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2019 in fic

It's that time again when I round up all the stuff I've written in the past year and reminisce over it. ;) I've been doing this same fic meme for years, haha. This time, I'm also borrowing some questions from GYWO and taking out some old questions to change things up a bit.

(Previous years: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006)

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[Dr. Stone] fic: Sensation (oneshot)

Here's my last fic of 2019, a Dr. Stone fic! Rereading Dr. Stone has been a blast. I was also working on a Dragalia Lost fic featuring Curran and Heinwald for my recipient, but that one isn't done yet. Not sure if I'll keep working on it since I haven't gotten very far with it, but I was very happy to match on two fandoms~.

Title: Sensation
Fandom: Dr. Stone
Words: 3,908
Summary: Gen cherishes each sensation he's able to feel again, several of which he never thought he would ever get to feel a second time. He is a mentalist, not an optimist. He hasn't ever considered being able to see the new year again, to feel the cold of the night and the joy of a new day, yet here he is now, on this cliff beside perhaps the most optimistic of them all, dear Senku with his crazy, wild thoughts that he always brings to life.
Notes: for Pluralforce for [community profile] yuletide 2019. Asagiri Gen character study, featuring hints of Senku x Gen.

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Fire Emblem Heroes merge projects

Happy New Year, everyone! Guess this is my last post of the decade~. My first posts in 2020 should be my Yuletide fic and year in fic review.

(pictured in the order I finished merging them~)

I've still been playing FEH a lot (more than console games, haha), and recently finished my 13th merge project, Ike! :D First 5* exclusive +10. When he was released in January 2018, I (sadly) kicked young Ike off the team so that I could merge Legendary Ike, who powercrept himself and was also a Legendary unit, which was useful in several modes. He would also return in Legendary banners, making it easier to predict when to save orbs. Now, at the end of 2019, he's no longer as strong of a unit, nor all that useful as a legendary with all the new modes, but he's still quite good, especially with Special Spiral. But most importantly, he's Ike. I finished merging Ike! (Now, please demote young Ike so I can merge him too...)

Ike was supposed to return in October/November (I forget which month) but was pushed back to December. I ended up spending orbs on other new units because of it, but I resolved not to collect any orbs from Feh until Ike's return just in case. By the time December's legendary banner rolled about, I had 141 orbs on me, and 101 orbs I collected from Feh, making my stash come out to 242 orbs to try for three merges to get my +7 Ike to +10. Ike shared the red focus with Hrid (who I don't have) and Roy (who I already have). 242 orbs is pretty close to the most I've ever had saved up, but it still didn't seem like it would be enough. It took me 200 orbs to get one Altina on the previous legendary! I like summoning too much to save more than this... XD;;

Anyway, I decided to wait for Christmas to pull. On Christmas, with the hotpot simmering, my brother and I both opened our games and began the summoning session.

I collected my orbs from Feh. 242 orbs, let's go! I used up all the first summoning tickets. Nothing. Dipped below 200 orbs. Nothing. DDD:

Then at 165 orbs left, Ike#1 arrived! Phew! First Ike took 77 orbs. Not bad!

No red focus: Edelgard. Fine, there was no pity rate in any case.

At 115 orbs left, Ike#2 showed up! 50 orbs for another Ike! By this point, I was going aklsdjfal;sfja??? ANOTHER IKE? MAYBE THIS IS POSSIBLE??? I mean, Ike showed up instead of Hrid or Roy. What were the odds??? +9 Ike time! One Ike left to go!

Then, at 98 orbs left, Ike#3 showed up! AHHHHHHHHHH. In only 17 orbs, the final Ike decided to join my barracks. It was a surreal moment. I couldn't believe my eyes. It only took 144 orbs for me to get my final three Ike merges, and no other red focus came to crash the party. What were the odds?????

It was totally a Christmas miracle~. I nearly didn't even have to use any of the orbs I kept safe with Feh, but cashing them out was probably what decided my luck!

