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Well, the history of almost perfect fic had to end, and of course, it ends with my preferred pairing. Sigh. I really love Yusuke, as a character, he comes off as more 'art sexual' than anything, but some of his interactions with Akira in game canon rate from downright funny to kinda sweet. So it's no shock that I really like Akira/Yusuke as a pairing. But, shockingly, it's hard to find long fic featuring this pairing. Finding short one shots of them? Easy as hell.

This fic though, this is going to be a REAL mixed opinion. I've read other works by this author and the one shots were really good, so I said, 'well, she's writing a longer fic and it's a sort of interesting idea, so why not?' Yeah...

Note, this is the most popular Persona 5 fic currently, if you sort by Kudos, on Ao3. After reading this entire story, I put it down and said, 'seriously, THIS FIC is the most popular?' Because I'll be honest, I like this author's one shots a lot more than her long fics, and that really RARELY happens. And quite simply, there's way better written Akira/Yusuke fic, let alone better written fic, period.

Series: Persona 5
Title: Muse
Author: aliencereal
Genre: Flangst, though leans more to fluff than angst
Rating: T
Warning: Sickingly sweet fluff, AU Butterfly effect fic, recycled dialogue from the game, extremely short chapters, mentions of child abuse, mild game spoilers, up to June at least, slow burn though it sort of... isn't...
Couple (if applicable): Akira/Yusuke

Plot: 7/10 - This is more of a character study rather than a heavy plot fic. It's not too terribly original. Instead of Yusuke wanting Ann as a model, he chooses Akira instead. It seems interesting enough, but in honestly, I don't really see this happening, unless Akira was gender swapped to a female.

Anyways, canon stuff happens and instead of Ann being in certain spots, it's Akira who replaces her. For example, Yusuke is escorting Akira during the art tour, he's the one who goes to model nude and distracts Yusuke while Morgana does his thing, etc etc. And Yusuke ends up living with Akira during and after the changing of heart of Madarame. And basically, they end up in a relationship.

Pretty much, Yusuke sort of loses his 'art sexual' and he's really pining over Akira straight away. And Akira is already sort of pining too. Which is sort of disappointing and I'll get to that in the characterization.

On one hand, it's an interesting twist, but on the other hand, I don't think it would work in the context of canon. But I can't say it cannot absolutely work, because Yusuke DID want Akira to model for him during his Link. In the end, art is art for Yusuke, so I can let it pass. >.> Though the sort of homophobe hintings from Madarame? Kinda comes out of nowhere. I don't think he'd give a shit, as long as Yusuke doing something and it made him money.

I'm also not completely sure that Madarame sort of abused Yusuke, besides stealing credit for his work and pretty much having him live in a shack while he lived elsewhere. Just as a word of warning, there's a lot of neglect and mental child abuse here. It puts Madarame in a much darker light than what his counter part is in game, so be warned.

I will say, I do like the small flashback thoughts that Yusuke has of the NPCs who lived with him. In game, they just came off as off screen NPCs. Here, they play an important role in Yusuke's life, and sadly, they show the abuse that he went through along with them too. They're not just faceless NPCs, which is probably the thing I liked most here.

Writing: 5/10 - The writing is just... okay. I think some chapters are way too short to even count as a chapter (some barely hit the 1k mark, and should just be condensed into one chapter instead of two). There's some typos and grammar errors here and there, it really looks like the author pretty much rushed her chapters up as fast as possible, because some paragraphs are only one sentence, and it happens fairly often enough for me to notice.

And some of the dialogue is straight cooked copy pasta. I didn't dock too much because I don't think the dialogue would change too terribly. Still, it would be nice if authors just put their own spin on the dialogue parts.

I think this story could've been much shorter, mostly because a big chunk of it in the middle is rehashing canon. The exception is near the end, after the whole Madarame stuff happens. And that's where the story sort of happens. You'll notice when canon does come, the chapters are all of a sudden longer and mostly dialogue heavy, but not as long as I like them to be.

Also, this is where I'm going to say that 'Show, don't tell' applies greatly. Instead of saying, 'they share a slow kiss and make out for a long while' (No kidding the make out line IS from the story), you could at least describe what happens. In fact, describing the kiss itself would have a more impact and skip the make out all together. Or maybe have a quiet moment where they hold each other.

All in all, the writing is just... not really impressive, but not horrible. It sits right near the line of almost being mediocre. I think this story didn't need to be divided into 28 chapters, to be honest.

Characterization: 6/10 - This story really focuses on Akira and Yusuke, and they pretty much skirt the OOC borderline. Mostly because they're pining after one another WAY too early, and there's little build up for it. I mean, in canon, I can pretty much say that Yusuke doesn't have any feelings toward Ann, he really only wanted her to model for his art. And that's one important thing about Yusuke, his focus is on art, so much so, that people will get the wrong idea of what his intentions are. That's why I love his character. So I don't really see why when Akira is the target now, he all of a sudden has a deep crush on him.

There's seriously no real build up, and I think that's the most disappointing thing about it. If this story took place later in canon, I'd actually give it a bigger pass, because of the Confident Link (Though this looks like a part one to a bigger story?). And the fact that Yusuke's link doesn't really start till after where this takes place in canon, where it would be easy to have them build up a relationship. I think my problem here is the relationship happens too fast and there's very little build up to it.

I think the big problem with this story too is that it's really boring in a lot of the chapters where... nothing really happens. Did we really need 2 chapters of Akira taking Yusuke shopping for weapons and going to the clinic?? Or a total rehash of canon with little added in stuff? The build up doesn't really happen till much later (We're talking chapter 21 here when they finally go out on a date) and it isn't really built up.

It's a damn shame, cause this is classified under 'slow burn' as well and the quality of this compared to the last fic? Doesn't even compare. I wanted a slow burn fic and instead, I got... mediocre fluff that doesn't even happen till near the end. It's just pining, date time, and cute fuzzy moments with bare bones description. If you're looking for that, I'd say read the first few chapters, and skip to 21 after a bit.

The only real reason that it doesn't score lower is pretty much 21 and beyond and the few moments Akira and Yusuke share are relatively IC, moreso with Yusuke, who's being his oblivious self and making all sorts of sappy confessions without realizing he's making them.

Negatives: Very little build up, mediocre writing, very short chapters, copy pasta of dialouge from game

Summary: Instead of being drawn to Ann as a model, Yusuke is drawn to Akira...

Overall: 6/10 - Not a terrible fic, but not a great fic either. It's so mediocre that I found it hard to review, because... nothing happens, there's little build up, and the writing looks to be rushed as all heck. I can't understand why this fic is rated so highly when the author has... written better. It makes me very sad that one of the first Akira/Yusuke multi-chapter fics to get finished is so... average in quality. Moreso when the quality of the last 3 fics was much greater here. Heck, I've even read fics for this pairing, it's just that there isn't a lot of finished Akira/Yusuke fics currently compared to Akira/Akechi. Which is a damn shame.

Honestly, I think this author should stick to one shots, her one shots are far superior to her long multi-chapter fics. Check out her The Future Card series of one shots and if you're looking for Akira/Yusuke, check out Complementary instead.

I think I'll be taking a break, at least from Persona fic for a bit. Or maybe fic in general, I think I tired myself out on Persona 5 fics.
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Well, a fic I was following for a while finally finished. It's pretty unusual for me, since the last two fics were pretty much angst ridden (Moreso the last). I vastly prefer angst in my Akira/Akechi stories, mostly because Akechi himself carries a lot of emotional baggage, and while this fic does have angst, it tilts more to the side of fluff, mostly in the second half.

This story also made me appreciate Haru a heck of a lot more. Not a lot of stories feature her, and in a more positive light, especially when it comes to this pairing, cause of spoilerly reasons. This fic is pretty much the opposite of how Haru reacts in Crooked Hands. However, I can accept it in this story for one big reason: Time skip.

Series: Persona 5
Title: Yesterday's Protagonist
Author: Valiantarmor
Genre: Flangst, though leans more to fluff than angst
Rating: E
Warning: Fix-it future fic (Is this even a warning?), spoilers all the way to the end game, lots of kinky sex in the second half (Be mindful of the author warnings), one of the longer slow burn fics (Not really a warning... >.>)
Couple (if applicable): Akira/Akechi

Plot: N/A - I'm actually not going to rate the plot, for once, because there is no real plot. It's not really a character study either (Though the story is very heavy focused on Akechi, about maybe 70% of it), and there's no real conflict in the story (Unless you count Akechi's unease at everyone being so accepting as conflict?). It's pretty much a slow burn future fix it fic, there's really no other way to describe it. Basically, five years have passed since the end of the game and everyone has pretty much moved on to what happened. Cept Akira, who regrets not being able to save Akechi from all those years ago. Akira visits a shrine to basically 'pay respects to Akechi', sort of like a repentance, and moves on with his life as best he can. During one of his nightly visits to the shrine, Akechi appears, and basically, things go from there.

Honestly, you have to be in the right mood to read this, more so in the second half, where it's pretty much just kinky smut between Akira and Akechi with some side stuff happening from time to time (Which I'll cover in characterization), and cute domestic fluff.

All I say is this: This is probably the ONLY fic I'll say where fluff works for this pairing. There's other reasons too but I'll cover it in the characters.

Also, this is a REALLY long story, and really, it's kind of a two part story. The first five or so chapters building up to the relationship, and the second half being more domestic with some angst on the side from Akira that ends happily ever after. If you love slow burn romances, this is pretty much picture perfect of it, you got your relationship building part and you have your domestic part, or more of an intimacy builder. A lot of slow burn fics stop when the relationship forms, maybe one or two scenes of intimacy, and ends. This story continues on, and it actually adds to the relationship as a whole. Which I think is really needed for a pairing like this set in the future.

Writing: 10/10 - You can easily tell the author put a shitton of effort into this. It's also one of the longer slow burn fics I've ever read, and it hits every button I want in a slow burn fic. You got the relationship building, you have your intimate times, not just in the bedroom either (Though it has some wonderful build up of kinks, which I rarely, if ever, see in fiction), you have the others trying to accept Akechi into their circle along with the relationship itself, you have angst coming from both parties (Too many fics focus on one character, usually Akechi in this pairing's case), and then you have some soft quiet moments.

I think outside of the main pairing, my absolute favorite scene is Akechi's interactions with the others, specifically, Morgana and Haru (I do enjoy Futaba's as well, but it's very minor). If you like Haru, she really shines here, and shows she's probably the most awesome friend ever. And seeing Akechi slowly blending in with the others (The scene where Akira comes home finding Akechi asleep with Morgana on his lap is one of my favorite 'quiet moments') and slowly becoming part of their lives, it's not often you see. Most fics sort of push the other Phantom Thieves to the side with this pairing, or it gets really ugly and only Akira seems to want to help Akechi while the others are on the fence or just don't want to help period. I think the time skip helps a lot here, because they're not teens anymore, they're young adults, and they had time to reflect on things. I'll go more into this later too.

Characterization: 9.5/10 - This is where most of this review is going to go, because really, this story isn't focused on a plot or any kind of conflict. It's focused on the characters themselves, mostly Akira and Akechi, with the other characters around them. It's basically the two characters falling in love with one another (More so Akechi than Akira), some fluffy moments, some angst moments, lots of kinky moments, etc. Basically, if you want to see a slow burn future fic featuring Akira and Akechi, from the falling IN love to domestic life of the two to the 'adult side' of it, this is probably the only fic I'd recommend. Also, Kudos to the author for giving line breaks so if you don't want to read the smut, you don't have to. I, however, REALLY recommend reading the majority of it (Mostly because their relationship is a two way street, both outside and inside the bedroom, and they don't suffer from your typical seme/uke trope that most yaoi pairings fall into), it really adds to the relationship.

Lemme cover some of the featured characters. Most of the Phantom Thieves make casual appearances. Really, the story only shows Akira, Akechi, Morgana, Haru, and Sae Niijima, for the most part. Futaba appears along with Sojiro too.

Spoilers for the fic )

I docked a half point for really one thing that is a small minor flaw for me: The maid parts in chapter 6 come out of nowhere. Unlike most of the fetishes in the story, this one isn't built up and comes out of nowhere. Where as others, like the choking, hair pulling, and praise kink, are built up from nearly the beginning. This one doesn't, which puzzles me (I could've missed a cue for it earlier, but I don't remember seeing it). But it doesn't tarnish the story, and honestly, it doesn't even really affect the story (Plus the fact that it's well written helps too), which is why I only docked half.

