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Junjou Romantica: In Which Hiroki Learns Not to Tutor People by Eike - I had a strong suspicion before I read this fic, but afterwards it was pretty much cemented. I will read anyone/Hiroki, up to and including Shinobu. Which isn't to say that this fic wasn't fantastic, because it was and it sold me on the ship ( the sense that it's not really a ship per se, more that... well... it's complicated?) and Shinobu's characterization was perfect. But, oh, Hiroki. Poor, poor Hiroki, who has to tutor Shinobu and his life is so fucking difficult and Nowaki is not helping and there's this moment where. If you don't laugh, I don't want to know you. I would read Hiroki being terrorized (and Nowaki saying, no, I don't think so :| ) pretty much forever. (Sort of Shinobu/Hiroki? With Nowaki/Hiroki and Miyagi/Shinobu.)

Junjou Romantica: I Wish by Eike - Any fic that starts out with "Akihiko, I wish I were still in love with you." is bound to be a heartbreaker. It's not entirely depressing because it's set after Hiroki has fallen for Nowaki, after Nowaki has left for America, seemingly without word, and we all know how that ends up eventually. But it's still kind of heartbreaking to see a drunken Hiroki so lost after Nowaki's depature and being so open (for once) with Akihiko about how he used to feel, especially when Akihiko clearly doesn't know how to respond. It's a short piece and it made me smile from the humor of it, but it also made me ache for the characters all over again, a little bit, too. (Nowaki/Hiroki, mentioned Akihiko/Hiroki.)

Junjou Romantica: But Love is Blind and Lovers Cannot See by penguin474 - I'm not sure what prompted me to read this story, other than that I was on the reveals page for the junjou_fest comm and started clicking randomly. What I got was a breathtaking fic, probably the best fic I've yet read on the Akihiko/Hiroki vs Nowaki/Hiroki situation and definitely one of the best on Hiroki's character in and of himself. I've found that, over the last couple of weeks since I got into the series, that Hiroki has quickly become my favorite character and this fic highlights so much of why that is and made me feel so much for him. The entire story has a tension and a hurt from his narration, how there's such a deep welling of feelings that he tries so hard to grapple with constantly, and the writing and characterization here is brilliant. The way his relationship with Akihiko falls apart and Hiroki almost falls apart with it, the way Nowaki makes his way into Hiroki's life little by little, the way there's a grace and natural flow to the writing and characterization. All of it was beautiful. If there's one fic I want to recommend for this triangle (such as it is), I think this would be the fic I'd put at the top of that list. Or, hell, just for Hiroki fans because it's such a tight, well-written look into his character. *__* I honest to god let out a hard breath when I was finished because it had caught me up in the writing and Hiroki's emotions just that much. (Akihiko/Hiroki, Nowaki/Hiroki, R.)

Junjou Romantica: A New Year's Incident by Eike - Oh, this one was just wonderful. It's a series of revolving narratives (each one in a different scene) about the chaos that is the Junjou Romantica characters all being invited to the Kamijou household for New Year's because they really don't have a lot of family to spend it with, but this works out really well. I love the connections between the characters, I love that it's hilarious and it had me laughing outright more than once, and I love that the characterizations are all spot-on. I love that even when they're trying to make each other's lives hellish, it's done out of love and it only makes you love everyone more. I'm also impressed as hell at how the author crammed so many characters into a single room and didn't make it feel crowded or confusing to figure out what was happening where. I cannot say enough about how much I adored everyone meeting each other (my favorite was Misaki and Hiroki, of course) and how all these little characterization touches were put into the fic, how the author nailed every single character, and gave it a warm-hearted, happy-making ending. ♥ (Usagi/Misaki, Nowaki/Hiroki, Miyagi/Shinobu.)

Junjou Romantica: Because They Don't Like Hiroki... by Eike - This is just a short little piece, but it's still really fun! Because, yes, a surprise birthday party for Hiroki would be so great, especially when he really doesn't want to be there but all of his, ah, friends do because they're a bunch of bastards. So cute! <3 (Usagi/Misaki, Nowaki/Hiroki, Miyagi/Shinobu.)

