Hey, everybody! Antoni, here, with another fan fiction “recommendation”, you will see why I put those quotation marks there later in this post. This time, I am taking a look at an Inuyasha fanfic called A Hint of Hope which was written by darling krash and published on January 29, 2005. It’s rated M. It’s in English and the main pairing is Inuyasha and Ayame. Other characters involved are Kouga, Ginta, Hakkaku, and one random character who appears in the end.
I will say this once and I will say this again. I am no InuKag fan in the slightest. I find it annoying whenever Inuyasha and Kagome bicker constantly even though they grow closer to each other, and it does not help matters when Kagome uses the “Sit boy!” command although there were times Inuyasha did not deserve to be punished in such a fashion. There are also times that despite being the main female protagonist and showing some strength and independence as a character, Kagome will at times be the designated damsel in distress probably because the plot seems to demand it. Even at thirteen, I always thought that Inuyasha should be better off with another girl aside from Kagome, who can be as strong, tough, and courageous as Inuyasha. Enter Ayame. Even though she is a filler character and was meant to be Kouga’s bride to be, she certainly has a presence to her which makes her all the more endearing and charming as a character. Yes, she only appeared in a total of four episodes, and spoilers I am not even a fan of KogAya, mostly because Kouga seems to have a lot more interest in Kagome, despite the respective couples being married in Inuyasha: The Final Act. When all is said and done, this is all just a matter of personal tastes so InuKag, InuKik, and KogAya fans please put down your torches and pitchforks.
When it comes to shipping Inuyasha and Ayame, there are traits about the both of them which I love. Both Inuyasha and Ayame are strong, tough, capable, battle-ready, fiery, and badass characters with a lot of spirited personalities. Because Ayame has been raised by the white wolf yokai tribe, she was taught to fight at such an early age, and for that, she is respected by her tribe, though Ginta and Hakkaku are rather intimidated by her. In terms of Inuyasha, he grew up in such a harsh environment where both humans and demons repudiated him because of his ********** status, due to the fact that he has a human mother and a Daiyokai father. When one puts two and two together, one has characters like Inuyasha and Ayame who have gone through a lot in their lives, faced many a hardship, and even faced loss and heartbreak, Inuyasha with Kikyo and Ayame with Kouga. In spite of the obstacles, these two remain resilient and headstrong with their goals, Ayame in trying to get Kouga to marry her to reunite their tribes and Inuyasha in obtaining the Shikon no Tama or the Shikon jewel, in order to become a full-fledged yokai. Even more so, these fighters are intrepid enough to go headfirst into battling demons and other evil spirits. I love these two so much as characters, that at times I wish they could’ve been the main couple and let Kagome be paired up with someone as thrill-seeking as Kouga or calculating as Sesshoumaru. It is also a shame that Ayame did not get as many appearances in the TV show, as she was a pretty formidable ally, who was criminally underused. With that rambling out of the way, let’s get on to what I thought about the story.
Ayame is sitting by a stream pondering about Inuyasha and Kagome liking each other so much. Kouga appears not to return Ayame’s love, but to scold her for interfering with his obsession with Kagome, and he assaults her. In storms, Inuyasha defends Ayame against Kouga, wards him off, and tends to her wounds and her overall loneliness. During Inuyasha’s stay with Ayame, the two of them become closer, a bit more intimate, and their relationship blossoms even further. All the while, Kouga is all the more obsessed in terms of having a bone to pick with Inuyasha, no pun intended. By and large, the story was pretty well-woven with sufficient interest. As always, I want to spoil neither the climax nor the ending. I will say this about the latter. The ending does make me want to draw fanart of how Inuyasha looked like with his new attire when he returns to Ayame. Okay, I know I have a no-spoiler policy when it comes to doing fanfic or general reading recommendations, but I will give myself the benefit of the doubt, the ending had a nice build up, it was nicely satisfying, and it was lovely to have Inuyasha and Ayame be together.
The characters who managed to steal the show for me were Inuyasha and Ayame. Inuyasha does manage to keep his tough-guy personality, though it’s backed up with a chivalrous and noble personality without going too over-the-top with it. He makes sure that Ayame gets not only the protection she needs but the love she so wholeheartedly deserves. Speaking of Ayame, she herself manages to be thoroughly enjoyable as a character. She still keeps her loyal, fierce, and strong personality, but it’s also backed up by some vulnerability to make her all the more human and relatable. Kouga took a level in jerkass in this fanfic. Yes, he was rather villainous in his debut episode when he and his wolves ransacked a village, but he immediately had a 180 when he met Kagome at such a bizarre rate. Here, I actually like how darling krash made him a little bit more villainous in terms of his jealousy, animosity, and obsession to best Inuyasha, and he served his purpose well. The other characters like Ginta, Hakkaku, and a random black wolf yokai serve their purpose to the story.
Now, I bet you are wondering, why would I say that this is a so-called recommendation when it is not truly a full-fledged one? Well, because there are some technical flaws. The most ubiquitous one is that each paragraph is a huge blob of text. Instead of separating each line of dialogue as new paragraphs, giving the appropriate amount of spacing, and making it more presentable, the story becomes difficult to read. It does not help that there were some grammatical errors like the past tense of lie, as in lie down, is lay, and, of course, let us not forget about some of the punctuation errors. The story could have been more refined if the layout were more organized and more well-structured. Thus, the technicalities had a lot of points being docked, which is such a shame, because I did enjoy the fanfic and I do wish there were more Inuyasha/Ayame fanfics or fanart. Anyone reading this fanfic might as well have 20-20 vision because of the less than ideal layout, so read at your own risk in terms of your vision. Thankfully, the language did manage to be okay all the way through, as the spelling errors and other mistakes were not obnoxious.
Overall, in spite of the bad layout which the author should have fixed in the first place, I still have to say this was a rather enjoyable read. Inuyasha and Ayame really sold the story and it makes me crave for more InuAya fan works because their chemistry is not only palpable, but I also wish that their relationship could have been more fleshed out in the anime. With that said, I give this fanfic a grade of a B-. The layout and the grammatical errors certainly bogged this rating down, which like I said is a big shame because the story was told rather well. This managed to keep me interested and invested that I would have loved to see how Inuyasha and Ayame were faring as a couple. I would still recommend this to anyone who loves Inuyasha as a show and even loves pairings outside the usual Inuyasha/Kagome or Inuyasha/Kikyo fare.
Well, that’s all for now. Be sure to tune in later to my review of Richard Strauss’s Elektra starring Christine Goerke as Elektra, Elza van den Heever as Chrysothemis, and Michaela Schuster as Klytämnestra. Until then, have a great evening, everybody.