Welcome to a new segment! As I’m sure you could have guessed, I’m a huge fanfiction buff. You want a fic? I have a rec. I’ve decided to every week highlight a few of enjoyable fanfiction titles that I’m devouring at the moment or have in the past read through with urgency.
Within the fanfiction community, some woven tales read well and others…well, to be honest, I have an English major’s bias and I’m a sucker for well written prose; if the grammar and spelling are atrocious, I’ll usually turn away from a piece based on those factors alone, regardless of its plot potential.
Some of these mentioned fanfictions will be pinnacles of fan material, novel quality in their construction. Others will simply be fun reads. All fanfiction mentioned, however, will sport qualities that I feel make them worth your time.
Most of my faniction recommendations will of course be anime related, but you shouldn’t find yourself surprised if another medium or two slips into discussion. Naturally, I’m still debating how many stories to feature each week, but I suppose I will figure that out in due time. I was considering three, but perhaps I’ll post more recommendations this week as a celebratory gesture… Nah, three it is!
The formatting will thusly flow:
Title & Link
Author (& Potential Link)
Fandom and Status
Fiction author’s written tag
- Why I recommend it.
Now, my fellows, let us begin!
Fandom(s) featured this week:
“Hakuouki” & “Black Butler”
“Hakuouki” — Updating as of Feb. 20, 2017; 78 chapters
“[Canon/AU] Chizuru appears ordinary but isn’t. The Shinsengumi have a secret to protect. The demons have their own agenda for survival. Can the Shinsengumi endure demonic lore? Can the demons adapt enough to heed their own legends? Plots, power, Oni politics, history and romance. Kazama C. Amagiri K. Hijikata T. Okita S. Yamazaki S. Kazama Chiharu (OC) Kimigiku Shiranui K.”
- Without exaggeration, I check this piece of fanfiction for updates at least once daily (even knowing that Impractical Demon–or “Oni” as I still think of her–seems to maintain a roughly bi-monthly update schedule?). The work is novel quality and leaves you hungry for more; upon first discovering the fic a few months ago, I managed to read through all the available chapters in less than two days while staying responsible to my other considerable obligations. Did I sleep much? No. Was the sacrifice worth it? Absolutely. The story is packed, as the description would indicate, with politics and romance; at this point in the plot, we’ve really entered into the thick of things. I crave resolution (and an eventual sequel!). There are SO many plot points I can’t wait to see come to fruition, but I’m in no hurry for the literary journey to end. ❤
“Hakuouki” — Completed as of Aug. 25, 2015; Sequel seemingly abandoned as of July 17, 2016; 25 chapters
“Chizuru Yukimura is struggling to come to terms with her demon lineage, but when she refuses to relinquish her place in the Shinsengumi at Senhime’s request, she is offered a far greater proposal – to master the Seven Gates of the Demon Arts. Will she be able to control her intrinsic powers for the sake of the Shinsengumi? Does she have what it takes to stand up against Kazama?”
- This is a wonderful piece of fiction, and the only criticism I have regarding it is its lack of resolution; the first installment leaves off at a critical point in the story, but the sequel (“Warden of the East”) has been abandoned for some time. In any case, the tale is rife with fan fodder. (Can you say Hijikata x Chizuru shipping?) I am not normally fond of authors taking Chizuru and treating her as a blank slate onto which they might project their own characterization and make her bad@$$ (because, let’s face it, she does have a character! She’s just demure!), but this author managed to turn her into a warrior without portraying everyone wildly out of character. I appreciate that, even if “warrior Chizuru” isn’t always my favorite incarnation of the girl. Parts of the story had me laughing aloud at their imagery. (Spoiler alert: Chizuru bursting into spontaneous flames and Nagakura attempting to smother them?? Hijikata being the catalyst for Chizuru’s flames of desire??) If you can get past the cliff-hanger ending (the sequel only has 4 chapters completed), I recommend this fic!
“Black Butler/Kuroshitsuji” — Updating as of Nov. 24, 2016; 62 chapters
“Ciel takes the leap into Oblivion, only to wake into a strange white-washed world of beeping machines and white-coated doctors. The only thing that seems real is Sebastian, who steals him away from the hellhole laboratory to save him from the sick sake of science.”
- Many of us are familiar with the non-cannon ending of “Black Butler II,” but what if it wasn’t really the season’s (the show’s?) end? In fact, what if—in the course of a few physically painful moments—Ciel’s whole reality came crashing down around him, leaving him to cope in a world of new design in which the people and incidents that he remembers seem real and yet…strangely not? The plot is fascinating, the characterization believable, the incidents dramatic; if you handle the slow update pace of AoUsagi (who has been working on the piece since 2012), I highly recommend this fic. It stands as one of my favorite pieces, and I await the next chapter’s confrontation with great anticipation. (And THANK HEAVENS IT ISN’T A SEB x CIEL fic, dear goodness.)
Have you read any of the fanfictions above? Do any tickle your fancy? Are there any works of fanfiction that you would like to recommend? Let me know in the comments below!
After Post Edit:
Having since spoken with author Girliebird, it appears that her work “Warden of the East” was not abandoned at all, but rather put on temporary hiatus due to the pressures of school life!! Thus, we readers can expect new content this summer, and potentially a new chapter as early as next month! (o^ ^o)