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- One Piece - Doin' Time by Y St. Ace - I have been carefully avoiding the bulk of One Piece fanfic (not that there is much to avoid, mind ~_~), because I'm only up to the Sennenryuu arc in the anime and I really, really want to avoid spoilers if at all possible. However, this fic was set in the Arlong arc, which means that it was safe for me to read and I'm glad I got to, because it was a lovely little fic about Nami and the kind of atmosphere she had to put up with during that time. The little details of the atmosphere (the way the fishmen or Arlong treated her, the way she dealt with them, the details with the card games) were wonderful, the writing was lovely and flowed so well, and the writing... subtle, yet powerful. It reminded me of the series itself, actually. It's not loud or flashy, but it reels you in with the good story. (No warnings/pairings, some Arlong arc spoilers.)

- One Piece - What Do You Do With a Sleeping Swordsman? by solderini - I could not stop giggling throughout this story, it was a hysterical little humor fic. I loved the sense of... well, I hesitate to use words like "zaniness" or "whackiness" because they seem to trite and cliche, but this was really off-the-wall sort of humor, much like what's presented in the series itself. I could just see the whole thing happening, I loved that the characters were so wonderfully themselves... because this is the kind of thing that's made me fall in love with the series. Even when they're doing shit to each other, they're still a crew and still friends. Even when they're annoying the fuck out of Zoro each other, you know they're still the best friends they could all ask for. Plus, it was genuinely clever and I cannot stop laughing at What do you do with a sleeping swordsman / Earl-eye in the mornin'?. Poor, poor Zoro. XD XD XD (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Nakama by Shiru-chan - Oh, this was absolutely perfect for a One Piece story--one of the series greatest strengths is the bonds between all of the characters, that they are all friends with each other and any two of them can have touching, heart-warming interaction. This story makes me sparkle because the characterization is spot-on, because I can see this sliding into the pages of the canon series so easily, because the writing was gorgeous and really captured the feel of the series. Nami and Usopp's interaction... I really can't rave enough, because it touches on their back stories, the things they surprisingly have in common, shows the friendship that makes this crew so strong. Lovely story. (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Size Matters by Talya Firedancer - This was just a fun little fic that I really enjoyed now that I've actually seen the Little Garden episodes. What I liked about this--and about the episode itself, really--is that you could see it as purely gen if you wanted to or you could see it as yaoi-ish if you wanted to. Even beyond the yaoi potential, the dynamic between Sanji and Zoro is one of my favorites of the series, because they annoy the hell out of each other, but would still stand and fight next to the other like ANY of them would. Thinking about it... that's one of my favorite dynamics, I'm not really a rival slash person unless I know that they could put their rivalry aside when they need to. Anyway. The point I'm getting at is that this was fun, I could see it, it was amusing, it had Zoro and Sanji being such men in it, and it was written wonderfully. I could just see the end scene sliding right into the pages of canon, too. (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Shitty Old Man by annonymouse - I admit the writing of this story was a little rough and could have been polished a little more to make it great instead of good. But the actual content of the story, the actual characterizations were very nice, I could really believe this could be what happened with Sanji when he goes back to the Baratie after travelling with Luffy-tachi. The details with Sanji's entrance and the letter and Zeff's things were all very well done and the banter was very good. A very solid story. ^_^v (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Sharp and Pointy Things: A Tale of Machismo by Asenath - Oooh, now this was fun and wonderful. Sharp, clever writing that was both genuinely hysterical and wonderfully in character writing that played upon Zoro and Sanji's backgrounds and personalities to draw them together. They were both such guys here and the little details were fabulous and the writing was great. The characterizations were sharp and I could absolutely see this and I'm gushing now, aren't I? ~_~ Anyway, what I really liked is that this story touched on their backstories, the tough events they've gone through, the things that made them who they are today, but without dragging it all out and basically giving us a flashback. We all know, they move forward with these things... and that's what this story did. Which is an odd thing to compliment, I know, but I like it when authors can just touch on the necessary parts of a backstory, when they can reference it and we GET what they're after without them having to draw us a map. I fawn. (No real pairings/warnings, but could be Zoro/Sanji hinty if you wanted to see it that way.)

