View Full Version : It's Judging Time! (Part 2 Action)

March 22nd, 2012, 07:16 PM
The final results of the contest can be found here. I'll put up a table of contents to help keep it clean.

Dark Pulse:

Bare Knuckle Brawler
Unknown (Filename: Fanfic by Anon.txt)
Lunatique (http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread.php/1830-It-s-Judging-Time!-(Part-2-Action)?p=669077&viewfull=1#post669077)

Rust (http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread.php/1830-It-s-Judging-Time!-(Part-2-Action)?p=669079&viewfull=1#post669079)

Shooting For the Stars
Zelretch does this and that for a lil' while (http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread.php/1830-It-s-Judging-Time!-(Part-2-Action)?p=669081&viewfull=1#post669081)

Ace (http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread.php/1830-It-s-Judging-Time!-(Part-2-Action)?p=670908&viewfull=1#post670908):


Bare Knuckle Brawler (http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread.php/1830-It-s-Judging-Time!-(Part-2-Action)?p=672731&viewfull=1#post672731)

Lunatique (http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread.php/1830-It-s-Judging-Time!-(Part-2-Action)?p=672732&viewfull=1#post672732)

Nadir (http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread.php/1830-It-s-Judging-Time!-(Part-2-Action)?p=672734&viewfull=1#post672734)

No Name Given (http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread.php/1830-It-s-Judging-Time!-(Part-2-Action)?p=672736&viewfull=1#post672736)

Rust (http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread.php/1830-It-s-Judging-Time!-(Part-2-Action)?p=672740&viewfull=1#post672740)

Shooting for the Stars (http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread.php/1830-It-s-Judging-Time!-(Part-2-Action)?p=672741&viewfull=1#post672741)

Zelretch does this and that for a little while (http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread.php/1830-It-s-Judging-Time!-(Part-2-Action)?p=672742&viewfull=1#post672742)

March 22nd, 2012, 07:16 PM
Review by Dark Pulse

“Bare Knuckle Brawler”
Action - #3

- Nice action scenes.
- Everyone's favorite Badluck Vampire.

- Occasional writing mistakes. (Parts transposed, etc.)
- Somewhat OOC Ciel. (Only hunting certain vampires? The Church would disagree...)

- Roa turned Satsuki into a vampire, so he could reinforce control of his will on her at any time.
- Lack of Tohno-kun and Ciel-sempai. (As in, lack of honorifics.)
- Morning jogs would not feel very pleasant to a vampire.
- Satsuki probably couldn't kill Ciel even if she wanted to.
- Bears failing to bite, yet still producing audible “crunch.”
- Roa and Nrvnqsr are friends, so why is he helping Satsuki train?
- Roa's body isn't centuries old, just his soul.

The technicals of the writing weren't too bad, though there were one or two parts which either had text transposed (In the second paragraph...) and there was one particular part where Satsuki was trying to talk to Ciel where it looked very confusing. (The exact line: “C-Ciel? But I'm a vampire, what are you doing here? But what are you doing here I'm sorry I didn't mean to it was just-”) There was also some missing honorifics/naming – for Satsuki, it'd ALWAYS be Tohno-kun, and she'd probably refer to Ciel as Ciel-senpai or at least Senpai. Otherwise, the writing was pretty much, from a technical point of view, about where it needed to be.

CONCEPT: 16/20
An interesting concept, overall. Here we have a Sacchin who is sick of being the one who is really powerless, and brazenly decides to challenge the one who turned her life upside down – and ultimately, succeeding... though it sadly doesn't explore anything with what happens after, other than Satsuki's triumph.

...It does, however, come with a few stretches of logic – and ultimately, these are what drag the score down a little. Simply put, I can't see any sort of reason why Ciel would ever spare Satsuki's life – the Church trained her to kill every vampire, after all, and the excuse that Roa won't “expect Satsuki” kind of falls flat when really Roa could've just snapped his fingers and put Satsuki under his total control as he is her sire. The author could handwave this by just stating Roa wants to see how good he is, but it's still a hell of a stretch.

Still, a lot must be said for a story that attempts to make Satsuki a standalone protagonist in her own right, and aside from those leaps of logic, generally succeeds pretty good in doing so. Granted, it seems like she's constantly getting help – from Sion, from Ciel, even from Nrvnqsr – and it kind of seemed like she was being propped up, almost. It would've been a bit more rewarding to somehow see her kind of make some sort of self-determination.

