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WIP Catch Your Breath by Lang Noi - M - Naruto

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Palindrome, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. Palindrome

    Palindrome Magma Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Title: Catch Your Breath
    Author: Lang Noi
    Rating: M
    Genre: Humor/Drama
    Status: WIP
    Fandom: Naruto
    Pairings: None
    Summary: Inspired by Silver Queen's "Dreaming of Sunshine." Ripples turn into waves and crash upon the shores of what is and what could be, and I was just someone else who got pulled under. I didn't realize that even a drowning person makes waves of their own. A SI OC story.
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9509154/1/Catch-Your-Breath

    Another SI story - this one unique in that the protagonist, Keisuke Gekko, is around Kakashi's age and ends up on a team with him and Obito. Unlike Kakashi, she's no genius but does hold her own well on the team.

    There are some good elements of this fic, and some definite bad elements. I actually am only halfway through the story right now, but I wanted to discuss the story.

    The good:
    • The writing is pretty decent all round.
    • There's a heck of a lot of it.
      89 chapters and 530,000 words means that if you're looking for something to keep you occupied for a while, you've certainly found it.​
    • The characters are all well represented, for the most part.
    • Kei's a decent protagonist.
      I like her personality better than the others in this story, and it's not overwrought in any way. She's sort of gruff around the edges.​
    • The time period setting is fairly unique.

    The bad:
    • The mindscape cringe.
      I hated this when it was first introduced - our protagonist has some kind of bullshitty split personality thing going on, and occasionally we go into the corporeal realm of her brain to have a chat with it.

      It's actually not quite as bad as it sounds - after my knee-jerk disgust, I found that it didn't impact the story too much. Ultimately the dreaded 'being talked to by the entity in her head' thing isn't done badly at all. But it is still there.​
    • Kakashi isn't interesting.
      This doesn't so much have a negative impact on the story as it is a sadly missed opportunity: their entire team dynamic is a lot duller than it could be by virtue of Kakashi not actually being interesting in any way. Obito and Kakashi ostensibly bicker, but that's about it.

      Kakashi really has no impact on the story - and it's a shame because him being a prickly character at this point in his life in canon would have probably made for a more compelling tale.​
    • The story is not particularly compelling in general.
      I tore through this story mainly by virtue of avoiding doing something else more important. I've come away with the general impression that no plot elements or action scenes actually stuck out to me - this whole story is perhaps a little bland, but not boring.​
    • Deviating from canon is a filthy, filthy lie.
      At least so far, and this is the reason I haven't finished reading yet. I'm frustrated. (The following may be something of a spoiler, but I think it might be something you ought to know going in.)

      I'm sick of reading canon rehashes. Luckily, this story can't really be one, because it's set long before canon. On the other hand, there are Events. Those kinds of Events in canon that were fairly instrumental in the rest of the series turning out the way it did, like Obito becoming a villain.

      When I went into this, I really thought that given the protagonist knows about the events that happen to Team Minato, is actively trying very hard to work to change their narrative fates, and that her sheer presence ought to have made a lot of things different, the further in we get the more things still turn out to be the goddamn same as canon.

      It's utterly frustrating. It would be a lot less frustrating if these Events also didn't happen to occur in the same goddamn way as they did in canon too. This aspect of the story is the absolute worst thing about it.

      I can understand a writer not wanting to muck with the really key elements of canon. As soon as you derail something critical, logically so much else would spiral out of control - and that can be a very hard thing to write. So I completely understand why it's not something every writer would want to tackle.

      But having these critical Events play out in the same goddamn way as canon despite the protagonist knowing about how they will play out and trying to avoid it is the some of the most uncreative bullshit nonsense I've ever run across. If you're going to make an Event inevitable, at least attempt to approach it in a fresh way! There are so many better ways to have gone about it, ways which wouldn't have left me feeling so cheated after building up the motives of the protagonist trying to actually affect the world around her.

      So, in short - argh. Take my criticism here with a grain of salt, as I haven't picked up the story again since ragequitting in chapter 47. I don't know if the rest of the story will follow the fatalistic trend, and I really hope it doesn't - but you should know not to get your hopes up too high if you want to read it.​

    TL;DR - it's a solid story but it doesn't stand out in any particular way. The lack of deviation from canon is frustrating.

