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Fanfic / Sugar Plums

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"It's one of the reasons you should play music, because the feelings it makes, the emotion, it's a connection. It's a connection to every person who has ever heard and enjoyed a song. It can reach through generations, into the past and the future and over many different lives."

Man she really had no idea how true that was.

Sugar Plums is a Self-Insert Naruto fanfic that is a Recursive Fanfiction of the very popular fanfiction Dreaming of Sunshine.

It is a first person story about Ume, a normal girl who was reincarnated into the Naruto universe, except she wasn't born in Konoha. Instead, she was orphaned and then raised at an orphanage in another famous village, specifically Kirigakure, during the time of the Bloody Mist.

The story spends a lot of time on world building within the Village of the Mist, and focuses mainly on several original characters besides the protagonist, as well as expand more on less-seen canon characters. It also explains the problems and fallacies of the village, and why it fell into the state that pushed so many strong ninjas to defect.

Has a secondary fic that tells events in the story from alternate perspectives, called Sugar Plums POV, and a sequel, Plum in the Dark, which is also a crossover with RWBY.

This fanfiction series contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: As per normal for this genre, it's noted that half of Ume's graduating class was female which is unusual for full shinobi because most of support company was female or jutsu oriented class courses their position on the wall meant they suffered less casualties during the Kaguya invasion.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The entire story itself is this for the Land of Water, covering details like how their ninja academy is set up, why the Kaguya attacked Kirigakure, the set up of government and the relationship between shinobi and civilians. It also expands on the backstory of canon characters.
  • Badass Adorable: Ume is actually very cute in the sense she looks a bit like a doll, she's small and wears bright colors. This is deliberate on her part, since she vies a lot of her battles by surprising her opponents and takes great pains to hide her appearance when she's outside of the land of water. Kiriko is the same being considered the most physically attractive but also being very effective in her own specialty.
  • Band of Brothers: The main cast of characters are really very close to each other especially as the survivors of the Kaguya invasion that wiped out more then half of their graduating class.
  • Blood Knight: Ume pretends to be this during her chunin exams and will often take on such a persona when trying to intimidate people. Suigetsu is a more straighter example.
  • The Big Guy: Gonmaru and Suigetsu, Gonmaru who is physically tough and Suigetsu whose family secret ninjutsu makes him damn near invulnerable to most traditional attacks. Ume herself is this for her team since out of the three, she's the only one who specializes in close combat; it is for this reason she's annoyed when her teacher insists on ending her name chan.
  • Bluff the Imposter: When Ume is being held hostage in interrogation she does this to a genjutsu user posing as Kiriko.
  • But I Read a Book About It: This is how Ume explains away knowledge and skills she shouldn't have most of the time. This comes back later when she shows that she can drive a car when she throws an operator's manual at Mitsuki who calls her out on this revealing that she did in fact read a book about cars.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Gonmaru is the physically most tough and active fighter as well as the tallest and most muscular person in their group. He's also one of the gentlest as he's well aware of his strength and will never fight to maim or seriously hurt an opponent if he doesn't have too.
  • Call-Back: The series has a consistent internal continuity which often calls backs especially to minor characters throughout the story. It's usually not played for humor and in one case Ume is almost killed by a character who has a grudge against her for something she did in the academy which in story time is three years and a hundred and twenty six chapters in the past).
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: During the chunin exam arc, Ume bursts through a crowd during an all-out brawl that's happening in the second round to comment on Chojuro's new sword.
  • The Clan: The ruling class of Kirigakure is seven families who each have their own specialty. They are very much separate entities with their own rules and very strict guidelines as well as massive about of power that makes messing with any one of them a form of assisted suicide.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Though standard for ninja, Ume takes it a step further and is not above biting, groin shots, and cutting someone off midspeech to get a hit in. Minami is also this.
