- Dragonball Z - Lisalu's Fiction [ Found: Forever Archive ] - In the past few months I have found I have little attention for anything that's not Dragonball Z-related. I am utterly *fascinated* with this show, and I don't want to read about anything else. (Well, there was that short Slayers daliance....) Whenever I sit down to read something else, I invariably go back to my (all too quickly dwindling ;_; ) pile of DBZ fic. I just can't get enough! Which is why I'm thankful for authors like Lisalu that they're providing me with the fix I need. And she writes what *I'm* interested in. Ie, Vejiita. And his relationship with Bulma. Her characterizations are great; she doesn't shy away from the darker side of Vejiita, embraces it, actually, but also paints him as the complex, interesting character that he is. His interaction with Bulma is wonderful as well, a shining example of what I love so dearly about this pairing--despite her being an itty, bitty, weak-as-a-kitten human and him being insanely strong, she doesn't hesistate to yell at him when he needs to be yelled at. She doesn't hesitate in it, either (at least not unless hesitation is warranted by the story), and you *believe* that she'd do it and that Vejiita would listen to her. That's not an easy thing to pull off. Lisalu's plots are nicely complex (unless they're meant to be fluff, of course) and generally pretty darn well thought-out. "A Glad Day" took me the whole day to read, but, *man*, the scope of the story was awesome. It really scracthed that DBZ itch I had. I love this stuff.
- Dragonall Z - Dragonball Super Z - by Mirai Bulma and Juuhachigou - [ FFNET version ] - Have I mentioned yet that I love DBZ fic? Because I really, really do. Especially if it's well-written DBZ fic. Dragonball Super Z has been on my list of fics to read for awhile, but I took awhile in getting to it because I knew the basic concept was that it took place in Mirai Trunks' world. Now, I love Trunks. All incarnations, which, of course, includes Mirai Trunks. (Not so crazy about the GT Trunks' look, though. >_<) And I love Bulma. I also dig the jinzouningen. But I'm a Vejiita fangirl, and almost all the Saiyajin were dead in the Mirai Trunks timeline. But, on a whim, I settled in to read, since I'd read the synopses that mentioned Vejiita's name. And I'm *really* glad I did. The concept of DBSZ is a really neat one and executed wonderfully. The writing is excellent, *so* easy/fun to read that I had trouble putting the story down. The characterizations are spot on and I *believed* what they were going through. I love it when authors can take a "What If...?" scenario (or in this case a, "And then what happened...?" scenario) and truly turn it into their own little universe and do it *well*. Excellent fic, definitely recommended.
Dragonall Z - Dragonball Super Z - "Walk this World" - I wanted to rec 'Walk This World' seperately because it was really the story that got the whole universe rolling. Again, I want to say that I really dug the way the premise unfolded, it could have been cliche and a stupid deus ex machina, but it worked. And I LOVE Sneaky!Dende! The world needs more Sneaky!Dende. My only problem with the fic was Juuhachi-gou's reaction for the first half or so of the fic. If I'd killed billions of people, even if I didn't remember it, I'd still feel really damn guilty. She didn't seem to really all that much care. Sure, she was sorry about it, but it didn't really seem to effect her. It would have been nicer if the story had made mention of why she was acting this way--maybe it was too much for her? Killing billions of people is a hard concept to get your mind around, and if she couldn't quite wrap her mind around the idea, I could see her reaction better. However, her breakdown at the church and Trunks' reaction were wonderful, I *believed* that. Despite the length of the fic, I thought the Trunks/Juuhachi-gou thing was pushed a little too much at the end. I believed the slow defrost through much of it, but just after the fight with the Juunana-gou's, that was a little too much too fast for me. The fight scenes were great, and Piccolo rocked. Dude, how much do I love him? Finally, while I have no great love of Juunana-gou, after reading about how he and Juuhachi-gou came to be jinzouningen, I wanted to find some way to keep him around. ('Sides, if Juuhachi-gou could be redeemed, why not Juunana-gou?) But I attribute it to good writing that I wanted him to stick around, given my usual apapthy towards him.
