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toyyoda
toyyoda rated it
Infinite Competitive Dungeon Society
December 22, 2017
Status: c230
I started off loving this novel - it has a great premise, as expected from the author of Everyone else is a Returnee. This is the reason why I'm giving this novel 4 stars instead of 3, or even 2.

Because everything goes downhill from there, for the following reasons:

    1. A constantly growing harem of bland girls, that are all attracted to him because of his OPness and no other reason. I might be biased against harems, but surely this is 'poor' by harem standards, with every female character basically made from the same cookie-cutter, only decorated differently. It was when I reached the 'vote for your favourite female lead' that I realised none of them are likeable.
    2. Poor development of MC. In my opinion, he does nothing admirable apart from killing monsters and being strong enough so that no one can oppose him. His defining character traits are being calm, confident, strong, and nothing else. The novel goes from challenging and entertaining grinds in the dungeon and going through actual hardship to get achievements, to generic world-saving with a terribly fake harem.
    3. Recycled plot of 'an enemy pops up which puts all of Earth/another world in danger, but our MC is just strong enough to beat it, hence he gets amazing abilities and rewards which coincidentally synergise with his existing abilities and will counter the next enemy that comes along'. Battles are nothing beyond a display of MC's abilities and showing how he's stronger than these Goliath-like creatures.
I don't think this can be boiled down to different writing styles, because the characterisation and plot simply falls short from Everyone Is a Returnee. Overall, it's a great read to start with, but don't look for any commitment, and feel free to put it down any time as it does not get better.
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toyyoda
toyyoda rated it
Taming Master
February 1, 2018
Status: c161
Wow, who knew a story about the Summoner class could be so entertaining? This is about taming, evolving and fighting with pets in VR, a very fun and unique concept! The closest thing IMO is the Charm of Soul Pets or Emperor of Solo Play, which says a lot.

Another awesome thing is that our MC actually makes smart decisions. The plot isn't defined by long quest chains that bring him to OPness, he works for it by going to the right places (from veteran knowledge), skilful micro-management of summons, and...... more>> theorycrafting! Not to mention this guy gives pro tips to his fans ;)

I don't understand why people say this is like LMS at all. One is a summoner and the other is a sculptor/blade master, playing styles are totally different. Weed is a cold, hardworking machine, Ian is much more "human". Weed has a bunch of people that follow him for no apparent reason, while TM actually has realistic character interactions?

People with a bone to pick can go back to their sword and magic novels, but I will enjoy this light-hearted story for what it is.

Edit: The arc at chapter 200 is a bit dull so far, so I'll update my rating accordingly. For now, it's still 5 stars~ <<less
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toyyoda
toyyoda rated it
Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator
April 26, 2018
Status: c287
What happens when two people return to the past, both knowing the future? And what if, those two people are the main couple?

This novel has fireworks from the very first chapter, and I'm here to tell you that it absolutely does not disappoint, for the following reasons:

  • The main couple's romance is adorable! From the start, the male and female leads have some pretty serious misunderstandings, but they're handled in a cute way. The ML is supposed to be the 'aggressor' but acts more like an angry puppy, while the FL is chill and mature. Since they're both going through their second life together, they're practically in the same boat, and hopefully they'll come to truly understand each other by the end. (I mean, does it bother anyone else when the MC hides their 'secret' all their life, even from their partner? :/)
  • As the title would suggest, there's emphasis on both leads, as you get to see from each of their perspectives. It's actually very interesting to hear the ML's thoughts and get to know his personality, because behind his cold exterior is a tsun- I mean, a warm heart.
  • The plot line is constantly engaging, full of awesome and fun moments. The FL's cool personality lets her stand above the usual politics and face-slapping, which IMO is getting a tad too repetitive in this genre. Although you still get a fair share of that here, it's mostly light-hearted and by far not the most interesting thing this novel has to offer. However, seeing how some other reviewers had problems with the story, so I recommend reading a few chapters to see if it's your cup of tea. (It's not because I'm trying to get you hooked on this novel like I am, okay? ;D) There's also a few pleasant surprises: I didn't think of myself as a foodie, but I've been hugely entertained by people scrambling for good food while drooling over the food myself...
  • The writing is excellent; side characters are usually diverse and well-developed so they don't feel like a waste of words. The TL does a top-notch job of translating, plus the reading community makes this novel more fun to follow. So you should come and join us already, huehuehue...
I admit, this novel has one weakness: there'll be nonsensical, cannon fodder characters that pop out once in a while, but if they bother you then you should just skip... more>> over those parts, because the rest of the novel is awesome! :D

Overall, this novel should tick your boxes if you're looking for a one-on-one romance, Ancient Chinese setting and generally refreshing read. But don't be discouraged if you're not experienced in these genres, because this story has a simple charm that can appeal to anyone! Good luck, and hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as I did :) <<less
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toyyoda
toyyoda rated it
Emperor of Solo Play
February 2, 2018
Status: Completed
A decent and entertaining read, but the ending was disappointing. To not give too much away, the character development that I was looking for never happened, with most of the foreshadowing never coming to light. Oh, and there was literally no climax. It's like the author suddenly had to pack up and go so he finished the story in one chapter.

