|Reviews for Harbinger|
| Morlin chapter 21 . 1/25/2015
Haha! I am not several months late with this review! Award me for my common courtesy! No? Perfectly reasonable. Let's do this.
Naturally I enjoyed the look into Gaara's ordinary kazekage life. Or at least his daily life mixed with important correspondence and a life-changing meeting with his tummy demon. I absolutely loved Shukaku and Gaara's conversation. It had a nice flow and feel to it. They started out as begrudging existences that they're forced to live with and nice stepped into mutual respect, all while feeling like equals. Very nice. Shukaku's change of opinion did go a bit faster than I would've expected, though that may be due to us mostly seeing him as a rampaging monster more often than not, but it works overall. I also enjoyed his personal musings about Sakura and the inevitable confession he has to make at some point. They are reasonable but laced with natural worry and I find that it makes them nicely reaslistic. Gaara's section of the chapter was a great little contemplative start to the chapter and makes me excited for several things in his story (meeting up with Yugito again, his training with Shukaku to not lose ground to his friends, the jinchuuriki conversation he'll have with Sakura and in general seeing where his and Shukaku's friendship might go).
Moving on to poor Temari and Matsuri. Feels like they got the rough end of this chapter. Confusing matters of the heart for one of them and heartbreak for the other. At least Temari is able to hide it her problems and focus on tasks at hand and be professional about things. Matsuri just got bombed at the end of her section after being happy all the way up to it. Gonna be interesting to see how that turns out since I am pretty sure Memna was interested as well. Good thing that the most mature/emotionally stable sand sibling was her support this time around and not the guy that can crush the entire village in sand. So yeah I enjoyed the emotional distress these ladies faced.
I don't know if it is my Game of Thrones-senses tingling. But all this talk of Haku escaping Zabuza seems to leading up to a big fat nope and everything going horribly wrong. The underlying suspense is killing me. Bastard.
Team Gai's continued trials are somewhat elevated by some advancement in their abilities and some growth in character for them all. The small things like Neji and Tenten slowly beginning to accept their (from their point of views) grumpy teachers, Neji's growing friendship with Lee and the incremental increase in the abilities (except for when Neji just starts wrecking shit in awesomely funny scenes) is one of the many reasons this fic is so enjoyable.
Sai has made his major appearance and he properly brings root with him. And Root is also connected to Bihokokuni, not surprising since Danzo is piece of crap scumbag who works with other horrible people for his own justifications (I'm not a Danzo fan). So far Sai is the same as in the manga, his insistence of nick names and Neji's annoyance about it was terrific fun, but it'll be interesting where his story goes. Though I do think that his opening up to an alternate way of thinking, while well written (honestly it's a really damn heart warming scene to see Neji of all people speak so elegantly and warmly about the virtues of emotions and friendships), does seem to go a bit quickly, like with Shukaku. This is not me saying that I would prefer multiple chapters of characters debating until one side gives in to the positive side's argument, as I said I enjoyed both the Gaara/Shukaku discussion and the Neji/Sai discussion very much. I'm just noting it since it did stick out a little to me. Hopefully Sai survives this encounter and sticks around, it's nice that someone besides Naruto inspired him as well. I like when other characters get to invoke changes in these instances.
Overall, another well-crafted and diverse chapter with lots of elegant writing and characters moving forwards and more excitement being set up for future installments. Or in other words, kick ass job as usual. Keep up the good work.
| Ancestor's Dragon chapter 21 . 1/22/2015
Whoo, finally finished the last 2 chapters. Well, glad to see Team Gai managing to work off their frustration to an extent. I thought introducing Lee's grandfather was pretty interesting. Having each of team Gai learn something special is going to make things fun later on, haha.