Junjou Romantica: To Write a Tragic Love Story by Qatari - [ part 01 - part 02 - part 03 - part 04 - part 05 ][Note: These posts are locked, but the comm is freely joinable. You can find the fic on FFNET as well, but chapter 5 is not posted there.] I stayed up far too late reading this story because I just could not put it down until I'd devoured all of the available chapters and then had to force myself to just go to bed already. I'll warn ahead of time that it's an unfinished fic and, having been half a year since the last one was posted, it may very well not be finished. I'm clawing the walls a little over that, because I want the resolution so badly, but what's available of the story so far is just so... asd;lfkjasl;jkfffffffff I have been pining for this idea for awhile and I was even discussing the situation surrounding it a few days before I stumbled over this fic--whether or not Akihiko knew how Hiroki felt about him for all those years. This fic deals with that and all the fallout that would happen if Akihiko were planning to use the events of the year Nowaki went to America in a novel and Hiroki exploded all over him, revealing his previous feelings and the mess that Akihiko never even noticed.

As cliche as the idea could have been, this fic hit all the right notes for me! The reveal was incredibly satisfying, making me feel for both characters--my fangirl heart belongs to Hiroki in this fandom, but I don't blame Akihiko because it's not like he did it on purpose. The fic reflects that beautifully, that it's not really anyone's fault, all while making it rather painful to read at points because both of them have their "fault" in this situation and you hurt for both of them. But the best part is that this Hiroki characterization is fantastic. Well, all of the characters are, but especially Hiroki and Misaki, as the friendship between Hiroki and Akihiko is strained and their lovers try to encourage them to mend fences. There are so many scenes where I just about started giggling aloud at the humor, there were so many scenes where I just wanted to hug both Hiroki and Akihiko both, there were so many scenes where I was a little breathless at the sheer depth of emotion, there were so many scenes where I was impressed by how well the author just nailed the characters' voices and the insights into their characters. It's an idea I've been dying to have played with, all executed in a way that I think really does justice to everything that would unravel because of this, all while not making it pointlessly angsty. It's a good story, in the vein of the manga itself. (Nowaki/Hiroki, Usagi/Misaki, references to Usagi/Hiroki and Usagi/Takahiro.)

Junjou Romantica: Kamjou Dates a woman by Qatari - I was wary of this fic at first because the idea wasn't something I was sure I'd be interested in? The idea of Hiroki having to date Risako for awhile promised lolz, but in a 40,000+ word story, could you really find that much ground to cover? And I think the title is a little misleading for that. Yeah, that's what starts everything going and that's what the first half of the fic is--the hilarity of backing Hiroki into a corner where he has to go on a date with her, even though he's not exactly interested in women--but it moves on from there as well. It's about a lot more than that, centering on the relationships between these characters (especially the Egoist and Terrorist pairings) all with Hiroki pretty much at the center--which I am totally all over, both as a fan of the character, but also because it reflects the manga itself, how Hiroki is the one that connects everyone. I love the friendship that develops between Hiroki and Risako, I love the issues that come up in his relationship with Nowaki because of it (asd;lfkja;slk I love Nowaki/Hiroki so much in this fic, all the more so because it can be sweet and they still have so many things to work on), I love Hiroki getting pulled into Miyagi's situation against his will. It's one of those fics that feels like more of the manga, more of the characters I love, more of the situations they find themselves in, which is why I read fanfic in the first place.

