GinsengH
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Joined 02-29-08, id: 1512654, Profile Updated: 12-30-23

I use this as an outlet to organize my thoughts on fanfiction and to sometimes vent.

To anyone I may have left a review to:

First, this site features the ability to mark stories as favorites and follow them for updates. But there is no way to flag a story as one you do not wish to see listed again. So, the comments that I leave serve two purposes. The first is to obviously provide feedback to the author, but the 2nd is to selfishly provide myself with an ability to track stories that I have read to any extent. If I find a story summary that intrigues me, then I can check my review history to see if it is something that I may have come across before but chose not to continue with for various reasons. So, I apologize in advance if I left any short comments for this purpose.

I have been actively reading/reviewing stories on this site since around 2008, and over the last few years I have discovered a theme where an increasing number of authors do not appreciate criticism. Most still appreciate feedback (both good and bad), but there do appear to be more sensitive feelings than I can ever recall. My intent in leaving comments is to provide an actual review/feedback. It is not my intent to be antagonistic, nor do I seek to unnecessarily give praise. I do my best to provide positive feedback where applicable, but my arguments for critical aspects are usually going to be more in depth. While reviews are emotional/personal by nature, I do my best to make logical connections to any point that I make. If you can't handle criticism though then you really should not be checking comments on your story. At minimum you should be up front about your inability to take criticism. It is interesting that someone will say "don't like, don't read" while also reading through comments that they may not like.

Lastly, I'm always happy to chat about stories through PM (unless the e-mail notifications aren't working which has happened more than a few times). I'm always happy discuss any comments that I may have left whether it's a story I want to continue with or not. I also do not at all mind if you want to have a dialogue about a critique that I made and why you disagreed with it, as long as you are actually open to a friendly debate about it and keeping an open mind. If your only purpose for sending a PM is to pitch a fit about a critique that I left or that my opinions are too biased to be valid then I will thank you for the chuckle, but you will not get the response from me that you are probably hoping for.

Quick warning - Below is the uncensored version of how I feel about various plot points and character treatment. If you are curious as to why I may have left a review, or you just want to see my general thoughts on some of the elements of fanfiction and related franchises then read on for my unfiltered commentary. Ultimately this is just a place I come to place various thoughts that I have about fictional franchises and some of the fan fiction themes that follow them.

Fanfiction

The entirety of my beliefs can be summed up with my comments in this paragraph. Fanfiction exists because we fall in love with a story, its characters and/or its universe. We want to see those characters and that universe explored in new ways, and at some level these characters must maintain a personal resemblance to their source material. If you start changing major physical characteristics of a character then you've created an OC who only shares the same name as the original character.. If you massively change the personality without giving context for the change, then you've created an OC who just happens to share physical characteristics to the original character. If you change the character's name, then you have created an OC regardless of any physical or character traits that he/she may share (absolutely do not do it). Suffice to say, there was a reason that these characters or their universe attracted you to the original story, and bastardizing them in any form only serves to alienate your story from its original source. If you do choose to go in a different direction then please just be up front about it because the default logic for any story should be that it or the characters within it will in some way resemble the one that made people originally fall in love with the setting.

Universe Consistency

This is perhaps my biggest pet peeve in writing, period. Maintaining consistency within the universe that you are writing about is simply one of the most fundamental aspects of story telling, and it is of paramount importance in fanfiction. In fanfiction you are writing about established universes, each of which has its own sets of "laws" (even supernatural ones) by which that universe must abide. For instance, a Jedi in the Star Wars universe can not fly nor can Harry Potter cast elemental magic from his hands. Adhering to these "laws" is what provides the connection between your story as a piece of fanfiction and the source that inspired it. Now, obviously AU's are a thing, and writers can play around to add their own creative spin to it. If you are going to change the rules of the original universe though then apply your new rules uniformly. It's one thing to make a character more powerful than others. It's another thing entirely to give that character powers & abilities that are wholly unique compared to all others in the world. If you want Harry Potter to cast laser beams from his eyes, then all magical characters should be able to cast laser beams from their eyes.

Either accept "the laws of the universe" for what they are in a given story or change the entire universe preemptively to better handle those deviations.

Character Bashing

Simple. Don't do it. If you result to character bashing in anything other than a parody then that is just bad writing.

It may sound harsh, but it's the truth. No good writer or piece of writing will contain bashing in this way, and it's particularly juvenile to do so in fanfiction. If you don't like a character for some reason then write them as a bad person, a realistically bad person, or simply do not write about that character. At best, character bashing is used to advance a particular plot point, but if the only way that you can advance a certain piece of the story is to turn a character into the equivalent of some cheesy character from a children's cartoon then you need to give up.

To make a point. Joffrey from Game of Thrones gets the "bashing" treatment in that he's basically a joke. This is actually fine though because there is nothing about his character which is redeemable. He's the king, but he's only there by birthright. He's not credited as being particularly clever, he's not physically adept, he is not braves, and ultimately he's just a spoiled brat. So, it's fine to absolutely trash this character. Giving similar treatment to a character with some inherent or implied core competency is a very different matter though.

Albus Dumbledore

Oh Dumbledore...I doubt that there is any character more mischaracterized on this site than him.

First, if you want to make Dumbledore manipulative, then actually make him manipulative. If he's going to deceive Harry and others then let him actually deceive them. He is considered one of the greatest wizards alive and a relative genius with decades of experience in the political arena. A teenage Harry Potter or other student is not going to immediately uncover or circumvent his well laid plans. It's pathetic how many stories try to write him as this manipulative bastard who has managed to somehow play the rest of the world for a fool yet easily foiled by some grade school students..."I would have gotten away with it if it were not for those damn kids!".

As for the character himself. If you subscribe to the darker theories around him, just remember that these books are filled with plot holes. They were intended for young teens. The Harry Potter series cared more about telling a fun adventure story than standing up to any kind of scrutiny. The only way that an 11, 12, 13, etc... year old boy with limited magical training could be a protagonist in such a world was if much of the world lacked maturity.

So, if you do plan to scrutinize events of the series to find faults with Dumbledore then just be sure that you also scrutinize the logic of said event. For instance at the end of the first book what did Dumbledore gain in his fight against Voldemort by letting an 11 year old Harry confront Voldemort/Quirrel alone? What does he gain by letting a 12 year old fight a basilisk alone? The very simple answer is that he doesn't gain anything by risking his student, his "weapon" in situations that would have ended Harry if he didn't have plenty of plot armor. Every instance that people point to of Dumbledore being negligent or malicious is simply the result of an author needing a convenient plot device to put the child protagonist of her story in situations where he can be the hero.

This isn't to say that Dumbledore can't be dark or simply manipulative, but he needs to make sense. Unfortunately every version that attempts to emphasize either of these traits from Dumbledore simply result in a cartoonish character. If you want Dumbledore to be a master manipulator then show it. Someone who has achieved so much in life and allegedly manipulated so many chess pieces should not instantly be outdone or figured out with a simple document or other convenience. Every single story that I have encountered in over a decade of fanfiction that has attempted this has failed miserably because this powerful political figure's schemes and thinking are simply juvenile within those stories. To refer back to my Joffrey point above under character bashing, Dumbledore is or has implied merit from his accolades and respect that he has earned from the wizard community over decades. So, making him out to be an idiot who is incapable of the complex thought of "if I do this then it might alienate Harry from me" is very different than Joffrey doing something dumb.

Whether you want to make him a paragon of the light or something darker, just keep these facts in mind. He was a focal point in 2 wizarding wars, he has decades of experience in the political arena, he's considered a genius, and he's extremely powerful. Any character with those kind of accolades should be handled with the proper respect befitting their physical and mental prowess, no matter what direction you want to take the personality.

Emphasis of an OC

OC's are often necessary to create a unique story in a well established universe because at a certain point you just exhaust all of the villains and complimentary characters with the thousands of fanfiction stories. No one wants to see how bad ass your OC is to the point where he/she overshadows the source's main character though. A good OC compliments the main cast in either a side kick/friend role or as a villain that needs to be overcome. Seeing an OC come in and continuously save the day kind of defeats the purpose of fanfiction. Many people like to do self inserts, and that's fine. It's your story, but if you're not going to focus on the "real" story then please be upfront about it. Listing main characters in your story filter and then prominently featuring your OC is just clickbait.

'Damsel in Distress'

Let's talk abut strong female leads for a moment. Specifically, the all too prevalent notion that an otherwise strong female protagonist can become an emotional wreck at a moment's notice and/or need saving by their male counterpart despite being a badass themselves. I'm gender neutral when it comes to preferences on main characters. Both sexes can pull off any form of a story (even pure action). What is particularly troubling though is when the source material, or the author, has a powerful female character who just withers into complete incompetence during any time of crisis. It's this "damsel in distress" theme which is fine when the female figure actually isn't the main fighter, but if you spend half a story building up a character into some badass then don't weaken her to the point that she needs a man to save her whenever there actually is a conflict. It's contradictory and inconsistent with your universe.

Soulbond Relationships

Guiltily I enjoy a good relationship in stories. It is by no means necessary, but it can enhance a story by adding another layer of development for the characters. Even pure romance stories can be quite entertaining even though that isn't what I'm usually looking for. All of this is predicated on the building up of that relationship with the characters though, and that simply isn't possible with any form of "soulbond" plot device. If some form of magic or other fantastical narrative is used to "tie" two characters together then congratulations on writing your on generic Hallmark movie. The buildup of the relationship doesn't matter. It will never be organic. It's an easy button for the relationship because it never mattered how they formed their bond. Magic or some other supernatural force said they would be together and that was that instead of a real personal connection.

Instant Romance

I get it. Relationships are hard to write. That is no excuse for flipping a switch, making two characters who barely know each other suddenly fall in love though. If you want two characters to have an emotional and romantic bond in your story, then you need to show it. To do that, you have to actually develop it, showing the little interactions that bring them together over time. 3 chapters into a story is not nearly enough time to show why these characters are declaring their undying love for each other. For that matter, neither is it appropriate to do so even in Chapter 40 if you haven't actually given attention to their intimate moments with each other (not meaning sensual/sexual). This is not at all saying that they need to be holding hands before their first kiss, but they do to show that their is chemistry between them. Bonds don't just form over night, and they also don't form if you barely communicate or interact with each other even if a year has gone by. A reader should already be acutely aware of the deep connection between these characters long before the first "I love you" is mentioned.

Harems

It's not that MC/Multi stories can't work. It's simply that they do not work. It takes a lot of work and details to build up a solid relationship between just two characters in a story. Adding another character into the romantic tree adds a level of complexity that is extremely difficult to overcome in anything remotely befitting a believable manner. Even in more mainstream story telling, you don't see harem stories develop in serious ones. I'm sure part of that has to do with cultural acceptance of monogamy. It is damn hard to write write a believable and endearing relationship in a story between just two people though, and giving adequate attention and focus to a 3rd is damn near impossible. The trope is fairly common in a lot of Japanese anime, but in almost all of those stories the harem relationships are a form of comedic relief...not to mention that it's usually a bunch of female characters crushing/flirting/teasing the MC while that MC is actually only infatuated with 1 of them who receives the majority of the intimate interactions.