  • Combination Attack: The fact that each character tends to specialize and the high emphasis on teamwork means that there are a few of these, though the only one seen on screen is the White Dragon.
  • The Coup: Averted, Zabuza's coup is discussed and reasoned to not actually have been an actual coup since even if Zabuza had killed the Mizukage, he likely would have been killed immediately afterwards for doing so because there are other shinobi in the village stronger then he is rather than been having taken the position but was willing to risk it because he thought Yagura was bad for the village. It's later revealed that had he succeeded, he would have simply gone off to die in battle as he would have lost his purpose since he himself was Yagura's tool.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mitsuki
  • The Determinator: While Ume is overcome a lot, she's shown to be this in regards to protecting her friends, so much so that after what is several sessions of physical torture as well as interrogations when she won't cooperate when Tobi/Obito appear to try and force her to talk with his sharingan, she bites through her tongue so she can't spill the beans.
  • Family Theme Naming: The seven families have this at least in some of the main houses, the current Hozuki have Suigetsu (water moon) and Mangetsu (full moon) from canon, and also their father Chigetsu (Blood Moon). In the Kishi Hiroshi and his father Hiroto have the same kanji for their first names, and in the Sumire all named characters are named after flowers.
  • Fiery Redhead: Ume is brash, impulsive and very emotional, she's also the only person in her class with dark red hair.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Team Three, Mitsuki, Minami and Chojuro are set up like this. With Mitsuki being the mage, Minami the thief and Chojuro the fighter.
  • Fragile Speedster: Ume is the fastest genin in her class, she's also three years younger then her class and smaller then average. If outnumbered she is easily overwhelmed.
  • Gaining the Will to Kill: A lot of the early story Ume avoids killing unless absolutely necessary, but as time goes on she gets more and more capable of doing it just because it makes things easier to deal with in the long run.
  • Got Volunteered: None of the main characters with the exception of Hiroshi or Suigetsu actually wanted to be shinobi, they were all orphans who were forced into the program at the age of eight with the only other option being homelessness.
  • Great Escape: When Ume has been captured and tortured for several weeks, all of her friends pitch together to break her out.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ume has one after most of her graduating class dies in the Kaguya invasion.
  • Heroic RRoD: One of the reasons some people think Ume being a shinobi is a horrible idea is every battle she has can result in this happening because of her lower than average chakra, her pushing herself to keep fighting lowers her overall durability. The worst injuries she's gotten so far was her hitting the ground so hard after running away that she broke most the bones in her body.
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: This is Ume's primary fighting style.
  • Instant Sedation: Averted, every time sedatives are used it takes time for it to set in.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Usually not used because of Ume's hit first talk later style of fighting but invoked during the semi-finals of the chunin exams where Ume spends the first half of the fight insulting her opponent to make him angry and more reckless.
  • Hollywood Healing: Explained in story that chakra give shinobi a potent healing factor that heals a wound perfectly thus not leaving any scar tissue unless they're so low on chakra when they're hurt that they heal start healing normally before they're chakra replenishes. Averted with Ume, because her chakra is so low, she doesn't have enough to spare when she's hurt.
  • Improvised Parachute: One of Ume's later outfits, also doubles as a parachute.
  • Jack of All Trades: Benjiro is said to be so average that he ranks average skill in almost all ninja arts with the only tilting being that he's water natured. It's noted that in of itself is downright bizarre and contrasting considering all of the other characters are all incredibly specialized in one or two fields.
  • Just a Kid: Ume gets this a lot from people that don't know her, mostly because not only is she younger than her teammates by three years, but also because of her height and features she looks two to three years younger then she is. In fact she actively steps back from being a visible leader because of this when dealing with new allies.
  • Killed Off for Real: Most of Ume's graduating class died shortly after getting their rank, including several members of her own platoon. This happened again to Kansen who died with Kushimaru holding the line when several ships of unknown forces attacked them at sea.
  • Killer Rabbit: Averted with shinobi summons animals used throughout the story, especially the rabbit summons. Unlike the summons in the show, most of the rabbit summons can't fight at all and are in fact cowardly in natural, getting jittery around summons or normal animals they consider predators. They however are excellent trackers, natural sensors as well as a great means of sending messages.