Dragonall Z - Dragonball Theta by Torankusu-kaiou - I actually started this one because I was browsing the r.a.a.c archive and it was one of the longer DBZ fics that I hadn't yet read. I love longer fics, they're much more... satisfying... than the shorter ones. (I always want more. And it hurts less when it's been a nice long read.) Skimming over it, I didn't get much of a sense for what kind of writing it was (longer fics often signify a higher quality, but sometimes longer stories just mean the author spewed out the first thing that came to their fingers), but one night I just sat down on a whim and started reading. And it's *good*! The author is obviously a fan of the original series, and it shows nicely in the writing. I loved the name of the main villain, that was really clever! There was a Goku/ChiChi moment that I really loved, too. All the characterizations have been great, actually, and there's no real blatant favorite; they all get focused on. My only complaint is that there needs to be more, darn it.
- Dragonall Z - Not as Stupid as They Look - by Manzai - I know it's not fair to automatically associate any new female character with a Mary Sue character, but more often than not they are. And even the ones who rise above that still have characteristics of MSs and hence carry much of the same stigma. I thought 'Not as Stupid as They Look' might be such a fic, given that there was an OFC (Original Female Character) in the story, but after reading the story, I don't think she is. She has many of the hallmarks of a Mary Sue, but the story was written well enough that she didn't come off that way. And the story itself was an intriguing premise that was carried out quite nicely, which is always fun.
I did keep expecting Dr. Who to show up, though. ^_~
Vejiita being an uncompromisingly evil little bastard created an interesting ponderance of who to pull for. If you're reading the fic, you're quite likely a Vejiita fan, since he's the only DBZ character really even IN the story. But he's also a hateful little creature who would think nothing of destroying the woman he holds captive or ruining her entire gentle race. How can you root for that? On the other hand... it's /Vejiita/.
And about halfway through the story, the original character(s) do something that you can't really forgive them for, and while I understand their motive, they lost a whole lot of moral ground there. No matter what they convinced themselves of, Vejiita was still a /five year-old child/.
But you can decide what you think for yourself, when you read it. I highly recommend the fic (and it's sequel 'Time Warriors'!); the writing is excellent, and takes a concept that could have been a real clunker (crossovers are /so/ hard to do) and made it /work/.
- Dragonall Z - Dominion: Reprise - by SSJ Trinity - Given that this story started out with the death of Bulma, I didn't know if I was going to like this one. (Also, the stuff with the Saiyajins and Dende gets off to a slow start.) But once this story gets going, it's fantastic. The whole backplot for the fic is very well thought-out, but without being so overly complex that you can't follow it.
The entire way through the story, I kept wanting everything to go faster because I wanted to know what the hell was doing on. But the story was set at just the right pace, showing us what was happening just at the right speed and allowed the characters their proper reponses (and enough time so that the reactions were believable).
And I loved these characters. Vejiita was a big focus of the story, but surprisingly (to me, at least) some of my favorite moments actually came from Goku, who played an important (and healthy) role here.
This was another of my favorite DBZ fics, and I'm not afraid to admit I'm pining for more of the side story
*(Note: Also, read Trinsan's other stories. "The Mind of a Prince" is probably going to wind up as one of my favorite V/B-get-together fics when it's done.)
- Dragonball Z - Saiyajin by Katchan - The first fic of Katchan's I've ever read were her YYH ones; "The Seduction of Minamino Shuuichi" is still one of my favorite YYH stories ever. So when I first decided to dive into Dragonball fics, I decided to check out the (Good) Fanfic webring, becuase Iknow I liked most of the authors there and I remembered Katchan was one of the ones who set it up. It took a bit to track down the fic, but the rec.arts.anime.creative ftp archive is one of my favorite resources of fic.
Anyway. Katchan has a real gift for dialogue; it reads so /well/. I still laugh remember some of the clever bits in the story. The characters are slso very much themselves and the whole thing *works*. I read all 50 parts in the space of a couple of days--I just couldn't put it down. There are a few things I didn't care for (including the Mary Sue vibes I got off Japhia)(not that she wasn't well written mind you, but Mary Sewage paranoia runs deep), but the whole effect of the story is *addicting*. Plus, I utterly *loved* her relationships between the Vejiita family members. Ooh! And what she did with Goku and Chichi! *Loved* that.
Overall, one of the best fics I've come across. I'm just miffed about it not being done. Foo.
