Reviews for The Empty Cage
Endgames chapter 57 . 8/29
Awesome story. I had to reread it, again, and "Never trust your eyes" still gives me the shivers. I hope to see more of it sometime.
erikalikesfire chapter 4 . 8/17
So I guess I'm coming to this story about 55 chapters too late to have an opinion, but here's what I'm hoping for: I'd like to see Kuushou become his role enough that he can connect and be genuine. His contemptuous thoughts after every fake interaction during the scenes from his viewpoint are getting a little tired, and why/how he chose Naruto-who-never-was as his cover personality is a little sad but mostly perplexing.

I'm looking at this as Kuushou being a deep cover agent, and over time you would expect someone in that situation to actually have the thoughts and feelings that they pretend to have. This could lead to some great drama as he realizes that he's being humanized and has to make a choice to accept or reject these changes in himself.

I think these comments could have been really great four years ago. Ah, well. Review bump!
BlueScreen26 chapter 58 . 8/14
That's VERY good work. I'm impressed. Original, well written, good plot, no Harem, no God-mode Naruto. Please, finish the story ! :(
Guest chapter 58 . 7/21
After three relentless days of reading, I've finally reached the current chapter. The story is marvelously well-written!
Guest chapter 17 . 7/19
This story is so good I literally didn't sleep throught the night so I could continue reading! Thrilling!
Flamewulf chapter 58 . 7/12
I came across both this story and its spin-off (Swapping The Cage). Both are absolutely brilliant, and I really want to express my awe and thanks for your imagination.

The Empty Cage is especially original. I love how you have structured your AU universe, and your focus on the different characters which tend to get ignored (The Kyuubi, Itachi, Ino, Hiruzen Sarutobi, etc).

I'm truly sorry to see that both your stories haven't been updated in a couple of years ... though I am guilty of that myself, so I really have no basis to complain :P I did check out your profile and in there you did indicate that you were working on completing this story. I wish you all the best in this effort and I look forward to when and if you post another chapter.

reviewer chapter 58 . 6/28
lovely chapter
EagleJarl chapter 58 . 6/28
I spent the vast majority of this chapter frustrated and confused because big pieces were missing. Now, at the end, they seem to have mostly fallen into place. I think. Let's see if I have this right:

Akatsuki wiped out the village of whatever it was (Taki?) and framed Iwa for it. That started SWW IV. Ino and Naruto were deployed to the front. Ino was behind the lines and her camp was attacked by the lava wielder. At roughly the same time Naruto was fighting Orochimaru-in-Minato's-body. Oro got a shot it and took some of Naruto's blood to that guy who can transfer damage from himself to you if he has your blood. He kept stabbing himself and putting the damage on Naruto; apparently the damage was fatal based on the way it was set up, although it sounded not nearly as bad as what Naruto has tanked before. Just as Naruto is dying Ino teleports in, needing healing. She then immediately drops dead, although I was under the impression that she was just badly burned. Naruto decides not to die and resurrects himself into a more powerful beast-body, which apparently has different blood because he's not taking damage any more from that blood ritual...? I think? He scoops up Ino's dead body and runs away with it. Somehow he resurrects her. Somehow he gets with some of the other Bijuu and found their own country. Now Ino is trying to negotiate a treaty between this new country and Konoha.

Is that about right?

Then there was the whole mess with Akatsuki fighting Gaara and Yugito talking to Tsunade. I've completely lost track of those situations - Gaara and his sibs are are Deidara and Fuu, but Fuu is apparently brain-burned, as is one of the others? Why? Kushina and Tsunade are separated, but I'm not sure why.

Maybe I'm just not paying enough attention, but if you wouldn't mind doing a recap summary in the next chapter, that would be great.
EagleJarl chapter 49 . 6/28
Did Ino die of her wounds? There didn't seem to be a "this is fatal" vibe in the description, but then she suddenly fell over. Especially since Naruto is apparently talking to her at the end, so now I have no idea what to expect.

When Orochimaru was incoming you started off by referring to him as Minato, then switched to Orochimaru; I wasn't clear on whether Oro was there in his own body as well, or just remote piloting Minato. Sounds like it was the latter.
EagleJarl chapter 34 . 6/28
Have to admit, I'm going that you don't kill the Hokage in this story. It would be a nice change from every other piece of fiction out there.
EagleJarl chapter 32 . 6/27
Go easy on the smirking, especially when it's the Hokage. "Smirk" is basically a contraction of "smug jerk" and that isn't the Hokage. (And yes, I know, it isn't really a contraction. Still, the definition is "smile in an irritatingly smug, conceited, or silly way", and none of those fits the Hokage.)
EagleJarl chapter 29 . 6/27
A lot of badness and sadness in this chapter. Hiruzen losing his relationship with the boy he regarded as his grandson, finding that a reasonable if hard choice has more or less ruined Kushina's life, feeling the fear and sadness in Hiruzen as he tried to choose a successor and went into what he expected to be a battle that would kill him...lots of sad parts, all evocatively done.

The only thing I think wasn't a good move was the ease with which Naruto beat the Hokage. You've already got an issue with him being too powerful to face meaningful challenges, but until now I've been thinking "oh, that's just because he's only fighting genin." When you put him up against the top ninja in the world and have it be a curbstomp...well, at that point I don't see how you have any more tension ever.
EagleJarl chapter 26 . 6/27
Personally, I like the commentary by the jonin. It adds a certain personableness to the fighting, humanizes it.

The fight with Shikamaru confused me. Doesn't his shadow have to come from him and be contiguous? From the description it sounded like it started somewhere else, then curled around and didn't actually ever reach him. I couldn't really follow the action there.

Poor Kiba. He really is the butt monkey in this story, isn't he? Poor kid; still, he pretty much deserves it. :)
EagleJarl chapter 25 . 6/27
So, if I followed this right, Sasuke's team was targeting Kurenai's team, so K loaned S their marker so that S could pass, then they gave it back so that K could pass. Is that right? If so, a little more meat in that scene would have been nice so it wasn't so unclear.

The battle with Chouji and Hinata was well done. At first I was expecting Chouji to be spamming giant waves of tiles at her as an AoE attack, but the armor made more sense. I feel sorry for Chouji, never winning, but the fight was fun to read.
EagleJarl chapter 24 . 6/27
I love questions and answer sessions like that one - someone who wants to help, but is constrained, so you have to feel around the edges of the issue. You handled it well.

Does Jiraiya know who the Sword and the Hammer are? It sounds like the two of them aren't working for Konoha anymore, so maybe not.

The only thing that does but me here is that I feel like I'm expected to know who's on he various teams, and I have no clue. Should I know who team 9 is? I don't think that's Naruto et al, but I don't know. I realize it's way after the fact now, but if you felt like editing in a summary somewhere of any teams that we are supposed to know, that would be great.
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