Not Just an Uberdyke From Romania Review

Title: Not Just an Uberdyke from Romania                             Author: Star2717

Original Source: Bring It On                                                  Character(s): Missy & Jan

Rating:  T                                                                              Genre(s): Romance

Chapter(s): 1                                                                         Status: Discontinued

Author’s Synopsis: A retelling of Bring It On.  How does Missy view the world?  MissyJan, eventually.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/1788072/1/Not-Just-An-Uberdyke-From-Romania

Well, this is a story I had read a long time ago and thought to revisit it.  I believe I’ve admitted this in the past, one my guilty pleasure movies is Bring It On.  The movie isn’t that great but it’s fun to watch and really has that upbeat cheerleader energy.  Out of all the characters in the movie, Missy is my favorite and I tend to read the Missy stories (not necessarily romances).  So, it should come as no surprise that I decided to read this retelling of the movie from Missy’s perspective.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  Full disclosure, I was a bit wary about returning to this fan fic; in the past when I’ve returned to a story that I had found years ago, I end up hating it.  It’s the natural course of things that as I grew older my tastes change and I start seeing a lot more of the flaws in the stories.  I still saw flaws in this story but I find that I don’t hate it –thankfully.

The story has been discontinued (the last time it was updated was in 2004) so the only parts of the movie featured are the beginning of the movie through Missy taking off once she realizes that the cheer routine was stolen.  Not much to work with however, what is there is still fun.

What I like about the story is that it’s told from Missy’s POV and the writing reflects her sassiness and her way of acting the opposite of what she’s feeling.  For example, being snippy with Jan (before she knows it’s Jan) even though she wants to introduce herself and tell him that he’s a “fine piece of ass.”  Bits like that are what I like because it makes me think that I’m really following the character around, versus just reading the movie as it stalks Missy.

I also like the additional scenes.  Whenever I am reading a retelling of a movie, TV, or game, I am always looking for additional and expanded scenes that help to build the character beyond the original source.  What this story provides is interaction between Cliff and Missy, Missy’s encounter with Jan, talking with the guidance counselor, and Missy waiting for her turn at the tryouts.  What the poor girl has to endure makes me believe her plea for temporary insanity.  The additional scenes help to shape the different aspects of Missy’s life; home life, school life, and social life.  It just helps to bring a few new layers to this character that was overlooked in the movie.

Another thing I like about the story is the interaction between Cliff and Missy.  The relationship is two siblings who live to give each other crap yet have an understanding that none of it is personal.  Nice and simple without being too extreme or out of character.  A very nice balance.

The only compliant I truly have is (and I’m really nitpicking here) the second sentence.  “It’s six o’clock in I’m DJ the morning, and Adam, spinning some great tunes for you to wake up and start your day with.”  Yeah…not a great start to the story.  Thankfully, this is the only time such a tragedy occurs in the writing, but it does make for a poor first impression.  Again, I’m really nitpicking on this one.

Now, is this the best-written fan fic ever?  No.  It’s decent and it’s fun to read.  The strengths in the story come from the POV, the additional scenes, and the story’s ability to provide information to the reader without it feeling forced or expositional.  Otherwise, the story is kind of middle of the road; nothing bad but nothing extraordinary.  I do wish it had been completed though so that I could read more; it’s a fun story.

Would I recommend the story?  Sure, but only if Readers don’t mind being left hanging because I doubt this story will ever be finished.  It’s been 10 years, there is no way that the author will ever return to this story and finish it now.

 

Stars: 7/10

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Battlements Interlude Review

Title: Battlements Interlude                                      Author:  Ellana-san

Source: Dragon Age: Inquisition                                Character(s): Varric T. & Cassandra P.

Genre: Friendship / Romance                                    Rating: K

Chapter(s): 1                                                            Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: Talk to Cassandra. Easier said than done, really. Varric grumbled under his breath all the way up the stairs that led to the battlements, reviewing every insult he wanted to hurl at the Seeker’s head. He doubted that was what Lavellan had in mind when he had told him – ordered him – to have a proper conversation with the Seeker now that she had calmed down. He also doubted she had.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12710989/1/Battlements-Interlude
I can already hear the groans; “Another Dragon Age story?  Don’t you read anything else?”  Which, yes, I do read other fandoms.  I just happen to bounce frequently back to fandoms that are tried and true for me – not necessarily that they give me good stories to read, just that they pique my interest enough to get me to click on the story.  I only go outside my comfort zone on rare occasions and at people’s requests.  Seeing as there are no requests, I’m returning to Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  Today I bring you my first Varric x Cassandra romance(ish) story.  The story is about Varric and Cassandra making up after the fight when Cassandra found out that Varric had known all along where to find Hawke.  It is a bit awkward, sweet, and to the point; much like the interactions between the two characters.