  • Lovable Rogue: Minami will steal anything and everything that isn't nailed down if you let her, mostly jokingly but it's revealed that it is a habit she was originally raised by homeless refugees who had to steal to live.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Ume in early life decided to hide her adult level intelligence from her caretakers by not talking at all. She notes this wouldn't have worked if the orphanage wasn't understaffed.
  • Oh, Crap!: Invoked internally by Ume, a lot.
  • Original Character: Most of the cast are Original Characters, all of whom have individual personalities, fighting styles and backstory. This is necessary because Kirigakure has the lowest amount of named characters in the series, the amount that are still alive by the end of Shippuden can be counted on one hand.
  • Master of Illusion: Kiriko, which Ume relies on several times for.
  • The Meddling Kids Are Useless: For a long period of time, the main characters can actually do very little to improve their situation or the situation of their village. This is actually noted several times in character as a major frustration for the main character because of the lack of control and influence she has in the situation as the lowest rank of shinobi. It's also noted she lacks information because the events in Kirigakure are not very well documented at all in the Naruto universe and most of the underlying problems were started decades ago and have been perpetuated since then. This changes however once they catch up the the beginning of the series (the first eighty chapters or so take place starting five years before the start of the main series).
  • Military School: The ninja academy, though unlike in Konoha, it's more of a boarding school situation.
  • Mind Rape: Genjutsu used for mind control is treated like this. It's treated as a mental attack one which causes several severe side effects and the like up to including depression, being unable to discern false memories or actions from real ones and in the most extreme cases drive people to kill themselves. It's noted shinobi have some natural defense against this so the last case usually doesn't happen, but civilians have no such defense which is bad when it's found that the daimyo and most of his court were under such control.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: Explained and discussed with the introduction of Kakri, a special type of plant that when woven into cloth is incredibly receptive to the wearers chakra making it more durable, easier to clean and much much tougher then normal cloth. It's explained that most shinobi wear clothing that are a minimum of thirty to forty percent made of kakri which is why despite heavy combat clothing doesn't break and tear as often as it should. It also says that shinobi who use transformation techniques (like Suigetsu) need to wear one hundred percent kakri cloth otherwise they'd end up naked after every transformation.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Averted and explained. It's said a lot of shinobi prefer a thinner build because it makes it easier for infiltration missions so they can pose as merchants and courtiers and chakra can make them much stronger than a normal person regardless. Also it's just harder for shinobi to build muscle because you have to really exhaust muscle for it to get bigger and the healing factor of chakra requires you to do so either to the point where you've exhausted your chakra as well, or by actively suppressing chakra while you exercise. The former is very difficult but also increases your chakra endurance, the latter gets results more quickly and your overall strength is based how much your chakra can boost your existing muscles. As such most of the characters have done the latter and Ume in particular has to wear baggy clothing to hide how unnaturally muscular her tiny frame is.
  • Playing with Syringes: There is a huge focus about how Orochimaru does this by kidnapping people from the Land of Sound as well as in the Land of Earth. The former were so brutally maimed and poisoned that those who didn't just die were forever scared and crippled, the later they couldn't even properly give that much because of how dangerous the experiments had made them and the lack of resources available to do so.
  • Prevent the War: Not done by the main characters, but it's shown that expanding pressure of the borders being closed in story is building up to create another civil war, which several factions try to quell to prevent. It doesn't work.
  • Punched Acrossthe Room: Tsunade kicks Ume clear across a clearing after Ume spent a spectacular amount of effort pissing her off. It's not played for laughs because the resulting kick breaks her ribs with one of the piercing her lunges.