Great job with the last two chapters, I enjoyed reading them. I look forward to reading the next.
| Baconblades chapter 21 . 1/22/2015
This story, and it's prequel Forlorn, have become my crack addiction in the world of Fan Fiction. I love the detail and the story line is just *MWAH* beautiful. I understand that it must take a while to write these chapters, but with the length of time between releases and my need for this story, I will likely be rereading the entirety of Forlorn and Harbinger. I've really nothing to complain about or add, I just wanted to say how amazing this story is to me. I compare my stories to it in terms of detail and depth because I see this story as the standard of excellence. Thank you for writing and continuing to work on this.
| DemonVermin chapter 21 . 1/20/2015
From what your beta-reader said, I agree. Not everyone has the time like I do to read a novel beofore bed ;) And Pokemon- High Five
Now onto the story:
Suna: When I watched the last few eps of Naruto with my cuz, I enjoyed that Shakaku was not a mindless beast riddled with insanity any more. I quite like how ya incorporated that. Oh boy was a about ta fall off my chair when Matsuri heard these choice words, but I feel as if that will be concluded next chap. Temari's feeling have shown themselves and I gotta admit, did not expect her to cry. Hmmm, I can see the Slug is gonna make an appearance soon.
Konaha: I gotta say Lee's grandpa is quite an enjoyable character and you did well with him as a mentor. Neji is growing even more than I had hoped in these few chapters and Sai might just become likable if he got ingrained that lesson so quickly. Oooo and I do love me a scandal, wonder how this will turn out. Lee will always be Lee, that overeager, energetic bushybrows.
-Always awaiting, The DemonVermin
| Red Wings chapter 21 . 1/17/2015
YES! New chapter!
Wow, Gaara is making progress in his relationship with the One-Tailed Beast. That's very good of him. And Naruto's idea of starting a Jinchuuriki Support Club is wonderful. They should do it! The letters of Haku and Naruto to Gaara really shine - you can tell their mood in their tone. I feel for Gaara for having to deal with the council and all those damned politicians. While getting rest is a good thing for him, he should get some training in. At this rate, Naruto and Haku will outpace him.
It's good to hear from our friends at Wave Village. For a minor character, you sure do a wonderful job with Matsuri. About that Menma, though...I wonder if that waitress just said that because she has an inflated sense of ego. Menma can't be that flighty, and he isn't stupid enough to piss off Matsuri's sensei and her superiors, the Sand trio. If he is, I will be very disappointed in him.
What's with Utakata? Is he afraid that if the locals keep calling him 'Sensei', they'll draw attention to him and the Akatsuki will find out?
The letter from Haku to Temari was just...well, words do not do the Hyoton-user justice. I always knew that my man was eloquent and articulate and a gentleman, but...the letter wrings my heart and leaves it out to dry.
I liked what you did with Hayate and Yuugao. They make a lovely couple, those two, and even if they weren't married in canon, it makes a lot of sense here. Good to see Tenten making use of Kage Bunshin clones in her training, too. Her chakra reserves must have grown a lot more in the last year, eh?
My favorite part, though, was Wong Leung's torturous Wushu lessons that Lee and Neji are getting. Most of what they're doing sounds like something I would die from. Are they even REAL? Then again, Lee is based on THE Bruce Lee. Will there be an Ip Man Expy next?
And hey, the fruits of Wong Leung's training has paid off! Neji just unconsciously learned his elemental affinity! And it's very destructive, obviously. With his training in Jyuuken and Wong (as well as home-training), Neji is going to reach Jounin in no time. I can believe that he will definitely be the first. Hideyasu, Hikune's father, is being awfully understanding. And he knows the torture that Neji is going through, oooh! I can't believe that even Maito Gai, a Taijutsu master, is DISTURBED by Wong's training methods. Maybe Wong can offer Gai a master class.
HAHAHAHA! Did the Chinese restaurant owner invite Neji, Lee and Wong over for dinner AND an exhibition? Did he attack Neji and Lee with it, or was it just Grandpa 'borrowing' the wok? XD
Oh, dear God. Kiba's dad is such a bastard. No wonder Tsume wants to kill him. At least Tsunade is being understanding about this.
Danzo is another bastard. He's sneaky and manipulative, to have just put Sai in Neji's and Lee's team. Pffft. Ladyhair is a good nickname for Neji, though. Yeah, Lee! Defend Tenten's good name and honor! If Sai only knew the training she's getting, that Neji and Lee are getting...I'm sure Wong would scoff at Sai's 'artistic license' and scare the hell out of the ROOT agent. If Sai survives this encounter at the end of the next chapter, that is...
| Gabriel's Trumpet chapter 21 . 1/16/2015
Quality as ever. The only real issue I had with this was how quickly Sai changed sides here, but outstanding otherwise.
| fiveflyingsquirrels chapter 21 . 1/15/2015
I check my inbox on my phone. I see the email: Harbinger has added Chapter 21. I was so fuddled that I forgot three things at the store I needed to buy and ran through the checkout back to my car. Went straight home and read. Ahhh. It was worth it.
