaps?
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ilovenoodles



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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Fri May 16, 2014 6:01 pm

Yes. That is exactly who this is.

edit: this post was meant to be sarcastic but now I realize that was misleading and that was not my intention. Sorry, my bad.
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Nerdanel
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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Fri May 16, 2014 7:30 pm

Are you the author of this fic then?
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ilovenoodles



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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Fri May 16, 2014 7:54 pm

No, I just think your theories are terrible and I think that any theory you've posted online is far more out of character than this fic is. Your snark is funny but it's laced with hypocrisy and a lack of self-awareness.
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Denethor



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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Sat May 17, 2014 12:51 am

With all due respect, ilovenoodles, mocking badfic (which is what this thread, and indeed this forum is about), has literally nothing to do with someone expressing theories on the original subject matter on completely unrelated website(s). If you want to snark, snark either the original fic, or alternatively rebut any of the existing criticisms. Don't sign up the forum just so you can engage in ad hominem attacks.
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Nerdanel
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PostSubject: Re: Enslaved Redemption   Sat May 17, 2014 3:26 am

Any theory, you say, ilovenoodles? I really would like to see you defend against the theory about Funtom Company diversifying into war business. That one was all from me and was called "ridiculous" by some people (including you?) who then tried to argue at length against it, so I don't think that theory qualifies as a trivial one. There is some very, very solid support for it in the canon though if you look closely. I think arguing about that would make for an entertaining debate.

Anyway, you should brush up your argumentation skills and provide some basis for your assertions. As it currently stands, your argument fails on two grounds: 1) You haven't shown why coming up with bad speculation invalidates literary criticism or makes it somehow hypocritical, and 2) You haven't shown why the previous point applies to me. I say that neither of the two points is valid.
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