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Guest Review by: Gunstar Heroine

WRITING: 3/5 (Lots of clichéd responses and repetitive word use, but not overly bad. At least the spelling and grammar are good.)
PLOT: 0/5 (Hot game guy falls madly, irreversibly in love with Mary Sue. Where have I seen this before?)
CHARACTERIZATION: 0/5 (Let’s see, uber-perfect Mary Sue, completely understanding, devoted, and non-egotistic Lion Rafale, wicked father who wants to make Mary Sue’s life miserable... lame stereotypes ahoy!)
ACTUAL VIRTUA FIGHTING: 0/5 (Zilch. Zero. Nada. Nothing.)

Well, howdy howdy folks. I'm a longtime ficbitch follower, in my very first guest review! And what a winner we have here today! Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the series… not only does this fic have little to do with the Virtua Fighter storyline, but it exemplifies the very worst of Mary Sue out there! I guess along with new ficbitch Lunar Love's recent review, we're bringing you a Bad Mary Sue Double Header. Joy.

Unfortunately (or is it fortunate?), I really am not as much into the fanfiction scene as the other bitches here. The fandoms I follow tend to be stuff that’s quite obscure in the West, and sometimes even in Japan. For these reasons, it’s hard for me to read and enjoy fanfic for series I really enjoy – because I can’t find very much of it. But trust me, I know what’s good and what’s bad.

I assume probably at least 99% of people reading are unfamiliar with the Virtua Fighter games, so I’ll just explain a little something about them here. The main emphasis in the VF games has always been the fighting system and the gameplay. The storylines are merely tacked on as an afterthought. Most character development is done through the way the characters fight and behave during the battles, and not through backstories. The stories that do exist for the characters are usually ridiculously cheesy. However, just because it’s cheesy doesn’t mean it’s not fun! There’s still opportunities for character development and introspective, and a few plot bunnies hopping around for fans to explore. However, mainly because the series has never been too popular in the US, VF fanfiction is a truly rare beast. Most of it that is out there is based on the TV anime series instead of the games.

So imagine someone like me, a huge VF fan, stumbling across some VF fanfiction on a bored Google search. Holy crap! And it’s based on the actual GAMES too! “At the time of this story, it was somewhere around VF3,” the summary says. Is it real? Have I found actual, interesting VF fanfic?

Then I started actually reading it. The first tip-off came here:

Genevieve Mouflon came home from yet another tiring, mind bending day at school.

Genevieve? Waaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiit a minute. There’s no mention of a character by that name in any of the VF storylines…

…Oh. God. It’s a Mary Sue.

It’s like wandering through a vast desert, searching for water. Ahead of you, you see a puddle shining in the sand! Is it a mirage? No! It’s real! You run and partake of the liquid to quench your thirst, but upon tasting it, you spit it out – it’s not water! What could it be? Then you notice there’s a donkey standing nearby...

That accurately describes my feelings upon reading this. Although considering the same page contains Ronin Sailor Scouts and a SM/DBZ crossover lemon, I should have known what I was getting into.

Well, on to the actual fic itself. For the first part of this Mary S… er, Genevieve wanted to enter a singing contest, but her evil megalomanical father won’t let her unless she gets high grades. So Gene studies all week, but still bombs her test. She wants to go badly, though, so she makes a lame excuse and runs off to perform her big number onstage!
"Now, ladies and gentlemen," the host announced. "Our next singer is a senior in high school, and she will be singing a song called "Eyes On Me". Let's hear it for Genevieve Mouflon!"
*gag, retch* Who else here had a similar reaction upon reading that? Raise hands!

So she sings and does a stellar job! But, as her moment of glory is about to come upon her, her evil father comes screaming her name out of the audience! SHOCK! He figured out her devious plot, and he is not amused! But, someone in the audience is not content to let Genevieve suffer the wrath of her demonic dad… a certain Lion Rafale, the first thing VF-related to even show up in this writing!
"Young man, you should butt out of this conversation." Marc scolded. "This is a discussion between my daughter and I."

