|Reviews for Gutters|
| Devin Trinidad chapter 20 . 9/12
This was so amazing, entertaining, well written, etc. etc. ! My gosh, the entire time I was reading this, I was on the edge of my seat and just thriving on the suspense and thrill of this adventure!
I've been a fan of Hetalia since 2012 and let me tell you, I have never read Gutters before. I could have and I should have, but I never found the will or the interest to read this story. How? And for some odd reason, I happened to evade all spoilers so when I say that I came here with very few warnings and low expectations, I mean it.
AND BOY WAS I IN FOR A WHILE RIDE.
I don't know what I thought was coming, but in the very first chapter ALONE, THE FREAKING APOCALPYSE HAPPENS, SEALAND GETS SEPARATED FROM FRANCE AND ENGLAND, PEOPLE ARE ALREADY DISFIGURED AND DYING, WHAT THE HECK WHAT THE HECK WHAT THE HECK? My gosh, if you wanted to knock me flat on my back, you did so with a quick punch to the gut. Surely, that would have been enough, right? But no! You just kept going and going with more tragedy, horror, and the dawning realizing that things are going to continue getting worse.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT? THAT IS SO AWESOME!
I love the premise and the fact that you didn't overload the audience with too much exposition. Instead, you let the events of what happened after the Calamity speak for themselves (from the woman who died in the first chapter, to the scenes of thievery and escape, etc). It was so well executed and well written, I can only strive to write as well you!
And what really pulled this story through was the characters. Plot and grammar were good enough on their own, but my gosh, you made two characters that I have little to no interaction or interest in seem lifelike and personal to me. I've read this is another review and I agree, this is a coming of age story of Sealand. I've read a few books like that before, but you simply take it to another level.
Sealand is such a young child, despite his status as a personification is so heartbreakingly raw and real compared to the maturity of Denmark. When we come across that scene in the story where Sealand tries to act more grown up and refusing to play basketball because they had no time... It really broke me. And I think your choosing Denmark to be the one there for him really made this story poignant and long lasting as it has. Because Gutters would be completely different if it was Sweden, Finland, Norway, or Iceland or any other nation. Truly, it would be an interesting scenario to explore, but to see Denmark be so mature and calm and so blunt?
He doesn't treat Sealand like a child, but he knows that as a child, he should sometimes act like one, even in moments of extreme hardship.
And truly? I think this story holds up so well because these characters feel so real. They hold each other when cold, they care for each other, tell each other stories, endure hardship after hardship. My gosh, I think my favorite part of this is when Denmark reveals that he wants to let a scar stay on his forehead because he wants to remember Netherlands and Sealand accepts it because he also did the same with a scar on his finger. It's moments like these where the nations/personifications aren't just some stereotype of their people, but also human.
And I think that's awesome-especially when this was first posted. I can recount countless fanfics where the characters don't really act human. Instead, they act like the dub made them act (superficial, hilarious, but nothing fully substantial). However, with Gutters, you made every characters (no matter how trivial their role in the story) stand out. You have Netherlands and his love for his sister which ultimately led to a betrayal, Poland and his caustic sarcasm (but his love for people still shining through), the North American twins and how they still have hope no matter what.
You still use stereotypes and the mannerisms from canon, but it's... It's more real, more plausible. You can easily characterize America's optimism as a defense mechanism against the Calamity, you can easily tell that Netherlands is desperate for his sister to be alive... No one is truly good in this story, but no one is truly bad either. You made these characters so multidimensional and so much more than their nations and I love you for it.
Which brings up Denmark.
You see, I think the reason why I didn't read this story way back then was because I didn't have a full appreciation for the Nordics. I didn't know their history, their culture, and when I saw the tag included Denmark and Sealand, well... I wasn't too interested. Yet, I guess in the era of COVID, I think I wanted to take a chance... and I AM SO GLAD I DID.
I love your take and characterization on Denmark. One of the bits that I found really interesting was that Sealand noted that Denmark was never willing to ask for help, that he was blunt and truthful even regarding matters that are morbid, and no matter what, he always kept Sealand's safety prioritized one his own. You made what appeared to be the 'America' of the Nordics his own person and if I ever do write for him in the future, I'm going to be taking pointers from you.
Another note: I love your little tidbits of lore concerning the interaction and nature of nations. Ida and her family was a good addition and showed that every nation has a connection to their people. It was a good turning point and it was almost intrusive that both Sealand and the reader watched Denmark interact with the family. (And kudos to you for including Ida in the end... even if it was in a bittersweet way). Also, loved the fact that the Nordics are Lords of Sealand (that's so cute!) and that Denmark just... I'm so glad that he did what he did in the end, but it still hurts me.
SPEAKING OF HURTING ME... THESE LAST THREE CHAPTERS WERE LIKE YOU WERE PUNCHING ME IN THE FACE, OFFERING ICE FOR THE BRUISE, AND THEN DUMPING MY BODY ON A TRAIN TRACK FOR THE NEXT TRAIN. WHAT THE HECK?
I thought... I thought that they were both going to make it...
I won't say much because this review is getting too long, but thank you. Thank you for making the start of the grieving process so realistic, and yet so melancholy at the same time. It was beautiful. It was heartrending. And it tore my heart to know Norway and the others are hurting...
And the little lore about nations living for an additional three days after a loss of their heartbeat? *cries*
Anywhoozles, special mention to Ivan for being awesome, the idea of sewing and hosting the flags, Sealand growing in population and growing into his own, letters for therapy, PINEAPPLE AND BEER, Hans Christian Anderson, etc. etc.