Lemons (ie: sex scenes)

I truly do not have anything against sexy stories or characters being intimate. The problem is that, in nearly all situations, these scenes just don't fit. It's one thing if the story is intended to pure smut, but far too often these sexy scenes just end up breaking the pace of the story in nearly all other situations. There have been a few very well placed sex scenes that I have come across over the years, scenes that added to the story and deepened the connection between the characters. Those instances are so rare though that my general advice and preference is just to not have them at all.

Convenient Plot Points

To a certain extent all plot devices are rooted in a bit of over-convenience. Just don't make it obvious or excessive though.

Generating Conflict Through Handicap

Perhaps one of my biggest pet peeves in story telling, is when authors instill handicaps on characters who otherwise would be quite capable/powerful without them. I think that this is one of the main reasons as to why I've never considered Superman a particularly interesting character. He has all of this incredible strength, but as soon as you throw a green rock at him then he becomes useless. This seems like such a lazy way to generate conflict. Superman is a super being, and it is far more interesting to see him have to overcome other powerful beings rather than weakened to the lowest common denominator. I've seen stories with Elsa (from Frozen) which find excuses as to why she is unable to wield her incredible power (like a headache). Instances like this are not interesting, and it detracts from who/what these characters are. A story is far more engaging if it finds ways to force these characters to overcome obstacles using the full spectrum of their abilities and surpassing their own potential rather than handicap them in order to even the playing field. What even is the point having a super man or a character who can control ice if you're not going to let that character use those abilities?

Character Ascension

I'm not sure if there is an official name for this, but I do find it annoying when a character goes through a story only to end up "ascending" to some other existence at the end. This could be actually ascending to a higher plane of existence or just taking on some mystical role which removes that character from the daily lives of they developed relationships with. One example of the ladder would be Elsa in Frozen 2 (spoilers ahead). I know it may be a bit silly to be critical of a plot device from an animated Disney film, but stay with me as it illustrates my point. In the first Frozen story Elsa has to overcome her fear of herself, let go everything that she ever bottled in and finally live a life with the sister that she isolated herself away from for years to protect. Then Frozen 2 comes along and suddenly it isn't important to be near the sibling that she regretfully shunned for most of her life? All in order to become some mystical 5th spirit that she never knew existed for the first 20 years of her life.. It was sold as a happy ending, but was it really? Sure, she was finally free and able to be herself, but the entire plot device undermines the wants and desires of the characters in the original film. Another example could be a particular character going through a number of magical hardships throughout the story only to then ascend to some goddess type role at the end, gone from the physical plane but still "always with" their loved ones. The trope just seems very weak to me. I'm not an advocate of character death. It sucks to build up some connection with a character over the course of a story to then see that character killed off in some way, but sometimes it is necessary because not every story can have the good guys go without casualties. This "character ascension" trope feels like a mockery of those impactful character deaths though. It's like the writer wants the hero to make some great sacrifice without truly being gone. It creates the illusion of a happy ending that I would argue detracts from the happiness of it. The character is still gone physically from the lives of the other characters, the character is still gone in the readers eyes, yet whatever sacrifice he/she had to make feels less heroic because he/she is not truly gone.

Favorite Tropes:

So, I have a lot of things to criticize, but I'm a sucker for several tropes as well:

Double Life/Secret Identity - This is probably my favorite gimmick in story telling. It's half of why I love Batman, Spider-man and all of the other favorite super heroes. Because when those people aren't under the mask, they have to live real lives, and their family/friends have no idea. It's fun seeing them struggle to balance the two sides of that life, and it's also a lot of fun to get the perspectives of those other people who can't understand why these secretive characters keep disappearing or always appear injured. This doesn't just have to apply to super heroes either. It could just as easily be someone with a lot of power who chooses to never show it in favor of a more mundane life. Another possibility which doesn't account for any kind of fantastical powers at all would be like Tom Clancy's the Division. A handful of highly trained people living normal lives until they are activated. I just think it's a fun concept.

School Setting - I'm a fan of any kind of school setting. It creates a lot of forced interactions for the the main character, and not to mention some obvious school drama. This could be paired with the secret identity trope, or could be something like an entire academy city for special individuals (plenty of anime have this).

Time Travel to "fix" things - This one is a bit hit/miss. For me, a good time travel story sends the main character back in time with his memories intact so that he can create a better future while re-living all of the original moments with whatever changes he/she does. In most situations this results in the MC basically being OP, or at least far more advanced than he should be. I guess you could also tie this one back to the secret identity trope, in that the person who goes back in time will appear very odd before his friends/family.

Powerful Main Characters - I'm far from a proponent of Mary-Sue type characters, but I hate weak characters even more. There should of course still be a struggle of some kind. I would much rather see a very strong or powerful protagonist overcome substantial obstacles than to see someone go from zero to hero overnight. This has become especially true as I have gotten older. I just appreciate characters who are competent from the onset without undergoing some kind of metaphorical transformation. Also, unless you have a decade to build a character up (think 12 year old Naruto in the series beginning growing into an extremely powerful adult after years of intense training) then whatever the hero accomplishes after some overnight powerup will just seem too easy.

Specific Franchise Thoughts (some minor spoilers ahead)

My thoughts on various franchises and the fanfiction that surrounds them. This is also probably why you may find me leave a critical review when a character doesn't make sense.

Anime/Manga/Manhua/LN

Ranma 1/2:

Ranma will always hold a special place for me. It was the first manga that I read beginning to end (many years after it finished, I'm not THAT old), and it was my first foray into fanfiction. The Ranma story is one that was largely a comedy, but it still had some great coming of age moments, not to mention some fun action. The primary two characters of Ranma and Akane both had some serious flaws, awkwardness and vulnerability which made them great to see together. I basically read the entire manga series over the course of a few days summer of my freshmen year in college, and I was so hooked that I just wanted more. Somehow I stumbled upon some sites that were dedicated to Ranma fanfiction, and I was amazed by the quality of some of the stories. To this day, nearly a decade and a half later, I still remember 2 of those early stories being among the best fan fiction stories that I have ever read. I can probably credit those two stories with creating my passion for fanfiction in general.

Naruto:

When I first started reading fanfiction, the Naruto (english) anime had yet to even receive a time skip, and I believe the untranslated manga was around the point of Sasuke being early in his training with Orichimaru. I read many fantastic stories in this section, nearly all of them with a focus on Sasuke and Sakura. Naruto is by no means my favorite anime ever, but it was one that was very well represented on this site. It was very easy to read both continuations of the canon story as well as complete AU's. Sasuke's character always was more in line with what I value in an action/adventure character, and it was fun to see him in so many different stories.

Fairy Tail:

Not my favorite anime/manga, but I did enjoy it. The story and characters were over the top which made it a fun ride, but I would have loved to see a serious take on the story. As over the top the characters may have been though, they had equally deep and emotional moments scattered throughout the story that made them easy to connect to. It's also probably the only story where I 'ship' multiple female characters with the main protagonist. Lucy is the implied matchup with Natsu (and my favorite), but honestly I could see Erza, Lisanna, or even Wendy as a suitable match. Unfortunately, I have not had much luck in Fairy Tail fanfiction. Usually one of the primary characters will just be insanely OOC, and I don't even feel like I'm reading about that character anymore.

Darker than Black:

Unfortunately there are not many good stories under this title. It's one of my absolute favorite anime (the first season anyway). Heie, Yin and Misaki are all great characters with a lot of potential. Both Yin and Misaki even make for good romantic partners for Heie. Yin because she has a certain camaraderie with him and Misaki because her personality can kind of keep up with him. Both sets of characters also have their own set of challenges with him as well. Challenges which can be overcome through a great story, but it can be difficult writing them well. It's very much possible, but many writers on this site choose instead to turn the cold/calculating Heie into something out of a cheap romance novel.

Full Metal Alchemist:

FMA was just the 3rd manga that I read beginning to end, and wow was it good. It's also one of the most frustrating sections of fanfiction. FMA does not rival Naruto's popularity, but it is by no means an obscure title. I think even most non-anime fans have probably at least heard of it. With that said, I have found it to be one of the worst efforts of fan fiction relative to it's community size. For instance, Ed and Winry are the canon couple, one of the primary sources of entertainment from the series that we all loved, and yet it seems there are equally as many Ed/Envy and Ed/Roy yaoi stories circulating around. Even in just the subset of Ed/Winry stories it is difficult to find ones that are well written for all characters involved. I have found a few gems over the years though that were able to continue the magic formula of Ed - the whatever it takes alchemist and Winry - the best friend/love interest who just wants to be part of his life, while also hitting him with a wrench when he does something stupid, but those have been the exception.

Rurouni Kenshin:

There are two Kenshins. The one from the anime with the reverse blade sword and the OVA Samurai X. I was a fan of the reverse blade Kenshin when all I knew was the anime that used to appear on cartoon network. Then I found the Samurai X OVA, and later the full manga which touches on that part of his past as well, and I just can't do the Rurouni anymore. I can still watch the show, but if I'm reading fanfiction to further explore his character then I want the battousai side of him. It's a more realistic persona of a person living by the sword, and it's just a much more interesting character.

Sword Art Online:

I almost want to call this one a guilty pleasure. The series is very popular (as evident from the various video games and multiple anime seasons), but it's also a franchise with a complete mary-sue at the top. Kirito is a relative genius (at least in terms of technology), an ace combatant, picks up things instantly, noble, brave, all of the girls love him, etc...Somehow though, it just works. SAO isn't fun despite Kirito's perfection, it's fun because of it.

Also, can I get a shout out to Sinon? I liked Kirito/Asuna in the first season, but when Sinon was introduced during the Gun Gale Online arc...well I've never been able to appreciate Asuna the same (it obviously doesn't help that each season features a new female lead, pushing her further to the back. Kirito/Asuna are both basically perfect. Sinon though introduces a level of not-quite-perfect to the story that I just love. Her exact origins aren't the most rational, but she seems like the most "real" character in the series.

Unfortunately, I have to rate the fanfiction community's efforts in this franchise as complete trash. Half the stories are self insert/OC centric stories. Many others feature Kirito as a leader from the first floor, instead of the solo/selfish player that he was to start. Much of Kirito's character is perfect. His feats and attributes all speak to a near Gary-Stu style character. The single most humanizing aspect of his character, the one action that he took to negate the perfection, was to leave Klein and the others in the town of beginnings. Each story which has him jump up on a podium to lead the confused and scared players, all those stories accomplish is to remove the 1 truly human aspect of the character. Just re-name him God at that point.

Classroom of the Elite:

For whatever reason this series barely has a presence in fanfiction, but I wanted to list it because it might be my my all-time favorite anime and light-novel series even though I almost exclusively follow series where there is an adventure of some kind. It's not exactly just a slice of life, but there isn't exactly anyone gunning for world domination either. So, when I say that it still one of my all-time favorites then that should tell you something. The MC doesn't have super powers, but he still feels like the most OP character in story telling history. I don't think that I've ever found a story on this site worth reading which is truly unfortunate. I think that there are so many things that you could do with these characters and setting. However, with the main premise of the story being psychological instead of some kind of adventure then that likely does make writing stories about it more challenging.

