Reviews: This Bites

Everything you could ever want in a fanfic

Not only is Cross quite possibly the most likable and believable self-insert ever done, the story itself feels like it would be right at home in the canon. Just like One Piece, the comedy leaves you gasping for air as you laugh, the awesome moments are awe-inspiring, the tearjerkers leave you bawling, and the heartwarming moments make you feel warmer than hugging a puppy. Even for readers who aren't longtime fans invested in the characters, This Bites! brings them to life.

And little can make you smile more than Merry surviving Enies Lobby.

The Self-Insert Premise done RIGHT

In just about any 'verse, the premise of a Self Insert story is a hard task to write, and all too often, writers will write what is less of a Self-Insert that slowly integrates into the 'verse, and more of a Sue (of varying sorts) that warps the 'verse to integrate around him/her and thoroughly ruin the reader's sense of belief that things would ever go that way.

This Bites! is not one of those SI stories.

Xomniac and his co-writers have constructed an amazing and gripping tale of someone from our world, average in every way except being a fan of Oda's amazing work, being abruptly dropped into the world of One Piece by the hands of a BROB, and only given the chance to return home once he reaches the series's end. And thanks to his writing, that is harder than it sounds.

One main strength is the realism of his SI, Jeremiah Cross. He is your average college boy, no special skills beyond a silver tongue, no actual survival or fighting training, and most importantly, a human body that, when put up against the Made of Iron baseline in One Piece, is downright fragile in comparison. No Devil Fruits, no weapons, no fantastic One Piece fighting styles, which means that most of the enemies he faces are way out of his league. Moreover, the one advantage that he does get, his Transponder Snail Soundbite and his Noise-Noise Devil Fruit Powers, fits right into the 'verse as a power that although basic in its obvious usages, also has the potential to become incredibly useful if used right. But considering Soundbite's mischievous nature, their relationship has to be developed and honed for them to get the full use out of their powers, and the author showcases this development incredibly well.

Although the Narrative gave him the opportunity to travel with the Straw-Hats, where his story knowledge is most useful, it's not the perfect and instant trust right off the bat that other stories may have. Just like the canon crew, they had to slowly get used to Cross's quirks, and he with theirs. But the fact that these interactions are done perfectly in line with everyone's characters makes this integration incredibly fluid and natural. A great example is when Cross joined the Straw-Hats: He may have known that Luffy would achieve his dream as a story fact, but Luffy telling him his dream to become the Pirate King actually made Cross BELIEVE it. That's right, even the SI is not immune to the Magnetic Hero here!

The last story strength is the power of the Butterfly of Doom. Every one of Cross's actions is considered and extrapolated to their logical, often global consequences (and not always for good), and all changes are incredibly believable and not just put in for story's sake. I mean, who would've known that such an innocuous remark could've believably led to a change in the crew's roster?

The mark of a good SI is when they can integrate believably into a 'verse. When you read about Cross's adventures in One Piece, you'll soon believe it too.
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