Negatives: No real plot to speak of, might be too fluffy for some Akira/Akechi fans?

Summary: After five years since the end of the game, Akechi walks back into Akira's life. This time, Akira is determined to keep him there.

Overall: 9.75/10 - If you're looking for a slow build future fic for this pairing along with some well written smut, this fic will pretty much cover it. Again, I'm not a huge fan of Akechi/Akira fluff fics. This fic makes it work. If you're a fan of this pairing, this is pretty much a 'must read' fic. If you're not a fan, this might get you there, moreso if you enjoy built up romances and don't mind post canon fics. While a lot of the story is pretty fluffy, it has it's does of angst and does justice (HAH!) to not only the pairing, but to the other characters as well.

Edit: I had to edit this review due to me realizing that a scene I liked? Didn't happen in this fic. That's what I get for typing out reviews and comments so late at night. ~_~;; Or at least it would help if I re-read the entire fic before I type out a review/comment. Again, apologizes. ~_~;;

I swear to god, I'm going to review another pairing one of these days. This fandom is spoiling me rotten with high quality fanfics. I think this is a first time where I reviewed 3 separate fics in such a positive light (I rarely give fics above a 7, the last few fics I've given above 9s!). Like really spoiling me rotten.

HOWEVER! That may end up coming to a close! There's a fic for my preferred pairing that just got done, but it's going to definitely be one of those 'unpopular' opinions from me again, so... stay tuned!
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I already put this fic in my recommendation pinned post, but I decided to write a review on it. I'm also going to say this too: Even if you don't ship this pairing, you should still read this fic. Because to be honest, of all the Akira/Akechi fic I've read on Ao3, this is probably my absolute favorite of them all. It's sort of like the last fic, where events/issues/characters aren't just black and white. And it also doesn't really end happily ever after too, it's more bitter sweet, but the bitter sweet that I can get behind.

And this is something I could easily see happening in canon. Unlike a lot of Akira/Akechi fics, where I feel sometimes the characters are too forgiving, here, we see that not all characters are forgiving, and the consequences that come from it.

Again, going to warn, this review contains massive spoilers up to December, and the fic pretty much spoils the entire game, so be warned.

Series: Persona 5
Title: Crooked Hands
Author: coolkidroland
Genre: Angst/drama
Rating: T
Warning: AU, spoilers up to November
Couple (if applicable): Akira/Akechi

Plot: 10/10 - The plot is pretty simple but to the point. Basically, Akira sees if Akechi has his own palace (Tests it to the meta nav) and lo and behold, he does! And the key words to it, fit Akechi completely. Also, I don't know if this is canon about the character, but he seems to be interested in 'Featherman', aka, it's sort of like Power Ranger/Super Sentai spinoff, so it's no surprise to see that Akechi would be a Star Wars fan.

Basically, the gang goes through this and at the same time, the sixth palace. But going through Akechi's palace un-nerves them (Lots and lots of spoilers here) to the point of actually giving up on Akechi all together. Which is interesting. But Akira, being a good doer (Though he has other motives besides 'doing the right thing'), doesn't want to give up.

Pretty much, this is close to canon as it can get, and unlike a ton of Akira/Akechi fics, there ARE clear consequences to Akira's decision of wanting to save Akechi. Which a lot of fanfics don't really do or they don't cover the rest of characters and just focus on Akira and sometimes Morgana.

Now, how can someone have a palace that is a Persona user. Didn't Morgana tell us that isn't possible? Well, the fic has an answer for it, Morgana isn't the be all to everything. There's no telling if that's true or not, and that's kind of scary.

Writing: 10/10 - Just like the story before, no problems with the writing. I think the interactions are top notch in this fic. Think my favorite part of the fic is when Akira has a fit basically on his friends and still insists on wanting to go through Akechi's palace. It's painful to see friendships tear down and even fall apart. The most creative part of the fic is the 'reversed' Arcana that happens to the Empress. Anyone who has played the previous Personas know what reversed means and while I don't think canonly you can have that happen in 5, it's a nice reference and callback to the previous games.

Also, Lala-chan is awesome. >.>

Characterization: 9/10 - There is one reason I dock a point to this. It's actually when the characters don't want to change Akechi's heart, which puzzles me in a way, because I 100% side with Akira. Did we forget the sexual predator? Or the Yakuza that definitely caused young girls to sell their bodies which probably lead to them killing themselves? Or the guy who plagiarized people's works, made sure they couldn't get anywhere in life, and caused people to kill themselves? Or the man who was perfectly willing to sell his daughter off and overworked people to the point of death? Not even including the people in Mementos (Pretty sure one of them was a homeless assassin, so which makes no sense because changing his heart is okay, but not Akechi???), and even the mastermind, Shido, himself (So the hitman can't have redemption, but the mastermind who MADE the orders can!?). Not to mention, at one point, they were discussing on maybe killing Akechi, which totally goes against everything the Phantom Thieves stand for. They don't kill their targets, that's WHY they change their hearts.

The ONLY reason I can come up with is: To Haru and Futaba, it's personal. Haru is still also new to the group, she hasn't been with them that long, so she doesn't know about the others. She only knows they tried to change her father's heart and it failed cause Akechi killed him after the group left to escape the palace. Same with Futaba, she didn't see the previous 3 hearts being changed. Also, Yusuke kind of falls out of the story for some reason? I'm pretty sure it's only Ann, Morgana, and Ryuji who come after Akira, not sure why Yusuke sort of vanished? So does Makoto, but I'm assuming she's on Haru's side more.

Other than that, I don't see anything wrong with the story. It's really painful to see the group falling apart the way it does. Honestly? I think every damn character in this story needs therapy, not just Akira and Akechi. >.> And Sojiro deserves a medal for having to deal with all this shit. And Lala-chan is awesome, I have to mention that again. >.> I don't really approve of what Akira decided to do and going into a palace by himself? Dumb as shit. But they're not really helping him (More like rubbing salt on the wound), if anything, they're just kind of proving the point of what a certain shadow said.

A lot of this kind of boarders the line of melodrama, but then again, it's a story about fucking teenagers, so yeah, I can definitely give that a pass. It also ends bitter sweet too, there is no happy ending, and there ARE consequences (Like can he repair his relationships with the others? I'm going to say not all of them, to be honest, moreso in Haru's case), and there's still pretty much Shido and other more spoily stuff, but that's where the story ends.

Negatives: Can be a bit on the melodrama side

Summary: Akira finds out that Akechi has a palace and convinces the group that changing Akechi's heart would be easier and less risky than going through their original plan. Too bad nothing is ever easy...

Overall: 9.6/10 - Of all the Persona 5 fanfics I've read, I really cannot recommend this enough, even if you don't like the pairing. It goes to show you how characters are never black and white as we think they are, moreso than the other fic. If you can handle the teenage melodrama and are looking for some really good angst from both Akira and Akechi with a good focus on the Phantom crew, look no further.

Up next, hopefully something not Akira/Akechi related. That's the one problem with this pairing, it's an emotional roller coaster (It kind of needs to be, with the issues and baggage that Akechi brings with him). After rereading this fic again, I need a break from their melodrama. >.>

Edit: So apparently, the author decided to write a sequel to this, and there's probably going to be more, maybe? I may do a review of this one and any fics in this timeline here after, but I think I'll wait, mostly because I wasn't expecting anything else to be written, since this story stands well on it's own and ended in a way that the reader could fill in the gaps. But I'm definitely in favor of any more stories on this timeline. >.>

Just when I said I was taking a break from this pairing too... SIGH!
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Well, a fic that I was keeping my eye on finally finished, so I might as well start with this one.

First off, maybe because this fandom is still really new, but the quality of fics that I found for Persona 5 is pretty high. Most of the time, when I see a fic that catches my eye, it actually turns out to be a good story. There is only one tiny problem.

The majority of the good quality fic tends to be Akira/Akechi. Yeah, this is a pairing I feel the most neutral on, obviously because of game spoilers. I vastly prefer Akira/Yusuke if I'm going for slash, and if I'm going for het, Akira/Makoto or Akira/Futaba. 75% of the time when it comes to quality fic though, it's on Akira/Akechi, which is actually surprising because this is probably the most controversial pairing from canon. It's also the pairing I have the most mixed feelings on because of it's controversial issues. To be blunt, it NEEDS to be well written for me to actually believe it. There also needs to be a ton of angst in it for me to believe it too or it HAS to cover some issues when it comes to Akechi.

You'll also be seeing a TON of 'fix it' fics, for obvious reasons. But believe it or not, a lot of the fix it fics I've seen do NOT forget the shit that happens in the game. Well, most of the time. Sometimes I feel the characters are too forgiving, but it really depends on the character, the context of the story, and when the story takes place.

Also, I'm going to warn, because of this pairing in general, there's going to be a shit ton of end game spoilers (Most stories written for this pairing are either during late canon or post end game), it just can't be helped. So if you see me reviewing a fic that has anything to do with Akechi, assume that there's going to be end game spoilers.

Series: Persona 5
Title: if you never shoot, you'll never know
Author: junfhongs
Genre: Flangst, though more angst than fluff, AUish for end game
Rating: T
Warning: Fix it fic, AUish, massive spoilers for end game
Couple (if applicable): Akira/Akechi

Plot: 8/10 - There really isn't much of a plot to this, this is pretty much more of a character study than anything else. Basically, Akira finds Akechi outside of LeBlanc the day after Valentine's Day and takes him in. And the characters basically learn about each other that the other doesn't know and so on. There's also a bit of background about Akechi being in bigger shit that causes problems too and Akira wanting to help, but that's kind of the gist of what you could call a plot.

I think the summary of the story sums up this story well enough: "Since Akira was so obsessed with bringing out the light in him, Akechi could revel in the darkness that made Akira just a bit more real to him." It's also a big reason why I decided to read this fic to begin with, because the characters aren't just black and white. That Akira isn't a pure hearted hero (This is seen more so when he confronts Makoto), he does have some shades of black, and that Akechi isn't a cold hearted villain, that he does have shades of good inside (How he tells Akira that he was wrong for yelling at Makoto and the proceeding conversation, how he doesn't want to endanger Akira).

There is one thing I will give credit to, how Akechi survived. In canon, you max Akechi's Confident rank right after the whole Cognitive Double stint, so maybe because of that, it gave him the strength to somehow survive (His own Persona gaining some strength, though they usually evolve into another form, but Akechi is a kind of weird case). It's actually believable.

Writing: 9/10 - No problems with the writing. I really like the interactions between the characters. And though it pains me to admit it, I really liked the confrontation between Akira and Makoto and the aftermath conversation between Akira and Akechi, it's painful, but it manages to stay perfectly in character.

The story flips around to being really angsty for both parties and turning into fluff for both parties as well, which fits well with the story. Though there seems to be more angst than fluff, which to be honest, is how I like this pairing. It has enough angst for me, along with just enough fluff for me to be satisfied.

Characterization: 9/10 - Pretty much everyone is IC here, though Futaba is sort of pushing it. Then again, Futaba is very socially awkward, so I guess you could use that as excuse why she doesn't violently react to seeing Akechi alive (Even Haru was sort of forgiving in canon, like, 'I can't forgive you, but I understand how you feel'). She's also pretty rational too and probably believes in Akira, so she trusts his judgment, in the end.

They also, like I said above, aren't very black and white. And Akira's relationship to his parents in this story parallels very nicely to Akechi's. You see traces of Akira's dark past and how though he's usually calm and collected, even he has his limits. I really like that. I also like how Akechi doesn't want Akira to damage his relationships to others because of him, and how he has to fix his problems on his own.

Also, the fact I think a lot of people forget here: Akechi isn't stupid. I mean, a lot of what he was solving were 'pretend' cases, but he HAS shown in game canon that he has a brain.

Though I think this story ends a bit too happily, I think the ending is fitting. Basically, both boys can start a new life and to both, it's a new beginning to what may lead them, which actually fits in tone of the actual ending of the game.

Negatives: None really, unless you count the lack of plot

Summary: Pretty much a character study on Akira and Akechi that takes place after gameplay but before the game ends. Their relationship seems very black and white, hero and villain. That's how it's supposed to be. Yet not every villain is cold hearted and not every hero is a picture of virtue...

Overall: 8.6/10 - Pretty solid character study. Even if you don't ship this pairing, I'd still recommend it. It won't get you over the ship fence, but you may see the characters in a different light.
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What better way to return to my old fandom than by finding some bad Star Ocean fic?

