Fanfiction review “On the Wings of Freedom”

Another Fate/Stay Night and Sekirei crossover. Ever since gabriel_blessing started writing “In Flight” these stories seem to be popping up like bad fungi. Heck, even I wrote a few snippets some months ago! Without further adieu here’s the link to the story (WARNING: Spoilers ahead!),

On the Wings of Freedom by Shadows of Vanity

The summary is well written. I wondered what Shirou was doing in France, but the author answers the question with the next few words. Seems that he went there on a holiday. It’s a bit odd why someone would be called in for an interview in the middle of a vacation, but that’s just nitpicking for the sake of it. What really spoils things are the last 4/5 words,

powerful!Shirou, Shirou/large harem.

Is there any real need to mention this? The summary has already told us that he’ll be getting a harem. Why repeat information we already know? And what am I to make of the phrase ‘powerful!Shirou’ ? Barring a few crack-fics, most stories have him as a competent fighter anyway. Or are you trying to tell me that he’s going to be God-like in this story? If so, you should have also included a tag for the Emiya Clan. Sounds like a perfect fit to me.

I find your choice of pairing “Shirō E. & No. 08/Yume” puzzling for a harem story, but I think we’ve spent enough time talking about the summary. <starts reading the chapter>

An author’s note which is nothing but an info-dump. Honestly there’s nothing wrong with having it here, but I am confused as to the canonical continuity of this story. My FSN know-how is rusty, but I’m pretty sure that we didn’t have an ending where Altria (Saber) & Medusa (Rider) lived with their respective masters. How/Why are the two servants not killing each other? And what of the Grail itself? Author, it’s fine to have info-dumps in your notes. But if they result in creating confusion among your readers – what’s the point? Then we come across this gem,

Story will feature veteran!Shirou, who will act much like normal!Shirou but will, in tense situations with strangers, have a very strong spinal column

What purpose does the above serve? The summary has already told me to expect a POWERFUL!Shirou (side-note: describing a character with exclamation marks is horrible grammar). Now you tell me that he’ll act NORMAL when the situation is … normal. And when things get dicey, he’ll act POWERFUL. Do you seriously mean to tell me that you expected your readers to assume otherwise? And why use the term ‘spinal column’ ? Is this story medically inclined or something? The expression I’m more familiar with is ‘have a strong backbone’. <continues reading>

And AGAIN you bring out the phrase – “Shirou/large harem”. We get it. It’s been drilled into our heads so many times now that I’m sure no-one will ever in their wildest dreams imagine this to be a Yaoi story. Congratulations author! I’m not sure what you’ve accomplished, but you must be proud. In other news, I’ve subconsciously begun reading that phrase as “Shirou/large ham“. Not sure what exactly that implies … <continues reading>

<Blink, blink>

Your beta’s name is ‘TENCHISOULUTIONSFORALL!’ ? Now where have I heard that before? Surely, it won’t be another subliminal reference to the ‘harem’ tag, now can it? I mean it’s been shoved down our throats so deep, that I’m worried it’s leaking out the other end. <continues reading>

OtWoF OtWoF OtWoF OtWoF OtWoF OtWoF OtWoF OtWoF OtWoF OtWoF OtWoF OtWoF OtWoF

What is this supposed to be? An early Christmas decoration? I’m going to out on a limb here and assume that it’s a substitute for a horizontal line. Author; is it really that difficult to insert it in? I’ve published stories on FFN too and I know that their file import mechanism has issues, but this is a very inelegant solution. All it does is tell me that you can’t be bothered to review your story on the site before pushing the ‘publish’ button. As the one and only Yoda might say, “Impressed, I am.” <shakes head and sighs> … <continues reading>

I want the people I love to stay with me forever! I want the people who want to be freed from the grasp of the Throne of Heroes to be free, to be with me forever! That’s all I could ever wish for!

An observation author – from a FSN canonical standpoint the only way I can accept this, is if you are writing a crack/humor story. Then again, near the beginning you did mention that this would be your version of a FSN/Sekirei crossover; so I guess it’s fine. <continues reading>

Ah, I’m beginning to understand how the FSN connection works. Shirou makes a wish and gets the girls plus one extra. Didn’t realize that a tainted Grail would be so generous. I need to get one myself.