Chrome Shelled Regios:

It hurts my soul that this franchise is not better represented in fanfiction. I love both the anime and the LN. It's such a cool universe, and the characters are just so much fun. The one exception was Mayshen. She was just so annoying as a character. I get her little crush after being saved by the strong and "handsome" Layfon, but ugh...she was just so annoying. I can't say that I loved Nina's character either. I understood her motivations, but she could also get a bit annoying. This was probably the first Harem-lite anime that I ever really enjoyed. Once again though, I don't think that I have encountered any quality stories on this site.

The Asterisk War:

Rounding out anime that I love but aren't well represented on fanfiction. It once again hits on one of my favorite themes "academy city". I have somewhat mixed feelings on Ayato. He's a very cool character at times, but I didn't like how easily and quickly he dedicated his actions for Julis. In some respect that does mirror Layfon's motivation in Chrome Shelled Regios when he decides to help Nina, but at least Layfon still holds some of himself back. Ayato just seems to completely open himself to his partnership with Julis, and at times he even seems to disregard finding his long lost sister (you would think this would be a key motivation for him at all times). His motivations just don't make sense at times, but the concept of the story's universe is cool.

The Eminence in Shadow:

Can I just put a laughing emoji here? This story is great. It's the most perfect isekai/harem anime even though it a parody of it. It manages to tell an interesting story and have interesting characters despite the intentional silliness of it all.

Sould Land (aka: Titled Duololo):

Furries... The first half of this story was good. It was very enjoyable to follow Tang San's story of cultivation through his first 40 or so "levels". The schooling and tournaments had some great battles which played out. As time went on though, the story put more and more emphasis on the relationship between Tang San and his furry fetish to his adoptive sister Xiao Wu (a rabit demon). I have a disdain for human/animal hybrid characters in all story settings, and this one was particularly bad because Xiao Wu was just an awful character in every sense of the word. So too was their poorly developed relationship. As if that was not bad enough, the second half of the story goes on this drawn out journey to turn Tang San into some Sea God which completely deviates from everything that the story had built up to that point. Finally to add insult to injury, the story makes a huge deal out of both Tang San having dual spirits and how one of his spirits is the number one offensive tool spirit in existence (the sky hammer). There is constant foreshadowing that at some point in the future Tang San will start to really develop the hammer. Instead the story diverts to the Sea God path and he gets some kind of divine weapon that is actually better than his skyhammer. It really seemed like the author abandoned whatever his original outline was and just started throwing random themes and concepts at the plot from the time that the big tournament ended until the story's final chapter. It was pure trash that I am happy to be done with.

Tales of Demons & Gods:

My favorite Chinese LN series. Admittedly the theme of this series is a guilty pleasure, one which I find in a number of Chinese webnovels & manhua. MC goes back in time with all of his prior knowledge and tries to set things straight. He also has a few additional powerups that he got to take with him. The story is completely broken. No matter the situation, the MC always has a trick up his sleeve/the perfect counter. Usually this would bother me for the abundance of plot armor, but it just seems to work here. Similar to Kirito in Sword Art Online, Tales of Demons & Gods works because Nie Lie is so broken. I do think that his 1st love interest of Ye Ziyun is not an interesting character, but that is really the only negative that I have towards the story. Nie Lie is often shameless, but he does it in a way that is usually comical while still being a good person overall.

Quanzhi Fashi:

I have a love hate relationship with this, and it has the most unexpected ranking with regard to platform. This story is available in anime form, a manhua and a webnovel. In any other story the novels that allow for more description would be better. In this case though, the more in depth that the story goes the more you realize just how awful a character the MC, Mo Fan, is. Where the anime has hints of perverse thoughts by hormonal teenagers, the Manhua and the webnovel show that Mo Fan is a borderline (if not outright) sexual predator, literally. I enjoy all other aspects of this series, but the the hyper emphasis of sexual exploitation and molestation is a is a black mark on the series. Mo Fan proudly admits to grooming his little sister to be obedient (so he can touch her at will and have his way with her), and he directly provokes female characters with lewd dialog and contact. He wears this "shameless" behavior as a badge of honor. Not only does the story refrain from admonishing him for this, it even seems to praise him without consequence. The story just gets tiresome when every female character is constantly described as busty, has a juicy ass, and showing off ample cleavage. Meanwhile, the majority of male characters don't even get a cursory description (in the novels). The sexual overtones were comical early in the story when Mo Fan was still just around 15 years old, and his actions were more or less restricted to dirty thoughts about his hot teacher. He seems to have actually gotten worse as he's gotten older though. He's less mature, less caring about consequences (not that there are any), and he's more bold. He gets his lifelong crush drunk when she is feeling depressed about her life, and his foremost thought is how he's going to finally be able to fuck her. He even has no shame in basically drooling over a hot woman whose clothes have been ripped off in the middle of a battle. So, why do I still keep up with it? The setting is interesting and I really enjoy nearly all of the side characters. Having first been exposed to the relatively more benign anime I am left wanting more (the manhua is significantly further in the story than the anime, and the webnovels are significantly further than the manhua).

Books

Harry Potter:

This is probably my most explored franchise on this site. I pretty much exclusively read Harry/Hermione stories (though I will occasionally venture into something like Harry/Greengrass). The reason that this is a must for me is because more than any other pair of characters from the books their connection was most apparent. I refuse to read anything that is Hermione/Ron, because even in the source material it didn't make sense. JK Rowling tells us that they fit so it must be true, but at no point in the 7 books does she actually write them in a way where someone would believe they like each other. In fact, I would say that there were plenty of reasons in the books for us to believe that Ron/Hermione shouldn't be a romantic pairing and probably not even friends for that matter. Hermione was bullied a lot as a kid. She values intelligence, loyalty, and she has great ambitions. Do any of those traits sound like someone who would be very close to Ron (lazy, jealous, inferiority complex, bit of a bully). I don't know how anyone could imagine her allowing Ron back in after any of his betrayals to Harry, certainly not enough to date him. I would extend this to the other major canon pairing, Harry/Ginny. Ginny has an unhealthy obsession with Harry early on, which I can't imagine someone like Harry who hates his fame would like. Eventually it's assumed that she get's over her childhood hero worship, but even then what interactions do they have together in the 5 1/2 books leading up to Harry pouncing on her in the common room (see above for "rushed relationships")? So yeah, I ship Harry/Hermione. I'm also a big fan of SlytherinHarry. With the way that he was raised I thought it was always a little too easy for him to be a Gryffindor. Also, let's be real. Morally ambiguous characters are more fun.

Stop it with Hadrian Potter, Hardwin Potter, Harrison Potter or any other bastardization of Harry's name or referring to him via some alias for the entire story. Just stop. What's wrong with just Harry? One of the f* princes of the UK is named Harry, and if it's good enough for a prince then it's good enough for Harry Fucking Potter, the titular character of the story that you claim to be writing about. There is no reason, none at all, to offer any variation of his name in any format whatsoever UNLESS he needs to go undercover. In those specific cases, the story has to be careful to remind the reader that it's still Harry Potter at the forefront and not some OC insert that they wanted to clickbait people by starting off with Harry before he goes incognito.

Comics:

Spider-Man:

I've never read many comics, but I grew up watching the Spider-Man cartoon in the 90s. Peter Parker might be my favorite superhero ever. He's one of the few who I have seen really have to juggle his personal life with his crime fighting one. So many strained relationships and trying to scrape by, all while protecting the city every day.

I have virtually no experience with him in the comics. In terms of Spidey movie portrayals though:
I loved the Toby Maguire trilogy in the earlier parts of the 2000's, huge crush on Kirsten Dunst back then. Spider-Man 2 was especially enjoyable to me as it really started to show his struggle in balancing everything. Toby and Kirsten had good chemistry, and overall they were just fun movies (we do not speak of Spiderman 3).

Tom Holland's Spider-Man is decent (if I'm being generous). Homecoming was surprisingly good (I had very low expectations going into it), and I did enjoy Far From Home to an extent (although I will be perfectly happy never seeing No Way Home ever again...such dumb plot catalyst. It was painful). Holland really pulls off the geeky side of Peter Parker well. I love Zendaya, but Michelle Jones is a pretty weak character to me. She's absent for nearly all of the first movie and poorly developed in the second and 3rd. Overall, I don't hate the MCU Spider-Man movies (except the 3rd), but they are not anything special in my opinion.

The Amazing Spider-Man...when the first movie was set to come out I was very skeptical. A reboot of a superhero franchise that just ended 5 years earlier (ended on a very low note). I'm not sure if I even saw it in theaters. However, it is far and away my favorite version of Spider-Man, even trouncing the Toby Maguire movies that I loved. Andrew Garfield may not totally pull off the nerdy/geeky Peter Parker as well as either Tom or Toby, but he completely nails it as Spider-Man. Then there is the phenomenal Emma Stone and her portrayal of a strong female character that actually undergoes development and feels like she truly has agency. It's the most mature telling of the Spider-Man mythos, and I really appreciate that. I enjoy the lighter side of superhero movies, but I'll always be a fan of more mature settings and themes. Part of me is glad that there was never a TASM-3, as I just can't imagine those movies without Gwen Stacy. But I would have loved to see a direct sequel, seeing Peter Parker overcome a tragic death that was maybe even more impactful than his Uncle Ben.

Consequently, I struggle to read anything that isn't Peter/Gwen on this site. I used to love MJ, and I still like her character. Emma Stone/Gwen Stacy in TASM just completely sold me on that character though, and it broke my interest in the other female characters of the series. Unfortunately the majority of Gwen stories that I see here are "Spider-Gwen". Which I refuse to read. It just kind of cheapens her character to make her another superhero, and it damages the dichotomy of the Peter/Gwen relationship. Also, it's just too damn easy to suddenly have her with super powers of her own.

Video Games

Final Fantasy VII:

Obviously it's a classic. I had played JRPGs before, but I had never really appreciated them in the way that I did after FF7 (possibly due to my young age at the time.). That being said, I actually don't read many stories here though. In large part because I'm not a fan of the canon pairing of Cloud/Aeris. Aeris has maybe the most memorable scene in video game history, and it was hard to not care for her sweet demeanor. I just never found the dynamics of her and Cloud to be believable. Cloud/Tifa always seemed to a better and more fun fit to me. Even that pairing doesn't hold that much interest for me though. As the years have gone on I have found myself questioning more and more how much I actually liked Cloud.

Overall though I will say it had some cool concepts. There are a lot of cool semi-AU story lines you can go into with the cast and things like SOLDIER as well as Midgar's slum cities, but I don't venture into it too often.

