|Reviews for A Growing Affection|
| Ace McKnight chapter 170 . 8/6
This has been quite the ride. I admit that it did not grab my interest from the start (I actually started reading this one once before, making it to the vampire mini-arc before rage quitting; obviously I returned later), but once I got to the liberation of Sound, basically everything from that point on was golden. I am amazed by the world-crafting, and how well made your OCs are (especially given that the story pre-dates most of the important character reveals from canon). You also did a fairly good job of giving the main characters believably skillsets (though Ascendant Fox Form was way to OP). Actually on that note, something confused me about the Yang release portion of that: Kyuubi told him it would be a one time thing, but Naruto made it sound like it helped him "complete" the technique. Was he bluffing to Gouki, or was he serious? Is it a little of both (like it did help him solve the chakra consumption issue, but the technique wouldn't be as crushingly powerful as it was this one time?)? If you get a chance, I'd like to know.
Overall, due significantly to the time this work was released, this is easily the most canon-divergent Naruto story I've read (which I consider to be a good thing; seriously glad you didn't try to redo the chuunin exams like just about every other story I've ever read...). All in all, I'd say this is in my top 5 favorite Naruto fanfictions.
My biggest lingering "critique" is the increasingly creative (yet sometimes confusing) ways you referred to characters (example: "pale beauty" was used extensively to refer to Hinata, but I think you used it once or twice for another character and that threw me off...). This was good in that it forced me to stay mentally engaged, but it was occasionally confusing and a little tiresome to read through. None of that is meant as a flame, so please don't take it as such; I truly enjoyed the story, and I wish you all the best in your current and future projects. Thanks again for a great ride.
I'm late to the party, so I didn't review all the chapters, but you can take this review as a compliment to your work (for whatever that's worth). (Note: I generally don't review individual chapters of a story unless it is an ongoing work; I will generally only write a review at the end if the story is completed before I start reading)
| Miko1st chapter 97 . 8/2
I wonder, could Lee learn seals? That would get him a ninjutsu requirement.
| E.Richtofen chapter 170 . 7/28
First off I would like to thank the author for not only writing such a masterpiece, but completing it, especially since it was not a short story...that's for sure. This story is the best NaruHina fanfiction out there, it's so detailed and it covers every aspect of their relationship. It's not sappy, but still contains a nice balance of NaruHina moments to show their relationship progressing. In my opinion, I think if I ever decide to watch the Naruto series again, I will stop after the Elemental Training arc, and just continue to read this story instead, that's how much better I think this is compared to the original plot. So, time to jump into what I liked and attempt to tell you what I didn't enjoy (prepare for a short list).
What I liked:
• Antagonists, from Hyouta (Hiashi's father) to Gouki, they were all well developed and acted to their original personality (except OCs of course). In fact, characters such as Hyouta (he doesn't have an actual name), Orochimaru, Sasuke, Nagato, and Konan all had their story more flushed out. They were given more character and their ambitions genuinely felt engaging. Simply put, the original antagonists lacked personality and were given very little information about their own background. Orochimaru specifically was more of blandish character, but the concept of him keeping an original body was just as interesting as him stealing Sasuke's body. Now, Sasuke I felt like was used terribly in canon, his change in goals in this story felt more genuine and having his fate and revenge controlled by Orochimaru, made Sasuke a not so boring character. He actually showed more emotion in his personality than he ever did in the original plot. Nagato and Konan's relationship with a new sensei (who I will cover soon), and their struggles with their own relationship together made them more likeable, especially near the end of the story when Konan decided that Nagato took precedence than the ninja world or her trusted sensei's plan. The whole Nagato offing himself to revive people after he killed them never appealed to me that much, it kind of felt pointless in some way, so his redemption in this story fixed "that".
