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Complete Kazusa Densetsu - M - Naruto

Discussion in 'Other Fandoms Review Board' started by Imperial, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. Imperial

    Imperial Second Year

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Messages:
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    Title: Kazusa Densetsu
    Author: ProfessorPalmarosa
    Rating: M
    Genre: Drama/Political Thriller
    Status: Complete
    Fandom: Naruto
    Pairings: Mentions of Hashirama/Mito (past tense), Hints of a one-sided lesbian crush, Original character you've never seen before/some other original character you've never seen before
    Summary: As soon as Hashirama's body is laid to rest, the race for the Hokage seat begins. Friendships dissolve, good men die far from honorable deaths, conspiracies abound, and it leaves everyone wondering: will Konoha even survive this mess? If so, there's no guarantee it will even be the same place when it's all over...
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12723934/1/Kazusa-Densetsu

    The only thing I don't like about this story is that there isn't more of it! I'm amazed that this hidden gem, completed in 2018, went entirely under my radar.

    We know that Tobirama Senju went down in history as the Second Hokage after his brother died, and it's not given any special treatment in the manga. It is simply historical fact.

    Kasuza Densetsu, on the other hand, thrusts the reader into the village on the day Hashirama's death is announced. It's right about this time that all Hell breaks loose. The village is just young and vulnerable enough that people start worrying the dream will die with Hashirama. Several ambitious ninjas start putting their names forward as candidates for the title of Second Hokage, and old blood feuds start up again without someone of Hashirama's power and charisma to keep them at bay.

    The various political factions start moving against each other, first securing their power bases among sympathetic clans, then moving on to blackmail and smear campaigns and finally exploding into assassination and vigilante justice. Think of it as a movie about any given political election but on steroids. And with ninjas.

    We all know how it's going to end, but it's a testament to the author's talents that I found myself getting sucked into the vicious political games to elect the next Hokage and keep the village on life support.

    We see familiar faces like Tobirama and Mito as major players, but Professor P does a fantastic job of bringing the substantial number of original characters to life, too. The story is named after Kazusa Uchiha, Madara's wildly unpopular daughter. She is being pressured to take a husband and shake off her girlish dreams, but she is a graceless, tactless tomboy who isn't cut from the same cloth as her father -- for all of the good and bad that implies. That was actually really refreshing. She's a legitimate tomboy, being politically blind and pretty thoughtless in general, and she is frequently compared to an ox or a bull. There is no makeover scene to tell us she is beautiful all along, and she isn't some snarky asshole who gets away with insulting tradition.

    It's an ensemble piece, so the title character doesn't actually spend as much time on screen as you might think. Kazusa usually takes a back seat to her pseudo-mentor Mito, a woman trying to keep Hash's dream alive, or to her clansman Tenjin, a mean old bastard who built his fortune cozying up to the Senju as soon as the Leaf alliance was formalized and taking the village's dirtiest jobs. He is by no means a nice person, but he is a fascinating case study of how a cruel world has made a cruel person. Of course, you could say that about a lot of characters. The story frequently reminds the reader that the Warring States era was a living hellhole, and all of the major players will resort to some truly sickening tactics to keep the clans from sliding back to the bad old days. The author has clearly put a lot of thought into the kind of world these characters inhabit, and how that world at war molded them into the people they are today. It's the little things, you know? Like Kazusa's best friend, Naho, hiding her burn scars on her chest or sounding like a long-time smoker because she has overused Fire jutsus so much in her life. Ninjas are pushed to make themselves living weapons, which makes it hard to live as a human. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. This story goes to some dark places.

    The author keeps about a dozen balls in the air, jugging between so many sub-plots and not dropping a single one. Every word feels carefully chosen, and every chapter forwards someone's character arc or builds upon a major theme.

    (Bonus points for making the Yamanaka clan absolutely, pants-wettingly terrifying in this story. I had never really thought about how horrific it is to take away someone's bodily autonomy to make them commit suicide or root around inside of their minds, but Kazusa Densetsu plays that for all the horror it is worth. When we get a flashback of Madara visiting Yamanaka lands with Hash and calling them "demons," you'll instantly agree with him. Yamanakas are nothing to fuck with. The journey to the old Yamanaka compound reads like something straight out of a horror novel.)

    I could go on about this story all day, and my blurb is already running long. Suffice to say this story is great. Tobirama will win in the end, and most of these new characters will be killed off or they will be so thoroughly defeated by the time it is over that they fade into obscurity. We know how it has to end, but ProfessorPalmrosa proves that the journey is more important than the destination.

    And if you like this, there is more in the form of Hiruzen Monogatari, which Professor P just started uploading to FFN. It's a sequel tackling some similar ideas in the early days of Hiruzen Sarutobi's reign as Third Hokage. It's only the first chapter, but I am already 500% excited.

    tl:dr Cloak and dagger drama about ninjas trying (and failing) to run a "fair" election; everyone has a bad time

    Easy 5/5
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
  2. Majube

    Majube Unspeakable

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
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    0
    Only halfway through so I'll leave a longer review later. So far I quite like it and my only nitpick is that the chapter p.o.v transitions are too abrupt. The political intrigue is great though clumsy but that's too be expected since Naruto shinobi aren't that subtle.
    I like how the inter-clan warfare plays out especially with the goddamn Yamanaka, and also how Kazusa continually messes up. She's honestly my least favourite character in this because of how dumb she is but it is understandable. I like how the author describes how the village descends into anarchy and the best of the lot were killed by being more honorable. It really doest fit

    4/5, it's a really decent fic.
     
  3. Nicovi

    Nicovi Second Year

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    56
    While one of the great things about fanfiction is being able to put characters in new settings or new characters in established settings, replacing both will just create an unrelated story.

    Naruto canon is a long way from political intrigues and I assume most readers are as well. And having the story take place pre- canon and more or less with only original characters that the reader have no connection to, its fighting an uphill battle.


    Tried reading this a few times. Never got more than three chapters in.

    2/5. Dreadfully boring.
     
  4. aleph

    aleph First Year

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    29
    High Score:
    0
    While well written, the fact that we all know how it's going to end and therefore the fate of the OC characters really saps a lot of the tension out of the story. Why bother getting invested in characters you know are going to get killed off or otherwise written out by the end of the fic? It's still enjoyable, but rather self-limiting in that respect for a political thriller.

    I'd give it a 3.5 rounded up simply because of the great execution, but it easily could have been higher if not for being forced into that canon-compliant prequel mold.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  5. Tasoli

    Tasoli Headmaster

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,199
    Location:
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    Good political intruge is rare beast in most fandoms. This one is well executed. SO I am giving this 4,5/5 rounded up.
     
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