"She is talented. You didn't see her sing. She really has a gift. By doing this you're only holding her back."...

As the two argued, Genevieve tried to correlate that face to one she had seen before. Then it occured to her--this young man is Lion Rafale! He was in the newspaper a few months back!
In the paper? For WHAT? Anyway, Lion grabs Genevieve and runs off to his private limo, which is conveniently waiting for him outside. Her dad pursues and tries to get her back, to no avail. He and Lion exchange words.
"She lied to me. She needs to be punished. She's a complete failure in school, and now GUYS come into her life. This world is turning to crap."

"I'm shocked by your unloving attitude. It sickens me to think that you're the father of this poor brokenhearted creature you barely care about!"

Let me explain a bit here. I will say this – Lion is HOT, especially in VF4. Seriously, if he were real, I’d want him BAD. He’s one of my absolute favorite game guys, ever. But, I am not so split from reality that I have to Mary Sue myself into a relationship with him.

The thing is... Lion is NOT wholly compassionate and understanding. Look at him in the games, listen to what he says... Though I’m sure he does have a soft and gooshy side, he’s also got a rather large ego, and he loves to trash-talk his opposition. Do you think someone who screams things like "Why am I so great?" after the match really would be so consistently polite and proper, even for a rich kid? Here’s something more fitting of his actual personality:

MS's Dad: Yeah, you, jailbait! Bring my daughter out of that limousine right now!
Lion: Old man, please do everyone here a favor and fuck off, OK? If you try and start something with me I KNOW I could kick your ass.

After this, Gene cries on Lion’s shoulder, but gets this warm feeling she’s "never had from a guy before." Lion feels some sort of attraction to her as well, and spaces out gazing into her eyes... But then, suddenly, they’ve arrived home, at the massive Rafale family mansion! Gene looks around and expresses how impressed she is at the huge estate, and how wonderful that Lion gets to inherit it all! But something’s not right... Lion explains his situation, in one of the few VF story bits to make it into this fic: he doesn't want to be involved in his father's business, because his father is involved in illegal arms trading; Lion enters the VF tournament every year because winning it will convince his dad to let him out of the family business. I like how he tells this damning info about his family to a random girl he just met.

Genevieve is apparently interested, and thinks of trying to train herself. "I took a self-defense seminar for a week last month...and they taught us katas along with certain moves." Wait, OK... Dad wouldn’t let you go out and perform in a singing contest, but you got to go to a self-defense seminar just last month. O loyal ficbitch follower, please tell me, does this make ANY sense to you?

So they flirt some more and Gene mopes about not being cute enough in typical MS fashion. But Lion sees her talent and inner beauty! Who expected that? She becomes embarrassed and tries going home only to realize it’s "a long walk back." Groan. Gene then comes to dinner and meets Lion’s dad, and they proceed to chat for while. Then another subject comes up: There’s a party tomorrow Lion needs to go to! There’s going to be a debutante there to meet him! But, he tells dad… he was Genevieve to come along with him. Mary Sue is nervous at this prospect, because she’s never been to a “high class” party before.

Lion invites Mary Sue to stay overnight in his bedroom, where she conveniently looks at him without his shirt off. Being a modest girl, she asks to sleep in a guest room, all the time thinking that she really wants him. Doesn't his dad care about this at all? She sleeps, eats breakfast, and then Lion escorts her home, where Demon Dad is waiting to bitch her out. Oh, the horror!
Genevieve was close to tears. "I have feelings for him! And you don't care! I'm almost a full grown woman and you...you're treating me like I'm 5! I'm not your little girl anymore!"

"That's it...he's dead. If he shows up at my doorstep I'll make sure he doesn't get off of it alive!"

"NO! Don't do it!"

