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Review no Jutsu!
Constructive Criticism and Reviews for Naruto Fan Fiction
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butterfly, cactus
I feel as though I’ve been remiss as a leader, seeing as I haven’t myself posted a review yet. So bravely (or foolishly, your call) I decided I would pick the first Narutofic I came across on ff.net, no matter what it might happen to be. 

16th-Nov-2005 10:35 pm - Fanon vs. Canon
butterfly, cactus
Yay, more people!

I know a lot of people are still probably intimidated by the thought of doing a whole review, or lack the time. And believe me, I sympathise. So, in an effort to get some conversation going in this community...

Post a comment with an example of fanon. For purposes of this exercise, we'll define canon to be what we know about the universe, either from the anime or manga directly, or anything said by Masashi Kishimoto. (Filler is arguable, but we'll let that go.) Fanon, on the other hand, is one of those things that one author puts in a story, and others follow suit, and the next thing you know, you're hard pressed to remember that it's not actually canon, because *everyone* uses it.

We're not necessarily criticizing fanon, usually it becomes well-known because it makes a certain amount of sense. I'm just curious to see what sorts of ideas run pandemic among fanfic writers... and to remind all of us to be aware of where our ideas of the Narutoverse come from.

To start:
FANON: Kakashi is a huge pervert.
CANON: Sure, the man loves his Icha Icha. But we still don't know what the books actually are... are they porn, or cheesy romance novels, or what? (They're advertised on a billboard in one of the filler episodes. So they're not too secret.) And it's not as though we see him ...enjoying... them in public, he's just calmly reading. He's actually less of a pervert than some of the other characters, having not been caught spying on women in hot springs (Jiraiya) or responding to Naruto's Sexy no Jutsu (the Third, Iruka, Ebisu, Jiraiya again...).

Now to write a story where Kakashi's a blushing virgin and Iruka's the experienced lecher... Kidding. Mostly. ^_^
2nd-Nov-2005 09:35 pm - Critique appreciated
omgwtfbbq murdoc
Hi. I recently wrote this fic for the KakaIru community here on LJ, and posted it around, but the most I got in terms of reviews was either: a) 'that was TEH AW3SOME! Write more!' or b) 'What just happened? It might just be me, but I didn't get it.'

So I'd like an actual review, harsh words and all. I am nothing if not willing to listen to criticism if it helps my writing get better.

Note: It's not beta-ed, so I apologize for any grammar or spelling mistakes.

(To Love is to Lose)

31st-Oct-2005 01:59 pm - Some Stuff I Wrote

I've been working on a series for the past year. The Hatake Clan Cycle.

My first fic:

White Fang, Lightning's Howl: The Secret of the Hatake. Kakashi-centric. Rated: T. Genre: Dama, Angst, Comedy. Rated for some language. A man-man kiss. 26 chapters, COMPLETED.

Revelation of the Wolf: The Glory of the Hatake. Kakashi-centric. Rated: T for violence, language and inferred sex - hetero and homo. Genre: Romance, Drama, Angst, Action/Adventure, Comedy. Pairings: Gen/Rai, Izu/Kotet, Asu/Kure, Kaka/OC... 36 chapters, COMPLETED. Spoilers for manga.

Just wanted to put it out on the LJ - since I need critiques in light of the fact that I'm starting to write the third part. Thanks!

25th-Oct-2005 02:07 am - The Web Spinner by Sharingank
Deadpool- Default
Title: The Web Spinner
Author: Sharingank
Summary: Sometimes, the sinner is offered redemption in a way he never expected...KakaXAnko with some really twisted KakaXRin
Genres: Drama/Angst
Rating: M
Source: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2525961/1/

