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the white huntress
21 October 2014 @ 02:03 am
... okay, so there comes a point after which you just can't think about table layouts without something starting to give. I've been busy, I still am, and I need something to take my mind off the multiplicity of real-world obligations I've been trying to juggle for the last entirely way too long for a while. I chose a 26,840 word Mary Sue monstrosity, because it is how I am made.

Story Title: Second Chance
Perpetrator: OMightyWifeofShinigami
Summary: 'Everyone has a second chance in life... even Weiss. It all started when Omi brought home a homeless woman in the rain... FINISHED!'

Rating: appalling

Resident Sue: Yoshi IchimuraiCollapse )

The Charges:
A goddamn Mary Sue shows up with a literal angst-bag and a tick-list of Neat New Character setpieces, and proceeds to work her way through them whether Weiss like it or not. The plot only shows up when the Sue backs the fuck off, which she barely ever does, the regulars' personalities are broken to her will and nothing that happens makes any sense even relative to itself.

The Walkthrough: Part I, Part II.

The Case for the Prosecution:
  • I will never cease to be amazed by just how long some of these fanfics - and yes, mostly they are Suefics, how did you guess? - manage to keep going without showing the first sign of any kind of a plot. This ten-part fanfic is nearly 27,000 words long, and in that time probably manages to scare up perhaps a chapter and a half of actual plot, all of which plays out exactly as you'd expect it to when the mysterious new assassin Weiss are charged with killing is revealed to be their mysterious new housemate. All the rest of the running time is taken up with tedious domestic comedy and in watching Yoshi, the resident Sue, sparkle her way through various staple Suefic set-pieces - the dramatic night-time alleyway rescue followed by couch time; acquiring a cute new wardrobe on Kritiker's dime; having a nightmare about her dark past and being comforted by her Weiss boy of choice - as if she's working her way down a list. It's yet another example of fangirl self-indulgence calling itself a story.

  • There's really no way round it: the way Yoshi is described often veers uncomfortably close to lolicon. She's a spindly-armed waif who looks like a stiff breeze would send her ass over tit and is so petite she drowns in Omi's clothes. It's hammered home repeatedly that Yoshi appears considerably younger than her stated age of nineteen: Omi thinks she's 'just a kid' and can lift her with ease. This apparently makes her a total hottie even Youji (strictly 18 years and up) can't help lusting for. No, story. Just no.

  • The instatrust Weiss display in this Sue comes back to bite them in the ass when she is revealed at the climax to have been a dangerous killer who'd been charged with murdering them all in their sleep all along. Unfortunately for what passes for a plot in this fic, this is exactly why Weiss in general and Omi in particular would absolutely never have let her quite literally move into Aya's bed because oh, she looked like she needed help. Precisely why couldn't this help have come in the form of calling an ambulance, story? They wouldn't have trusted her instantly, even if she was a big-eyed waif with a flawlessly wangsty (albeit completely implausible) sob story, especially because having Omi find her being beaten up by some random badnasty seemingly for no more reason than it would be fun literally only makes sense if it's a put-up job and someone wanted him to take her home.

  • What is it with Sues and their angsty mementos of angst? A good tragic memento is of a happy occasion, because that is actually worse. Specifically, story, nobody in their right mind keeps a photo of their husband and child looking like they've been subject to the worst torments of existence in a locket and wears it next to their heart. Not unless they secretly hated them both.

  • It's sadly standard for the Neat New Character who's being doted on to the exclusion of all others to turn out to be entirely obnoxious to be around, and Yoshi is no exception. She's a whiny, egomaniacal moron who has absolutely nothing to say for herself when she's not bitching about how bleak and empty her entire woeful existence is, and can't quite get her empty little noggin round the fact that Her Endless Fucking Problems are, firstly, not a matter of immediate interest to everyone ever and, secondly, not actually all that outstandingly startling considering she's in Weiss Kreuz. Three-quarters of the team have canonical dead parents, Yoshi. You're the only one who is acting like this is your own unique cross to bear and a tragedy for the ages to the extent that total strangers should know better than to dare to be happy families where you can see them. Yoshi is fonder of one-man pity parties than Aya Fujimiya is, for fuck sake. An achievement, yes, but not a particularly edifying one.

