akatsuki-shin
akatsuki-shin
Keep Calm & Love Bishie
MDZS/CQL・SVSSS・TGCF・Xiao Zhan・Wang Yibo・Touken Ranbu | Multi-fandom actually | Sometimes NSFW (͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Welcome to my blog, folks! If you love these pretty boys as much as I do, feel free to drop by. I will love you dearly. ♥ Chibi Tsurumaru Cursor by me. Originally from Touken Ranbu "Toy's Works Collection Niitengo Clip Vol 2 (September 2015)".
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akatsuki-shin · 17 hours ago
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every single cat in the world

6 notes
akatsuki-shin · a day ago
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POV: You’ve just died and become a ghost, then you meet the king of the Ghost Realm


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akatsuki-shin · a day ago
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HOW TO PUNCH A FICTIONAL CHARACTER

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akatsuki-shin · a day ago
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I love Gu Yun, but sometimes I find myself googling “how to punch a fictional character”

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akatsuki-shin · a day ago
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Shen Yi 🤝 Jiang Cheng 🤝 Feng Xin/Mu Qing: “somebody pls save me from these gays”

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akatsuki-shin · a day ago
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so far in my danmei journey, I’ve read:

  1. MDZS
  2. SVSSS
  3. TGCF
  4. Sha Po Lang

now gonna start reading Mo Du/Silent Reading, again a novel by Priest~

after this it would be “Guardian” and “The Legendary Master’s Wife”

meanwhile, waiting for 2ha and Thousand Autumns to have finished being translated ;v;

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akatsuki-shin · a day ago
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this Sha Po Lang mini figure is cute 🥺

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akatsuki-shin · a day ago
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Yue Qingyuan best big bro in the entire MXTX universe

You can’t change my mind

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akatsuki-shin · 2 days ago
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Notes:

  • (Very) long post ahead
  • Contains spoiler
  • This is my personal review and does not represent the entire audience, you are free to agree or not agree with what I’ve written here
  • Feel free to reply/send me a message if there are things you want to discuss

Summary:

During the age of the Great Liang dynasty, steam technology powered by Zhi Liujin becomes an integral pillar of strength and growth for every nation in the world. Having only a few Zhi Liujin mines available within its territory, the Great Liang has to procure this precious resource from elsewhere; one of their main sources come from the territory of the uncivilized Northern Barbarian tribe that have been subdued by the Great Liang’s “Black Iron Battalion”, an elite army fully equipped with steam-powered weapons and armors.

Having escaped with his mother from the imprisonment of a bandit group, little Chang Geng came to the countryside town of Yanhui, where his mother married the mayor of the town, and he grew up there since then.

In a fierce winter several years later, young Chang Geng who went out of the town’s border was almost killed by a pack of wolves. His life was saved by a pair of young men who were visitors in Yanhui: Shen Yi, a scholar strangely (and admirably) versatile in many fields of knowledge with great interest in Zhi Liujin technology - and his half blind, half deaf, sickly and idle, yet beautiful brother, Shen Shiliu.

Feeling indebted towards the two young men for saving his son’s life, not only did Chang Geng’s father gifted them with a residence to settle in, he acknowledged one of the Shen brothers as his son’s adoptive father (yì fù). Shen Shiliu took up this role upon himself, and from that moment on, Chang Geng began to care for his adoptive father who was only 7-8 years older than him, and at the same time learning under Shen Yi who eventually became a teacher to many children in Yanhui.

Years passed and the now adolescent Chang Geng continued to live his seemingly unchanging live. However, a sudden attack from the Barbarians destroyed the peace in the little town of Yanhui and Chang Geng’s small world was shaken. On that day, for the first time he discovered that his estranged mother, his teacher, his beloved yì fù, and he himself were apparently not who he thought them to be.

STORY: 8/10

What I found the most interesting about Sha Po Lang is its fascinating world building. The basic idea itself is not necessarily mind-blowing (I mean, there are tons of steampunk stories out there), but it was extremely intricate and solid. The political struggles full of greed and deceptions, the economy flourishing and declining with the change of situations, and the intense wars felt so real to the point that I was fully immersed in each and every scene, almost forgetting that I was reading a “mere” BL that many people used to look down upon simply for its theme.

There are a lot of background and past stories to be told, but neither one of them felt like an info-dump, nor did they break the on-going atmosphere of the current scene. I could not recall any particular plot holes in the story. Everything is covered sufficiently, not too much, not too little. Even if there is one, if I couldn’t remember it then it means probably said plot hole isn’t really that crucial to begin with.

How real could it feel? As modernization unfolds, people would be replaced by machines and if this issue is not handled properly, it will soon become a major problem that could shake the stability of a country.