Series: Star Ocean 3: Till the End of Time
Title: Love on a Limb
Author: Larien Surion
Genre: Drama/Romance
Rating: E
Warning: Horrible characterization, lots of character bashing, uke!Albel (!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? *Mind blown*), mpreg
Couple (if applicable): Fayt/Albel, IN THAT ORDERi

Plot: 3/10 - There's like, no plot to this, and I have no idea if this takes place pre or post canon, to be honest. Basically, Fayt gets massively injured in a fight to the point where he can't use his leg. Albel makes a cast(?) for him, then winter comes, Fayt chooses to go with Albel, Woltar tries to play matchmaker, despite Albel's wishes (Since when did Woltar EVER actually act like an asshole to Albel, like mean spiritedly???), Cliff feeding Albel a 'harmless love potion' so that Woltar can get Albel into an 'arranged marriage', so Fayt basically takes care of the problem by sleeping with him, cept it ends up being a mpreg potion (HOW does that even work), they have like 8 kids and live happily ever after.

Like where do I even begin with this???? I can't, because it BARELY passes as a Star Ocean fic, and it's just so bizarre... The ONLY reason this sits at a 3? Because Albel is the uke here. Yeah, of EVERY damn Fayt and Albel fic I've read, NOT ONE has ever involved Fayt being the top. So to see a fic where he is on top and taking charge? Shocking.

Too bad the plot is a mangled mess. And the smut isn't good in it at all (Persona 5 fandom has SPOILED me rotten with good smut pieces).

Writing: 2/10 - On top of this mess of a heap plot, we also get the blandest writing I've seen in a while too. Bad spelling? Check. Misspelling proper names? Check. Grammar fails (You're and your for example)? Check. He said, she said littered throughout the entire story? Check.

Also, the paragraphs are wonky in later chapters, maybe due to's stupid formatting, but who knows.

The entire story is just so sloppy written. And to top off the shit sundae...

Characterization: 0/10 - Characters not acting like themselves! Joy! We have, of course, Sophia bashing. We have quite a few scenes with Roger bashing. I mean look, I don't like either of those characters. So what do I do? Write them out of the story! Wow, I mean, how hard is that to do, authors!?

NO character in this story acts like the character from canon, not a single one. You could change the names and proper names and never guess this was a Star Ocean fanfic. Authors, when I'm reading fanfiction, I want to read about the characters from whatever fandom I'm looking at. Otherwise, WHY write fanfiction?? Go write original fiction, at least you may get money in the process!

What baffles me is the indirect Woltar bashing. Like, of ALL the characters to use this shit on, him???? He isn't even that important of a character to the original game, but I'd have to say he respects Albel quite a bit, so seeing him being manipulative??? Yeah, no.

Albel acting uke blew my mind, because I rarely see it. I'm always bitching about Fayt being a whining pile, but here, for once, it's the opposite. And while I wouldn't mind Albel being on bottom for once, it's not done well here at all. Not to mention the whole 'male getting pregnant' issue, not to mention it's never said how Albel gave birth. I guess the author didn't want to go into the details. Or more like, couldn't. >.> So I'll just assume he shat them out.

Negatives: Just about everything in this story is a negative, yeah, it's that freaking bad
Summary: Fayt gets wounded in a fight, Albel decides to take care of him. Out of that blossoms love, I think?
Overall: 1.6/10 - It's been a real long time since I came across a fic that was this bad, let alone a Star Ocean 3 one. I'd only recommend reading this if you're really freaking bored out of your mind or a masochist. Otherwise, stay the FUCK away.

Coming up next? Maybe some Persona 5 fics. Maybe I'll review one of the many recommendations in my pinned post.
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I'm going to admit, I think this series falls a little too much to your typical 'seme/uke' set up, moreso if you just read part 1. Part 2 changed my mind a bit, and while I prefer Takumi angst over Leo, the few fics I find that focus on Leo angst are really well written. I am still going to recommend part 1, because you really should know what is going through both character's heads, but part 2 is really the superior version.

This author tends to be hit and miss with me, but her ideas are so good that I can forgive the 'seme/uke' setup. And fuck me, I do like to see Takumi happy in the end. >.>

Series: Fire Emblem: Fates
Title: i am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough
Author: CarbonFootprint
Genre: AU on Conquest timeline/Drama/Romance/Flangst, though swings more to angst than fluff
Rating: T
Warning: Massive amounts of angst from Leo and Takumi, end spoilers for Conquest, spoilers for Revelations conversation
Couple (if applicable): Leo/Takumi

Plot: 9/10 - I'm going to admit, this is the sort of AU I like, where one event changes and basically a butterfly effect follows. I'm putting this under a cut, because the plot basically spoils the end of Conquest. Conquest spoilers! )

And depending on what part you're reading, you'll see different things. Takumi's part focuses on his comatose state dreams, and you once again, get a rehash of their damn in game supports. I really wish people would just add their own damn flare instead of cooking 'copy pasta' of the whole thing. When he finally wakes up, he realizes the boy from his dream was that, a dream, and he has to deal with that and his own issues. You can kind of guess what the spell did to Takumi, and reading part 1, I didn't really understand why Leo was flipping out so badly.

Part 2 actually cleared up my big problem with part 1. And it makes a lot of sense. It's also really well written, and it satisfied my angst itch along with clearing up the problem I had with part 1. Basically, part 2 is from Leo's point of view and parallels part 1. And it does so really well. Part 2 also has an epilogue and there was supposed to be a part 3 (Never happened, the author kind of dropped out of fandom for some reason?), but part 2 ends in a satisfying enough way to not need anything after.

Basically, out of all the stories that cover 'soulmates' and Conquest AU endings, this one is probably the best well written.

Writing: 7/10 - The writing is just okay in part 1, though the interactions that Takumi has with his siblings save it a lot. Part 2's writing is far superior, and we get into Leo's head and the big problem I had with him from part 1 makes a ton of sense.

Though, to be honest, the writing is just okay, though it does greatly improve as the story moves on. The flow and the ideas of the piece, as a whole, are what make this two parter stand out from the rest of the stories I find on Ao3. This would be a great example of a really good and creative idea boasting the writing quality in general. I say boast, because the writing isn't bad, and is above quality work. It's just that the ideas and the conversations between the family members are really well done and stand out way more than the quality of writing.

I think the only thing that suffers is that Leo and Takumi sort of suffer from your typical 'yaoi seme/uke' setup. I say it's mostly on Takumi rather than Leo, but I'll get into that later.

Overall, it's a really good read. Despite the 'copy pasta' of the support conversations. Though I will admit, part 2 does sort of give it a flare of it's own compared to part 1.

Characterization: 8/10 - I would've given this score a 5 or a 6 if I was just basing it on Takumi and Leo's relationship to each other. There's too many tears and Takumi suffers more from the 'uke' syndrome that I see commonly in nearly every fanfic. It's a bit more excusable to some degree with him because of all his emotional baggage, especially in the conquest timeline.

Leo is somewhat excused from it in part 2 to some degree. Story spoilers )

However, they way the Royals are written is what saves it and allows me to excuse the typical yaoi dynamic. I freaking loved that the most in part 1, when Takumi finally wakes up and the way his siblings react to his awakening and recovery, because it's realistic and touching. I also like the interactions with Leo and the other siblings, how he keeps going to Corrin and asking her on Takumi's condition and the conversation he has with Xander.

Despite the small seme/uke hiccup, the rest of the cast is remarkably IC, and while Leo and Takumi dance near the OOC boarder, they never come too close to it to hurt the story.

Negatives: Somewhat cliche seme/uke setup, part 1 is somewhat inferior to part 2

Summary: An AU to the Fates Conquest timeline. During the final battle of the Conquest timeline, Leo notices the small spark of life behind the possessed Hoshido's Second Prince's eyes. Instead of killing him, he then decides to take a gamble on a untranslated spell from his Divine Weapon, Brynhilder...

Overall: 8/10 - A story that has a few hiccups, but is definitely worth the read. I recommend reading both parts in order. I wouldn't recommend it if you're not a fan of the pairing already, but if you are, this fic will satisfy you greatly, more so if you want an AU done right.

Anyways, I think it's break time again (I think I had my fill of Leo/Takumi for the moment) since Persona 5 is coming out real soon. MAYBE I'll find another Persona 4 fanfic in the meantime. >.>
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I know, I did promise I'd bring a good AU fic next, but the only fics I'm keeping an eye out on for that aren't finished, and I rarely, if ever, review unfinished fics, mostly because you don't know how it's going to end up. So that's going to wait. Though technically, this fic is sort of AU?

This is also the kind of AU plots I prefer. Where the characters are still in the same world, but things are different.

But sadly, like the last fic, it isn't really that good. And it really saddens me, because this fic does have some good ideas, unlike the last fic, which was just cliche boredom.

I don't know why, but seeing fics that have some really good ideas, but not working because of the writing or because the ideas don't flow together or whatnot really makes me sad (Even more so since I love me some well written Takumi angst), more so than finding a fic that's just downright terrible.

Series: Fire Emblem: Fates
Title: Fear of the Truth
Author: Hao
Genre: Flangst/AUish
Rating: E
Warning: Massive Takumi angst (Do I even need to warn for this, it's freaking Takumi...), very AUish, OOC Leo, typical seme/uke setup, OOCness, slight dom/sub understones
Couple (if applicable): Leo/Takumi, mentions of Xander/Ryoma and one sided Leo/Niles

Plot: 7/10 - It's kinda hard to explain the plot without massively spoiling the fic. But let's just say that I'm okay with this kind of AU, mostly because it still takes place in the same setting, but events are different. Like Nohr and Hoshido aren't at war here, and Garon is already dead. Basically, the Nohr siblings have found something that belongs to the Hoshido Royality and wish to return it to it's rightful owner. Oh, and of course, there's talk of soulmates. And shameless smut.

There are some really good ideas floating around in this fic. Like the daily life of Takumi I found interesting. I found his conversations and how the other characters from the game interact with him. I also like how he's taking painting lessons with Kagero (I'm not sure if it's canon or not, but I like this idea, in general).

Spoilers )

But sadly, that's where it ends for the positives, because it falls to your typical seme/uke dynamic (Especially when Leo just starts to randomly flirt with Takumi just after they met). Which don't really fit these two characters personalities. I'll cover this more later with characterization.

Also, the relationship comes on WAY too fast, despite the whole 'soul mates' thing (That's pretty much the second half of this fic, though mostly, it's about 75% smut in the second half). In fact, to be honest, the talk they have after flyby smut in the hallway scene should've happened BEFORE said smut. Again, I'll cover this in characterization.

Writing: 3/10 - This is where the story suffers the most. The story has a ton of typos and grammar mistakes all over the place. It's so bad that it really took me out of the story several times (Your and you're being the most common one, along with They're and Their). I don't think the author had a beta to this fic either, because there are typos that a spelling/grammar checker could pick up on easily. Maybe English isn't their first language (Which is no excuse, get an English speaker to beta for you)? Either way, this story would've really benefited from a beta.

The writing can be rather bland at times, and the story can get a bit draggy as well. Like there were some points where I just wanted to get to the point of the story, or random smut followed by a 'oh reasons' and going right back into smut, with little to no build up.

I have no real problem with the first half of the story besides the many typos and grammar fails. The second half is just where the story falls apart, due to an OOC Leo. Which I'll cover right now.

Characterization: 5/10 - Honestly, if it wasn't for Takumi's character in the first half of the story and the other characters, this score would've been sitting at a 2. Takumi's character is pretty spot on, along with his internal angst in the non-smut scenes. And like I said, I really like the interactions with Takumi and the other minor characters, like Kagero and Oboro, and his siblings.

And then Leo comes into the picture, and it all pretty much goes downhill from there. Leo is pretty much OOC to the max in the story. I mean, when he started calling Takumi, 'baby', I pretty much blanched. That took me right out of the story.

I mean, I have read fics where Leo and Takumi are in a more dom/sub role than I want them to be. And I can accept it if the writing is there. It's just... not here. And I think part of it is there's no buildup and we're supposed to just accept this because 'oh, they're perfect soulmates and Takumi wants to be submissive just because!' I highly doubt Takumi would be okay with Leo basically sexing him up in the MIDDLE of a hallway, considering how stubborn and prideful he is.

My personal opinon on this? I see both of them as switching out. I'm okay with either one being on top or bottom (Though not gonna lie, I honestly prefer Leo being more on top, just because I think he would need to play the more 'emotional support' role to Takumi, and being the top would allow him to do so). In a dom/sub relationship though, I'd definitely say Leo being the dom, but it'd have to be written well for me to believe it. It's totally not here.