OVERALL: 16/20
I really did want to like this fic more, since after Akiha, Sacchin is my second-favorite Tsukihime character; that said, I'm not going to let my bias/like for the character get in the way of judging it, so here goes. On the technical front, aside from a few issues, it's pretty sound – the writing is good and meaty, and the action is pretty heavy. However, at the same time, I simply couldn't ignore the nagging, out-of-character issues that this fic presented in droves. Why the hell WOULDN'T Ciel kill Sacchin? Why doesn't Roa simply reinforce his will over Sacchin, as a parent vampire can easily do? Why would Nrvnqsr ever willingly help a vampire try to kill his friend? Why was Sion completely dumped after page three? Why did it seem like we were just being ferried from fight to fight? It just went on and on. In the end, I felt that it was a good attempt, but I also felt that with a bit more thought and polish, it really could've been a contender. Take heart, author, and learn well from these mistakes – you may or may not be a prizewinner this year, but with that extra bit of work, you may be a top contender in next year's contest if you can.


March 22nd, 2012, 07:16 PM
Review by Dark Pulse

Action - #1 (Tie)

- Mr. Dawn.
- Narbareck.
- El Nahat.
- Place/Timing of story.
- Excellent psychology.
- Great descriptions.
- A swerve worthy of M. Night Shyamalan.

- Occasional missing punctuation.

- N/A

Descriptions were absolutely excellent, and at times, even a little chilling. The scenery isn't described as well, but in a location like this, where a lot of things are fairly nondescript, it's somewhat acceptable. There were a few flaws with missing periods, quotation marks, and so on, but otherwise, it read very well.

CONCEPT: 18/20
Well, it's hard to get much more interesting conceptually than this. Here you're taking something that's pure background filler and making an entire story out of it – and not only that, you did an excellent job at creating something pretty plausible for just how El Nahat fell into Church hands, Mr. Dawn's miracle rescue of Narbareck aside. No doubt there are some in the fanbase who know who Narbareck is, but there are probably a fair number more who have no idea who Mr. Dawn is; this story takes that dip into far-lesser known Tsukihime canon; it'd be akin to making a Fate story focused on Barthomeloi Lorelei. (Hint hint for next year!) Probably the only regret I can think of is that Mr. Dawn's “partner” goes very unused, aside from a brief mention, and that Dawn himself all but disappears during the fight, though to be fair, he's not a fighter in general. I still would've liked to see how the hell he knew Narbareck was in trouble, though, but I'd presume the spell going off from False El Nahat probably would be as good a reason as any.

Plenty of imagery to go around that really stuck out and showed some excellent psychology and effort went into the writing of this. The one of Narbareck looking like some kind of twisted angel was a very nice motif to use. Very visceral fighting, and it's appropriately gory. There's not very much that can be improved upon here.

How many stories have Narbareck, Mr. Dawn, and El Nahat in them? One, that's how many – this one. It pretty much maxes out “Uniqueness” by default. Bravo for defining these characters, fleshing them out, and making them very believable – and, in all their own ways, even a little scary.

OVERALL: 18/20
Simply put, an excellent story through-and-through. This is easily one of the best stories in this contest. It explores unfamiliar territory, unfamiliar characters, and unfamiliar settings – and it succeeds fantastically. This is very likely going to be a Grail contender, and honestly, it will be really difficult to top this – by anyone. Pat yourself on the back!


March 22nd, 2012, 07:17 PM
Review by Dark Pulse

“Unknown (Filename: Fanfic by Anon.txt)”

- Crossover fic.
- Interesting thought: Could Shiki “kill” a Reality Marble?

- No title.
- Poor formatting.
- Text errors every apostrophe/quotation mark.
- English grammatical structure falls apart near the end.
- No explanations.
- Just plain not interesting.

- Ciel likely doesn't know reinforcement. (Roa's skill is Numerology and she only knows magic via proxy through him).

I kind of get the idea that English is perhaps not your first language. That's fine, and I have no problem with that, but it really would've paid off a bit more to have this fic proofread by someone who is more fluent in it – if I, for some reason, ever entered, say, a Japanese fanfic, I'd damn well have someone well versed in that language reading over mine. Furthermore, there was a very annoying technical glitch (perhaps because it was written in some sort of different codepage) where every apostrophe and quotation mark was replaced by odd symbols in the text. This is also why it would've been a good idea to submit this as an ODT or a DOC, to avoid these sorts of issues. Since I must assess it based on how it was given, however, I have no choice but to really give a poor Technical Score here.

There's not much here in terms of concept. Shirou and Tohno, in a battle to the death. That's it. No backstory, no explanation, and no reasoning for why Shirou is suddenly walking around with guns and with a really different personality than normal.

This is really hurt by the incomplete English, readability issues, and minimal proofreading. Even with those accounted for, it's rather subpar at best, rather short, and in the end it seems like it was ultimately pointless, since the only way that Shirou was kept alive was by a Deus Ex Machina appearance from Lancer. I was left wondering more how Shirou got into this gun-toting, psuedo-Kiritsugu-esque state, but the author sadly never explains this.