And so, Ike joins the other finished merged projects as the 13th member~. I don't know if I'll try to merge any more 5* exclusives. XD;; They'd have to be someone that I know will return on banners a lot... or someone that I like a lot and is also decent (if not superb) meta wise. (Lugh refine, when?)

And now, to add even more to this already very wordy post... all of my finished merge projects so far~

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Shounen Jump

No new Jump chapters this week because of new years. Guess that means it's a perfect time to jot down some thoughts on the series I'm following~

New series:
Agravity Boys: Only three chapters out currently. It has definitely gone all in on the humor so far (often crude), and has made light of stuff like these four boys possibly being the only survivors left of humanity. So, a pretty light-hearted, comedic series with pretty art is my current impression. It's also been fairly episodic, with this higher being showing up to give them something to "help" them each time, and these boys debating over it and coming up with silly responses. I'm curious to see where this will go.

Zipman!!: I quite like the art in this one too. Four chapters so far. Seems to be a tokusatsu/super sentai inspired battle manga, with a pair of brothers as the protagonists not unlike Rin and Yukio's relationship in Blue Exorcist. I'm guessing that the beginning will throw a different foe at them each week as they level up. I hope Cheena gets to join them and doesn't stay a damsel in distress.

Still following:
Black Clover: The pacing of this series has always been fast, but the current arc seems to have ramped that up even more. I guess, maybe to try to keep our attention after the elf arc ended? (Art is still beautiful though, and the art and tension during the elf arc was extraordinary) I'm actually looking forward to the anime adding in fillers to flesh things out more. Though I wonder if the anime will continue after the elf arc. (They should take a break...)

Dr. Stone: I wasn't all that sold on this series when I was only reading the manga, but man did the anime make me appreciate this series a lot more. The music, timing, and voice acting in the anime made a lot of the scenes a lot more impactful and touching than when I was only using my own imagination, haha. The current arc in the manga is pretty fascinating too. Stakes are pretty high (the Kohaku and Ginro scene especially made me cry) and there's a lot to be gained. I feel the arc is wrapping up soon though. Wonder where the series will go next. I'm pretty happy to read another series by Inagaki (loved Eyshield 21). Am also glad that he's writing the story, as Dr. Stone Reboot, written by Boichi, sure turned out bizarre.

Mission: Yozakura Family: So far, it's been more of the same each week, with Taiyo thrown into difficult situations and getting tested at every turn to protect Mutsumi, who is the only one in her family without any fighting powers, as her power is to give birth to the next generation with strong powers. (I'm glad that she's at least able to take care of herself despite having no powers). I'm not very invested currently though. I think I'd be more interested if we got to see more of the rest of the family developed. My favorite chapter was the one with Kengo and Taiyo going undercover together. It was cool getting to see one of the other siblings in action.

Mitama Security: Spirit Busters: The art of this series is a bit strange, but despite that, I'm quite enjoying the series thanks to its wacky and exaggerated humor. I like how unfazed Rena is, and how much character the spirits that haunt her have. Mitama is a complete scaredy-cat, but his heart is in the right place. Even when it feels like the series might turn serious, such as dropping some sad backstory on us, it fakes out and goes the other direction. I wonder if the series would ever turn serious, haha.

Samurai 8: Probably like tons of others, I began reading this because Kishimoto is the one writing it, with art by Okubo. The art in the first few chapters was hard to follow with too much going on and not enough contrast, but it's gotten a lot better. I'm not sold on the story though (and especially not the concept of princesses to help power up the samurai) but there are some characters that I quite like (such as Nanashi and Kotsuga), so I'll still be following to see what happens to them.

Spy x Family: Possibly my current favorite series in Jump, and it's not actually in Weekly Shounen Jump (I think it's on Shounen Jump+, the digital version?). I love all the secret identities and the secrets each character is keeping from the other, while they're pretending to be the perfect family on the surface (and kind of are turning into a great family together, despite being strangers before this). The series is also ridiculously cute with great humor and art. I guess I like this series so much because it hits so many of my favorite tropes (secrets! secret identities! family!) and does it so effortlessly, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing this series continue and develop. There's also a very clear goal from the start, so that helps give the series a focus.