- Dragonball Z - Ningen by Vega - Technically, this isn't really about the Dragonball characters, merely set in the DB universe. I probably wouldn't have continued to read it, if Vega's writing weren't so good, as I'm not really fond of Original Characters. However, the first part was really cool, and I just got caught up in the story. It's an interesting perspective to take on--an AU where the Saiyajin take over Chikyuu, one particular Saiyajin becoming interested in a human female, eventually taking her back to Vejiita-sei with him, and she has to slowly adjust to her new life and her lack of ability to do anything about it. There are a few cameos (Vejiita-ou, Vejiita, Zarbon, and Frieza make guest appearances), but for the most part it was about the human girl and the Saiyajin that took her. And it's damn good. Watch out for the last part, though. It hurts.
- Dragonball Z - A Soft Breeze by Severina - Wow, you almost never find good Chi-chi fic, much less good lemon Chi-chi fic. *happy!* I love Goku and Chi-chi, they're so much fun, and Chi-chi really isn't as much of a harpie has a lot of people make her out to be. The insights into her character were wonderful, how much she misses Goku when he's gone, and the wonderful interaction between the two of them when it's just them. ^_^ (GokuxChi-chi.)
- Dragonball Z - Rabusongu by Vega - Another one of those sort-of-original-but-not fics by Vega that I've really grown quite fond of. Vega's writing is really good (which makes me wish she'd write more canon-based fics... but I've also come to like this AU of hers quite a bit), sharp and intelligent, but not too taken with itself so that it's so easy to sit down and start reading and before you know it, you've read the entire thing. (Warnings: Dark material in places, so if you're easily upset, don't read.)
- Dragonball Z - A Killer in Me by Reber - This... should not be as interesting as it is. Basically the concept is Vejiita gets zapped by a regression ray that turns him into a kid, and he thinks he's been sent to a planet by Frieza to cleanse it. Much cuteness follows as the Z-Senshi figure out that the little Saiyajin brat is indeed Vejiita. Though, I do admit that I've kind of started to lose interest after the Tsufuru-jin showed up, but I still really liked the first several chapters... so onto the recs page it goes. ^_^; (Canon pairings, references to GokuxChi-chi and VejiitaxBulma.)
- Trigun/Gundam Wing/Dragonball Z - Chaotic Equlibrium [ Fan Art Site ] - Whee! This is one of those sites that has such a solid amount of skill to it that a lot of the illustrations really get up towards official art style. It's not my all-time favorite, as I personally prefer a more delicate manga approach, but that's a personal choice, and they've done a terrific job with the anime-style they went in the direction of. The Vash image in the colored section is gorgeous, too. +_+ (No warnings.)
- Dragonball Z - Fireflies by Sholio - So. Kind of an odd story how I came across this fic. I was in such a Trigun mood the other night and was searching for new fic to read, and while doing so, I happened to see "Sand and Light" and recognized Sholio's name from her Yami no Matsuei fic "Paper Tears". (I tend to have a memory for authors of fics I really like, it's almost bizarre how many I can remember. Odd thing to be good at, ne? ^_~ But, I suppose, most people are good at that if they read enough. Anyway.) I'd seen the fic before and remember the title, but I didn't know it was by Sholio, so I clicked onto it and then onto her FFNET profile and saw, hey, she wrote DBZ fics! Neat! And some of them sounded cool, even. So, I randomly started reading one and... Jesus H. Christ! Goddammit! I ran out of DBZ fic I really liked about six months to a year ago so it is not goddamned fair to put me back in a mood for it!
Translation? Good DBZ fic! WHEE! Sholio's writing is wonderful, so very readable and clever and good. She obvious knows the characters very well and writes them wonderfully--especially Vejiita. Her take on what happened after the Buu fight, how they all dealt with it was wonderful and she balanced this huge cast quite well--though, with a heavy focus on Bulma and Vejiita, which is probably one of the reasons I loved this fic so much. GAH! Okay, I give up on this rec. Just go read this fic. It's one of those that makes me want more right-goddamned-now. I love those fics. (Canon pairings, Vejiita/Bulma-centric.)
- Dragonball Z - Eternal by Sholio - Normally, I don't like afterlife stories, because they either don't give me the happy ending I want or the happy ending is OOC and unbelievable, because the author just wanted the happy ending, too. But Sholio writes a gorgeous story here about what happens after Bulma dies and how that affects the people she leaves behind (not that we really see it, since this is almost purely her POV and she's not allowed to watch over them) and what she does while waiting for them to pass on as well. This story is filled with more gorgeous writing, wonderful bits of humor, fantastic characterization, kick-ass Bulma, genuinely touching dramatic moments, and just... a really good story. This is the reason I got so hooked on DBZ fic. (Canon pairings, Vejiita/Bulma-centric.)