"He touched you, didn't he? If he did, that'll be all the more reason for him to die!"
Gene pleads with her doubting father, because somehow she just KNOWS this is true love. Riiiiiight. She accidentally blurts out her intent to go to the high-class party tonight. Smooth move! Now dad’s forbidden her to go. D'oh! Enter her friend, who reveals that she did win the contest after all (who would’ve thought?), and her compassionate mother Eloise, who SO understands her pain. Awwwwww.

Mom has the seemingly magical ability to make fine dresses suitable for high-class bashes within the short span of a few hours, so she makes Gene up all nice-like. Ready to go, Mary Sue prepares to meet Lion at the door… but not before Dad makes lame verbal threats! Lion brushes him off, and exits, leaving mom and dad to argue to about their daughter.

By the way, why is Dad so pissy about his daughter dating a rich guy? If I were a parent and my daughter was in a loving relationship with someone incredibly wealthy, I’d be more like, “Woohoo! Easy retirement!” But, anyway...

So they go to the party, and everyone seems impressed with Genevieve, even though she is obviously not used to the environment. They eat dinner and everything is happy-happy.. until the amazingly beautiful debutante Lion is supposed to meet comes out onstage! Uh oh! Someone is challenging for Mary Sue’s perfectness crown! Lion walks up to meet her and smooches her a tad to show appreciation, all the time thinking how sorry he is that he has to do this in front of Genevieve. Meanwhile, Gene gets incredibly jealous, and eventually runs out onstage and drags Lion outside. There they have a Deep and Meaningful Discussion.
"I know...do you...love me?"

"Of course I do...very much...and I don't care how many days I may have known you, you've placed something magical into this heart that I don't think anyone else will. I know it has been a short time...but I've known you longer than that--someone-- I just met... with the tournament schedule, I won't have time for her. I need you, Genevieve. You are the light in my life. And I mean that."
They have known each other for a grand total of about 24 hours, but already the two know that they are PERFECT for each other! I’ve heard of love at first sight, but this is ridiculous.

Of course, lovely debutante girl comes out and sees what they are doing, has a hissy fit, and runs back inside to tell everybody what losers these two are. Lion and Gene then decide to screw the party and go clubbin’! ...yeah. They catch a bus, and Mary Sue stops back at home to sneak in and change into something suitably slutty. Lion comes back and picks her up in his personal BMW, and off they go to do hot wild party stuff.

Or something like that. The bouncers card Lion but not Mary Sue, and when she asks why, Lion tells her that they never card the best looking people. Oh PLEASE. They dance for a long time but apparently don’t actually DRINK anything. I thought the point of dance clubs was to get drunk and then make a jackass out of yourself on the floor?

After a while they hop back in the car and leave. Gene is apparently exhausted but majorly turned on from the whole dancing thing. "You felt nice dancing against me..." She then asked with a hopeful tone, "Maybe we could just fool around or something...?" I dread what may come soon...

The pair drives around a bit looking for a nice romantic location, and come across the Botanical Gardens! Lucky them! They agree that if they navigate the hedge maze and make it to the end at the gazebo, they’ll have fun: They navigated the maze, and came upon a gazebo in the middle--the end! "We made it, Lion!" Hey, that was fast. If you weren’t planning to write anything about them wandering through the maze, why the heck did you make that the setting? Apparently so the “steamy” part could come sooner. I feel ill already.

They start to undress and caress each other lovingly, but it’s obvious Gene wants a little bit more:
Lion whispered, "What do you want to do now, Geni?"

She whispered back, hot in his ear, "...I want you..."

"Now?" Lion asked, rather surprised. "I thought...that we were...just going to..."

"Please, Lion...I've been wanting to do this for a long time. I was never allowed to even think about such things. It wasn't 'proper' for a private schoolgirl to even consider."
Lion reluctantly continues, and Mary Sue takes off her bra to flash him some booby. He caresses and licks her body, and she moans the whole time. Urgh. But Lion stops suddenly, with an awkward feeling: "Maybe we should stop for now...I don't even have protection right now and...I don't want to knock you up."