Imagine that.

<flat stare> Ummm… I’m reading the story and mentally imagining the scene in my mind. It’s probably different from your imagination, but I’m still doing it. I wouldn’t be reading the fanfic otherwise. So why are you asking me to ‘imagine it’ ? Or is there something else I’m supposed to imagine? Let’s see … the scene is of 5 women & a single male with varying stages of undress. They have blood over themselves. My mind just went into the gutter author. That’s just sick. Really sick! And disgusting! WHY did you want me to picture THAT in my head !?

Excuse me a moment to flush that image down the toilet folks. <reviewer leaves the room>

<the wind blows in the background>

<reviewer comes back>

Ah, much better! Please don’t do that again author. It might lower my opinion of you.

his mind not only went to the gutter, but took a running leap off of the edge and dove in head first like it was the Olympic Finals

Wow. You use the same phrases I do. We might just get along author. Apparently, it’s just a matter of timing.

…he found himself looking at the new girl, who was still asleep and lying on a spare futon and covered in a blanket. Altria, Rin, and Sakura were around her, the two Magi facing each other across the girl’s legs while Altria was at the foot of the futon…

I’m pretty certain that we weren’t informed of the girls getting dressed (except the new one in pajamas). Which means that except that blanket they should be skimpy. Author, is our mind expected to go into the gutter again? <reads a bit more> …. Oh. Guess not. And I think I need a bath. Also; horrible story-writing for leading us on.

More Christmas decorations. You really need to discover the ‘horizontal line’ feature of FFN author. Badly.

My name…is Joan of Arc

This took me by left-field. For what it’s worth, I was expecting her to be Miya Asama from Sekirei (In retrospect, the hair color is wrong, but I pictured the manga adaptation where it’s black). <continues reading>

She had been blissfully happy when she had found out that France was free of England at long last, although a somewhat disparaging remark about the latter nation led to the discovery that her lover Altria was in fact King Arthur. Upon discovering that one of her greatest role-models was, in fact, another woman, Joan had been put into a short period of hero-worship that Altria had quickly broken her out of.

There’s a gaping plot hole in here somewhere. I can’t describe it, but my gut instincts tell me its there. Probably been swiped under the rug like all the others in this comedy story.

There’s a mention here of how Joan became a saint. Not a problem. There’s a mention of her having a lover. Not a problem. I just feel uncomfortable when you put the two together. Then there’s mention of her passionately kissing said lover. A part of me wants to destroy (Me Crush! Me SMASH!) something right now, but I’m sinful too. Some random brick got lucky today.

…The amount of devotion, trust, and love she has for him is almost blinding. It encompasses her entire being….

This is surprising. I didn’t expect this to turn into a WAFFY story. Isn’t this supposed to be comedy? Or did we change genres without me realizing it? <shrugs and continues reading>

…My name is Omura…

A missed opportunity author. With a few more changes that could have been Orimura and we would have had an Infinite Stratos crossover. You just lost a good marketing chance to increase the fanbase for this comedy story! Or was it a WAFF plot? Whatever.

…since her Master hadn’t yet taken her virginity…

They were alone. In France. The country of wine and love. And they return like this? Are you trying to turn this into some tragedy story? Or is Shirou supposed to be a forever alone guy, even with the girl next to her? Or does the meme refer to Joan in this case? Bring her to me! As a male, I’ll gladly resolve the issue. There’s a bar across where I live and there are bound to be a few virgin takers there …

…Why couldn’t her Shirou-sama believe her?…

I have this faint memory that you mentioned this might be a harem story, but it looks like every female introduced so far has a crush on Shirou. It’s fine for a smexy-adult plot, but don’t you think it’s a bit over-the-top otherwise? The only person who seems to have ignored Shirou so far was that Omura chap. Or are you making that the plot twist? We can all suddenly expect this to become a Yaoi story? Brrr… NOT something I want to read. <prays that is not the case and resumes reading>

