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WIP Lamarckian by Gorgoneion - M - My Hero Academia SI

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Nemrut, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Title: Lamarckian
    Author: Gorgoneion
    Rating: T
    Genre: general
    Status: WIP
    Fandom: My Hero Academia
    Words: 230k
    Links: Spacebattles, Sufficient Velocity (I linked the reader modes for those two ) and Archive of our Own
    Summary:

    To make a long story short, it's an SI story in the same vain as Dreaming of Sunshine, in that the SI is reincarnated into the MyHeroAca world. She grows up as the daughter of the hero Native and the best friend of the student Pony, who are both, that I to my shock just found out, are actually canon characters. Honestly thought they were OCs because I could not, for the life of me, remember either one.

    That's really the biggest compliment I can make to the story right there, it made me give a shit about My Hero Academia, an anime where I was okay with the two seasons I watched but where nothing really impressed me or stuck with me outside of Allmight.

    The biggest strength of the story, imo, is the authors ability to infuse existing characters with dramatic weight, and they do so rather effectively. They flesh out the world a bit more and ground the characters inside this society that has been thoroughly shaped by heroes for decades now. It takes the world and its rules seriously, so we take it seriously. Allmight in particular and the effect he has on people is especially well done and like in the anime, Allmight is definitely the highlight here.

    The fleshing out part also applies to her family and friends. They are given a rather memorable and interesting family arc and her friendship with Pony can just be adorable. Her powers are interesting enough and it's honestly fun to read about.

    The plot is so far basically the protag wanting to become a professional hero and kinda dealing with the Wendigo character who looms as a constant threat over her family. I don't know if there is an ending planned that we are working towards, where the author will completely jump off the canon rails and go their own path after catching up with the manga or if it is going to follow canon and wait for the manga/anime to conclude before this story will conclude but am fine with either way. It's fanfiction and we have different rules there.

    So far, with 230k words, we have covered her childhood, the whole of season 1 and are entering the hero killer arc in season 2 so the pacing is actually pretty good.

    After all that praise though, here comes the flaws. The writing can be both, hit or miss, mainly with the protagonist who is a bit of an inconsistent character. It mainly seems to me, not wanting to speak for the author of course, that they fall prey to a few anime tropes they really shouldn't bow down to. Like, this is an SI story, where the author says they were 25 before they died and then reincarnated here to live another 15-16 years, so basically 40. So when someone tells her "are X and you a couple?" it's really weird for the SI to blush and stammer and basically go "NANI" (don't worry, there is no Japanese like that in the story) is just outright bizarre, since she is not actually a teenager and I am honestly not buying the hormones excuse.

    It's things like that really, at times the protag feels like a mature person in a child's body but at other times she just feels like a normal teenager and while there is room to explore both, the instances in which that happens are confusing to me. Like, being embarrassed about crushes or cursing or whatever really doesn't seem to fit with how we were introduced to what kind of person she is.

    Her power, interesting as it is, has some neat drawbacks but not sure how credible they are. Like early on, the SI made a mistake and she is suffering from the consequences to this day but I constantly have the feeling that she can reverse once she gets a good enough grasp on her powers, so I don't know, especially when the explanation for why she can't always seemed a bit wishy washy.

    At first I was rather happy that Minoru was benched by the SI basically taking his spot in class A but for some odd reason, the SI actually likes the little bastard and that just is ...odd. Like why? Honestly wish the author had just written him out.

    The romance stuff I am not too sure about. On one hand, I guess the author managed to portray high school romance rather well, on the other, I kinda hope he sticks with it and makes them last like typical high school dating and not "true love" couples.

    The confrontation with Mountain Lady was just offputting to me personally because it basically made the SI feel like a gatekeeping "fake geek girl" fedora wearing neckbeard who could not believe girls can like popular culture stuff and was quizzing Mountain Lady with trivia questions and I didn't quite get what that was about outside the SI going " a girl this pretty can't possibly like the things I like" which was just weird.