- Dragonball Z - Majin by Sholio - I just adore character pieces when they're done right. This fic isn't long, but it shows the mindset of both Goku and Vejiita (especially Vejiita) during the Buu saga, just before Vejiita goes off to fight Buu alone, and the way the author has climbed inside their minds... it's a wonderful read with wonderful characterization. These are the characters that have so captured my attention, these are the characters that keep me coming back for more and more DBZ fic. (No warnings.)
- Dragonball Z - Dark Prince Saga by Sholio - Sholio says something in her author's notes that I agreed very strongly with--that most AUs weren't interesting to her because the logical details of them didn't hold up well, that they didn't seem very well thought-out. I add to this that a lot of them aren't executed very well in the storytelling process, even if the author does put a lot of thought into the background world, but mostly it's that sense of internal logic (or just plain old uninteresting logic/details) that doesn't get worked out well enough. And in this story she does carry out her alternate universe so very, very well--the details are there, but not overwhelming, and you can just see that world having come to pass and when it intersects with the DBZ world we already know... I believe that it's dangerous and a bad, bad thing.
The other two things that are impressing the hell out of me are the characterizations and the writing. The author doesn't shy away from the dark side of the evil Vejiita, shows that he is a horrible bastard, not just someone who sneers a lot. She shows us that he is a remorseless killer. The other is that the writing is great--that's the one thing that I really need with DBZ fic, I think. The writing itself, on a technical level, has to be wonderful, else it just doesn't hold my attention. I think I've been too spoiled by all the other good writing out there. ^_~ So, yeah, while this story hurts me in a lot of ways, makes me wince and want to strangle the author for being so mean... that's the reaction I'm supposed to have. XD (Canon pairings, but they're not the point of the fic.)
- Dragonball Z - One Fine Day and Fierce Fire by XmagicalX - You know... it still surprises me how much I adore this series and how caught up in the fic I can get. I was randomly surfing around this morning and stumbled across this fic and gave it a shot and... aaaaahhhhh!!!! I need more, dammit!!! Only the first seven chapters have been posted and already I'm fascinated by the plot that's building. I adore it when authors can come up with an actual plot (versus just emotional complications) and weave it together with these gorgeous little character moments and characterizations. And that's what's really hooked me with this fic--the characterizations sparkle, all of them, these are the characters that made me fall in love with this series in the first place. *sparkles* Plus! One of my other favorite things--wonderful, wonderful writing. *bliss* (Canon pairings, but they're not the point of the story.)
- Dragonball Z - Fly by Night by XmagicalX - *squeaks happily* Oh, this is also what I love in a DBZ fic, such excellent characterization of Vejiita! He is far and away my favorite of the DBZ characters (Bulma and Goku next, then maybe Trunks and Goten... and then there's Piccolo... geehhhh, I love them all!) and to see him written just so wonderfully like this is such a treat. Vejiita is a character that can be difficult to write without making him too nice or too violent, because there's a good person in there, just that he's really, really, really hard to see. Yet this fic hints at that just perfectly, combining it with the fighter in Vejiita, that Saiyajin soul that dominates so much of his personality. I just adore the way the author wrote his interaction with Goku, the way she makes him see Goku, the way he interacts with Bulma, their wonderful, sparkling relationship. ....I fawn because I love. (Some VejiitaxBulma.)
- Dragonball Z - No Need to Say Goodbye by Sholio - GT's ending... stung very much. *sniffles* As she says in the author's notes, she wanted to write this fic to make the ending sting a little bit less and I'm glad for this story, because it does help. It's wonderfully written, the characters so wonderfully themselves, but I liked it for taking some of that sting away, for making it a little bit less ouchy. ;_; (Mentions of canon pairings.)
- Dragonball Z - My Best Friend's Rival by Sholio - It's interesting. I get a certain thrill from a well-written DBZ fic that is somehow different from just about any other series, and I'm not entirely sure why. I just know that when I read a fic like this, one of those fics that captures how wonderful, intelligent, and sparkling Bulma (and the others) is... it just puts me in that post-fic bliss that I love so much. Possibly because there's a lot of brain-bleedingly mediocre DBZ fic out there, so when the real gems come along, it makes it even better. Whatever it is... this is what keeps me going back to DBZ fic again and again. (Canon pairings.)