Not exactly a unique story, in most senses of the term. Nothing was really done that made it stick any sort of interesting chords with me. It was as if the author decided “I'm going to write a story of Shirou and Tohno fighting” and then had no idea how to make that fight interesting, other than to have Shirou walking around with an Uzi and somehow having knowledge of who the Tohno are (the only explanation for the latter I can think of is Ciel opened her yap to Kotomine, and he passed this on to Shirou, but even that is a stretch). It left me with way more questions than answers.

Altogether, essentially a short piece for two short fights, but without much build between them, and no backstory or explanation as to how Shirou got that way, or what Tohno was doing in Fuyuki. Then we throw in the readability issues, both grammatical and codepage-wise, and it became essentially a chore to read. The author shouldn't take this personally, as I can tell effort was made in trying to make the fic interesting, but the fact that it ultimately did not do anything interesting, combined with the formatting and grammar issues, pretty much sealed its fate. Next year, please flesh things out and think them out a little better – plot it. If you decide on a Shirou vs. Tohno fight, then fine, but have a reason WHY. If you don't, then you're just going to get this kind of score again.


March 22nd, 2012, 07:17 PM
Review by Dark Pulse

Action - #1 (Tie)

- Zelretch. And his personality is awesome.
- Crimson Moon Brunestud.
- Merem Solomon.
- Gransurg Blackmore.
- Nice, psychological story. Even philosophical at times.

- Occasional extended paragraphs without clarification on who is speaking.
- Odd spelling error here or there.

- N/A

From a technical standpoint, this was virtually flawless. Good grammar and punctuation, and on the whole, it was very easily readable. There was an occasional paragraph or two where Zelretch or Crimson Moon would be talking for an extended period, but this didn't happen too often, and I only caught one spelling error. That said, it was a joy to read, all things considered.

CONCEPT: 19/20
Much like Nadir, this fic makes something out of nothing: We know Zelretch was turned by Crimson Moon Brunestud... but not the “how.” This fic tries to give us a how, and in my opinion, it succeeds excellently. It's believable, and really shows how these two monsters come to be, for even the human has a monster side to him.

This story definitely not only did its action component well, but it also got really good points from me by having it set up nicely, starting with the modern day (with Tohsaka Rin) in London and then going into the story proper. It was great stuff to see how coolheaded Zelretch is in taking on such a monster as Crimson Moon, and was nice to see Crimson Moon get some characterization that I felt was probably pretty much correct. He may have gone on talking a little too long (or perhaps to put it another way, was too verbose) when he talked about why he began to take out whole armies, but I'm willing to handwaive that.

Another fic that takes filler material, and makes a story out of it. And by that logic, another fic that gets an automatic 20 on Uniqueness due to the fact that there really isn't a story like this out there that I can think of off the top of my head – and if there is one, odds are it's not as well-written as this one is.

OVERALL: 18/20
Another near-perfect entry, and every bit as good as its fellow “How did things get here?” entry, Nadir. Unfortunately, also like Nadir, those few technical writing issues are what held it back from getting a near-flawless score. That said, it was an absolute pleasure to read, and I would really, really hate to have to choose between giving this fic or that fic the Grail. I suppose in the end, it will be up to my fellow judges to decide which one will take the higher honors, but this is a solid fic, and I think it is very likely to win a prize – if not the Grail, it will almost certainly win a prize in its category. If it somehow does not, at least it has won my praise.


March 22nd, 2012, 07:17 PM
Review by Dark Pulse

Action - #2

- Great setting.
- All-around strong story.
- Mindfuck on Page 28.
- VERY nice text effect on Page 33.

- Extremely predictable “Master.”
- More or less forgettable OCs.

- Someone played too much Gears of War. :)
- Rho AIAS, dammit. Based on his history, I'm pretty sure Nasu didn't mean the Roman god Aius!

The technical aspect was a joy to read. Battles were covered in almost excruciating detail, and even the basic scenes of wasteland wandering were packed to the brim with visual imagery. There was no doubting, nor no trouble visualizing this world in my mind – a world that went to hell, where it's hard to say if you were blessed or cursed to be in it. Having had dreams of this sort myself, I can tell this is either from a very fertile mind, or you've likewise had a dream of something similar. There was also some attempts at Gainaxing and a neat “graphical” trick pulled on Page 33 – so yeah, solid ace on Technical.

CONCEPT: 18/20
If this is indeed the world that Archer hails from, it is definitely a very crapsack world. I do believe this is kind of what you were trying to get the reader into thinking; for it is known that Archer sometimes had to kill in service as a “Hero,” as Shirou does so gruesomely (if humanely) does at the start of the story. It was also nice how you lined that up, mirroring it with Shirou's own earliest memories. Simply put, he doesn't really get the luxury of choice, unlike even Kiritsugu – in that world, crushing that boy's head was the most merciful thing he could have done for him. Surely a place no man wants to be in.