Once again we get a brilliant and cohesive chapter that basically follows two parties: Sand, including Gaara’s daily Kazekage work and then Temari bringing Matsuri back to the Tide Village. And then Leaf, centered mostly on Neji and Lee and crazy grandpa Wong. A lil bit of Tenten was thrown in for good measure. Let’s not forget Sai.
Gosh this was great. What should I talk about? One thing that still sticks out to me was the subtle Kill Bill reference in the Lee/Neji training montage. Their hands were so beat up that they could not grasp chopsticks to eat. If memory serves, Beatrix had the same issue after training with Pai Mei. HA. I caught you. You shameless referencer of pop culture, you!
Gaara’s dream is unsettling and is a rather plain foreshadowing of what is to come for him: his kidnapping by the Akatsuki. But in a twist, Shukaku wants to cooperate and make him stronger! Does this mean he will escape Deidara and Sasori? I hope so! It will be so friggin awesome! Of course, in exchange Gaara offered a lot of treats to Shukaku, including a duel with Naruto/Kurama, setting Shukaku free after his death, and better education about Tailed Beasts. Not a bad deal. I want to see Gaara get all glowy! Woo!
I wanted to throw my laptop after Temari finished Haku’s letter. Why? Why God? It is just so heartbreaking and I wish they didn’t split up. He really loves her and he stupidly got himself stuck in that mess with Zabuza. I am praying for a happy resolution to their relationships tribulations. Aww, Matsuri had her first heartbreak, but dollars to donuts it is all a misunderstanding! I don’t wanna see the mouse sad. Utakata is driving Tazuna bonkers and that scene seemed like a parody of the Utakata arc in the anime. He is such a melodramatic guy who is bitter over his sensei’s supposed betrayal…and Tazuna don’t care! Bam.
So let me get to the meat and bones of this chapter: Neji and Lee. Again. I am okay with them featuring because their development seems super critical right now. We’ll get back to everyone else in a bit. Those Wushu training exercises are killer. AND funny. Neji had to remind himself why he was going along with it all. Lee gets his crash course in Drunken Boxing and we also observe as Neji squares himself with his manifesting Wind Nature. I’ll admit I was surprised to see it brought on so quickly, but at the same time I for one believe that Neji is the genius type who WOULD get it down pat that fast. But what the hell?! That Wind Release Air Palm? That destroyed a whole forest! Ain’t that illegal? You know if he uses that he’s going to be wiping out whole platoons of enemies. I wanna see it! And Lee and Gai being appropriately frightened of it is just adorable.
I felt bad for Kiba and his family but at the same time I saw this coming. I had suspected that his dad was a douche who returned to his homestead conveniently when his health began to fail. New wife and baby. Bluh. Selfish. I hope he keels over while running away! Good riddance.
Danzo barging in on Tsunade’s prep session with Lee and Neji just sunk my stomach. That guy is one crafty piece of trash. He inserted Sai into the mission to fulfill a 3-man requirement and then ordered Sai to hand Neji and Lee over to the enemy? WHY? For a price? For peace? Cuz he felt like it? I know there won’t be a good reason when you reveal the motive but I’ll still flip a table. Interestingly, Lee and Neji’s interaction with Sai quickly inspires envy in him. Their over-emotional states (in Tenten’s absence) must have spoken to him, in spite of all that “emotionless dick” training he got in Root. Sai never was the fully brainwashed type because he loved his bro a lot, so I figure he just couldn't go through with the exchange at the mine. Cool mission, by the way. How you come up with those ideas? I can see from your profile that you read a lot. Hmm.
Oh, and how could I forget the most important part of this chapter?
Freaking Neji. In love.
Poor guy! Lee got him good during that heart to heart as they reminisced about Tenten. I felt so bad for Neji as he just couldn’t get it together and, I SHOULD MENTION, had a very self-aware description of himself by saying that when Tenten isn’t around he is a “certifiable desperado who aggravates everyone.” Freaking brilliant. He’s come a loooong way and I want Neji to finally find romantic happiness with that very deserving girl of his. I can’t wait. I know you’ll make it an extremely satisfying payoff.