• Gouki and Kohaku (I think I spelled her name right), were definitely one of the most interesting characters. They were antagonists, but also in some ways the protagonists, depending on who you thought the hero might have been. The fact that two OCs had such intricate personalities, goals, and pasts, truly made them feel real. I really did sympathise with their own goals and was probably just as fond of Gouki as I was Naruto. Gouki is similar to Minato, has noble intentions and honor like Naruto, but is more aggressive than both (in some ways like Madara (real Madara)). His battle with Naruto and Hinata was pretty top notch and his use of non-lethal techniques to incapacitate his opponents made into a very interesting antagonist. Kohaku on the other hand was suppose to be bland and forgettable, or at least that is what she thinks. Instead, she shares so some of the same qualities as Hinata, that I immediately liked her character. She in some ways mirrors Hinata like Gouki mirrors Minato. You can see the reflection, but their are plenty of distortions, and those distortions made her into a very unique character. Sorry for the terrible analogy, but too me, Gouki and Kohaku are more flushed out than the original antagonists. Plus, they aren't just borderline villains, they kind of set a reminder, that the Naruto world is not just black and white when it comes to choices, Minato emphasizes that in this story too.
• Naruto and Hinata, their relationship wasn't forced. It was completely natural, they also didn't just grow together as a couple, but I would say they were the closest of friends first. The story also wrapped up their ENTIRE relationship, from friendship to Naruto becoming the Hokage. As I mentioned in the preface of this review, there is a good balance between sappy moments, to just moments that naturally would build their relationship...and yes there are sappy moments too, but come on its nice to have them. One of the best things about Hinata's character in this story is that she is truly a powerful ally. She has saved Naruto's butt from time to time, so if you're looking for a powerful Hinata story, look no further. This doesn't imply that Naruto is weak, but he can only do so much himself. Personality wise, aside from Hinata's growing confidence, Naruto just matures. Their isn't that much of a change to none of the original character's personality, which in my opinion is actually a good thing. I prefer stories where there personalities are for the most part intact to the original plot, because then it really does feel like the story is drawing from the Naruto world, but expect any of the original cast to grow from the events of the story.
• The fight scenes were exceptional. They did not bore me with too much detail and had a good length. More importantly, they were realistic, meaning that Naruto nor the cast was fighting people that were completely above their skill every single time. Yes, there were powerful opponents, but not every fight between Naruto and another was someone who was as powerful as Naruto. Thus, this story didn't rely much on godly power up, but more on mastering techniques and strategies. Even with the power ups that were given to the character (there were very few), they all had their weaknesses. They also were not overly used. Obito (or Madara, not sure who it is in this story), was probably the only one who had a form of godly power (immortality), but I think his fall symbolized that crazy power ups were not required for a story. Finally, the fight sequences didn't rely too heavily on using ninjutsu, they had a nice mixture of genjutsu and taijutsu.
• The content and plot as a whole kept me consistently interested. Some parts of the last arc (Fourth Great Shinobi War) was a bit boring on 2-3 chapters, but that arc was huge, so I expected that some scenes were going to be very appealing. It would be foolish to expect that every scene in this story will keep your attention. However, seeing as nearly every chapter was great and kept me excited for the next, is a testimony to the author being able to write such a wonderful story with a ton of chapters. Nothing felt rush, I mean there was time-skipping in the end, but that's because it most of the events at the end of this story are to be expected, so covering them with a decent amount of details is more than enough. The story was wrapped up nicely, everything was covered by the last chapter, there was no plot holes, and the story had a happy ending.
Overall, this story is my favorite fan fiction of all time, I normally don't write reviews even a quarter of this length, but the amount of effort that was put into this story, made me feel obligated to put in at least some more effort into writing a review. On top of all that this story was nearly 700,000 words and was COMPLETED, while being a very enjoyable read all the way through and with the ending not being rushed, it really does show the dedication the author had to write this story.
| E.Richtofen chapter 164 . 7/27
I feel like the only antagonist in the story was Orochimaru and Madara. Its impossible to hate Gouki and company (except Madara).
| E.Richtofen chapter 159 . 7/26
It's sad to see your story coming to an end, the scene with Naruto and Nagato was way better that I could have imagined. It may have even been better than the canon scene. Also, the more I see Gouki and his wife losing, it kind of makes me feel sad for them. They both are so honorable, and while they are villains, there intentions were obviously noble (at least noble enough). Honestly, I think that's how you can tell that a villain is good, when you want to root for them as well as the home team. Heck, Gouki's ideals may have been a bit misguided, but they weren't too far off. If he did, what Naruto told Pein that Gouki should have done, then I think he really would have been making a difference in the ninja world.
| E.Richtofen chapter 150 . 7/26
Danzo has been redeemed, also I totally thought he was the mole.
