torachan: (Default)
I'm going to have some Yuletide reviews coming up soon, so I figured I'd get these old non-Yuletide ones off my harddrive (although one is actually from last year's Yuletide that I never got around to reading until a couple months ago).

20th Century Boys
21st Century Girls by [personal profile] springgreen
9400 words. Because girl groups, childhood games, henshin pens, secret passwords, and shoujo manga can save the world. "There was something about the pen encircled by the ring, something that reminded her of summer days trying to keep her red bean popsicle from dripping over the manga she was reading, of lurking in the air-conditioned apartment and spying on the adults for reasons she had long since forgotten."

I was expecting to like this more than I did. I did like it, but I think the fact that it mirrored canon (which is what many of the commenters loved about it) is what made it not work as well for me, because I kept comparing it to canon, and it was lacking all the things that made the original so awesome for me. [personal profile] springgreen focuses on the nostalgia and childhood friends grown apart part of 20th Century Boys, which I certainly enjoyed, but the thing that made me all zomgwowbestmangaevar! was all the other stuff, which this only uses as background. And if it were a different type of story (there are plenty of other stories I'd love to see in this universe), that would not be a problem, but I kept feeling like, well, if it's going to be a female version of 20th Century Boys, then I want all the other stuff, too, and of course that would be a massive project that I wouldn't expect anyone to actually undertake, so there's just no way it could be what I found myself wanting. Also I might have liked it better if I hadn't read it right after reading the manga and having that fresh in my mind, idk. Anyway, I did enjoy it, and I'd recommend it to people who aren't me! It's well written and I don't think you really need to know canon to read it. (Also probably helps if you yourself share the nostalgia for the type of childhood she's writing about, which I don't. It's both past my time and I didn't play the way same way.)

The Avengers
Semaphore by [personal profile] devildoll Rec
39,000. Steve/Tony. "I'm trying to like you, Tony. You're just making it very hard."

I'm not terribly interested in this pairing, but I have really loved some other stuff by this author, so when I saw it mentioned on my flist, I decided to give it a chance. I was dubious at first because it involved breaking up Tony and Pepper for Tony and Steve, and I ship Tony/Pepper so hard I'd honestly rather they were not together at all than to break them up, but it was done well and I ended up really enjoying the story a lot.

Kimi ni Todoke
Meeting Halfway by [archiveofourown.org profile] highboys Rec
7300 words. Chizuru has a lot of secrets of her own. Most of it is about Ayane.

This is really sweet, just like the manga. And also angsty, in a way the manga really isn't quite, but in a way that still felt right for these characters (and I love angst, so). I really enjoyed it a lot.

Mulan
The Revised Ballad by SaltwaterGarden Rec
2700 words. The legend says that there was a girl whose name was Mu Lan, who disguised herself as a man, but his name is Zhou, and he took off the last disguise he ever wore when he cut his hair and bound his chest.

I found this totally by chance when updating the transfic master list (I actually followed a link to another of this author's fics and then found this one as well), and decided to read it since it was short. I'm only familiar with Mulan through cultural osmosis, but you don't really need any knowledge of the canon to read this.

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