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- Prince of Tennis - 20 Random Facts About Tezuka Kunimitsu by yuncyn - I've been cautiously poking at some of the entries for those "20 facts" things and I suspect this one may have spoiled me for all of the rest, because it is brilliantly written. Beyond that the writing itself is beautiful, beyond that it's genuinely clever, the characterization is pitch-perfect here, it's subtle and deep and brilliant, but not trying too hard, it simply is. I tend to get kind of bitchy about Tezuka characterization, a lot of people mangle his character in the fandom, but this? Oh, this gave me that tight feeling in my chest, that vague ache in my teeth that let me know the characterization hit home hard. Each detail, each little moment, whether it be Tezuka thinking about the first time he went fishing, the books he has on his shelves, or the way he interacts with his grandfather, the author cleverly weaves in those little details we know about his background and makes it work. Just... wow. This right here was Tezuka. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Prince of Tennis - 20 Random Facts About Kikumaru Eiji by Aishuu - Okay. So Aishuu writes lovely fic, I tend to enjoy the hell out of anything I read from her and, okay, sometimes I slack a little because it's Eiji and I'm all Tezukatezukatezukatezuka, but I've been trying to branch out a teeny bit and I read a few Tenipuri fics this morning and said, hey, I wanted to read Aishuu's one, too, and thus I did. Which is a long-winded way of getting to the point, but. I'm sort of in that mood where I've read a fic that makes me all bouncy and excited because it hit me, it wasn't quite what I expected, instead it was something fresher, something more crisp and, damn, did I enjoy it. Aishuu's choices for the twenty things about Eiji were fabulous, each of them added to the whole, each of them showed off a piece of a character that had real depth here. It's so easy to fall into the traps of making Eiji act like he's five, but he's not. He's wonderfully recognizable here while still being three-dimensional and realistic (as much as a character from Tenipuri can be) and each of these things I could actually believe, they actually focus on a variety of things, it's amazing what she managed to pack into this fic. I want to comment on each and everyone, it feels like. That's the great thing about this story, there's a sharp sense of canon here which is all too often forgotten in this fandom, but this reminds me exactly of why I keep coming back to her fics. And look. There. I didn't even mention that #18 sent me into orbit. *__* ....shut up, I vaguely like the idea and, oh, man, it worked here. (References to het and yaoi, but it's mostly gen.)

- Prince of Tennis - 20 Facts ~ Akutsu will kill you for reading these. by Aika - Yes, yes, I'm still slowly pecking away at the list of fics from this meme that went around awhile ago. But I read at a terribly slow pace often times. Anyway. I liked this fic, the first couple of entries about Akutsu were really sharp and just painful enough without going too far over the line. You see the violence and aggression building, yet he's not made into a chariacture of himself, Akutsu still remains human here. The various relationships he has with people, with Taka or his mother or Sengoku or Dan, they all hit the right notes and none of them are played up as too important relative to the others and there are all these fabulous little details that I could actually see with the character. Like: His smoker’s cough, however, he could do without. He’s gotten good at suppressing it, although he’s famous for letting himself hack away during long boring assemblies. Hee, yes. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Prince of Tennis - untitled? by Chrissie - As always, I have such love for the way Chrissie writes, there is beautiful quality to her prose, something that reminds me of water somehow, which is always brilliant for a story (or a set of 20 things about him) about Fuji. She's one of those writers that I can click onto her fic and just sink right into her Fuji characterization, it's so brilliant and right and rings so true that I remember everything about why I fell in love with this crazy, complicated character. And I adore, adore her Fuji family dynamics, the way I could feel the heat or the way they sprayed each other with the hoses in the ficlets and the sheer... tension between all the characters. She should definitely write more. ♥ (It's labelled 'Fujicest', but it's closer to gen, I'd say.)