When Chang Geng sent the design of Great Liang that he envisaged in the later chapters, it made me realize two things:

First, sometimes you do not need a huge, heroic reason to do great things. In the case of Chang Geng, he only ever has one wish: For Gu Yun to be safe from harm. Unfortunately, Gu Yun is the Marquis of Order, the leader of the entire Black Iron Battalion that protects the Great Liang from great enemies. Danger is always inevitable in wars. Thus, in order to protect Gu Yun, Chang Geng strived to bring peace and stability to the nation, from an innocent countryside boy becoming the Yan Wang Li Min that people both admired and feared.

Second, putting aside external invaders, it is actually not that difficult to govern a nation and bring prosperity to the people. What makes it difficult is because people are always greedy for power and wealth, feeling jealous towards those who seem to be more successful than oneself, and forcing their personal agenda above their responsibilities.

Chang Geng’s solutions to each and every single one of the Great Liang’s problems are impressive, but the moment I saw his vision for the future Great Liang in that one piece of map, I can only say that I have to give my utmost respect to this character.

Other than that, there was not much comedy in here as it isn’t the main genre of this story, but when there is one, you can be sure that it will hit the right spot and does not feel exaggerated.

CHARACTERS: 9/10

Chang Geng must be one of the most complex characters I’ve seen in a while.

To be honest, when the adult Chang Geng appeared for the first time after being separated from Gu Yun for four years, I felt that the way his change was being presented could’ve been written better. After all, within one arc he was shown to be an intelligent young scholar, then a lovesick young man, then a political and tactical expert at Xing Zi Lin - capable to understand Gu Yun’s thoughts, sometimes even more than the man himself and his closest comrade, Shen Yi.

Although the reason for his development can be logically understood even without having to be explained, there was no opportunity to process the change in his character before he suddenly speaks and acts in shocking precision for every situation. Until it was explained later on that he had trained under Gu Yun’s former teacher, travelled the world to learn this and that, the way his growth/development was first revealed was not delivered smoothly. Rather than surprising, it feels as if he suddenly becomes detached from the character “Chang Geng” that I’ve known so far.

Furthermore, it was revealed (much) later on that the Bone of Impurity in him could elevate one’s intelligence (at the cost of something else, of course), so it suddenly becomes unclear whether Chang Geng’s growth was a result of his own hard work and effort, or a contribution of the Bone of Impurity.

Nevertheless it does not lower his value as an amazing character. The young Chang Geng could easily invoke one’s sympathy, even endearment. The adult Chang Geng is extremely capable and seem to always be able to find a way out of every situation, but still he was not flawless.

Sometimes, I also couldn’t tell whether I want to support him wholeheartedly or not. He has all the quality of the leader who could bring a nation towards prosperity, but his method is sometimes ruthless or controversial. Even towards those closest to him like Shen Yi and his family, despite the cute and heartwarming Extra Chapter, there is still a part of me that is questioning “Is his attitude towards them sincere?” because all this time, I have only been shown the Chang Geng who only ever cares about Gu Yun and nobody else.

There were even times when his words or action makes me a little bit uncomfortable, even borderline against my principle/moral compass. But then I come to understand that this is just his character. He is not bound by the typical justice and righteousness of a protagonist. This is what makes Chang Geng complex and I respect Priest so much for being able to write this kind of character.

Now Gu Yun is probably my favorite character in Sha Po Lang. He isn’t as complex and difficult to understand like Chang Geng, but he’s just really interesting; an admirable general on one side, but a funny and adorable person on the other side. He can still be carefree and clear-headed despite the circumstances of his life. Whenever I’m reading or watching a story involving lots of wars, he is the kind of army leader that I always want to see.

His character is strong and mighty, but still human. He could be shaken, he could feel distressed, but what makes him strong is that he can always rise back up from his downfall; his resilience and willpower is just impressive, as expected of one with vast experiences.

Gu Yun’s proud yet petty personality is really quite endearing, especially when he stole Chang Geng’s handmade bamboo flute from little children. He probably hadn’t realized yet at that time that he was jealous.

In regards to his relationship with Chang Geng, at first, I thought the moment of Gu Yun’s “falling in love” was obscure. His feelings seem to depart from parental love, or adoration from the older to the younger, to pity and some guilt after knowing about the Bone of Impurity, and later seems like rather than falling in love, he just decided to “accept” Chang Geng, and along with it is his instinct to protect. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I personally would prefer to see the moment of him falling in love as to correctly return Chang Geng’s feelings.

But then in the Extra Chapter, when he fell gravely ill and received a letter from the teenage Chang Geng after leaving to the frontline without telling the boy, I finally saw Gu Yun’s moment of “falling in love”. Of course, there was no blatant words of “love” being spoken and Gu Yun himself probably didn’t realize that he had cared more for the boy than he thought he did. Yet it was more than enough to show that Chang Geng had begun to enter his iron heart.

A bit OOT, but honestly, this is how I had wished for BingQiu’s relationship to be. All of my complaints about BingQiu in SVSSS were all answered by Chang Geng and Gu Yun in Sha Po Lang.