I also realized there's a total of 4 smut scenes, all of them nearly back to back to each other. I think this is the first story where I've gotten a sudden overload of smut, back to back to back too, with almost no build up. It could be because Leo comes off WAY too strong and he outright flirts with Takumi right away, which I really can't see him doing. Oh, and 'baby'. Gag.

It's not that the smut scenes are badly written, believe me, I've read a lot worse. But due to the numerous typos and an OOC Leo, it doesn't... flow well. And again, I blame an OOC Leo and little to no build up. I mean, Takumi himself even protests that they only just met and shouldn't do this, but he gives in, cause... Just cause!

Negatives: Cliche seme/uke setup, OOC Leo, many typos, many spelling/grammar errors

Summary: An AU to the Fates timeline. Takumi's life is about to turn upside down when the Royals of Nohr come to visit, returning something that once belonged to the Hoshido Royal family. He's not exactly pleased about it, moreso when the Second Prince of Nohr looks exactly like the blond haired boy that has been invading his dreams the last few days...

Overall: 5/10 - It saddens me greatly when I see a story with a great idea gone to pot. This is just another example of a bunch of great ideas that don't mesh because of writing and OOCness. I really want to recommend this, but I just can't because OOC Leo and the massive amount of typos ruins what could be a really good story.

Now I promise I WILL review a good fic next time.
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Well, let's get away from BL Visual Novels for the moment and go back to what this journal originally was for, reviewing fanfics! Today, I'm going to cover a fandom that I surprisingly didn't expect myself to fall into.

I have a soft fondness for Fire Emblem series. My first game was on the GBA and I never finished it due to me not wanting ANY unit to die. I originally bought my 3DS for other games, and one of them was for Awakening. Luckily, the game allowed you to choose if you wanted to go the 'normal FE' style route or make it where a unit dies, they're just out for that particular map. I may cover some Awakening fanfics in the future, but for right now, we're going to talk about Fates instead.

Believe it or not, most of the fanfic I come across for Fates (That doesn't have obviously troll summaries at least) is pretty high quality stuff. At least in the slash department. When it comes to het, I get a lot more misses than hits, and considering that the amount of slash is nearly triple as the amount of het, it's kind of disappointing.

For the most part, I'm a Royal fan, and I'm very fond of Takumi most of all. Followed by Leo and Xander. And finding fics featuring them with Corrin... is rare. Like I think I can count less than 10 fanfics featuring EITHER one of these pairings that was worth the read. While finding fics for Takumi and Leo, on the other hand, are a dime a freaking dozen, and I found WAY more quality works. Luckily, I like this ship as well, so I win either way. >.>

But here's a thing I noticed a LOT with this fandom: fucking modern AUs. Why the fuck do you want to put characters in obvious fantasy settings in our own universe!? It just really floors me how people want to throw every sort of fandom into our world!

Sometimes, shock and surprise, it does work. Though, with my taste, I prefer AUs, as in one change setting up a butterfly effect (Or in the game's case, an AU happening in the Conquest or Birthright timeline changing things). This... is not one of them. The writing isn't too terrible, but the fic is just so meh in of itself...

Series: Fire Emblem: Fates
Title: Totally Not Friends
Author: Novaluna
Genre: Fluff/humor/slow build (aka relationship building)
Rating: T
Warning: Recycled support dialogue, meh attempt at humor, though it tries, sisters acting like shipping brats?
Couple (if applicable): Leo/Takumi, background Corrin/Silas and Kamui/Oboro

Plot: 5/10 - This scores pretty low only because it's just so meh. Basically, Corrin and Kamui (aka, female and male avatar) take their siblings to a beach house to spend one month of their summer vacation. Takumi and Leo have to share the same bedroom and... you can pretty much guess what happens there.

It's boring, it's predictable, it's... very meh. I really have nothing else to say, because it barely runs as a Fire Emblem fanfic, and I can barely recognize the characters from their canon counterparts.

Writing: 5/10 - The quality of the writing seems to dip in places, but not to the point of some other works I covered on here. The first few chapters are eye roll worthy because it's just another 'Let's copy and paste Takumi and Leo's C and B support right from the game!' Seriously, I don't mind if people want to add their support conversations into their stories, but add some flare or originality to it instead of a pure copy pasta that stands out from your writing!

While the writing does pick up in the next chapter, the quality dips later on, then improves and then dips again. I almost wonder if the same person is doing it or maybe the author was distracted while writing this.

Probably the worst example of instantly taking me out of a heart warming scene is the start of this paragraph in chapter 11, when Leo is comforting Takumi out of a nightmare and Leo ends up kissing him and the following is written right after:

"It wasn't exceedingly amorous -nobody stuck their tongue in anyone's mouth, or -gods forbid- ripped someones clothes off- and it was very chaste kiss, but it was a kiss, and it was passionate nonetheless."

That would be fine and dandy if this scene was coming off as humor, but it's not. Not to mention the sentence itself is very bland and really out of place, moreso the sentence in between the hyphens. It comes off as author's notes and is the wrong way to use them too. I mean, you don't need to go the purple prose route, but have some more description besides 'it was chaste and passionate'. Or basically, show, don't tell.

And what's funny, is it still tries to be heart warming to some degree. It's like the story sometimes can't decide if it wants to be heart warming or 'TEEHEE!' type of humor.

Characterization: 4/10 - Like I said above, you can barely recognize the characters. In fact, you can basically slap other names over the proper names and barely tell it was a Fire Emblem fanfic. But is that because they're written OOC? Or is it because of the boring cliche plotline? Probably a mixture of both. I feel like the featured characters, Leo and Takumi, suffer less from the OOCness than the others, who are basically along for the ride to 'get their brothers together'.

Just... oi...

Corrin and Kamui have been basically reduced to 'shipper' brats, which just basically makes me facepalm. I mean, do people forget that your avatar DOES have a personality in the game to some degree!? Everyone suffers from OOCness, and that seems to be a trend with modern AUs in general. Though to be fair, there are a few that do work, it doesn't in this story.

Negatives: Cliche, quality dips in the writing, other characters reduced to shipper brats, copy pasta support conversation
Summary: Corrin and Kamui take their respective siblings to the beach for the summer. Stuff happens. Mostly revolving around their younger brothers hooking up.

Overall: 4.6/10 - Do yourself a favor and read this work instead by the same author, the quality and writing is WAY better than this story. It's not really a Takumi/Leo shipper fic, but it is evidence that this writer can produce good quality stuff.

I also need to stop writing these reviews at like 12-1 in the morning, so many typos I found in my own review (That, and I think my keyboard is dying on me, because hitting the backspace button isn't working half the time anymore). Next, maybe I'll grab one of the AU fics that I found that did work for the fandom.
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Again, I'm going to be honest. Just fucking skip part 1 and 2 and read this part. Unlike the other trilogy that I reviewed where you really had to read previous parts to know what's going on in the part you may be reading, this part can stand alone. In fact, the title to this part is the title to the entire trilogy, so that should tell you something. >.>

Again, this story gets a lot of praise, and while I do think it's one of the better works I've read, I think it's a tad over-rated...

Series: Yami no Matsuei
Title: Mercy of the Fallen
Author: gaudior
Genre: Angst, general, casefic
Rating: E (Author didn't rate this? Dunno why...)
Warnings: Mentions of rape (Actually, lots of mentions, holy shit), boarderline OOCness
Couple (if applicable): Tsuzuki/Hisoka, mentions of past Muraki/Hisoka and Muraki/Tsuzuki

Plot: 6.5/10 - There are two reasons why I decided to score this how I did. I was going to give this story a lower rating for plot for one reason and one reason only: It's beyond predictable. The entire casefic? I knew what happened from the moment it hit the table. The minor character in the story that gets briefly mentioned? You know she's actually someone REALLY important. The way the case is solved? Knew it was going to happen. The ending of the fic? Called that too.

Major spoilers for the story! )

That is my biggest complaint about the plot. Maybe it's because I've read WAY too much in general that I can predict things before they happen, but I predicted pretty much everything that happened in this story.

The saving grace of this? The ideas, unlike the last story, are executed fairly well and they're all very creative (Though this author has a lot of creative ideas imo). And btw, authors? THIS story is how you fucking do cliffnotes. The info is there to tell you that it does have a reference, but we don't need to know it in order to understand the story. Cliffnotes should just be a 'oh, for your info, readers...' not a 'I kept things in fanpoodle japanese, here's your translation!' And the pun on Hisoka's name in the story is the only acceptable boarderline 'fanpoodle japanese' I'd accept, mostly because that's not something that's easily translated into English.

The ONLY other beef I have is the boarderline 'Gary Stu'!Muraki, and I'll get into that in characterization in more detail. Though unlike most fics, the author did actually explain about Muraki's actions and why he gets away with what he does and had a really creative idea for it. Again, Muraki gets away with a lot of shit in canon, so I think it would've been unfair for me to lower it because of canon.

Basically, this is a mixed opinion here for me. I think most people though will really enjoy the plot in this fic. Me, I just thought it was way too predictable and I shouldn't be able to predict the entire casefic from chapter 1 onward.

Also, this part doesn't really link to 1 and 2, hence my advice for reading THIS part only and ignoring 1 and 2.

Also be warned, there is a lot of mentions of rape in this fic. And it's not just canon here too and not just the mentions from previous parts either. Just a warning.

Writing: 9/10 - Nothing wrong with the writing, yet again. In fact, it's gotten better. The prologue at the beginning of the piece was really well done. The best written of the three parts.

Characterization: 6/10 - I still have a big problem with the characterization of Hisoka in this story, but it's not that bad as compared to the previous parts. Mostly because there's more characters in this story than the last 2, where it was just Tsuzuki and Hisoka and the minor OCs.

I really love Tsuzuki's character in this story too. Very painful and we actually focus around his angst for a change than let the focus be on Hisoka. Very rarely do I find a story with Tsuzuki angst, most of the angst is centered on Hisoka. As a big Tsuzuki fangirl, this was a good surprise.

Also, thank fucking God Oriya isn't a goddamn doormat for Muraki here. He is perfectly IC, so you Oriya fans out there are in for a treat. TOO many fanfics treat him like Muraki's doormat.

However, my mixed feelings are on Muraki here. I'm sorry, but he is very Gary Stuish in this story. Spoilers for the story! )

There's also less OOCness from Hisoka in this story as well. I think most of it has to do with part 3 being able to stand out on it's own and part 1 and part 2 having little to almost nothing to do with part 3. The only downside I have is that the sex comes WAY too early after part 2. It goes from Hisoka not knowing when he'll be ready to 'okay, it's 4 months post-Kyoto, he's ready!' and there's little to no lead in.

Part one goes to, 'I like you, Tsuzuki, but not like that', to part two going, 'I love Tsuzuki, but I'm not ready to sleep with him', and part three swinging to, 'I love Tsuzuki, and I'm ready!' The problem is that there's no build up from part 1 to 2, and going to part 2's ending right on into part 3 with no build up... Yeah. We got Point A to Point B to Point C, but we're missing the filler in between those points!

Again, why have a trilogy if none of your parts are going to link to each other and basically stand out from one another?

So really, this shouldn't even be a trilogy, this should be just a multi-chapter story. That's really a big fatal flaw to this story and the trilogy as a whole. This is... not really a trilogy, unlike Kouri's Live Through trilogy, where the plots of each part connect with the next work.

Negatives: Very predictable plot, boarderline Gary Stu!Muraki
Summary: A case comes in that ultimately leads to Hisoka making one of the hardest choices he ever has to make...
Overall: 7.1/10 - This really is the part that you should read, and skip part 1 and 2. I'd actually still recommend part 1 because the case fic is really good, but skip part 2 and go to part 3. The fic is predictable and a boarderline Gary Stu!Muraki may get on your nerves, but worth a read.

Is this the best YnM fic I've read? No. Not even case fic wise. While it's creative and I can understand a lot of people enjoying it, I think it goes right on the line of being 'okay' for me. It's definitely worth a read if you're craving fics that do justice to Muraki and Oriya's characters to some degree. Unlike the previous parts, the ideas are executed very well too.

Next up... Not sure yet! Maybe another YnM fic or maybe I'll take a break from fic hopping and cover a Visual Novel that I recently read. I've been reading a lot of otome Visual Novels lately, so maybe it's about time I covered them.
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I'm going to be really honest here, I think anyone reading this series should skip this part and go to part three. Reading this part almost killed the series for me, and if it wasn't for me being stubborn, I'd probably would have given up on this series.