    3/5

    To anyone who has read the rest of it - does the canon deviation issue get any better?
     
  2. Unresolved

    Unresolved Squib

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    I finished reading this story a few days ago and the plot does start to diverge a bit later on.

    It starts to diverge after Obito returns to Konoha. Keisuke starts to be more proactive in eliminating threats like Danzo.

    As for the story itself, it was okay. I enjoyed Dreaming of Sunshine and Vapors a lot more, but it was certainly readable. I was disappointed that Hayate's character wasn't fleshed out more since he's a major part of Kei's life. He feels more like a side-character whereas Rin, Obito and Minato were all much more prominent.

    There were also several parts of the story that I really disliked. I've ended up skimming every section where the Chinatsugumi come up because they don't interest me at all. They haven't seemed plot-relevant at all so far and considering how much the story relies on canon, I don't like their inclusion in the world. Also, I cringe every time someone mistakes Kei for a boy. It was a decent device to describe her boyish features the first time around, but every single person has to make that mistake, even 80 chapters in. I don't really find it amusing and I'm not sure why the author keeps trying to hammer that point home.

    Overall, I'd rate the story at a 3.5 rounded down to 3. Kei's lack of agency for the first half of the story is rather off-putting.
     
  3. yak

    yak Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I'll assume that you mean
    the Kannabi Bridge mission.
    I was similarly disappointed at that point. All of that foreknowledge and access to the key individuals involved and the SI didn't stop it.

    Take heart, Palindrome.

    Things divert in a big way, quite quickly. I'm on Ch56. I'd advise you to continue reading through the Rashomon Arc Ch 48-52. That shouldn't be far from where you are now.

    I think you're spot on about the story being okay, but not compelling. I'd give this a 4/5. It just barely scrapes in.
     
  4. VanRopen

    VanRopen Auror

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    It doesn't diverge on the most Major thing - which certainly is infuriating to some degree. But since we are now after the major Events and in that twelve year gap between "Kyuubi attack" and "series begins", there is nothing left to diverge from. I'm kinda curious where things are going since the author doesn't seem to be slowing at all and there have been changes which should have knock on effects (like the death spoilered in the post above).

    Edit: ...two posts above, whelp.
     
  5. yak

    yak Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    That's unfortunate. I'm about two-thirds through the story and the last time Kei was confused for a boy was over a year ago with Jiraiya's introduction. I was hoping that her physical aging since then had put a stop to that. She's 14 now.
     
  6. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    From what the author has said in notes, they're actually getting a bit shitty with a number of reviewers asking when Kei is going to become sexually active. That could be part of the reason why this is coming to the forefront of descriptors again.

    Pretty sure this is the story I'm remembering that from, anyway.
     
  7. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    It's an interesting story, it diverges in some places, especially later on, and it doesn't in other, so, I can understand why some would find it frustrating. Still, it explores an era in Naruto that few other fanfics do to this depth and it has been quite fun, especially with all the abilities the team brings to field as of now and their new duties.

    So, while flawed, still reasonably fun.

    3.5-4/5
     
  8. Lungs

    Lungs KT Loser Prestige DLP Supporter

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    That feel when ffn reviewers are icky and shit :|
     
  9. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I can't really rate this, as I couldn't get very far into it and my rating might not really correspond to the overall fic. Eh. Shouldn't that in itself be enough to give my rating? Not sure.

    What is it with the Naruto fandom and SIs? Is there really no worthwhile fic that's not an SI for people to read and talk about?
     
  10. Palindrome

    Palindrome Magma Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I think it's more that we've been avoiding reading them for a long time, but recently we've all picked up the likes of Dreaming Of Sunshine and felt like reading more. They're all coming out of the woodwork now.
     
  11. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    DoS kinda kickstarted the SI genre where the SI is reincarnated into the naruto verse which is way more interesting and promising than the previous "am sucked through my DVD bullshit".
     
  12. tehanuys

    tehanuys Temporarily Banhammered

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    Title: Catch Your Breath
    Author: Lang Noi
    Rating: M
    Genre: Humor/Drama
    Status: WIP
    Fandom: Naruto
    Pairings: Inspired by Silver Queen's "Dreaming of Sunshine." Ripples turn into waves and crash upon the shores of what is and what could be, and I was just someone else who got pulled under. I didn't realize that even a drowning person makes waves of their own. A SI OC story.
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9509154/1/Catch-Your-Breath

    A good SI Naruto fic. It is set in the 3rd Shinobi War for most of the story. There are very little to no grammar and spelling mistakes. Characters are not OP, with a realistic growth in skills and power. The MC has a bunch of issues that are addressed as the story progresses.

