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?