Reviews: Team 8

Not That Great

Personally I find this guy's works very overrated. His grammar is good for sure, but I find that he completely demonizes characters that canon shows to not be that bad (Hiashi and the Hyuugas), he falls into so many cliches and fanon, and does a lot of fixing of things that ain't broke(Naruto's wardrobe- other people have eye catching clothes to). He makes Naruto deny the toad summoning contract based on a completely and utterly stupid thought. This troper feels that the fic isn't as good as people say it is.

Chapters 1-24

I don't read many fanfics, but Team 8 is quite an interesting For Want of a Nail story.

The divergence fic starts out a bit slow, recapping several canon elements while also showing how the narrative is progressing differently. It's a decently long read, and it might get tedious, but it's also useful if you're hazy on Naruto Part 1. Compared to canon, it's more mature and introspective (some humor notwithstanding). With this comes a few darker moments and F-strikes later down the line (sensitive readers be warned, though I wouldn't really consider it a Dark Fic). Although the fanfic tries to adhere to canon, For Want of a Nail aside, it appears to take artistic licenses from canon, especially Part 2, which had its Plot Twists, some frankly ridiculous. You could consider it more of an alternate story for Part 1, but the focus is tighter, in regards to both story and characters.

Kurenai is portrayed as a competent, caring, involved, and overall noble teacher. Conversely, many other characters (especially Hiashi) are portrayed rather negatively. Your reaction to this may depend somewhat on how well you tolerate stark Good vs. Evil stories; although I usually don't think it's too severe, the veneration of Kurenai and the critical presentation of certain characters are occasionally hard to swallow. That being said, the author seems to give justifications for the way most things are, and not all antagonistic characters are just demonized. For instance, Sakura is initially presented in a bad light, but later gets some positive attention and development.

Fitting the fic's more mature tone, Naruto grows more reflective due to the nail in question (and Kurenai's teachings), whereas Hinata, thanks to her even more abusive family, starts out even more self-resentful, to a dangerous degree. Sometimes her self-hate is jarring; that said, she does come to show more confidence later on. Naturally, there's plenty of Naruto/Hinata moments. Meanwhile, Shino takes the role of a very logical yet supportive friend. He fits into the story well, and has pretty cool moments.

If there's a paramount weakness, it's probably the lack of subtlety; the fic tends to be rather Heavy-Handed about its points.

Despite major differences from canon (mostly involving Team 8 replacing Team 7 and a nebulous conspiracy), Chapters 1-21 actually still bears a general similarity to The Stations of the Canon of Part 1. There are copious twists and new perspectives to keep it interesting, but it does occasionally feel familiar and predictable.

It is in Chapters 22-24 that the fanfic really shows signs of going off the rails and into a completely fresh new arc of its own. I'm excited to see where that goes... so let's hope the author is able to finish it. Overall, Team 8 is a good read.

Well written fanfic, but not without flaws

Team 8, perhaps the most popular and influential Naruto fic, is quite well written, although it does have some fairly significant flaws,

The fic has a simple concept; Naruto and Kiba switch places, with the former ending up on the eponymous Team 8 under Kurenai's tutelage. Naturally, this has wide-reaching ramifications, especially when it comes to Kurenai's past.

The characterization is often fairly deep and nuanced, but there's some rough spots. For one, it's fairly obvious who the author likes (Kurenai verges on Creator's Pet given how many people talk her up and how rarely she is proven wrong), and doesn't like (Hiashi becomes an Abusive Parent who's implied to be part of a Government Conspiracy against Naruto, and Team 7 is portrayed as arrogant jerks, even if they do also become something of the Butt Monkey). This bias is fairly noticeable and often drives the fic.

Second, Hinata is an issue. She may have more power than at this point in canon, but she also has less confidence and agency. Even her Determinator nature from canon is treated as a flaw, indicative of not valuing her own life. Viewers who admire her for her canonical determination to improve herself, as I do, may be disappointed by her.

By comparison, Naruto is characterized better, although he does come off as a bit more cynical and less exuberant than in canon, as well as being more in awe of Kurenai than he was toward any of his canon mentors. The author also seems to make him learn jutsus far more quickly than he does in canon, to the point at which it doesn't always seem believable.

The setting is nicely fleshed out and expanded upon, even if it does use a great deal of Fanon (albeit possibly helping establish many of those cliches).

The fic has a bit of an odd relationship with canon. Sometimes it adheres to canon quite rigidly (for example, having Hinata fight Neji again), while other times, it may deviate for no good reason (ending the Search for Tsunade arc without the heroes fighting Orochimaru). Still other times, though, it achieves a better balance, and is often better off when it goes into purely original territory.

All in all, this is worth a read, provided that the flaws don't turn you off, and you're willing to wait a year or more for updates.

For the love of God...


  • ahem* Anyway, to the series itself...

This is, hands down, the best of the best when it comes to Naruto fanfics. The author's ability to take characters and plot points from a series that I openly despise, and reshaping those elements into something I've read over and over many a time, is purely astounding to me. I love the thought that went into this series. I love the characters, and the way they develop. I love the twists and turns the story takes- both minimal and mind-blowing (see Chapter 20). This fanfic is a work of art, and something I desperately wish was canon, dark subject matter and all.

I can only hope it doesn't take TOO much longer for the next chapter(s) to come out, because this is a story worth continuing. Very well done- a fantastic read on every front.