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Complete Deja Vu and Dreams Series By Electrasev5n - M - Naruto

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Styx0444, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. Styx0444

    Styx0444 Minister of Magic

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    Title: Vapors
    Author: Electrasev5n
    Rating: M
    Genre: OC/SI
    Chapters: 103
    Words: 670,665
    Updated: July 21, 2014
    Published: November 18, 2013
    Status: Complete
    Fandom: Naruto
    Pairings: no long term pairing
    Summary: This ninja business? It isn't for the faint of heart. Luckily Aiko is far from faint, even if she did get stuck with a ridiculously girly name. SI, OC, whatever you want to call it. Rating is for language.
    Link: FFN AO3


    Title: Clarity
    Author: Electrasev5n
    Rating: M
    Genre: OC/SI
    Fandom: Naruto
    Pairings: None
    Chapters: 24
    Words: 226,831
    Updated: May 2, 2015
    Published: July 20, 2014
    Status: Complete
    Summary: It's all about your perspective, really. She may have been kidnapped by a lunatic, or this might be an interesting new employment opportunity. She'll hang around for now- she doesn't have anything better to do. This is the sequel to 'Vapors', an OC story that loosely follows the conventions of a SI. I don't recommend starting here, I really don't.
    Link: FFN AO3

    Like every other SI I've ever read, I expected this to be shit. This time, I was pleasantly surprised. The author is reincarnated as Uzumaki Aiko, Naruto's twin sister, and learns fairly quickly that life in a world run by super-powered ninja actually kinda sucks. It's not grimdark or anything, but it takes most things to the logical conclusion.

    The OC doesn't fix everything, never becomes overpowered, and a lot of attempts at fixing things fail pretty badly. At the same time, the story never grows to depressing, with an occasional joke or lighthearted tone that works pretty well.

    If you like Dreaming of Sunshine, give this a shot.

    5/5

    The difference between the FFN and AO3 versions of 'Vapors' is that the AO3 versions contains a couple character arcs and sex scenes not found in the FFN version due to terms of service. The differences start at chapter 70, I think.

    There's also a collection of pairing drabbles off the author's tumblr that can be found here.


    The author added more on her tumblr, placing her SI Aiko in canon-Naruto.

    [insert future summary by someone who actually read it]

    Part One
    Part Two
    Part Three
    Part Four
    Part Five
    Part Six
    Part Seven
    Part Eight
    Part Nine
    Part Ten
    Part Eleven
    Part Twelve
    Part Thirteen
    Part Fourteen
    Part Fifteen
    Part Sixteen
    Part Seventeen
    Part Eighteen
    Part Nineteen
    Part Twenty
    Part Twenty One
    Part Twenty Two
    Part Twenty Three
    Part Twenty Four
    Part Twenty Five



    Edit by Minion, June 28, 2016
    Added Aiko in Canon - thx. to Anya, Yak, et alii
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2017
  2. Moridin

    Moridin Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    I really liked Vapors, while I overall prefer DoS, this was faster paced, had more action and was a lot of fun to read. Towards the end you could see the author losing interest, and the sequel suffered a lot from that. The cliché ending to Vapors that provided the main conflict for Clarity was also fairly annoying - it was technically done well, but I found myself skimming the chapters and waiting for it to be resolved. The ending was also rushed due to the author's admitted (and understandable) fatigue with the story, and it feels very abrupt as a result. I feel like we missed a chance to really see Aiko make a mark on the world stage with her skills and her abilities, first because of the initial conflict of Clarity and then because of the sudden ending.

    Overall, 4/5.
     
  3. yak

    yak Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I'll repost my review from the Naruto fics thread here:

    ---
    I finally finished Vapors some days ago. I read the first few chapters of the sequel, Clarity, but it was such a terrible twist from the main fic that I dropped it pretty quickly.

    I didn't mind the one-sided infatuation there. It was an amusing part of Aiko's character.

    I stopped when this was happening at the beginning of Clarity.

    I didn't mind that the story wasn't focused on Naruto. He still got to go and do his stuff, albeit largely offscreen. Aiko's story and character is a dark counterpoint to Naruto's.

    I couldn't stomach it for exactly the same reasons. It was a rubbish plot twist that
    reset a lot of our emotional investment and attachment to
    Aiko. I may as well have been reading about a stranger. I think I read the first four chapters, but there was no sign that this was just a bump in the road of the character development and that things were about to get back on track.

    It was a decent read until the end. Unfortunate.
    ---

    Back to thread.