Unfortunately, even the best-written stories have their flaws, and herein is one of the two big flaws I have with this fic: The OCs. Probably about a third of this story is taking out the Master's Gang of Four, and, simply put, the last three seem almost... forced. Furthermore, besides being forced, they seemed to be generic: Slashy Insane Guy, the Bitchy Witch, and Major Gunns. Granted, a lot of this was also an attempt to make Shirou more of a badass, and obviously if they're all the Dark Adonis Mid-Bosses (+1 to you if you got that joke), it's like something out of Ninja Gaiden where you'd have to fight bosses back-to-back-to-back. A succession of boss fights before yet another boss fight makes for plenty of action... just not necessarily interesting action. Due to the generic nature of those OCs, it ultimately felt like this was just an excuse to add in another 10-12 pages and boost up Shirou's badassery. I think there could have been more interesting ways to do this – and ones that would've created more drama. What if it were a brainwashed Rin, for example? Too many cooks slightly spoiled the broth. Not enough to totally tank the soup, but certainly one bouillon cube too many.

The other major problem is, well, the “Master” could be seen in terms of identity a mile away to anyone who ever played Fate. Who was Shirou's “worst enemy” as it were, even from before Magushood? There can only be one (Dammit, gonna have to put on some Queen now) person who really irked him that badly... and the predictability of that kind of made it somewhat lessened. Don't get me wrong, what happened during that fight was excellent, and Shinji was played exactly as I'd expect him to be. I just feel that something less expected would have been the sort of stuff that could've topped the other, very tough competition in this category.

OVERALL: 17/20
That said, this is hardly a bad fic at all – it's a really good one. It was a long read though, and in some ways I think that if the author had trimmed up the OCs a bit, or made them less generic, or just plain replaced them with someone who would psychologically traumatize Shirou more (Rin, Sakura, or Taiga come to mind) that it would have justified weighing in at 40+ pages. That would have made the Shinji reveal less about “mysterious Master” and instead made it into “absolutely irredeemable asshole.” As it stands, it could have probably done better if 1/3rd of the fic was used on something other than fighting them. This is still something I'd be perfectly fine with winning a prize of some sort, though – other than those two complaints of mine, it was certainly worth the time through and through. Bravo.


March 22nd, 2012, 07:17 PM
Review by Dark Pulse:

“Shooting For the Stars”

- Notes!
- Gun God!
- Ado Edem!

- “Throw-em-all-together” Syndrome. (THREE servants appear besides two existing ones in one page, and one of them disappears just as fast!)

- Notes probably took place way later than 3100.
- How the hell did Ado Edem get there?

From a technical point of view, things weren't too bad, I suppose. There are some stylistic quirks, though – namely, section breaks are delineated with a single, simple, left-aligned X. Other than that, there was some good descriptive imagery, but for a reason I can't quite put my finger on... the rest of it was flat. If I had to stab at a single reason why, I'd guess it's that while you were good with focusing on whatever you wanted to focus on, anything else was simply ignored.

Worse concepts could have been made, sure, but the archetype of the story, overall, is still a pretty cliché one – “Let's replace Servant X with this character.” In this case, an interesting character was chosen: Gun God, someone probably only the more diehard forumites (which, knowing me and my fuzzy guessing abilities, is probably upwards of 80%) have heard of. However, the problem is... well, Gun God is a damn boring Servant, and it's doubtful he would've ever been chosen by the Throne. Sure, heroes can be forward in time from when the war is held, but most of Gun God's ability was due to the Black Barrel, rather than any sort of inherent ability in Gun God himself – and Nasu said it doesn't exactly take much skill to kill someone with a gun, that such “heroes” would be unlikely to be picked by the Throne of Heroes. Black Barrel, if anything, was a specialized killer designed to fuck up anything made of Grain. How the hell can it ever nab a Servant?

An effort was made here (Especially on descriptions, which were nice) but while the first few pages were nice and slow, you can tell the author speedwrote the remaining two-thirds of the fic, and ultimately, the quality went right in the shitter. One page that really stuck out to me, is that not one, not two, but THREE Servants magically appear – in a SINGLE page! Without their masters at that. Granted, Gilgamesh would have a damn good excuse to run amok, but the rest?

Well, we've had a few other fics in this section alone doing different things – we've had references to Tsukihime's past (Nadir, Lunatique) and a very crapsack interpretation of Shirou's future (Rust). All we need now is something with Rakkyo to round it out (or if someone really wants to surprise me, DDD – yeah right, trololololo) but unlike those other excellent efforts, this one falls flat unfortunately. Aside from Gun God and Ado Edem, this is pretty standard Heaven's Feel 4, and if anything, that got thrown to the side just to get them here, it seemed, and the grand, final fight was just a couple of one-shot killshots. A pretty anticlimatic ending and in the end it made both of them utterly underwhelming. It just seemed like an excuse to get Kinpika and Ado Edem together in a hurry – and without much ado and buildup, they immediately launch into Enuma Elish and Slash Emperor. Why even bother?

