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Slowwwwly starting to inch my way through the list of late reviews... But I'll be on schedule again one of these days... One day... o_o Anyhoo, might as well make the most out of my school holiday, eh? Today I present my commentary on Elements of Life by Typhoonmaster, a series of short and sweet oneshots that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Despite there being several 'chapters,' I think this is one of the shortest times it's ever taken me to read all of them! (Which is a good thing, because fast reading = interested Minnichi)
Each oneshot had its own unique theme that the author played out wonderfully. Also, as random trivia, I'll mention that I never look at plot summaries or character pages/descriptions before reading a fanon for review; I always jump straight into things instead to see how well an author can pass information to readers without having to state it separately. This author happens to be one of the few who makes it clear to me who and what his story is about without the help of summaries! So yeahhh. Pretty good series.
- Plot - 9.3: Seeing as these are oneshots with very specific themes, I can't really discuss things like antagonists or central conflicts here. However, all of the little tales that make up this series stayed very true to their moods, and the author crafted a beautiful story out of each. Overall, it's very hard for me to find anything to critique in this section - but the only thing I'll point out is that the author should be careful not to make the philosophical side of things too heavy at times. The inner reflections of each character he describes is probably the best part of the series, but even those need to be balanced by physical events at times. It's a very small thing to critique, really, but the chapters would just be more well-rounded with this little revision.
- Organization - 9.5: Couldn't have been clearer from the start, like I said. I can tell who each character is and what his/her goals are without their names ever being mentioned. Relating back to the plot issue, though, the slight imbalance with the philosophical descriptions can drag the chapters down a tiny bit, and it would feel better organized with some more literal action. Other than that, I've got nothing!
- Creativity – 8.2: It hurts me to have to deduct from this section, since the author's captured each character so well. But alas, the oneshots all have their roots in storylines that already exist canonically. With this heavy influence from the show, creativity can be a little hard to establish. Nonetheless, it felt like the author really took things into his own hands and made them so much deeper (especially for the LoK storyline, which tends not to delve very deeply). The way he's portrayed every character is really the highlight of his creativity for this fanon; I loved it!
- Writing – 8.6 (x3): One of the things I was grateful to read was how Typhoonmaster takes all the time to fully describe the setting and appearances of every character. His details paint some of the most vivid pictures I've ever seen in a fanon. There're literally only two small things that come to mind for me to get after in this section. First, the sentence structure that the visual details are presented in could vary a little more. It's not that I pay much attention to these things in reviews, but it did stand out enough to create a "list" feel in this case. The visuals of the fanon are still beautiful, no doubt, but varying the way they're presented will keep your fanon fresh and engaging to readers. The only other issue I'll mention is the use of present vs. past tense. There are certain proverb-like phrases that the author purposely writes in present tense, which is fine, but I'd suggest keeping the past tense more consistent. Also avoid addressing the reader (i.e. "you") too often, as it may sound out-of-place at times. The tense thing really isn't a big deal at all, but I believe the story would flow better with more consistency. And that's all I have to say here!
- Character Development - 9.0 (x2): Despite each character having only one 'chapter' to be described in, their philosophies were described excellently! I very much enjoyed the author's interpretation of each, and as I said earlier he captures them so well that it's obvious who's being talked about from the start. I guess the deduction in this case is inevitable, due to the fanon being a series of oneshots; there isn't much opportunity to make anyone grow as a character or have any major lessons learned. Also, a someone going through too much inner reflection (going back to the plot issue) can make them appear the slightest bit out-of-character, just because of the imbalance. Tiny issues as always, though.
- Action - Omitted: Some parts of the series had more action than others, but overall there was still too little for me to consider here. But the author writes everything else so well that I didn't need any fight scenes to enjoy this fanon!
- Believability – 9.8: As this series was based heavily off canon events, practically everything was pretty darn believable. Miniscule deduction since (again) it's in my opinion that the characters wouldn't spend that long in deep reflection at times, but yeah. I was convinced without a problem!
Overall Score: 8.96
My advice for Typhoonmaster: You write beautifully, but your series could be even more epic if you balance out all those details a bit! Just keep that in mind, anddd I've really got nothing else to say here.
Who should read Elements of Life? Fans of both A:TLA and LoK. And alright, if you MUST have crazy fights and flying fireballs in a fanon, then I wouldn't recommend it to action-obsessed readers... But any normal reader should enjoy this one :)