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Reviews Comments: Interesting concept, now starting to really bloom Dead Garden fanfic review by Arcane Azmadi

Since I wrote my first review of this fic, things have changed, I joined the Space Battles forum to assist in the draft editing and feedback and the story has really taken off. While the good points are still as good as ever (excellent alternate characterisation while still keeping everyone in character, strong writing, great action, fascinating concept) the weak points (Sakura making a really weak, dull, wangsty protagonist) have largely been addressed in the events of the last few chapters. This has turned into a really strong story.

The basic conceit -that Sakura became the host of the Kyuubi rather than Naruto- seems straightforward enough, but it's the ripple effects from this change that really work. Kushina survived that day somehow, albeit crippled, while Sakura's mother died instead. This creates a real shift in the story dynamics- characters have changed in a REALISTIC way. Rather than Naruto being a lonely orphan who shows off, plays pranks and is determined to become Hokage to make people acknowledge him, he's already acknowledged as a respectable young ninja and was raised with love, leading to his life goal to become the greatest medic nin in the world to heal his crippled mother. Kushina's survival also affects the relationship between Naruto and Sasuke- they're childhood friends due to Kushina having been friends with Sasuke's mother Mikoto before her death, causing Sasuke to grow up much more supported and less alone, but still with the same basic personality and still intent on getting revenge against Itachi. On the other hand, Sakura has grown up comparatively alone and isolated as the village pariah, although her protective father prevents her from suffering as much as Naruto did. Anowack also takes into account the fact that Sakura simply isn't as strong a person as Naruto so she's quiet, depressed and honestly rather weak, rather than just being written as a female, pink-haired Naruto. Early on this actually gets rather grating as she's just somewhat of a chore to read about -Naruto is still a more interesting character- but from about chapter 6 on the real action finally starts and she finally begins to make some ground. Anowack really has a good grasp of the cast's personalities and how they'd be changed by the nail.

This is a great fic and getting better all the time.


  • anowack
  • 14th May 12
Author of the story here. :)

First off, let me say thank you to Arcane Azmadi for taking the time to write such a thoughtful review.

Regarding Sakura's weakness relative to her canon self and canon Naruto, that is fully intentional. Please do be sure, though, that she isn't going to stay that way forever. The end of Chapter Five is intended to be a turning point in that regard. The long-term hope is that, by showing her so weak at the start of the story, it'll be more meaningful when she gets to be badass later on.

As to the angst, one of the things I'm exploring with this story is that Naruto is really pretty darn amazing, to take his situation the way he does. It really wouldn't, in my opinion, be in character for Sakura to take it anywhere nearly as well as he does. That said, I understand that everyone has a different level of toleration for angst, and I can also say that a large part of the story is Sakura climbing out of the emotional hole she is in.

Thanks again to Arcane Azmadi for the review, and I hope this response addresses those concerns at least a little.

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