|Reviews for Forged in Water|
| sadfascist chapter 24 . 9/25/2010
Okay, just finished Forged in Water. It was a great story.
I'm not going to comment on the quality of the writing because I glanced through some of your other fics and you've clearly improved in the five years since you wrote FIW. Though I still think you should spend more time on editing. There's just some sloppy stuff there (i.e. Slyvia Gray Book Chapter 1: "The strength of that scent was rather ominous, and it stirred dark thoughts down at the base of Sylvia's contemplation, in the region below her perpetual vigilance and mission objectives, down where the forcefully contained emotions made a nasty briar patch." That sentence is way too long/confusing...)
I said before that FIW was too dark, but I changed my mind. I loved your treatment of the bloodlines and the exploration of what it would mean for a ninja to be born with these monstrous powers. You wrote in your afterward that the story was motivated by a lot of anger toward the ideology of the canon NARUTO manga. Reading the story I could tell, but at the same time I think you took the source material seriously as well. You really tried to take this world that Kishimoto created and bring it to its logical conclusion, which is far more horrifying than the author will admit. That's an impressive intellectual grappling.
I actually don't agree with what you said in your afterward that FIW was unfinished. I regard it as a complete, 100% finished story. Yeah, Ise, Yi, Saki, and the gang are supposed to go fight Akatsuki and kick ass and all that. But that's a sequel, a different novel, not FIW. FIW is an intimate coming-of-age portrait of two young ninja, and it's done.
I don't agree that FIW lacks a good villain either. I guess that's kind of strange coming from me because I criticized BKE for having lame bad guys, and definitely the ones in FIW are much, much lamer-the enemy ninja, I mean. But I don't think that's the important fight in this story. The important conflict in FIW is the "human heart in conflict with itself." Ise and Yi aren't fighting against Grass-nin or Rain-nin or Sand-nin or whatever. They're fighting against themselves-their own power, their own blood, the monster within them. When they overcome those villains (Chapter 21, Ise and Yi go swimming in a lake) it's a powerful moment, which to me feels more meaningful than Xi's battles against Dark Storm in BKE.
All in all I still like BKE better, just because it's faster-paced and more exciting. But Forged in Water is probably the stronger, and certainly deeper, story.
Okay, now some criticisms/questions:
1) the title. I don't know exactly what "forged in water" means and I'm not sure what relation it has to the themes/plot/characters of the story.
2) the battles. They're a big step down from BKE, in my opinion. the first problem is most of the battles are just jutsu spam, which i guess would be okay, except that (this is the second problem) the jutsu kind of suck. There are literally hundreds of different jutsu in FIW, but there is only one jutsu I like, which is Mizuho. there's nothing else in the story which can compare to thunder and lightning strike, rend, clawing whirlwind, dragon's eye, etc. from BKE. the jutsu in FIW are repetitive and forgettable. there are like 50 different water jutsu, all of which have different names, but basically are exactly the same (water-missle-attack). The absolute worst offender is Yi, who apparently knows like 20 different attack jutsu and never uses the same one twice. Why not just have her just use one or two attacks consistently? it's not even realistic for her to know so many different jutsu.
3) main characters way overpowered. how is that Ise, supposedly an average chuunin, can almost beat Kisame and take down a team of three chuunin a jounin? And Yi, who was being pwned by a couple of grass-nin earlier in the story, actually does beat Kisame. Realistically this wouldn't happen, nor should it happen because the story is not served by you making the main chars so powerful so fast. you have a bad habit of doing this, because it also happens in BKE, where Neji becomes godlike by the end, as well as Sky's Arrows (which I'm currently reading-sort of skimmed around, and noticed Orochimaru and Sasuke got assassinated by your main char). I guess you got sort of attached to your creations and wanted to show them off a little, but honestly it detracts from the darker/more realistic tone you want to give your story. stop making your chars godlike, give them more realistic challenges.
4) Mizuho. i love the concept of the jutsu, but i don't understand why you think it's so powerful. So Yi can make water burn... so what? Any fire-resistant barrier (i.e. basically any earth jutsu) would stop Mizuho in its tracks. Wind jutsu can repel the water. Chakra projection jutsu like Kaiten can also repel the water. Mizuho is definitely more powerful when it's raining. But the whole time Yi was fighting the grass-nin at the oasis I was thinking, why don't these guys just go under the ground to, like any ninja can easily do, to escape the burning rain? The other thing is I don't really get is the concept of Burning Liquid Skin. How is it possible that Mizuho is burning on Yi's skin and she isn't hurt by it? Okay, so there's a layer of water underneath the fire, right? But why won't the fire spread to that water, too, and then hit the skin?
3) pacing. The story was kind of too slow and too spread out in the beginning. It didn't really hit its stride once Ise and Yi finally met. I'm not sure how you could have paced it otherwise because both their stories needed to be told, but anyway I felt maybe it would have been better if you blocked 3 or 4 Ise chapters together at once, like an arc, followed by some Yi chapters, so the narrative could gather some momentum.
