Review Backlog

Before we begin our month of reviewing generally terrible stories, here’s some stuff I did already!

The leaves that enliven the spirit! Cure Citronella is born!

Yuuki is absolutely adorable.

I like how practically everyone’s going about things, from Hiromi keeping track of everyone to see who never has an alibi when Pretty Cure’s active to how handling monster attacks is now common knowledge, as well as all the extra considerations she has with transforming instead of it just being a fight over/transformation over thing, which has been a frustration with the seasons I’ve seen so far. And Yuuki has a pretty good plan going for her meeting except for the part where she’d already met them.

I find the more fansubby dialogue is jarring, though.

White Tea Romance

The two of them are terribly cute as well. I like how their personalities compliment – both have given this a lot of thought, but Haruyo uses that to try to avoid potential complications, while Ayaka weaves a delicate complications web to accomplish things.

Stand

Dollverse’s unfolding is really amazing, in a misery sort of way. It’s like an irresistible force/immovable object thing – Jack can always find new depths to sink to, and PM can never just accept it.

There’s also something absurd and terrible about Jack talking about this momentous discovery of similar universes but it only matters to him in that it means he’ll end up murdering the same species a bunch of times and has something to threaten her with.

After You Kill a Tyrant

Or, in sum: this fic takes place in an AU of an AU of an AU

What’s fun is it keeps going AU because she keeps killing him at the end.

It’s nice to see a more solid after that end as well.

He never burned whole universes to ashes while she watched. She never had to become the kind of person who could murder someone in their bed in order to stop him.

Which would also mean she never got revenge for Prospit. She never got to be sure that Jack was dead and could never hurt anyone else. She’s dying having failed at absolutely everything she tried to do.

D: And there’s a reminder that, potentially, canon still holds the potential to be more depressing than the depressingest AU branch of a depressive fic.

If tomorrow she decides that it hurts too much to keep living, she can kill herself then. She can kill herself next week, if she has to, or next month, or next year. She doesn’t have to worry about missing opportunities, because Jack is dead and he can’t stop her.

And this is the saddest happy thought.

But it’s a surprisingly good ending, better than I’d have thought was possible for her. She found a place and a friend and even the horrible hellcountry of hot dryness she picked for her suicide trek is at least a biome she’s actually pretty well built for enduring, so she probably won’t mind living there if she keeps food and water on hand next time. Maybe next time you feel like poking this AU you could fulfil the Jack-killing through flashbacks/nightmares and continue from here?

Nemesis

Your feet have carried you so far and for so long that the shell on their soles is scored from toe to heel with scars each the width of a grain of sand

Lovely description.

Those are some truly shitty odds when the other fifty percent has you watching your own body fold over as you bleed from the hole in your neck where it used to be attached to you. You think you’ll pass on that one.

Jack why must you have risk assessment abilities.

I love the contrast between them – especially how Jack just has the current situation on mind, while PM has people to avenge and a person to find when this is over. I have to second that I’d like to see them actually forced to work together – Jack spends the whole time hitting on her and sure that, by the end of it, he’s totally won her over with his pickup lines and puns and reminders that the murders were no big deal and in fact he’s pretty much forgotten them already. Dead silence and glares are how women express that they plan to bone you as soon as the deadly situation warranting alliance is up. Yes. She will definitely not decapitate him when the time is up.

Received in This Condition

Bittersweet, but I like the sense things are moving forward and that they’ve actually managed to build something that doesn’t have sburb’s narrative doom hanging over them this time.

Saving Grace

She was walking alone to the nurse’s office (“I’m sorry, we don’t have a health representative right now,” the teacher had told her. “Maybe that can be your job! But for today, just follow these directions…”)

Oh, I hadn’t thought about Homura’s new timeline once Madoka fixes the witch thing at the price of not being there any longer. School was awful enough even with Madoka there.

Presumably before this, saving the cat was one of the million things on Homura’s pre-Madoka-first-meeting checklist. As horrible as it is she ends up soulgemmed once again, at least the kitty made it through in all timelines (until Madoka eats the world, I guess, although maybe cats wouldn’t mind.)

Anyway, I really like your Homura voice.

No Glass Slipper

The party seems somehow louder when she emerges back into it, and she is aware of every person there like she is aware of her opponent in a fencing match. She cannot shake the feeling that any of them might at any moment look straight into her contorting mind and judge her insane, or stick a sword through her heart, or even pull one out.

I guess it’s kind of good they mostly don’t remember the nonsense, given this kind of thing must make conversations with other people so weird. I mean, imagine if everyone left Ohtori thinking that was all actually how things were, and just casually brought up that hey, you like fencing too? Were you in the club at your school where you fenced over ownership of a girl that somehow conferred magic powers to do something with a giant floating castle? No? Weird.

