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WIP Kill Your Heroes by Evil Is A Relative Term - T - Naruto

Discussion in 'Naruto' started by sonny_yalin, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. sonny_yalin

    sonny_yalin Third Year

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    Title: Kill Your Heroes
    Author: Evil Is A Relative Term
    Rating: T
    Genre: Drama
    Status: Work In Progress
    Fandom: Naruto
    Words: 79,121
    Summary: Because, sometimes, we are what our adversaries make of us. Because Gatō only needed Zabuza to neutralize Kakashi. He isn't afraid of one little pink-haired genin. But even mice will bite when cornered. A story of where fear drives the most vulnerable member of Team Seven, from Wave and beyond. Title inspired by AWOLNATION.
    link

    Now, I know that the "Title inspired by AWOLNATION" bit is a pretty unnecessary and a somewhat troubling addition to the summary, but this fic is really one of the better ones in the Naruto fandom.

    I posted this in the Quality Naruto fics thread about a month ago, but since then it has updated quite a few times. The author also wrote "Five Kingdoms for the Dead", which is a Sakura-centric that is already in the library. I personally think that "Kill Your Heroes" is better that FKftD. There are fewer grammar mistakes and I feel like the author's writing has come a long way since FKftD.

    "Kill Your Hereos" centers around a Sakura that is forced to kill on her first mission in Wave, which compels her to take her choice to be a ninja more seriously. The progression from the Sakura we know in canon to the Sakura in KYH is believable and interesting to read about.

    I really enjoyed reading the author's version of Kakashi, as well. The characterization is pretty close to canon and by that I mean that he's more or less relaxed and amusing, though also knows when to be serious. He takes Sakura's training seriously and is generally more of a competent teacher.

    The story really picks up toward the end of the wave mission and it is quite excellent in the chunin exams. It's pretty close to canon events as it stands right now, but I'm excited to see where the author takes this after the exam arc, which just ended.

    That being said, it isn't perfect and toward the beginning there are still a few awkwardly worded sentences and grammar mistakes, but those are easily ignored.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2015
  2. FriedIce

    FriedIce Seventh Year

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    What is AWOLNATION?

    I've been wondering that since I read the fic.

    The fic itself is pretty decent. I'd probably give it a solid 4/5 given the fandom and the paucity of good Sakura centric fics.
     
  3. Banta

    Banta The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    This story's biggest sin is that there's a scene during the Chunin exams where Kakshi tears Naruto and Sasuke a new one. It's blatant character bashing, and easily the low-point of the story.

    The rest of it is great. I really enjoy Sakura's progression from a kid who's in over her head and doesn't realize it, to a capable (for her age and experience) child-soldier. The last few chapters covering the end of the chuunin exams really highlight that; I expect that she'll get promoted, even though she wasn't in the finals, because of her actions.

    4/5
     
  4. Palindrome

    Palindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    This was quite enjoyable. It's an interesting take on Sakura's development, and it's fairly compelling. She's starting to garner recognition and it definitely feels like she's earned it, which is very satisfying.

    The most major gripe I have with this is that it's rather heavy on body horror. It's not anything too bad or hard to stomach but every fight leaves our protagonist bloodied and injured and something about the writing makes it all feel very real and very threatening. That in itself is a good thing - hell, something not enough stories can pull off or attempt, but I feel like it goes overboard just a tad. There's no reprieve - when reading all at once poor old Sakura goes from one battering to another and it's quite draining.

    Her team mates don't get a lot of attention in this story, which is likely a good thing - they're often off attending to the canon plot which leaves Sakura to do interesting non-canon things for us to read about. Still, I think we could be served well here by developing the team mates' relationship more. I get the feeling the author is building up to it, but really I'm keen to see more interactions between Sakura and other people in general, because those aspects are usually done really well.

    4/5
     
  5. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    I disagree, I didn't see it as bashing at all, it was Kakashi, very justifiably so, calling them on character flaws and bad decisions. Things that worked in canon have different consequences here because Sakura is different, and as long as we don't get repeated lectures, I'm fine with this.

    As to the story, I'm really loving this. I love to see Sakura's progression, from a kid who is infaturated with Sasuke, where he dominates her thoughts for quite a while to slowly, but surely grow out of that and grow up in general by experiencing repeated traumatic situations but never breaks from it.

