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Grasping Evil
August 28, 2016
Status: c7
This is a story about a cultivator of the evil dao. At the same time, his master of this path says lines about allowing young love and taking care of the women you have 'relations' with. Which means that this dao doesn't need you to be comically, mindlessly evil to every single person, and just to the people you feel like being evil to (with the added caveat of 'fail me and I kill you' as a rather high bar for disciples to live up to).

So honestly, this is... more>> the same as the other cultivation novels around here, but it has that key honesty that makes it endearing. So, when the protagonist later probably goes around destroying sects and taking women as his own... you don't feel like he is a hypocrite. He is firmly with team evil. Take what you want, and kill everyone that you feel like killing. No need to worry about honor and that junk. This is about gaining power and using it.

The protagonist has lines he would rather not cross, and can feel that he should repay and care for certain others (his lost brother, the love interest)... but past those friendly relations, this work does not appear to hold any pretension of morals that is later betrayed by the protagonist's acts. And that is refreshing, since any mass murder he does is going to be completely in character with the stated moral code. <<less
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Is this reference? I feel like this is a reference. The prologue goes straight from tragic ending scene/beginning of a revenge hero novel, and then instantly shifts to a magical girlfriend genre, but also magic detective and 'living in a paranormal apartment complex' type story. This all comes so suddenly that it obviously comes from some type of short hand based on conventions of the genres for various types of anime/light novels. But that would be even easier if he was referencing something.
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Interesting read. The main character originally just comes off as a mad villain that is making a half hearted effort to be 'good'. However, when you learn his actual role in the city, and the systems he has put into place, you come to understand how he used to be 'good', and he can logically understand 'good'.... but the system and his own bitterness force him into petty villainy.
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Bishoujo wo Jouzu ni Nikubenki ni Suru Houhou
August 23, 2016
Status: --
Interesting... The protagonist appears to be immoral porn novel trash at first. If that turns you off, don't worry- the perspective changes.

Later, it becomes increasingly clear that that he is a horribly unreliable narrator for reporting his own mentality and motivations. It is just an internal act that is basically middle schooler syndrome where he convinces himself he is an evil powerful dom because of family issues. His true character is more of the "you gotta help the girl" traditional shonen hero, who merely wears the trappings of a... more>> porn protagonist. He spends a large amount of time doing complicated plots to improve the girls' lives (which he tries to write off internally as getting rid of a problem... but no, he is just a nice guy).

Once the girls come to realize this, his attempts to play dom are subverted through aggressively sub female protagonists. In summary- male Tsundere middle school syndome sufferer.

Other things to watch out for- butt stuff. Main focus is that- the author's fetish it seems. Sooooo... that I can see as a more legit turn off for some people than the protagonist. PS- no a little to actual NTR against the childhood friend, despite the initial set up- that shipping wasn't actually going anywhere it seems. Which plays into the various problems the protagonist has to deal with. <<less
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To Be a Power in the Shadows!
April 30, 2018
Status: c8
Summary of the image- imagine Batman fighting the Illuminati. And there are 7 bat girls.

This is not a summary of the setting... But the protagonist doesn't actually pay attention to the setting. The protagonist has a literally fatal case of chunni, he reincarnated, and the he continued playing Batman while making up a fake setting.

The joke of the series is that his setting was accidentally true, and he creates a powerful secret organization to save the world... All while assuming that he is just playing Batman and catching random bank... more>> robber #261. <<less
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History’s Strongest Senior Brother
September 1, 2016
Status: c11
History's Number 1 Founder is refreshing since it has a trickster trying to fulfill a support role and allow his 'protagonist' disciples fulfill their template story. It shows how much work it would be to manipulate things so they end up so conveniently- basically, it shows how hard a job it is to be someone else's plot armor and deus ex machina.

