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WIP Five Kingdoms of the Dead by Evil is a Relative Term - T - Naruto

Discussion in 'Naruto' started by Gaubin, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Gaubin

    Gaubin Muggle

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    Title: Five Kingdoms of the Dead
    Author: Evil is a Relative Term
    Rating: T
    Fandom: Naruto
    Genre: Drama/Adventure
    Status: Work in Progress
    Chapters: 31
    Words: 161,303
    Updated: 11-21-12
    Library Category: Naruto
    Pairings: none
    Summary: After the Forest of Death, Sakura comes to realize that being weak is no longer an option. However, she finds that change is sometimes painful and that truth doesn't always come easy. REVISED.
    Link: FanFiction.Net


    If you can bear to read Naruto fics which don't feature Naruto as a protagonist, if you're remotely interested in reading a fic from a side character's perspective that also manages to not fall into the common pitfalls (such as self-inserts, mary sues, atrocious grammar and spelling, and traces that smell, even vaguely, of wish-fulfillment), then you just might like “Five Kingdoms of the Dead”.

    “Five Kingdoms of the Dead” is from the point of view of a Sakura that, right from the start, is vastly different from the original: a Sakura with surprising amount of self-awareness of her faults and the determination to change to a better shinobi. Even though she also apprentices under Tsunade, she takes her training in a whole different direction and can't even do a single medical ninjutsu and focuses on sneak-attack combat instead. Her battles are short and brutal, her love for Sasuke diminishes over time to indifference, her training scenes are detailed and vividly written, the writing itself has adequate grammar and spelling, and her split personality is taken in an entirely different direction—if your familiar with McGee's Alice, this is similar in the sense that she gets pulled into the broken world of her psyche. The only drawback was that I wished she had more scenes with Naruto.

    I've lurked in the Quality Naruto Thread and searched DLP Other Fandoms Naruto Library and I was surprised it wasn't even mentioned. It's a fairly popular fic, with more than 1,000 reviews and favorites and even has it's own page in TV tropes. So I posted this here as a way to alert DLP members who likes stories like this of another good read to pass the time (and there must be some members who do, if “Dreaming of Sunshine” and “Time Braid” is listed in the DLP Other Fandoms Library). This is one of my favorite fics and I easily rate it at 4.5/5.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  2. Iztiak

    Iztiak Heir

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    *Sigh*

    At first glance, it looks tolerable. Unfortunately, it falls into the trap that nearly all Sakura-centric stories do, which is treating her "inner personality" like a real person, and giving it lines constantly.

    Naruto characters are irritating enough already when they spend massive amounts of time talking with the voices in their head that actually exist on some level, like the Kyuubi.

    When moments like this appear, the urge to close the story becomes overpowering.

    The majority of the time, this does not happen. Though when it does, it's painful.

    The sad thing is I actually might have liked reading it if the author hadn't done this. I'll make an attempt to read the rest of it before I rate it, but I'm not making any promises.

    Edit: Alright, it's become less intolerable now that the author has made it clear that Sakura is legitimately crazy. I still dislike crazy person dialogue, but the fact that Sakura is intentionally fucking nuts is far better than the author treating it like it's completely normal.

    The way he's handled her insanity is poor though. I would have appreciated some variety or originality, maybe something simple like visual hallucinations... Or maybe auditory hallucinations instead of treating the voices like thoughts. If she was hearing voices and was unable to tell if they were real or not, it would be a lot more interesting to read.

    As of chapter 15, she just has an ever increasing cast of characters talking to her in her head.

    I'm certainly not an expert on psychology or insane people, but surely there had to be a more interesting presentation than this. Making insanity boring is quite an accomplishment.

    Edit2: Eh.

    It was not as bad as the beginning seemed to indicate, but it is not particularly exceptional. I'd say that the beginning struggled, and I would probably rate that a 2/5. I did like reading it towards the end, but I don't believe that the later sections are good enough to carry the overall rating of the story higher than 3/5.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  3. Lamora

    Lamora Definitely Not Batman

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  4. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    I actually was pretty interested to give this a go - unlike a lot of people on DLP I don't think every fic has to be about Naruto. Some of my favorite fics are based around Team 7 getting stronger together.

    But I got bored at Chapter 11. The problem is Sakura becomes too much of a focus with everything. She decides to start focusing on training - suddenly she has the Hokage (who doesn't even have the time to help Naruto with his training) and Gai. Over a few weeks she's able to play a more pivotal role in the Gaara saga, disrupt Tsukiyomi, etc etc.

    Her development in general just felt quite contrived and forced. Particularly her psychological development. I thought a fic like Tempered in Water is a good example about how Sakura's psyche can be handled well. This was too simplified. She just decides to be awesome. And so she is.

    I also don't think post Forest of Death is a good place for the development to start. For fics like this, I've always thought anytime before the Chuunin Exams is a more interesting spot.

    As Iztiak said, I hate the Inner Sakura thing as well. Authors seem to feel the need to give Sakura something special to match with everyone else, but I always thought what made her somewhat interesting is that she's a ninja with a civilian background and absolutely nothing special about her.

    3/5
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  5. LilC16

    LilC16 Second Year

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    I've always thought that 'Inner Sakura' never had a place in fanfiction. In anime, sure, but not anywhere else that could be taken seriously, or expanded upon. This fic has changed that and showed me the possibilities that could open if you take the time to think about it. It's not the most polished story, errors can be spotted regularly while reading, but it doesn't take away the joy I felt reading it.