    Loops back into the inconsistent behavior thing. With actions like that, I never get the feeling I truly know the SI and given that I saw her grow up, that's a bit weird.

    But the positives outweigh the negatives, imo. The action is fun, the writing solid and these are solid takes at the characters and a good effort at grounding and fleshing our the My Hero Academia world.

    4/5
     
  2. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Chief Warlock

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    Damnit, just about to make the thread for it.

    Picked it up for the name and the length, because I thought it might be worth a try.

    I'm not familiar with MHA at all, although I've got it bookmarked in my "watch this at some point" folder, and the author does a decent job explaining the world to someone who doesn't have any previous experience with it. I didn't feel too lost at any point. I'm sure I'm missing some subtleties, but I haven't gone wikidiving to figure it out.

    As Nemrut said, the SI is the standard re-incarnation. Except they were a mid-twenties male, and reincarnated as a girl. I'd disagree on them being basically 40, because they haven't had all the same experiences, but it's still weird to see them dating teenagers. And weird that they've basically gone "oh well, guess I like men now". I'm not sure the SI originally being male is ever going to be a real issue in the story, and I'm not sure why they added it. Then the inconsistencies with how the SI acts agewise, and (again) I'm not sure they truly needed to really be an SI, and could have been made an OC instead.

    The writing is pretty good - I didn't really notice any errors on reading it. Doesn't mean that there aren't any, but they probably aren't glaring.

    Good story, updates frequently, and no issues with it from me. 4/5
     
  3. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    I wasn't too sure on the male part, since it was only implied once that he was a boy in his old life, but honestly, that part I thought was handled well. I quite liked that the gender change wasn't a big deal with "I will never wear a dress" or the like and that the SI is pretty much rolling with it and enjoying it without any of the usual disdain for feminine things that comes in stories like this. Pretty sure the SI is supposed to be bisexual, so don't really see the issue there.

    The distinction between 25 and 40 doesn't really matter though, the SI is still governed by usual anime girl tropes that she by all accounts shouldn't, was my problem.

    And yeah, the dating school children while being mentally older is a weird thing, don't really know what to feel on that since the whole reincarnation thing is such a can happen in fiction only thing.
     
  4. Plothole

    Plothole Fourth Year

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    I've got mixed feelings about this. One the one hand, it's the only MHA fic I've ever read where I could get past the first chapter or two. One the other, there are a lot of things wrong with it.

    Let's start with the prose. It's not terrible, in the way that I got frustrated by poor word choice or sentences that read like they'd been put through a blender, but it's the kind of writing that I just don't like. Quirky, referential, repetitive, first person perspective that bogs down the narrative and tends to grate on my nerves after a while. Once I started to near the end of the fic it annoyed me less but I'm not sure if that's because the writing got 'better' or I just started to get used to the author's style.

    Then we have plot, which is...weak. It starts off promising, with the introduction of a cool villain that's opposed to the MC and her family, but then, once we get into canon territory, the plot flatlines and basically becomes nothing more than a rehash of seasons 1 and 2, told from a different perspective and with just enough deviations that the author can claim things are happening differently. I can't exactly fault the author for not writing a massive AU, given that there are only two seasons of the anime so far and there's a lot we still don't know, but it felt like almost every change was nothing more than superficial. Even when something different happens to a character, no matter how major, they later act in the largely the same way that they did in canon.

    It's the characterization that really bugs me though. In the beginning it's not all that noticeable, since the cast is largely comprised of characters so unimportant in the story that they can be considers OCs or just actual OCs. But the characters from the actual show, especially Bakugou, behave in ways that are completely at odds with how they are in the anime. Considering how important Bakugou is as a character I just felt like cringing every time he did something completely out of character. If ever there was a clear case of the author heavy-handedly redeeming a character with no regard for how it comes off in the story then this is it.

    As for the characterization of the SI, there are scenes that just flat-out therapy sessions, she has breakdowns every now and then, and she's diagnosed with a mental illness at one point. And frankly, the romance in this story was just cringeworthy. For every scene that I like, where interesting things happen and the characters are all behaving realistically, there's another where I'm just skimming because it's over-the-top sentimental tripe.

