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Noxidian rated it
Lady Cultivator
January 16, 2019
Status: c98
[spoiler free]

Even though the main character is a girl, Lady Cultivator focuses mainly on her cultivation progress. We follow the journey of Mo Tiange through an exciting and satisfying narrative as she levels up. The story is uniquely angled to give readers an understanding of the problems of being a female cultivator, which is often manifested in s*xist undertones. Satisfyingly, the author addresses all the nooks and crannies of her lifestyle (except her period, lol!) and rarely leaves readers wondering about a certain plot hole or inconsistencies in detail.

Tiange as... more>> a main character is likable. She isn't your everyday shoujo heroine that goes out of her way to annoy readers by being annoyingly self-righteous or demanding a hero to save her from all the disasters she puts herself into. There are still a few tropes here and there, but they are rare and insignificant (plus the cute, fluffy moments with the male lead more than make up for it.) Tiange, like any person in real life, makes mistakes and learns from them. Within the first 100 chapters, we can already see some tremendous albeit reasonable growth in the development of her character.

There's quite a lot of dark undertones in the story that send eerie messages about not trusting strangers and staying out of other's business. Story wise, Lady Cultivator can throw in some real crazy surprises for the reader. I like what Lady Cultivator has so far, and I think it is pretty underrated. The romance starts off a little late compared to most novels out there, but it is still nonetheless exciting and adorable. I'd recommend wholeheartedly! <<less
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Noxidian rated it
Waiting For You Online
March 20, 2019
Status: c155
Sweet junior high love. MMORPGs. Blissful reunion in college.

Waiting For You Online is the enactment of the dream most of us had while playing games when we were younger. We probably met a playmate on MapleStory and got married, thinking that they were "the one." Time breaks people apart, unfortunately, and many people eventually grow out of games to confront reality. Initially, WFYO appears to be a simple, two-dimensional love story whose sole purpose is to fancy readers' fantasies of what could happen if a virtual couple met in real... more>> life. The whole premise of the ML faithfully waiting for the MC for many years was ridiculous to me at first. Some of you probably agree. Rest assured, the writing, characters, and development get exponentially better as the story hits the halfway point.

It's an injustice to say that WFYO is just a fluffy danmei, especially if you evaluate it based on its MMORPG genre. The author dives heavily into dissecting the main character's thoughts, identity, and conflicts--in fact, this entire novel is pretty much a character study of the MC. It addresses serious and pervasive problems of modern (Chinese) society: seeking an individualistic identity, rebelling against parents, fighting the stigma associated with homos*xuality, grappling with (clinical) depression, anxiety, and OCD, finding one's purpose in life, and learning to love. The MC is a medium for readers to relate to much of the turmoil that goes on in the novel. In contrast, the ML is a lot more distant from us and we don't get to read into him as well as the MC. His character is still fleshed out pretty well, but I find that his personality is nothing out of the ordinary. He doesn't manage to break free from the archetypal overprotective, black-bellied role that plagues the BL genre. His behavior in the game made me cringe a bit, but there's some decent justification for that as the story progresses.

Nothing comes easy in life, especially with relationships. WFYO does not shy away from ugly and often awkward topics such as masculinity and emasculation, social ostracism, and the infamous honeymoon phase (seriously, how many BL novels actually address this? Most relationships in this genre don't even come close to being as plausible as the one in WFYO).

To be frank, a lot of the scenes that took place in the game kind of bored me. I mostly skimmed them, since the real juice happens in real life. The tone of the story takes a huge turn after the halfway point as it starts addressing some pretty legit issues with relationships. I personally didn't mind it, especially since the emotional scenes were so well-written. The author's command of imagery and usage of details is breathtaking.

There are a few things in this novel that might trigger some PC people, but I think they're pretty minuscule and can easily be overlooked. (What I'm referring to is pretty typical of this genre, so not much of a warning here) Also just wanted to give a disclaimer that I MTL'd from Chapters 78 onwards using Baidu + referring to the og text from time to time to read some lines in Chinese. The novel was still readable and easy to understand, though it's possible that I may have missed a few things due to translation errors.

Worth reading? Yep. <<less
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Noxidian rated it
Ban Lu Qin Jun
March 13, 2019
Status: c10
This was a bit entertaining to read because of its angst, but I wouldn't say it's anything stellar. As I was reading this, I kept thinking to myself: how much longer does the MC have to suffer for over these dumb misunderstandings? The characters were never fleshed out beyond their archetypes (gentle, submissive MC + hot-tempered, domineering ML), so the whole story itself was flat. Once I finished the book, it felt like the whole purpose of this novel is to deliver some smut... Even though there isn't much to... more>> expect from this, it's a quick and short way to kill time. <<less
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