- One Piece - By a Kiss by Croik - It was so much fun to sit down with this fic because it's both long and because it captures the feeling of the original series itself so damn well. The original characters, the fantastic amount of details, the fabulous characterizations (especially that the entire crew is present here and they're all a team in that way they are in the series itself), the sheer amount of... culture presented here. And not to mention it's actually a good story. Now, I admit that the writing was a bit stilted at the beginning, but the more I read, the more the writing smoothed out into a nice, readable style that actually reminds me a lot of the style of the original manga/anime in a way. It's... hard to explain, but it has a lot to do with creating this world (and, damn, this is one of those stories that actually could have happened in the manga, that's now OP-ish it felt to me) while still telling a story that's about friendship and excitement/adventure.

The characterizations also feel spot on to me, the author especially does a great job with Zoro. Right from the beginning, right from his first challenge with the dojo master (I was just... enamored with the details of this original character, with the bird's nest in his hair because that was such an OP thing to do. XDXD), I was very taken with the author's characterizations, because they felt right. The plot is fantastic as well, I'm genuinely curious about where it's going and it's wonderfully thought out so far. You can tell by the way I'm gushing over this that I think it's one of the better OP fics out there, probably the best I've read plot-wise for this series. ♥ (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Overboard by X-parrot - There are a lot of things that I really liked about this story (most certainly that X-parrot is a good writer and can characterize the entire crew wonderfully), but I think the thing that most stood out for me was the atmosphere in the fic, the way the tension (especially in Nami and Usopp) could really be felt in that sort of... thing that you knew that wasn't quite right but you couldn't put your finger on it exactly. I was also really impressed with the description of the storm, because details that weave a picture, rather than someone sounding like they're reading off a list of details, like that always make me seethe with envy sparkle. ^_~ Plus, the characterizations were great--I really liked Nami and Zoro especially for some reason. Zoro's reaction to the bad news especially made me nod along and just picture him. Want moooooore of this one! *whines* (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - rain by Shiru-chan - You know, I'm not sure how to describe this story (Beyond "So, it's mostly a flashback story about Sanji's time on the Baratie when he was younger, and there's this girl that floats by and they rescue her...." >_o), but I find myself really liking the... hmm, it's not quite 'simple'-ness of the story, but it's one of those things where it feels like it could really and truly slip into the pages of the series. It helps that the author's style is very smooth and readable, that her takes on the Baratie characters is really rock-solid (I especially enjoy her Zeff, who felt incredibly IC to me.) and it's just a fun, smooth read that I can believe. That doesn't happen often enough in this fandom. ^_~ (No warnings/pairings, not really.)