- Prince of Tennis - Distant Stars by trixie - I admit, I was a little hesitant to read a fic that was labeled "Yukimura/Sanada, Renji" given that my focus has narrowed quite a lot in the Tenipuri fandom, but... well, a couple of things got me to read anyway. One, trixie's writing has long been soothing to me, she has a certain sparkle that makes it just easy to slide right into her fics and keep sailing along. Which is true here as well, I especially adored her dialogue, which felt very right for the characters. Two, the first scene was a glee-inducing one about younger versions of Sanada, Yukimura, and Tezuka playing before they went to (junior) high and it was somehow just... so perfect. Because I've long wanted to see more interaction between those two and Tezuka and trixie does it wonderfully here. ♥ But it's also that it's a nicely long fic without being overly padded, it shows the progression of Yukimura (and the SanaYuki relationship) over the years and is really well-paced. The scenes she chose for the fic highlight the evolution she wanted to get at, they were each sparkling and I could see them for the characters, the ending was utterly fabulous, and the whole thing just came together really well. I liked this a lot. (Yukimura/Sanada, but worth reading for the gen aspect I would say.)

- Prince of Tennis - The Eternal Struggle by Pengie - Every time. Every time I read one of Pengie's fics, I end up in a pile of giggling mess that rolls around because her timing is just that brilliant. I valiently held in my laughter for about 3/4ths of this fic, managing to beat it down into quirked smiles or amused "Heh."s And then that bitch beat me once again as her Yukimura and Jiroh and Bunta and everyone were just so hilariously brilliant that I burst into laughter. Christmas fic, Sanada fighting the evil holiday decorations, and, god, her Jiroh. So much brilliance she has. I wish I could steal her for all my fandoms. ♥ (Some Sanada/Yukimura, worth reading for the Rikkai aspect.)

- Prince of Tennis - A Tournament of Their Own by dijeron - I admit, the whole parody fic seemed a little strange and lacking in a point when I first started (which I mention because I want to point out why I loved it so much), but when I got to the end, I promptly burst out laughing like a crazed maniac because the line that the fic was obviously built around just hit me so hard. There's something about the setup, boys being banned from tennis because they were all too ridiculously good and the induction of a bunch of girls to play instead, somehow it really works with this series, because, dammit, there are times when it is ridiculous. But it's those last two paragraphs where the parody hits home that I just rolled around and giggled. Maybe it's because it was 3am when I read this, but I still thought it was funny. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Prince of Tennis - The Value of Giving by kleos_fic - So, for every time I bitch about there being too much crack in the Prince of Tennis fandom, I go running back when a talented author writes it, because, dammit, it's funny. This was a charming little Rikkai humorfic that made me grin the entire way through it, with clever little lines (Marui and the leggings particularily made me laugh) and that whole team feeling with Rikkai that slowly erodes my ability to resist them. Plus, the ending was just... somehow so cute. XD (No real warnings/pairings.)

- Prince of Tennis - 20/20 by Sabina - Tenipuri fic! From Sabina! I sparkle with massive love and then sort of sulk because my irrational dislike of Oshitari is in danger. Especially since there's a lot of interaction with Atobe. But I love her work more than my irrational dislike and this story is no exception. It's just so... it's so brilliant and right and this is why I fell in love with this fandom, because it gives me fic like this. Fic that isn't just a character walking across a blank screen or through a blank room, it has all these sharp details, from classmates' names to the type of drink Oshitari gets from the vending machine to the way Atobe makes an entrance in every scene he's in. The characterizations are brilliant, Atobe is this larger-than-life character without being a chariacture, Oshitari is subtle and real, rather than the easy stereotypes Hyoutei characters can so easily slip into. And, god, I was just so geeked over little things like why Atobe would be allowed to skip or the classmates' names and why they're at Hyoutei and everything else that fits so seemlessly together that I can't tell if she's making this up as she goes or she did extensive research into every fanbook Konomi has put out. Either way, everything just felt so damn right about this fic. (No warnings/pairings that I would count really.)

- Prince of Tennis - i died in a car crash by Charlotte - "Where am I?" Ryoma's voice rang from a corner. "Why does that sound like the monkey king?" And that is where I officially lost it with this fic. I mean, I have no idea how the hell to describe/classify something like this other than to say that it hit me exactly right and I was doing that sort of repressed laughter that brought a light sheen to my eyes and if the fic had gone on much longer, I may have been crying. It's just... it's such a beautiful little parody, with enough touches of humor and gentle mocking of the characters blended with lovely writing that I love it. LOVE IT. Heeheehee. ( Sort of OT5 fic, sort of not.)