I will warn ahead of time that I'm not sure the style is going to be for everyone, because the author uses a lot of elipses in the dialogue, both at the beginning and the end of sentences. That might drive some people to distraction, but I found I didn't mind it, it added a Japanese feel to the dialogue for me and I stopped noticing them after awhile. It helps that the author has a really strong grip on the characterization and the various issues that come up--when Nowaki finally bursts out with one of the problems between them, it's dead on for them. Hiroki's crankiness yet being a basically decent person, Miyagi being a teasing bastard but actually a caring person, Nowaki being a coy fucker at times, Shinobu being a pissy little teen who is actually kind of hilarious, the author nails all of this really well. I loved this fic to the point that... I may have made some cranky noises when I realized I'd gotten to chapter 13 and there wasn't going to be anymore for awhile. 6__6 (Nowaki/Hiroki, Miyagi/Shinobu, references to Miyagi/Risako, Hiroki/Risako, etc.)

Junjou Romantica: Junjou Fluff by Qatari - I'll warn for a few things ahead of time with this fic--I think it could have withstood a lot of tightening up, but most of it is in the variety where the author would simply get better with a little experience. There are times when the speaker is unclear in a group scene, there are times when the writing falls into cliche or lampshades itself a bit too much (all the talk of "uke day" or "seme day" is something I cannot imagine flying with Hiroki), the situations often get rather over the top, there's a lot of elipses in the formatting, etc. To a degree, some of these things are almost inevitable when you have a fic that's almost 200,000 words and I don't mean to seem unduly harsh. This is not meant to be a backhanded rec; more that I feel I should mention that it reads like one of the author's older stories and I took it in that vein. Because I read this fic almost exclusively over the last week or so, putting everything else on hold (fic-wise) because I could not put it down. The author has this incredible comedic timing and sense for dialogue with the Junjou Romantica characters that was amazing and downright addicting. I would constantly read just one more chapter--despite that each chapter is long enough to have been a signifigant fic on its own! And, despite their length, one chapter would turn into two, would turn into three, and I eventually just had to force myself to go to bed.

One of the best things about the fic is the length of story, that it covers a lot of ground and yet never feels like you're left unsatisfied; the pacing is just right for each storyline, whether it's Hiroki being an angsty moron and getting himself sick enough to land in the hospital or any of the given couples needing to work out their issues or the group trip abroad and the antics they get into there. It's half about the craziness that results from everything and half about having these characters connect with each other, both in the romantic couples and in forming bonds of friendship. I admit, I am mostly in the fandom for Hiroki and that's definitely what I took away most from this fic, but I think you'll enjoy it if you like any of the couples, because the author is very good about balancing all three couples and building on the friendships. I think pretty much every character interacted with every other character at some point!

Still more beyond that, the author managed to keep things fresh, while still staying true to the spirt of the characters--it's hard to not just neatly resolve everything after a couple of chapters, yet without feeling like the reset button was always being hit. That's one of the things I crave most in fanfic--I like progress, but maybe not everything all at once, which this fic did wonderfully! I got the feeling that Nowaki and Hiroki, for example, were a lot further along than they were at the beginning of the story, but they were still going to have problems because they weren't perfect at actually TALKING TO EACH OTHER, no matter how far they'd come. And as;ldkfjalskj Hiroki and Akihiko's friendship! And Misaki finding out that Usagi-san's friend was Demon Kamijou! And the friendship blooming between Misaki and Shinobu! All things that I love to see in an epic length fic. But also, like the author's other work, you can feel her strong grip on the characters and how they all work, by themselves or with the other characters, making them all so much fun to read about. And now... I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself now that I've finish my epic-length Junjou Romantica fic. :< (Usagi/Misaki, Nowaki/Hiroki, Miyagi/Shinobu, references to other potential ships like Akihiko/Hiroki, but this is firmly rooted in canon.)