The other characters, both major and minor, all had the right proportion. They do not overshadow the main characters, but not too plain either. The minor characters do not feel like they were just there as fillers. Whether it is in a positive or negative light, almost each and every single one of them are memorable.

Also, Gu Yun and Shen Yi’s relationship is adorable, you can’t change my mind.

TECHNICAL ASPECTS: 8/10

After all I said above, do I still have complains about this story? In fact, I do (forgive me).

First of all, for me personally, I feel like the first 10 chapters were rather unclear in giving an introduction of the story. I don’t know if it was because there are too many things and situations that should be introduced to give readers a first glimpse of the “world”, or my reading comprehension is bad, but I have to re-read the entire Chapter 1-10 after reaching Chapter 15-16 because only then did I finally understand what was happening in the beginning.

It’s a bit difficult to describe, but let me give an example.

Until she was about to die, I haven’t the slightest idea that Xu Niang was a vicious woman who could kill a group of bandits with her own hands, abused Chang Geng to the point of almost killing him multiple times, and that Chang Geng had been carrying a curse all this time in his body. Since the beginning, I only have the impression that she was Chang Geng’s estranged mother - nothing more, nothing less.

I mean, neither of her past deeds had ever been mentioned or hinted before that point.

Imagine my confusion when reading Chapter 5-6 and those information appeared all of a sudden. Yes, the characters know what was going on in the past, but the readers don’t.

Another minor situation is about Ge Pangxiao who, after moving to the capital city, suddenly becomes quite an expert in making Zhi Liujin-powered trinkets before he entered Lingshu Institute?

Second, I generally have no problem with omniscient third person POV, but I must admit that while it covers everything, it makes the story-telling lacks depth every now and then. Because there is not a single focus during the whole narrative; the focus can easily switch from character to the other before I can properly digest the current topic. This wasn’t a huge problem in the later part of the story, but in the beginning, this constantly changing POV was a bit confusing for me.

I also feel that the “Bone of Impurity” kind of out of place. Poison is okay, but because Sha Po Lang isn’t a “magical fantasy” kind of stories, suddenly having a voodoo curse being a crucial part of the main character from start to finish is just plain weird. And they cured it with acupuncture technique in the end? 😭

About Gu Yun’s disability, if I remember correctly, even with the Liuli Glass, his vision still isn’t that great? Him being able to do lip-reading with that condition just seems a bit weird. CMIIW, though.

Fortunately, other than the first 10 chapters than I’ve mentioned above, I think the rest don’t really give a huge impact on the overall plot. Eventually, I’ve forgotten about those things and was able to immerse myself in the story until the very end.

OVERALL SCORE: 8.3/10

If this isn’t worth to read then I don’t know what else is worth to read.

I’m really looking forward to the live action now. In fact, I’m getting worried if the drama would be able to portray this complex story well, especially with all the super intense wars spreading from start to finish. Even just by reading the novel a.k.a. text, I can already visualize in my head how majestic the Black Iron Battalion is, especially the Black Eagles.

Also, this is just a personal opinion, but now that I’m writing this review, I feel like the character Chang Geng is a huge slap to typical righteous characters who say “I want to save everyone/the world!” or something along that line, then struggle in the name or justice. This guy only want to save 1 (one) man, but he did it by saving the whole country as his stepping stone. 😂

15 notes
akatsuki-shin · 8 days ago
Answer

Hi can I please ask what is your mbti? If you don't want to say publicly though please ignore this ask! I hope you have a great day 😊

Hello~ It’s okay. xD

I’m INTJ-A

1 notes
akatsuki-shin · 8 days ago
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Notes:

  • (Very) long post ahead
  • Contains spoiler
  • This is my personal review and does not represent the entire audience, you are free to agree or not agree with what I’ve written here
  • Feel free to reply/send me a message if there are things you want to discuss

Summary:

The most beloved Crown Prince, pride of the Kingdom of Xianle with abundance of talents and achievements, Xie Lian, ascended to Heaven and became a martial god at the young age of 17 on the path to fulfill his dream “to save the common people”.

Three years after his ascension, he saw his kingdom beginning to decline and in order to save his beloved country, Xie Lian defied the rules of Heaven and descended back to the mortal realm. Nevertheless, instead of saving them, his interference ended up accelerating the fall of Xianle, annihilating the once prosperous nation under the war of rebellion and a mysterious, horrifying plague.

The people who once praised and worshipped him day and night now condemned him, his devotees left him, they burnt his temples and divine statues, and Xie Lian himself was ultimately banished from the Heaven.

He ascended for the second time a short while later, but was banished once more very soon after. Since then, he lived among the mortals - surviving by collecting junks as he was now branded as the “God of Misfortune”, the “Scrap Collecting Immortal”.