I already said Hisoka's characterization was really bad in part 1. In part 2? It's really fucking painful.

Series: Yami no Matsuei
Title: Surpassing
Author: gaudior
Genre: Angst, getting over fic (Is that even a genre!?), build up fic?
Rating: M
Warnings: Lots of mentions of rape, possible squick moments, OOC Hisoka
Couple (if applicable): Tsuzuki/Hisoka, mentions of past Muraki/Hisoka and Muraki/Tsuzuki

Plot: 5/10 - There's kind of no real plot, it's basically Hisoka coming to terms to his feelings to Tsuzuki and trying to deal with the aftermath of 'that famous night under the Sakura Trees'.

But it's not written well here. And it's really hard to explain it because it has nothing to do with the writing itself. I think part of the problem is that in part 1, Hisoka was desperate to have 'alone time' to figure things out and in part 2, he's hanging out and staring at Tsuzuki and is like 'oh, I love him', even though in part 1, he basically said, 'I like you, but not like that'. Like boy, make up your mind already!

Also, I highly doubt that after being possessed by a ghost is going to magically change Hisoka's views on everything. I actually like the idea of Hisoka starting to appreciate stuff he never seemed to appreciate. Like food. Or seeing places he's familiar with in a new light. Or deciding to spend time with Tsuzuki, which he seemed to have a BIG problem with in the previous part and in this part, he's suddenly a-okay with it. And touching him, even though the previous part, he obviously had a problem with! Or reading a book on sex (That blows my mind between 'holy shit, that's a creative idea!, 'wtf am I reading!?', and 'omg, I am rotflmao land!').

The problem is this story has a lot of good ideas, but they're not executed well. Being possessed by a ghost isn't suddenly going to change Hisoka's tastebuds or is going to improve any of his senses in such detail (A demon, quite possibly, but a human ghost? Probably not). Or realizing that he suddenly is in love with Tsuzuki isn't going to make him appreciate the taste of food or make the color and shapes around him stand out more. And if it did, I'm assuming he'd go to Watari about it, cause he's a doctor after all.

Him wanting to spend time with Tsuzuki all of a sudden should happen later in the fic instead of near the beginning, especially since the point of part 1 was more focused around, 'I need some me time!' and this takes a 180 direction to 'I need to spend time with him!'

Also, Hisoka randomly punching Tsuzuki because 'I felt like it', while amusing, doesn't he already kind of do that in the manga at least? Well, not like punch, but hitting Tsuzuki, yeah. So it's sort of doesn't make any sense (But you can say this is based on the anime, but doesn't he slap Tsuzuki around in the anime too)?

Though I will admit, I do like the fact that he thinks he's still possessed and when he tries to exorcise himself... yeah, things aren't going to go well here. And then he realizes that yes, those are his feelings, not the remains of a ghost. Again, that's a brilliant idea. But the lead in to get to that part, it's not executed well.

And then there's the whole 'I'm going to study about sex!' thing. Which I can totally see Hisoka doing. But something seems wrong. And then him coming to the conclusion that Muraki raped Tsuzuki and... yeah, this actually made me REALLY uncomfortable, and I'll talk about it in the characterization part.

A perfect example of a story that has some really great ideas, but they're not done exactly right.

Writing: 8/10 - This is where the story shines. The descritpions and the overall writing flow is much better in this part.

This was one of my favorite lines of Hisoka describing what he's feeling from Tsuzuki:

"How often did Tsuzuki feel really delighted, after all? Not just the passing pleasure of a dessert or a sunny day, but this sort of ringing bone-deep rejoicing? It blended with the physical sensation of Tsuzuki’s side against his shoulder, of his shoulder against Tsuzuki’s side, so that the touch seemed to vibrate colors almost too intense to handle. Hisoka sighed and realized that some of the pleasure he was feeling was his own. This... this is okay, he thought. This is all right. "

Basically, the writing is about the same, if not, better, than the last part.

Characteriztion 3/10 - Again, this story focuses on mostly just Tsuzuki and Hisoka. And while I think Tsuzuki is perfectly in character, the same can't be said about Hisoka.

Again, when the focus is on Hisoka and just Hisoka alone (Usually with his feelings towards Tsuzuki mixed in), it's boarderline OOC. Part of it has to do with the plot this time. This part is a perfect example of a bunch of really great ideas not executed correctly. Hisoka makes a lot of dumb decisions in this story, and the boarderline OOC does not help.

An example is Hisoka figuring he's still possessed and that he's not. His reasoning isn't off either, his views of the world has changed, and it started happening after he was possessed. But instead of, I don't know, talking to the DOCTOR about how his sense of taste and sight had changed, he keeps it to himself. I'd kind of think that if Hisoka's senses were off, he'd go to Watari about it, because that's kind of what doctors are for. And the explaination of his senses changing doesn't really make much sense. Love isn't going to magically make food taste better to me, that's for damn sure.

Hisoka also goes from one extreme to another way too fast too. Basically, part 1 doesn't really mesh too well with part 2. Part 1, Hisoka seemed too cold and distant. In this part, he seems a bit too emotional and accepting that he's in love with Tsuzuki.

And then there's the part I really didn't want to get into but I have to: The famous night. I could totally see Hisoka trying to find a book about sex and logically reasoning it out.

But the problem here, is that Hisoka sort of already knows what 'sleeping with another person' is, and at other times, he's ignorant of it. Not to mention, he's a rape victim, so...

I've read a lot of fics of Hisoka trying to get over this issue, from trying to logically analyzing it out, to the 'bathing in the light of the cock' type of scenario (GAG), to 'dark route' scenario, to just about every type of scenario. I personally enjoy Hisoka going the logical route, because Hisoka strikes me as a very intelligent individual. This fic tries to go to a more logical standpoint.

Oh, how I regret what I wished for...

It's almost painful for me to read, not because it's emotional or angsty or tragic, but... it feels really really off. It's really hard to explain why it doesn't work in the context of this story. Maybe it's because Hisoka seems too knowledgable one second and the next, he's completely ignorant.

And then I realized something that made me really uncomfortable: In this story, when Hisoka realizes that Muraki raped Tsuzuki (Urgh, I'll get into that), and realizing Tsuzuki still wants to sleep with him, even though he's a rape victim himself... THAT didn't sit too well with me, especially since the story takes place almost a month after they save Tsuzuki. It's like driving by a horrible automobile accident and not being able to look away.

Not to mention, some people think Muraki raped Tsuzuki when he kidnapped him during the Kyoto arc (Again, rapist!Muraki ~_~;;;;;;;). Is it possible? Canon-wise, I honestly don't think so. Muraki was only after Tsuzuki because of his self healing and his revenge on Saki. Could it have happened? I'm going to say no, but you could make a case for it, in the anime at least.

I think that's my overall problem. We have Hisoka, a rape victim, trying to deal with his feelings toward Tsuzuki, who is also a rape victim, but his feelings toward Hisoka are pretty damn clear, regardless of what happened to him. Not only were both raped, but they were raped by the same person, Muraki. Two people raped by the same person coming together... For some reason, I find the whole thing REALLY unsettling and I can see people being squicked out by it. Not to mention, I think part of me was angry that we reduced Muraki down to a one dimensional villian yet again.

Like, can we have a single YnM story without rapist!Muraki!? Or are we gonna forget the whole 'I wanna put my brother's head on Tsuzuki's self healing body!' scheme??? Isn't the fact that he probably messed Tsuzuki up both physically and mentally just as bad??? Couldn't we use a plot device more on the lines of mind rape and not physical rape!? And my question after reading part 3 is that no, we're not going to forget that, but I'll go into that next time.

Does this make it a negative to the story? No. Is it an unrealistic scenario? Not really. Can I see people feeling uncomfortable reading this? Yeah, I really can. Not to mention, I absolutely hate stories that use Muraki as a rape device, and while this is fixed and has it's reason in part 3, it doesn't make me any less annoyed about it here. And maybe that's why I dislike this part the most out of all three.

Overall, the characterization of Hisoka is off, and this time, it has to do with the plot. Which is a shame, there's not a lot of build-up fics for this pairing. Yeah, not enough build-up fics for Tsuzuki/Hisoka, I just said that. There's random drive by fluff/angst and there's your PwP fics, but actual build up relationship fics? You'll be lucky to find more than 10 and that's me being REALLY generous.

This part tries it, and has the ideas for it. But again, not executed well.

Negatives: OOC Hisoka, very squicky moments
Summary: Hisoka comes to terms to his feelings toward Tsuzuki alongside getting over past issues.
Overall: 5.3/10 - Honestly, skip this part. It's painful to read and if you're easily squicked by rape issues, definitely skip it. This part isn't needed to enjoy the last part of the series anyways. In fact, I'd say skip both part 1 and 2 and just go to part 3.

Next up, the conclusion to the series. And lemme say, honestly, it can serve as a stand alone story if you really don't want to read part 1 and 2. You'll see why.
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And here we go on the promised fic series I wanted to cover. And boy, this is going to be a very unpopular opinion from me, because this story gets a lot of praise, as in 'Best YnM fic ever!' type of praise. And I'm like, 'yeah, it's okay, but that's it, it's just... okay.'

A friend of mine recommended me this fic WAY back when it was being written. I recently gave it a reread and I'm going to say this about it:

The first two parts of this story almost made me give up on reading part three. Moreso on part 2, which I'll eventually cover. That's... not a good thing. Like at all. But I did continue and unlike the other trilogy that I covered on here, part three is vastly superior to the first two. I'm also not going to count the fourth story in this, because it doesn't need to be read and can stand out on it's own.

And here we go. The Mercy of the Fallen series!

Series: Yami no Matsuei
Title: Exorcism
Author: gaudior
Genre: Angst, general, casefic
Rating: M
Warnings: Boarderline OOC Hisoka, mentions of sex, mentions of rape
Couple (if applicable): Tsuzuki/Hisoka one sided (!!!), it's more Tsuzuki + Hisoka

Plot: 7/10 - Okay, I'll say this on the plot. The casefic itself? Fits the YnM universe perfectly. Wonderfully researched as well, and a better example of how to use fucking cliffnotes. We don't need the background info, but it's there incase the reader wants to see how it ties into the story. This won't be the only example in this series.

However, the problem isn't the plot itself, it's really Hisoka's character, and it somewhat drags the plot down with it. Like I can understand him wanting to be alone with his own thoughts and emotions, more so because he's an Empath. But leaving RIGHT after the Touda incident? Yeah, no. Hisoka would damn well know better than that, even if you claim ignorance on his behalf. And then debating to send Tsuzuki back? At least he caught on that would not be a good thing.

Also, if Hisoka could feel anything coming from Tsuzuki, it's a wonder he survived with him up to this point. Maybe I haven't read the manga/watched the anime in a while, but couldn't Hisoka only pick up strong emotions only if he was touching Tsuzuki, at least pre-Kyoto arc? I remember him picking up some of Tsuzuki's emotions, but near the beginning of the manga/anime. I'm assuming he got better as using his powers over time, and I'm pretty sure Konoe was training him in the use of his powers.

Again, don't know if it's a fanon thing about Hisoka's powers or derivived from canon. I decided not to dock any points for that, because I really can't remember if it's a canon or fanon thing.

Not to mention, Hisoka is down right cold to Tsuzuki. I'm going to cover this in the characterization part more deeply.

Overall plot is okay, but the lead in to get there? Not so okay.

Writing: 7/10 - There's nothing wrong with the writing besides maybe an awkward sentence here and there. It doesn't derive from the story and that's what's good about this series. The writing only seems to improve more as the series continues and that's how it should.

Characterization: 3/10 - This is where the story suffers in my opinion and it's all on Hisoka here. I don't like the characterization of Hisoka in this series at all. I dislike it a lot in this part, and moreso in the next part, but we'll get to that later.

Like I said before, Hisoka is down right cold to Tsuzuki. I mean, like I said, I can see him wanting to be alone to get his thoughts and emotions in order. But even I know that just up and going and not telling Tsuzuki where he's going directly AFTER the Kyoto Arc??? No, not going to happen, sorry. This story would've benefitted more if it took place a week or two AFTER the Kyoto Arc, but it doesn't. And Hisoka would probably either tell Tsuzuki about needing alone time to think, and maybe put an empathsis on his powers as the reason why (And it would actually be truthful too), or be really sneaky and take time off when they're allowed to work again, because he knows Tsuzuki has little to no vacation time due to him blowing up the library again and having to pay it back.

