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Complete Shed Skin: A Naruto TimeTravel Quest - M -TPK

Discussion in 'Naruto' started by Zombie, May 18, 2018.

  1. Zombie

    Zombie Black Philip Moderator DLP Supporter

    Apr 28, 2007
    Title: Shed Skin
    Author: TPK
    Fandom: Naruto
    Length: 78k
    Summary: You play as Orochimaru, thrown back in time.

    Link (Reader Mode)

    So, I don't usually read quest, but I gave this one a chance, I think it was the appeal of Orochimaru as the main POV that really got me into it because I've recently read a fic where his character was done well so it left me craving more.

    This is a quest, its hosted on SV and SB, I think I linked the SV Reader Mode thread, so you don't have to see the rolls and the other players actually posting, because that was about the only way I could read it.

    Why should you read this? Despite the format, Orochimaru is a dynamic character that you actively root for. The timetravel aspect isn't longer than it needs to be, and there aren't many points in time where Orochimaru doubts himself. He's a confident bastard, just like you'd think him to be, and he adapts well to the new setting he's found himself in.

    Minato is alive. So is Kushina. The fallout of the Kyuubi attack is different, and it causes some distinct shifts in the pacing of the story. Also the fact that Orochimaru is actively pro-Konoha and fights for the village rather than against it.

    I really liked this, and its hard to describe why. It had the right mix of attributes that drew me in, and it wasn't just a regurgitation of canon. Each event is distinct.

    And I'll spoiler this,

    The role Reversal of Tsunade as a member of Red Dawn was really handled in a way that you could feel Orochimarus loss.

    Overall, this is a 4/5. I enjoyed it. If quest format isn't your thing you might not like it, but there aren't too many flow breaking things, you can pretty much read it like a story, with the votes for flavor.

    Its rather old, but its still good.

    I'm posting this here because the Story Quest forum is for on-going quest, and I'd rather like to see this get some attention instead of being hidden in the Quality Naruto fics thread.
  2. Otters

    Otters Fourth Year ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Jun 8, 2010
    High Score:
    I despise quests, yet was obligated to read this by @Zombie relentlessly shilling for it on IRC.

    I say this to all of you reading this thread so that you understand I was deliberately looking for flaws so I could retroactively justify the dislike for this I started with, for no reason other than the format.

    Even so, this was a really good read. Orochimaru is a fascinating new character to use in a Peggy Sue situation, and at times the author really captures the way he thinks. There's some excellent moments of dramatic irony where we know much more about the situation than Orochimaru does; the true nature of the Bijuu and how intelligent they are, for example. We get to see his mind unfolding the mystery, making new connections, and catching up to the level of understanding we have as readers through the force of intellect alone. Genius intelligence is incessantly talked about in Naruto, fanfiction or otherwise, but almost never demonstrated through anything greater than somebody spouting off high-rank jutsu without having to work for them. This fic actually shows us a cross-section of Orochimaru's intelligence at work - dismantling his evil shenanigans, framing someone else for them, doing 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles in a single day, and so on.

    The use of second person is one of many, many reasons why I dislike quests. After the first chapter I didn't notice it anymore. I've always said that pronouns and dialogue tags such as "he said, she said" are invisible in good writing - and that's why it's almost always better to use them than go for a swim in the adjective ocean. This quest is a perfect demonstration of this, cutting out one of my primary sources of irritation with the format.

    I'm not that interested in a lot of the plot decisions, and I feel like the combination of group-think's bad taste and the erratic nature of reader input has hamstrung the structure of the story, so it began to feel a bit meandering and pointless the further through it I got. If this had been planned out from start to finish and written as a cohesive story rather than a quest it may well have become 5/5 material. As it is, things are a bit too loose for me to rate it that highly.

  3. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

    May 27, 2010
    As far as quests go, this one was pretty decent.

    It flows pretty well and for the most part, doesn't spend a lot of time on pointless sidequests. It has an idea of what it wants to be - which is a character study of Orochimaru (well, as close to one as is actually possible with an SV quest).

    I liked how the story ended. As a character study, the realization of what he actually wants to do serves as a good emotional climax. The actual "how" of achieving that is irrelevant in my opinion for this type of story, especially since Orochimaru's competence (and therefore the question of "can he do it") isn't in doubt.

    The juxtaposition with Tsunade was unexpected but welcome. +Points for good AU worldbuilding there.

    Finally, the author walked a fine line between making the MC evil enough to be interesting (and thus not a bog-standard Naruto protag), but not evil enough that the audience couldn't root for him. And the exploration of his plots and thought processes and intrigue is something few stories delve into so kudos for that.

    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  4. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage ~ Prestige ~

    Aug 9, 2009
    Department of Post-Mortem Communications
    High Score:
    It was a fun read and a good way to waste time. Orochimaru can be fun if given the room to breathe and while this wasn't the best take on him that I have seen it was still a solid one. The writing itself was competent and the nature of the quest was fun to follow.

    That said, it wasn't amazing or memorable and I forgot everything but the Tsunade twist the second after I finished the story.

    So yeah, good times was had. 3/5
  5. fire

    fire Unspeakable

    Dec 25, 2011
    Thanks Zombie for putting it up for review. I remembering reccing Shed Skin in the Quality Naruto fics thread, but as always was too lazy to formally submit it for the library.

    Nothing much to say about the story except that it's fun to read and extremely original - par the course for TPK fics. 4/5