P.S. I like Mizuho so much I'm planning to borrow it for my own NARUTO fanfic. Hope you don't mind.
| Krimsons chapter 1 . 12/30/2007
Simply amazing story. This definitely tops my favorites list. ) The characters are so deep and so well developed that the story sounds more professional than like a fanfic.
I love how you like to write about other villages in the Naruto world, and I hope you'll continue to do so.
| Kell Shock chapter 32 . 10/4/2007
| Drake-Azathoth chapter 32 . 7/5/2006
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed 'Forged in Water'. I read 'Behind Killer's Eyes' because I love Neji as a character, but in my mind this was undeniably a better story despite being unfinished in some respects.
The pragmatic and desperate philosophy in the story, I think, is what really made it special to me. I've read some fanfiction that does a decent job of showing the reality of being a ninja in the world of Naruto, but it's depressingly rare. This definitely did an excellent job of showing what it might really be like to have a bloodline that makes you inhuman.
Your original characters were all intensely interesting, and the character interaction was amazing. Definitely a look at real life, rather than a romantic soap opera. Thanks for writing the story, and I'll be catching up with some of your more recent work soon.
| Sean the Metamage chapter 32 . 5/6/2006
I really appreciated your work.
Good story, great plot, with a solid grammar and spelling, only a bit lessened by the use of both English and Japanese names for techniques (better use only one of them).
I would be interested in a continuation...
| PEEK Paulo Engo Ensega Kamunye chapter 32 . 8/26/2005
Don't know why you stick to only original characters because your fanfictions are nothin short of remarkable. I have no doubts that your next one will be as involvin and creative as the others. Peace
| PropellerGolem chapter 32 . 8/24/2005
Congratulations on finishing!
I agree that finishing at this point was probably the best thing to do. Although the story had a few bits I wasn't too keen on, it ended up being really good and interesting to read.
| hisakatagol chapter 32 . 8/22/2005
i like to say that your stroy is really good and i hope you make a part2 to this story.
good work and good bye -_-
| thorn1484 chapter 32 . 8/22/2005
You're right; the story did feel aborted right in the middle. In all honesty, I was expecting it to end soon, but not at the point it did. (I figured it was about 75% finished, and you'd use the last 25% to establish the three man team, do some fighting, and establish some closure). But even so, it's still an incredibly done story. Your ability to write and paint scenes is incredible, and the battles are good as well.
I never really considered the Hoshigaki a bloodline until I read your fic, either. I don't know why. After reading Forged in Water, it seems to be the only obvious conclusion. I also must confess that I really didn't like the Mizuho bloodline in "Behind Killer's Eyes". However, you've managed to change my mind about it in this fic, mostly because instead of being random antagonists with wierd hair and an obscenely powerful bloodline limit (which most of the Mizuho in Behind Killers Eyes didn't really seem to know how to use), you've given the bloodline a name, face, and struggle in the character of Mizain Yi.
At any rate, the fic was very nicely done, even though it does seem prematurely cut off. I look forward to reading anything else you write in the near future.
| Meggido The relic hunter chapter 32 . 8/22/2005
hmm.. Interesting thoughts, some shared by yours truly. I'm having great difficulty always trying to find different praise so as to not become monotonous, but I seem to continuously fail. Alas, I must resort to the old ways. "OMGZ DAT STORY WUZ THE BEST I'VE EVER READ!#$R#QF"
Okay, scratch that. Although I believe I prefer BKE, this one is not very far behind, as I like them both for their story line aspects, and just happen to prefer the heated battles of Behind Killer's Eyes.
Wait, original story? Where may I find that?
| Meggido The relic hunter chapter 31 . 8/22/2005
Feh, reminds me of the Behind Killer's eyes ending somewhat. But still, as I read the last line, my heart was filled with indelible joy, proof of your awsome writing prowess.
| Meggido The relic hunter chapter 30 . 8/22/2005
Whoa. How I love those intelligent ninja battles a-la-Nara Shikamaru. And the Warlord's skill awed me as well. Add those to the already formidable strenght of the mizuho and the shark's blood, and did those rain-nins really ever have a chance? I commend you on this once more, this excellent piece of writing. But now I have to read the last part and epilogue, as my internet was evil yesterday.
| Macavity the Mystery Cat chapter 32 . 8/21/2005
I'm slightly disapointed that you aren't continuing this, but your reason is valid.
I've enjoyed the story far more than you could probably imagine, and I look forward to more of your work in the future.
| Anonymous chapter 30 . 8/21/2005
Real good story! I'm surprised there are so little reviews... Must be because of the OCs. Please continue!
| Mizuseishin24 chapter 30 . 8/21/2005
This was an awesome chapter! Go Shino!
PLZ PLZ update soon!