- One Piece - An Officer and Some Gentlemen by Y St. Ace - I admit, a part of what made me hesitate to get into One Piece fanfic for awhile is that a lot of it was about minor characters that I didn't have nearly the attachment to that I did with the main characters. However, something about Smoker appealed to me, from nearly the beginning of the Loguetown arc, so to see fic about him is a wonderful thing indeed. And this fic is genuinely funny in that One Piece sort of way--somehow wacky and a little bit zany without being obnoxious about it. Also, the author's sense for comedic timing really comes across well with this fic, Smoker keeps cracking me up as a beautiful straight man to the oddness around him. Plus, the characterization sparkles, really wonderful writing, and just an overall sense of fun. This rec sucks, but the fic does not, so even if it's not about the Straw Hat crew, GO READ IT NOW. ♥ (No real warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Drabbles by Icka M. Chif - I ♥ Icka's drabbles for One Piece, because they're often these little snippets of fic that just brighten my day or make me laugh or scratch the itch I have for a good OP (gen) fic. It helps that she does a variety of interaction with the characters, it's rarely the same characters again and again, and also that they're genuinely clever and really fit with the series. The one about the cabbage still makes me laugh and I can picture it so clearly that I sometimes have to stop and try to remember if it was something I read in the manga or read in a fic. I love it when an author can do that. (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Overboard by X-parrot - (chapters 03 through 07) Yes, yes, I already rec'd this story before, but it's my archive I can rec something twice if I want to. >:P But mostly the reason I want to re-rec this story is because the first two chapters of the story were good, completely hooking me and wanting to read more, impressing me with the sheer adventure of the writing, but these last five chapters? Sheer OP-style brilliance. I kept reading the story and thinking, "Luffy can't be dead! He just can't be, because that would mean Luffy was dead and no no no no!" But then, two seconds later, I would be thinking, "But he went overboard and they've been looking for days and there's no sign of him and he sinks like a rock! He must be dead!" I couldn't possibly imagine how the story would end without it being a cop out, without it being jarring and overly angsty, or WHAT. But the ending? I am so fucking (ha ha) onboard with it that I had to crow about the fic. Again. Plus, you know, good writing, great dialogue and characterization, fantastic scenes, perfect tone, blah, blah, blah, all that, too. ^_~ (No warnings/pairings, really.)

- One Piece - The Lion and the Lamb by Quatrina Raberba - To be perfectly honest, the Zoro/Luffy part of this fic really felt forced to me. But, in keeping with that same honesty, that could largely be because the pairing doesn't work for me and I don't know how it would come off to someone else who liked the pairing. But I also sympathize with that it was kind of necessary given the plot of the fic and it really wasn't the point. The point? That Zoro kind of scares Usopp early on in their journey. And I loved Usopp trying to rationlize with himself, trying to convince himself that Zoro wasn't really that dangerous, it was gorgeous characterization. Plus? I laughed at the ending and I think you can read this fic just for the gen aspects of it, which is a really wonderful fic. (Some Zoro/Luffy in the background.)

- One Piece - The Going Rate of Pirates by X-Parrot - I loved this. I mean, I love a lot of stuff X-parrot writes, but, man, she makes me so happy in the One Piece fandom, because she just... nails the characters. Anything of hers that I've read in the fandom, I've come away from the story thinking that it was absolutely perfect, that I couldn't have asked for anything more. This is a conversation between Nami and Vivi on their way to Little Garden and it was just... everything was grand, really, from Vivi's fearful expectations to Nami's handling of her to Nami's views on her nakama to the little touches present all around them. Vivi... her reaction isn't something that just any author could pull off, I don't think, because it would have been BAD with a lot of authors, but here... it worked and seemed so incredibly natural. And Nami... lovely, lovely Nami was so very much herself and I squee at the humor (especially her attitude toward Sanji's behavior)... and I'll be quiet now. >_> (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Seven Deaths by X-Parrot - I read all nine chapters of this in a row, pretty much just rivetted to the screen. Everything I've said about X-Parrot's writing before still holds true with this series--amazing characterization, beautiful writing, incredible suspense and drama (the atmosphere to the piece has been amazing, really, I can FEEL the tension and pain and ache of all the bad parts and the sweetness and gentleness of the lighter parts), and a sense for world-building that's really necessary for a story like this. The culture of the people Zoro and Sanji get involved with are well-done enough that I can believe that this would happen in between the pages of the manga itself, not to mention... holy fuck, what a ride. Zoro and Sanji's antagonistic relationship is gorgeously preserved here. For someone who's been skating the line between yaoi and gen with these two lately, it's PERFECT.