Great work as always! Can’t wait to see the conclusion in the next chapter!
| euroteres chapter 21 . 1/15/2015
Interesting that you're having Gaara and Shukaku come to an accord of sorts so quickly, though I suppose Gaara did sweeten the deal rather nicely. Freedom when he dies, gets the chance to beat the shit out of Kurama (or his container, Shukaku doesn't sound like he's picky), Gaara will attempt to preach acceptance to his people, gets the chance to put Kurama in his place, Gaara will give him control to speak for himself at times, gets the chance to humiliate Kurama...good times, good times.
In other news, Utakata is still sort of an asshole (with pretty legitimate reasons, even if it was a misunderstanding), Kiba's dad is a manipulative bastard, the women of Sand seem to have cornered the market on relationship issues, Lee's grandfather is a taskmaster that somehow makes Gai's training regimens look like "baby's first exhaustion regimen", and Naruto is still sitting on his ass and doing nothing...hehe, Sage training.
Neji with wind element Jūken is admittedly sort of fucking terrifying. When he did what I'm assuming was a Wind Style: Vacuum Palm, I got the impression that it would be very effective at turning the human body to mulch...oh god he can turn Zetsus into plant food XD. I can imagine Wind Style: Kaiten is the kind of counterattack dreams (and nightmares) are made of.
I personally prefer Lightning as a Hyūga element because of how well it fits the theme of making debilitating strikes with the softest touch, but I'll admit that Wind is an interesting fit as well.
Sort of surprised that Sai has had his Heel Face Turn moment so quickly, but admittedly the foundation is there. Sai always came across as one of Danzo's less "successfully" conditioned agents. Well that and putting a Root agent on any team consisting in majority of people from the Konoha 12 is about the quickest way possible to compromise a Root agent's emotional conditioning post Chunin Exams.
Anyways, I can't wait to see when things start converging. There's been a lot of set up throughout this story, and it will great to see when it all starts to come to a head.
On a separate note, yeah there definitely becomes a point where chapter length becomes an issue, especially for anyone who doesn't have a lot of time to put into reading at any one time. Your chapters average what, 22k words? Average adult reading speed is 250-300 wpm according to Wikipedia (Take that how you will 'shrugs'.). You might be able to increase that value for the average fanfiction reader but who knows. Anyways, that average means that your chapters take the "average" person 72-88 minutes to read an average length chapter. Assuming that people prefer to finish a chapter in one sitting, your chapters can be...daunting. Pushing for chapters even longer than what you're currently doing would be excessive.
| samsaraknight chapter 21 . 1/15/2015
This is my favorite chapter so far. you hit it out of the park! I am glad that you kept up with Lee and Neji's Wushu bonding experience but it was also nice to see a day in the life of the Kazekage. Gaara is a diligent leader and I enjoyed how he interacted with his ninja and even cracked a joke for the genin. He's still the tough guy we remember but very down to earth. wow, so he's going to be working with Shukaku? Sweet! He's actually going to beat Naruto in terms of Biju chakra mastery. what a curveball. And it looks like things are heating up in Tide Village. Tazuna and Gaara are sure to discover Utakata's identity and poor Matsuri was let down by her almost-sweetheart. I want to slap Menma, but I have a hunch that waitress just said that to scare Matsuri away from him. Bitch.
Kudos for the Temari scene, by the way. She is a mature and confident woman, but by the time I finished reading Haku's letter I was about ready to cry too. It was so fucking sad and it's hard to think about what they missed out on because they've been apart. I hope they get back together and I hope you make it raunchy. They make for one interesting pairing.
Tenten had a brief feature as she grew to like Yugao, the new Mrs. Gekko, who is a cool woman who is both nice and deadly. Hayate keeps up his stick-in-the-mud teacher routine but has apparently given Tenten some snazzy jutsu. So she has Shadow Clones? you did that off screen but it works because you wanted to move on to advanced techniques. I'll buy it. And she has what I imagine is one of those epic Chinese movie swords now! That is just sick awesome. Looking forward to Tenten wrecking face! I hope it won't replace her use of weapon summoning, but we'll see. usually you're good about balancing characters so I should chill.
