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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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