  • Yoshi claims to be the successor to an assassin called 'Fatality' who, as is also sadly standard for stupid bad guys in even stupider Mary Sue fanfic, is talked up like he's a really big deal. Turns out he's rubbish at his job and also dead: Yoshi, his replacement, is even worse. It might have helped if she'd done even the slightest bit of preparation for a mission that involved taking down four trained killers in one fell swoop - a tall order for a good assassin never mind an idiot who, in four years of living as a professional murderer, had somehow never managed to successfully demonstrate that she could kill anybody at all - instead of blundering blindly in and being foiled by locked doors and light sleepers, all things that she could and should have reasonably expected to have to deal with. Then again, far too many Suefics want to eat their leet assassin cake and have it too, with the Sue being both amazing at her job and yet never actually having to kill anyone she had nothing personal against, something Weiss only do all the damn time. If you want your Sue to be an innocent, don't make her an assassin. It's not hard.

  • Aya's relationship with Yoshi is crap. Omi's fixation on the Sue, despite being an also-ran from the start, is also crap - though slightly less so than Aya's because at least he seems to think that it might be better if Yoshi wasn't miserable all the time where Aya actively eggs her on. Of course this is a stupid Suefic so the fact that Aya also loves wallowing in glorious wangst means he's totally her soulmate, not that he's a shameless enabler and their relationship is mutually toxic, self-destructive and doomed.

  • The climax is, to put it kindly, fucking awful. Yoshi vanishes after Aya and Omi have a stupid argument over who loves her more, then shows up in yes, you guessed it, an abandoned warehouse where she effortlessly takes down Youji, Ken and Omi then informs Aya that she is Fatality, the mysterious new assassin they've been told to kill. She also informs him that, despite being named as the new Fatality after the old one died from being rubbish at his job, she hasn't actually killed anyone before. Okay, whatever, that's stupid but it only gets worse. See, Aya and the Sue then cross-examine one another about whether their codependent love for one another was real (it's a Suefic, what do you think?). Having declared that Aya was her Title Drop Yoshi shoots herself, falls off a catwalk I would lay actual money she wasn't standing on before, dies in his arms, is apparently blown to smithereens, then gets better in time to buy flowers from him a week later. All right. Also, what the Hell did I just read.

  • The fic is just horrible to read. There are no speech marks for much of the fic's length, for a start. Entire lines of dialogue have also vanished into the ether, not that we're much worse for their loss when they must have been every bit as stupid as the dialogue that remains. I'm not sure how much is laziness and what's The Pit being The Pit, but it's no fun to read either way.

  • Finally, why do so many Suethors completely fail to realize just how much time hasn't passed since the resident Speshul Girl of Awesome showed up, anyway? It sounds a pretty tall order from a fic that's almost 27,000 words long and glacially-paced, but this story is simply too rushed. If any more than five days of fic-time elapses between Omi dragging home Weiss's umpteenth stray Sue and her dying pretty in Aya's arms, I'll be amazed. That, story, means you are trying to convince your audience that a closed-off, emotionally distant man like Aya has been so comprehensively won over after spending less than a week watching some random chick wave her wangst in his face that he'd want to make out with her bullet-riddled corpse. Fangirl? Your Sue is not so amazing that Aya is going to be declaring his love to her after A FUCKING WEEK, and do you know how many tragically dead girls Weiss have known? Yoshi would not be at all remarkable, just the latest in a long, sad list. Sorry.

    Exposing the Hideousness:
    Yoshi Sue and her Literal Angst-BagCollapse )
    It's been a hard day's night, and I'd been working like a dog...Collapse )
    'Don't fight!' says the fantasy stand-in. The ficcer cackles and calls for blood.Collapse )

    Conclusive Proof Weiss Fangirls Are Stupid:
    She grows up and marries you. Is that what you want to hear?Collapse )
    mood: guys? just elope
    music: love is the drug - carla gugino and oscar isaac
    the white huntress
    21 October 2014 @ 02:01 am
    Hello, all two of my remaining readers! (Or am I being perhaps a shade overoptimistic?) Welcome to Let's Read This Shitty Overlong Weiss Kreuz Suefic. This looks to be a piece of truly vintage shod, complete with homeless angst Sues, shopping sprees on someone else's credit card, and the Sue dying at the end except totally not! I'm going to enjoy this, and by enjoy I mean 'despise'.

