Reviews for The Empty Cage
Bloody Relight chapter 28 . 11/22
I doubt jiraiya would have stayed loyal to keep konoha in the scenario you concocted here.
Ashera fanfics chapter 58 . 11/10
Nice chapter, sad you ended up dropping this story. At least we get a hint of what was supposed to happen next.
Ashera fanfics chapter 56 . 11/10
Good plot twists, nice alliances.

Although IMHO the fight scenes are messy. Not bad, just hard to follow. Your paragraphs are too long, which means too much information, an overload of details that quickly becomes impossible to imagine.

I still don't understand the last 8 or so paragraphs of the fight, I get a vague idea of what's happening but it's like I'm trying to read a whole battlefield at once, my brain simply can't process that much intel in such a short time.

I know this fiction is old and maybe your writing has improved since that time, but just in case, try to think of the battle scenes as a movie. The background is not necessary, you're trying to follow the action in real time, which means cutting it short. If I take 5 minutes to read 20 seconds of action, it means you need to ditch every unnecessary element until I can read 20 seconds in one minute and process what I've read, as I, the reader, am the one you're telling your story to.

Don't play the whole fight in slow motion to give every detail. Just use slow motion when necessary, to grasp a key moment of the fight, to make us feel like the character barely dodging a killing blow, but don't play everything slowly to detail every movement. Just imagine the scene in real time and tell it as you see it, going with the natural flow of motions, skip unimportant stuff and go straight to the point.

From: "She evaded the swipe of her enemy's chain by a hair and could see the complex sealing array engraved in the rings as it passed her by. She turned her head while turning her body to follow the motion and launch a turning slash of her sword, which grazed her opponent's cheek and left a small trail of blood, but then she saw the head get closer and closer and felt her nose being crushed under the pressure of the headbutt..."

To: "She barely evaded her enemy's chain with seal arrays running on it, turning on herself to deliver a slash. Her sword grazed her opponent's cheek, but she was closing in with the headbutt the other woman was delivering her. She felt and heard the breaking of her nose as pain and blood rushed from it."

From details that you can barely understand and that don't flow with the action, you can tell what matters (the sealing array might be important later, because it probably delivers something nasty, the headbutt doesn't need to be described for a whole line but the sensations of her nose breaking is important and could deserve a slow motion to put the reader into the character's boots, to make one imagine the cracking sound, the pain and the blood flooding out). That's if you have such details to even put in.

For a scene without any consequence: "she barely evaded the chain with sealing arrays by flipping on her foot and delivered a horizontal slash of her sword that grazed her opponent's cheek. She jumped back to avoid a headbutt."

Just keep minimal amounts of information. If there's nothing important happening, just write: "they traded blows, evading each other's attacks or barely getting a scratch."

In Naruto, every damn fight takes 30 minutes of real time. In real life, a fight rarely lasts 3 minutes (one round of boxing), most fights between half competent fighters don't even last one minute. Shinobi are spies, assassins. They're not supposed to fight for long durations, they find a weak point and kill their opponent or disable them. This can take a second in a real life fight. In Naruto everything happens 20x faster.

Don't make fights last 15 minutes of reading because it's hard to follow and simply breaks suspension of disbelief. Except when two juggernauts with high speed regeneration fight, there's no reason to spend more than 5 short paragraphs on a single duel especially a dynamic one.

I hope this can help you write more readable action scenes. I don't particularly like writing action scenes because I prefer watching them than reading them, and that's probably because like Naruto I have a kinesthetic memory so when I read or listen to something that doesn't catch me or that sends me too deep in my imagination I simply lose the text, continue reading like a robot while I'm focused on something else and I come back 3 paragraphs later without knowing what I've just read.

"More is less". Find the minimal amount of words to tell what you want. I don't know if we're from the same generation, but people these days don't have a big attention span. Catch theirs by cutting the fluff and getting straight to the point.

Nearly finished with this story, I'll check your profile to see if younve written something else. I like your story as a whole, nice change from most of what I've read.
Ashera fanfics chapter 51 . 11/9
Wow, your Pain might be even more evil than the original one, at least with tailed beasts.
I didn't expect Jiraya and Pain to work together against the nine demons, it must be the first time I read a fiction where Jiraya turns into an enemy of Naruto/Kyuubi without him being a traitor. Well, he's gonna get slapped at that point if he opposes him.
Ashera fanfics chapter 27 . 11/7
Wow your Sarutobi is even more an asshole than canon Sarutobi, borderline Danzo...he kidnapped Naruto and kept Kushina in custody because she was attached to her baby...her newborne baby who had been kidnapped and used as a sacrifice for the safety of the village.
Take a woman's baby from her, give her a gun and see what she does to the kidnapper...now instead make that woman a seal master with high jounin level and watch.
I bet on the woman.
Ashera fanfics chapter 4 . 11/6
I hope there's a good reason for Naruto and Kushina to be separated. Why would they make him an orphan if his mother is still alive and not in a coma or unable to take care of him for some reason. I'd rather kill her than separate her from her child, even though it's not really him she's not supposed to know that.
mephy chapter 46 . 9/17
well its a good story even if it starts off rather rocky and then continues like a hike instead of a stroll, oh well i still loved it.