    Vapors: 4/5
    Clarity: Disappointing/5
     
  4. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Agree pretty much with Moridin. It's a very entertaining read, fast paced, action packed with fun interactions between the characters. The take on several characters was great, making Sasuke Tsunade's apprentice was outright brilliant and I liked Aiko very much throughout this, as I did her relationships with other people. Her interactions with various factions and people, like Kakashi, Tenzo, Mei, Tsunade and so on, was just pure fun to read.

    The writing itself was not as well as it could be, a bit flawed and, quite puzzlingly, I think it kinda got worse, in terms of, I noticed more flaws towards the end of the story.

    I also love the humour in this. Like, the arc where

    they are in the past and meet Minato. When Minato gives Sasuke and Naruto the hiraishin kunais and Sasuke is just not at all impressed because his teammate is overusing the technique as it is and says in a monotone how novel it is to be handed these kunai, I just loved that scene.

    Still, the first story was just a lot of fun.

    I do agree that the chlichéd trope used was lame, though, interrupting the story in a rather stark way and the fic never truly recovered. Clarity wasn't awful but I did skim through more than a few chapters, wanting that plot point to just be over.

    So, yeah, obviously flawed but I do love it. It doesn't take itself all that seriously and doesn't quite have the depth or grounding of DoS but then again, it doesn't try to. Instead, it is more outrageous, faster, funnier, more actionpacked with a larger than life main character who never gets overpowered but whose skills do put her in contact with the high end characters.

    Overall, 4/5. I're read Vapors twice, I liked it that much.
     
  5. Moridin

    Moridin Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    One more thing I liked about Vapors was the politicking. The interactions Tsunade has with Mei, Gaara and Danzo were a lot of fun to read, especially from her perspective. I don't remember many other stories that explore that side of international relations.
     
  6. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Can someone give me spoilers (in spoiler tags) for a bit more of this story?

    I made it through Chapter 8, but I don't like Aiko, the characterizations of most other characters, or much of anything else about the story so far. It's not bad, it's just not appealing to me.

    But it's decently well written and deviates from canon enough to qualify as really interesting. More than anything I'm curious as to the various plot threads, characterizations, etc. that it apparently has. But I don't want to read 650k+ to see if it's worth it.

    Tentative rating (after 8 chapters): 3/5
     
  7. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    @CheddarTrek: Honestly, I think if you dislike so much about the story at that point, I doubt you will like the rest.

    A few heavy spoilers though, do not click if you want to be surprised.

    - Aiko going undercover in Root, on the orders of Tsunade
    - Aiko becoming semi competent in sealing, including a bastardized version of the Hiraishin, which is not that useful in combat but instant teleportation makes her integral in coordinating with other villages and a big political chip. Basically, it gives her a high level non combat skill which makes her a priority s-class target, but she lacks the strength of an S-class fighter, having a technique above her weight class.
    - The semi competence leads to stuff like sealing a tailed beast (Jiraya figures out the seal and he teaches her that, she just copies him), which is followed by more politics
    - Friendships and then estrangement from characters such as Karin, Hinata and Sasuke.
    - the Kakashi dynamic is him just being this weirdly enjoyable, anti social asshole she has a crush on, but which he consistently ignores/denies and there is bonding with Tenzo. The whole dynamic the three have, with this odd cycle off bullying is just pure fun
    - the take on Sasuke, I really love, and honestly, I would nearly recc the story on that aspect alone. It's genius and I wish that was in more stories. Tsunade is a perfect mentor for Sasuke.
    -her becoming familiar/kinda bonding with people outside the village, like Temari and other hosts of tailed beasts
    - Aiko herself never really deals with her emotional issues but since she has Kakashi as a role model, she deals with them the same way he does, and that causes some problems along the line.
    - The connection to Tsunade is pretty entertaining as well, becoming one of her most important assets but them both knowing this and never becoming all that more personal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  8. Moridin

    Moridin Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    Eh, I would argue that (spoiler)

    her Hiraishin is pretty devastating in combat against small teams - look at the fight against the Kumo infiltrators for an example.

    I agree with Nemrut - the characterisations, especially of Aiko, are the meat of the story going forward, and they don't change all that much, so if you dislike those then I don't think it's worth going forward.
     
  9. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Thanks Nemrut! You too Moridin. That's a decent bit of what I was looking for.

    My problem with this story is that I want to know happens, but I don't actually want to have to read 650k+ to find out. Intellectually it's interesting, but in terms of time commitment it's not enjoyable enough in the process.

    Cheers :awesome
     
  10. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I ended up reading the rest of it, in large part because I have a lot of trouble dropping something with decent pacing and original storytelling. Regardless of whatever else in the story bugs me.