    It is also fairly long, as in 686,173 words long.
     
  13. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    This still gets regular updates and I have to say, not quite liking where it went with the relationship between Minato and the SI. Kinda got angsty pretty hard for a few chapters but I hope it will get more energy in the coming chapters with her as a sensei.

    Still solid overall, though.
     
  14. throwaawy

    throwaawy Second Year

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    having read through this recently, a few things to add to others' reviews.

    bad/meh things:
    - the mindscape thing goes away a bit after the kannabi bridge arc, but the end result is that most of the people close to the SI, including
    Isobu the Three Tails
    learn about her "foresight"
    - a huge group of OCs that are ostensibly plot relevant but not really show up in a few arcs and i'm honestly not sure what their purpose was other than to introduce a prospective genin team in later chapters
    - over all plot is possibly less epic than the author has been intending
    - weird emotional resolution of shipping near latest chapters

    decent/good things:
    - there is huuuuge derailment by the 69th chapter, which is the start of an arc that goes through Naruto's birth and the ripples seem to spread from there
    - reasonable power growth into jounin level
    - as a character the SI is pretty consistent and amusing in various ways

    wtf things
    -bijuu skype (makes sense in context... i think)

    anyhow while it's not my favourite si story i dont think cyb is actually all that bad. tentative 4/5 for the middle parts (solid 4.5 for kannabi tooct 10th arcs), though the beginning is a 3/5. i just wish it ramped up a bit faster.

    main reason im posting though is cuz i noticed the author did her own sidestory where the si is dropped into early onepiece.

    spoilered for midstoryCYB spoilers..
    Ocean Stars Falling (https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12418477/1/Ocean-Stars-Falling)
    Once again, Kei's infamous (bad) luck spurs a brand new adventure. Only this time, there's no foreknowledge, a giant grumpy turtle monster not where he's supposed to be, and an ocean full of possibilities and danger in the same breath. She just knows she has to find some way to get home to Konoha. And what is all this business about pirates, anyway? (A Catch Your Breath side-story)

    i personally found the sidestory interesting so far. reasonable amount of changes to early one piece with the potential for much, much greater alterations that aren't even her own fault. i think what draws me the most here is she isnt the only one pulled from the naruto world into one piece. tentative 4/5 for the sidestory
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
  15. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Thank you so much for posting this, I wasn't aware at all that there was a side story with Kei in One Piece. It's really a lot of fun and more enjoyable than canon at this place.

    Which is weird, because I actually really like Kei. I love her fighting style, I love her personality and her relationship with her Tailed Beast. Heck, that weird skype thing I actually find a good inclusion. Nevertheless, I kinda stopped reading when she got together with Kakashi and I didn't know why until I realized that I really don't like the Kakashi in the story.

    Now, he is a well written Kakashi. Why he is the way he is makes absolutely perfect sense. We know how he was before all that Obito and Rin business went down and I stand by my initial praise of the story that it shows us a time period in depth that we don't see all that often.

    However, I really don't like this stiff Kakashi. Kakashi is at his best when he is a human disaster, a survivor who survived the deaths of most people he cared about and how that really messed with him and he became the person he is. The sentence to best describe Kakashi was in one of SilverShine's stories where she said that Kakashi lived to make people uncomfortable and I really like that take on Kakashi.

    And yeah, Kakashi here is just boring and unpleasant to read and it is very unlikely that he will develop into his canon persona.

    So yeah, the One Piece story, where Kei (and the other Jinchuruki) are in One Piece is actually a lot of fun because the more boring people are not with her and we get to see Kei kinda interact with the canon world.

    My biggest criticism is that we don't really explore the OP world all that much. Now, major kudos for not joining the Straw Hats and rehashing canon with them, but it doesn't really feel like much of an OP story either because they can travel how they please and the goal that Kei has set for herself seems to be mostly met already and I would love for the story to take its time more. To really just go on this adventure that will take a while.

    But yeah, if you liked Kei but couldn't warm up to the main story for whatever reason, check out the OP story. It's a lot of fun.