- Prince of Tennis - Big Things by orpheneritus - Oh, good lord, Nanjiroh and toddler!Ryoma fic that was just about the cutest, bestest thing ever. Nanjiroh telling little!Ryoma about the future, about what kind of relationship he knew they'd have, all done in that snarky way he has, but also showing that he really does care about the little brat, that the idea of sharing this great love of tennis with his son is something incredible and important to him. The dialogue sparkles, it really does, and if I hadn't loved Nanjiroh before this.... ....shut up, I like Nanjiroh! XP (No warnings/pairings.)

- Prince of Tennis - Operation: Inui-Juice by Katharos - *rolls around on the floor, giggling the entire way through this fic* Oh, do you know how badly I wanted gen Tenipuri fic that actually fits the style and humor of the series itself? And this was brilliant, just brilliant. Eiji and Momo catch wind of Inui concocting a new Inui-Juice and 'forewarned is forearmed' and all that, which results in pure, beautiful, genius Tenipuri-style antics. I did not stop cracking up the entire way through this fic because the author really gets the characters' personalities, to the point that I could have easily seen this as an episode from the series itself. She totally does justice to the absolute fear of the Inui-Juice and the way the characters react to it and, oh, god, it WAS genuinely funny. So, so funny. This is one of those fics that I think everyone could enjoy and impressed the hell out of me becausethe author was genuinely clever about it. So, so much love. <3 (No warnings/pairings.)

- Prince of Tennis - Secret by Ilana - This was a cute little fic, one that I was glad to have read in a time when not much Tenipuri fic has been catching my eye. It was a cute little gen piece about Fuji being... well, weird in that way that he often has. I think maybe I'm a soft touch for the interaction between Tezuka and Fuji, even if it's only for a moment, but it's the kind that puts a smile on my face because not enough simple, clear, clean fic like this happens often enough. Besides, who doesn't like fun Seigaku interaction fic? (No warnings/pairings.)

- Prince of Tennis - Byzantine by aki_omoi - I should probably put this in with the drabbles, it's very short, but... I include it here instead because there's something very perfect and complete about the way it is, about Tezuka and Fuji's converation, the brilliant use of the theme around that moment in the series when Fuji approaches Tezuka. But it's also included here because the characterization is beautiful, all subtle and the ending somehow just... perfect. It reminds me why I stay in this fandom. (Not Tezuka/Fuji, it's gen, but I'll stick it in that section anyway.)

- Prince of Tennis - Lessons Well Learned by aki_omoi - I admit, I usually hesitate over anything labelled with multiple pairings (I'm such a dippy fangirl), but I enjoyed the two previous fics by the author, I found her style to be a really refreshing fit with the series from as of late in the fandom, so I gave this one a shot. I'm very glad I did, because I get such a strong sense of... there's something to this writing, a fluidity or an understanding of the characters, a certain style that melts away all my frustration with the fandom because, yes, this is what I wanted to read. It's subtle and has this delicate elegancy to the writing that I've been seeing for many fandoms lately (Bleach has been getting a good amount of it, honestly), something that just hits me. Each scene with Tezuka fits with the depth of his character, of even those small little meaningful moments with Fuji or Ryoma, it's... I mean, what sends me into a flailing fit is that this is the Tezuka I recognize and you have no idea how rare that is in fandom. How could I not be happy with a story that starts out like this? Things Tezuka has learned, he passes on. Not vocally, for he’s always felt words are cheap and superfluous things, that a thousand pretty words can’t quite compare with one successful action - so he teaches through each every carefully planned movement. Within each serve and step, he places what words could not say, these precious lessons, these things he’s learned. I know it's a lot to quote but... yes. This is the fic I wanted to read. (Gen. But hints of Tezuka/Fuji and Tezuka/Ryoma if you want to see them.)