    Story Title: Second Chance
    Perpetrator: OMightyWifeofShinigami
    Summary: 'Everyone has a second chance in life... even Weiss. It all started when Omi brought home a homeless woman in the rain... FINISHED!'

    Rating: appalling

    The Walkthrough, Part I:
    Chapter 01Collapse )
    Chapter 02Collapse )
    Chapter 03Collapse )
    Chapter 04Collapse )
    Chapter 05Collapse )
    mood: can we not?
    music: odds are - barenaked ladies
    the white huntress
    21 October 2014 @ 02:00 am
    Well, this is proving to be every bit as awful as I thought it would, if not exactly startlingly so... to the extent that I've apparently broken the pro forma again. Well, whoops? Maybe this is why I should post more regularly - because if I did, I'd be more able to retain some kind of a sense of proportion. On the other hand, looking at my back catalog? Maybe not.

    Story Title: Second Chance
    Perpetrator: OMightyWifeofShinigami
    Summary: 'Everyone has a second chance in life... even Weiss. It all started when Omi brought home a homeless woman in the rain... FINISHED!'

    Rating: appalling

    The Walkthrough, Part II:
    Chapter 06Collapse )
    Chapter 07Collapse )
    Chapter 08Collapse )
    Chapter 09Collapse )
    Chapter 10Collapse )
    mood: ... what are these puns
    music: odds are - barenaked ladies
    the white huntress
    26 October 2013 @ 09:08 pm
    God, I'm tired of reading stories where absolutely everything that happens is motivated by how amazingly, jaw-droppingly hot Aya is and how much everyone wants him, especially Youji. You'd think that maybe I could get round this by simply not reading anything by firewolfsg for a little while, but unfortunately I'm still a Weiss Kreuz fangirl so that's not going to help.

    Story Title: Reboot: Because I Hate NoWin Scenarios
    Perpetrator: macDhai
    Summary: 'Itou Ryou doesn't wake up one morning. Kudoh Yohji does. And remembers everything.'

    Rating: disastrous

    The Charges:
    Lame shipfic set post-Gluhen in a desperate attempt to retcon the ending and shove Youji and Aya back into one another's not-so-waiting arms. Series canon gets completely shredded, characterization is wholly ignored, all semblance of logic throws up its hands and leaves and then a Criminal Minds character shows up, has no clear effect on the action, then goes away again.

    The Case for the Prosecution:
  • This is a fix fic. Premise: Youji has to be with his real True Love, Aya (of course), so it's time for the author to stick two fingers up at series canon and completely miss the point of Youji's entire character arc, all the better to prove that two men who mostly just kinda sorta tolerate one another are SOULMATES OKAY. In service of this idiocy, Youji wakes up randomly cured of amnesia and instantly decides to win Aya back, because ten years of marriage and raising a child with his loving wife are as dust in the wind next to a decade-old on-off thing with a dysfunctional murderer, because the dysfunctional murderer is totally fucking hot and Asuka just can't compete with DAT ASS. I have absolutely no idea why this is supposed to be seen as romantic and not, say, proof this ficcer's take on Youji is a selfish asshole, but maybe the fic will enlighten me. (SPOILER: It didn't.)

  • Okay, so there's the plot: Youji wakes up remembering everything and spends the rest of the fic deciding that he's going to get the band back together so that he can fuck Aya some more. Because apparently it wouldn't be as hot if he wasn't murdering people for money or anything. So he leaves his wife and tracks down Aya and they live happily, sappily and crappily ever after.

  • Fangirl, did you miss the bit in Gluhen, namely the entire show, where Youji was desperate and despairing and wanted out at any cost? Yeah, he ultimately reneged on his deal with Tsujii but that was because he didn't want everyone else to die, not because he was totally cool with his life now and desperate to keep murdering people and banging Aya. If Youji, after living for ten years as a normal, functional adult with a wife, a child and an office job, woke up to remember that oh yeah I was a covert assassin once! he would be rightly horrified. He would not immediately decide going back to a life that left him near-suicidal with despair would be totally worth it since he'd get to tap Aya's shiny ass again... because face it, it wouldn't be. It's just an ass.