  • Quantityvs Quality: Discussed in first person about the ninja ranking system when applied to shinobi. The basic break down is that for every rank up from the system it would in theory take ten shinobi from the previous rank to kill them. So it would take ten D Ranks to kill a C rank, or a hundred D ranks to kill a B rank and so on. Though it is said that this system isn't by any means perfect it does heavily show the fact they are heavily outgunned even though they brought hundreds of troops because they have to fight Yagura and Kisame who are both S-Rank shinobi.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Kiriko is described as this in particular and being considered traditionally beautiful. Dark eyes and dark hair is also the most common phenotype in Kirigakure.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Lying in the dirt dying from her injuries and completely helpless, Ume gives one to Obito of all people, basically calling him out on the fact that he completely decimated the Land of Water controlling Yagura, closing the borders, causing the genocide of all the blood limits which pushed everything over the edge into a violent civil war as revenge for what happened to Rin. Especially since Rin would never have wanted any of that.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: Of the Naruto fanfic Dreaming of Sunshine.
  • Sarcastic Confession: When Ume gets called out on lying about how she acquire skills, she usually says she was some expert in that field in a previous life rather then someone who in a previous life just dabbled in it as a hobby.
  • Scars are Forever: It's explained in story that a shinobi only get scars when they are wounded while they are VERY low on chakra and thus their body scars because it starts healing without the assistance of their natural chakra. This is the reason why Ume who naturally has lower than average chakra ends up with a LOT of scars. Especially the ones on her back when she was captured and tortured because she was being constantly drugged with chakra suppressants to prevent her using jutsu to escape.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: During the first day of Kenjutsu class, Kisame comes to size up the class by fighting all of them. At the end of the fighting it's just him and Ume who takes one look at him and decides to turn face and flee.
  • Self-Insert
  • Shout-Out: Very common, especially because Ume isn't shy about teaching her siblings songs or telling them the plots of various movies for their entertainment. She has also used gaming terms, and at one point referenced One Piece when comparing ship sizes.
  • The Stoic: Mitsuki who is very quiet and logical most of the time.
  • Stone Wall: Gonmaru and Chojuro, both in different flavors. Gonmaru is just naturally incredibly large and tough as the physically strongest shinobi in their group. Chojuro because of his timid nature focuses almost exclusively at defensive sword arts making him the best at guarding and deflecting attacks.
  • Squishy Wizard: Anybody who wasn't trained in a physical based standard course is prone to this, but Hiroshi is most frequently shown to be this. Even though he's three years older then her, he can't hold his own in close quarters against Ume.
  • Summon Magic: Kansen, Kiriko and Hiroshi then later Shiroe and Mitsuki all use summon contracts, though not for combat. Usually their summons are used for either sending messages or tracking people down.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Even though they are trained to do this, after having to hold off the Kaguya clan at the gate and killing several of them both Ume and Chojuro have nightmares.
  • Things Get Real: Because of the chaos caused by Zabuza's coup lieu of their graduation exam, the main characters graduating class are immediately promoted to genin then sent to the wall to defend the village from the last stand of the Kaguya. It does not go well.
  • Trap Master: Manami
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Ume since she was reincarnated from an adult is fairly intelligent, but she doesn't show that side of herself to adults unless she's forced too or she trusts them. This paired with the fact that she acts immature a lot of the time usually deflects the attention off of her.
  • Wham Episode: There are several.
    • Chapter 25-26: When the Kaguya invasion happens and the freshly graduated class of genin are sent to the wall to hold off the horde. Most of them die.
    • Chapter 61: Kansen dies when they're attacked at sea on their way back from the chunin exams.
    • Chapter 70: Where we learn about the reasons for the blood limit genocides and find out that Hiroshi is being controlled by Tobito.
    • Chapter 71: Ume wakes up captured and in a torture cell.
  • Worldbuilding: One of the biggest features of this fanfic is just how much time is spent expanding on the otherwise unknown place known as Kirigakure and the Land of Water, as well as unaddressed facets of the Shinobi system as a whole.
  • World Half Full: Kirigakure is harsh, cutthroat, elitist and ruled with fear, but not a total dystopia as good people do exist who want change for the better. It'll certainly take time, but putting down the roots of real change is the goal of the rebellion.