    The positives are that the plot moves at a good pace, the SI's quirk is pretty cool, and the main villain is genuinely menacing when he appears.

    I would say overall this is a pretty mixed story that, by the standards of a lot of other fandoms, isn't worth reading. If you're looking specifically for MHA fics then go for it. If not, it's not much more than an average time waster.

    3/5
     
  5. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    I am still reading the updates to this and it gets roughly weekly updates of ca 5k length but honestly, I'm not really feeling it anymore. I have cooled down on the main character and find the relationship to Bakugo to be meh overall. I'm not going to drop the story at this point, since the updates aren't a waste of time or anything but it's not exactly super fun at the moment either.

    Maybe it's the type of story that is best enjoyed binging through a bunch of chapters rather than trying to keep up with every update.
     
  6. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Has anyone else read this and feel like weighing in? I'm kinda interesting in My Hero. I've seen a lot of people that like it, I'm just wary of reading an Anime FF about it.

    @CareOtters Care to write a reivew to go along with your thread rate? You're usually pretty insightful.
     
  7. Agayek

    Agayek Alchemist

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    I tried to read it and didn't make it through the first chapter. It was at least competently written, but about the time she tore her legs apart or whatever that was, I just lost interest and wandered off. I'm not sure if it was that sounding my angst-alarm, or the weird "I'm gonna use anime tropes and styling but not quite embrace it fully" thing it's got going on that ultimately drove me off, but either way, I put it down and never really felt like I'd missed anything.

    Given that she apparently ends up in a relationship with the walking bundle of anger management issues and future serial spousal abuser, that opinion isn't like to change any time soon.
     
  8. CareOtters

    CareOtters Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    Hah. Oh man. I had a huge review written up originally, but elected not to post it because it felt too mean. I assure you, it was scathing.

    My major grievance was the rampant weeabooness. The main character is an American reincarnated as a Japanese girl. An anime SI. Okay, sure. Some otaku bullshit is to be expected. But here we have an American 20-ish year old dressed up as a Japanese child cosplaying as a native American, dressed up in a cape comics style superhero outfit who has got stuck in a magical fursuit as a part-pony.

    OKAY.

    Any one of those in isolation sets off red flags. Four consecutive degrees of separation like that, a rampant fixation on trappings of the two cultures most often suborned by middle America Starbucks basic bitches is a whole minefield of trash which I struggle to navigate.

    The internal narrative is annoying and juvenile. It's very clearly the author writing whatever comes to mind rather than a deliberate character voice. They don't know who the MC is, and it really shows.

    Dialogue is flat. And annoying. Characters are bland. And annoying,

    Something about this just rubs me the wrong way. I would not object to backhanding the author if I ever met them irl

    All the half-enacted cliches in here make me recoil in distaste. There's nothing classy or interesting about this. It completely misses the point of why the source material is good. The technical side of the writing is pretty mediocre; devoid of obvious flaws, but has no panache whatsoever.

    I can see very clearly what the appeal is, and who it appeals to. It is not for me.

    2/5
     
  9. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I feel like this is probably the biggest issue with this story. I ended up trying this out, and got a good way into it, but there is a point in time when comparing yourself to Dreaming of Sunshine.

    This story falls into every hole that a SI story can fall into. I have a thing against SIs that go in and cripple themselves because they don't want to break canon too much. I get that they're trying to make it work, and to not use too much meta knowledge, other such things, but I feel like this is the biggest detractor for me in regards to SI.

    I wanted to try and get into this because it would atleast explain the HeroAca world to me. As told through the eyes of a SI, because in the end they'll show some of the nuanced things about a world that makes it truly interesting, but I didn't get this vibe from the story at all.

    Good thing I read the fic first, before I actually read CareOtters review, so it didn't make me even more biased in my judgement when reading.


    I agree, that is terrible and is something that I can't stand to read when I'm reading a fic based on an anime.

    Overall, I'd give this a 2/5
     
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