Reviews: Team 8

Chapters 1-24

Team 8 is a fanfic about a mystery event before Naruto's birth that insidiously alters the narrative of the Narutoverse. That's technically what it's about, but that's not the actual point. The main idea of Team 8 is: What if we took Naruto and Hinata's life struggles, made them much more severe and serious, and set them on a journey together to overcome those trials?

Pros

  • The author explores much untapped story and character potential, and incorporates canon aspects pretty well, with occasional fanon and many clever twists.
  • The writing is consistently flowery and engaging.
  • Obscure canon aspects are recapped, just in case you're hazy on Part 1.
  • Naruto and Hinata's issues, emotional struggles, and Character Development are very fleshed out and humanizing. This partly works by, as mentioned, making their trials even tougher, and so giving them more personal issues to work through. The two are very rounded and dynamic characters. Their relationship is quite adorable and positive as well.
  • Kurenai is fleshed out and serves as a decent viewpoint character and involved, caring mentor.
  • Made me care about Shino. Great logical intellectual Foil.
  • New/reimagined fight scenes that are engaging and cerebral.
  • Several funny moments (e.g. Gai and Lee).
  • Sakura's Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
  • Chapters 21-24 start to move into exciting original story material.

Flaws

  • Gratuitous Japanese, partly inaccurate. Dropped later on.
  • Character criticism is sometimes Heavy-Handed or at inappropriate times (calling Ino a shrew in ch. 1 without her proper introduction, a potshot at Sasuke and Sakura in ch. 8 when they're not even there, criticism of Kakashi's tardy, aloof nature several times).
  • Deconstructing Naruto's attire seems unnecessary. Striking character designs are part of the appeal of Naruto. Fortunately, this is a reading medium, so it's less distracting.
  • Enough Character Shilling of Kurenai already!
  • See Schedule Slip.

Other

  • With its more mature and introspective nature comes a few darker moments and F-strikes later down the line. Likewise, Naruto and Hinata start out lower so that they have higher to rise. Sensitive readers be warned, but I wouldn't quite consider it a Dark Fic.
  • Members of the village council and the Hyuuga are rather nasty and insidious, by the author's intentions. Your reaction to this may depend somewhat on how you tolerate stark Good vs. Evil stories. How good or bad this is objectively will ultimately depend on their motives and the yet-to-be-revealed original cause.

I personally find the story very enjoyable. Overall, Team 8 is a good read.

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.

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...

RELEASE CHAPTER 22, ALREADY!!

  • 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.
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