    ...and yeah, turns out I have to bump up my rating to 4.5 and round down 4/5. It got a lot better around the 100k mark for me. Which is a lot of time to start the ball rolling properly, but it was probably the author finding their feet. I still definitely prefer DoS, but this is a good competitor.

    Early on the story tried a little too hard to be dark and gritty I think. That's not to say that it ever devolved into suns and roses territory, but once the author started to figure out their characterizations and get consistent with them, things got interesting.

    This is probably the best take on Sasuke that I've read. It's not canon, but it's unique and pretty badass.

    What sets this story apart from me is the plotting. There's just enough canon elements left in it to peak my interest from time to time, but the bulk of it is original content from what I can tell.

    There isn't one big enemy to fight, and the pacing moves along quick enough that we go from Orochimaru to Kabuto to Akatsuki to Pein to Madara, etc., with Danzo and random other plot lines mixed in, with reasonable speed and interest. In addition there are tensions between the good guys (not only between the treaties that the Villages have, but even within villages), dissent in Akatsuki, Konan's roles, etc.

    It's complex, even if it doesn't feel confusing. That makes it interesting to read, even if I never fully got into it.

    I'm glad I pushed through. I started Clarity lately, and I agree that it's dragging. I didn't mind the start, but I feel like the author has lost some of her pacing skills. The whole, uh, concept of the twist at the end of Vapors is dragging out too long. I liked the idea, but it's not fun to read, and I'm ready for more progression in that area.
     
  11. Anya

    Anya Harley Quinn DLP Supporter

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    The author has written a bit more in the series, placing Aiko In Canon.
     
  12. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    When you look at Vapors critically, it is not a high quality fic. It has a lot of fundamental issues that you can go after. The technical writing starts out sub-par, becomes just readable and then never really improves. The story itself very much follows the sort of plot line we expect of a Naruto fic from 2005 with everything working out quite conveniently for the main character - whether overcoming obstacles or just seeming to be able to make friends with just about everyone (except Orochimaru).

    The author also has this attitude where they just don't bother writing scenes they're not interested in. It's like, when most writer's hit that writer's block or a particular scene they're not good at, they push themselves through it - Electrasev5n sometimes just skips over completely.

    For example, look at how the Gaara fight wrapped up:
    She might have been onto something with her use of water, because her move really pissed off the demon. It was hard to register anything beyond the enormous roar that filled the air, but she took the time to notice that the string of sand that grabbed around both her ankles and flung her headfirst into a tree was the smallest amount she'd ever seen him use at one time. She quirked a smile in the instant before the impact knocked her unconscious, coming dangerously close to snapping her neck.

    In any other situation, she might have been embarrassed to be caught and carried to a safer distance by one of the genin in her care. Once she awoke, however, and learned that Naruto had flipped a switch into crazy town that had made Sasuke not entirely mind the retreat, she was too relieved to care. She came to consciousness the next day in a hospital bed, bandages over wounds she didn't remember getting and an iv securing her to the bed. She paled, closing her eyes and curling up as much as she could without moving her arm.

    Like holy shit, it's like the author just got bored and wrapped the whole thing up in a paragraph. There's wasn't even a scene break to separate the loss of consciousness! I was half skim reading the first time I read it, and ended up very confused.


    But despite all of its issues, what Vapors managed to do was keep my attention for 670k words. 670k words! Even many absolutely top notch, well written fics start off great and quickly go down hill, lose their way or do something stupid. Vapors managed to keep a constant level of interest the whole time. There wasn't a single arc I found boring - even the more minor ones had a purpose (whether it was her making a new friend, or exploring the relationship with an existing one).

    And after all that? I actually managed to reread the whole thing again. A mere 6 months later too!

    That's a huge achievement in my books, and it also means that the story was consistently entertaining. It wasn't about big build ups of tension to big climaxes, or huge plot twists - the highlights were every single interaction, every single piece of dialogue and every single little event. That's really the strength of this fic I think. The characters and the dialogue.

    And wow, so many likeable characters. It's rare that a Naruto story has me loving the entire cast, but Vapors manages to pull it off. And each character manages to feel quite distinct from their canon counterparts - they feel like Vapors characters and not just Naruto ones. Sasuke, Naruto, Kakashi, Tsunade, Sai, Yamato, Karin in particular stand out as having their own distinct characters from canon - without diverging too far from canon. They also all have their own fun and unique relationship with Aiko. It's done in this great sort of lighthearted, comical way that still manages to convey drama when it needs to.

