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Fanon Review: Unaccompanied Bandits by Fruipit

Minnichi March 10, 2014 User blog:Minnichi
This review was conducted by the Fanon Review Squad and reflects our best judgment of writing and fanon authorship quality. Please don't take offense if the review wasn't positive. We always give advice!

Hello again, it's your local fanon portal panda-snail here, inching her way through her FRS reviews. The delays have gotten bad, but by no means am I giving up on the Fanon Review Squad nor do I care any less for it. Times have just gotten hectic - and well yes, the addition of the newsletters and other two usergroups ever since I became a reviewer have done a lot to my punctuality :> But as always, I shall return to take responsibility for what I promise authors, one by one.

Anyway! Today we'll be looking at Unaccompanied Bandits by our voracious fanon portal editor, Fruipit. Her creativity has no bounds, as does her knowledge of deep emotion in writing and capturing the vulnerability of characters.

Republic City streets at night
This oneshot is set an in alternate universe in which Avatar Kyoshi and a teenage Toph can co-exist in Republic City. How does Fruipit pull off such circumstances? Let's see o_o

The Scores

  • Plot - 8.7: I do really like the setup of this and understand that alternate universe truly means 'alternate' and shouldn't be picked at so much for the "how." However, as it is a radical set of ideas that make up the plot, I would say that readers need more easing into this universe. The way things are presented currently are harder to swallow with the sudden and perhaps unexpected list of facts in the introduction. I think more of a background story of Kyoshi in this world would really help the plot progress and grow on us as we read; things like where she stands in terms of the 100-year war or what order the Avatar Cycle is in and how it affects the rest of the storyline. You are presenting a radical alternate universe, thus you have to give us the complete picture of that universe to make it feel more natural. Other than that, I like development of the environment!
  • Organization - 9.0: Nothing to say here really, aside from the 'sudden' feel of the radical ideas I mentioned earlier. Readers may potentially spend more time trying to get used to the setup than being able to focus on the actual story and character development, I would say. Overall a very well-organized little tale, though.
  • Creativity - 9.0 : I can confidently say that few authors are as creative as Fruipit with alternate universes. The deduction here, however, does come from the fact that she relies solely on characters that have been created by others already. Nonetheless, the radical ways she creates stories for them and makes impossible situations work is what makes her creativity shine.
  • Writing – 8.5 (x3):I always have great respect for this author's writing. There are no technical issues I can really get after, just things about random details and development as usual. Fruipit's visuals and emotional description are top-notch, but there comes a point one has to be careful of a 'default' kind of attitude; the trend with this author is either an angst-y one or a very strong, sassy tone. There's nothing wrong with that at all, don't get me wrong, and the author is likely one of best at writing these kinds of tones. What I'm saying, though, is that to make it less of a 'default' - especially in Kyoshi's case, where her backstory/demeanor is actually a mystery in the canon storyline - you should try to provide some development that shows readers why those characters act like they do. I have no criticism for Toph, but for Kyoshi; perhaps we could get some clues as to why she's naturally cross and blunt as well? Even a few statements about how she generally deals with life or some philosophy behind her 'toughness' may help with the natural flow of the story. Also, I find the reactions on both parts in the conversation a little fast due to a slight lack of buildup, whether it's Toph being delighted that someone called her by name or Kyoshi agreeing to train her. I think your writing could do well with a few extra sentences of what leads to each thought process. It's the little stuff that really counts, although you're already doing great on your own ;)
  • Character Development - 8.3 (x2): Most of this I've covered already in the writing section, but to be a little more specific, I would really like to hear more about Kyoshi's backstory and general philosophy. Don't forget that we hardly know who she is from the show and thus she's practically an OC that you have to introduce to us and make an impact on readers with your interpretation of her. It would also better explain the curt interaction between her and Toph and what leads her, the Avatar, to take on a potentially random young girl to train so easily. Other than that, I love the chemistry you have between them; very sassy and not your stereotypical fanon character-meeting.
  • Believability – 8.8: I've pretty much covered all of this at some point in all the above sections, but to summarize it here: More universe development, and more Kyoshi development. Those would make your ideas sell and make your fanon more "Cool alternate universe" than "Wait how is this possible" for readers. Your goal should be to require as little "getting used to" as possible, and to ease into things as naturally as you can. One can never have too much background elaboration! (Okay well, you probably can, but in this case I would say it could use more :P)
Overall Score: 8.62

My advice for Fruipit: You've got some great writing, I'll say :) But you face the challenge of handling radical ideas that are potentially harder to sell to readers than the average; if you recognize this and focus more on background detail and just further filling in the world that you're presenting, I think you could do really well.

Who should read Unaccompanied Bandits? Earthbender fans? Kyoshi enthusiasts? Avatar fans in general? Why not? :D

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