- Dragonball Z - Bra - Evil Genius by Y St. Ace - I tend to find DBZ fic in the oddest ways. So I was loading up on One Piece fic to start tearing through and I noticed that one author that appeared on a lot of recs/author favorites was Y St. Ace and, hey, she had a DBZ fic that sounded cute! Well, it was short and an easy read and, Christ, this reminds me why I like DBZ/DBZ fic in the first place! Well written, genuinely clever, and sparkling characterization. I especially loved the line when Bra was going down the list of potential people to train her, one thing seemed to keep coming up again and again: "Stupid Dad and his stupid crappy interpersonal skills." I just giggled over this light-hearted fic because I like Bra and I like DBZ and it was good. Though, now I want more. *pouts* (No warnings/pairings.)
- Dragonball Z - Resolution by Daine - I liked this story because it was an interesting take on the idea of the fusion as well as the dynamic between Goku and Vegeta. It's a rare thing to find a deft touch with DBZ, something you'd think wouldn't mix well, but I REALLY liked this story. Vegito did not know what it was like to be weak. He had no memory of great loss and betrayal and hardship. He did not know what it was like to be beaten, time and again; he did not live with the torments of an unsavory past; he did not need to shoulder the burden of desperately trying to be the savior, just one more time, and one more, and one more. He did not have to come to terms with conflicting value systems; he did not have to face his demons, he had no family to concern himself with. I hesitated to quote something so long, but I wanted to because I thought it was the heart of the fic and showed why I took so well to it. The idea that it's something of a relief/escape for both of them (yet without it being a crutch, because neither of these characters are weak and needing to resort to this to escape their pain or any such nonsense) intrigues me, especially given how much they both really DO have to deal with that's hard on them. I also really like the ending of this fic, it's one of those that concentrates on the relationship between these two and does it well, without shoving it into a cookie-cutter mold. (No warnings.)
- Dragonball Z - Mind of a Prince by Trin - You know, I've been waiting for this one to be finished forever, because... well, normally, I don't mind unfinished stories, I always go in with the idea that there may never be any more of the fic, ever, because I know how hard it is to finish stories a lot of times. But every once in awhile, there's a story that I want the next part of so badly that I can't read it as it's being written and I have to wait for it to be finished--and seeing that this one was finished? I gleefully skipped over to read it, because Trin-san writes really great DBZ fic. And this Vejiita/Bulma get-together fic (in those three years we know nothing about) is quite possibly my favorite of its genre, simply because the writing is genuinely clever and sharp, I believe that these two characters are the quick-witted, fiercely intelligent characters that they needed to be. The story also takes its time slowly moving them towards a relationship, done in such a way that I can believe Vejiita would accept it and Bulma would want it, the slow progression from Vejiita simply staying at the Briefs' home to the UST-laden verbal matches they get into to the way it slowly changes over time. Also, the framing scenes of Dende being the one to recount the story to Mr. Popo are adorable, I sparkled every time there was a little 'intermission' with them, because it worked as a great way to keep the story rolling. Also, it was adorable seeing Dende being so enthusiastic about learning about "romantic love" and seeing Mr. Popo slowly being caught up in the story without realizing it. But mostly it's the Vejiita/Bulma snark that makes this story a fantastic treat to read, it's one of those stories that isn't just good considering the DBZ fandom, it's good, period. So, so much love for this story. ♥ (Vejiita/Bulma.)
- Dragonball Z - Second Son, Last Chance by Nora - I cannot express the utter delight with which I read this fic, because this is so perfectly, so brilliantly the Vejiita and Bulma that I love. Gorgeous writing and a subtlty to the characters that I pine to find more often. There's this sense about the author's characterization of Vejiita that gives him a real depth, right down to the way he looks at baby Trunks or the way he looks at Bulma, in their conversation. Set the day after the final confrontation with Cell, it's a lovely story about Bulma dealing with the post-fight stress, with losing her childhood friend for good this time, with the father of her child not being around, all in a way that's just... subtle, quiet, and yet meaningful. These are the characters I come back to time and again, the perfection of it keeping me reading it again and again over the years. (Vejiita/Bulma.)