    Her development is rather enjoyable and I just love this visceral take on combat, where it feels a lot more real, because very fight is a struggle for Sakura, because the fights are about quick thinking, exploiting pain and surroundings, trying to power through her own pain and not about throwing energy attacks around. I love this more grounded and brutal focus on combat, where injuries have lasting consequences, mentally and physically.

    Also really love her interaction with others, am curious to see how the OC genin she met in the forest and this group of chunin will work out for her.

    Sasuke and Naruto's roles are fine, I do enjoy that they are partaking in the plot elements mostly off-screen while Sakura has to fight for her life against mooks.

    I also loved this line


    I love this Sakura. Awesome story.
     
  6. Idiot Rocker

    Idiot Rocker Auror

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    Really enjoying this so far.

    I'm actually pretty ok with the body horror element to Sakura's combat experience. It's an interesting way of highlighting the fact that even though she's on the same team as Naruto and Sasuke she lives in a completely different world. Because of their power levels, her male teammates can afford to dodge the most guttural aspects of shinobi life. Sakura doesn't have the luxury of being able to beat her opponent into submission. She's just not strong enough. So she's learning to go for the jugular instead.

    It also feels like her injuries have been character building rather than sadism inflicted by the author. Still, we're hitting a point where I can't imagine the injuries escalating further without actually killing her.

    There've been some great lines of flavour too. The bit early on with Kakashi mentioning that Sakura would've likely been drafted during war times was huge to her personal development. Talk about something which has far reaching implications for both where Sakura has come from and where she's going.

    Kakashi's chew-out session was justified, but I don't think it needed to be centre stage. We easily could have seen him start the critique then tell Sakura to leave. As it reads now, it partly feels like he's doing it for her/ the reader's benefit. Not in a way which is consistent with character. Hopefully team 7 as a whole will start to come together more. The reconciliation between who her team mates think she is vs. who she's becoming will be interesting.

    There's definitely an element of wish fulfillment to other character's perceptions of Sakura. There have been multiple occasions (most recently Asuma) where other characters, including combat veterans, express shock, disgust, or amazement at her accomplishments. I can understand this from shinobi who haven't seen war-time combat, but otherwise I feel like the predominant emotion would be sadness, anger, or approval depending on the individual. At times it feels a little bit like 'wow, she's such a bad ass and has no idea.' There are exceptions, like that nin who comments that Sakura is going to wreck her joints, but they don't offset this other aspect completely.

    I'd say this is hovering around a 4/5 as it stands. Depending on how things go it could easily go higher or lower.
     
  7. Drake

    Drake Seventh Year

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    Updated. I'm really enjoying Sakura's genjutsu training. Most stories just pass off any development of Genjutsu ability as just having enough chakra control and intelligence to pull off various techniques. This is training her all about the psychology of human fear.
     
  8. Palindrome

    Palindrome A bigger, darker mark Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Grandmother Nightmare is an awesome character, and I'm absolutely loving reading about what she's going through here.
     
  9. Drake

    Drake Seventh Year

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    Updated. Not too much to this chapter, but transitioning into a new arc. I'll be interested to see what complications inevitably arise, but I'm looking forward to seeing the group interacting with Sakura as she is now. Most of them probably still remember her as she was in the Academy, so it will be very different for them seeing her as she is now. Fully expecting a moment where she has had to kill someone again and talking to the group soaked in an enemy's blood.

    The one tiny nitpick I had that is completely irrelevant was Tsunade handing them a manila folder with the mission information as opposed to your standard scroll. My verisimilitude :(
     
  10. Drake

    Drake Seventh Year

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    Updated. C-Rank mission wraps up with some decent character interaction and cliff hanger brings us back into the main plot. Looking forward to seeing Sakura's reaction and also wondering about if there were any differences from canon.
     
  11. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    This is still getting regular updates. I'm loving this story, both Sakura and all the introduced side character OCs are handled very distinctively and refreshingly.

    And now, Sakura has a nin-pet.
     
  12. Drake

    Drake Seventh Year

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    I've mentioned it before, but I'm really enjoying this stories take on Genjutsu. I also like the asshole cat.
     
  13. Banta

    Banta The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    I do not like this chapter as much as previous ones. There isn't a connecting thread between the scenes and they don't flow well as a result. I get that the author is just showing us snapshots of Sakura's new normal as we plow through the time-skip, but there should be some recognition of the passage of time to make the scene transitions work.
     