…it’s just a job interview!…

Wait. When did this happen? There was no mention of it being a job interview. For that matter, what job did Shirou apply for anyway? And why would he do that in the middle of a holiday? Even worse, bringing his girlfriend (whom he did not sleep with) to the very folks who cut short the vacation! Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

…Shirou and Joan grabbed their meager luggage…

This makes it sound like Shirou doesn’t have funds. Considering his connections, that is just unfathomable. <sighs and resumes reading>

an elevator up to the 69th floor

Are you trying to hint something? Cause I ain’t in the mood for it. And neither are the characters, it would seem. <resumes reading>

That … accusation from Takami of Shirou killing her son and using his blood is just so whacked, it’s left me speechless. Seriously author? I know we need to sacrifice plot for the sake of comedy, but do you really need to forsake common sense as well? Or are we doing a Boke and Tsukkomi routine? Still won’t work, in my opinion. <continues reading in disappointment>

…How dare you accuse my Master of committing such villainous needs! I shall have your blood for satisfaction on his behalf!…

And this is even better! A former hero from the Throne of Kings jumping to conclusions before hearing things out. You’d think they were born just yesterday or something … <shakes head and resumes reading>

…I’m not worthy of such love and devotion, but I receive it all the same….

Shirou’s the one saying this to a bunch of strangers. Is it meant to showcase his egoistical nature or to tell us (the readers) how humble he is? Cause it sure doesn’t sound humble to me!

So Takami explained. She explained that her son, Minato, had gone missing eleven years before in Fuyuki city, visiting Takami’s parents for the week. He had vanished during a fire, and no matter how much she searched, she had not found any evidence of him until the blood test Shirou had been required to take as a part of a foreign travel medical examination before leaving for France. When Shirou had, naturally, inquired why his previous blood tests hadn’t garnered her attention, she explained that MBI had not yet had enough influence to have their systems tied into enough public systems for them to receive the report. She then had Mutsu take a bit of blood from Shirou and take it to the labs for testing.

Hmm… another info dump. These things keep popping up like weeds in this chapter. No matter what we do, they just keep coming. Should we consider drastic action now? Like say … dumping nuclear waste somewhere?

…Mutsu outwardly looked just as bored and bland as ever, but internally he was licking his lips at the looks of the boy Shirou….

So much for the plot twist. Looks like the makings of a Yaoi story. Author, you disappoint me. Actually, considering that Mutsu’s referring to Shirou as a ‘boy’ might make this pedophilia. Which is worse! And possibly illegal as well. Then again, so’s fanfiction in general.

…”So you’re telling me that you enslaved a sentient race literally from the womb just because you found their crashed ship and thought it would be fun to mess with their genetics like they were some Kami-damned gerbils?”…

This sentence is out of place in a comedy story. It makes things too serious. Get rid of it.

…Joan, we have to. You know as well as I that we can’t let this go…

I am reminded of the Spider-man movie now. Or am I mixing this up with something else? Meh; whatever. Either way, the shout-out is badly placed.

…Minato-kun, would you like to come visit sometime?…

I must have missed something. When did Takami suddenly decide that her long-lost son was alive? So far, looks like a poorly made parody of ‘In Flight’ to me.

..Anyone that would enslave a sentient species willingly and experiment on them is no mother of mine…

Why are these so-serious snippets put inside a comedy story? They really ruin the mood. For that matter, I don’t recognize Shirou anymore. It’s not quite the same, but he might as well be Lelouch Lamperouge from Code Geass. The guy’s too calm and analytical about the whole thing. And in spite of knowing what his mother did to the Sekirei, he still takes Yume with him? If this were a serious story, there are so many security risks I would raise; like wouldn’t she be bugged?

…I was confused and a little scared…

If I had any doubts before, they’re gone now. The Shirou in this story is most certainly some God. He doesn’t seem to have made any mistakes and is generally omniscient. Now, some people might be laugh at reading that but I present to you the next snippet from a few paragraphs further on,

“It’s gone, Master. The craving for blood, the feelings of constant sorrow and pain. It’s all gone! You freed me, Master,” she mumbled happily, before looking up at him and smiling. “Let’s end the sorrows of this world together, my beloved Ashikabi. Now and forever.”