The story is very much Not Yaoi and I'm not really reading between the lines to find it, but... it's hard to put this into words. It appeals to what slash often appeals to me for, you know? Meaningful Relationships Friendships Between Guys Who Are Still Acting Like You Know Guys. They bicker and fight and snark, but they'd go to the mat for each other in a hearbeat, because they're nakama and they don't have to pound that into our heads, we KNOW. Just by the way Zoro sticks around and keeps snarking, providing a wordless sort of support, just by the way Sanji lets him... and finding out the reasons behind some of their motivations (like why Sanji did what he did) are beautifully done. Intense, moving, touching, suspenseful, fun, painful, and all of those other adjectives I can gush out onto X-parrots' shoes with my fangirl wibbling. ^_~ (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Sitting on the Waves by Sgamer82 - I'd never read this author before (seeing as going through the One Piece archives on FFNET would probably make me CRY or swear off the series forever), but when she updated her story recently, I decided to give her other (complete) one a shot and... well, the first time I tried to write this rec, I wound up just squee'ing my head off because the story has everything I want in OP fic! *twirls* There was rock solid characterization (the author just NAILED what makes the characters so much fun to see interacting with each other), there were ACTION SCENES that totally captured the feel of the original series (when Robin was fighting against her villain, I could just SEE the whole thing because the author really 1) wrote action very well with all the right descriptions, 2) knew Robin's powers and HOW to use them, 3) did it in such a way that I BELIEVED this is how a fight in One Piece would go down, and 3) made it INTERESTING--it wasn't an easy fight and she didn't do it on her own... the exact same thing applied to Zoro and Sanji and Luffy's fights, too), there were moments of humor (Sanji and Chopper's bickering right after Sanji's fights completely cracked me up XD), and there were also moments of HEART. The main theme of the story was friendship (along with a side-dish of second chances) and there was no obvious favoritism played between the characters and it just... so beautifully captured the FEEL of the OP series (along with some gorgeous Luffy - Nami interaction that made me really happy to see--even if it was completely on a friendhip level *twirls*) that I'm pretty much reduced to gibberish in my attempt to describe why I liked it. Really, a must-read if you like the OP series. (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Won't You Come Home? by karaleyn - This was... a cute story and it's nice to sometimes read a story where Usopp gets to be the center of the fic for once. The thing that really caught my attention with this story is that you can feel the author's affection for the character (and the rest of the crew as well), that she's got a lot of enthusiasm for the story she's telling and it's something I get from the manga itself. And the friendship between all the characters was nicely presented (especially the way Usopp sees/interacts with them), making this just... yeah, a cute little fic that was fun to read. ^_^v (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Seven Deaths by X-parrot - chapters 10-14 - I'm probably going to wind up repeating myself a lot in this review (And everyone probably knows that X-parrot has finished the fic and already read it, but I don't care, it's my journal/site and I do what I want with it! ^_~), but I had to give my thoughts on the final chapters, because the endings of One Piece stories are some of the most important stuff in the series. And that's what I love so much about this fic--it COULD have been something in the series itself, that's how well the characterization is nailed and how exquisitely perfect the friendship between Zoro and Sanji is. They're not friendly, but they'd fight back to back in a heartbeat, all the while snarking and hurling insults at the other--and that never really wavered here. And, oh, man, what they both through is genuinely gut-wrenching, even if we never see the majority of the ouchies. (Which works better, in a lot of ways.) The last few chapters were just... the emotional impact of them was stunning, I FELT along with the characters, how much Sanji still ached, how much Zoro was pissed off and frustrated because Sanji was a FRIEND and this was all SO STUPID, yet it WASN'T, and just... the final scene in the kitchen... I think I was one big knot over that because what they were both feeling was so incredibly close to tangible, so socked-in-the-gut feeling that I am kind of in awe of this story.

It's massive angst, but it's the kind of thing where... they never wallow, they never pity themselves (not really), they act like the One Piece characters about it, and THAT is why it affected me as much as it did. (Plus, the snarking! Actually CLEVER and SHARP dialogue! Wheeeee! Yet it's THEM and even has their speech patterns down! *delights in*) Plus, I delight in the little details of the priests and the culture of the island helped bring the story further into focus--the little details of the robes or the beads or the rooms or anything never really felt tacked on or in that "WHEEE! I am creating a WORLD here! I shall describe everything for three pages!" feel I've mentioned before, they were woven into the storyline, part of the natural flow of the storyline. I have deep love for something like that. And just... above all that, above the details, the emotions, the characterizations, it was a GOOD STORY, standing as one of the best out there, right up there with "Drawn" or anything else that has an actual PLOT. (I suspect it might just be my favorite simply because the writing is so gorgeous, too. >__>) (No pairings, I'm not really sure I should warn for anything that wouldn't be in the series itself.)