We Never Learn: I feel this series is winding down. I hope it gets a satisfying ending! This series has really cute art and touching development (and also a lot of fanservice that I could do without, haha). I shed a few tears during several parts of the story. I don't feel strongly about who Nariyuki might end up with, but I can imagine many fans being disappointed if the one they're rooting for doesn't win.

World Trigger: This series is still plodding along (still in rank B wars). I love it still but worry for the mangaka's health. I'm glad to finally be able to see Hyuse in action after so long of a wait. It's also amazing to hear that the anime will return.

I'm super behind on My Hero Academia and Haikyuu. :3;;

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Dominion's End v6

Welp, looks like LJ crossposts aren't currently working. Checked support tickets and it looks like it's definitely a common problem, if not site wide. Hope it's not a big issue to fix.

Dominion's End v6 is here! It's been about 2 years since the last book~. I uh... don't remember v5 that well. I definitely feel v3 was the most memorable.

Special edition included pins of Dage and Junjun, and a standing acrylic of Shuyu. Cover features Jin Feng. (In the end, she does show up a bit, but she isn't central to this volume)

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Yuletide, Thunderbolt Fantasy

I received a sweet Kono Oto Tomare fic about Takezou~. Last week's episode was beautiful and made me want more KnT again, so this was perfect timing.

the hidden treasury of chivalry (1039 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: この音とまれ! | Kono Oto Tomare!
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Kurata Takezou, Tokise High School Koto Club
Additional Tags: Post-Canon, Graduation, Friendship, Bittersweet

Before Takezou could fully prepare himself, the time for his high school graduation had arrived.

As for the fic I wrote, I finally managed to tweak it to my liking by the time the archive opened. My recipient had great prompts. :) So far, it's been pretty well received! \o\ There's also another series I really wanted to write for my recipient, but this fic took all my time. I wonder if I can get the 2nd fic done for Madness... I guess there's always the New Years Resolution collection too. :') (ETA: Oh wow, someone wrote the 2nd fandom for my recipient for Madness! Guess I’ll take the fic I’m working on in a different direction. Goes to show how great the prompts were!)

My treat for myself once I got my Yuletide fic completed was getting to watch the Thunderbolt Fantasy movie, Bewitching Melody of the West. Loved it! I liked Lang Wu Yao in season 2, but this movie made me love him. It was beautiful and heart-wrenching getting to watch his transformation (the scene with Ling Ya's introduction was epic though). My heart went out to Lang Wu Yao with what he had to learn of the world, and how all those people wanted to use him. I never considered that he was just like the swords Shang Bu Huan was trying to keep out of the wrong hands. What a chilling existence to lead. No wonder he doesn't talk much in season 2. There was a ton of singing in the movie (a TON) but I didn't get tired of it. It's truly an epic song. It was also great seeing some old faces from s2. I'm so looking forward to season 3. :) And now I can't help but wonder what led Shang Bu Huan to leave Lang Wu Yao behind in Xi You. Also, the new girl in the movie is perhaps my favorite female in the cast so far (no, not the princess). But she wasn't present in s2... I hope she doesn't die. (I also need to learn the names of the new characters still)

Thought I might not be as entertained without Lin Xue Ya in the movie (he still butts his way in anyway, pfft) but nope. Loved it. Lang Wu Yao might be my favorite now. :3

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Shounen Jump

I've been reading a lot of random Shounen Jump series since February thanks to the Shounen Jump app (subscription has been a good deal so far), though several new series have already been axed. I hope view count on this app will count towards popularity too... Though I can see why several of these series got axed. Some thoughts on those series:

Double Taisei: Started out promising, with a pretty intriguing setup featuring shougi and split personalities. But the series plays its hand pretty quickly with very little development. I don't know if the series just wasn't given time to develop or what, but after that point, it felt like new characters were thrown into the mix haphazardly, each with a strange quirk of their own. Tai and Sei's split personalities really wasn't much compared to all of their strangeness! But I still followed the series weekly anyway, even with the rising absurdity each chapter brought. All seriousness was thrown out the window, opting for scenes with shock value instead, and a strange brand of humor. I did enjoy several of the characters, like Izumi and Haga, and my favorite chapter was the restaurant one where all these characters were thrown together with misunderstandings left and right. I also liked the art and paneling a lot, though the later instances of fanservice felt pretty out of place. All in all, I thought this was a promising series with an interesting premise and good art, but the execution and development needed a lot more work. The series didn't quite seem to know what it wanted to be. Despite all that, the final chapter managed to wrap things up decently.