Final Fantasy VIII:

FFVIII is probably my favorite title in the series, which makes it one of my favorite video games of all-time. Character development and interaction is probably the most important part of story telling to me, and this game was heavy on both. I was in middle school when this game came out, and so Squall's character definitely fit the teen persona that I thought was cool at the time. His indifferent attitude was "cool", and I loved the way that events and characters kept revolving around him even as he didn't want them. Also, how can you not adore Squall/Rinoa? Aeris may have the more memorable scene in Final Fantasy lore, but I was hit much harder by all the revelations on the Ragnarok with Rinoa (while Faye Wong's 'Eyes on Me' casually plays in the background and those damn ninjas are cutting onions). The way that Rinoa is caring, feisty, and even sometimes airy all result in a non linear (and very adorable) character. Honestly, her and Squall together is one of the best relationship buildups in any video game. It's a phenomenal example of how a relationship between characters should be built. Small intimate moments that bring them closer slowly over time, showing why they should care about each other, and making sure that we DO care about them.

Beyond just the romantic pairing of Squall/Rinoa there are many other fascinating aspects about this story. As I've mentioned in other parts here, I'm a big fan of academy cities, and this is one where teens/young adults go to school to become mercenaries. If that doesn't scream YA plot line then I don't know what does. The rest of the cast is also quite interesting. Quistis is my favorite after Squall & Rinoa, but Irvine, Zell, Selphie, Kiros and Ward were all great compliments.

And the music...wow the music. Nobuo Uemetsu is a certified genius when it comes to composing music, and every entry of the Final Fantasy series deserves to be heard. To me though, FFVIII is his masterpiece. It ties so perfectly to the dramatic story taking place on screen with all of our characters, and Faye Wang's "Eyes on Me" is an absolutely beautiful song.

Final Fantasy XIII:

Similar to FF8, I fell in love with this game because of the characters. Lightning is my favorite character in all of Final Fantasy (all of video games for that matter). She's is self-sacrificing, commands respect, and she isn't above petty revenge when she or her family have been wronged which removes her from any 'I'm perfect' protagonist trope. Has there been a more "human" character in all of the Final Fantasy franchise? She believed her sister was more or less dead, and so her driving force was revenge and a need to just do something so that she didn't have to dwell on the fact that her sister was gone and her own guilt. The anger and desperation that she displayed throughout the journey was just so "human". What doesn't make sense though are all of the authors on this site who try to pair her with I-just-hit-puberty-Hope. Aside from the initial age gap, she treats him as like she is a big sister or even a surrogate mother. How she could ever return any romantic feelings (as many stories here attempt to show) is unbelievable.

Actually, in terms of pairings I don't think there is a good fit for Lightning among any of the main cast. Maybe Fang, going into the opposites attract thing, but even that one has issues. Lightning has a certain coldness to her personality that only someone like Fang would have the persistence to get through, but she also might kill Fang in the process.

What is a good pairing though is Light/Serah, but I don't mean the romantic kind. Think about Light's motivation in the first game. The entire plot happens because Light has this burning rage to avenge her sister, and her guilt over her own actions with regard to her. Also, we know from her backstory that Lightning basically had to grow up fast for the both of them. Her incredible sacrifices and motivations show an amazing level of love and care for her sister, and I think that is a bond that is always worth exploring in fanfiction.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic:

So, it's a bit unfair in that you can kind of make Revan be the character that you want him/her to be, but I also see a lot of stories on this site create a Revan that is more or less how I envision the character. While I prefer a (F) Revan, I'm not opposed to a (M) one. I just think that (F) Revan is more interesting. Not because she can potentially have a romantic pairing with some of the male cast, but I just enjoy the rare story where a woman with extraordinary power takes charge. Having a lithe figure would not prevent her from being an amazing combatant or genius strategist. Really though the key is having a dark/grey Revan. Emphasizing the character's power, genius, and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. The Star Wars universe is in general a fun one with many opportunities, but ever since I played the first KOTOR game, to me the story is about Revan.

Mass Effect:

My favorite video game story ever. Some of this goes back to the advantage of being able to create your own character, but the universe itself was fascinating. We all know the background, and so I won't go into that. Isn't it so much fun having this human spectre who is in some ways above the law? Also, the voice actress for (F)Shepard was phenomenal. I don't know if it was intended or not, but everything about her tone just screamed renegade (even when that wasn't the option being selected). I love reading other people's takes on a ruthless (F)Shepard, who takes her responsibilities seriously and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty. In some ways my view of Shepard is the same as Revan.

TV Shows & Movies

Star Wars (Movies):

I've never dug deep into the lore beyond the movies. I remember reading a handful of books (now Legends) as a kid, but nothing consistent. My love of this franchise is exclusive to the movies (and games as mentioned previously). Which is somewhat interesting as I really don't have strong positive opinions for the majority of characters as I've gotten older, but I do find the setting to be vastly intriguing. I'm still a fan of Luke, but not to the extent as when I was a kid. He has nearly all the Mary-Sue qualities that Rey gets criticized for in the new trilogy (Rey's transgressions are still worse, but let's not kid ourselves that Luke didn't have plenty of plot armor himself). There is also probably a bit of technological/cinematography limitations of the times because we never get any great actions scenes with Luke which makes him stand out less than he probably would if the OT had been released today.

Speaking of Rey. I WANT to like her so much. I thought that TFA set up a truly fascinating character, and while she definitely had many Mary-Sue qualities the franchise wasn't exactly innocent of doing that for other characters before so I could forgive them. I'm also a huge fan and supporter of Rey being a descendent of Palpatine. It's a great twist that the main antagonist of the franchise, his grand daughter ends up becoming a jedi. It also helps to explain how she had so much natural power in TFA (at least partially). Unfortunately the final trilogy completely destroyed her character with continued Mary-Sue instances, a super awkward relationship with Kylo Ren that didn't make any sense whatsoever, getting her ass handed to her any time she fought a sith not named Ben Solo (she's only a mary-sue when she's not up against a major villain I guess), the whole Dyad thing with Kylo Ren (I don't have a list, but this is easily top 5 dumbest plot devices in the history of story telling), and then the simply stupid plot line of her taking on the Skywalker name when she never truly had any intimacy with Ben and barely qualified as an apprentice to Luke. She had great potential as a character in being a natural in the force (similar to any of the Skywalkers), honing survival skills while growing up alone on Jakku, and what we eventually got with her lineage reveal. Those 3 things could have made for an franchise standout character. The execution was criminally lacking though.

Kylo Ren...for the life of me I do not understand how there are people who actually like this character. His name should just be Emo-Edge-Lord-1000. Nothing about his character was intimidating, menacing, inspiring, or even just simply interesting. His bouts of uncontrolled rage were just silly, and actually undermined any respect that we were supposed to have for him. The only thing he accomplished in the entire trilogy was to 'conveniently' kill Snoke in a sneak attack that somehow Snoke did not see coming (even as he was basically reading Ben's mind at the time). Part of this is because Rey gets plot armor when they face off, but even his own generals didn't respect him. I see people mention that they like him but hate Rey...so you hate Rey for being a Mary Sue, but you love the angst driven lord with daddy issues who takes on the Vader role despite having no accomplishments?

Specific problems with the sequel trilogy:

Rey the Mary Sue - Part of this is forgivable because the Skywalkers have their own plot armor, but she did take it further than we ever saw with Luke. I do not believe it is as comparatively egregious as what some fans think, but there is no doubt that she was just too perfect.

Kylo Ren - What an awful villain for the reasons that I've already mentioned and more. I would have an easier time believe that Jar Jar Binks was an insidious sith lord than believing Kylo Ren was a competent villain worthy of fear or respect.

Phasma - Why even introduce her into a story if it is not going to use her?

Poe/Finn - More underdeveloped characters

Everything that Rian Johnson wrote - There is just a single instance in Rian Johnson's TLJ that is redeemable. That was the mirror scene with Rey seeing her inner darkness. That was pretty cool, and it offered some good foreshadowing to revelations in TRoS. Outside of that short scene the entire movie and script were a pile of shit. The opening scene where Poe stares down the First Order fleet in his X-Wing playing a game of "can you hear me now" reminded me of Saturday morning cartoons that I used to watch as a small child where the villains are comically inept. It's poor attempt at humor instantly devolved the entire franchise into something completely juvenile. The wtf moment when it was explained the first order could not catch up to the fleeing Resistance fleet because the First Oder's ships were bigger was just that...a "what the fuck?!" moment. Not to mention the slow speed chase that was the entire theme of the First Order vs. Resistance plot in that movie. The Holdo Maneuver broke the Star Wars universe in ways that can not be simply explained away by saying it was a "one in a million shot". Mark Hamill himself admitted that the jaded Luke we saw in TLJ was not Luke Skywalker, and that he had to think of him as another character entirely. The way that Snoke was handled with one of the most anticlimactic endings for a major villain that I have ever seen in any movie ever and it did not subvert expectations in any positive way. Sure, it allowed for the trilogy to push Kylo Ren to the forefront, but that wasn't really a good thing considering how the trilogy handled him. Perhaps the single most asinine plot device in the movie though was the force projections between Rey and Kylo across the galaxy...I think this may be something that actually originated in Legends (don't know, don't care, but I think someone has told me this before), but that does not absolve it from just being a painful and cringe plot device that only served as a convenient way for Rey and Kylo to interact since they otherwise would not meet again until the end of the movie.

The Rise of Skywalker trying to fix Rian Johnson's mess - Rian Johnson wrote a big fat pile of shit and called it Star Wars. JJ Abrams caught a lot of heat for the way the way TRoS just seemed to jump all over the place, and that criticism is spot on. However, there really wasn't much that JJ could do either. Part of this was his own doing in that he did not write out an outline for the entire trilogy (at least that's what I've read), and so it's not all that surprising that the 3 movies are a disjointed mess. However, I remember my first thought after processing everything I saw in Episode 8 was that they just broke the franchise. As the hype for episode 9 kept building, I distinctly remember saying that there isn't anything that can be done with a 2 hour movie to either fix the numerous plot holes from TLJ or to give a proper character arc to any member of the main cast. To JJ's credit, I do believe that he tried, and I do think that TRoS was about as good as it could have possibly been while trying to fix everything from TLJ as well as the lack of a cohesive direction from the start. It's still a deeply flawed movie, but I can at least appreciate the effort in trying to tie together all of the threads left by TLJ (and his own TFA years prior) inside a single and final 2 hour installment.

Unfortunately all of this has lead to an awful fanfiction landscape. I can't fully blame the authors as the foundation that they are working with is so deeply flawed, but I am surprised by how many here try to re-write & fix certain things from the movies without addressing the elephant in the room that is Rey/Ben. I can say with confidence that 90% or more of the sequel trilogy stories that I have come across feature some deep or implied romance between these two characters, but it is a small miracle when any of these stories actually tries to provide context as to why Rey (or ben/Kylo) would be so emotionally attached to the other. Their interactions were more sparse and more awkward than a bad tinder date yet we are supposed to believe that there is a deep attachment there?

What would I have done differently in the Sequel Trilogy (ST)?