Who else could cause that but God re-incarnated? Well, there’s a rumor that Chuck Norris could, but that’s another matter entirely.

“SHIROUUUUUUUUU!” Four voices roared as four veins popped out of four foreheads, and many a human and animal cowered in terror as a massive wave of killing intent burst forth from the Emiya household and rampaged towards Tokyo.

Ah, excellent! The comedy’s back. I was worried that it got scared with all the serious talk and went to hide under a rock. <reads some more>

And with that the first chapter’s over. Hmm.. I don’t know about the second chapter, so let’s just glance through it and see what catches our attention, shall we?

I want to apologize to all of you for my rant before.

Oh? Was that what the first chapter was all about? It’s good that you’ve taken responsibility with the first sentence of chapter 2 author. A really good thing. Next, you need to talk to sensible people and actually go about CORRECTING problems. See, you made me waste a lot of time reading your ‘rant’.

OTWOF OTWOF OTWOF OTWOF OTWOF OTWOF OTWOF OTWOF OTWOF OTWOF OTWOF OTWOF

Looks like the Christmas decorations have changed. As usual, I find this … actually; I don’t think I care anymore.

So Joan is part of some 600 year old plot involving the Sekirei? A moment of silence everyone.

<everyone keeps quiet for a few moments>

Good.

That was in memory of the humor which died a few paragraphs ago. Looks like the author is trying for a serious plot. Odd, because I thought it was a harem plot? Can’t remember clearly. If only we had constant reminders about which it is supposed to be …

…To be able to quickly defeat the Sekirei he would need to unleash his family’s full strength

Ah, family. It’s rare to see the term used in such a loving manner for a FSN story. Oh sure, there’s talk of family strength and all that, but the bolded part above? It’s a refreshing change of pace. Not like we saw anything of the sort in FSN canon, now did we? Nope, nope, nope!

My name is Kiritsugu Emiya, and I am a Magus, a man who uses magic to help the people of the world. Tell me boy, would you like to come live with me? Learn to save people better than I ever could?

And here have a perfect example of butchering, mutilating & decomposing FSN canon into whatever-the-above-is. Some key words in there tell us that it’s FSN, but from a canonical point of view, I doubt if Kiritsugu would ever ask that to Shirou as soon as the boy woke up in a hospital. I mean, it’s not like he needs to make an effort to find the child’s real parents, now is it? He’s a merciless mercenary after all.

Ah, some more WAFFY moments with Shirou and Joan when she dreams of his participation in the Holy Grail War. Odd that it should happen now and not during their vacation in France …

…When Lady Barthomeloi gave you the ultimatum to perform select missions for the Clock Tower or die…

This story has some really good crack elements in it. Take a look at the above snippet – Lady Barthomeloi is threatening a God! I’m surprised (and shocked) that she hasn’t been to his bedroom.

… Um, anyway, when I was able to draw on her power. As it turns out, the Grail gifted me with full, and much more powerful than normal, mage circuits. …

Oh. She has been there. My mistake.

… I will keep you updated. Emiya out

When did this become a sci-fi story? Reminds me of Star Trek with a line like “Picard out.” before beaming him to/from the space-ship …

… Well, you know Master. He just can’t seem to keep himself in where he should be and out of everything else….

Ahhh. Smexy adult references. Took long enough for them to start cropping up in this chapter. That reminds me; what’s the rating of this story? <goes to check> It’s ‘M’. That’s a pity. There are probably a lot of teens out there who will miss the humor in here. Oh well <shrugs> …

… I remind you all that if you do not like this story, that you do not need to read it, just don’t flame on your way out. …

And we finally come to the end of chapter 2. Nice to see how the author responds to criticisms. It’s a fair request and I’ll respect it. But he can’t stop me from talking about his story. It’s fine if he doesn’t want to hear it. I’m not leaving this review on FFN anyway. It’s kept here for people to enjoy reading; as well as to (hopefully) pick up a few tips on what to do/not to do when writing fanfiction.

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