Again, this story gets a lot of praise, and while I do think it's one of the better works I've read, I think it's a tad over-rated...
Series: Yami no Matsuei
Title: Mercy of the Fallen
Genre: Angst, general, casefic
Rating: E (Author didn't rate this? Dunno why...)
Warnings: Mentions of rape (Actually, lots of mentions, holy shit), boarderline OOCness
Couple (if applicable): Tsuzuki/Hisoka, mentions of past Muraki/Hisoka and Muraki/Tsuzuki
Plot: 6.5/10 - There are two reasons why I decided to score this how I did. I was going to give this story a lower rating for plot for one reason and one reason only: It's beyond predictable. The entire casefic? I knew what happened from the moment it hit the table. The minor character in the story that gets briefly mentioned? You know she's actually someone REALLY important. The way the case is solved? Knew it was going to happen. The ending of the fic? Called that too.
I already knew it was Muraki killing the babies and the soul? Yeah, it was Saki. And that he used Tsuzuki's DNA to clone him to put Saki in a body that self heals. I mean, it's really REALLY fucking obvious. And there's going to be some explaination why he's doing what he does, cause it's Muraki and he's the fucking Road Runner of YnM and the Shinigami are the fucking Wild E Coyote.
But you know what, that's not the author's fault, but canon itself. So I think it would be unfair to dock points because canon can't explain it, because it's been abandoned. Yeah, like the 'Game of Thrones' series (aka A Song of Fire and Ice), my hopes of YnM being finished are long gone. Ironic that I was reading both of these things in the early 2000's too...
And the cleaner lady? She's actually someone important! And yeah, she's REALLY important. Oh, and Tsuzuki and Hisoka aren't going to Hell, there's going to be some catch to get them out of it. But really, I think these two deserve a Happy Ending.
That is my biggest complaint about the plot. Maybe it's because I've read WAY too much in general that I can predict things before they happen, but I predicted pretty much everything that happened in this story.
The saving grace of this? The ideas, unlike the last story, are executed fairly well and they're all very creative (Though this author has a lot of creative ideas imo). And btw, authors? THIS story is how you fucking do cliffnotes. The info is there to tell you that it does have a reference, but we don't need to know it in order to understand the story. Cliffnotes should just be a 'oh, for your info, readers...' not a 'I kept things in fanpoodle japanese, here's your translation!' And the pun on Hisoka's name in the story is the only acceptable boarderline 'fanpoodle japanese' I'd accept, mostly because that's not something that's easily translated into English.
The ONLY other beef I have is the boarderline 'Gary Stu'!Muraki, and I'll get into that in characterization in more detail. Though unlike most fics, the author did actually explain about Muraki's actions and why he gets away with what he does and had a really creative idea for it. Again, Muraki gets away with a lot of shit in canon, so I think it would've been unfair for me to lower it because of canon.
Basically, this is a mixed opinion here for me. I think most people though will really enjoy the plot in this fic. Me, I just thought it was way too predictable and I shouldn't be able to predict the entire casefic from chapter 1 onward.
Also, this part doesn't really link to 1 and 2, hence my advice for reading THIS part only and ignoring 1 and 2.
Also be warned, there is a lot of mentions of rape in this fic. And it's not just canon here too and not just the mentions from previous parts either. Just a warning.
Writing: 9/10 - Nothing wrong with the writing, yet again. In fact, it's gotten better. The prologue at the beginning of the piece was really well done. The best written of the three parts.
Characterization: 6/10 - I still have a big problem with the characterization of Hisoka in this story, but it's not that bad as compared to the previous parts. Mostly because there's more characters in this story than the last 2, where it was just Tsuzuki and Hisoka and the minor OCs.
I really love Tsuzuki's character in this story too. Very painful and we actually focus around his angst for a change than let the focus be on Hisoka. Very rarely do I find a story with Tsuzuki angst, most of the angst is centered on Hisoka. As a big Tsuzuki fangirl, this was a good surprise.
Also, thank fucking God Oriya isn't a goddamn doormat for Muraki here. He is perfectly IC, so you Oriya fans out there are in for a treat. TOO many fanfics treat him like Muraki's doormat.
However, my mixed feelings are on Muraki here. I'm sorry, but he is very Gary Stuish in this story. Now while the explaination of him being an Angel and the other departments fits the context of this story, it just makes me facepalm and 'Yay, another story where Muraki can get away with murder and shit because blah blah blah!' For the most part, I'll admit, it's probably the most creative idea I've ever seen in any piece of YnM work. And well researched on top of it. But it really grates me in all the wrong ways.
Also, the Justice Department is... Why the heck would you hire vengeful, angry people to basically test people on where their karma will fall!? Moreso mentally unstable people!? Shouldn't it be people who fall more in between rather than people who will or should be the ones tested on their karma soon enough!? That explaination, I cannot wrap my head around. You could say that the saying 'why do bad things happen to good people?' type of thing, but meh, I kind of don't buy that. You don't need to torture, murder, enslave, and basically do bad things to people to decide their moral compass. If you do that, you desensitize people to those things to the point where eventually, they're no longer good to judge someone's moral compass. I didn't dock points for it, because it does work in the context of the story, but I don't buy doing 'bad things to people' and see if they do 'the right thing'.
Also, a nice touch linking Muraki and Hisoka together, especially noting the fact that Muraki went after Hisoka to begin with was because Hisoka was in a way like Muraki (And basically Muraki doing to Hisoka what Saki did to him, urgh, but nice touch regardless) and how Hisoka was actually supposed to be an Angel too. I always thought that was an idea not really explored in many fics, and was glad to see it here.
There's also less OOCness from Hisoka in this story as well. I think most of it has to do with part 3 being able to stand out on it's own and part 1 and part 2 having little to almost nothing to do with part 3. The only downside I have is that the sex comes WAY too early after part 2. It goes from Hisoka not knowing when he'll be ready to 'okay, it's 4 months post-Kyoto, he's ready!' and there's little to no lead in.
Part one goes to, 'I like you, Tsuzuki, but not like that', to part two going, 'I love Tsuzuki, but I'm not ready to sleep with him', and part three swinging to, 'I love Tsuzuki, and I'm ready!' The problem is that there's no build up from part 1 to 2, and going to part 2's ending right on into part 3 with no build up... Yeah. We got Point A to Point B to Point C, but we're missing the filler in between those points!
Again, why have a trilogy if none of your parts are going to link to each other and basically stand out from one another?
So really, this shouldn't even be a trilogy, this should be just a multi-chapter story. That's really a big fatal flaw to this story and the trilogy as a whole. This is... not really a trilogy, unlike Kouri's Live Through trilogy, where the plots of each part connect with the next work.
Negatives: Very predictable plot, boarderline Gary Stu!Muraki
Summary: A case comes in that ultimately leads to Hisoka making one of the hardest choices he ever has to make...
Overall: 7.1/10 - This really is the part that you should read, and skip part 1 and 2. I'd actually still recommend part 1 because the case fic is really good, but skip part 2 and go to part 3. The fic is predictable and a boarderline Gary Stu!Muraki may get on your nerves, but worth a read.
Is this the best YnM fic I've read? No. Not even case fic wise. While it's creative and I can understand a lot of people enjoying it, I think it goes right on the line of being 'okay' for me. It's definitely worth a read if you're craving fics that do justice to Muraki and Oriya's characters to some degree. Unlike the previous parts, the ideas are executed very well too.
Next up... Not sure yet! Maybe another YnM fic or maybe I'll take a break from fic hopping and cover a Visual Novel that I recently read. I've been reading a lot of otome Visual Novels lately, so maybe it's about time I covered them.