Overall, the writing and plot were OK but some deeper themes (e.g. Relationships, personality development, "moral of the story") were missing.
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toyyoda
toyyoda rated it
The Princess Wei Yang
March 30, 2018
Status: c95 part2
A heart-rending past that is gradually revealed.

Darkness that resides in every heart, household and nation.

And one woman that slowly conquers this world.

... more>> This novel really makes me think of the saying 'people are like onions' (because of their many layers). No character is morally righteous, and some are downright evil. These are the people that the MC takes revenge against, and we root for her after all the suffering she has experienced.

Her schemes are at the truly advanced level, and while it's very interesting and satisfying to read about, it also makes up the majority of the story and will probably off-put some readers. But personally, I'm tired of fluffy Chinese WNs with hypocritical leads that climb to the top while others do the dirty work for them. Like others have said, the MC is quite cold-hearted, and while I wish that she can open up her heart once more, doing this may undermine the values of the story so I respect the author's decision.

Now there have been plagiarism allegations against the author (if you're curious, I recommend a google search), but I felt that this novel was incredibly consistent in characterisation, plot-development and writing style. Let's just say that for someone who supposedly copied from 200+ other works, she did a good job of tying it all together.

Plagiarised or not, I recommend trying this novel if you're looking for a unique read that has familiar Ancient Chinese elements. The translation quality is also excellent, so kudos to all of the translators! <<less
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toyyoda
toyyoda rated it
Crossing to the Future, it’s Not Easy to Be a Man
March 30, 2018
Status: c167
Edit: I have increased my rating from 4 to 5 stars because this novel is SO DAMN GOOD, I particularly love the fact that "cannon-fodder" characters are portrayed as actual humans by the author. Instead of brainlessly running to their deaths, most go back to living their own lives (as any sane person would) , and some even undergo character development to return as better people!

Before readers start bashing me for inconsistency, I'll admit that the enemy empire is an exception. To justify the war and killing in this novel,... more>> the author decided to paint enemy soldiers as inhuman psychopaths who spout cheesy villainous lines before dying as literal cannon fodders, while the allied soldiers are noble and patriotic "white knights". But this is the only real problem I have with this novel, and war is definitely not the main focus of this story, so please please please give this novel (and my little review) a chance :3

Edit #2 (at chap 260) : Ling Lan is boss, Ling Lan is LIFE!! Really guys, don't quit just because the beginning is slow; everything after is so worth it! The last 100+ chaps were pure epicness. Who said male leads are the only ones who can look cool AF without relying on a single love interest??

Original review:

Not what I expected, but awesome nonetheless! The novel description is kind of misleading, because this is mostly a growing up + cultivation story with the romance coming in much later.

At the beginning, the plot isn't super interesting, but it's good enough to engage most readers. The characters feel very comfortable to stick around with, and solid world building means that we are integrated into the protagonists' new environment without difficulty. Although the story might have a slow progression, the author is just setting up a great foundation for future epicness (and what most of us came to see, our FL soaring over others in a male-dominated world!)

As other reviews have said, there were some problems with the sci-fi setting, and blatant Chinese nationalism i.e. Caricature of the Japanese. But trust me, this doesn't have much of an effect on the overall story unless you're highly bothered by it, so I only docked one star. <<less
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toyyoda
toyyoda rated it
Reincarnator
February 15, 2018
Status: c319
I'm so glad the TL picked up this novel again, because now I can remember how EPIC it is.

To start off, the world-building is second to none. Plot line and MC are built around the world they live in, not the other way around. Because the worlds (yep, plural) are just that awesome.

Also, the life-or-death aspect is handled so well that it makes some novels look childish by comparison.

... more>> But the real winner for me, is the sheer epicness of this story. I really can't describe it any other way.

I'll admit, there were times where this novel felt like a drag, and some things just straight up confused me. But don't stop there, because those moments where everything ties together at the end of an arc are so worth it. <<less
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toyyoda
toyyoda rated it
You’re Beautiful When You Smile
December 22, 2017
Status: c16 part2
I'd like to encourage people to give this novel a try! It has a refreshing female lead, and her interactions with the male lead are playful and cute. Gaming references are used throughout the novel, but they're explained in a user-friendly way so they can be understood by a wider audience. (But if you happen to like both video games and K-dramas, this is a must-read!)

Edit: I docked one star because some unnecessary drama was added – it would have been more interesting to see the teamwork of an... more>> esports team, or at least some interactions between the leads. I'm sure that the author will be back on track soon though. <<less
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toyyoda
toyyoda rated it
My Disciple Died Yet Again
May 19, 2018
Status: c327
This is really one of a kind, have a read if you want some unique humour, breaking of xianxia stereotypes, and a confident yet wise MC that we could all probably learn from ;)
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toyyoda
toyyoda rated it
Reign of the Hunters
May 9, 2018
Status: c198 part2
I went into this novel with a few question marks - I mean, the synopsis really isn't saying much - but it ended up being a pretty good read, and hopefully I can clear things up for you in this review. It's a bit different from your usual gaming webnovel, so it should appeal to more experienced readers, but it's also newbie-friendly with straight-forward game elements and no technical language (IIRC).