Plot: It’s not an overly original one. Kakashi is haunted by the specters of his past and has ‘Obito’ whispering in his head. I’ve seen multiple fics where they allude to Kakashi becoming crazy and imagining Obito in his head but none managed to pull it off quite as well as this piece. You truly do wonder as Kakashi enacts his ritual of letting Obito ‘see’ his kill if there is indeed a piece of his friend there or if he’s just crazy.
Grammar, Style, Spelling and Punctuation: Overall it’s well done. There are a few mistakes though I am by far not one to cast stones so to speak
Originality: Again, not the most original ideas but the author pulls it off with style and a grace that so many authors fail to deliver. Yes, we’ve all read “OMG Kakashi’s crazy!” fics but the insight into his mind and the dynamics between he and Rin are touching.
Characterization: I LOVE how she wrote Rin as a sort of diamond in the rough. She held a quiet sort of grace amongst the carnage and bloodshed of a shinobi’s lifestyle that I really enjoyed. Her Pakkun is also interestingly written considering he is often used to portray a sort of comic relief. (something I myself have done) so to see a more sharp and feral side to a creature which IS a nin-dog and therefore meant to be a warrior amongst canines is nice. The interaction between he and Kakashi was well written. I also highly enjoyed how the author writes Kakashi’s plights and the dull sort of stunted emotional balance he has. He’s a fucked up puppy but he’s not an OMGtehGoth emo kid either.
Entertainment: Not a fic for laughs but certainly one to get you to think... And if you’re a Kakashi/Rin fan- a pairing I normally don’t enjoy but found myself doing so here in this fic- then it’s certainly a fic for you.
Canon: I’m no canon-nazi but things seemed to fit for me at least
Flaws: I’m not overly fond of the ending where Kakashi is ordered to go retrieve Anko. Yes, I understand the author enjoys that pairing and the concept of Kakashi using her as a means for redemption is an interesting one. But the man doesn’t know her, all he knows is she’s a damsel possibly in distress so in my opinion it could have possibly be left out and the fic would have ended well on it’s own. Perhaps if she follows through on her plans to write a second part, then perhaps my opinion will change.
Strengths: A nice grasp of the psychology needed to get the reader to think and wonder whether or not Kakashi is truly crazy or if there truly is something going on in his eye and his brain. Well-written scenes of gore and brutality without it being overly-gruesome or trite as Kakashi watches his two best friends die before him.
Suggestions: Unless she’s going to write a second chapter with Anko in it, then don’t bill it as a Kaka/Anko fic and possibly revise the ending. All in all I loved it and it made very happy to read a well-written Kakashi introspective piece.
Overall rating: Wow.

”SampleCollapse )
9th-Oct-2005 09:21 pm - Softly Say Goodnight, Chevira Lowe
dance sasuke!
Title: Softy Say Goodnight
Author: Chevira Lowe sunsitenthai
Summary: Jiraiya, Orochimaru, and Tsunade as a team. How they began, and why they fell apart.
Genres: Angst
Rating: PG-15
Source: Here

Plot: Like stated in the summary, it's a story about the Dream Team, how they begin, and how they fall apart. It follows them through missions, the war, and an attack on Konoha.
Grammar, Style, Spelling and Punctuation: Very well done. The grammar's wonderful, the spelling's spot on, and the punctuation's to die for. I never had to worry about 'your' and 'you're' being used in the wrong places, or anything of that sort. Now, style. Occasionally she repeats phrases and words, and it just adds to the story. The repetition of key words makes the meaning of said word really hit home, and made the story that more potent.
Originality: I've never really read stories about the Sannin Team, since they are usually carbon copies of Team Seven. This time, though, it was the Sannin, and it was great. I've never read anything like this before, and that's very rare, especially in the Naruto fandom, where it often feels like a story about one team is like any other story about another team. Also, to see things from Orochimaru's point of view, however limited, is a rare treat. Often, Orochimaru's just shown as an evil demi-god of any sort. Here, he's a child with a tragic past, who's trying to just survive in the here and now.
Characterization: Great. Wonderful. Jiraiya's a pervert, Tsunade's holding the team together, and Orochimaru's trying to get by. Usually when things are shown from one point of view, the other characters are two-dimensional cardboard cut-outs. Not here, however. Here, all the characters are real people. They have emotions, they have agendas. They're people, flesh and bone and everything. And Orochimaru's character? Just wonderful. At times, he's an impudent teenager, and other times, he's a broken child. He's strong and self-reliant, and he's so alive, in a brutal, brutal way. So, yeah, good characterizations.
Entertainment: Alright. So, this is not a light read. It's not a light-hearted feel good story. It's like pieces of broken glass. Very pretty, but hurts like hell. It's very entertaining, in the way watching characters bleed and die is entertaining.
Canon: We have the war, we have the team. We have canon.
Flaws: I can honestly think of none. At all. It's perfect.
Strengths: The writing style does very well portraying the mood, but the biggest strength is in the characterizations, especially that of Orochimaru.
Suggestions: Is it finished? I'm not sure. I got the feeling it was unfinished, and if so, I think just a note to say that it's not yet done. But really, I can't even suggest anything. It's just great the way it is, I don't want any of it changed.
Overall Rating: Wow. Just...wow. Amazing.