Also, Tsuzuki comes on WAY too strongly, but in a way, I can see why. Hisoka basically tells him to live for him and then RIGHT after, up and walks away. So Tsuzuki's character is believable. I could also see Tsuzuki guilt tripping and hiding as well. So Tsuzuki's character isn't really the problem.

This is just... really uncomfortable to read sometimes, and it's mostly because I feel like Hisoka is on the cusp of being OOC to remaining somewhat IC. Basically, when the focus of the story is the case fic itself, Hisoka's perfectly IC. The only time is when they want to sync up to each other (aka, Hisoka is being stupid and illogical, when he's usually the logical one), but the reason behind it, I can let it pass, for plot's sake. When it comes to focus on Tsuzuki, it's cold and clinical.

Negatives: Boarderline OOC Hisoka, rape mentions
Summary: Post Kyoto Arc, Hisoka wants time to think and reflect. Surely a deserted mountain is the perfect place for that? Too bad life (or afterlife) doesn't work that way...
Overall: 5.6/10 - Not a good start to the series. If you're looking for casefic and don't care about pairings at all, this actually is probably one of the better ones. I'd recommend it only because the casefic itself is very well written.

Next up, is probably the weakest part of this series. And if you thought Hisoka's character was bad here? Nope. Part 2 is what almost made me give up on reading part 3.
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Warning for bitchiness ahead. This also almost became a rant, so beware on that.

Actually, I take back about the series I was going to cover, because this... needs to be seen and said. Why? Well, I found a fic recently on Ao3 and recent YnM works? VERY rare nowadays.

I was also boggled by the amount of comments on this work. Skimming through the YnM section on Ao3, very few stories had more than 4 comments (This is discounting author replies btw) unless it was multi-chapter, multi-fandom, or older than a year. And this story was less than a month old! So curiosity compelled me to take a look at it.

I am FLOORED that this fic got as many comments as it did and NOT ONE FUCKING PERSON pointed out a GLARING mistake in this fic.

Series: Yami no Matsuei
Title: Closer to Me
Author: Veleda_k
Genre: Flangst
Rating: T
Warnings: A good idea that falls flat (Is that even a warning?), bland writing, Misspelling the MAIN CHARACTER'S name
Couple (if applicable): Tsuzuki/Hisoka

Plot: 7/10 - Okay, I'm going to give the author credit here. Basically, we see flashbacks of Tsuzuki and Hisoka interaction covering each of the anime arcs where one character visits the other. I thought it was creative idea and showing the reader how their relationship changes over the course of the anime. A perfect set up for build up fic or just random drive by fluff.

Now, if it was well written, this actually would be a better example of how to write fluff than the previous story I reviewed.

Le sigh...

Writing: 2/10 - The biggest mistake an author can make, and that instantly takes me out of a story isn't boring writing. Not common word spelling errors. Not period misplacements or comma splices. Not bad characterization.

It's spelling the canon character's name wrong. Worse, the main fucking protagonist. And yes, 'Clean Kill', I am ESPECIALLY looking at fucking you.

I counted a total of THREE times that this fic spelled Tsuzuki as 'Tsuzki' (2 times) and 'Tszuki'. And two of these are near the end of the story and one of them is the LAST FUCKING PARAGRAPH of the GODDAMN FIC! There is no excuse for this, like none. It's like the author just threw this up and didn't either read it herself or get someone to read it over for her.

Shame on you readers who left comments and failed to point this out. Because if this was my story? I'd be beyond embarrassed and would fix it asap!

This isn't going into how bad some sentences sound, how flat the story runs, too much 'noun verb' sentences, Surgatanus (It's Sarganatas and I looked it up on anime news network to make sure it's correct) and just... how overall bland this fic runs.

A few examples:

"(Hisoka had never used a computer before the Shokan division, but he was learning just fine. He wasn't an idiot. Unlike some people.)"

For some reason, the first sentence didn't translate properly into my head, and I realized it was because my mind kept trying to put a verb inbetween 'before' and 'the Shokan division'. It is grammarly correct, but it just... doesn't sound right. Also, this doesn't need to be in parenthesis, mostly because it doesn't add anything to the sentence before it. It wrecks the overall flow of the story.

And this isn't the first time this story has interrupted/overall bad flow, trust me.

"Tsuzuki's joking tone and expression faded. “Sorry. I wanted to talk to you,” he said again"

A period is missing at the end of 'he said again'. Not to mention, you don't even need it, because we already know who is speaking thanks to the beginning part of this.

"Tsuzuki needed comfort, that was clear. The problem was that Hisoka was terrible at comfort. It wasn't that he never looked out for Tsuzuki, but he did it by shoving antacids in his hands when he was hungover (or by nearly killing him to prevent the demon possessing him from killing everyone Tsuzuki loved, but Hisoka was trying not to think too much about that), not by saying the right things. For a mind reader, Hisoka was shit at knowing the right thing to say."

I'm going to admit right here, I had to reread this entire paragraph several times before it finally translated into my head. And then it took another read for me to understand just WHY it wasn't catching with me. And I found the answer: the parenthesis sentence interrupted the flow of the original sentence.

The sentence in the parenthesis doesn't even need to be in parenthesis yet again. It could exist outside of it. The sentence flow is way off, it almost feels like a really bad run-on sentence and I blame the sentence in parenthesis for that. This story has a pattern of interrupted flow thanks to the parenthesis that doesn't even need to be there.

Also, Hisoka isn't a mind reader, he's an Empath. While Telepathy and Empathy can co-exist with each other and there's canon evidence that Hisoka does have a bit of telepathy, his powers lean to reading emotions.

And really, did we use 'shit' as a description? Not to mention, that last sentence sounds really awkward.

"But he knew that if he had called in advance, Tsuzuki would have insisted he was fine. (It was what Hisoka would have done if Tsuzuki had ever called him before showing up.) Luckily, Tsuzuki was home, which meant Hisoka didn't have to feel any stupider than he did already."

An example again of a parenthesis that isn't needed. And again, another paragraph I had to read a few times before it made sense in my mind, because a lot of the sentences in the parenthesis? Really badly interrupt the flow of the story.

I'm going to stop because if I had to point out every goddamn nitpick at this story, this would turn into a beta read. And I'd be repeating the same problem over and over again. Basically, the writing flow is a complete mess.

Characterization: 5/10 - The characters are flat as pancakes and this is more tied into the flat writing rather than characters acting OOC. For the most part, the author was on par with the characters, but the writing makes them... flat. I also think part of the problem was me having to reread parts of the story because it didn't seem to translate right in my head. And having to reread the same paragraph 3 times or more totally threw my mind out of the story.

It's a shame, because I find a lot of fics that are decently written are wildly OOC. I don't come across too many fics where the characters are IC, but it doesn't feel like them because of the writing.

Negatives: Flat writing, canon names are misspelt
Summary: Sniplits of Tsuzuki and Hisoka, covering each anime arc, and how they fall into each other
Overall: 4.6/10 - Flat writing can destroy a really good idea. This fic is a perfect example of this.

Again, shame on you commenters who didn't point out Tsuzuki's name being misspelled. We constantly complain about quality of fanfiction. Well, how are we going to improve the quality of fanfiction when we can't point out obvious errors like this and not be called a 'troll' or whatnot??? Yeah, it's a hobby and what not, but have some mother fucking PRIDE in what you post up!

Anyways, I'm going to stop before this becomes a rant. NOW next time, I'm really going to do a series I promised last time!

Ho man...

Aug. 10th, 2016 09:00 pm
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Trying to find good fanfic on is a rarity. More so with YnM being as old as it is. I also tend to avoid the communties on because:

1. They're for old fic. Like 'back in my day!' old.

2. The community owners tend to have very different tastes from mine. Aka, seme!Hisoka. Like people still have this seme/uke mindset even today!? GET LAID ALREADY!

3. They tend to recommend one author like 20 different times. So if you don't like said author's works... yeah, you're screwed. ~_~;;

So yeah... That means I have to comb on my own. Granted, YnM is a small fandom (On Ao3,, it's still a pretty decent number), and it's not very active anymore. Though the last time I read fic for the fandom was at the end of 2004 before I got heavily involved with World of Warcraft, so a lot of it is newish to me still.

Combing through is never fun. I do find a few gems here and there. But not in this case!

Also, it seems doesn't take it's 'no lemon' policy seriously anymore because finding E rated material is pretty damn easy to find on Though, really, this story can get away with the T rating, it barely counts as a M fic.

Title: Stay With Me
Author: lil'hp fan124
Genre: Flangst
Rating: Auther rated it M, but it can get away with a T
Warnings: Boring ass fluff, out of nowhere angst, fanpoodle japanese
Couple (if applicable): Tsuzuki/Hisoka

Plot: 5/10 - Basically, Tsuzuki randomly comes over Hisoka's house, silliness occurs, fandom cliches up the bumhole, makeout session, OMG TRAUMA, happy end. It's cliche, it's littered with fanpoodle japanese, there's translation notes at the beginning of the fic, it's... honestly not even worth the read. Not because it's cliche or even boring, but because freaking translation notes at the beginning of a story ALWAYS makes me cringe.

I mean, there's not much else to say about the plot, because there really kind of isn't? It's perfect if you want a sort of pick-me-up random fluff fic. If it was better written, then it would be a good choice. Obviously...

Writing 3/10 - I'm going to keep saying this until I die, aren't I? STOP WITH THE FUCKING FANGIRL JAPANESE! Like holy fucking shit. Either fucking translate everything or write the mother fucking thing in japanese! Like EVERY phrase (With the exception of 'Ne') can be perfectly translated into English. And even 'Ne' can be translated. The only exception I'll let is 'san', 'chan', 'kun', 'senpai', 'sensei'. And even then, those COULD be translated. And I'll only accept it if the canon takes place in Japan. In something like a Final Fantasy fic, it takes me out of the story. More so when I have to refer to cliffnotes.

Your fanfic isn't a fucking research paper. The ONLY time cliffnotes are acceptable is at the end of the story and should only be used to explain something to your readers. The next story series I cover on here will be a perfect example of HOW to use cliffnotes to your advantage.

Also, too much 'noun verb' sentences yet again. ~_~;;

The only reason it doesn't go lower is beause no glaring spelling/grammar errors.

Characterization: 5/10 - Same old fandom cliches, same old 'SOKA!' parade, same old flirty!Tsuzuki, same old Hisoka freaking out because 'omg, that night!' You read it a thousand times before. And how did they go from waking up from a nap to making out? And Hisoka's perfectly okay being with it to freaking out? There's like... no emotions behind this fic? It's kind of hard to explain. It's like the fluff in this fic got run over by a steamroller. It might be because we don't really get a clear picture into Hisoka's head, and the irony of it is this is a first person PoV, so we should be inside his head!

It's also bad we go from a make out session that Hisoka is perfectly okay with to 'omg TRAUMA!' because 'WE NEED ANGST, STAT!' or because 'OMG THAT NIGHT!' with like no build up. Yeah, if you want to play the 'omg, TRAUMA!' card, you need BUILD UP! I feel like I started at Point A and went to Point C, and I'm left wondering wtf happened to Point B.

Negatives: Cliche, fangirl japanese with cliffnotes, very flat flangst
Summary: Hisoka gets a late night visit from an obviously drunk Tsuzuki. And... stuff happens?
Overall: 4.3/10 - Pretty mediorc flangst fic. If you're desperate for flangst, I'd still say look elsewhere.

Next up, a series that I want to cover. And this series... is probably going to be an unpopular opinion type of thing, so be warned!
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It's been a while, hasn't it? As per usual.

This time, I'm going back to a fandom that I actually participated in over a decade ago. So be warned, you're going to see a lot of older writing on here, mostly. And I'm also going to try to go into these fics with a more open mind rather than a 'omg, grate story, writmoarplz!' phase. So you may see 'unpopular opinion' type of thing depending on the author. And I'm also going to try to post 'fic that I liked, fic that's bad fic' type of thing, aka, I try to find a good fic in my opinion and not rant/rave on just badfics.

As a warning, I'm a Tsuzuki/Hisoka shipper, so the majority of these fics are going to be on that pairing.

Let's start on a positive note! I found this fic totally by accident, and I am so glad of that accident too! And how can I resist a seme!Hisoka piece?