800 years later, Xie Lian ascended again for the third time. Though having neither temples nor devotees, he accepted his responsibility as a martial god and carried on with his duties until one day, there came a certain, incidental encounter with a mysterious youth clad in red.

STORY: 7/10

TGCF overall is an (almost) complete, satisfying read with well-written twists and development.

Unlike the two previous MXTX’s novels, the main pairing here (HuaLian) did not have to go through complicated misunderstandings and is a beautiful representation of love and devotion. Of course, this means there is a lack of conflict between them, but considering all the trials and tribulations the characters have gone through, this lack of conflict feels like a relieving fresh spring amidst the painful and exhausting journey throughout the entire five books.

The best and my most favorite plot twist is the Earth Master Ming Yi having been dead for a while, and the “Ming Yi” we know turns out to be the Black Water Submerging Boats, He Xuan. I’m the kind of person who always suspects characters, but even my furthest suspicion was “only” him being the Reverend of Empty Words, not He Xuan.

Truthfully, prior to reading this novel, I’ve seen Shi Qingxuan’s “MING-XIONG, I’M SORRY x9999” post before without context, and I thought Ming Yi was going to die a tragic death because of Shi Qingxuan. Turns out it’s kind of the opposite, huh? Nice one, really.

I also like how each character’s “end” feels satisfying. Especially for the villains, they didn’t necessarily have to die some tragic, vengeful death, but was provided with an ending that perfectly fits their background story and deeds. For example, in most stories, a character like Xuan Ji would be most likely be given some well-deserved punishment as her death, given everything she’s done. But no, in the end she was given a reality check and was finally able to let go of her hundreds of years grudge. And then Qi Rong - I will talk more about him later on in the “Character” section.

One part I really love is the Extra Chapter about the Cave of Ten Thousand Gods. The chapter itself overall is mostly nonsensical and chaotic, but it was just so touching when HuaLian created a “Little Hua Cheng” statue to accompany Xie Lian’s “Crown Prince who Pleased the Gods” statue, especially when this Little Hua Cheng statue gave Crown Prince Xie Lian statue a flower, and then Crown Prince Xie Lian received it, lifted him up and carried him in his arms. This one was maybe a bit biased because as much as I love the current HuaLian, I have a special soft spot for the young Xie Lian carrying, cradling the little Hua Cheng back then in the past. ;v;

Though, with all due respect, I must say that TGCF is actually below my expectation.

The biggest issue I have with TGCF is… What is Xie Lian’s motivation? What drives him to move forward in the story? What is even the whole story’s purpose?

I’m not quite sure how to word this properly, but let me give some examples.

When you read Harry Potter, you know immediately that Voldemort is the bad guy and he must be defeated.

When you read the Lord of the Rings, you know immediately that the One Ring must be destroyed to prevent Sauron from regaining his power.

Or, in MXTX previous works…

In SVSSS, it was clear since the beginning that Shen Yuan’s mission is to fix the “Proud Immortal Demon Way” if he wants to survive.

In MDZS, it was clear that Wei Wuxian, together with Lan Wangji’s, needs to unravel the mystery behind that fierce left arm. All of their past stories and WangXian getting together in the end are just something they discovered along the way, not the initial “motivation” that drives the character to move forward.

What about TGCF? The Xie Lian who ascended for the third time actually looks like he just wants to go along with the flow, carrying out his duties day by day with responsibility. When Bai Wuxiang later, later, later on appeared to haunt him again, it didn’t seem like Xie Lian has any ambition to hunt him down or exact a revenge, just that he wanted to forget about Bai Wuxiang and never recall anything about him ever again. The main character looks like he’s not being driven by anything, just…carrying on where the plot takes him? It’s just missions after missions and whatever huge things happening in between is just something they accidentally passed by along the way.

At this point, the only purpose of the story I can think of is bringing Hua Cheng and Xie Lian together. The romance is great, I have no complain. But if it’s just that, no need to jammed-pack 250+ chapters just to make two people getting together?

Speaking of which, I also think that the way new characters keep being introduced all the way to almost the final showdown of the story feels info dump-ish, because the background story needs to be dropped there along with the characters, but then most of these characters fade away immediately after.

For example, the previous Civil God before Ling Wen, who looks like he’s going to pose some real trouble, but then was easily defeated and was never mentioned again afterwards. And this is especially true for He Xuan; after such a huge arc where he committed such extreme things, after that he was barely mentioned again, even having his “strong impression” leveled down by the joke about him being the poorest Calamity and owing lots of debts to Hua Cheng.

Basically what makes TGCF a long story is because there are too many stories about the side characters in addition to the main characters that are dumped out of the blue instead of slowly being revealed along the way.

Though, I love how the story gradually unravels the “Four Famous Tales” because initially, I thought it wasn’t something crucial, and I wished they could’ve done this for other characters, too.