Kylo Ren - I would either keep his angsty persona similar but have him separated from everyone. Not Kylo Ren, subordinate to Supreme Leader Snoke. Just Ben Solo, a confused young man trying to reconcile his emotions who could work on redeeming himself as he joins Rey in her quest. OR he can remain as Kylo Ren of the First Order, but with much less chaos. Controlled evil and rage is far more frightening than episodes of a teenager lashing (I know he's not a teenager but he acts like one in the movies). I'll use the ladder scenario in my what-if. As he is still quite young he will still be a little bit raw as a commander and sith overlord compared to what we saw from Vader, but he will not strike out at the wall like a toddler. Nor will he cry to his grandfather's helmet about all of his problems. He's still young and coming to grips with his darkness, trying to fight away the Light, but he's well practiced at it.

General Hux - Will actually be competent. He can be a zealot who devoutly believes in the First Order, but he will be a composed and a strong tactical mind. This will compliment Kylo Ren's less polished character. I picture someone like Grand Moff Tarkin. A leader who is both respected and feared with a political tongue. (The opening scene of TLJ would NOT happen)

Rey - Take advantage of her Palpatine lineage, and show the struggle she has with that (similar to how Ben struggles to shake off the good inside of him). The movies had brief moments that showed there was something dark inside her, but those moments were all instantly quelled. I wouldn't necessarily have her become the next empress of the sith (though that would be a very intriguing setup for another trilogy or expanded universe), but I would show temptations to the dark (based on her blood and the way she had to grow up as a survivor) and have struggle to balance that against the Light and everything that she wants to protect. The moment where she considers the Emperor's offer to strike him down and take power to protect everyone was actually a really good model to follow for something like this. The Dark Side takes the heir to the Skywalker bloodline to be their champion, and he struggles to push down the Light. So, the Light Side takes the heir to the very powerful Palpatine bloodline to be their own champion, but she too will struggle with that as she begins to embrace the force. I would also have her as a natural fighter with a bow staff (later using a double sided light saber). Her life on Jakku could not have been easy and so she would have needed to learn to protect herself. This will also help to make her prowess later on more believable, and she could get a double sided lightsaber.

Poe - Basically rewrite him as Cassian Andor from Rogue One, or something similar. Poe offered nothing but (bad) comic relief as a barely 1 dimensional character. I would have him as a passionate Resistance soldier who isn't afraid to go rogue to save his friends, but still capable of being serious (the opening scene of TLJ would NOT happen)

Finn - In the movie he goes against the First Order because he takes a moral stance against their atrocities, but he also wants to just survive before just kind of accepting that he's going to join the Resistance. It's a very weird character arc full of very abrupt changes in motivations. I would still have him turn against the First Order for those moral reasons, but I would maintain the fact that he's a soldier. All he knows is fighting and following orders, he just wants to switch to the side that he thinks is right while also gaining his own freedom. He rigidness to protocol would then be a good rival to Poe's somewhat roguish tendencies. (Or you could flip these Poe/Finn personas so that Finn is the rogue, but then that really does make Poe a clone of Cassian from Rogue One).

With Respect to Finn, Poe & Rey, in the ST they all are basically instant friends. There is almost no conflict that ever arises between them aside from a brief misunderstanding when Rey thinks that Finn is chasing her with bad intentions, which is resolved quite quickly, and that really shouldn't be the case. Even from their movie personas there should have been more hesitancy with Poe the republic soldier, Finn the First Order soldier and Rey the scavenger just trying to survive before they all rush in together. Taking these altered personas I would show that hesitancy (remember the verbal banter between Luke and Han and Leia and Han in Episodes 4 & 5?). Finn helps Poe break out of the First Order prison, then they both land on Jakku together. Finn insists that he wants to join the Resistance, and so Poe has him agree to help find BB-8. When they find Rey she is not at all trusting of them, and it is only after they help her survive a storm trooper attack that she reluctantly follows them (she's had to survive on her own for years. Surely she won't just jump into the hands of complete strangers for nothing).

All of the technological breakthroughs & 1 in a million miracles would be ignored. Things like being able to track and fight ships in hyperspace are not only world breaking from established lore it's also story breaking because it allows for too many points of conflict. Conflict is necessary and good for a story, but there need to be points of haven as well to protect against plot holes. In Harry Potter, Hogwarts is protected by magical wards that prevent people from teleporting there. If these wards did not exist then important places like Hogwarts or the magical government buildings would be in perpetual danger. Star Wars needs it's own "wards" beyond just shields on the ships.

The Dyad between Rey and Kylo would also not be a thing. Instead of creating an easy button to force their connection and interaction, it should be handled with more subtlety. Rey and Kylo will have brief encounters in various conflicts which creates a fascination in the other, but they go through indirect methods of finding out more. Rey talks with Luke, Leia and Han to find out more about Ben Solo and his fall to Kylo Ren. Kylo learns of Rey's heritage through Snoke or other means which causes him to reflect on his own struggle to realize his true self. In this way there is no longing for the other, just a mutual curiosity that pushes them to be who they aspire to be (Kylo like his grandfather Vader, Rey not-like her grandfather the emperor)

With that setup there are a multitude of ways it could go to make for a very interesting story. Not just because it's my idea, after all there are many good ways to narrate the ST story using just a few of the foundational elements. But this would at least clearly define character motivations and bring a level of human realness to the characters and their actions. It would allow for more character development as it would not need to split time across 3 and 4 different POVs like the ST did (using up valuable time needed to build each character arc). It also avoids many of the world breaking scenarios that were introduced.

Teen Titans (original 2000's cartoon):

Screw Teen Titans Go lol. But really. The original cartoon from the early 2000's was such a great show. It was dark, funny, and it had real character development. Each of the characters grew in their own way over the course of the show, but one thing stood true. Raven was the best. The 4th season that featured her character arc was a high point for an already good series. It was hard not to adore her. She was a teen who had to bottle up her emotions or her powers would go out of control, and her powers were no joke. So, she developed an aloof personality to deal that. She loved her friends, but she also loved being alone. Also, her father is basically the devil. So, shouldn't it make sense that some half-demon royalty packs a serious punch? I love reading stories on here that don't have her take a backseat to the others. In terms of raw power she has it. It's hard for her to control though, and that's her big flaw as a super hero. It's also a driving force for many great plots. I'm not a fan of the canon BB/Raven pairing though. It takes the idea of "opposites attract" way too far. Opposites attract, but there still has to be something in their personalities that they share. In all honesty can you really picture a scenario where Raven and Beast Boy start spending a lot of time together and she doesn't send Beast Boy into another dimension?

Titans (HBO Max: Live Action):

I WANT to like this show, but the showrunner makes it so damn hard. The first season had a good pace to begin with, but things started to get derailed after a few episodes. I could appreciate the heavy focus that each of Rachel, Dick, Kori and Gar received early on in order to establish the characters. It made less sense to introduce Hank and Dawn separately though, and even less sense to continually split story focus across an ever growing roster of characters. This problem has only increased in subsequent seasons as more characters have joined the cast. Instead of "Titans", this show should be called Dick Grayson and the sporadic One Character Focus Episodes of Everyone Else.

The simultaneous yet separate attention applied to - Rachel, Dick, Gar, Kori, Hank, Dawn, Jason, Rose, Tim, Donna, Conner, Blackfire, Scarecrow, Barbara and Slade - has made it so that I barely know these characters despite being 3 seasons in.

Also, what the hell was up with the whole Trigon conclusion? The team originally comes together over the course of an entire season, literally due to the troubles chasing Rachel, and it features a pretty desperate cliffhanger to end the first season. Yet someone seriously thought it was a good idea after all of that to close out that entire storyline in the span of like 15 minutes in s2e1? Just...wow...

I'm also convinced that the writers hate Rachel/Raven and don't know what to do with her. The first 2 seasons hinted at an interesting character with many teases that were never paid off before she is completely absent for nearly all of season 3. When she finally does appear in S3 then she actually starts to resemble the Raven that I think fans have been hoping for since S1. But then the season ends and we're off to S4. S4 starts out on a high note with her, she really seems to be coming into her own, and I'm thinking that the writers FINALLY want to showcase the Titan's resident witch...and then she loses her powers.

Firefly/Serenity:

Well I can pretty much sum this section up with 1 word. River. The entire cast is awesome, and the over arching story is obviously cool (sci-fi western). However, while every character is worthy of their own in-depth exploration, River is the one that I need. She's equal parts broken and total bad ass, and she's the one who you can make the entirety of the crew revolve around. Yes, Mal is the Captain with a dramatic past, and the unquestioned (usually) leader. He can force things to go a certain way, but with River things are just going to be a certain way and there isn't anything that anyone can do about it. River is the one who can drive an almost unlimited number of plotlines. Alliance hunting her down, being a secret weapon for the crew, being the little sister that everyone tries to help, etc...The only thing that I can't stand is Jayne/River. On some level they actually do make sense together (mainly in that they are the only two unpaired characters on the ship). Now, a lot of stories use character relationships to add depth to the characters. Unfortunately though I kind of think that a romantic relationship between Jayne and River detracts from their characters. For one, it's too easy to just throw the only two unmatched characters on the ship together. Second, I think that you inevitably lose focus on the traits that make both characters so interesting. Jayne is your typical rough guy/mercenary. He does have a softer side that we sometimes get to see, but that's kind of the point. It isn't supposed to be in your face. River is mentally unstable and would probably struggle to remain lucid enough for a functional relationship with anyone, but even if she was able to do that then I think you still lose something. Even if you find a way to maintain her character with that lucidness, then I think that you will still lose out on focusing on areas about her that aren't her kick ass fighting, genius intellect, position within the entire crew, sensory abilities and their cost. Firefly is not a love story, and so it is okay if some character's are not attached.

Lucifer:

This franchise exists and excels entirely because of the cast of characters. Each character plays important roles (and they're all likable in their own way). Ultimately though, this story is about Lucifer and Chloe, and that's also why I think this is one of the harder franchises to write about for fanfiction. I thought that the show did a good job at giving just enough of those Chloe/Lucifer moments to keep the relationship alive and getting every ounce of emotional impact out of them for the audience; all without turning it into a cheap romance story or becoming tiresome. Getting that same level of impact while staying true to their characters does not seem easy in fanfiction though (or later seasons of the show for that matter as was evident) since you can't really draw it out. Both characters are stubborn, both hold their emotions in, and there is mountain of other problems that divide the two from forming a true relationship. On top of those character trait issues there is the issue of what kind of believable story can you make when you don't simply dance around the Chloe/Lucifer relationship teases and instead go full blown into it. I can imagine the difficulty in staying true to the characters that we have grown to love while attempting to write a story that actually tries to bring them together. I've found a couple of decent enough stories, but most have either Lucifer or Chloe turning into a sobbing mess where they are always longing forlornly for the other.

Frozen:

Call it a guilty pleasure. Maybe there is something wrong with looking too deep into the story of an animated Disney film like Frozen, but this has become one of my favorite fanfiction franchises. The first Frozen movie was good for what it was. An animated Disney film with some fun characters and annoyingly catchy songs. But the idea of the setting and the potential of that setting is what really excites me though.