He’s just always SOOOOOOOOOOO CONSIDERATE! He denies Mr. Winky’s natural urges, even when she is totally horny for him, just because HE LOVES HER THAT MUCH! Isn’t he the most wonderful man EVER?! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!!! AHAJSQW%$Y#Q$@#&$!@ ...sorry, got carried away.

Lion and Gene suddenly become unaroused really fast, and they get out of the maze just as quickly. Lion drops her off at home, kisses her goodnight, and drives off. But guess who is there to make Gene’s life miserable again? Dear old Demon Dad, who yells at her for coming home past curfew (she had curfew?), notices she isn’t wearing what she went out in and asks what the hell happened, and says more nasty things about that evil Rafale boy. (Was he awake the whole time? Didn’t he notice someone trying to get into the house again earlier... wait, I’m thinking logically again! Must stop that!) When Mary Sue attempts to talk back, she gets a nice hard SLAP to the head, much like what this site specializes in. To this, we readers say: THANK YOU!

Genevieve cries, calls her dad a terrible father, and runs off. Dad just sits and watches as his daughter runs off crying. Um, if you were that pissed, wouldn’t you be chasing after her and trying to physically FORCE her back? But no, his wife comes down and scolds him, then suggests maybe it would be better if the family split up for a while. And suddenly, out of nowhere, Dad has a revelation from the heavens above! He’s been unnecessarily cruel to his daughter the whole time! ...Well gee, no shit, Sherlock.

So, now Mary Sue’s run off and is on a bus to... somewhere... Unluckily for her, she just happens to be on the same bus as some agents from the VF universe’s far-reaching evil secret world conquest organization, Judgement 6!
Genevieve was on the bus, sobbing quietly to herself. A couple of guys in black suits were nearby, and they were spying on her. One spoke quietly to the other, "I think she might be the next one. She's giving off the same vibrations as the last subject."
Apparently J6 agents always come equipped with self-pity detectors. They promptly approach Genevieve and nail her with a tranquilizer needle. For some reason, nobody on the bus or at the station notices these guys are hauling the body of an unconscious Mary Sue around. She’s put in a helicopter and hauled to a J6 lab somewhere in the middle of nowhere, where she is escorted to a room full of men in lab coats and put in a machine.

Yup, they’re gonna give Mary Sue the Sarah Bryant brainwashing treatment! As another explanation for the VF-unfamiliar, J6 seems to like abducting women with fighting potential and making them into servants of their organization. But let’s take a look at the track record here:

  • Tsukikage – mother of a secluded ninja tribe’s leader. Pretty safe to assume she knows some l33t ninja skillz herself. Kidnapped and transformed into the prototype Dural.
  • Sarah – daughter of a rich American family who has trained for many years in Jeet Kune Do with her brother Jacky. Kidnapped and brainwashed to kill him.
  • Vanessa – exhibits abnormal strength as a very young girl. Kidnapped in early childhood, trained, and experimented on with the intent to add her to the elite J6 Special Forces.
  • Genevieve – Despite having a near perfect personality and a great singing talent, she can’t get good grades. She does, however, have excellent moping and whining skills. Kidnapped by J6 to do god knows what.
What’s wrong with this picture?

Meanwhile, the cops have yet to find Genevieve, and her parents are incredibly worried. Lion stops by to see her, but her parents tell him she’s vanished. Lion then spends the last half of the chapter regurgitating bits from previous parts in italics, and moping that he might have been able to do something.

This is where the fic stops currently. Will Mary Sue attempt to kill her beloved only to be rescued from the wicked J6 in his arms? I’ll put my money on it.