On one hand, I'm glad to see people trying to do some really neat, new things. I'm pleased that we've had some VERY good Tsukihime stories this year from some very talented authors, and it's nice to see people trying for things other than Fate. Even though this wasn't the best of efforts, the author here at least tried to get something to work. Ultimately, it didn't, but perhaps with more time and thought, this could be made to work. What do you think, author? Up to the challenge next year?


March 22nd, 2012, 07:18 PM
Review by Dark Pulse

“Zelretch does this and that for a lil' while”

- Brave attempt at something new.

- Extremely confusing writing.
- Not Wakame Master Mahou Shoujo Magical Makoto. (WMMSMM to her friends!)

- Isn't it sad, Sakura?

Unfortunately, I have to rape the shit out of you on this category. Rule number one of fanfiction: No matter how good an idea is, it'd damn well better not be confusing to read. Ever. And boy was this the king of confusing to read! Every “section break,” a little thing changed. I could not make sense of it, and for awhile, the Bad comments above included “Is it Rider or Caster?” before I realized Zelretch = Kaleidoscope = toying with reality. And then it all became clear. At the same time, the story was written in a way that was virtually impossible to follow. While it's a nifty idea... please don't try something like this again, at least not in this sort of extremely confusing matter. It's good for an experimental piece. It's not good for a contest where consistency is one of the judging criteria!

CONCEPT: 13/20
That said, the concept of it is at least worth some merit. Basically, Zelretch keeps toying with alternate realities... ones where Caster is somehow able to use Argon Coin, or where Lancer is genderbent, or where Berserker is probably the most conspicuous assassin since a ninja walking in broad daylight with a tie-dye gi. The problem is that's really the whole concept – the story is essentially filler as a whole, simply used to illustrate the concept, and as a result, it's completely forgettable and nothing special at all.

Well, it's really hard to score Artistry on this one – mainly due to the fact that essentially the whole point of the fic seems to be to confuse the shit out of the reader. If that is the intent, Artistry probably deserves a 20. That said, I'd also like to think the author meant that the story could actually be followed – which is why I did not give it a 20. This could have been alleviated somewhat if the author had put in some contextual hints that stuff had changed – instead, it just begins flipping bits seemingly at random. Very much like Zelretch... but also a considerable chore to read.

I daresay nobody will probably try to attempt something like this, for better or worse. It's a pretty novel concept, but the problem is following that concept, and that's really damn hard. When things change every paragraph, it's up to the reader not only to focus hard with their attention, but also to shrug away any preconceptions of who is who in the war, right down to their genders and masters. Frankly, I say you should've thrown in Shirouko at some point – why only have the servants change gender? Why not make the ultimate servant – Torasaber? This could've had potential as a humor fic (and indeed, it'd probably score higher as one!) but in action, the constant switching does nothing but make this a pain in the junk to read.

OVERALL: 10/20
Overall, the real problem is, was, and remains readability. Zelretch toying with things is a good idea, if explored correctly. This wasn't the way to do it. Chaos for chaos' sake is not a very good thing for a fanfic, and ultimately, it turned this fic into a one-trick pony and made it a horrible chore to read. If the changes were either communicated better, or perhaps if smaller changes were made at first and then more dramatic ones applied after the reader caught on to what was being done, this could have done better. As it is, it's just way too confusing for it to be any kind of serious contender.


March 24th, 2012, 04:04 AM
Reviews by Ace:


Bare Knuckled Brawler - by Five_X?
Tech 20, Con 17, Art 12, Unique 17, Overall 18. Final Score 84.
This was an interesting, unique fic. The fighting was intense and the story itself was incredibly shounen. I'd call it something like an action crackfic. The technical writing was superb but at times I felt it was kind of dry.

Nadir - by I3uster ?
Tech 16 Con 15 Art 12 Unique 17 Overall 15 Final Score 75
The concept has been suggested before but this is the first time I've actually read a fic about it. The writing is solid but it might have helped if someone reread this one more time to fix some of the minor errors, periods where they shouldn't be, capitals, etc. Many of the scenes were unengaging although I do understand they were there to set up the twist and let us get to know the characters better. I recommend you try and make the SoL scenes humourous to keep the reader's attention or shorten those scenes. The action was fairly well done and I liked how you tried to imitate Nasu's fight scenes.

No Name Given - Anon
Tech 16 Con 15 Art 12 Unique 13 Overall 13 Final Score 69
There weren't many grammatical mistakes but I felt like there was awkward phrasing at several points in the story that distracted from the action. The concept at its core, which is a fight between Shirou and Shiki isn't very original although the ending hints at something that is a bit more original although nonsensical. Also the canon rape kind of distracted me from the fight. Overall, not bad. It was short and straight to the point

Lunatique - by Moczo [?]
Tech 20 Con 17 Art 16 Unique 18 Overall 20 Final Score 91
I don't think I have the words to properly describe this fic. The action was nice and tight, the interaction between Zeltretch and Rin were humorous and the fic's opening was a good way to grab the reader's attention. At no point during this story did I get bored or wondered how close I was to the end. The writing flowed nicely and well, this was just amazing. Keep up the good work.