- Dragonball Z - The Third Bond by Nora - Really, I can't believe I'm only getting around to rec'ing Nora's trilogy now, it's been years since I first read them and fell in love with the characters. I suppose they were before I started doing the recs thing, but still! They're some of the founding stories that shaped my love for the characters! This story is no exception--it's a concept that might not have worked with another author, the idea of a psychic bond between the characters, but here the concept is pulled off brilliantly well, I actually BELIEVE it. The author's characterization of both Bulma and Vejiita continues to be brilliant, I don't even have to try and I can hear their original voices, I can picture the entire scene, and it all fits with the characters I know, it all makes sense, I can believe these events completely without reservation. I just... sink into this story every time I reread it, from dealing with the aftermath of the 13th movie to the scene where they're flying together (which could have been another of those painfully cliche things, but instead wound up being something that put stars in my eyes) to the island that Vejiita finally showed Bulma, all of it was so painfully perfect that I mourn the lack of more writing like it. *whines* (Bulma/Vejiita.)
- Dragonball Z - Prince of the Park by Nora - Another story that I read ages and ages ago and can't believe I haven't mentioned until now, 'cause I love it JUST THAT MUCH. The author's sense of humor and timing as Vejiita takes Trunks and Goten to an amusement park is just... oh, man, with so many other authors, I would have run SCREAMING from this fic, but here I cackled the entire way through and loved it SO FREAKING MUCH. Because the author retains Vejiita's personality, I can still see him in the character and believe he would react the way he does. I also love Trunks and Goten in an amusement park, from the bumper cars to the arguing about where to go next to the HORRIBLE FOOD THEY EAT and Vejiita's views of the park, what MUST be the true purpose behind all of it... it all was written with such a deft hand that it was brilliant. I suspect I'm overusing that word, but. I'm going to use it a few more times anyway. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. <3 Also? The end? So perfect. Just... aww, yeah, that's the way a DBZ fic like this should end. (No real warnings/pairings.)
- Dragonball Z - From Bad to Worse by Darke Angelus - I think I was a little spoiled for this story, I started "A Dragonball Honeymoon" (as it stood on its own pretty well, even if it was the third in a series) before I backed up to read this one and I'd been watching a lot of the subtitled series and reading a lot of the manga. If I hadn't had those other examples to place next to these two, I suspect my view of this story would have fared better--however, I will also say that this story certainly did a lot of things that impressed me and I read the entire thing in the span of about two days. Given that it's almost 700k long, that certainly says a lot about how engaging the story is. Anyway. Getting my reservations out of the way first, my biggest qualm is that I didn't quite buy Vejiita's characterization, it struck me as a watered down version of the character. Mmm, maybe that's not quite it, more that this Vejiita was weaker than I would have liked, was more vulnerable than what I felt even the extreme circumstances called for. He felt off in a lot of places, was too quick to let the more angsty emotions overtake him, which are a lot different from the frustration and potent rage I'm more used to. There's also very definitely some favoritism going on with the story, the Vejiita/Bulma relationship is written with an undercurrent of always being better than everything else, that everyone is oh-so-wrong about Vejiita's true nature, that they're put in their place when they learn the truth. Of course, given that Vejiita is my favorite character and this is my favorite relationship, it didn't rankle me as much as it probably should have. ^_~
Okay, so after all of that bitching, why am I recommending this story? Because the author's prose is fantastic, I read 700k in the span of a couple of days because it was so smooth and easy to read that I was sucked right in. Even if I had my reservations about them, the dialogue and plot of the story were incredibly sparkling, the pacing of the story was fantastic, and the scope was perfect--epic without dragging. The author had a knack for writing a well-structured scene, the background/side characters felt very natural to the scene, so that you weren't just left with a skeletal Vejiita/Bulma scene, you had something that was three-dimensional and professional-feeling. The relationship is well-paced, they don't just immediately jump into bed, nor is the spark-filled dynamic ever forgotten, instead it thrives more and more as the story goes along. The author clearly loves both characters, gives and takes with both of them, and it was a genuinely interesting relationship that I enjoyed reading about.