The awkwardness of the story is not in how it’s written but in the characters’ interactions.  Varric and Cassandra share the same space for a good portion of the story yet remain silent.  They’re not silently enjoying each other’s company but rather waiting for someone to make the first move when neither knows how to approach the conversation.  How the story writes the scene conveys the awkwardness both characters must feel during the scene; Varric because he doesn’t know if he should even be talking to Cassandra and his own undefined feelings for her.  Cassandra…is never explored but that’s to be expected because the story doesn’t follow her, it follows Varric; so Readers are only privileged to Varric’s feelings and intentions.

The relationship between Varric and Cassandra is sweet.  It’s not toothache inducing sweet or out of character.  The relationship is in line with the game, they argue / tease but now there is this moment of tenderness where Cassandra acknowledges Varric to be right and Varric opens up that he has her back.  Combined with the hints that Varric might hold romantic feelings for Cassandra makes the exchange sweet and Varric’s personal struggles endearing.

Finally, the story is brief.  This is a short one-shot but it is loaded with potential.  Not potential in that it should continue to be a longer story but rather potential in how to interpret the characters’ interactions in the game.  Were Varric and Cassandra’s exchanges truly filled with bite or did it become more teasing?  Is Varric’s past with Bianca truly as strong to keep him from falling for someone else?  Is Cassandra as hard as she comes off?  Well, as someone who romanced Cassandra, I know the answer is no, but this story shows the possibility of others (Varric) getting to see her walls come down.  There is so much potential presented in such a short amount of time.  Then the actual exchange of words between Varric and Cassandra is short too.  It’s brief and to the point.  There is no struggles for a confession or declaration of love, it’s just too characters apologizing in their own ways, explaining why they reacted the way they did, and assuring each other that they’re in this together.  No finery; no unnecessary analysis.

There isn’t much to analyze for this story and while I can’t say that it would hold a candle to any lengthy epic stories or a full romance, it certainly holds a certain charm for showcasing this off-screen scene and coming at it from the angle of a Varric that is starting to fall for Cassandra.  The possibilities and it’s unusual pairing make the story stand out.

I will say that a small part of me is disappointed that there is not a solid romantic interaction between the two characters, overall, I enjoyed the story.  I enjoyed having Varric begin to acknowledge that maybe he no longer dislikes the Seeker and maybe he’s emotionally cheating on Bianca, and I’m not sorry that those things are not resolved by the end.  Instead, they remain open for a future date and what is resolved is Varric and Cassandra putting to bed their argument and Varric’s loyalties.

Would I recommend this one-shot?  Yes.  If for no other reason than that it is the closest I’ve seen to a Varric x Cassandra romance.  The writing is solid and the story did not need to make either character OOC (out of character) in order to make the budding romance believable.

I am hoping to find more fan fiction featuring these two characters as a potential couple in the future.  They would quickly become one of my favorite pairings to read.

 

Stars: 8.5/10

My Ojousan Review

Title: My Ojousan                                                         Author:  vegie kun

Source: Gundam Wing A/C                                         Character(s): Relena P. & Duo M.

Rating:  T                                                                   Genre(s): Adventure / Romance

Chapter(s): 11                                                              Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis:  During a stressful conference Relena meets up with a certain Gundam pilot who brings laughter and chaos into her life.  But the fun ends as quickly as it begins when a new enemy appears, headed by the most unexpected person.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/105035/1/My-Ojousan

 

Welcome Readers, I really needed a good story to read this week.  It’s been a stressful one and I had hoped to find something really good to make me forget about the stress.  Well, this story is not quite as awesome as I was expecting, but it was a great distraction.  I returned to the Gundam Wing fandom and took a look at the non-cannon couples.  It’s always interesting seeing how fans make the non-cannon couples happen and work; stories like this one make me leave saying, “Yeah, I could see those two characters as lovers.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  Today I am reviewing one for the few Duo x Relena romances I found on FFN.  It’s amazing how out of all the Gundam pilots Duo is least romantically associated with Relena.  If he’s included in a romance story with Relena it’s normally as Heero’s boyfriend.  The fact that the romance is between Duo and Relena is what piqued my interest.