- One Piece - Day in the Life - Sanji and Day in the Life 2 - Sanji's Yaoi Special by Celeste - I'm going to put these two together, despite the first one being gen and the second being yaoi... well, really, just because it's easier for me. ^_~ But also because they're sort of the same theme and most people who enjoy one will enjoy the other. I love that these two fics sort of illustrate... both the way the Going Merry crew interacts with each other (the way Sanji can tame just about anyone with a cookie or punish them with a good, strong kick or overly spicey food--the mental image of Zoro drinking all that water cracks me up XD) and because it illustrates something I love about the One Piece story--there are all these little moments that are just so much fun and clever and heart-warming and even during the most routine day, the Going Merry crew is a fascinating bunch. The running tally of who beats more enemies, Zoro or Sanji, made me laugh so much, because that is just SO something Sanji would keep track of (hell, they'd both keep track of it XD) and the way, in the second one, Vivi and Nami liked him more now that he kissed boys, but he still got no action. Just... much love for the stories that have so many FUNNY little details. (Gen for the first, Zoro/Sanji for the second.)

- One Piece - Cataloging by X-parrot - You know, sometimes all I really need is a short little fix, something that just... hits the right marks with the One Piece characters and I'll stop feeling so deprived with the fandom. And this really did that for me, because it was just... bwah, I could hear this conversation happening on the Going Merry, I could just see Zoro's expressions as it unfolded, and it was one of those things that just... it made me laugh and made me feel happy/warm at the same time. <3 (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Stupidity by incandescens - This was such an interesting story about Nico Robin, fitting with how little we know about her, but not feeling deliberately vague during that final fight with Crocodile and Luffy, as she was bleeding from Crocodile's attempted disposal of her. It just... it hit all the right notes, her fascination with history, the way she knew what she'd gotten herself into with Crocodile, the way she shouldn't have known how it would turn out, the glimmer of interest in Luffy that was so smoothly done. It just felt like Robin here. ....boy, I'm really overusing that "felt" word today. But it fits. (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Bound & Determined by X-parrot - Eeeee! Oh, one of the things that I love so, so, so, so dearly about Zoro - Sanji interaction fic is when the author can get down the dialogue that both makes me laugh AND makes me perk up because it's so... action-y, much like the characters themselves. And X-parrot writes that dynamic wonderfully--Zoro and Sanji never get along very well, constantly sniping at each other, but it walks that fine line between two people who genuinely find each other annoying, but are still friends/comrades, who'll go to the mat for each other, even if they're bitching the other out the entire way. Her dialogue is genuinely clever and is that a TBC I spy? Oho, I definitely want more of this because it's just... that light-hearted One Piece action/friendship dynamic that made me fall so hard for the series in the first place. (Not really any warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Reckless by starah - Have you ever done anything completely reckless? Something so strange and bizarre and so out of proportion not even you realise or understand what you're actually attempting to do? I suspect this is another story that... mm, well, first of all, I wouldn't really call it Luffy/Nami, but you could read that into it if you liked (as the author states) and I suspect that it's a story that you'll probably get the most out of it if you really like the dynamic between Luffy and Nami as I do, but it's also a really good gen fic, too. Nami thinking about Luffy, all the things she considers and all the issues she has with trusting people and the way Luffy just sort of blows through all those without even realizing what he's doing, that when he looks at you and trusts you so completely you can't help but trust him back. Even when you probably should know better. But you do and he never, ever lets you down. That's one of the most touching things about One Piece and it was so nice to see it illustrated in this fic, especially knowing what happens just after when this is set, when Luffy climbs the Drum Island mountains with Nami on his back. (Not really Luffy/Nami, but I'm sticking it in both that and the gen sections.)