This isn't meant to be a half-hearted rec, more one that I had reservations about, but still wound up thoroughly enjoying. The author was really good at weaving in background details (like Vejiita's Saiyajin memory skills, the way his race reacts to technology and the use of it or the way Bulma's company has made her an incredibly rich woman and how that affects her status in the world), at flinging problems at the couple that weren't quite so predictable, the way the funny moments were genuinely funny instead of forced-funny, the way everything felt very natural in the progression, that nothing was skimped on and this truly felt like a novel. There's a plot here and there's even sex. One of the things that I enjoyed most about the story was the way sex was worked into their dynamic without feeling awkward about it. I love Vejiita/Bulma sex when it's done well like it was here--not too graphic but not too glossed over, either. And I thought it was pretty. I'll forgive a lot for the pretty hetsex. ^_~ Oh! Oh! And one other thing I almost forgot about, one of my favorite things about the fic--Bulma had a brain in her head, she would actually stop and think about what Vejiita was saying/doing and why he was doing it, rather than just flying off the handle because the author needed extra "drama". It was refreshing to see her being sensible and smart, but still so very proud, stubborn, and hot-headed. It helped convince me a little more that this relationship could actually work in the way the author presented it. <3 (Vejiita/Bulma, occasionally NC-17-ish content.)
- Dragonball Z - A Dragonball Honeymoon by Dark Angelus - Tuning out all of the distractions of the city around him, Piccolo tried to rationalize this strange, new information. He supposed he should have been happy for the couple. Bulma had apparently found her long-awaited soul mate and Vegeta had actually allowed himself to conform to Earth rituals and make their union legitimate. As ever, the Namek rationalized the present situation with his usual pessimism: A brilliant human with an insatiable curiosity who thrived on adventure was now united with a homicidal alien capable of wielding incalculable destruction. As I mentioned in the previous rec, I started this story before I went back to the beginning to read and, in some ways, I'm glad I did, despite the way it colored my vision. I might have given up on the author if I hadn't read this story and sparkled over it so hard, because it's a lot like what I do want so badly from Vejiita/Bulma stories. In this story, they're recently married and off on their honeymoon (obviously) and it's... it's fun! Bulma has decided that they're going to have an old-fashioned dragonball hunt, meaning no super-fast flying or Super-Saiyajin abilities to hunt them down, so that they can spend time together.
Which results in one adventure after another--while none of them have the scope of the DBZ series, none of the earth-shattering danger (thus far, anyway), they're mini-adventures that are a delight to read about. The characterization of the characters has settled a bit from the previous story, so that I'm vibing better with them, Vejiita is less vulnerable and more centered/assured of himself, but without losing the fun, spark-filled relationship with Bulma. (Whom I've never really had too many comlaints about, she's always been written well, I thought.) It's another long story (just under 500k and the story is still in progress, so it may not even be half over yet) and everything I said about the author's work being so incredibly readable in the previous rec still applies here as well. Once I get started with the series, it's hard to put down, because the writing just sucks me in and is seamless enough, is richly detailed without being cumbersome or ever an info-dump enough that I lose track of time while reading.
There are a ton of little moments in the story that I just enjoyed the hell out of--little Trunks picking up on his father's language or the way he reacts to Piccolo in the first chapter are two moments that stand out in my mind, both having made me giggle madly--whether because they were funny or because I enjoyed the light-hearted sexual tension between the characters or whatever other reason. Ooh, ooh, and the chibi!Vejiita flashbacks? Too fucking cute. XD (Vejiita/Bulma, NC-17-ish in some chapters.)
- Dragonball Z - Raditz's Return by Dragoness Eclectic - A long time ago, I'd started this story, I started this story, but I can't recall getting very far into it (or perhaps I did, the ending seemed vaguely familiar, but still surprising at the same time, it's mostly that the final fight seemed familiar somehow) I suspect because, at the time, I was very much on a Vejiita/Bulma kick and if the fic wasn't about them, I was moving on to the next one. But, given how my tastes have widened since then (as I love the whole Dragonball universe, rather than just those characters), I gave this one another shot and was so very pleasantly surprised by what I found--an actual fic with plot! A genuinely interesting way to bring Raditz back into the Dragonball storyline, to evolve him, and to tell an action story at the same time.
The writing is very clean, it sailed right along for me (The first two stories in this timeline--"Why?" and "Welcome to Hell, Son" were a bit awkward, so I was surprised in the jump in smoothness between the two.) and while I spared a moment to wonder at Raditz's more positive personality, it wasn't a long moment. The author does a really good job of keeping that he's Saiyajin, of not making him a goody-two-shoes, so that the characterization felt right to me. Eight years in hell can change a character, but I still got the sense that this was someone who could have done the things we saw Raditz do in canon.