Of course having a set of normal memories for that same time period is also pretty bizarre. I’m never sure if I just don’t get Ohtori or if the point is it’s supposed to be not-gettable in a lot of places. Are replacement memories the brain trying to fill in the blanks, some sort of parallel universe thing, Ohtori trying to put them back together after it’s used them for whatever it was doing…

But anyway, it’s good to see they all made it out okay, and things even managed to work out with Shiori – I can see Juri managing to eventually move on but never Shiori, and as terrible as she was to Juri that’s still sad.

Intertwine: Kuroshitsuji

I think this needed a second edit. You’ve got a lot of elements here that could work, but the execution is fumbled.

Your opening is really long and far too detailed when all that matters is that people head into fictional universes to fix them somehow. That’s all you really needed, and yet you’ve got hundreds upon hundreds of words expounding on it, and worse, doing so before actually starting the main story. All you need is to say this is their job, have them get the line “Where a child is in the company of a black demon; where the darkness of old England may consume thee; the path to the Key is through a mansion; take thyself to the world of Kuroshitsuji.” and start. You don’t need some all-powerful force chatting with them about how sorry they are to ask the character to do their job which they apparently have done lots of times before or any of that.

Then once the actual story starts…you have your character refusing to shut up, blabbing all sorts of confidential information to show off how cool she is for knowing it, which should’ve led to her getting killed or tied up somewhere and tortured to find out what else she knows and who told her and how they found out. You’ve picked a canon full of secretive, murderous characters where knowing information about them is a threat, then you’re forcing the characters to put up with it. And when she’s not doing that, she’s just outright threatening them.

“I’d appreciate it if you’d let me go. My physique isn’t all-too impressive. Well, I suppose I’d be strong enough to pummel a child of Ciel’s stature, but that’s not what’s written in my agenda so there’s really no need to worry.”

Really, why would anyone say this? Why does she find it so important to point out she absolutely could beat up a kid but she’s not currently told to so whatever? This entire chapter is just her being really smug at Sebastian and him putting up with it for no reason. And it’s really disappointing, because she’s supposedly used to this and she could have used all the knowledge she had to know how to get them to keep her around, rather than vomiting out everything she knows in the hopes they’d find it worth it to leave her alive and see what happens.

Plus, seeing his demon form – she already has enough information to know he’s a demon, it’s just gratuitous specialness.

There needs to be a give and take to stories. It can’t just be your OC doing whatever comes to mind and all the other characters putting up with it, and it’s far more interesting if your character uses the information she has cleverly than the characters taking her because plot says so. Ciel is generally confident of his ability to deal with things and he investigates anything strange, so even just showing up out of the blue saying the voice in her head said she had to help them might work, and there’d be further tension about using her knowledge of the setting to be useful and manipulate them to taking her seriously without going too far and tipping them off. It’s the part where she’s threatening and making it clear she knows their secrets (and worse, can’t keep her mouth shut for two seconds) that’s the problem.

See, I was really enjoying the new anime, and decided to sift through fanfic…

I just had to comment on this one because it was outright baffling me why the author wrote it. Not why it’s bad, but because it’s like a story you’re telling yourself in your head, where you don’t need to hold onto the details very clearly or pay attention to how one part leads to the next, and if keeping track of what you’re saying isn’t a concern, why bother actually writing it down?

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10708111/1/In-Agreement

This is wonderfully cathartic. And N just stammering through his prepared speech regardless was hilarious.

6 Comments

  1. illhousen says:
    “I just had to comment on this one because it was outright baffling me
    why the author wrote it. Not why it’s bad, but because it’s like a
    story you’re telling yourself in your head, where you don’t need to hold
    onto the details very clearly or pay attention to how one part leads to
    the next, and if keeping track of what you’re saying isn’t a concern,
    why bother actually writing it down?”

    Well, that’s your answer: many writers, especially inexperienced ones, don’t understand that something that feels awesome in their head wouldn’t be so on paper.

    So they write the story down as they imagine it, without much thought as to how other people would see it.

  2. actonthat says:
    [why bother actually writing it down?]

    I think it’s pretty obvious they posted it for praise, because omg so original such atmosphere, and are falling back on LOL not serious at all lighten up! as deflection.

  3. Sazuka57 says:
    Oh hey my fic is up there! Nice! 8D
  4. Y says:
    Are you doing NaReWriMo again in January? That was great.
    1. Farla says:
      The sun will go out before I let pokefandom escape my wrath.
      1. Aardvark123 says:
        That’s the spirit!

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