    Another big winner is that it manages to make the protagonist badass without the detriment of anyone else - for the entire length of the story too. Naruto still has his own story, and his own story he is the kick ass hero. That story is completely separate to Aiko's, where she also kicks ass. Aiko manages to fluke her way into some seriously powerful techniques, which gain her a lot of attention, but S/A rank ninja are still consistently portrayed as miles above her level. Both Naruto and Sasuke have interesting relationships with Aiko, but then they still have their own thing going on (one of my issues with DoS was that Shikako became too much the focus of every interaction). And so on.

    The outcomes of each event is very much what you the reader secretly yearn for. If a enemy character is likeable? Aiko will befriend them. If they're a dick? They'll probably die. But while it toes that line of cheesy, I feel like it never actually crosses it - making generally a pretty feel good, light fic without ever becoming too hard to take seriously. Some of that is also that the general light feel of the whole thing doesn't make it feel like it's trying too hard other.

    There's also a lot more character depth than you think at first.

    An example of that which I really liked would be how Naruto and Sasuke keep teasing Aiko about being kidnapped by Sasori, and she sort of nonchalantly ignores it to their faces, only to later admit to Minato that she was really traumatized from that event and they're really hurting her.

    That whole Minato time travel filler arc was pretty awesome in general. And yes, as Nemrut said, Sasuke's comment of "A Hirashin. How novel." was hilarious.

    Another good example of depth would be how Aiko seems to hold this slight resentment to her parents. And how offended and confused Kakashi seems to get when he learns she feels that way.

    So yeah, while technically speaking, not a quality fic from a technical or conceptual perspective, I freaking love this story. And I will end up rereading it again in the near future. It really drew me into its world and its characters - Aiko feels as real as any canon character for me (unlike most OCs fics, where a lot of them sort of blur together in my head). Where it lacks in technical writing, thematical depth or complexity, it makes up by having soul - a real emotional connection you form with it. This has brought me more enjoyment than most fanfiction and for that I'll happily give it a 4.5/5, rounded down.



    (Oh, and Clarity gets a 2.5/5 because it was shit - what a way to ruin a good thing. And that's all I'm gonna say on that...)
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  13. yak

    yak Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I'm only up to chapter three so far, but it's interesting. Unfortunately, the author can't keep the pieces organised. Some of them are tagged correctly and others aren't, and because it's Tumblr it's nearly impossible to find anything.

    So, with a bit of Google magic, this is the index for "Aiko in Canon":

    Part One
    Part Two
    Part Three
    Part Four
    Part Five
    Part Six
    Part Seven
    Part Eight
    Part Nine
    Part Ten
    Part Eleven
    Part Twelve
    Part Thirteen
    Part Fourteen
    Part Fifteen
    Part Sixteen
    Part Seventeen
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
  14. Styx0444

    Styx0444 Minister of Magic

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    Part Twelve

    Decent update, too bad the author isn't uploading to a real website.
     
  15. Drake

    Drake Seventh Year

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    So, I enjoyed reading Vapors, but the twist at the end outright killed any desire I had to continue on with the story. Could someone give me a spoilered summary of what happens in Clarity?
     
  16. chiefnewo

    chiefnewo First Year DLP Supporter

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    The author said that this way they feel no obligation to keep writing it and it can stay a fun side project. Uploading it to ff or ao3 comes with the expectation that it will have more focus than it does.

    I'd say it's worth reading Clarity anyway, it's pretty short and complete. I can spoil you that Aiko does get her memory back but spends more than half the story with amnesia.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  17. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I didn't like part twelve, personally. I was into it 'til then.
    For me a lot of the interest is Aiko interacting with Konoha, now that she doesn't exist there. She said it herself though - becoming Mizukage will fuck with that. And while it might be interesting, it's really turns me off the story. Personal thing, I guess, in terms of what I'm interested in reading.
     
    yak
  18. Drake

    Drake Seventh Year

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    So, I'm alright with the twist, but it certainly changes this into more of a "real" story instead of "Aiko Blunders Her Way Through Canon Elemental Nations". It started off kind of crack-y, but it is kind of grounding now with the last few chapters.
     
  19. Joncis

    Joncis Third Year

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    I don't know, part twelve might not have changed too much in regards to that.

    Aiko doesn't really know that much about running a village and knows even less about Mizugakure, so someone else can take charge of rebuilding. In the meantime however, the new Mizukage can show that her village isn't an easy target by presenting a strong face at an important international event. One like, say, the chuunin exams that are happening in Konoha in about a month.

    Might not happen, but it's still a possibility that I'm hoping for.
     
  20. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Oh I have no doubt that she'll still be having a lot of contact with Konoha, possibly in the way that you mention. I'm objecting to the nature of it, given these changes.