Zeltretch Does This and That for a lil' while by Anon
Tech 15 Con 15 Art 12 Unique 14 Overall 15 Final Score 71

Rust by Bloble [?]
Tech 16 Con 13 Art 14 Unique 16 Overall 17 Final Score 76
The atmosphere of this fic was probably my favourite thing about it. You really felt like it was some post-apocalyptic world where hope has died. The action was nice and tight although the whole thing was rather long.

Shooting for the Stars by Virtue [?]
Tech 8 Con 13 Art 12 Unique 10 Overall 12 Final Score 55
The action was nice but I was often distracted by the repeated use of ellipsis and exclamation points. At some points it got ridiculous and had one sentence with like three different ellipsis. You also should break up the paragraphs more so there aren't just these huge chunks. You might also want to use one line paragraphs for emphasis when you deem necessary.

March 25th, 2012, 12:30 PM
Type Moon Fanfiction Contest
Judge: AlfheimWanderer
Action Category: Bare Knuckle Brawler

Technical: 8/20

Where to begin? This gives the /impression/ of well-crafted grammar, but as I read more, an inferior illusion became a delusion and was shattered by the harsh reality of the world. There are ways to use language to paint beautiful images of battle, tapestries of manifold layers of thought and deed that enthrall and dazzle readers. You displayed none of these, really.

Fragmented speech, rambling sentences that took on a life of their own, with a malignant virulence that seemed to drive your characters to the extremes of acceptable characterization and beyond.

Concept: 16/20

This was Tsukihime as a shonen manga, basically - which its not. I realize that you had an action focus, not a drama, but...unless this is an AU, why is Sion here at the same time as Sacchin, Roa, and Nero? I suppose the title should have tipped me off, but I suppose I was just wondering why Sion was fighting Sacchin...and then she mentioned Roa, when realistically, Roa would already be dead.

Sacchin as a heroine who takes matters into her own hands would be fun, but I don't think Roa would really not take her seriously. Whether scion or not, a challenge from a powerful DA is still a powerful DA.

Artistry: 15/20

Its decent, but it felt odd, like the characters were caricatures of themselves. Honestly, I thought this would have worked better in the Humor section, with the over the topness helping to build the comedic interpretation of the story. I couldn't really take it seriously, unfortunately, not judged on its merits compared to the others.

Uniqueness: 17/20

Fairly high marks for uniqueness, given the lead character, who really doesn't appear in much, as well as the style of the action.

Overall: 15/20

I wouldn't call this an excellent fic. On the other hand, it was somewhat better than some of the stories I've read and proved mildly entertaining, so I will give you a pass as far as that goes. Keep working on it.

As a note - if you'd put this in humor, you'd probably would have gotten higher marks and have won the category. In fact, that is my official recommendation, given the lack of the warning that this happened in a dream.

Total: 73/100 (action)

March 25th, 2012, 12:31 PM
Type Moon Fanfiction Contest
Judge: AlfheimWanderer
Action Category: Lunatique

Technical: 17/20

For the most part, this is well written. Diction is strong, even if you do stumble here and there as we all do from time to time. The framing of the story as something Zelretch is telling his disciple is also a nice touch, with a lesson wrapped up in it. My one substantial concern is that the fight itself seemed...almost hollow, and that young Zelretch seemed exactly the same as his future version. There should have been some kind of change mentally, even if there isn't one physicall, even by what we've seen of vampires in general.

Concept: 19/20

I suppose one can't really get more epic in concept in terms of battles than that of Zelretch opposing the Crimson Moon. This is yet another area of Nasuverse lore isn't often explored. Perhaps it is because some feel that they cannot craft a tale with the glory and majesty such a battle deserves. Perhaps it is from differing viewpoints on what the battle entailed. Regardless, I enjoyed seeing someone attempt to craft the scene of this major altercation.

Artistry: 17/20

While I much appreciated the bits of framing that helped to give the story perspective, I can't help but think the story felt a bit flat overall, with battle scenes that seemed overly clinical at times and formatting errors that proved fairly distracting. I suppose I have a disconnect with your style, as I kept becoming distracted when it came to the flow of the fight itself - which is a terrible thing, since this is in the action category.

That aside, there is little worldbuilding here, or talk about how the magus' craft of those many years ago might have /slightly/ differed from the present, which is a bit offputting, since the Age in which the Crimson Moon walked was not quite the same as the modern day.

Uniqueness: 20/20

I'll grant the story's uniqueness and its look at the Crimson Moon's abilities is something to be proud of, but it could have been so much more than it ended up being.