So what’s bad here? Let’s recap:

1. Lame and incredibly obvious Mary Sue character, complete with all the Mary-Sue supporting stereotypes
2. Typical fan-fantasy plot and "romantic" bits that are more likely to induce vomiting
3. Complete disregard for aspects of a character’s personality

4. Things that are important to the game the fic is based upon totally ignored/forgotten

This fic is also an el primo example of one of my biggest pet peeves: major misuse of original characters in fanfiction. Now, in my philosophy, fanfic is intended to be a tribute to another person’s (or group of people’s) creation, perhaps with a little personal spin on it. Making on original creation of yours a major part of what is, essentially, someone else’s creation kind of defeats the whole purpose and turns their creation into YOUR creation. If you really want to make major use of original characters, why not write an original story? Not that original characters are completely bad – when used correctly and thoughtfully (usually in minor roles), they work out just fine. But in the worst cases, like this one, they turn into blatantly obvious Mary Sues.

Another major question in my mind: Did the author actually play the damn game? I see NO indicators that such a thing happened. It seems like this could have easily been written after reading some storylines and looking at pictures off VF websites. The main reason I suspect this is that there’s NO ACTUAL FIGHTING in this story thus far. As I mentioned earlier, the biggest part of Virtua Fighter is battle itself. VF without any sort of intense martial-arts fighting action is like Initial D without cars – take it out and you’re left with something that can’t stand on its own.

I’m hoping that if VF4 on the PS2 becomes popular, people might finally begin to write quality VF fiction. But until then, the VF fanfiction scene remains in dire straits...

(By the way, if anybody wants to write some good Jacky x Vanessa fics, I will be eternally grateful.)

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Well, on to the actual fic itself. For the first part of this Mary S… er, Genevieve wanted to enter a singing contest, but her evil megalomanical father won’t let her unless she gets high grades. So Gene studies all week, but still bombs her test. She wants to go badly, though, so she makes a lame excuse and runs off to perform her big number onstage!

So she sings and does a stellar job! But, as her moment of glory is about to come upon her, her evil father comes screaming her name out of the audience! SHOCK! He figured out her devious plot, and he is not amused! But, someone in the audience is not content to let Genevieve suffer the wrath of her demonic dad… a certain Lion Rafale, the first thing VF-related to even show up in this writing!

AUTHOR: I was watching "Dead Poets Society" right before I wrote this fic, and I thought I'd rip off one of the more emotional scenes so my Mary Sue can have the best angst regionally available!

*growls* I HATEHATEHATE these stupid whiny angsty Mary Sues who are SO abused and SO mistreated by their parents/kids at school/boyfriends/the world, and don't DO anything about it except run crying into the arms of their favorite studboys. >

If Mary Sues were a good thing, this has to be the best I've read. It's sickening to the point of laughter. And now I have songs from "Dirty Dancing" stuck in my head.

Let's think about this...

Omgwtf! This father is so, like, abusive! How can he possibly be so cruel as to keep his daughter from participating in extracurricular stuff, when her grades suck! The NERVE!

Well, really. Think about it. If my grades were as bad as the ones implied in this story, my mom probably wouldn't let me go out either. I'd do the same to my own kids, if I ever have 'em. oo'' So why does the author imply that this father is being abusive by not letting his daughter participate in a singing contest, when she obviously isn't doing well at all in school? I think it's Eloise that's being a moron. Why should she assist her daughter in sneaking away to go out partying when Genevieve's obviously not planning to be any sort of asset to them in the future. Hello?

Furthermore, it's bad enough when Mary Sues are made out to be abused and mistreated, but when they're really not being abused at all, it's just plain disgusting. I assume the author sucks in school in real life and hates her parents because she's not allowed to go out and party. Often Mary Sue ficcers weave their own life's trivial woes into stories... Bleh.

For some reason, nobody on the bus or at the station notices these guys are hauling the body of an unconscious Mary Sue around
I don't know about that. If I were there, I think I'd pretend not to notice the Mary Sue being dragged off (good riddence).

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