- Prince of Tennis - Flor de Yemanjá by Sabina - Jesus, how much do I love fic by Sabina? I was practically floating on a cloud the entire way through this fic, her Yuuta is brilliant, the way she writes all three of the Fuji siblings is brilliant, the details she weaves into her writing is brilliant, the sheer style of her writing is brilliant. I mean, this is one of those fics, one of those authors that remind me that, yeah, I would stay in this fandom for forever so long as I kept getting fic like this to read. I loved this fic so much I didn't want it to end, especially when Yuuta finally opened his birthday gift and then had to find a record player to play it on and the conversation with his roommate about where to find one was the funniest thing ever. Plus, the interaction between Yuuta and Mizuki was utterly fabulous here, Sabina doesn't play down Mizuki's Mizuki-ness, but she doesn't make him a chariacture, either, you can see why their sort-of friendship works. And his relationship with his older brother is brilliantly done, the mix of family and of his frustration with Syuusuke and the tempering of it as the story goes along. And then ending was just... the mood of the piece was beautiful, capturing Fuji's whimsy that's tinged with something more and the final scene was just gorgeous. I flail with love some more. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Prince of Tennis - Sores by Maaya - I don't normally get into supernatural fics, especially not with a series like Prince of Tennis, but Maaya's writing is so clean and lovely that she pulls the concept off brilliantly. It's even better because she doesn't take it too far, there's a hint of mystery about what's going on (but not so much that you're left utterly confused about what happened) so that most people aren't aware of anything so it doesn't stretch the premise/world too far... what I mean is that everyone is beautifully in character and the events are woven together with the series' tone so fluidly that it's like... simply adding another layer. That probably doesn't get across the ease with which this fic came across and I'm not sure how else to describe it, other than to say it was brilliant. Fuji and Tezuka's characters were fantastic and I love, love the idea. I'm not sure why, it's such a light, easy thing in her hands, but it's so... brilliant. Also, the first couple of comments are completely ♥-inspiring. (This is gen, but contains interaction between Tezuka and Fuji mostly.)

- Prince of Tennis - Uprooted - Transplant Arc 1 by Lys ap Adin - I know pretty much everyone says they have a fondness for Yuuta (because how could anyone not? ^_~), but it's true of me as well. So, I was curious about Yuutafic that was set a few years before the series, when the Fuji family first moved to Tokyo, but... I wasn't expecting something that was as entrancing as this fic was. Right from the beginning, Yumiko's narrative is lovely and the characterization even more lovely. They're such a strange family at times and Yuuta can stick out even more because he's such a normal boy, but it's all done with beautiful deftness here, nothing is too over the top, everything feels like it could fit seamlessly between the pages of canon. It's also... I can tell you that it's about Yuuta having trouble fitting in in Tokyo, it's about the Fuji family, it's about Yuuta running away for a few days, but I don't think that quite captures how good this fic really is. The characterization--of all three Fuji siblings--just absolutely sparkles and hits every note absolutely right and, oh, how I want more from this arc ♥ (No warnings/pairings.)

- Prince of Tennis - Supplant - Transplant Arc 2 by Lys ap Adin - The second part of the arc, this time from Saeki's point of view, as Yuuta and Syuusuke move away from Chiba, as they slowly settle into Tokyo and Yuuta settles into St. Rudolph's. One of the things that I love--aside from that this is just really good Tenipuri fic period--is the way it builds and showcases Saeki and Yuuta's relationship/friendship with each other, the way it's truly about them, not just about Syuusuke, even while he's still in there as well. I love the author's take on these two characters, I absolutely love her Saeki and her Yuuta is to die for and I'm fascinated by the outside perspective on the Yuuta/Mizuki relationship. I love that it actually deals with the plot (such as it is) in Tenipuri and that I really want to know what happens next, where this story is going. I find myself absolutely charmed and, yes, chewing on the furniture for more. ♥ (No warnings/pairings.)

- Prince of Tennis - apt#(two) by Charlotte - God, how much do I love this fic and the one that came before it? Tezuka and Fuji and sharing an apartment and the author capitalizes on the potential for amusement beautifully while still allowing me to not have to shove it into the parody catagory. It's just. It's just. It's so beautifully Tezuka and Fuji and everything I love about their batshit relationship that doesn't say so many things and all these brilliantly clever little details added into the fic that make it just come alive. I don't even mind that it's in that space between gen and slash, because it's perfect there, the way Fuji teases (oh, god, the fax, that's somehow beautiful enough that I want to cry over it) or Tezuka looks blandly back at him or the million little things between them. It's a beautiful fic and nothing will convince me otherwise. (Tezuka/Fuji, but gen... mostly.)