Junjou Romantica: Kamijou Dates a Woman (part 14) by Qatari - I've tried to shy away from doing recs of specific chapters lately because it can look kind of silly when I archive everything, but... well, this fic is long enough that I think I can get away with it. Also, my site, I do want I want, and all that. But also that this chapter was kind of utterly fantastic--it has Shinoda picking up his kid at Nowaki's hospital! I didn't know how badly I needed Shinoda and Nowaki to interact on this level (because that one chapter was fine for canon, but I need it explored more fully in fic! XD) until I read this chapter and it was kind of ridiculously great and makes me hope SUPER HARD that Shinoda will show up in future chapters again. The chapter also has Hiroki trying to get Miyagi to stop being mad at him after Hiroki's conversation with Risako and, oh, man, I love Hiroki so much. Because it's so hard for him to connect with people or deal with this storm of emotions he has and yet you can tell he genuinely wants Miyagi to not be mad at him anymore--the resolution of that scene is utterly satisfying and hilarious as well! Which is what the whole chapter (and the whole fic) is about! It's really like the continuing adventures of the cast and it's genuinely emotionally satisfying! (Implied Miyagi/Shinobu and Nowaki/Hiroki.)

Junjou Romantica: So Far Away by deecherrywolf - You know what I'm still not tired of? The idea that Hiroki got around a lot when pining for someone else, that he would do the same thing while Nowaki was off in America and he had no idea about whether or not Nowaki was coming back. It's just three short scenes, but it's a glimpse into the way Hiroki deals with his problems (and also has some rather nicely written porn, which I appreciated a lot) and I can't help being that fangirl about the random guys he sleeps with because he's crushed without Nowaki. ....shut up. (OCs/Hiroki, implied Nowaki/Hiroki, NC-17.)

Junjou Romantica: Leave No Page Unturned by Faye-Naruse - A short piece about Hiroki and Akihiko in highschool, finding out which classes each of them are assigned to, in which (as the summary says), Hiroki cares too much and Akihiko doesn't care much at all. What I adore about this fic is that, even in just this one quiet moment, it's not really anybody's fault, you can't really blame anyone, and it's not like they're not both important to each other. And yet it's still bittersweet to see this, even as lovely as it is. (One sided Akihiko <-- Hiroki, implications of future Akihiko/Takahiro one-sidedness.)

Junjou Romantica: Old Men Never Lie by Faye-Naruse - I have to admit, there's something about Miyagi musing on Hiroki's type--and how Nowaki doesn't quite seem like Hiroki's type to him, but after his author friend visits, that's more like Hiroki's type--and Hiroki's reaction to this speculation that will always, always amuse me. This was just a fun little piece to read and, man, I'd read Miyagi and Hiroki antics all day long if I could. ♥ (Background Nowaki/Hiroki, implied Akihiko/Hiroki.)

Junjou Romantica: Of Secret Admirers by Eike - Is this another one I somehow managed to skip? Shame on me. (Or else shame on me for the re-rec, whatever.) But it was nice to have this morning when I was running low on JR fic to read and really just wanted something fun. Which this fic totally was! Oh, I love Hiroki so much, especially when he's oblivious to the secret admirer he has and Miyagi has fun at his expense because Miyagi is just that kind of hilarious bastard. I honestly can't decide whom I loved more here, Hiroki or Miyagi or even the poor woman who had a crush on Hiroki. This is why the Miyagi/Hiroki relationship is something I wish were touched on more in fandom because it's full of potential for screamingly funny scenes like these. (Background Nowaki/Hiroki and Miyagi/Shinobu.)

Junjou Romantica: Lessons in Cooking and Love by penguin474 - You know, for all that Egoist is my usual pairing (especially since Hiroki is the character that kind of connects all the different couples in the series), I find that stories like this one--where Akihiko/Misaki and Miyagi/Shinobu interact together--are really interesting, for the potential they have and because they're simply just fun. They're not precisely the same dynamic, but there's enough similiarities and points of connection that it makes sense to put them in the same room and the author captures that beautifully. I actually really like seeing Misaki and Shinobu interacting, I could definitely see them as being friends--and Akihiko and Miyagi are just as interesting, both being so deeply involved in the literature world. The emotion of the piece is also nicely done and, throw in a reference to Misaki finding out about Demon Kamijou = Akihiko's childhood friend, and we're all set for something that I enjoyed immensely. (Akihiko/Misaki, Miyagi/Shinobu.)

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