  14. Idiot Rocker

    Idiot Rocker Auror

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    Agree, but I still prefer this to the alternative. I feel like if we weren't being treated to these snapshots of Sakura's life after Team 7 dissolved we'd get the typical time skip mystery dump instead.

    With that said, adding time stamps to the beginning of each of these sections would be a good way of hitting the middle road. Something as simple as "6 months after the defection" would do the trick. I'm enjoying the opportunity to see the person Sakura is going to turn into. We just need to move past this and back into the main narrative soon.
     
  15. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I... like it. I don't love it to the extent that you guys do, but it's solid writing, original, and fun to read. I'm on about Chapter 20, but goodness knows that's enough for a rating.

    I'm going to focus on the stuff that doesn't quite work for me, because everyone above has highlighted all the things that really do work.

    Despite all the battles and changes from canon in terms of what Sakura does, there's not a ton of tension. Sakura is the main character, so I wasn't worried she would die in Wave, which robbed some of her fights of suspense. The same feeling carried through the Forest of Death, which is about halfway through the story, because while there are a lot of changes to Sakura's character, plot, and story... the overall story seems to be trucking along with canon for the most part.

    That in itself isn't horrible, but Sakura also feels isolated from anything that isn't bordering on grimdark. She has little to no real relationship with her teammates as a team - hell I think I have a better feel for Tazuna than Naruto in this fic. Kakashi is well written but somewhat aloof, which is fine, except again, Sakura feels isolated.

    On top of that, there aren't many breaks. Sakura goes in a circle, stopping to get beaten up, push herself, deal with the damages, and then rinse and repeat. There aren't really any light-hearted scenes to break it up. The training with the dogs could be, but it's not really written as being fun. She hasn't got friends. Her parents are out of town. There's no boisterous Naruto dragging her off for ramen.

    It's a great story with not only great concepts (Sakura's parents in this story are possibly my favorite rendition of them to date) but solid writing, an interesting premise, and a main character that I can support.

    But it's not hard for me to stop reading and go do something else.

    3.5/5 - rounding up.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  16. sonny_yalin

    sonny_yalin Third Year

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    I definitely get that criticism. It becomes the problem with a lot of Sakura fics because the author usually has two choices for end game.

    1) Put Sakura on the level of Naruto and Sasuke, à la "Five Kingdoms for the Dead" by the same author. It usually involves convoluted or ridiculous methods such as Madara residing in Sakura's head like in "FKftD". Another example is putting Hermione's mind and magic in her body like in "Effloresco Secundus".

    Or 2) Because Sakura has no real special abilities, she will never hold a candle to Naruto or Sasuke, who become the true heroes of the story. In this case, Sakura's story is really only tangentially related and she ends up playing, at most, an important support role.

    One thing that does excite me about this story is that I think it has the potential to bridge the gap between these two extremes. Sakura starts firmly in the second option, but seems to be believably on her way to actually "saving the day". I definitely think your criticism is valid, but my hope is that some of those problems will lessen as the story passes the midway point, which it is getting close to.
     
  17. Idiot Rocker

    Idiot Rocker Auror

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    Totally get this criticism. The only deep relationships outside of Kakashi are Fu/ Tatsuo (spelling could be wrong/ It's been a while). Even then, we still don't see a lot of them and, as far as I can tell, they're both OCs. In one of my previous posts I said that it'd be great if we saw Team 7 come together more.

    Then Sasuke defected as normal and everyone splintered.

    So yeah. The way it's sticking to canon for timeskip related events is definitely a minus. Especially considering how much personal development Sakura is going through. The only really positive thing about this is that it's at least realistic in terms of how not much would change if Sakura got her shit together. Naruto and Sasuke are way too obsessed with each other to care too much about her.

    I've always liked fics where the Rookie 9 became a strong group as a whole. Kill your Heroes doesn't even start to scratch that itch.
     
  18. Drake

    Drake Seventh Year

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    New chapter. Nice jump forward. That cliff hanger though. Can't wait for next chapter.
     
  19. sonny_yalin

    sonny_yalin Third Year

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    I thought the beginning of this chapter was a little weak, but past the midway point was a very entertaining read. The author really captured a lot of tension in this chapter, especially in the hair scene.
     
  20. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Everything with Tatsuo was good here, and I enjoyed Kakashi and Grandmother Nightmare.

    Everything else was fine, but my issues from earlier remain in effect. Most good stories have ups and downs - this story has downs and more downs.
     
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