Series: Yami no Matsuei
Title: Worker's Compensation
Author: ladysisyphus
Genre: PwP (Is that it's own genre!?)/angst
Rating: AO
Warnings: Very PwPish, though technically has a case, some angst, seme!Hisoka
Couple (if applicable): Hisoka/Tsuzuki

Plot: 9/10 - Um, there's kind of no plot to this, so I'm not going to score here on plot, but more the idea. Why the fuck out of the many YnM fics I've read, barely ANY of them involve demons (Save the one from the Devil's Trill Arc), more so, in this case, an incubus!? It's like the perfect set up for some perfect PwP fic! This not only tickled my 'holy shit, why didn't anyone think of this till now!?' side, but it also tickled my Shin Megami Tensei/Persona side, as those games involve demons and yes, you can get a incubus as a demon in both series. This author also did write for Persona so... >.>

Basically, this story has the perfect setup for this series that you can write a PwP fic on it easily. And you'd think you wouldn't find any character building or angst and just get porn? Think again. Well, not so much character building, but angst... There's quite a bit of understated angst in this fic along with a ton of sexual tension. And it all basically boils to a head due to the case.

Writing: 10/10 - The writing to this piece? Brilliant. That's all I could say. You can feel the sexual tension from the beginning of this fic right to the very end. There's a lot of telling in this fic, which would probably be the only nitpick I have about it. But you can still feel the emotions and the angst behind it through the character's actions.

Characterization: 8/10 - This fic manages to keep Tsuzuki and Hisoka in character fairly well. Now granted, there's not a lot of character building here, and the story doesn't cover the typical 'fandom' heavy issues, like Muraki, the 'famous night', etc etc. It... really doesn't need to, in the case of the story. It does have angst in it that you typically find, but it meshes so damn well with this fic, and it's just the right amount of angst you'll be satisfied with. It also leaves on a 'yeah, we have to talk' note, but in a positive kind of light.

Negativities: None, unless you don't care much for PwP fics in general

Summary: A case goes... in a completely unexpected direction. And brings hidden supressed tensions to a boil.

Overall: 9/10 - Perfect fic to read if you want a one shot with sweet porn with a dash of angst.
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I really wish I had involved myself in the Persona 4 fandom really, because this fandom produces a lot of good fics, even to this day. Granted, I haven't gotten to the section of P4, but most fanfics I read on badbadbathhouse, and Ao3 have all been for the most part good. I can't really find my prefered pairing, but I can settle with fandoms preferred pairing.

This next story not only explores the possibility of a female protagonist, but also a protagonist who actually is really a blank slate.

Series: Persona 4: Golden
Title: Still Waters
Author: futuresoon
Genre: General/angst
Rating: AO
Warnings: Teenage sex, genderswapped MC, Yuri implications, based on P4G
Couple (if applicable): F!Souji/Yousuke, multiple one sided pairings with F!Souji

Plot: 9/10 - While the plot is basically the same with a gender swapped MC, it explores something new that the game kinda doesn't do, which is the MC is a blank state, in a literal sense. Meaning all those times she was doing the social links? It wasn't because she wanted to make friends, but because of the 'mission' she was sent to do. In fact, she herself doesn't even know what she wants and doesn't want. It was an interesting concept to add in along with the gender bending.

Just be warned, this is based on P4G, so there will be spoilers for the new characters and some new social links.

Writing: 9/10 - Nothing wrong here, though be warned, it is written in second person and I know that's not everyone's cup of tea when it comes to PoVs. But it works extremely well in this story.

Characterization: 9/10 - Pretty much everyone is in character here. It was interesting to see the different reactions from the characters. I only wish we had seen more of the other social links, we only really see Kou and Ai's social links along with the main cast.

Negativities: None unless you don't like genderswapped MC fic

Summary: Yui Narukami isn't exactly your normal teenage girl. But she discovers a role that she is well suited for.

Overall: 9/10 Definitely worth a read if you wanted to see the P4 story from a female blank slate perspective.
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And I realized I haven't reviewed a single Persona 4 fanfic yet! This fandom can produce a lot of twisted shit, lemme tell you. A lot of it is, thank god, good. I'm pretty open minded with pairings in general, even though I still really like the bromance of the main character and Yosuke rather than being for each other. But I guess the game throws too much hintings (You have to purposely go for it, they're still there though, mostly for the lulz) that I caved in and read for them. Didn't regret it, thankfully.

But then I saw the main pairing for this fic and I said 'fuck it, let's read it anyways!' Now, I've been reading fanfiction for close to two decades. I've never been disturbed by anything I've read, even the worst fanfiction I've gotten through fine. That ended when I read this monster fic.

Please be warned, I do spoil the game here, so if you haven't played the game yet, go do so right now, because Persona 4 is probably one of the best RPGs you'll ever play.

Series: Persona 4
Title: Sympathy Crime
Edit: For some reason the fic disappeared on Ao3. Hum, not a good sign. But you can still find the fic here.

Author: Sodomquake
Genre: Darkfic, drama/angst
Rating: AO
Warnings: Boarderlining non-con, graphic violence, mindfuckage, underage sex with a minor
Couple (if applicable): Adachi/Yosuke (!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!), Souji(MC)/Yosuke

Plot: 10/10 - This is... probably one of the most disturbing fanfics I've ever read. But in the good way. I... really cannot say what goes on without spoiling the fuck out of it, but basically, Adachi and Yosuke end up in a relationship that is beyond unhealthy and even boarderline consenual, not to mention, an underage minor sleeping with an adult. There is tons of mindfuck moments, moments where you laugh, moments where you cry, moments where you feel so hurt that you have to take a break because of it all. I mean, the fic starts off pretty normal, with Yosuke feeling a little down because Souji is juggling social links up the bumhole, Adachi being a sick-fuck, wants to mess with the team, and a plan forms. It then... just spirals out of control from there.

The thing of it is that it does so so naturally and if you didn't already hate Adachi after you find out about him, you will hate him a hell of a lot more here. What's worse, is when you start to feel sympathy for Adachi at some parts later on and you feel like your mind is about to explode because you're supposed to be angry as fuck at him and... Jesus...

This fic is sort of AU to the game, but it could actually fit very well in the game and it doesn't derive too much from the game's general plot in general.

Writing: 10/10 - Nothing wrong with this fic here. I love how the fic changes to first person and we get to see what Adachi is thinking, because holy shit, I wanted to stab him many times with a meat cleaver. But it also feels natural, and the reader needs to know what Adachi is thinking and plotting. And then after you find out what he's plotting... I think I had my stomach twist in knots a few times because of it.

Overall, there's like nothing wrong with it at all.

Characterization: 10/10 - The characters feel like themselves from the game. I know Adachi was mentally disturbed after finding out he's the 'real' culprit of the murder case, but this story takes it to another level. And it feels like something Adachi would do, considering how bitter he is at life in general, and he probably hates the Investigation Team a hell of a lot because they were "spoiling his fun". What better way to get back at him than this?

Yosuke here... man, he is thrown through the angst wagon and beyond here. The way he falls, and how everything just spirals out of control for him... Jesus. And then we have Souji trying to play the adult, only to have that break down eventually, and it's just... so heartbreaking. Especially seeing his best friend rapidly change and how he just can't handle it...

I really can't say anymore without spoiling it, so I'll leave it at that.

Negativities: LOTS OF MINDFUCK!, non-con with a minor, dumptrucks full of angst
Summary: Yosuke starts feeling depressed, it's also not helping that his best friend keeps blowing him off. Adachi notices, plots, and takes complete advantage of it...
Overall: 10/10 - If you can stomach the mindfuckery and handle the warnings, this is a MUST READ fic. Just.... don't read this story in one sitting.
starzafandomblog: (Default)
Now we bring the pain! Also, High School AUs, more so in a fandom where all the characters are above the age of 18, is even worse. This is no exception.

Also, I think this fic physically hurt me, to the point where I can't even spell right anymore. I think this fanfic outtops that Watari/Tatsumi fic I read so long ago.

Series: Final Fantasy 7
Title: Some Where I Belong
Author: Ballerama-Beauty
Genre: Melodrama Angst/Romance
Rating: T, though it should get a M rating for language
Warnings: High School AU (This has it's own warning now!), verbal abuse, WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE ADULTS!?, violence, suicide, rape, WHERE ARE THE FUCKING ADULTS!?, this town needs to be wiped off the face of the earth
Couple (if applicable): Zack/Cloud, Zack/Aerith, Sephiroth/Angeal/Genesis, Vincent/Yazoo

Plot: 1/10 - Uh, what plot? A bunch of overdramatic angst in a teeny bop world. But it's to the point where it isn't even realistic!

Again, I cannot stress this enough: WHERE. THE. FUCK. ARE. THE. ADULTS!? No seriously, we got people being beat to a BLOODY mess, and not one teacher around!? And none of the teachers THINK about calling the parents of the kids involved OR calling the police!? And the people fighting aren't even suspended!? You know, back when I went to school, if kids fought like this, they'd be lucky to not only be expelled, but put in Juvinile Detention! This doesn't happen until much later in the story, and it only happens to ONE person instead of everyone involved!

Also, apparently, NO ONE calls the houses of any of the families in these things, because they would find out that an 18 year old is basically acting like the care-giver of 4 younger siblings. And the excuse? 'Well, the neighbors are afraid Sephiroth will kill them!' Maybe Sephiroth killed the police long before, because at least that would make sense why they are absent in this story!

Basically, Cloud angsts like a monkey and it's Zack's job to play hero. Oh, and everyone apparent drank the 'asshole' koolaid, because everyone acts like a total fucking prick, even people who are supposed to be friends. There's suicide attempts, which are always lovely. Oh, and there's violence and rape, ain't that nice to add to the blender of fuckness?

Look, I know people can be prejudice assholes, but 90% of everyone!? I don't think so. Even worse is that Zack's supposed 'friends' turn against him in a heartbeat. And the suicide attempts? Urgh...

Also, if you played a drinking game, where every time someone says 'Bitch' in this story, you take one shot, you'd probably be dead of acholol poisoning before getting to chapter 3. ~_~;;;;;

Also, the so called doctor that comes in and talks to Cloud. Holy fucking shit, you DO NOT tell someone who is suicidal that it is their own fucking fault. I'm not a fucking doctor and even I know that! I don't care if you were being "more analytical", you do NOT tell someone who wants to kill themselves to suck it up, you're creating all these problems! WHY did they let him out of the hospital??? HOW could they let him out!? He's a fucking minor and nobody has a clue that something serious is going on here!?

And then we got the 'child protection' coming in and playing the 'religion' card. ~_~;;;; Also, instead of taking everyone into their care, they only take ONE of them away. Are you for fucking real!? You couldn't see the kid with the scars RIGHT ON HIS FACE needs the help!?

This is just... really bad. Bad doesn't even begin to describe this turd of a fic.

Writing: 4/10 - Believe it or not, the writing itself isn't too terribly bad. There's a few big paragraphs that should've been chopped up and some dialogue that should've been divided up into other paragraphs, but other than that, the writing isn't half bad.

The flashbacks can be really annoying since it's basically copy/pasted from where it originally happened most of the time.

So it's not terrible, it's readable. But I wouldn't recommend anyone reading it, even if it was all in chicken scratch!

Characterization: 0/10 - Probably the first fanfic where I give NO points to characterization. NONE of the characters are in character at freaking all. You can change EVERY name in this story to something else and not have any idea that this was a FF7 fic at one point.

Cloud is annoying, period. He started out as a loner in the beginning and then became an emo whiny clingy idiot. If adults actually existed in this universe, he would've gotten the help he needed a while ago, and maybe Zack and Cloud could've had a more normal relationship. But nope, and it doesn't help that Zack is really confused and Cloud basically guilt trips/threatens Zack into liking him and giving him a chance. It also doesn't help that he has an obsessive bully following Cloud and his 'brothers' around and beating the shit out of them. Oh, and a stalker rapist, cause this story didn't have enough angst as it is with the bullying and wanting to kill himself!

Like I said above, Cloud eventually goes into a hospital, but instead of getting help, he's even MORE verbally abused. I mean, is the 'prick koolaid' in the water that these assholes drink!?

Also, Zack acts like a real asshole too. I mean, Cloud is in the hospital, and he doesn't visit because 'I'm busy with school and sports'. Are you fucking shitting me!? Even if it was a friend of mine who was in the hospital, I'd drop all my shit in a heartbeat and go to the fucking hospital and see them! Hell, I think Canon!Zack would have a spaz attack and go see Cloud, even if all he had gotten was a fucking paper cut, cause that's who Zack is!