The story feels like an action movie.  Two friends reunite only to be pulled into an assassination plot and they must stay on the run to survive.  Thankfully the one leading the assassination team is none other than Heero Yuy and he’s doing everything he can to sabotage the assassination with the help of circus clown, Trowa Barton.

Similar to an action movie, this story is fun to read and I enjoyed it; however, it has some weak points.  One such point is the use of a character’s thoughts, I don’t mind it when a story shares character thoughts but they should be used judiciously and should not replace actual dialogue.  In this story, characters have full internal conversations with themselves; conversations that analyze their motives, feelings, etc.  To me there is no need to tell the Reader the entire internal dialogue a character has when it’s just as (if not more) effective to describe the internal dialogue.  It takes fewer words and can convey the message better than having the character argue with themselves.

This is more prevalent in the early chapters as Duo and Relena reunite and the seeds of romance take root.  As the story progresses those type of thoughts are replaced by more effective thoughts such as Heero trying to figure out his former assassin comrades’ plans and how best to protect Relena.  The major difference between Heero’s internal dialogue and the Duo’s is the length and topics.  Duo’s are like devil versus angel arguments to illustrate his confliction over his new found feelings for Relena, while Heero’s are concise and focused on analyzing what needs to be done.  In a way, Heero’s internal dialogue reminds me of Robert Downy Jr’s Sherlock Holmes; the quick, efficient analysis before getting right back into the action.

That’s my only real grievance with the story.  I could gripe on about how Duo and Relena fall in love within a week but since the story is written like an action movie it makes sense.  This story isn’t written to be a serious romance that is built up over long periods of time, it’s meant to be a romance that builds up during the course of a traumatic experience.  So, to me how quickly the romance comes about is not an issue.

In fact, the romance is handled well.  There is the romance between Duo and Relena, which starts off slow and a bit dating sims clichéd but as the story progresses it improves.  Suddenly, the focus is not on making these two seem like a cutesy potential couple, but two people who feel for each other while struggling with their own sense of right and wrong.  Is it right for them to feel these romantic urges for each other?  Isn’t it like a betrayal because there’s the unstated truth that Heero love Relena?  Both of them struggle with these kind of questions while still wanting to maybe pursue a relationship after they survive the assassination plot.

On the flip side, there’s the romance between Heero and Relena.  It’s not a love triangle because Heero’s not fighting with Duo to win Relena or trying to stop the two from being together.  Instead, Heero and Relena’s romance in this one is a mature one; it’s the romance where one party decides it’s time to leave and give blessing for the other party to seek love elsewhere.  Heero quite literally takes the time to tell Relena that she should stop waiting for him and follow her feelings to pursue Duo.   On Relena’s side, it’s that crossroads of not wanting to betray her first love that was never fully realized in order start a new love with Duo.  It’s a beautiful confliction that doesn’t become the focus of the story and is treated as being emotionally complex; as it should be.

How the story handles Heero and Relena’s unrequited romance is part of the reason why I enjoyed the story so much.  It doesn’t linger too long on the topic but it doesn’t shove it into a closet to never address again.  It is there and it becomes prevalent during the moments of calm – the moment when the characters can catch their breathes and their minds distract them with thoughts of “what ifs.”  This is a way to juggle the romance with the action that just appeals to me.

The last part I’ll touch on is the original characters.  There’s not a lot but there are a handful of original characters who fill in the cast and rather than becoming the Mary Sue and Gary Stu type characters, these ones feel natural.  They feel like characters that would have been found in the Gundam Wing world.  There’s the politician who is looking to gain more resources to defend his country from attack even if those resources come at the expense of the Sanq Kingdom, Relena’s life, and the lives of those in the former Sanq Kingdom.  He’s a flaw character and one with misguided motives and means, but he’s very much human.

There’s the assassins who have distinct personalities and ways of handling their missions.  One assassin has so much pride in his abilities that he cannot stomach the fact that the promotion he worked for went to a much younger and newer member of the guild.  Another assassin is a bit more easygoing; appreciative of life but enjoy his work as an assassin because “you should enjoy what you do for a living.”  These are characters who are grounded in reality while being mixed into this extreme, unrealistic situation.