it ignores several lets say laws without explaining shit and it changes certain events under preconceived notions (which are explained in deaitl) that the author can do better than kishimoto and to his/her credit sometime actually does a whole lot better.
as long as failure is not the name of the game... sometimes you want your chess pieces like mizuki get caught so you can scout out response times, reactions and directions from your target and while orochimarus inferiority complex towards minato was imo portrayed correctly the resulting actions differ widely...
oro a guy that lives to gather all the jutsus possible doesnt even want to learn the rasengan thats just about all one needs to know to see just how bad his inferiority complex is in canon and besides that one he pretty much already knows all the techniques in that forbidden scroll, hell he made a few of them viable and even invented others.
yet here he is jumping around bucking like a wild horse for hiraishin without much explanation and still the same inferiority complex.
another would be the fourth and the impure world reincarnation...

lastly this fanfic tires very hard to be and not to be a self insert naruto oc... which is a very hard split and results in a lot of lets call it
a multitasking complication.
its quite enjoyable until the plot runs out of steam and the author needs to setup new hooks which leads to period of a lot of filler where new charackters, problems, layouts and schemes get introduced but that alone isnt the problem its that up to that point there was always some kind of progress and then suddenly nothing, while the multitasking needs a lot more hooks to work as intended.
it feels quite disturbing for the reader, which the author also seemed to notice and jump started the next progression, a bit too soon since the plot ran out of steam again quite shortly, even though that this should be a story that sells it self,

multiple worlds, spirit beasts and demons fighting for dominance over the material plane and a particular lizard clan that tries to resurge again, all of this hidden in the world of naruto.

if feel enough motivation and joy to give this another try i would have a few ideas:
give (naruto) a connection to a member of that lizard clan and rewrite the deathgods payment so that it makes sense when put into the history of its use... as it stands the jinchuriki would always die because he/she is always with in the sphere of influence of the death domain at the time of the seal...
if you make that lizard clan member a (young) female you could even pull off a romeo and Juliet romance or at least a bit of comedy to tide your readers over the stale parts.
another idea would be to make it a soul fusion... narutos age 0 soul wouldnt have much of a notable influence on the collective personality but his 13 year old soul would have a certain amount of influence which would be a approach that would strip the si lable off since a soul fusion would naturaly be different from the individual personalities.

well also not all the people are treated equal by naruto in terms of emotional bonding even though there are several charackters that show the same or even a higher level of care and worry for him as/than his preferred little sister which was his trigger for bonding.

i think this plot including your changed events has a tremendous amount of potential and if you can find the joy of writing again inside of you i would love to see and read your second try.
Diametrik chapter 1 . 9/6
It doesn't seem to make sense that all other methods of sealing the bijuu have been rendered near ineffective in this AU, yet this one is waaay more effective. Like, sealing it into another dimension for 100 years? That's way too OP - not to mention, not worth the life of a single human (or two if you include Naruto).
Guest chapter 58 . 8/20
Damn. I guess this is my own fault for reading a story that was never finished and had its last update in 2013, what a shame it sounded like this story was so close to being finished.
Guest chapter 46 . 8/19
Ah damn, I really wanted to see Inoichi's reaction
Guest chapter 24 . 8/16
Man I don't know about revealing Kurama, isn't it a bit too early for that?
ClumsySavage chapter 58 . 8/14
Don't mislead readers anymore. This is an OC/SI in narutos body. Interesting writing but not what people are searching for.
thegrison chapter 2 . 7/30
Overall a bad story that is well told. Good luck
GymNatty321 chapter 3 . 6/8
Finally a fanfic where the civilian council uses logic and reasoning instead of screaming "TORTURE THE CHILD AND BRUTALILY KILL IT"
Irusha the Kitsune chapter 58 . 5/1
I
wh
NOOOO
THIS WAS SO GOOD I
I only found it yesterday and didn't notice it had been abandoned
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