First, there is the historical setting of an 18th-19th century European monarchy with the burden of an entire kingdom falling onto the shoulders of a young and sheltered princess/queen. For anyone who loves history and political intrigue, this alone offers many exciting avenues to explore. Next, you have this young woman with strange elemental powers, in a mostly ordinary world, that she had to conceal her entire life. Each of those concepts would make for their own interesting story individually. Combining them together presents a whole new world (see what I did there) of story telling avenues from when to explore, and that is what you get with Frozen. A young queen in a colonial time period, with strange magical powers, lack of control, an estranged sister who she loves yet can't quite connect with, and on top of it all she still has a kingdom's burdens falling onto her after the untimely death of her parents. That is an exciting setting.

I love seeing Elsa work to overcome her own insecurities, try to patch together her relationship with her sister, and then dealing with all of the responsibilities of a kingdom on top of that.

My love of the franchise is strictly held to the first Frozen story though. For me, Frozen II sweeps the rug out from under the lore that was established in the first film and any potential to be something more. It turns it into a typical magical Disney children's adventure instead of a potentially complex coming of age story with royalty and ice powers (it's Disney, I get it). Elsa the monarch no longer exists which removes that line of story telling. Now, you could explore Anna as queen, but that is a bigger fantasy than a young woman with ice powers. Whatever general competency Anna may have, which she does, there is not anything about her character which suggests that she could sit in on diplomatic negotiations for hours. Second, one of the major points of the original animation was the bond and desire between the two sisters. In Frozen II, Elsa goes off to live in the north as some guardian spirit and Anna becomes queen of Arendelle (both of which seem like full time jobs)...so much for reconnecting after being isolated from one another for most of their lives. Finally, it all just fit too nicely. Obviously it's a Disney film, there was always going to be a happily ever after with a ribbon to match. The difference between the first film and the 2nd though is what potential was left with the story and it's universe. The first Frozen left the state affairs open to any kind of historical tale with sprinkles of magic. The second film pushed the universe completely into magical fairy tail land with very limited options to continue the story in any other way.

Mulan:

I don't think that I've ever read any Mulan stories here (maybe I should remedy that). I'm putting it on here though because my thoughts on it influence my thoughts on many other stories. I've always been a fan of female centric hero stories. I just think that a strong female taking "action" offers a unique experience in story telling since it is usually a male in that role, and there are different things that you can do with a female hero (some of which are explored in the various tellings of Mulan). That's a long introduction, but this is why I love Mulan. It's not a story you get every day, and while I always enjoyed the original animated version, I really started to love the story with the Mulan Rise of a Warrior movie from 2009. In the animated version of Mulan, she was just a clumsy tomboy who learned how to fight. However, in both the 2009 version and the recent live action Disney version, Mulan grows up learning martial arts. It creates a more realistic foundation to her heroic legend in the army.

Underworld:

Probably my favorite movie franchise period. Yes, I think Kate Beckinsale is hot. Yes, I think Kate Beckinsale with electric blue eyes in tight leather is very hot. But that isn't why I love it (it's not the only reason). I love the fantasy lore where vampires act a sort of aristocracy. I also love stories where the lead is akin to some sort of assassin, and as I've mentioned before I love strong female action leads. I also have a soft spot for urban fantasy where we get these supernatural beings living in our modern world in secret. Add all of this together and yeah I love the franchise. The fanfiction? Not so much. Given that this is a franchise spanning 5 movies, 4 of which with Selene in the lead role, the number of stories which do not prominently feature her is baffling. It's utterly shocking how many of them that do feature her do not take into account that she is a 600 year old trained killer (even before her powerup in Evolution), has no qualms about raising some chaos, and is both shown and implied to have great control over her emotions. I've seen stories where she breaks down crying and needs saving by Michael or (insert male character) and I've read stories about her getting her ass kicked by everyone she encounters in the story. Never have I found a story that actually matches the character that we saw across 4 movies though.
Strong and independent
A warrior
An emotional mask covering a 600 year quest of revenge and later betrayal
Fully capable of handling herself in any situation.

My Most Memorable Stories

A short list of fanfiction stories that I fell in love with once upon a time and have never forgotten. Most of these stories have never been and likely never will be completed. They are all phenomenal in their own way and left lasting impressions.

Waters Under Earth (Ranma 1/2) - This was the story that got me into fanfiction. It's so well written. It finds a way to seamlessly weave the quirky Ranma universe into a mature sequel of sorts. It takes place after the final arc of the manga, after Ranma's fight with Safron. The world building is phenomenal, introducing our heroes into an even more perilous and mature adventure than he ever had before. The ending was not my favorite, I think many agree, but the overall story is just so incredible. Probably one of the most famous Ranma 1/2 stories in existence.

??? (Ranma 1/2) - I can not remember the name of this story (I think it begins with an R), and I so wish that I could find it again. It was one of my first fanfiction stories. Ranma gets sucked into fighting a demon of sorts because Happosai uses his (Ranma's) name to steal panties from some kind of all female tribe. This wasn't the typical Ranma 1/2 demon though. It becomes a game of cat and mouse where Ranma is very much the prey running for his life. He has to fight the demon multiple times, the demon becoming stronger (and familiar with Ranma's techniques) after each defeat.

Sailor Moon: Requiem of Silence (Sailor Moon) - This is the first of of 2 stories by Raziel12 that I will list. This was my absolute favorite Sailor Moon story period (the lack of other good stories from that franchise is not a qualifying statement). This story centers around Hotaru/Sailor Saturn with plenty of flashbacks to her former life during the days of the Moon Kingdom (some fantastic world building by the author). She was a powerhouse who was not afraid to get her hands dirty. In fact, all of the Sailor Senshi were much darker in those days, even though their current day selfs reflects their lighter versions that we are used to. There is so much world building here, getting a deep look at the political environment before Queen Barrel destroyed everything. The story was never completed, but I still hold it as one of my absolute fondest stories. This is one of 2 stories that I have ever come across on fanfiction where I am truly disappointed that I will never get to see the end of.

Wasteland (Final Fantasy XIII) - The 2nd story by Raziel 12. It was actually several years after I originally read this that I realized it was the same author as Requiem of Silence. It certainly made sense why the quality of the story was so fantastic when I realized that. In this story, we follow our favorite characters in a zombie apocalypse (without the added l'cie drama). Lightning tries to make it back to the city where she believes Serah is, and along she meets Vanille who is scared and alone. Together they form a bond and try to deal with the emotional terror that such an event would bring. Similar pairings occur with the rest of the crew until they finally all meet together. There is some action, but the story is focused on the characters and the psychological impact of events. Calling it great is doing it a disservice.

Harry Potter and the Year of Rebellion (Harry Potter) - The Harry Potter books had already been completed for a few years when I cam across this story, and it made me fall in love with the setting all over again. The story takes place in Harry's 6th year and it presents many alternatives to the final acts that we're used to (the story was started before the 6th book was released). It has a heavy focus on a Harry/Hermione relationship, but all of the cast make an appearance. The author manages to make all the characters believable. He even manages to make Ron redeemable while still pointing out his many faults. It's an epic story that puts a heavier focus on Harry's magical prowess, setting him up to be a future Dumbledore, but it manages to do so while still showing that he is raw and lacks experience. There are just so many great features and plot threads in this story that it's impossible to cover them all in just a single paragraph. I absolutely loved this story though, and for me it falls into the same category as Requiem of Silence.

I'm Still Here/From Ruin (Harry Potter) - Different stories and different authors, but I can't talk about one without talking about the other. "I'm Still Here" is the original, and it is fantastic in many ways. It's a combination of the wrong-boy-who-lived trope as well as time travel. Harry goes back in time to his 4th year to fix things, but his new timeline is just a bit different. He has to go undercover at Hogwarts and assume a new name. He's a powerhouse with fun interactions between many students. The major drawback (even story killing) aspect of "I'm Still Here" though is the way that Harry is not only Godlike with his power and knowledge from the future, but he verbally condemns every adult around him for not being more useful, all while withholding his perfect information of events from them. The author clearly has no love for Dumbledore as a character and let's multiple characters to verbally bash the ever living hell out of him constantly.
"From Ruin" is a retelling of I'm Still Here, and it is the superior story in many ways. There is still too much Dumbledore bashing (especially later in the story), but earlier parts there was at least a modicum of respect given to a powerful figure such as him. This one does emphasize shock value though, especially with regard to sex. There is sexual assault, genital mutilation, and even a harem. The longer the story went, the more it became disconnected to what I believe it was originally meant to be, certainly from what it was advertised as. One thing that did remain great throughout the story was a frenemy relationship between Harry and Draco. Like Harry, Draco too found himself back in his 4th year Hogwarts self, but he is no longer Harry's enemy. He becomes a willing pawn for Harry in order to take down Voldemort (Draco had to confront his own demons in Harry's timeline). Their rivalry and hatred is still there, but they both realize that they kind of need the other's help in this crazy situation. An odd bond forms out of this, one which the story is happy to point how peculiar it is, but it's by far the best written relationship in the story. The other relationships presented in the story are a bit terrible though. The harem is about as unbelievable as harems go.

Cage and Key (Harry Potter) - A Harry/Daphne story where Harry begins practicing the Dark Arts for his own protection. The two of them make for a good pairing as events unfold, and Harry's affinity with dark magic is both a boon and a curse for him. Harry in this story decides its time to take control of his destiny and actually apply himself. Unfortunately the story will likely never be finished, but it's one of the best Haphne stories that I've come across.

Force of Nature (Frozen) - Elsa is a mary-sue, and I'm here for every second of it. This is a post original-Frozen story. It does not shy away from the fact that the setting is in a colonial period with nations trading and politicking with each other. Elsa has embraced her role as queen. There are trade deals, politiking, and scientific advancement. The story is heavy on exposition, it introduces numerous OC's, and it never quite gets to any major conflict (the story is not complete), but I love it all. Large sections of the story specifically follow multiple OCs, but it never becomes an OC centric story. Elsa herself makes plenty of appearances and is always the focal point of conversation, and she is the driver of all events.

Forward (Firefly/Serenity) - If Firefly had been renewed for a new season (after the events of Serenity), this story is what we would have seen. Chapters follow individual episode arcs in ways that make you think that you really are watching an episode of Firefly. It brings River to the forefront of the crew's adventures, but it never abandons any of the others. It would be more precise to say that it just gives River similar attention that other main characters received in the actual show. Which is a wonderful thing to get in a story considering how much of a plot driver she has the potential to be.

Jewel of Darkness (Teen Titans) - Raven comes to earth and gets found by Slade. He mentors her, and she grows to be a true apprentice to him. Clever, athletic, and a very good villain for the Titans. Imagine the Teen Titans cartoon from the early 2000's, from Slade's POV and made in such a way that you kind of root for him against the heroes even though he is evil. Replace "Slade" with "Raven" and you have Jewel of Darkness.