  • Speaking as a woman in a long-term relationship, I'm extremely offended that this ficcer seems to think Youji's marriage can be given the finger the minute Youji remembers Aya's hotting redheaded hot. Asuka's feelings don't even get a look-in: she's portrayed as this saintly thing who won't give a shit if her husband of ten years and the father of her child - who is of course called Ran, le barf - throws her over for his murderous gay lover the minute he realizes said lover existed. Because God forbid this decision should be at all difficult or Youji might actually be expected to feel remotely bad about what a selfish shithead he's being. The woman and the marriage are only there because they were in canon, and the ficcer's so keen to get shot of them she doesn't even bother writing about Asuka's reaction to Youji announcing he's leaving her for another man. The minute Youji's Wun Twu Wub is back in the picture his wife and child are instantly and effortlessly discarded: they're not Aya, so don't count.

  • Yeah, and then there's the kid. Of course his name is 'Ran'. This isn't explained in the story, but in author's notes, but I figure these are fair game, so: apparently Youji wanted to call the boy 'Aya' and Asuka, understandably, told him that was a fucking stupid idea, but she apparently magically hit on 'Ran'. And this makes this all okay and not eye-rollingly contrived now, does it?

  • And then there's this, which... well, I'm a grown-up, story, sorry, so I feel the need to point out that out here in the adult world people can and do get the Hell over things. This fic, and this fanficcer, make a single ridiculous assumption and build this entire edifice of fail around it: namely, that ten years after last laying eyes on him, Aya would still be totally obfuckingsessed with banging Youji. That he's just going to be out there, all hot and single and still in love with a married amnesiac, and totally prepared - after paying lip service to the fact that hey, it's ten years later and shit has actually changed, who'd have thunk it? - to pick up a stupid, self-destructive, adolescent relationship from where it left off. The fact that he totally is just makes me think these two idiots deserve one another but... yeah, no, this is all simply too convenient. People can, and do, move on. The fact that not only are neither of these two morons capable of it, but the ficcer apparently never considered it either, isn't romantic. It's just daft.

  • Okay, why is Dr. Reid from Criminal Minds in this mess? Yes, fangirl, I know it's fanfic and you can do whatever the Hell you like, but sensible fanficcers apply the caveat 'within reason'. And there is no reason at all for Youji's pointless, goes-nowhere discussion with the BAU's Spencer bloody Reid, who's gathering dust in a canteen in Japan because that's where the fic's set - which Youji rounds out by kissing him. Still in the canteen. I tried to suspend my disbelief, and the story just cut the fucking rope.

  • The story does actually make some kind of effort to explain precisely why a thirty-six-year-old man would think going back to murdering people for money was such a brilliant idea... but the decision to fall back on 'so Youji is basically just Gluhen Ken with worse hair'? Not only is this cheap, lazy and completely out of character, it turns him into someone Mamoru wouldn't let on an assassin team because it was bad enough when Ken did it and Aya, if he had any sense, would run screaming from. Youji has irrevocably left his wife and child and is coming back to assassin work because being normal is too much like hard work and anyway he just fuckin' loves eliminating. Youji loves manual strangulation more than kids love the great taste of Dairylea and he's come all the way to America after Aya because he wants to be murdering people by your side, baby doll. This is romantic now?

  • What I don't get is this: if this story does exist entirely because someone couldn't handle her pairing getting Jossed and felt the need to wash the ending of Gluhen away in a veritable tsunami of slashficcer garbage, why does the ficcer feel no explanation is needed for why Aya 1. has his katana (which, canonically, was with Youji after the laboratory explosion) and 2. hasn't been dead for... ooh, just over a decade? If you're working off Gluhen, Aya is dead. Or did he just wake up magically better too?

  • The saddest thing about this story is that it didn't have to suck dead rat through a straw. It could actually have worked if, say, a magically-unamnesiaed Youji had left his wife - who wasn't actually thrilled to bits about it - to find his long-lost love only to realize on meeting a decidedly unenthused Aya that the guy had changed, and that he had no idea who he was any more. Instead of being handed everything he asked for pretty much the instant he asked for it, Youji would then have had to actually make a call on what he really wanted from his life, and admitted that maybe he'd fucked things up royally by chasing after something that didn't exist any more. But that might actually have been interesting and wouldn't have ended up with them sticking their tongues down each other's throats as the status quo was immediately resumed, so that of course is right out. Oh, fandom.