I don’t always like original characters but these were the types that helped to expand the world and fill in the blank spots; they do not take the spot light away from the main cast or allow themselves to fall into obscurity.  These are the types of OCs that help build the story, not steal it.

In the end, I would recommend this story.  I do suggest hanging in there during the first few chapters because it feels a bit sluggish and it is a bit of set up.  However, once the action hits, the story takes off and it is so worth it.  If Readers have the time, check out My Ojousan on FFN.

 

Stars: 7.5 / 10

In My Head (And In My Heart) Review

Title:  In My Head (And in My Heart)                       Author:  raendown

Source: Naruto                                                           Character(s): Kakashi H & Iruka U.

Rating:  T                                                                   Genre(s): Romance

Chapter(s): 1                                                               Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: Ever since he can remember Kakashi has been hearing a voice in his head.  It takes until he is 26 years old before he learns that it’s not just in his head.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12452428/1/In-My-Head-And-In-My-Heart

 

Welcome Readers, it has been a long time since I’ve reviewed anything or read anything.  Life got in the way (again) and now that it’s winding down again, I find that I need this release.  I need a way to convey my thoughts and opinions on a subject (fan fiction is great subject) and just get it out into the world somehow.  So, I’m back.  I won’t make promises to not disappear again – it’ll happen anyways – but I will return to my 2 reviews a week again for as long as I can.

To start my next leg of reviewing off, I am posting an unfiltered and unedited version of this review.  I just finished reading the story and I felt like getting my thoughts on to digital paper as quick as possible.  So, everything that follows is my unfiltered thoughts on the fan fic that got me back into reviewing.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  Today I will be examining a Kakashi x Iruka romance called In My Head (And in My Heart).  Enjoy the review.

Despite this being a one-shot story, it’s a lengthy story.  This is 47,595 words long.  It should be too because it chronologies major events in Kakashi’s life (childhood through end of Naruto – not Naruto: Shippuden) and this Voice being there beside him.

The story is this bond that between Kakashi and this Voice that builds over years, then one day Kakashi finds out that the Voice isn’t just some entity living inside his head but an actual person.  Turns out that this person has a rare (and a bit obscure, almost useless) Kekkei Genkai that allows him to imprint onto another person, forming a psychic bond with them.  The bond makes both parties empathic to the other, lets them see through the others’ eyes, and even creates a life bond so when one dies the other one dies too (mostly due to the heartbreak of the bond being broken).

However, despite knowing that the Voice is a real person, the Voice is hesitant to reveal himself to Kakashi so it becomes a bit of a game between the two characters; a game where Kakashi is provided some vague clues to Voice’s identity and Kakashi must try to find Voice.  As the Reader, the audience knows that it’s Iruka Umino but Kakashi doesn’t put all the pieces together.  There are a few things that the story does in changing events / character backgrounds that make it harder for Kakashi to pinpoint the Voice’s identity.  One of those things is Iruka’s voice.  In this story, Iruka suffers an accident with a gentle fist user (prior to the series) and it tore his vocal chords.  The hospital staff were able to repair his vocal chords to an extent but now he sounds hoarser than his “true” voice.  There’s touches like that example that help keep Kakashi off the obvious scent.

Eventually, thanks to Naruto, Kakashi does discover that Voice is Iruka and confronts him.  It’s not an angry confrontation but one of joy and a bit of intimacy.  Nothing truly sexual but enough to get yaoi fan hearts racing and hopes floating.  Eventually, they do actually become a couple but there is a lot of “will they, won’t they” build up.

Speaking of that build up, I am a fan of the “will they, won’t they” builds but for this one I felt more often than not it was less of “will” and more “when.”  I say this because never does either character suggest that they should not be so intimate or that they need to lay down some ground rules about affection, instead they are highly affectionate with each other to the point where it’s no longer a build it’s a “just do it already!” situation.  I have less patience for the “just do it already” stories.  To me, these characters had flown by the friend zone and went straight into lovers just without ever establishing that they were lovers.  I really wish there had been more of the “will they, won’t they” build; it could have come from Iruka being more reserved or conservative in his affections – like have him protest to the cuddling or to the affectionate kisses, or have him become uncomfortable about some of the intimate positions he and Kakashi landed in.  Just something to make it apparent, that one of these two understood that some of what they did probably crossed the line from friendship into lovers.