There is a little bit of plot holes here and there, as in who actually cut open Jian Lan/Lan Chang’s baby and made it a ghost, and for what? Even if it turned out that she just met a bad guy or nobody important, at least provide an explanation in one paragraph? Especially because important side characters like Feng Xin and Mu Qing are involved here, so I’m pretty sure us readers need some explanation.

And more importantly, how can Jun Wu become the Emperor martial god? There’s no mention about him ascending, only that he annihilated a dynasty of gods before sitting on the throne of the Great Martial Hall. But how can he, like, emitted god-like aura and not some evil aura? Is it because he used to be a god? But he’s a ghost? Explanation where???

The gags and comedies are pretty fun, but honestly, the more I read, the more they ruin the atmosphere and suspense, added with the uncalled PDA between Hua Cheng and Xie Lian even during the most important moments. Honestly, I was bored the fuck out of my life from the moment they start fighting Jun Wu with those divine gundams, and only start gaining interest again much later on when Hua Cheng dissipated into butterflies.

Not saying the story’s bad. Just… It’s not up to my expectation… Characters being inserted here and there with a bunch of background story, gags and a show of PDA being flaunted during crucial moments. And when Mei Nianqing started telling the truth about the Kingdom of Wuyong, that’s just plain info dump right there, seriously…

CHARACTERS: 7/10

Interesting characters, but only a few bore a lasting impression on me. Other than the main characters, which are Xie Lian and Hua Cheng, the only side characters (minus Bai Wuxiang as the main villain) who left quite some impression on me were probably just Feng Xin and Mu Qing.

Pei Ming is okay, at least he is still memorable until the end, and his character improved, too.

He Xuan, after having been introduced with such extreme, after his arc is over, was easily forgotten just like that.

Mei Nianqing, is borderline Deus Ex-Machina with a huge chunk of info dump that could solve everything, then he stopped being useful for the rest of the story.

Shi Qingxuan… Honestly, he’s almost annoying, too noisy. I don’t hate him (and I kind of like him initially), but the way his character was being handled and presented post-Black Water arc feels disappointingly lazy and he was just there to make the party more merry.

Xie Lian himself, as the protagonist, how do I say this… This is maybe due to the translator’s writing style (not MXTX’s fault), but whenever he screams in all capslock, it feels too extreme and borderline OOC? Of course, the original novel written in hanzi couldn’t have included capslock.

What’s great about him, though, is that despite all he’d gone through, he can still retain a pure heart and could not be swayed to be evil, just as he himself said “Body in the abyss, heart in paradise”.

Now Hua Cheng, he is overall a super interesting character and I personally love this type of male characters. But he seriously is way too OP, almost like the original Luo Binghe (Bing-ge) a.k.a. too ideal, too perfect, no flaws, always capable of easily finding a way out in every single peril. I only forgive him for being like this because he dissipated into butterflies at the end of the battle with Jun Wu, making me think “oh, finally he’s actually not invincible”.

Still, his devotion to Xie Lian is very well written, very well presented, and his “I am forever your most devoted believer” is just downright the most powerful line in the whole story.

Now I promised to talk about Qi Rong, yeah? I haven’t the slightest idea why it is even necessary to have Qi Rong as the Night-touring Green Lantern. I mean, yes he is there to make up the number of the Four Great Calamities, but that was for the characters who live in that world. As the novel’s reader, I don’t see any particularly important roles there for Qi Rong other than being an annoying meme fodder despite his actually pretty-cool first foreshadowing and appearance? Even his issue with Lang Qianqiu does not seem to give that much impact on the overall story, it could’ve just passed simply being explained in several pages.

Though I’d say he’s got the best character development compared to others. Instead of dying as some hateful villain, the way he ended up deciding to protect Guzi at the cost of his own life can already be expected from miles away, but still bittersweet and touching nonetheless - how this crazed, mental person could still love when being presented with such pure, innocent feelings to the point that he acknowledged Guzi as a his own son.

By the way, E Ming and Ruoye are cute, I take no criticism.

TECHNICAL ASPECTS: 8/10

I can’t really describe this with words, but MXTX’s overall writing technique has greatly improved since MDZS.

It feels more “solid” to read instead of scattered here and there.

The info distribution has improved (fewer info dump compared to before), the story’s no longer switching between past and present all of a sudden.

Description of characters and environment are sufficient, the plot is progressing steadily.

Several issues I have with this aspect though, the Prologue being ten pages is just way too long, I don’t think I need that much information being stuffed right to my face right from the beginning.

There are excessive use of “Turns out…” every single time an explanation is going to come.

“Xie Lian didn’t know whether he should cry or laugh” is honestly has been used probably more than 50 times just in the last two books. Although I’m reading a translation, I’m pretty sure the original Chinese version is being repetitive with this phrase, as well, because the translators couldn’t just whip up any other phrase from thin air and put it in someone else’s novel.