Then back to Lee and Neji who are the obvious stars. Loved it. Can't stop loving it. Where you went with the Wushu/ Kung Fu style training really is an original approach that also make a lot of sense for them. Fundamentally they are characters based on those influences, but they never had anything that screamed Chinese other than Tenten's bun-styled hair. Pretty much. Lee's grandpa is putting them through hell and some of those exercises were pure comedy. I was cracking up as I visualized Neji balancing on his head all pissed. It's great that they are sharpening new skills. Speaking of which: WIND RELEASE. That was FAST. I am totally fine with it. It wasn't too contrived to see Neji discover an ability that he was teetering on the edge of discovering, then finally harness it with some guideance from Hideyasu. He is such a nice guy that Hideyasu. You have made the Hyuga clan way nicer than most interpretations authors have of them, but it sits well. Preferable to other incarnations of them I read in other stories. Thanks for that. So Neji has a Wind-Air-Palm that levels landscapes! Fucknuggets. He can kill people if he screws that up. Scary but amazing at the same time.
Then that ratface Danzo interupts Tsunade and sticks Sai on a team with Neji and Lee, supposedly to help them? Bull. It's a trap! It was obvious from the start that Danzo wants to hand them over for one reason or another and I wish the Hokage had been more of a bulldog about it. Oh well, at least she protected Tenten in that instance. Props to Tsunade. oof and that Kiba scene? his dad is a first class dick and i hope he gets what he deserves!
As I expect of you, Sai is generally hilarious. Ladyhair and Superbrows don't take well to their new nicknames. He is also so out of touch with social proprieties and I was glad to see that Neji, of all people, set him on track to the path of good-personhood. Neji's still jogging down that one, though.
Aside from being suspicious of Sai, badguy Bi's scary henchman, the map mission and then Sai's change of heart leading into Neji and Lee's call to action...the real clincher in the latter half of this chapter was Neji and Lee's conversation about Tenten. Oh. My. God. It was so simple and yet so heartbreaking. Lee just said what Neji couldn't. He is probably in love. How the hell do you write these scenes with so much feels? I really, really sympathized with poor Ol' Neji who is trying hard to become "good" and be a true friend. And like Lee said, he HAS changed, but Neji needs to reconcile with that. The way he regards Tenten and thinks of her, every line of it feels like you are clubbing me over the head dammit...
Please oh please let Tenten come back so Neji can jump on her. I don't care if they do it right there. They belong together. I am dying. Next chapter stat.
| Fanfiction Bard chapter 21 . 1/15/2015
| animefreak chapter 20 . 12/24/2014
what happened to this story? i am quite new at reading fan fiction. and this is the second story ive read by you. i am loving it! but the story isnt complete... at the bottom of the story it says chapter 21 but it doesnt open... some guidance plz. really wana finish this.
| angelic charity chapter 20 . 12/24/2014
hi! im new at reading fan fiction and i am loving it so far. your stories are by far the best ive read. there is something i need your help with though. i cannot see the chapters after 20... a little help plz... i dont really understand what to do. thanks in advance
| Morlin chapter 20 . 12/22/2014
I hope that you'll find this review to your liking sir. It has been kept corked for approximately 1 month.
Something of a breather chapter after the drama that was Hikune's death. It was a nice and calm read. So you're either building up to a shit storm of some kind or you're just giving us a rest while still progressing the story of our young heroes, whose emotional life is as important as their high flying super battles, if not more so.
Starting off with Obito and Rin's continued family life. Yuma remains incredibly adorable and I really want to see him meeting many more of the cast. Oh, he and Sato would be diabetes inducing together I bet. Obito trying to track down Jiraiya would probably lead to him meeting Naruto, if Obito is able to track them to mount Myoboku that is. That would certainly be interesting. For now teach his kid how to breath fire and having sex with his wife will have to do.
Naruto's forced to sit down and contemplate things in both stressed out and relaxing ways. It goes well with his sage chakra training and it's a good way of showing progressiong for the kid without needing to repeatedly display his ability to sit still and get whacked across the head. I'm pleased to see that his frustration with Jiraiya witholding information seems to have mellowed down somewhat. Overall, it's just nice to see the kid consider everything from the advice he never gave Gaara to what he should with Kurama to EVERYTHING regarding his relationship with Hinata. He's giving it serious thought and there are no easy answers and his best advisor is a pervy old man and two toads. It's good reading is what I'm saying.