Another missed opportunity was the idea of Kakashi falling in love both with the Voice and Iruka.  The seemed to imply going down that path for a bit by Kakashi befriending Iruka and some of their interactions, but it never went all out.  The story seemed more set on Kakashi figuring out that Voice and Iruka were one and the same, rather than Kakashi falling in love with both manifestations of Voice.  To me this was a missed opportunity and it could have opened the door to exploring other possibilities; like does Kakashi love Voice – the one in his head – or Iruka?  I know they are one and the same but with how the story builds itself as “Kakashi looking for Voice’s real body” this scenario would have brought in the added complexity of the idea – to Kakashi – that he could fall for someone besides Voice.

Again, this felt like a missed opportunity to me.  That and not addressing Iruka’s insecurities.  They are hinted at and I understand that the bond would Iruka greater insight to Kakashi’s feelings / thoughts about him, but that doesn’t make those insecurities go away.  Iruka hints at a couple, like how he thinks he’s average looking and the fact that others tend to view him as not a proper shinobi since he’s a teacher.  Yet, these are really addressed in the story.  I bet that in a few months post story, one of those insecurities would rear its ugly head and get addressed.

Overall, the story isn’t bad as a romance between my favorite Naruto senseis but I feel that it wasn’t taken to the full extent that could have and that it’s not the best romance.  I know I’ve read better romances.  However, it was decent and a good way to get me back into reading fan fiction.  Would I recommend it?  Sure.  It wouldn’t be high up on my recommendation list but it’s there.  I know there are Kakashi x Iruka fans out there who would enjoy reading this story.  It just didn’t impress me.

 

Stars: 7/10

Intricate Relations Review

Title: Intricate Relations                                   Author: Teagarden

Source: Brothers x Conflict                               Characters: Ema H. & All Asahina Brothers

Genre(s): Drama / Romance                              Rating: T

Chapter(s): 36                                                  Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: Ema Hinata joins the Asahina family at age eleven. As Ema grows she offers the brothers support in their dreams, care when they’re down, and cheering when they succeed. The brothers all come to adore Ema, but as time goes on they have to ask themselves: do they love her as their stepsister, or as a woman?

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11933610/1/Intricate-Relations

 

Welcome Readers, I felt like I was on a movie kick with my reviews lately and I needed to change things up.  So, I returned to a story a found a couple of months ago when I was on a Brothers x Conflict binge.  It was one of the few stories I found that featured the series’ focal character, Ema, and the multitudes of stepbrothers rather than on just one or two brothers; so, it caught my attention.  Now, after reading this story twice I can properly give it a review that it deserves.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  Today we are entering the world of harem fan fiction – well, reverse harem fan fiction – with “Intricate Relations.”

For those who may have never heard of Brothers x Conflict it is an Otome game, there are manga and light novels available, and an anime.  The premise is that Ema Hinata an only child of a world renowned adventurer, she gains 13 stepbrothers when her father remarries.  Ema begins living with her stepbrothers and over the course of the game, novel, manga, and anime several (all 13) of the brothers come to feel romantic feelings for Emi and vie for her heart.

That is not a typo, there are 13 potential guys for this girl.  Well, 12 in this story because the story didn’t bother with the youngest (thankfully) who is 10 in the anime (13 in Season 2 of the novels).  Still, that is 12 guys to juggle and build potential relationships with in the story.  It’s hard work and the story puts in an admirable effort, however it still has its flaws.  Let’s start there, with the balance of these 12 suitors and their quest for Ema’s affections.

This story was not a slouch in how it handled the brothers.  The brothers each made a different impact on Ema and had their moments with her, and while the balance was pretty well maintained there were still some characters who ended up falling to the way side during the course of the story.  Hikaru didn’t get much of an opportunity to try his luck at Ema’s heart due to the fact that the character moved out of the country and was mostly kept out of the picture; in the end, he became the voice of wisdom to Ema.  Not a bad change.  Iori suffered though.  His potential romance was built as strictly one-sided and his sudden departure then return left no room for anything to potentially take root between him and Ema.  Louis was another one that got regulated to “friend” despite having a decent beginning and would have made a strong contender had his character and attentions been maintained.