Almost half of scene transition is always caused by some sudden, external disturbance like “All of a sudden they heard someone’s coming”, “All of a sudden X visits their room”, etc.

OVERALL SCORE: 7.3/10

Worth to read, satisfying overall. The main pairing’s love story is just so well written and sweet. As long as you can withstand the violence and gore, though. 😂

TGCF highlights perhaps one of the ugliest natures of mankind: Being nice to someone as long as they’re beneficial, and immediately throwing them away once the benefit was no more.

Once that person does not seem to be beneficial anymore, everyone would leave them instantly, even turning on them and start spitting on them without even trying to understand the reason why said person “stopped being beneficial”.

Both as a Crown Prince and a martial god, Xie Lian and the Crown Prince of Wuyong were praised, revered, worshipped by the citizens of Xianle and Wuyong respectively. Because they were always helping, always fulfilling the people’s wishes. But how easily it was for those very same people to turn on Xie Lian and the Crown Prince of Wuyong when they encountered misfortunes, completely turning a blind eye to the laborious effort both characters have been putting to save them from annihilation, even if it was visible in broad daylight.

It is also worth to note another trait of mankind that this story underlines: To always find a scapegoat or blame others for one’s own misfortune and failure - be it another human being, another group of people, the government, even the gods - after having taking their generosity for granted.

Which is why I think the true villain of the story is not Bai Wuxiang, but those citizens of the ancient Wuyong who were now nothing more than resentful spirits eternally burning within the lava of Tonglu Mountain - a well deserved punishment after what they did to their Crown Prince.

9 notes
akatsuki-shin · 8 days ago
Text

Notes:

  • (Very) long post ahead
  • Contains spoiler
  • This is my personal review and does not represent the entire audience, you are free to agree or not agree with what I’ve written here
  • Feel free to reply/send me a message if there are things you want to discuss

Summary:

SVSSS tells the story of Shen Yuan, an avid web novel reader - particularly the stallion genre - who died suddenly from food-related incident after having just finished reading a famous (yet controversial) web-novel “Proud Immortal Demon Way”.

Upon his wake, he discovered that he had been transmigrated into the world of that very novel, moreover into the body of the story’s most-hated scum villain, Shen Qingqiu.

In his previous life, Shen Yuan had frequently criticized the “Proud Immortal Demon Way” and its author, “Airplane Shooting towards the Sky”, for he found the web novel full of wasted potentials. Now having been sent to live in that novel’s story, a mysterious system assigned him with a mission to fix the very plot he had been denouncing - and of course, to save himself from the tragic end of the original Shen Qingqiu, who was fated to be mutilated into a human stick by the story’s protagonist, Luo Binghe, his own disciple.

STORY: 7/10

I personally have not read a lot of “isekai” stories. However, what makes SVSSS interesting to me, compared to most transmigration stories I’ve seen in the past, is because the main character was not thrown into a completely strange, unknown world, but rather into the universe of a novel he had been closely following up until the very last second of his life.

And what’s more? He does not have complete freedom in modifying the story however he wants, but supervised by a mysterious system that will reward him for correct decisions, and punish him for wrong choices - with being deported to his original world as the ultimate punishment should his points fall below the set limit (a.k.a. he would really lose his life because he is already dead in his original world).

The fact that Shen Yuan, now living as Shen Qingqiu, possessing complete knowledge of the original story, yet still unable to foresee what butterfly effect his actions will cause to the plot and characters is perhaps the most appealing aspect of this novel.

Shen Qingqiu in his previous life was no different than us - a normal, modern young man from the 21st century. His thoughts and opinions on the situation, the way he reacts on certain matters, his internal monologues are all realistic and easily relatable. It feels as if I myself have partly become Shen Qingqiu, as well, looking at how the story progresses from a first person point of view, because if I were to be in his shoes, I would probably react in the exact same way as a modern person thrown into an ancient fantasy world.

Nevertheless, this “omniscient reader” point of view is not without a flaw. Although Shen Qingqiu himself is gradually blending in, accepting his new life in the ancient cultivation world and no longer seeing the other characters as mere “fictional characters”, because his mindset is that of a modern man, I find it difficult for myself as the reader to perceive the world of SVSSS as an actual, stand-alone world. Until the very last page of the story, I still feel like I’m looking at a fictional world, feeling detached to the universe and characters because I’m not “living” in it.

Another aspect that I think could’ve been improved is the romance development between Shen Qingqiu and Luo Binghe. I have full confidence that post-story Shen Qingqiu loves Luo Binghe with all his heart, but I seriously have no idea when and how he reached that point.

In the first half of the story, upon having accepted his new life as Shen Qingqiu, his feeling towards Luo Binghe is more like fondness and endearment. Perhaps he does like the character Luo Binghe, and considering that he, along with the rest of the web novel’s readers, hated the original Shen Qingqiu to the core, of course he wants to treat Luo Binghe and the other characters better (otherwise, how could he save himself from that nightmarish fate as a human stick).