Sample of the StoryCollapse )
Title: No Regrets

Author: Bitter Eloquence

Summary: The legend of the Great Green Beast of Konoha and the infamous Copynin Hatake Kakashi are well known tales in Konoha. When a young Gai challanges Kakashi to a duel, the legend begins, and neither have ever found reason to regret it. Drabbleish.

Genres: General/Drama

Rating: K+

Source: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2575064/1/

Plot: Kakashi's a thirtheen year old jounin, Gai's the same age, a chuunin. This tells the story of the very beginning of their "rivalry" when Gai first challenges Kakashi, and why.

Grammar, Style, Spelling and Punctuation: Overall OK, but one or two errors with the wrong word used, tense agreement and consistency, a word ommitted, etc. There is a fairly serious problem with the formatting in the exchange near the end. I believe it is Gai who asks, "Your word?" and Kakashi who replies "You're going to take the word of a ninja?..." But the way the author has formatted the dialog, it appears to be the reverse, for that entire section of conversation. Don't be afraid to use "Kakashi said" "Gai replied" and so forth. And make sure that a character's reaction to another's statement takes its own line, not sharing it with the first, especially if you are NOT going to use demarcators to indicate who's speaking.

Originality: Good. Gai's motivation for the challenge is something I haven't seen before. It made him seem very human. And stories about the early lives of these characters are in relative short supply.

Characterization: This is an interesting take on their early lives. It's nice to see Gai come off as human - a difficult task with a character so close to the edge of broad buffoonery. I liked how the author has conveyed Kakashi - scorned and feared for his genius, for possessing the Sharingan, for just being too good for a child. You see the early seeds of his aloof, unaffected calm - and how Gai sees through his front to the isolation and lonliness. You also see the beginnings of Gai's beliefs about the perils of being a genius.

Entertainment: It's short and sweet. Definitely worth reading.

Canon: No errors that I could see, but I'm not much of a canon weenie.

Flaws: The ending is weak. It has a "then they held hands and swayed in the moonlight and lived happily ever after" feel to it. It's unnecessary to wrap the story up. It would have stood on its own just fine ending it at "'Friends, huh?" Well... He could probably have done worse...'

Strengths: Insight into character psychology. Generally excellent use of descriptive vocabulary.

Suggestions: Strengthen the ending by ommitting the summation. Fix the formatting problems with the dialog. Have the piece edited for grammar.

Overall rating: Good

Sample of the story: Read more...Collapse )

There you have it, my first review. I chose this one because it's short, it's good, I had something substantive to say, and I could crib from my own earlier review comments in ff.net.

I sincerely hope more reviews will be coming soon.
9th-Oct-2005 04:32 pm(no subject)
butterfly, cactus
Wow. I'm really blown away how many brilliant authors who have already joined this community. Hi! I hope it'll prove a valuable resource.

That being said, the plan at current is to post a few reviews, etc, following the guidelines in the userinfo, so people will have an idea of what we're trying to do, and then posting the community info in various naruto-related forums and encouraging others to join.

To that end (and because it's cool) please, post!
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