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Teleology by Liberty1Prime reviews
The bloody war has ended at Harry's sixth-year. Though hailed a hero, he's ready for one last year at Hogwarts. One year of a normal life before becoming an Auror. While there, a simple agreement manages to challenge his identity as a hero, while still providing the normalcy he craves. Haphne AU. Post-War 7th year.
Harry Potter - Rated: M - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 19 - Words: 68,676 - Reviews: 213 - Favs: 1,476 - Follows: 796 - Updated: 4/25/2022 - Published: 7/1/2020 - [Harry P., Daphne G.] [Ron W., Tracey D.] - Complete
The Raben Project by The Agent X reviews
The Raven/Robin Project. A rewrite of the series using moments from the show. Teen Titans as it was truly meant to be. Rae/Rob. Obviously. Aftershock II: Terra helped them more than they realised. They've learned about themselves. They've learned about each other.
Teen Titans - Rated: K - English - Friendship/Romance - Chapters: 29 - Words: 23,816 - Reviews: 235 - Favs: 177 - Follows: 207 - Updated: 12/4/2021 - Published: 11/27/2009 - [Raven, Robin]
The Pawn by ajaton123 reviews
A darker KotOR-based story. What if Revan's mindwipe did not work out as planned and he regained his memories? - A certain soldier finds himself in the core of a galaxy-spanning war. But slowly, the shell encasing Darth Revan starts to crack...and eventually, who seems to be a pawn might, in fact, be the puppeteer. DSM Revan/Bastila
Star Wars - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Suspense - Chapters: 13 - Words: 74,520 - Reviews: 169 - Favs: 350 - Follows: 441 - Updated: 1/4/2020 - Published: 7/6/2011 - Revan, Bastila S., Darth Revan
Candle in the Dark by Creen reviews
This is basically KOTOR... but as a story, instead of a game... but it also deals with mysteries in the game. Where was the Promised Lands, and why was it so obvious? What really happened to Trask Ulgo? Dead, alive? Whose mind did they use to reprogram Revan? It's still about the main characters, but the endings of fleeting quests are seen a little better.
Star Wars - Rated: M - English - Fantasy - Chapters: 33 - Words: 289,223 - Reviews: 96 - Favs: 232 - Follows: 175 - Updated: 8/21/2016 - Published: 8/5/2013 - Revan, Carth O., Bastila S., Canderous O. - Complete
Holding out for a Hero by Little Minamino reviews
Time is running swiftly out for our heroes. Will they survive long enough to fulfill their destany or will the hope of their Village fade with their lives? Only time will tell..what's left of it. Itahika SasuSaku Naruhina etc. FINALLY UPDATED!
Naruto - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 77 - Words: 140,989 - Reviews: 859 - Favs: 228 - Follows: 176 - Updated: 8/2/2015 - Published: 4/11/2005 - Sakura H., Sasuke U.
The Queen of Arendelle by kimbalias reviews
Queen Elsa and Princess Anna are determined to do what is best for their kingdom and their family. But despite their best efforts, fate has a funny way of intervening. The parents they thought dead have returned after years of isolation to find their young daughters running the kingdom.
Frozen - Rated: K+ - English - Family/Suspense - Chapters: 6 - Words: 16,824 - Reviews: 28 - Favs: 98 - Follows: 145 - Updated: 6/18/2015 - Published: 1/27/2014 - Anna, Elsa, Kristoff B., Queen Iduna
The Girl They Called Jane by SuperFreak85 reviews
John Shepard gave his life on the Collector base to destroy it and save his team. Now the team must find John's sister and convince her to take up were John left off. But can they make a hero out of someone who never wanted to be one in the first place?
Mass Effect - Rated: M - English - Sci-Fi/Drama - Chapters: 43 - Words: 121,000 - Reviews: 263 - Favs: 246 - Follows: 327 - Updated: 5/30/2015 - Published: 2/22/2010 - J. Garson, Garrus V.
Eien No Kessoku: Gouka by IAmNotANut reviews
The final battle has come. Humanity has reached its limit and stands at the edge of the world. They are bound by their mistakes, bound by their punishment, and bound with their lives. The path narrows as the road ends, but can they evolve from what they've become? When they jump, will they fly or will they fall? A story of Shinobi Nations and the trials of their people. To the end.
Naruto - Rated: T - English - Romance/Friendship - Chapters: 20 - Words: 215,002 - Reviews: 171 - Favs: 216 - Follows: 191 - Updated: 3/2/2014 - Published: 4/4/2009 - Sasuke U., Sakura H. - Complete
Triple Identity by Lucifer-Allheart reviews
Gohan has been working at the CC since he was 15, but now at age 18 his mom forces him to go to high school. How will Gohan fit in while trying to keep his identity as halfalien, superhero AND scientist hidden? GohanxVidel highschool fic with some twists
Dragon Ball Z - Rated: T - English - Drama/Adventure - Chapters: 67 - Words: 312,941 - Reviews: 1919 - Favs: 1,738 - Follows: 1,675 - Updated: 1/31/2014 - Published: 5/19/2007 - Gohan, Videl
Jewel of Darkness by Eduard Kassel reviews
Raven is exiled from Azerath at the age of eight. Taken in by Slade as his apprentice she is trained as his right hand and heir. What does the future hold for the aspiring villain Midnight as she comes to face her first great challenge, the Teen Titans.
Teen Titans - Rated: T - English - Supernatural/Adventure - Chapters: 18 - Words: 141,314 - Reviews: 254 - Favs: 357 - Follows: 303 - Updated: 12/21/2013 - Published: 5/18/2009 - Raven
Hogyoku ex Machina by Mac Ceallach reviews
In the final battle with Aizen a different choice is made, and now Ichigo and his greatest enemy have gone back to the beginning. His best friends are powerless, his allies don't know him, and everything he loves is in danger. No non-canon pairings. Complete, with the sequel now posted.
Bleach - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Family - Chapters: 19 - Words: 172,592 - Reviews: 1900 - Favs: 6,715 - Follows: 2,975 - Updated: 6/24/2013 - Published: 10/30/2010 - Ichigo K. - Complete
Forward by Peptuck reviews
Following the Miranda broadwave, there's only one direction for Malcolm Reynolds and his crew to go. Part Nine: Wrath: Cornered on Persephone, River faces both the dark products of the Academy, and her own inner demons. Post-BDM, Series.
Firefly - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Drama - Chapters: 78 - Words: 508,361 - Reviews: 1748 - Favs: 1,538 - Follows: 1,317 - Updated: 5/4/2013 - Published: 2/27/2008 - River
The Darkest Lord by Lord Darth Master reviews
A galactic accident sends an entire Sith fleet four thousand years into the future. From there, Darth Revan is forced to re-establish power and launch war against the empire, while the Rebel Alliance is caught between the two Sith forces.
Star Wars - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 26 - Words: 159,678 - Reviews: 503 - Favs: 940 - Follows: 897 - Updated: 2/20/2013 - Published: 7/8/2008 - Revan, Bastila S.
No More Mysteries by MayorHaggar reviews
After his ill-fated trip to the Department of Mysteries that led to the death of his godfather, Harry Potter decides he must take control of his own life. But if a certain Gryffindor know-it-all has anything to say about it, he won't be doing it alone.
Harry Potter - Rated: T - English - Friendship/Romance - Chapters: 16 - Words: 96,690 - Reviews: 557 - Favs: 969 - Follows: 1,389 - Updated: 2/15/2013 - Published: 9/7/2010 - Harry P., Hermione G.
Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone by LukeDAP reviews
What if James and Lily had survived and were still alive? How would Harry's first year have been? I plan on writing all seven books, so, while there's no romance in this book, later it will be Harry/Hermione. This story is now COMPLETE.
Harry Potter - Rated: K+ - English - Friendship/Adventure - Chapters: 20 - Words: 31,582 - Reviews: 136 - Favs: 276 - Follows: 161 - Updated: 10/4/2012 - Published: 12/13/2010 - Harry P., Hermione G. - Complete
Mixed With the Lightning of Slaughter by Dayadhvam reviews
He keeps dreaming of a future gone to hell, but it's irrational to imagine that his visions would actually happen, right? Or so Sasuke thinks… but there are too many coincidences that prevent him from dismissing his dreams as mere illusions. Timetravel. (A/N: abandoned, sorry.)
Naruto - Rated: T - English - Drama - Chapters: 15 - Words: 45,477 - Reviews: 675 - Favs: 1,100 - Follows: 1,170 - Updated: 9/11/2012 - Published: 12/26/2007 - Naruto U., Sasuke U., Sakura H.
Sugar Coated Lies by Wah-Keetcha reviews
Going undercover in a town is hard; being undercover in a school is even harder. How does a teen that grew up to fast deal with a family environment and school without blowing his cover?
Fullmetal Alchemist - Rated: T - English - Drama/Angst - Chapters: 24 - Words: 65,530 - Reviews: 248 - Favs: 253 - Follows: 287 - Updated: 5/31/2012 - Published: 8/26/2009 - Edward E.
The Games We Play by xMissFortune reviews
PERMANENT HIATUS
Teen Titans - Rated: T - English - Suspense - Chapters: 7 - Words: 26,798 - Reviews: 61 - Favs: 28 - Follows: 27 - Updated: 1/3/2012 - Published: 2/11/2010 - Raven, Slade
A Paragon and A Renegade by skiski reviews
What if Commander Shepard had a twin? What if the twin was also a commander? One male, one female. One a beloved hero, one feared. A Mass Effect playthrough with twins! Includes some shenko-rific romance! ME1 & ME2 spoilers galore!
Mass Effect - Rated: M - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 10 - Words: 45,954 - Reviews: 24 - Favs: 37 - Follows: 51 - Updated: 12/30/2011 - Published: 2/19/2010 - J. Garson, Kaidan A.
Shinobi of Honor by Lady Crack reviews
AU. While on military leave, Sasuke Uchiha is housed with fellow comrade Neji...and finds love with the Hyuuga's shy cousin. SasuHina NejiTen -sequel up
Naruto - Rated: M - English - Romance - Chapters: 50 - Words: 141,124 - Reviews: 1162 - Favs: 867 - Follows: 431 - Updated: 11/30/2011 - Published: 12/11/2009 - Hinata H., Sasuke U. - Complete
Sailor Moon: Requiem of Silence by Raziel12 reviews
Hotaru begins to remember the origins of Saturn as Setsuna is forced to deal with the consequences of past mistakes. The Moon Kingdom casts a long shadow, and its past is neither gone nor forgotten.
Sailor Moon - Rated: K+ - English - Suspense - Chapters: 22 - Words: 103,813 - Reviews: 161 - Favs: 113 - Follows: 107 - Updated: 9/22/2011 - Published: 9/27/2007 - Hotaru T./Sailor Saturn, Setsuna M./Sailor Pluto
Dual Reality by Mine6Chan reviews
After a malfunction of the Omega Four Relay something nobody expected to ever happen, happened. Now, with a stranger turn of events than ever, can the Shepards and their teams, new and old, stop the growing threat of the Reapers in time?
Mass Effect - Rated: M - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 8 - Words: 40,818 - Reviews: 177 - Favs: 156 - Follows: 244 - Updated: 8/10/2011 - Published: 5/16/2011 - J. Garson, Shepard