- One Piece - Lunar Cycle by X-parrot - I think the thing I loved most about this story is that it was just so... Nami. In the way she treats her crew--so casually mean sometimes (not that they don't deserve it, mind XD) and yet you always, always know she cares a lot about them. It was nice to see her having a moment with several characters--a quiet conversation with Zoro, a soft moment with Sanji, poor, poor Ussop and Luffy (especially Ussop trying to explain what "wrong time of the month" meant), and combine that with really funny dialogue/situation and a pitch-perfect ending. Because I could JUST SEE THAT. Really, it's gen fic the way gen fic should be with this series, I think. Spot-on characterization and FEEL for the series' tone/style. And, really, Nami casually punching Ussop and Luffy, only to have Sanji immediately compliment her, "Nice trajectory, Nami-san!" and go flying himself is GREAT. XD (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - No Side by Tsunade115 - I have a strong fondess for Smoker that I'm not sure where it came from, but still runs strong even now. This fic was a very nice look into his character, especially nice for the way it presented the dichotomy of how strong he was, but how fairly low on the Marine totem pole he is. Smoker's character here felt right to me, that I thought the author understood him well and then wrote a very smooth character piece on him. Not much happens, but it's an interesting insight into the character with some absolutely charming moments. Smoker voicing his feelings to his commander on the line or the reasoning behind stationing him in East Blue were all especially nice little touches. <3 (No warnings/pairings.)

- One Piece - Bound & Determined (chapter 3-end) by X-parrot - So, I read the first two chapters of this previously, but I kinda slacked on the whole One Piece series until recently, when I went to tempt Jenn-san into the series and, of course, immediately had to sit down with the rest of this story because I love X-parrot's take on these two characters so very much. And what you get with this story is beautiful h/c (hurt/comfort) fic, the likes of which I so very, very rarely see these days without romance attached, much less with the intensity of this story. The author captures the feel of both One Piece and of these characters, of the way they snarl and fight with each other, the way they constantly insult each other, but there's the underlying thread of being crewmates that never wavers. They'll yell and fight and insult each other until they knock each other senseless, but they will also never turn on the other, which never even has to be said, the thought never crosses your mind while reading. I love that.

But it's also the genuine quality/cleverness of the insults and snarking that makes this story such a treat to read, the way the author never loses who these characters are, not even in the most dire of circumstances. When things are bad, when they're wounded and it does look like there's any way out of this, they are still Zoro and Sanji. When they're done, when they're okay, even then, they're still Zoro and Sanji, never softening their personalities or attitudes. Yet, at the same time, after events like this, there's always some small difference, some small connection, some small hint of maybe something if you want to read into it. Meaning, this story isn't slash, but if you're so-minded, you could squint and find hints of maybe something under the surface.

Even aside from that or the fact that these are two of my favorite characters (Though, really, how can a person choose? I love all of the Strawhats.), this story is just so well-written--the prose is fantastic, the dialogue is crisp yet still so in character, the ouchies of the h/c are effective and exactly the kind that these characters would get into. It's not just a random cookie-cutter ouchies scene, this was, again, Zoro and Sanji. I just... yeah, flailing with the OP love over here. (No warnings/pairings, it's not romance, but I'm putting this in the Zoro/Sanji section anyway.)

- One Piece - The In-Laws by Jaelle - Heeheehee, I loved this, it's just so... One Piece-like. It's hard to describe it without giving the whole thing away, but it's set about ten years in the future, with the marraige of Koby and Rika ("the little girl who feeds Zoro riceballs WAAAAY back at his first appearance") and... well, you can about imagine all of the batshit insanity that's going to happen given the setting. Jaelle does it beautifully, too, the kind of writing that has just the right amount of details, heart, amusement (Koby and Helmeppo arguing at the beginning is priceless <3), and batshit insanity that I could just see this happening in the actual series itself. And, god, the ending. So much fun. (Koby/Rika.)

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