And of course, what bad yaoi fanfic would it be without indirect female bashing? I mean, really? Aerith isn't the type of girl to be mean, period. I don't even think she has a mean bone in her body. If she knew Zack and Cloud hooked up, she'd ask for Zack for pictures and probably be their official fangirl. This is the SAME girl who convinced Cloud to cross-dress, for christ's sake!

In fact, NONE of the original cast members are even remotely friendly to Cloud. Which again, WHY write Final Fantasy 7 fanfiction when you can't even adher to even having these characters acting like their canon parts!? Even in AUs, most of the time, the characters retain their core personalities to some degree. WHY is Rufus stalking Vincent, I don't even get it!

AND STOP INCLUDING SQUALL NOT FUCKING LEON IN YOUR FANFICS! God, every fucking time I see Squall being called 'Leon' in fanfics, I want to take my copy of Kingdom Hearts and shove it up Square's ass.

Negativities: Bad fanfic, rape, violence, bullying, no sane adults, fanfic will make your brain leak out your ears.
Summary: Cloud's life sucks. Can Zack help him out? Not in this story!
Overall: 1.6/10 - One of the worst fanfics I've read in my entire life. I mean, this takes the cake, folks. I can deal with Mary Sues, I can deal with bad grammar and spelling, I can deal with OOC to a point. What I can't deal with is all the worst kind of angst plot devices, with a dash of yaoi, thrown all together into a blender alongside a mountain's worth of cow chips. If you want your dose of stupid forever, read this fic. Otherwise, do your brain a favor and stay FAR away from it.
starzafandomblog: (Default)
Thanks to my butthead friends for getting me back on this craz train again! I bring good fic, but.... It's a mixed bag, at least for me.

Series: Final Fantasy 7
Title: Shards of Glass
Author: Soranokumo
Genre: General/Drama/Psychological
Rating: MA
Warnings: Violence, Dark, Psychological mindfuck, lemon and lime content, fanpoodle japanese (Seriously wtf), walking the fine line of non-con, game canon only
Couple (if applicable): Sephiroth/Cloud, Zack/Cloud, Vincent/Cloud, Rufus/Cloud, one sided Cloud/Tifa, faint Cloud/Aerith references (Yeah, Cloud kinda gets around in this fic. X_x)

Plot: 8/10 - The summary managed to get my attention, mostly because I love Zack fics. Also note, this goes by game canon only, since this was started in 2001 and finished in 2004, pre-dating even Advent Children. So yeah, his last name is the name that was popular in fandom before it officially became 'Fair'.

So basically, Zack wakes up in a hospital post-game. Of course, the first thing he does is to go search for our little chocobo-head (Really fandom?) ray of sunshine. Only... things are not good. Like at all.

Seriously, this story deals with some really dark issues and a lot of psychological issues. The first thing you find out is that Cloud was in a Mental Institution for a year after attacking some of his friends from Avalanche. Yikes... Not to mention, Cloud's behavior is very odd and sometimes downright disturbing in the story. As the story goes on, you discover the reason behind this behavior and it's... not good.

Not to mention, we have Sephiroth in the mix, but... it's not in the way you normally expect it. And you can kinda guess from the pairing listed above. This story can get boarderline squick between consensual and non-con too, so if you have issues with that, I wouldn't recommend reading this. I don't know if I would consider this under-age either, so be warned about skimming that line too.

I also don't really see the Cloud/Vincent pairing, like at all. They never struck me close in canon, and it seems Vincent takes a liking to Cloud in a more than friends way not too long after the game ends, which bugs me. It would make more sense if it was later down the line, and even then, I don't really see the pairing still. I think that partly tainted my view on it. I can let Sephiroth/Cloud slide to some degree, but not Vincent/Cloud.

The only problem I have with the story is the last few chapters are REALLY confusing and I got a little lost. It is kinda predictable what Cloud was hiding, it kinda boarderlines canon itself, in my opinion, but it doesn't destroy the story.

I do NOT want to spoil the end, but the story does end with a satisfying conclusion.

Writing: 6/10 - This got docked BIG points from me because of one thing: Fangirl Japanese. There is NO FUCKING REASON to have fangirl Japanese in a fanfic that does not take place in Japan, PERIOD. I let it slide with animes that take place in Japan, or have a setting like Japan (Which I was almost ready to give the benefit of the doubt with Yuffie, since Wutai has very heavy Japan influences), but it's really unacceptable here. And it's annoying, especially when you don't understand what she's saying sometimes.

This will continue to piss me off. There is NO NEED to have your fanfic with fangirl Japanese when you can translate it into perfect English and not lose the meaning of it.

Other than that, the writing is done well, and if the fangirl Japanese was gone, it'd probably would've gotten a 9/10.

Characterization: 7/10 - Meh, again, this is a mixed bag, especially how you view the pairings. I really only think Cloud looked up to Sephiroth as a 'hero' figure, and I don't think Sephiroth was really interested in any kind of relationship with anyone. If only going by game canon, I do see maybe Sephiroth and Zack being close (Even if you count CC, they do seem friendly to each other and get along fairly well), but I certainly don't see Sephiroth abusing his powers the way he did on Cloud in this story.

Zack is pretty much how I expected him to be, and the others of Avalanche are how I expected them to be. Except for Vincent and Yuffie to some degree.

I covered the Vincent/Cloud thing above, so I'm not going to go into much detail. Other than that, Vincent is for the most part in character. Yuffie is kinda clingly to Cloud and it kinda skims the boarderline of her being OOC, but I think given the story flow, she remains IC for the most part.

Cloud is how I expected him to be as well, given what he's going through. Though I do wonder why he isn't more screwed up than is.

Reno and Rude are funny as always. The Rufus/Cloud moments are more 'mindfuckery' than anything, so I can let that pairing slide. But again, what's with everyone wanting in Cloud's pants? It works in the guidelines of the story, but I did actually sit back and say 'Why does everyone want into Cloud's pants!?'

For the most part, the characters retain themselves and the little OOC you may see can be made up for it because of the story itself. The only problem I see people having is the pairing issue.

Negativities: Dark issues, squick, Fangirl Japanese (STOP FANDOM!), Cloud needing to start his own Harem (~_~)
Summary: Zack's been asleep for a very long time and finally wakes up... to a very different world. Regardless, he searches for the one he tried so hard to protect... Only to find things are never easy.
Overall: 7/10 - A fic that has some problems, but still definitely readable. Please note the warnings and the pairings, cause this fic is definitely not for everyone. I'd still recommend it, more for the issues the story handles, but if you have a hard time accepting the first 3 pairings, you might want to stay away from it.
starzafandomblog: (Default)
Fucking FINALLY found a really GOOD fic. And it's an AU. So this story is not only an example of good fic, but it's also an excellent example of how to write a real AU.

Series: Final Fantasy 7
Title: Blood of the Innocents
Author: Kumoashi
Genre: General/Drama
Rating: MA
Warnings: Violence, Character deaths, squick-ish moments, lime, AU, game canon only
Couple (if applicable): Zack/Cloud, one sided Sephiroth/Zack, hints of other various canon and non-canon pairings

Plot: 10/10 - Granted, this is an AU fic, but unlike 90% of AU fics out there, the characters retain their personalities and the story feels like it takes place in the FF7 universe.

Basically, this is a what-if fic. Cloud never went to Midgar, instead, he was captured by Hojo for the last 2 years. In that time, Hojo 'wakes' Vincent up, and basically, rocks fall from there. The first half of the fic takes place between the Nibelhiem incident and maybe a few days after that. The second part takes place during the game.

While some stuff that happens in the game is pretty copy/pasta, a lot of the story deters from the main game, but manages to stay within the bounds of the FF7 universe. This story also does a good job to Sephiroth and manages to incooperate the main characters as well as the minor characters.

Also, be warned. Some nasty things happen to the characters in this story that might not settle too well with people. I mean, you think Hojo was bad in the game, this story makes him 100 times worse. Some of the things that happen to the characters may not set well with people, just as a warning.

The ONLY problem I really have with this story is the spelling of Zack's name, I don't know why people back in the day called Zack 'Zax', when anyone whose played FF7 know it's spelt 'Zack' in the english version.

Writing: 9/10 - Nothing wrong with the writing here. One of the better fics that I've read. It does get wordy, and I wouldn't recommend reading it in one sitting. It's a really long fic.

Characterization: 9/10 - I don't think there's a trace of OOCness cept in Cloud's case, but it doesn't hurt the story given what happens to Cloud in this fic. I really loved Sephiroth in this story and I felt so freaking bad for him overall. I don't think I could've hated Hojo anymore than I could in game, but this story made me hate him a hell of a lot more and shows how creepy and sick this guy is.

All the canon cast makes an appearance, and while it kinda lacks the Cloud and Tifa relationship to some degree, it's understandable given the AU's plotline. The Zack and Cloud relationship is bitter sweet along with Zack and Sephiroth. I loved all the characters here and they all retained their personalities from the original game.

Negativities: Boarderline squick material
Summary: A 'What-if' story. Cloud never made it to Midgar, instead becoming a new specimen to a mad scientist...
Overall: 9.3/10 - If you want an AU fic done right, this would be the fic I'd recommend as long as you're not anti-yaoi and okay with boarderline squick material.
starzafandomblog: (Default)
I am never going to find a fic that tops the first FF7 fic I put up, le QQ. I did find a few, but almost none of them are finished. It makes me QQ tears of blood.

This story is another crossover AU fic, and it's actually worse than the last one. I don't even know why I read it, especially since the ending just... comes out of nowhere and I feel bad, because the author admited that her irl issues were an influence on the fic. This was probably not the right way to go, in the characterization and the way the story flowed either.

Series: Final Fantasy 7 crossover (Kingdom Hearts)
Title: Sunday Afternoons
Author: lemon-sprinkles
Genre: Fluff/sap/humor/angst
Rating: MA
Warnings: Lemon, angst coming out of nowhere, too many characters
Couple (if applicable): Zack/Cloud and various other pairings

Plot: 5/10 - Like the fanfiction before it, it's another 'High School' AU fics. At first though, I was confused till I realized this game sort of takes place in the Kingdom Hearts universe, mostly, the town names from Kingdom Hearts are brought up. And Roxas is Cloud's little brother, don't ask me about that.

Basically, Cloud and his family move away and live in another neighborhood. Here, he meets Zack and things procede from there. The story is humorous in a lot of cases and it seemed to stay that way. Some of the humor is a bit over the top, but then again, it's not too bad.

Until the last 3 chapters where you find out that Zack randomly has Cancer and has like maybe a month to live. Seriously, I picked on a few hints, but for the story to go from having a lot of fluffy laughter moments into a serious angst issue does NOT fit the story at ALL.

Writing: 6/10 - The writing is okay for the most part. No real problems there. The only problem is the angst that comes out of nowhere.

Seriously, I do not mind angst at all. Lord knows how much angst I've written. But it has to be WELL WRITTEN angst that doesn't interrupt the flow of the story. This... isn't well written, it seems like it was added in at the last moment, and it disrupts what could've been a light-hearted humor fic.

Also, you do not have to kill characters to create angst. Some of the best written angst is the non-character death kind!

The real problem here though is the story starts off on a humor note and very light. And suddenly takes a 180 into angstland, which is never a real good thing to do unless the angst flows with the story. The angst here just interrupted the flow big time. I understand the intentions from the author's notes, but I don't think this was the best fanfic to do it with.

Characterization: 6/10 - Zack is, of course, in character. So is Aerith for the most part and luckly there's no real character bashing. Again, Cloud could use some work, he's too girly, as usual. The other few cast characters that make an appearance seem to be off a bit too. I can't comment on the KH characters and they don't really play a big role, but the ones I vaguely know are boarderline OOC.

I also don't think Zack would hide the fact that he has a serious Cancer that would definitely kill him from Cloud either. I know he's very cheerful, but to hide something serious from Cloud like that. There's also no real indication that he's sick either. I've had family members of mine die from Cancer, and a poor lady from my job developed cancer after she was transferred. She came back a few months later and I could tell her sickness got to her badly. A serious cancer that Zack has in this fic would NOT go unnoticed.

Negativities: OOCness, random drive-by angst
Summary: Cloud is upset after he moves away from the only town that he called home. But Fate can be a mysterious mistress...
Overall: 5.6/10 - The story would've been better if the drive-by angst was discluded from it. Even without the angst, it's not really a fic I'd recommend.


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