Reviews for Cracked Mask
thousandyearflower chapter 19 . 12/28/2013
You just had to make him die D:

But it's a good story!
thousandyearflower chapter 15 . 12/28/2013
Sparkysbro chapter 19 . 12/23/2013
ProdigyOlympus chapter 19 . 12/9/2013
Sooo, Epilogue? But seriously amazing story really loved it, one of the most memorale ive read
Demonslayer572 chapter 19 . 12/2/2013
I just finished this, and... you're a right bastard, you know that? Making me cry like this... I'm supposed to be a man, damnit...
Kyo no Kitsune chapter 19 . 12/2/2013
Epilogue? No..? Whatever.
Kyo no Kitsune chapter 15 . 12/2/2013
Yo, what happened to you? This story is awesome, but you just up and disappear? I'm hesitant to continue reading from here because this story has apparently been abandoned by you. What the hell man?
Illuviar chapter 19 . 11/26/2013
That was epic!
Alwendil chapter 13 . 11/13/2013
I'm reading your story for the second time, mostly because I've decided to do a take on the "Naruto as a Hollow" premise. I absolutely despise much of the Bleach canon so it's going to be radically different, but I was inspired by you, so I thought I'd leave that there.

Anyway, my first review covers most of the points I'd make now, but I have a few more.

1. This interlude is poorly placed. I was annoyed that you sped through Naruto's development so quickly, and this chapter shows that you felt you went too fast as well. You know what that means? You did, and you should, rather than sticking this in the middle of the story, restructure the story to fit more early development in. This isn't a published work, it's fanfiction. You can change whatever you want. It’s important to keep moving forward and not to get bogged down in endless revising and adding, but this is an enormous flaw in the story.

2. I hate bleach because fights boil down to "I am stronger than you RRAGH." You lampshade this problem several times, but don't really do much to address it. As well, the powers in Bleach are, frankly, boring. Some of the Shikai and Bankai are interesting, but are severely underutilised. Here you had a chance to expand upon the arrancar's powers and give them the depth the Shinigami have, and unfortunately did not capitalise on it. Reading chapter after chapter of “he’s faster, he wins” and “she has greater spiritual presence, she wins” is damn boring.

3. I mentioned this last time. You didn't really do anything with the story, other than throw Naruto, Sakura, and Shikamaru into the mix. Characters stayed essentially the same, except Grimmjow and Harribel, and even then they acted pretty much the same. You had so much opportunity to explore the rest of Hueco Mundo, the nature of hollows, how they evolve, and etcetera and pissed it away. Good fanfiction isn't just "let's throw this character in," it also expands and (subjectively) improves upon the premise.

4. The more I think about it, the angrier I am that you had Naruto, even in the afterlife, relying on borrowed power for his victories. It's why I hate Naruto canon, and it's what's wrong with many fanfictions. Naruto is not the type to EVER fight on borrowed power, and would categorically refuse to use it unless he had pushed himself to the brink of death and still hadn't won. And even if he wins, it doesn’t feel as though he deserved to win. Why yes, of course it’s impressive you managed to defeat someone by drawing on the power of a great demon fox, while they kicked the shit out of you with power all their own. Bravo on a fair fight.

5. I was annoyed that you didn't give Naruto a form as a hollow that was dependent upon his character. For some reason, the Kyūbi is always projected onto Naruto as a fox motif. Guess what? That's not Naruto. The Kyūbi is not Naruto, or even an essential part of his personality. It’s an identifying character trait in the same way it would be to identify someone by any rare condition. That is: an asshole way to choose to characterise someone. Naruto’s spirit isn’t the fox, shouldn’t be the fox, and could be oh so much more.

An argument could be made that he could carry a fox motif on his own, but he doesn't seem sly or duplicitous enough to me, though he certainly doesn't lack for mischief. I haven’t given meticulous thought to what motif would fit Naruto, but a trickster or fox one doesn’t seem to fit, and especially not when you paint Naruto as gut-wrenchingly honest. A lion motif would fit better: he’s blonde, has whiskers, is fiercely protective of what he loves. There are so many innovative choices, and you went with the cliché. Sorry, but you don’t deserve praise for that.

And yes, I read that their spirits were intertwined. I hated that part as well. A cop out to keep the Kyūbi in as a plot-solver and innovation-negator. Frankly, the Kyūbi is an annoying little shit of a plot device.