    Exposing the Hideousness:
    So, I used to be a covert assassin - but never mind that, AYA WAS A BABE.Collapse )
    Youji's Wife < Strangling Dudes < Aya's Tight Leather-Clad AssCollapse )

    Conclusive Proof Weiss Fangirls Are Stupid:
    ACCEPTANCE: Fangirl for 'Fuck canon and do it your way'.Collapse )
    mood: how long did i leave this?
    music: push it - garbage
    the white huntress
    You did it, fandom. You broke me. I've finally come across a fic so mind-bogglingly stupid that a simple glance at the title and summary sent me off into a five-minute laughing fit that still hasn't subsided. At some point, I know, I will stop laughing and start sporking, but for now... well, just let me have this, okay? Okay. Thanks. Trust me, you'll understand when you see it.

    Story Title: Smoking Could Kill You
    Perpetrator: firewolfsg
    Summary: 'Youji has never given much thought to his bad habits, until someone he cares for pays the price for his sins.'

    Rating: lethal

    Previous Offenses:
    Staking Claim, in which Schuldig rapes a roofied Aya in a creepily romanticized manner while Youji is forced to watch.
    Whipping Boy, in which everything that happened to Weiss, ever, happened because Takatori was hot for Aya's underage ass.
    Mind Games, in which Youji is mindraped into raping Aya while Schuldig watches but otherwise it's just Staking Claim again.

    The Charges:
    What's more angsty than Aya randomly being stricken with plot contrivance cancer? Aya being stricken with plot contrivance cancer and it all being Youji's fault, of course. Oh, and Youji loves him now. There's no more plot than that, characterizations range from 'sketchy' to 'unrecognizable', and the entire thing's about as believable as the after-school special it so resembles.

    The Case for the Prosecution:
  • If I never read another fic by firewolfsg in which [Insert Character Here] rapes a limp, saintly, unrecognizably OOC version of Aya because they want him so badly I'll be a happy woman. That's why were're getting tonight's fic instead, in which a limp, saintly, unrecognizably OOC Aya nearly dies of lung cancer from passive smoking because sharing space with a Youji who's trying very hard not to smoke around him for about thirty-six months is enough to do that now. Yeah, this one's pretty special.

  • This is another one of those fics where Youji hooks up with Aya and has to immediately change absolutely everything about himself in order to be 'worthy' of him, with the only thing in it for him being 'he gets Aya'. The one vice he doesn't immediately agree to ditch - the smoking, because it's not like cigarettes are at all addictive and if he loved Aya enough he could totally just kick the habit, right? - he's massively disproportionately punished for by proxy when Aya ends up with lung cancer. Yup, Youji has a two-pack-a-day habit so Aya gets cancer. That sound you just heard was logic letting itself out and jetting off to Hawaii.

  • The whole thing about Aya getting cancer because Youji smokes is rendered even stupider when the ficcer goes on to state that Aya refused to let Youji smoke round him, wouldn't kiss him if he so much as smelled like smoke, wouldn't let him smoke in his apartment, wouldn't even go into Youji's because the smell irritated his sinuses... and Youji complied with it all because Aya was such a hottingly hot hottie (again, no word on what Aya was supposed to do to prove he was committed to the relationship too: the onus to change is all on Youji's back). So when exactly was Youji smoking around him frequently enough for him to end up with lung cancer? The attempt at a saving throw by saying 'oh, but he has cancer-prone genes!' doesn't really cut it as an explanation when everything you've said before, story, suggests Youji is not actually smoking around Aya with any regularity.

  • So Youji occasionally smokes while sharing the same ecosystem as Aya, gasp, and Aya gets cancer... what happens next? Well, that's basically all there is. Kritiker retire Weiss 'cause they just do but they stay in the Koneko because reasons, Youji's smitten by Aya's hot so they hook up, then Aya has cancer because smoking is bad, and then he doesn't any more. The end.