    Like Jarik said, I thought it a little odd that a Hokage would have the time to personally tutor someone once a week, but then again who's to say why he couldn't make time? Maybe he saw something interesting in Sakura or maybe wanted a break for a minute. I also disagree with a few weeks not making a difference in the ninja world. Seriously, with killing machines at 10, is it that hard to believe?

    It's safe to say I'm extremely interested in this fic. 5/5
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  6. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

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    An interesting concept but the beginning is somewhat silly as mentioned above and the whole concept just falls apart. This is a fic that really would have benefited from not having a timeskip. Let us see a more natural evolution of the character. It's still interesting enough to read, but I grew to hate the whole multiple personalities part. 3/5
     
  7. LilC16

    LilC16 Second Year

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    I agree that the time skip was a bit jarring and a little more time could have been spent into making the transition smoother. Little scenes meant to pave way into the Sakura we see after it, could have done a lot in making it smoother.
     
  8. Platypus

    Platypus Groundskeeper

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    I started reading this a couple of months ago. Apparently the author made it through chapter fourteen or so before she went back and rewrote everything, and I started reading while she was in the middle of reposting. The rewritten bits are easily 4/5 for me, but the story dropped to a 2/5 when she hit the point where she was writing new material.

    I like the mindfucking more than the rest of the story; Sakura's inner world is fascinating and bizarre. The rest of the story is just, eh. Sakura achieves her super-awesome specialties through hard work and training sequences while she wins people over, and no one has any idea how many secrets she's rocking while she does Important Shit that will outstrip all of her peers.
     
  9. Lamora

    Lamora Definitely Not Batman

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    My favorite part of the story is the cultural references. It's always refreshing to read an anime fic where elements of Japanese philosophy, lifestyle and culture are brought into play; not the tired, infuriating 'sweatdrops' or stupid weeaboo cliches, but the real shit, the different types of sake, the mechanics of Go, and so on and so forth. Bringing them in with elegance is not a common skill, and not one to be ignored.
     
  10. blab

    blab Second Year

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    3/5.
    I made it only to chapter 14 (all "REDUX" chapters), though.
    I stopped reading it, because I disliked all the main characters and therefore lost interest in the conflict and the story.

    The story has some merits, but I have the same issues as previous posters with how Sakura's personality, "Inner Sakura" and her development are handled.
    To that I have to add, that the supporting characters are absolutely irritating, especially Kakashi, Sasuke and Naruto. They were downsized to more one-dimensional versions of themselves and reading about them always feels stale, even when I take into account that I'm seeing the world through Sakura's perspective.
    It feels like they all lost something to make Sakura more awesome.

    So, Sakura feels too contrived to me (the rest of the (main) characters too annoying/lame) to root for (much less identify with), and the other good parts of the story ( the mindfuckery for example) simply weren't good enough to keep me interested.


    Here all Naruto-related (the character) quotes from the first part of the 14th chapter, simply to illustrate what I mean with "more one-dimensional versions of themselves".
    EDIT: huh, rereading the quotes, maybe I just don't like canon-Naruto.
     
  11. disposablehead

    disposablehead Seventh Year

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    This was a huge disappointment to me. The rewritten material is uniformly good, and at times excellent. Any gross excesses from the original story have been pared away so that all is left is a sharp Sakura fic. But the post-redux stuff falls rapidly into Mary-Sue territory. It has its moments, but not library worthy. 3/5
     
  12. Idiot Rocker

    Idiot Rocker Auror

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    Yeah, the redux was actually readable...everything else was horrendously one dimensional. I was actually enjoying the Neji-Sakura interaction. Pretty much as soon as we hit the time skip though I started skimming. Finished what was there, but it was definitely a slog. Not to say that there aren't issues with the redux, I was just more willing to overlook them.

    2.5/5 rounded up to a 3/5.
     
  13. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    I have to say, I really quite loved this story.

    There is really two parts in this story, Sakura's interaction with real people and Sakura's interaction with her other personalities. The former is solid enough. it does seem to use some more trite cliché but actually pulls them off in a working and satisfying way. I quite enjoyed Sakura's development, the fight scenes and her growing bonds with others.

    However, it is the latter that really sells this story for me.

    The conversations about philosophy and ideology with Orochimaru and Madara were fucking amazing. Each discussion was an entertaining, well-written and memorable experience. Hell, I had forgotten how much of a delight a well-written Orochimaru can be. Honestly, I could read hours of Orochimaru waxing poetics on chess, life and ethics. Especially that chess metaphor relatively early on, usually I don't like them much, find them overused, but here, it worked brilliantly. Freaking loved it.

    So, overall, it was a really enjoyable story. Not flawless, the story took a few lazy time-skips, hell, the first major time-skip might just be the laziest time-skip I have seen, and at times when you have paused reading, you do wonder a bit how the fuck we got here even if it wasn't a problem while reading. Still, a very satisfying read.

    4/5
     
  14. Avery

    Avery Second Year DLP Supporter

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    The one consistent thing about this author is that she's all about teasing ships with characters such as Itachi, Neji... anyone who isn't Sasuke, basically. Mix that together with the empowered Sakura trope and you've got a formula for better characterization and wish fulfillment. The thing is, though--this author does it well.

    Chapter 19 was probably everything I wanted from canon, in regards to Sakura's post-timeskip reunion meeting with Sasuke. Some of the phrases used are seductive, almost poetic, and pleasant to the ear/eye.

    The small details about Sakura's civilian background coming into play as something bigger by the end of the story was also one of the highlights of the story.

    Additionally, the conversations with Orochimaru and Madara were beautifully written. I applaud any writing, really, that gives the reader a glimpse at the genius such canon antagonists were rumoured to be.

    This is probably one of the author's strongest works, if not the strongest.

    5/5.