You did a wonderful job and while I know that there is only a very slim chance that you'll read this, I just want to let you know that this changed my perspective on Denmark and Sealand forever. If not for you, I would not have realized the nuances in characterization and the gem this story holds. Truly, their relationship is so pure and untainted-it was beautiful.
And the world keeps turning.
Furthermore, I guess this story also gives me hope for the end of COVID? It's just a story, but it's a powerful one and I want to let you know that you should never take your stories down. They're a treasure to the community and anyone else who likes good literature.
AND ONE FINAL THOUGHT: You have no idea how much I love the trope of 'bookends'. In the first chapter, Sealand thinks everyone is insane and the same goes for the last chapter. Your cleverness is awesome and it ends the story on a positive note.
Great job and I hope that you have a wonderful day! :D
| Ali chapter 17 . 7/9
I will tell you, I haven't cried throughout this entire book, but reading that last paragraph I just... I don't even know, but it was like a mix between a laugh and a giant sob, I guess? All I can say is :Goddamn, you are an amazing author. The way you brought the characters to life, not to mention the story you're telling is incredible, so inspiring.
| Ali chapter 16 . 7/9
THIS IS NOT OKAY.
| Kelly10 chapter 20 . 4/12
I just found this due to the recent tribute story posted, and it blew me away with it's haunting beauty. I didn't even think the characters were OC under the terrible circumstances of the fic. I'm really surprised I never found it before.
I see you never finished your prequel story about how this all went down. I know this was really a coming-of-age fic for Sealand/Peter at heart, but it begs for side stories. Germany/Prussia/N. Italy/Spain, England/France as you only hinted at, of course. Maybe the Baltics (Estonia is very close to Finland, and I'd love to see what Lithuania would have to say about what Poland was pulling). Asia - specifically Japan and China - were not even mentioned. The possibilities are endless.
It looks like you haven't posted in a long time, but I just wanted to give my congratulations on this epic and further encouragement.
| ahekwa chapter 1 . 4/11
Okay so I gotta leave a comment, (kinda makes me sad that it's been 10 years and author propably won't read it). This story was really great, got me emotional. I was reluctant to read it because Ive never been fond of Sealand, but I don't regret reading it even a bit. I'm glad you shared this story with us!
| marcy911 chapter 1 . 4/9
the fact that people still leaves comments here after 11 years speaks volumes. you have created something beautiful and resonated with so many people. i read Gutters back in 2012 and i still comeback to read it from time to time. thank you so much
| Count OCD chapter 7 . 2/28
Just an observation. In Parallel lines, Tino was hemophobic, and here, Sealand's hemophobic. guess it runs in the family. (: also, really great writing so far, I love it
| Guest chapter 20 . 12/16/2020
So much time passed and I get to know this fanfiction only now,very well-written story and a good plot,I struggled to not cry in front of my family while I was reading some parts. But in the end I got to laugh because I got an Ikea advertisement while I was reading the reviews. Sorry,I may have misspelled some words because English is not my first language. Ciao~
| Bravi chapter 20 . 11/2/2020
It’s been so long since I read this. I can’t believe this story is 10 years old now.
I read this back in middle school and now, I’m applying for college.
I thought it’d be nice to check on something that signifies a bit of my adolescence and I’m glad I found this story all those years ago. I’m sure you’re not active in the fandom anymore and I myself have moved on in life but this nostalgia really reminds me of another time.
So, thank you. I’m grateful.
| GreyLiliy chapter 20 . 10/22/2020
A lovely person sent me this story as a recommendation and I'm so glad to have read it. It's proof that good stories withstand the test of time.
"Gutters" is such an accurate title, because it gutted me in the best way. If I had to describe what I loved about this story I'd have to say "Everything." From the rich, wonderful descriptions to the emotions and feelings of every character. It's raw and gutting, but not entirely without hope and those little light moments really make it all the sweeter at the end.
This story was phenomenal and I am so happy it was here. Thank you so much for sharing it!
| Guest chapter 20 . 10/16/2020
10 years after you finished writing this, and it still gives me the chills. Every time I need a good cry, I return to this fic. Honestly, this is my favorite thing I have ever read. Thank you so much for writing this. Time and time again, you have changed my life. Thank you.
| unicornhorse160 chapter 12 . 10/12/2020
this is ancient and i'm new to he fandom but holy
i came here for good times and happiness because of that stupid cover
I GET ANGST
you prolly aren't even active lol, but if you are and you get this, thank you and i hate your guts
thank you for writing a good fic
i hate your guts for what i know is gonna happen
i dont actually hate your guts.
i love your guts. theyre pretty okay.
but im going to be salty about Romano for a while ;-;
| Guest chapter 1 . 9/4/2020
I can't believe I read this when I began high school. I've graduated since then. This fic came to my mind for no reason at all, and I have to start reading this again. I'm not part of the fandom anymore, but then again, great stories like these go beyond just "fanfiction."
Author, wherever you are now, I hope you know that years later, your work is still in my heart. I hope you're still proud of this.
| mymbled chapter 20 . 7/4/2020
I can't believe I'm crying over hetalia fanfictions in 2020. God this is amazing. Thank you so much. I'll be cosplaying Denmark from this au once I've saved up enough. Godddd it's 4 am and I'm sobbing
| Rakiah Baker chapter 20 . 5/23/2020
Beautiful. Sad but beautiful!