History's Strongest Senior Brother takes a different approach. The protagonist is in a set of circumstances that completely fulfills the 'arrogant young master' archetype... and he realizes that... more>> he is being set up to be a midboss that gets killed on the protagonist's sect destroying story arc. Recognizing his position... the protagonist is trying everything in his power to avoid fulfilling his role in the story. So he uses his cheat like store of knowledge and understanding of archetypes in order to gain actual power (instead of faking it like in founder) and to try to talk his way out of getting into fights with the 'hero'.

While #1 Founder is about weaseling your way into fulfilling a destiny that you are in no way qualified for, Strongest Senior Brother is about weaseling your way out of a destiny that everyone is trying to set you up for. Both wonderfully play with the tropes of this genre, either trying to find ways to activate them or avoid them. If you have grown sick of other works in the genre, I highly recommend these two series. I cannot guarantee that they do not eventually 'become the the exact thing you are making fun of', but I can guarantee that they at least give you a good laugh as they enter into their premises. <<less
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GIANT ROBOTS. Well, maybe medium-large sized robots. I think you could probably fit most of them onto a truck trailer if they crouch. Still MAGIC ROBOTS! Even the generic dwarves and elves get spiced up since they can summon racial MAGIC ROBOTS. And a delightful jerk that pilots them! Watch a little girl pilot the little girl equivalent of a robot and murder everyone while going "HYAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Also, it is refreshing that the reincarnation is happening in setting, rather than having some earthling go to magic robot world and have him... more>> stumble his way around. Nope. Little girl is more than familiar with what she is doing. She doesn't need any cheats (well, other than reincarnation, I suppose), she just takes the small weak robot and owns you like a soul level 1 run dark souls player using a broken sword that just chain ripostes you all day. It is also worth noting that this series has an upgrade system rather than a leveling system- murder other magic robots or giant monsters, and you get magic added to your robot's pool. Spend the magic to upgrade parts of your robot. Or you could just steal parts from other robots and have someone graft it on for you. Oddly, while having a big, high level robot may seem nice, it is also noted as troublesome, since old robots tend to get 'habits' in how they move, which can make it hard to use them the way you want to. <<less
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Beast Piercing The Heavens
November 5, 2016
Status: c32
Ok, a real summary of some of the key points:
-Fairly typical 'trash to murdergod due to cheat' story. Take it or leave it. Not terribly written though, and there are no signs of fake morals get annoying when broken later in this genre (he starts off using a brick in a duel against the young master of his family). So far in my reading, his only morals are 'don't mess with my (immediate) family and don't mess with me either'.
-Cultivation gimmick: The people of his clan can summon... more>> beasts to fight alongside them. These beasts can also fuse with them, leading to temporary higher cultivation and appropriate physical abilities (ie- fast animals make you fast, tough animals make you tough). Of course he gets best beast (but hidden best beast, because 'trash'). Also, item cheat.
-Reincarnation is present; use of 'real world' soul. Has little to no effect on the story so far, although I guess it gives him enough of a psychological head start so he isn't mentally broken by the 'trash' part. Seems like it could be removed fairly easily by the writer, and equally ignored by the reader. <<less
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Shinka no Mi
August 14, 2016
Status: c52
Have you ever played a video game where they dump a ton of abilities on you during the tutorial, and you forget the vast majority of them and mostly just spam dive kick to defeat everything? That is the plot of this once it gets going. It is honestly better not to expect mechanical development of the system used in this work- the protagonist WILL get some random ability to solve the problem. This work focuses more on the social interactions, and most likely by the end, being an OP... more>> cheat character will just allow him to roll for diplomacy checks for 20 minutes while the enemy keeps on attacking him. So follow the quest of Saint "thick headed japanese MC" as he tries to forgive every enemy along the way. <<less
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Forty Millenniums of Cultivation
April 26, 2018
Status: c385
So... I am pretty sure this takes inspiration from Warhammer 40k. Good news- the novel is very, very much its own thing, and possible references are mostly relegated to its space punk melee aesthetic and the far background. It took me hundreds of chapters to really even catch onto this