Later on, he learns of his mistake, how he could’ve made better decisions, and tried to understand Luo Binghe better, redeeming himself. Perhaps his love towards Luo Binghe began to grow along this path, but I honestly don’t see it being told to me, as the reader. All of a sudden he is willing enough to “offer” himself to calm the maddened Luo Binghe. He’s been proclaiming himself as a straight man all this time and never once did I see him agreeing with himself that he is going to accept his feelings for Luo Binghe. When I read this later part, I feel like I’ve just jumped over a huge chunk of development. Because up until that point, Shen Qingqiu still only gives me the feeling of a teacher who adores and cares for a special disciple of his.

All in all, if I were to summarized the plot, I think SVSSS is an interesting, curious story. The fact that Shen Qingqiu was tasked to fix the original novel’s flaws makes me want to continue reading for as long as I can. What change is he going to make? What effect will be caused and what chain of events will follow? Furthermore, if you’re looking for comedy, then you’ve come to the right place. With an internet-literate modern man experiencing living in an ancient, fantasy novel, Shen Qingqiu’s reactions will never be boring to see. Even the banters and exchanges between characters are so realistic to the point that it is almost possible to imagine them visually.

Also, BingQiu is cute, I take no criticism.

CHARACTERS: 6/10

The distribution of that overall score of “6” is actually as follows:

  • 3 –> Shen Qingqiu
  • 1 –> Shen Jiu
  • 1 –> Luo Binghe + Yue Qingyuan
  • 0.5 –> Liu Qingge
  • 0.5 –> Everybody else

Notice that in the previous section, I barely talk about any other character than Shen Qingqiu? It’s not just because he is the main character, but because the other characters are seriously that un-interesting. In fact, I regret to say that personally, I think the characters are this novel’s weakest point.

Or to be more precise, the characters’ depth.

Shen Qingqiu by himself is a great character. He is calm, logical, knows when and where to put his “omniscient reader” knowledge to good use. He is effortlessly hilarious even if he himself doesn’t realize it, but at the same time, despite the mountain of curses he often uses, he is still a good person at heart. I think he is the sole reason that the story could remain interesting until the very end.

But sometimes he is a bit too ideal, almost always having the correct solution and/or countermeasure to every situation even if the plot has changed massively from the original web novel that he knows. Especially when it turns out that he has discovered a way to revive himself after self-destructing at Huayue City, it makes his initially heartbreaking sacrifice less……touching. Because it feels as if he’s been scheming this to be freed from the current ordeal, maybe to escape the system, as well.

Furthermore, no matter how much of an expert he was of the “Proud Immortal Demon Way” universe, he still just passed away and was transmigrated into a foreign world. Although the system initially banned him from being OOC, other than some panicky internal monologue, there was almost no trace of him looking distraught when being faced with the unthinkable situation.

Plus, Shen Yuan was different from Airplane Shooting towards the Sky who, even if he were to return to his original world, would have nobody waiting for him. The description of his family was pretty clear. Not only he comes from a well-off household, his family seems to be quite a happy and harmonious one (especially how he used to dote on his younger sister). How come there is not one single moment when he thinks about the family he has left behind and simply carries on with his new life as if nothing happened?

Now Luo Binghe, the second main lead and the one paired with Shen Qingqiu.

Before he fell into the Eternal Abyss, his character actually seems pretty solid. But post-darkening, I don’t know why I can’t get a good grasp of his character.

The “clingy, crybaby boyfriend” aspect is pretty clear, no complaint there (although the moments of his crying feels too comical for me). Other than that, I don’t really feel the “powerful Demon Lord” vibe from him.

Yes, there are descriptions of how powerful he is, how frightening he can be. But it’s just not solid enough for me. I understand that he is supposed to be a character with unstable mental, but there are simply not enough part where he is shown to be a proper, powerful Demon Lord because he keeps breaking down each and every single time. The “glass heart maiden” aspect isn’t bad, but when it’s used in an overly comical way, the character simply loses the charm he’s supposed to have.

Even Yue Qingyuan, who’s only a minor character, had such a strong charm that slaps you with the biggest plot twist in the whole story when it was revealed (to us, the readers) who he actually is.

Ironically, the original Luo Binghe (Bing-ge) was able to present the character’s true image and complexity even if he only appear in less than 10% of the entire story.

And even more ironically, the original Shen Qingqiu a.k.a. Shen Jiu, is probably the most complex character to have ever existed in there (and he only appears in, what, a couple of extra chapters).

(You know what? If MXTX just goes with the original Luo Binghe x Shen Qingqiu, including all of their complexity, I think the development, conflict, and resolution could’ve been more deep and complex - but yeah, it ain’t gonna be “Scum Villain’s Self Saving System)

Liu Qingge is okay and actually quite lovable. It’s just that I feel it’s too easy for him to appear anytime, anywhere there is a problem, as if he’s some easy way out.