Overall: 17/20

Not a bad fic by any means. It just...it felt like was lacking something. It needed a good dose of polish and oomph to better draw the reader into the fights you had written - which was where your writing broke down the most.

Total: 90/100

March 25th, 2012, 12:32 PM
Type Moon Fanfiction Contest
Judge: AlfheimWanderer
Action Category: Nadir

Technical: 17/20

A decent story in terms of grammar and things such as pacing, though the language used is a bit awkward here and there. One might even say that it was stilted in some ways, with flow-disruptive word-choices. However, I did like the choice of title - "Nadir", meaning the lowest point, or the place below the zenith if one were to use astronomical terms - especially in how it was reflected in your plot. Towards the end, when Narbareck had lost her second, her conceptual weapon, and seemed about to suffer a loss, it was then that Dawn, forced to do what he had never done (fire a weapon) snatched victory from the jaws of nigh-certain defeat.

As a plus, you have Mr. Dawn stepping in at the darkest moment - now there's an expert use of wordplay if I ever saw one (it is always darkest before coming of the dawn, eh? xD)

CONCEPT: 20/20

A story of the Burial Agency and the hunt for El Nahat - one of the great gaps in canon. This year's contest has been host to some very interesting fics by great authors, seeking to plumb the mysteries of the Nasuverse. For the most part, they succeed - as this fic does. It certainly plays up the psychotic nature of Narbareck, the great "monster" and leader of the Burial Agency, and her lust for battle - but at the same time humanizes them, giving us a sort of emotional connection to them.

For even the greatest can fall when things do not go according to plan, saved only by the smallest of things.


While I did enjoy your story, I do feel that Mr. Dawn's partner was quite unused, aside from a very brief mention of her. She just sits there, in her truck - with no real reason for her or Dawn coming along on the mission other that Narbareck deciding the engineer-cum-exorcist needed experience, apparently. I do also think the tension could have been built up further, with El Nahat using his momentary advantage over Narbareck to do more than simply use Alien Stomach World (especially as he *knew* that there was at least one more member of the team, and Dawn's partner also has an ability related to "feeding").

To have the DAA, in his moment of victory, decide to essentially kill himself - I felt that cheapened the story and the world you had built up. Here was this master vampire, this powerful DAA who had Narbareck at his mercy...and he decided to make himself vulnerable in that fashion.


There are very few stories in fanfiction that explore the Burial Agency at all, so you get high marks on testing uncharted territories with those characters, even if I did feel they could have been better used. Focusing on Narbareck and her mindset was a nice touch as well, though she wasn't *quite* psychotic enough for my tastes, or canny.

OVERALL: 18/20

An excellent story. Not one that particularly excels at world-building, admittedly, and not one without its flaws (minor technical issues and uses of character), but overall, one of the best stories of this contest.

Total: 91/100

March 25th, 2012, 12:33 PM
Type Moon Fanfiction Contest
Judge: AlfheimWanderer
Action Category: No Name Given

Technical: 2/20

...what is this? A jumbled, incoherent mismash of words that hurts the eye to attempt to read. This is rather terrible, really, as it gives no explanation as to why Emiya and Tohno are there, why they would fight to the death or so. It is one gratuitious attempt at combat porn that flat on its face due to failed characterization, horrible flow, and a seeming disregard for the audience at all.

Concept: 1/20

Three words: Shirou fights Shiki. For the hell of it, basically.

Why did I even read this?

Artistry: 1/20

Motivation? Nil. Connection? Nada. Good fight scene? Uh...what?

...I'm sorry, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Uniqueness: 4/20

While Shirou vs Shiki *is* one of the most talked about possible clashes in the Nasuverse, there's really no way it would happen as you predict, so I don't understand why you saw the need to use this battle as the crux of your story. Really, its not a story - there is no real plot, no real tale - just a jumble of actions that make no real sense.

Overall: 2/20

Why write somehing you can't do justice to? While I realize that the prize is tempting, and one often does seek to find something of worth and improve one's writing - don't do it like this. This is what threads like the Writing Workshop are for.

Total: 11/100

March 25th, 2012, 12:33 PM
Type Moon Fanfiction Contest
Judge: AlfheimWanderer
Action Category: Rust

Technical: 20/20

This was one of the few stories in this contest that I found to be superb in terms of grammar, imagery, and such - I really don't have much to complain about. You even managed to have good flow, which I suppose is due in part to an excellent beta, so my congratulations there. You made it easy to imagine the wasteland and the lawless city, where the hero who turned his Mind to Steel roamed. Quite interesting.

CONCEPT: 17/20

In concept this is decent - Emiya Shirou following a Mind of Steel Route, after he killed Matou Sakura with his own hands and saved the lives of many in Fuyuki. The imagery at the beginning, contrasting what I had initially believed to be Shirou with the actions of the actual Shirou, was quite interesting, putting the changes he underwent into perspective. Not quite an Archer Origin fic as opposed to Shirou having to face someone from his past who he never expected...


Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends, because 'we' could see all of this happening from a mile away, and there wasn't exactly much character development in the story. There were good action scenes, but the OCs seemed quite generic and the fight scenes were mashed too closely together for my taste, when spreading them out would have made each so much more worthwhile. As it is, the value of each of the battles was cheapened, and Shirou seemed quite emotionless except for the ending.

You mentioned that Shinji had captured Rin here - why not have /her/ face Emiya as one of "Master's" minions? Certainly that would be a much more chilling reminder about the things he did in his past...the lives he took...the many he could not save.


In some ways, it was the expected course the story would take, with Shinji being the final enemy. Eminently predictable, given the (improper) characterization of him (not changing in years), and Shirou's inability to do too much in the end. I don't deny that the fight was decent (even if it seemed Shinji was pulling this out of his ass or that the Structural Analysis shouldn't have failed like that), but I could have gone for something else. A hard choice like having to face - and kill - someone he cared about, echoing the choice made in Mind of Steel...

OVERALL: 16/20

I wouldn't call this an excellent fic. It is a good one, very solid on the technicals, doing a decent job of what it sets out to do, but I can't help but think that it could have been so much better with more character development, less focus on the sub-bosses, or such. Its a pity, really. In concept, future Shirou's (especially after this choice) interest me, and you did an excellent job on the fight scenes and showing that a "hero" he was. Unfortunately, it was kept from true excellence by the myriad of detractions.

You began well, but about halfway through the fic, you shifted from those short scenes of Shirou as a hero to the long story - and that only hurt you.

Total: 82/100

March 25th, 2012, 12:34 PM
Type Moon Fanfiction Contest
Judge: AlfheimWanderer
Action Category: Shooting for the Stars

Technical: 5/20

I actually had a long review written out for this before, but basically, you ruined a perfectly good possibility by throwing Gun God into Fate Zero - with one (and only one!) confusing action sequence, and no exploration of characterization, the complexities of canon and such.

Concept: 4/20

While bringing Gun God and Ado Edem to a still living world are interesting in theory, the way you executed it was anything but. The characters were flat, the fights tedious, and there was no appeal in this whatsoever. I don't know if you ran out of time, if you decided to troll everyone intentionally, or you just thought that putting in these characters would be enough to get you bonus points.

They're not.

Execution counts too, not just your idea.

Artistry: 3/20

I'll just repeat what I had before: Motivation? Nil. Connection? Nada. Good fight scene? Uh...what?

I honestly can't connect with your characters, given their odd tendencies, nor do I have any desire to read a piece of fanwank that really grates on my memory of Notes...

As one of the few people to use a Notes setting in the past, I think I can say that your characters...just don't work here. You make no real attempt to fit them in, to change canon, or any such, and I don't see what you hoped to accomplish by writing this?

Uniqueness: 7/20

You used Notes characters, its true, but the core of this is another one of the tired "what if Kiritsugu summoned x instead of y during the Holy Grail War. Its not really innovative at all, not in the idea, nor in how you handled it.

Overall: 8/20

Why write somehing you can't do justice to? While I realize that the prize is tempting, and one often does seek to find something of worth and improve one's writing - don't do it like this. This is what threads like the Writing Workshop are for.

Total: 27/100

March 25th, 2012, 12:35 PM
Type Moon Fanfiction Contest
Judge: AlfheimWanderer
Action Category: Zelretch does this and that for a little while


I admit that I was gravely confused at first, since things changed from one section to the next. I was honestly prepared to take off points for inconsistency, thinking you hadn't proofread worth a damn. And then I looked at the title again and the meaning of all those changes became clear. It was simply Zelretch looking in upon one world or another through the Kaleidescope. A nice device...but rather distracting almost the point of being incoherent. And unfortunately, flow is one of the most important things when it comes to grading a story, so I'm afraid I will have to exact a penalty from you.

CONCEPT: 12/20

An alternate war, or rather, views of multiple wars. It would have been interesting...had the fights been well executed and better detail given to the individual confrontations. I understand that you can't develop too much in the way of characterization, given that things are being shifted from section to section, but a bit more in the way of fleshing out, so it is easier to see what shifts, could be useful.


Shinji winning is an interesting touch, though I have to say that him becoming a Mahou Shoujo (which brings to mind a Puella Magi) is cringeworthy. It certainly does show the disconnect with the core reality, and how things have diverged. Surely a nice touch there, after all the other changes - and it shows that something remains constant, at least.


I give you decent marks on this, since it is the first fic of its kind (exploring the kaleidoscope in the course of one event) I've seen. Kieran has worked on a few Kaleidoscope fics before, but those usually cover different outcomes of a choice (like Rainbow of the Heart), not multifaceted reimagings through one event.


All in all, quite decent, and a worthwhile read.

Total: 49/100