Little sidetrack. With Naruto wondering whether Gaara's told Sakura about Shukaku or not, always thought it was funny that Gaara knew the name of his bijuu before we knew that it was the thing's name, and Sakura getting mail from Gaara I am curious to see if we'll get some further development there. Or maybe I'm just reaching. '
Team Gai are the unquestionable stars of this chapter with all manner of things befalling them. Lee's good natured personality bringing Neji out of his funk, mostly, was very nice to read, also nice and believable that it took more than just Lee being nice to get it done. I have mixed feelings about Lee' grandfather but the crotchtey old asshole did give Neji something else to focus on which was what he needed so good on him, still kinda want to see him get smacked in the face though. Neji's been a roller coaster for quite some time now. This chapter alone we're seeing him go from sullen and moody to friendly (by his standards) and open-minded to mischevous to finally understanding as Tenzo (who as always got the butt-monkey part) talked him down from disobeying Tsunade's orders.
My heart kinda broke as Tenten thought that Lee and Neji didn't even try to contact her. In general the desire to hug her was very strong this chapter so I was very glad that she got to talk to her gal pals and act like a normal person for a change. Otherwise her situation would've seen a bit too despondent. I actually want to take this opportunity to commend the amount of work put in to make the kunoichi feel like a true group of friends. I'll probably start comparing them to the mane 6 from MLP:FiM if I don't stop right now. It's nice.
And Kiba finally returns to the stage and offers help to a little kid. A quiet and simple moment but no less heroic. I quite loved it.
So overall, a fine breather chapter where plenty of emotions got laid bare while others are still building up and it feels like the characters have made some important decisions, or at least are on the way to doing so. Keep up the good work. Also, merry christmas and happy new year.
| Morlin chapter 19 . 12/21/2014
Do I have any good excuse? *looks through* Nope. Just a sincere I'm really sorry for doing this. Again. And now on to the review.
With one fell swoop this became the most dramatic and stakes raising chapter yet. While we've seen death before it was either in canon (Hiruzen) or a despicable antagonist (Kabuto). Hikune was a good man with human flaws a complex relationships with different characters in the story. Because of this his death is not only unexpected but genuinely tragic. It's not the grandest of deaths and I suspect not the most important I suspect but it has put an edge on things. Koinyu has cemented his position as a cruel and serious threat. The mystery of Tenten's family situation is now clearer and the threat to her life is more palpable, and she's been isolated for her cloesest friends. Neji's having a horribly frustrating time in general and that is nothing compared to how Tsunade is feeling. Love the scene between them. It was tense and deeply enthralling.
And it's not just the matter of a threat becoming more imminent that's showing that we're heading into more mature territory. Naruto's recurring thoughts about intimate actions with his girlfriend is a natural progression for a young man in love and it certainly helps the character feel like he's moving forward in not just his combat ability but in maturity as well. Haku's reaction to this was hilarious by the way.
I really enjoyed the unexpected nature of the Sand/Sound showdown. Chiyo is there to be a badass but she gets put to sleep. Gaara, Sakura and Kakashi show up to be awesome but it turns out that they weren't needed. Matsuri and Menma have a dramatic battle against the big bad of that arc, then Utakata shows up and wipes the floor with him casually. It was fun and kept me on my toes. But as much as I like it I can't help but feel that it didn't really fit in with the rest of the content in the chapter. Most of it was either an update on the situation of the main protagonists or things involving Hikune and/or Tenten. Then there's this big battle acting as the closer for another storyline (most of which had been covered in the previous chapter) smack dab in the middle of the chapter. It's not bad at all, but I do believe that it sticks out in a bit of an odd way compared to the rest of the content.
Otherwise a great chapter, funny moments, serious story progression and the grief is handled really well. Now on to the next one.
| DemonVermin chapter 20 . 12/7/2014
Whew I finally remember the name of this fic and I notice that nearly 12 chapters have been added. I had been followin since Forlorn and I have no idea how I lost the link to this... So far this has been a great read, love yer OCs and love the story ya have as of now. Lookin forward ta the next chap and will be here for it from now on.