| E.Richtofen chapter 142 . 7/25
So far, only your OCs have been very interesting. Gouki has been one of the best OCs I have seen, but Kohaku is definitely awesome too. I can't wait to see how Gouki will play out when the 4th ninja war start coming to its climax. Also, Nagato and Konan definitely feel a bit more flushed out, they still retained some of their previous values and beliefs before Hanzo.
| E.Richtofen chapter 130 . 7/24
Gouki Namikaze is one the best OC villains ever. I actually was expecting him to be very Madara or Orochimaru like, basically a normal evil villain. Instead, he has character, honor, and may just have good intentions. It's also a bonus that he kind of has a Minato like personality, but a bit more aggressive and slightly darker. All it does is sell the point that he really is a Namikaze, or at least related to Minato. And his own respect for Naruto and not under estimating the Konoha 11 just makes him more likable.
| E.Richtofen chapter 115 . 7/23
This is the first time in a fanfic, where I have seen it properly wrap up Naruto and Hinata's marriage. I mean, since they are both clan leaders, and Hiashi has to retire sometime, I always wondered how Hinata would keep the surname Uzumaki, while dropping her title as heir. To me, you explained it well, if anything it provides a bit more closure, so that if you don't happen to cover them getting married, you wouldn't need too. Another aspect of the story I noticed is the good balance of sappiness, you don't over do the NaruHina moments.
PS. I'm focusing on the Naruto and Hinata part of the story in this review, because of the last few chapters I read where more emotional, not only between those two, but between some other characters that died.
| E.Richtofen chapter 112 . 7/23
In some ways, I kind of feel like this story gave Orochimaru more character and Jiraiya a meaningful death...not that I'm saying that Jiraiya's death in canon was useless, but I feel like it was more valuable in this story. It also feels like that Sasuke being taken over by Orochimaru is the best that has ever happened, because it just makes Orochimaru/Sasuke's story feel more engaging. Honestly, I never payed much attention to either character (well, mostly Orochimaru), until reading this fanfic.
| E.Richtofen chapter 102 . 7/23
The fight scenes in this chapter were one of the best. You made use of Team 7 well, not just as individual members, but as a team. I was a bit surprised that Pein was invading, since there was no Sage mode, but I'm glad that you included Pein's invasion regardless. Also, the reference to Zabuza and Haku in the earlier arc was pretty cool too, especially since they allied with Naruto rather than attacked him.
| E.Richtofen chapter 87 . 7/22
One of the things I have noticed in this story is the battles are realistic. Every new person Naruto faces isn't always someone that is significantly stronger than him or on par with him. This chapter had a good example, I was expecting that Naruto's challenger from the Land of Mines to be some super powerful person that could match Naruto blow for blow, but he wasn't. In my opinion, that's one of the things that I love most about this story, the combatants Naruto has to fight feel realistic. Plus, this story kills it with NaruHina moments, every one of them have been good. On top of that, this story covers Naruto and Hinata's relationship while not including lemons, which I really do respect. This has undoubtedly become one of my favorite fan fictions and with the lack of godly people in this story, it makes the plot more interesting. Also, the Akatsuki having foot soldiers and lesser members makes complete sense, it surprises me that there were such a small organization in terms of numbers.
| E.Richtofen chapter 75 . 7/22
I was a bit worried on Orochimaru's resurrection and how he would be used, but now I'm excited to see the battle between him and Obito/Tobi/Madara, whoever he really is in this story. Also, that fight between the Kyuubi (Not sure the real name, since the Kyuubi is female) and Naruto was pretty epic. I'm curious to see if you will be adding the nine-tails chakra mode or sage mode power ups to Naruto later in the story.
| E.Richtofen chapter 64 . 7/21
This story gave me a newfound appreciation for Kisame's character, his allegiance to Itachi is admirable. Also, Kakashi being the one to raise Itachi's daughter is pretty cool too. On a side note, did you make up the Jonin trials or was this how they were in canon, because if you did make them up, it sounds pretty legit.
| E.Richtofen chapter 61 . 7/21
Your fight scenes are some of the best that I have seen in a fanfic (I'm not referring to this chapter specifically, just in general), they are very detailed, exciting, and to the point. I think some fanfics that try to incorporate fighting suffer from long drawn out fight scenes or very short ones, but I believe you have the right balance. Also, I loved the Haruna, Yuki, and Toki references, those characters were pretty cool, but you never see them in the canon (Yuki wasn't canon, I know).