Pros:

  • It's unique for a VRMMORPG novel to have a female lead, and I think the author treated this topic with "respect" in that the MC is neither disadvantaged nor privileged because she's a woman, she can be stronger than others without being absolutely unrealistic (e.g. girl with skinny arms winning arm-wrestle against muscular man kinda scenario), and basically receives impartial treatment regardless of her gender.
  • Starting from a "villain" character is also a fresh concept, which leads us to deeper themes like morality and character development. Hopefully the author follows through in this department, because the story is more focused on long-term developments than short and dynamic arc sequences.
  • This novel is very well-written, and you'll never be confused because the writing isn't fluent or logical enough. Not to mention, the translation quality is excellent, from an unpaid translator (just saying, I'm a big fan of volare novels! :D)
  • There are some nice slice-of life elements mixed together with in-game action, and the side-characters feel very real and interesting to read about.
Cons:

  • The game design is lacking in a few areas, and some of the mechanisms wouldn't make sense in a real game.
    Spoiler

    E.g. a 'miss' mechanic that makes higher levelled players practically invincible, yet doesn't apply to mobs so MC can spend half a day tickling a boss to death, clearing dungeons is more like solving a high-stakes riddle than actual PvE action, and there's some hidden "luck" stat that affects the game way too much.

    [collapse]
  • For this reason, the boss fights were pretty anti-climatic, so I wouldn't say this is a novel that gets your adrenaline pumping.
  • I know that the MC's a bit of a loner, but we need to see more of the side characters!! The few times that the author chose to involve other characters were so good, when the MC went back to solo-hunting I was almost screaming "Oh God, WHY??". The most likeable character so far is her cousin, and he's not even a potential love interest... ORZ
  • The way the MC uses knowledge from her past life is a bit underwhelming, it's mainly borderline cheating and blackmail. I think we were looking for some more intelligent use of her knowledge that would really give this story the "wow" factor it needed. I mean,
    Spoiler

    just about anyone could exploit a bug that was previously well-known, give away the secrets to clearing bosses, or choose the most efficient quests.

    [collapse]
This isn't a perfect novel, but it's definitely worth a try to see for yourself (so what's this review for? Don't ask). I'm hoping for some long-term developments in the future (which I might add on to this review), but for now I still recommend because there's plenty to keep you interested.
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toyyoda
toyyoda rated it
Doomed to be Cannon Fodder
February 2, 2018
Status: Completed
A very refreshing novel that turns Mary Sue heroines + generic shoujo plots upside down! I think the leads and supporting characters were likeable and fleshed out very well, although I can't say the same about the villains (you'll know when you get there).

But there were a few things that made the story less enjoyable:

    • I personally didn't enjoy the romance - much of the 'bonding' between both leads felt forced and awkward (not in a pleasant way), and at times their attraction seemed superficial. Some readers had problems with the snu-snu scenes:
      Spoiler

      The couple doesn't have the 'loving' type of snu-snu, it seems like the ML mostly does it to fulfil his s*xual desires. In fact, he sometimes does it without FL's consent or against her wishes, which some readers considered r*pe

      [collapse]
      It becomes better in the second half though.
    • The harem aspect of this story felt like an excuse to boost the FL even more. It was depressing to see great characters get hung up on her rather than finding happiness for themselves.
    • The novel ends up falling into some of the tropes that it makes fun of (like a harem of amazing guys), and the plot gets kind of ridiculous later on, with plot armors and the like.
But overall, this a great read, and starts off really strong so you can get the good parts first! I also endorse more smart and cool heriones like Bai Xiangxiu! Fighting!!
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toyyoda
toyyoda rated it
The Charm of Soul Pets
February 27, 2018
Status: v2c89
Props to this author for an innovative and well-developed concept! Sure, it partly resembles Pokemon, but this story most definitely stands on its own as an original piece of work. Honestly, the characterisation and world-buildilng was so solid I forgot that it was all pulled out from one person's brain! The constant action between soul pets is entertaining, plus there's bits of foreshadowing and backstory that really make the MC and side characters 'come alive'.

However, a small heads-up: no glory should come without hardship, and the MC's path is paved... more>> with blood. The author doesn't try to disguise things like murder, and I personally like the fact that there is no moral highground. The MC has his own life and aspirations, some achieved through less than ethical means, but you'll be rooting for him anyway.

There were some things that threw me off - for example, supposedly 'difficult' tasks that were made way too easy for the MC. I mean, the author did a good job of showing off his battle skills and ability as a soul pet trainer, but the OPness dial was just turned up too high.

In the end, I'm dropping this novel mostly due to repetitive fighting scenes (because there's only so many ways to describe the same pet's appearance time after time), and the initial "charm" of the story was gradually lost on me. However, this is still a very promising read so I recommend giving it a try! <<less
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toyyoda
toyyoda rated it
The King’s Avatar
February 2, 2018
Status: c918
Love this smart, fun and shameless story! What else could you ask for? XD
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