Other than those I’ve mentioned above, I literally don’t have anything to comment on the other characters because… I don’t even know if there’s anything to comment. They really come and go just like that and leave no big impression on me.

TECHNICAL ASPECTS: 6/10

This here is basically just some technical things that were a bit unfortunate, because if only they were improved, the story could’ve been better.

1. The story is clearly written from Shen Qingqiu’s point of view, but it will suddenly switch to Luo Binghe’s inner thoughts every now and then, making it inconsistent.

2. Description of time and environment. Sometimes it’s really difficult to tell in what kind of place the scene is happening, whether it was day or night, whether the characters still remain in the same place or have move elsewhere. Transition when switching locations is also not described enough.

3. As much as I love the story, I feel like it’s progressing too fast without any significant crisis. It just ends like that with no massive ordeal or mystery to be solved. I think this is related to Shen Qingqiu’s "omniscient reader” point of view because it makes me feel like “hmm yeah, it’s just another part of the story, they’re going to go through this just fine”

Still, I understand that this is MXTX’s first novel. In fact, most of the aforementioned issues (including the characters) have undergone immense improvement in her second novel (MDZS), so I don’t think I have anything to worry about.

OVERALL SCORE: 6.3/10

It’s worth to read, really. If you just want to enjoy a cool, funny, and cute “isekai” story, I can definitely recommend this. But don’t expect some deep philosophical shit, because half of this novel is made of shitpost (I shit you not).

Moral of the story though?

See how market demand kills content creators’ freedom and creativity.

Airplane Shooting towards the Sky, the author of the controversial stallion “Proud Immortal Demon Way” literally told Shen Qingqiu at the final chapter of the main story:

  1. He’s actually written deep, aesthetic stories before, but they were all unpopular. Only when he wrote this harem novel full of fan-service - disregarding plot depth, plot holes, cheap characterizations - did he finally gain popularity and was able to obtain sufficient income to feed himself.
  2. He was grateful to Shen Qingqiu for “messing” up the plot of his novel, changing it into how it is now, because it allows everything he originally wanted to write - but couldn’t - to come true.

In previous chapters, he also said that he actually wanted to make the original Shen Qingqiu into a three-dimensional, more complex characters, but the netizens didn’t appreciate it and were complaining instead. Hence he was forced to make the original Shen Qingqiu into a plain old scum villain with no redeeming quality at all - even though in his original script, this character has a complex background that causes his current known personality.

Shen Qingqiu and Shang Qinghua might be talking about it in their usual, funny bantering, but who dares to say that this isn’t an issue being faced by almost all content creators in the whole world?

How many content creators have been forced to sacrifice the creativity value and quality of their work in order to satisfy the taste of majority?

How many content creators have been made to revise their works by editors in order to fit into a certain agenda or market trend?

Unless you’re a massively popular creator or a powerful individual, chances are you will never have the chance to create a content you truly want to make for a living.

In any case, there may be other authors who are better than MXTX in this world, but I love her works because despite the fictional content, the comedy, the silliness, etc, there are still at least one aspect that reflects the situation of the real, current world, and when you realize it, the realization can be quite a slap to the face like “hey, wait a minute, she’s right you know?” See less

11 notes
akatsuki-shin · 9 days ago
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Finished reading TGCF, and YEAP, THAT’S ALL FOR MXTX HOLY TRINITY! X’D

*SPOILER*

TGCF highlights perhaps one of the ugliest nature of mankind: Being nice to someone as long as they’re beneficial, and immediately throwing them away once the benefit was no more.

Once that person does not seem to be beneficial anymore, everyone would leave them instantly, even turning on them and start spitting on them without even trying to understand the reason why said person “stopped being beneficial”.

Both as a Crown Prince and a martial god, Xie Lian and the Crown Prince of Wuyong were praised, revered, worshipped by the citizens of Xianle and Wuyong respectively. Because they were always helping, always fulfilling the people’s wishes. But how easily it was for those very same people to turn on Xie Lian and the Crown Prince of Wuyong when they encountered misfortunes, completely turning a blind eye to the laborious effort both characters have been putting to save them from annihilation, even if it was visible in broad daylight.

It is also worth to note another trait of mankind that this story underlines: To always find a scapegoat or blame others for one’s own misfortune and failure - be it another human being, another group of people, the government, even the gods - after having taking their generosity for granted.

Which is why I think the true villain of the story is not Bai Wuxiang, but those citizens of the ancient Wuyong who were now nothing more than resentful spirits eternally burning within the lava of Tonglu Mountain - a well deserved punishment after what they did to their Crown Prince.

Post
24 notes
akatsuki-shin · 9 days ago
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I wish he had taught him to send those gold bars to poor people instead

For example, me

36 notes