- Prince of Tennis - Little Bit (part 01) by Charlotte - You know what I love about this fic? That it manages to find the line between crack and genuinely good, clever writing/characterization. You sort of have to walk into the fic (and the author's notes, which are helpful to read) and just accept the premise and go from there... which wasn't a hard thing for me to do because the author has such charm in her writing, the way it's so cute and funny that Fuji is somehow a five year old now and in Tezuka's care. The author uses the concept to bring out all those little moments of humor that I'd want to see, Tezuka worrying about what Fuji is going to grow up to be and positive it's going to be his fault and Fuji being so... Fuji about it, even as a five year old. Also. HOLY SHIT, THE CUTE KILLS, OMG, AWWWWWW. ♥ (This will be of interest to TezuFuji fans, but it's gen. Because, um, no.)

- Prince of Tennis - you are a bird, by fuji shuusuke by Chrissie - ....somehow, I feel like this shouldn't work. Not even in Chrissie's hands, but... Fuji with a cat tail and then Ryoma with bird wings and, like, there's no explanation and that should make it worse, but in this author's hands, somehow it's better, because it's just... this wonderful, light, lovely crack that's actually beautifully written. The way the characters deal with this, the way it's not "Omg, what happened??" but more "....wait, how is this going to affect my tennis??" that's just beautiful beyond my telling of it. Also, the ending made me laugh way, way more than it should have. ♥ (No warnings/pairings.)

- Prince of Tennis - Translated: Immanent by Branch - This is really sort of cool. I've heard the author talking about it for awhile, the whole concept of Tenipuri redone as a samurai story, which got me mildly curious. But it wasn't until I sat down to actually read it that I found myself a little bit sucked in by the idea. The characters and the beginning of the story actually do translate to a samurai story and I didn't have any problems picturing the background world (which looks much like the Seigaku tennis courts, except a little different, to my mind XD) or the way the first scene with Momo unfolds. Already, I'm curious about where this is going and how it'll turn out. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Prince of Tennis - untitled & untitled by Pengie - What? Tenipuri fic rec that's not TezuFuji? How can this be! But, well, yes. My love for Pengie could have epic poems written about it. So much so that I'll read Hyoutei fic for her (not that I have anything against Hyoutei fic, I like Hyoutei fic!) and whine, cry, and weep for more. Because she is brilliant at group dynamics and there were at least three places in the Hyoutei fic that had me literally shoving my hand or a pillow against my face to muffle the laughter. Her comedic timing hits me just right (I think Hyoshi may have been my favorite part of that, just... asldfkjalsdfkja, hahahahahaha, so funny XD) and I mentioned the whole loving her thing, right? Also, her Rikkai fic rules and she's about the only person who can write them in corsets and I'm going, "YES. THAT IS A FABULOUS IDEA." Because it is. (No Hyoutei pairings really, a little SanaYuki--SHOCKING!--in the Rikkai one.)

- Prince of Tennis - Catch and Release by cutter_tekka - There are some who say fishing is a sport and some who say it is an art. Like all things, it is of course both. Any sport which is not also an art is not worth playing, and to Tezuka the art of fishing is the art of being perfectly centered in one place, one time, one body, one mind. I was enjoying this story from the very beginning, there's an elegance and a centeredness that is beautifully characteristic of Tezuka, but it was the above lines that induced a breathy sort of sigh from me. That sort of reaction when you find a story that captures that elusive something you've been craving, a story that's even more brilliant and intelligent than you were hoping for, a story that fits that character you obssessively adore and does him justice. It isn't just that Tezuka is in character--though that certainly helps tremendously--it isn't just that the writing is lovely or any of those things. It's also that it's so very... Japanese and so very fishing and the background of the story is as lush, rich, and interesting as the characterization.

And, oh, the thoughts about Ryoma took my breath away. I almost couldn't read for how perfect they were, for how they put every thought about that dynamic I've had into words, only with a Tezuka twist on them, and that just made it too painfully perfect for me to stand. (....I fangirl a lot, yes. And, please, do keep in mind that Tezuka is far and away my favorite character, so fics that are centered around him are ones that will hit me harder than they do other people. Also, I tend to flail a lot when something hits me right, I don't want to oversell the fic and ruin what would have been an otherwise enjoyable read. These are simply my reactions.) Every little detail, the gorgeous and satisfying and perfect ending, the little touches you could read more into if you desired (the TezuAto and TezuFuji fan in me delighted at this, even as I also read them purely as gen, that is the dynamic I pine for), everything about this was a defining fic for Tezuka. Brilliant. (No warnings/pairings.)

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