Then you add in that there's an actual plot going on--Vejiita is dead and Bulma's determined to find a way to bring him back, Gohan coming along to help her, which drags Trunks and Goten into the action as well--a veritable reason for Raditz to be there (I liked the way Vejiita sought out Raditz to watch over his family while he couldn't, it was done in such a way that I could believe Vejiita would demand it and I could believe that Raditz would agree, even given their history.), and that the story has an almost mythological element? That there's a genuine villain that they have to fight against that was actually thought out and fit with the feeling of the series? Oh, love.
There was also some utterly gorgeous characterization--there was little favoritism going on, each of the characters that had a role in the story got their time in the spotlight, each of them had shining moments of characterization that I just loved. Trunks and Goten's friendship was lovely, Gohan's serious nature and probably the only sane one among them was darling, Bulma's fiery nature and her concern for all the kids around her, even Raditz's slowly developing fondness for his nephews and his prince's son and his enjoyment of a fight, all of it was... it was just entertaining. I was quite impressed, I enjoyed this story tremendously and had no complains. :D :D :D (Some pairings, all canon and so not the point of the story, really.)
- Dragonball Z - As the World Falls Down by djFusion - I wish there were more fic about Trunks and Goten, especially after reading something decent like this. It's a nice take on what these two children must have been facing just before the fight with Buu, who was so insanely strong, how scared they must have been at that point in time, yet how much they still relied on each other. I <3 the friendship here, it's one of the best things about DBZ and this fic was nice for that. (No warnings/pairings.)
- Dragonball Z - Vejiitasei Ascendant: The Young Prince by Jeanne - I originally wanted to rec all three of the books together, but decided against it tonight because I've been reading for awhile and they're each long suckers. Not that I'm complaining because this is the kind of story that truly deserves to be this long, because the author is so talented, but I wanted something to show for all the reading I've been doing lately. And this story has been taking up the lion's share of what I've been reading lately because it's one of those stories that I cannot put down once I've started it, each time I try, I end up reading "just one more chapter before bed, that's it" and half an hour later, I'm still reading.
I've heard of this story before, but it was only available on Aestheticism and it wasn't until sometime last year that it was put back up on Geocities and I figured, what the hell, I'm starved for good DBZ fic, I'll give it a shot. Right from the beginning, I knew this story was going to be what I was looking for--the characters have their edge back, that certain quality that's missing or watered down in so many fics that are obviously based on the dub. Personal preference, all that.
And this fic captured me right from the beginning, when Vejiita had that sharp brilliance that makes him so scary, because he is the most powerful known Saiyajin and smart. But it's also that the author carefully develops her alternate universe here, how things could have gone, if tweaked just a little bit differently and then things start to snowball from there. One of my favorite things about the early chapters, when a young prince Vejiita runs off planet to go participate in a tournament of Freeza's, the characterization of Freeza is just... even though he's only in it for a moment, there's a sense of power there, but not an evil, laughing megalomaniac, you get the sense of a brilliant, dangerous person who really could rule an empire. I loved that. He wasn't cruel or malicious, but he scared the crap out of me anyway. And then! Oh and then. Through a twist of circumstances, Zarbon becomes a trainer for Vejiita (who has long since passed the power level of any other Saiyajin that could train him) and the relationship there is fabulous. Zarbon is brilliantly characterized, he's still a very dangerous fighter, he still has his flaws, but he becomes an interesting character, someone genuinely worth reading about.
When he's training Vejiita, beginning to guide him onto a path that WON'T get the entire Saiyajin planet blown up because of Vejiita's lack of control of his own immense power, a relationship dynamic starts to develop between the two and I believed it. I 100% believed this fic, that these were the characters I've been looking to read about. And, god, the writing is gorgeous, there's beautiful detail woven into the fic, so that you get a sense for the entire background world, but it doesn't detract from the story, instead it lets you focus on the characters and get pulled into their story. I'm halfway through The Chikyuu Contaminant as I write this and I think I could probably safely say that this may wind up being my favorite DBZ fic storyline. *shimmers with love* (No warnings/pairings.)