Otherwise, the other 9 siblings had pretty solid romance opportunities with Ema.  Each one being cultivated over time from Ema at age 9 to Ema at 18.  The story maintained several of the rivalries from the game / novels / anime and used those to help generate tension between the brothers.  Unfortunately, this made these characters seem narrow sighted for not seeing all their brothers as rivals.  The few brothers who did not have rival to be pitted against normally had to compete with their jobs and the age difference.  Those were probably the most interesting characters as they often acted not out of jealousy (except for 2 instances) but out of the desire to make the most of their time with Ema.

It’s a difference in terms of how the characters approach their feelings for Ema but still the 9 brothers build up strong potential romances with Ema.  Strong enough that it’s hard to know who she will eventually choose.  I will touch on the ending later, for now I want to dive into Ema’s side of this romantic harem.

Ema Hinata is one of those characters who is meant to be the “every girl,” very few defining personality traits and quirks in the game and while she has a bit more in the anime, she lacks a bit of depth.  This story gives her that depth and actually tries to shape her away from the “every girl.”  She doesn’t have a strong personality but she does have one, enough of one that when as her brothers start confessing their feelings to her and (some) becoming aggressive with their affections she reacts.  She doesn’t just take their actions or words; she reacts to them.

Everything that happens as the brothers make moves on her causes Ema stress and the pushier they become, the more she retreats from them.  In the anime, Ema kept pointing out that “they’re family” and in this story she clings to the idea of “Family” even more firmly because she grew up side by side with the brothers then suddenly – it would feel sudden to her – how her brothers feel for her has turned from familial to romantic; it causes her to eventually lash out and say how she sees them as family.  In the anime, it feels like the “family” reason is more of an excuse for her to not analyze her feelings but in this story it makes sense given the history it builds between her and the brothers.

Actually, because of how Ema reacts to the brothers’ aggressive behavior leads to my favorite moment in the story; the part where she leaves Japan with Louis (the brother regulated to friend/family zone) to spend the summer in France.  It’s my favorite part of the story because unlike the anime where Ema tries to family-zone the brothers and they all decide to still pursue her; this story shows that there are consequences to the brothers pushing so hard for her to return their affections.  Ema leaving is also the best point because it allows the character to analyze her feelings and what she wants for her future – a subplot in the story.  It’s the only time where Ema is able to focus on herself instead of the Asahina brothers.

Now, as for the end; much like the game, there are multiple different endings.  There is an ending for Tsubaki, Azusa, Natsuem, Yusuke, Fuuto, Kaname, and Masomi.  While I think this is genius because it allows just about any Reader to be happy with the various endings, it also pisses me off.  Note the number of different endings – 7 – note how many brothers I said had strong romance potential with Ema – 9.  Yeah, two of those brothers did not get an ending, Ukyo and Subaru.  Why I’m mad about this is because the Ukyo had a strong build and was on the same level as Masomi yet for whatever reason he was never given an ending.  Just nothing.  Apparently the story didn’t bother with giving Ukyo a happy ending beyond him just being happy that Ema’s happy.

Truthfully, I’m more upset about Subaru not getting an ending because out of the 9 potential romances his got dropped a bit earlier than the others.  Not completely dropped but enough to signal that the story was done trying to wiggle the basketball star back in.  He had a strong beginning, a weak middle, and then he disappears near the end to pursue his career only to return when Ema returns.  There’s concessions made for the other brothers to try and tie up loose unrequited ends but Subaru gets nothing.  I understand that he’s hard to write – whoever created Subaru’s character did not bother trying to go past “he’s a basketball star who’s awkward with girls” – but this story could’ve given him a bit more potential.  It certainly could’ve – at the very least – given him an end where Ema goes to watch one of his first games in the pro and…well, time makes the heart grow fonder.  This story could’ve gone corny and made it work.  Instead, it ignored the potential.

Overall, the story is very good.  Despite my grievances about certain characters not receiving an ending or a chance at romance, I still enjoy it a lot.  I appreciate how the brothers’ feelings slow eat away at Ema until she breaks down and must literally leave to find herself.  I also enjoy the amount of time devoted to each brother’s feelings and their interactions with Ema.  Personally, my pick would be for Kaname or Yusuke but I’m biased.

I do highly recommend the story, it’s a good one to read and it does a great job of maintaining the harem aspect of the story.  I seriously could see each one of those endings happening and when Ema returned from Japan it was wide open as to who she would end up with.  It was a great story to read and I hope other Readers take the time to check it out.

 

Stars: 8.5 / 10