There are chain swords. The main character eventually gets really into 'crystal armor' (which appears to be space marine armor, basically- not quite mecha in scale, just boosts one's abilities). There is an emperor in history (ie- very, very background info)... more>> that was super powerful, created a bunch of clones (read: emperor's children), but the empire fell apart after one of the clones got corrupted by devil cultivators (read: chaos) and it staged a rebellion. There is a delicate intergalatic balance between various warring races (regular cultivators, devil cultivators, demons that eventually turn from beasts into proud young masters at higher levels)

Despite this, it is very much its own thing- that is because of its genre's focus- xianxia often avoids the grimdark since even nobodies can train and potentially become a living WMD. Additionally, the magitech setting is not isolated like in WH40K, and everyone can benefit (they have trains, iphones, internet, etc available to normal people). So the mood stays far more positive and hopeful, and avoids the grim dark. You mostly get a nice sense of firm determination and hotbloodedness, as well as mundane interactions that ground it (the sects are basically companies, with stocks and everything; it is just that sometimes they balance the budget by having the CEO hunt demons for materials). <<less
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Carefree Path of Dreams
April 22, 2018
Status: c86
The series is good with a clear mental path for the character (usually revolving around 'clearing up loose ends'; which makes him shoot right past a lot of the steps in the usual 'revenge by villain faction' cycle).

Things eventually get weird because the author introduces more systems. First, the progagonist is a reincarnator has a stat/skill system unique to him because of course he does (this also ends up going into a 'lets be a farmer' start of the plot). But this is easy enough to write off, and it... more>> doesn't exactly clash with the regular 12/13 level system in a 'special technique and level' focused setting every one else uses. Those compliment each other well, since he mostly just gets to see his progress bar for training and he uses available, if rare, items to boost his stats.

But then the author adds alchemists and spammy spell casters. These new guys START OFF at the same about power as the peak level martial artists (but it is written off as 'high stat requirements to join' and the martial art system lets relatively normal people build up to that power level).

Then things get reeeeeallly weird

Spoiler

The titular system is brought in about 70 chapters in- dream master. Which allows you to go into dream worlds... which can have their own cultivation systems (the one in the first world it is pretty silly, with like....20 distinct level names and things like 99 tribulations in a 'we have cool magic items' setting; very dream logic based, so that is easy to write off). At first, this seemed like it was just a "lol, do whatever" method of training your mind/soul/magic- you can do whatever in the dream world without worrying about dying or hostages. There is also an hint that he can set the setting, so he can make his own scenarios to live through.

But then, the character brings up how dream masters can bring certain things into the real world if they 'follow natural laws of the real world'. Which seems more like he is modding skyrim and he can only insert certain files of the right type. This makes me realize that the other systems in the 'real world' are probably just things that dream masters imported in.

[collapse]

Generally... don't come for the world building of cultivation, because the author throws monkey wrenches into that. Stay for the protagonist that can follow the plot and plans to cut it off. He is fairly goal oriented, and he would honestly stop with the sneaky stuff if people would just stay off his lawn. <<less
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If nothing else, this has nice mechanics most of the time. As in, the magic system is based upon justifications of natural physical forces that just get manipulated by magic.

So fire needs fuel to burn things (at least at low levels, where most non-main characters are at), so everyone thinks it sucks since they don't have lighters like that one x-man villain. The main character works with electronics, so he knows a lot about lightning magic (simulating things like lightbulbs, or electrical heaters). Overall, knowledge is power here, where... more>> understanding basic sciences allow you to pull off more varied magics.

So if you want strong mechanics, it at least has that going for it. But for actually intense battles, or character development... eh....... This is more of an RTS than an RPG- a lot of the action is the protagonist zipping around various maps making sure everyone is doing well with their battles, and giving back up when they are in trouble. <<less
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