Tokyo Shinobi Squad I was never really sold on this series, but unlike Double Taisei, I thought it had a pretty good handle on what it wanted to be. Art was good, people had history with each other, fights were flashy, and all that jazz. I wasn't sure if En or Jin was the main character (perhaps both?) but En wasn't very compelling while Jin was too strong right off the bat. Even so, the series was pretty and flashy and went places, so I thought it'd be more popular. Maybe it needed more of a focus, like a big bad instead of random missions sprinkled through. I loved the loyalty the Narumi-kai had for each other, and Taiga's totally my favorite character with his aesthetic and gap in personality. The final chapter ended with a time skip that made En so much cooler, and it brought things full circle with En coming across a newbie and welcoming him much the same way Jin welcomed him in chapter one. That was pretty cool. Kind of made me wish the series would continue after the time skip!

Yui Kamio Lets Loose First off, the Japanese title of this is a great pun: Kamio Yui wa Kami wo Yui, which is unfortunately lost in the English translation. This was first and foremost a school love comedy, which I enjoyed. Kind of reminded me of Kaguya-sama but with fighting involved. Kiito is supposedly this super cool guy, but he's pulled in every direction because of all the trouble that follows Yui (and that Yui creates), and it turns out that he's not that cool after all but is always trying to build himself up. I quite enjoyed that part. I felt the troubles because of Yui in Black and Yui in White with Kiito thrown in the mix was pretty compelling, but I guess it wasn't enough. The series changed genres halfway through, opting for battle and horror instead with none of the characters batting an eye about the abrupt change. It was a pretty fascinating change but still wasn't enough, unlike what Reborn's change in genre did for that series. However, there was clearly enough development for the series to continue or to end, which I felt was pretty indicative of the mangaka's skill. It's really too bad this series wasn't given more time, considering Shiibashi Hiroshi already has Nura under his belt. I feel this series could have gone places.

Haha, this turned out longer than I thought. Guess I'll save my thoughts on ongoing series and new series I'm following in Shounen Jump for later.

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Dear Yuletide Writer

[community profile] yuletide letter!

Dear Yuletide Writer,

Thanks for writing for me! Below is more information about my general likes and what I like about each fandom. However, please don't let this letter confine you if your muse comes up with something else. I look forward to your spin on the characters and the fandom. :3

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[Dragalia Lost] fic: My Best Friend's Heart Was Broken So Now I'm Trying to Cheer Him Up

Parallels ran so smoothly~. Here's the fic I wrote!

Title: My Best Friend's Heart Was Broken So Now I'm Trying to Cheer Him Up
Fandom: Dragalia Lost
Words: 2,717
Summary: Ranzal thinks Luca got his heart broken by Aoi. It's all a misunderstanding, really, but Ranzal sets out to cheer Luca up. It includes sneaking into the kitchen together because food always makes everything better. And Luca always has the largest grins on those escapades. Ranzal/Luca
Notes: This was originally titled "Cheer Up" before I decided that since this was such a fluffy fic, I might as well give it a silly name, so I gave it a very light novel'ish name, ahaha. Written for [personal profile] kalloway for [community profile] parallelsfic 2019. Based off of Dragalia Life #116, the Newlywed Ninja, which can be read over here. The story also takes bits of inspiration from the Dragalia Lost castle stories, That Special Day Part One, Two, and Three, but the gist is that a bunch of them are preparing for three fake weddings in a wedding battle to see which wedding is better.

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