Remorse is for the Dead by MeatwaD9021 reviews
Sasuke, a young hitman, is dealing with two worlds. The first being the world of contract killing, the second is keeping his secret from his friends. Can he do both at the same time, or will he have to give one up? Chapter 15 is up! Review please!
Naruto - Rated: M - English - Drama/Suspense - Chapters: 17 - Words: 52,943 - Reviews: 211 - Favs: 103 - Follows: 144 - Updated: 8/1/2011 - Published: 3/18/2007 - Sasuke U., Naruto U.
Revanchi by xMadGodx reviews
Revan returned from the unknown regions a dark lord but why? an AU were not everything is as it seems and Revan and his sith are not as dark as everyone believes with a mysterious enemy fighting a mysterious war do you know who is wrong or right?
Star Wars - Rated: T - English - Sci-Fi/Adventure - Chapters: 4 - Words: 13,266 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 6/30/2011 - Published: 5/15/2011 - Revan
Revolution by the general girl reviews
He was sent to protect her, but Sakura couldn't help but think that her dark savior was just as dangerous as those who sought to pry the kingdom from her cold, dead hands. — SasuSaku, AU.
Naruto - Rated: T - English - Romance/Suspense - Chapters: 9 - Words: 31,513 - Reviews: 274 - Favs: 372 - Follows: 462 - Updated: 6/18/2011 - Published: 7/28/2009 - Sasuke U., Sakura H.
What The Force Wills It To Be by MassEffectAdict reviews
Thank you to everyone who supported me in this story, I am going to try to re-tackle and completely rewrite this story, making big, hopefully good, changes.
Star Wars - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Sci-Fi - Chapters: 8 - Words: 29,996 - Reviews: 21 - Favs: 20 - Follows: 21 - Updated: 5/31/2011 - Published: 9/4/2010 - Revan
Hoc Est Bellum by Jonathan Mark reviews
A KOTOR fanfiction centered around Revan that deals mostly with the Mandalorian Wars. On hold.
Star Wars - Rated: M - English - Sci-Fi/Drama - Chapters: 8 - Words: 25,979 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 15 - Updated: 12/31/2010 - Published: 4/21/2010 - Revan, Darth Malak
Hero, Savior, Conquer, Villain by Teutonic Knight 92 reviews
Knights of the Old Republic. Rachel Skirta thought she was a simple former Republic Commando turned Merc hired to fight for the Republic. What she is about to learn will shake her and the Galaxy to its very core. Revan/Carth
Star Wars - Rated: T - English - Sci-Fi/Romance - Chapters: 20 - Words: 154,707 - Reviews: 62 - Favs: 77 - Follows: 38 - Updated: 12/7/2010 - Published: 8/24/2009 - Revan, Carth O. - Complete
Harry Potter and the She's like a Sister Problem by Christina-Potter-09 reviews
Post-DH No-Ep. Harry Potter & Hermione Granger are supposed to be friends...best friends... something like siblings... up until their hearts finally see what the eyes have been refusing to for all these years... Each Other... PURE HHR R&R!
Harry Potter - Rated: M - English - Romance/Friendship - Chapters: 13 - Words: 71,093 - Reviews: 327 - Favs: 599 - Follows: 307 - Updated: 11/12/2010 - Published: 9/9/2010 - Harry P., Hermione G. - Complete
I, Bastila by Futility Reigns reviews
KotOR : Facing Revan in battle had been her choice. Dealing with the aftermath was not.
Star Wars - Rated: T - English - Chapters: 6 - Words: 14,791 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 29 - Updated: 10/15/2010 - Published: 6/28/2010 - Bastila S., Revan
The Last Crusade by Cavartiash reviews
AU Story. With Padawan Shan's battle meditation ability having manifested. She is given to the only Master they feel can train her abundant talents. The youngest Jedi Knight. Knight Revan. Much to both of their dismay, as their personalities clash!
Star Wars - Rated: T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 4 - Words: 11,109 - Reviews: 32 - Favs: 34 - Follows: 32 - Updated: 10/13/2010 - Published: 10/4/2010 - Revan, Bastila S.
The Actions We Speak by trilliumgt reviews
*Completed* Naruto and team risk their lives to keep a hold of their captive Sasuke. Only to realize, Sasuke's the one really in control. Heated battles, a ninja's death, and an ending unpredicated. Na/Hi, Sa/Sak, Ne/Te, Sh/I. Some sexual content.
Naruto - Rated: M - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 43 - Words: 213,599 - Reviews: 287 - Favs: 233 - Follows: 160 - Updated: 7/13/2010 - Published: 1/17/2008 - Sasuke U., Sakura H., Neji H., Tenten - Complete
Clash of the NeoSannin II by Benjy122 reviews
After Danzo's disastrous Hokage reign tore the shinobi world asunder, Naruto and Sakura try to heal Konoha's bloody past and present. Their endeavors for peace are hampered by the rampant hatred in the ninja world, and the missing nin Sasuke Uchiha.
Naruto - Rated: T - English - Drama/Friendship - Chapters: 7 - Words: 11,647 - Reviews: 58 - Favs: 69 - Follows: 82 - Updated: 6/26/2010 - Published: 1/23/2010 - Sakura H., Naruto U.
The Alchemy of Silver and Gold by The Wayward Philosopher reviews
AU- Set during the revolution. "The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed." -Carl Jung
Rurouni Kenshin - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 17 - Words: 105,398 - Reviews: 295 - Favs: 351 - Follows: 98 - Updated: 6/25/2010 - Published: 3/12/2010 - Kenshin, Kaoru - Complete
Cause and Effect by Raven Studios reviews
Pre-Mass Effect. Jalissa Shepard meant to stay a farmer on Mindoir after high school. And then the batarians came. 100 prompts. 1000 words. From Mindoir, through basic, to Elysium, to just before boarding the Normandy. Snapshots of Shepard's life. (Cover images all belong to Bioware. As with Mass Effect itself, I'm just borrowing them and giving credit where it's due.)
Mass Effect - Rated: T - English - Adventure - Chapters: 100 - Words: 103,971 - Reviews: 253 - Favs: 305 - Follows: 129 - Updated: 6/24/2010 - Published: 11/16/2009 - J. Garson - Complete
Redemption by skrybble reviews
/Definition: deliverance from sin; salvation/ KotOR 1, LSF; spoilers included up through end of the game, along with plenty of angst, irony, and near-death experiences. Finally COMPLETE!
Star Wars - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 34 - Words: 271,082 - Reviews: 146 - Favs: 75 - Follows: 31 - Updated: 6/20/2010 - Published: 5/20/2009 - Revan - Complete
The Gathering Storm by rogermein reviews
This is a prequel leading up to the events of KOTOR. It follows Revan on a mission to uncover the mystery of missing Jedi. What Revan discovers will act as a catalyst to future events as he realizes powerful forces seek to undo the Jedi and Republic.
Star Wars - Rated: T - English - Sci-Fi/Adventure - Chapters: 16 - Words: 42,304 - Reviews: 92 - Favs: 71 - Follows: 32 - Updated: 5/28/2010 - Published: 5/10/2010 - Revan - Complete
Your Iris, My Love by sportiegrl reviews
To him; she was a strange girl that had no fear. To her; he was a strong, but fragile man. She was his beauty, princess, Iris. He was her samurai, bodyguard, Love. An innocent meeting was all it took to start their winding pathway of love. KenshinXTomoe
Rurouni Kenshin - Rated: T - English - Romance - Chapters: 5 - Words: 12,709 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 5/7/2010 - Published: 1/24/2010 - Kenshin, Tomoe
Destiny's Shadow by fongiel24 reviews
This is an alternate universe fanfic based on the video game Knights of the Old Republic. It is a 'what if' story that has Revan retaining his memory after his capture by the Jedi.
Star Wars - Rated: T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 12 - Words: 109,383 - Reviews: 40 - Favs: 182 - Follows: 131 - Updated: 5/2/2010 - Published: 4/28/2010 - Bastila S., Revan
Path of the Prodical by TheLastZion reviews
Everyone starts somewhere. Follow the path of a young boy named Revan and the three women that shape the man he will become. This is my first story. Please give me your input.
Star Wars - Rated: M - English - Adventure/Sci-Fi - Chapters: 10 - Words: 38,309 - Reviews: 26 - Favs: 24 - Follows: 29 - Updated: 2/20/2010 - Published: 6/8/2009
All I Ever Wanted by letmeannoyyoutoday reviews
AU. Sasu/Saku. When his father asked him to take the lead of the Uchiha enterprises, Sasuke's thoughts would have never led him to a hot, pink secretary who would change his life forever.
Naruto - Rated: M - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 8 - Words: 37,117 - Reviews: 308 - Favs: 506 - Follows: 551 - Updated: 1/16/2010 - Published: 6/30/2009 - [Sasuke U., Sakura H.]
Turning Back by DemonicK reviews
With Malak poised to take control of the Sith armada, Revan must make a choice. Allow him to destroy the Republic... or sacrifice her own plans for the galaxy in order to stop him. KoToR I: Semi-DSF, *with* memories
Star Wars - Rated: K+ - English - Drama/Adventure - Chapters: 4 - Words: 21,435 - Reviews: 34 - Favs: 46 - Follows: 45 - Updated: 12/29/2009 - Published: 6/26/2009 - Revan
KOTOR: The Power of Choice by Sith Lord Darth Revan reviews
Alternate Universe story involving a male Revan remembering his true identity. Part I primarily following Revan Completed, Part II covering the second KOTOR and the Exile's tale in progress...
Star Wars - Rated: T - English - Sci-Fi/Adventure - Chapters: 46 - Words: 280,911 - Reviews: 678 - Favs: 743 - Follows: 527 - Updated: 12/9/2009 - Published: 4/10/2007 - Revan, Exile/Meetra Surik
Rurouni Kenshin: Rewritten by OkitaSoujiro reviews
Instead of meeting Kaoru in the days of the Meiji Era, it was in Modern Tokyo...in High School. This time, Kaoru is unaware that he is none other than the famous Hitokiri Battousai who escaped from the government. What will happen when she finds out? R&R
Rurouni Kenshin - Rated: T - English - Adventure/Suspense - Chapters: 3 - Words: 13,896 - Reviews: 18 - Favs: 17 - Follows: 26 - Updated: 11/1/2009 - Published: 5/19/2008 - Kenshin, Battousai
Let Me In by AwkwardBex reviews
Sakura Haruno has never bothered with other's concerns if she could help it. But when the new kid refuses to interact with anyone, Sakura suddenly feels an unexplainable need to help him open up. *SASUSAKU* other pairings featured. Rated T to be safe
Naruto - Rated: T - English - Romance/Friendship - Chapters: 8 - Words: 15,476 - Reviews: 25 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 22 - Updated: 10/26/2009 - Published: 12/14/2008 - Sasuke U., Sakura H.
Bookwyrm by Jerot reviews
Harry James Potter is the premiere Slytherin student coming into his fifth year at Hogwarts. Between OWLs, Quidditch, and inter-house rivalry, will he find the time for romance? AU fic where the potters are still alive, H/Hr. Please review!
Harry Potter - Rated: T - English - Romance - Chapters: 10 - Words: 45,072 - Reviews: 143 - Favs: 216 - Follows: 271 - Updated: 9/24/2009 - Published: 12/20/2008 - Harry P., Hermione G.