  • So, is Aya actually going to do anything in this fic apart from be the saintly little victim of his boyfriend's vices? No? Really? That's what we're going with here? Very well. Once again it would seem that the ficcer's too busy fetishizing how delicate and fragile and tragically tragic Aya is - his entire family died of cancer and explosions, it's like Funky bloody Winkerbean in here - to remember that he had an actual personality before she got a hold of him. I really do not get the appeal of taking an angry, determined, irritating young man and turning him into a drippy hothouse flower who passively suffers and suffers and does absolutely nothing to deserve it because he's such a sweet little fucking saint. Aya never actually does anything in firewolfsg's fiction, he's never an independent actor: he's simply there being passively acted upon, and yet he's still constantly center-stage and the readers are still supposed to be awed and overwhelmed by how amazing a victim he is. Doesn't work that way, sorry.

  • And then there's Ken and Omi. Their role in this fanfic is to stand in the background making all the situation-appropriate noises and have no very clear effect on the action. These two really do come off as soap-opera cliches: they've been given damn-all to do but get generically mad at Youji for daring to smoke around Aya and his speshul delicateness, then generically supportive of Aya's Cancer Battle and Youji's Fight With Addiction. Their own cardboard cut-outs could have fielded this, and probably did.

  • The ficcer does get my grudging respect for not turning this into yet another fanfic in which Aya languishes beautifully and tragically from Soap Opera Disease, and actually making the process of having cancer seem as painful, exhausting and horrible as it is. You shouldn't be able to get points just for nodding vaguely at realism across a crowded room, but hundreds of badfics later and I'll take what I can get. Even here, though, I don't feel that the fic comes close to doing justice to just how awful this would actually get - and it's largely down to the prose style. The entire fic is told as if it's a reminiscence, and Aya's illness is introduced as an unpleasant episode - and Salutary Moral Lesson (complete with American Cancer Society statistics on the likelihood of contracting lung cancer from passive smoking) about why you shouldn't smoke, kids! - then tidied away again. The fic spends as much time talking about Youji's nicotine withdrawal as Aya's lung cancer. That simply doesn't sit right with me.

  • The ficcer comes close to genuinely understanding what it is makes Youji tick when she introduces the idea that Asuka's death left him deeply depressed and self-destructive. She loses a lot of them when she suggests that Youji courted self-destruction by drinking, smoking and having casual sex as opposed to, you know, becoming a mysterious covert assassin who killed people. She then loses all of the rest of them by suggesting that all he needed to get over his multiplicity of issues related to love and intimacy - and he has them, fandom, Aya isn't the only person in this relationship whose past might make him wary of falling in love - was to find Twu Wub with the Resident Redheaded Sex God. Yeah, you tried: you still failed. Yaaaay.

  • Youji reacts to Aya getting cancer by turning into a ludicrous neat freak and... oh. Well, that hung a left into Creepyville. See, all Aya's pretty hairs fall out from chemo - so Youji collects it and braids it into a necklace. Which he strings with a significant pendant and insists on wearing long after Aya's gone into remission so he never forgets he nearly killed his sweet babboo. Brr.

  • It seems to me that where this fic really falls down is its attempt to paint Aya as an entirely innocent victim who never did anything wrong and still got cancer because he was just that delicate and sensitive, poor little him. Look, it's very simple: if Aya wouldn't let Youji anywhere near him when he so much as smelled of smoke, still less to actually smoke around him, if he developed lung cancer anyway it probably wasn't entirely Youji's fault and owed as much to genetic predisposition, living in a seriously polluted city, and all the other smokers he must have been in contact with over the course of his life in a country where a lot of people still smoke as it did to Youji. It it was, he must have been tolerating Youji smoking around him on a regular basis. Ficcer: what is with your aversion to presenting Aya as anything other than a poor, serially suffering little woobie victim of everyone else's fuck-ups? I'll still feel sorry for him if he gets lung cancer because he was apathetic to Youji smoking around him, it still won't be his fault, and your story might actually make some fucking sense, too.

    Exposing the Hideousness:
    Aya's dying again! NOW FEEL BAD, DAMMIT.Collapse )
    Wow, this is some 'Silence of the Lambs' shit right here.Collapse )

    Conclusive Proof Weiss Fangirls Are Stupid:
    Could it be because smoking's still pretty normal in Japan? Nah, couldn't be.Collapse )
    mood: wait, it's october?
    music: let's all chant - michael zager