6. I skimmed massive sections of the story. It’s very bloated. As well, every section you devoted to developing Sakura, Shikamaru, and Ichigo’s group was poorly executed. You should have FROM THE BEGINNING developed Sakura and Shikamaru significantly if you wanted them to be major characters. Otherwise, leave them out. And for all those scenes devoted to characters you never made me care about, I wanted to see ones devoted to Nel, Harribel, Starrk, and Grimmjow. If you’re going to give scene time to characters, you have to make me care about them first.

6a. I would honestly have very much enjoyed to read about Shikamaru and Sakura’s adventures in Sereitei in tandem with Naruto’s in Hueco Mundo. The problem is that when you introduced Sakura in chapter 3, it was a whole lot of uninteresting telling. The aphorism “show, don’t tell” exists for a reason, though it certainly isn’t an unbreakable rule.

All this isn’t to say that I dislike your story; it’s actually one of my favourite fanfictions (which is more of a statement to the dismal quality of fanfiction than it is to the quality of your story). Your style is as good as could be expected, and works wonderfully for casual writing. You have a good grasp of scene work, and a fair hand for dialogue. I have no problem with your technical skills, only with your creativity.

Several of my problems with the story come from my personal philosophy of fanfiction: “Don’t strictly adhere to canon. Change as much as you want, to whatever you want, so long as logic is consistent.” It’s nice to keep some little details the same for continuity. In fact, it’s actually less horrendous to change larger things than smaller ones, oddly enough. If the characters are the same, but the world and story are radically different, yet still well written and logical, you receive accolades. I’d argue that the writing in Bleach is terrible and the world is horridly underdeveloped, and so any changes you would make there could only improve the story.

At least, in my eyes it would be an improvement.

You haven’t been active on fanfiction for over two years, so I assume you’ve grown out of it. Whether that’s the case or not, I hope I provided some useful criticism.
n0mster chapter 19 . 11/7/2013
Wow, well this was an extremely entertaining story, definitely one of the better Bleach stories on the site, I have to admit that I'd have preferred a happy ending, I guess without knowing the epilogue, it's still possible that Naruto somehow survived his final clash with Aizen. After all, he's had quite a few battles where he either died or was thought to have died, it's not unreasonable to think that despite him and Kyuubi thinking that unleashing their nine tailed form would be fatal, it simply caused him to become unconscious or sent him somewhere far away, since that was the first and only time they'd resorted to using it.

Anyway, your Naruto was a bit weak at times, but I definitely liked how near the end, everyone admitted that his potential and increases in power were unrivalled, they were just held in place by Naruto's own true desire. To seem dwarf Aizen in terms of power near the end, such that even the Hougyoku surrendered to him, was awe-inspiring. Now that I think of it, it's also possible that since the Hyougoku can sense a person's true wishes, then rather than simply destroying itself after 'downgrading' Aizen, it could have helped Naruto survive his otherwise fatal transformation, be it by joining with him or simply healing him of all his wounds. This would definitely be a pleasant surprise after Naruto's 'death', and allow him to pursue his romantic interests and finally attain some solid happiness.

Hopefully you'll eventually write the epilogue and finish this story, your author note does hint as to further developments which does make me hold out some hope that the true ending is indeed happy.
Siari chapter 19 . 11/6/2013
reapertmn3 chapter 19 . 11/4/2013
I really enjoyed reading this story, it was amazing. I really liked the fight with naruto and hollow ichigo, also the battle between all of the shinigami versus aizan, I also kinda agree that I also somewhat liked aizan later after he was transforming.

Love how it ended and I also would like to thank the beta for doing sch a good job, I don't think I noticed any spelling mistakes.

Lillinete getting starkes powers was also very cool. Good job and I can't wait to read the epilogue.

willy.hizzy chapter 19 . 11/1/2013
So, when are you releasing this epilogue again?
willy.hizzy chapter 14 . 10/30/2013
If naruto was owned by Harribel and Stark without them having to use ressurecion then I doubt Ulquiorra will need it, not to mention that his second release makes him the strongest arrancar/espada.
TheMysteriousOtaku chapter 19 . 10/28/2013
this was a very very well done fan fic, i do have to say you did a amazing job on the ending, it was highly believable and would go with what naruto would have done, i almost cried a little when i got to the scene when he was disappearing and said ashes to ashes... goodbye amazing job
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