In my ongoing quest to discover new and creative ways to rope other people into doing as much of my work for me as possible, I've found that few methods generate volumes of free, reader-created content as quickly as contests. The "So Bad It's Scary" contest, which ran in 2006, produced a handful of great fanfiction reviews crafted by some of the PA Forum's finest members. With interest in fanfiction deconstruction (or should that be destruction?) having greatly increased in the years that followed, 2011 seemed like the perfect time to launch a new contest in which the next generation of fanfiction critics could compete.

The "Love Sick" Fanfiction Review Contest tasked entrants with hunting down stories containing themes of romance and ripping them apart like a bitter ex violently shredding old love letters. Always the overachiever, Dr. O decided to take on the first so-called "book" of the infamous Garden of EVA works (a series of downright dreadful Evangelion fanfics that collectively span hundreds of pages). While his target exceeded a mind-blowing 50,000 words in total, the mad doctor managed to write commentary for the entirety of Book 0 in less than one month and submit his entry in time to be judged in the contest. His efforts earned him a spot in the top three along with some serious respect points among community regulars.

Tragically, Dr. O's thorough thrashing of 'Garden' was simply too massive to join the other "Love Sick" contest winners on the main site. Instead, I offered him an opportunity to submit an alternate mockery of more easily-digestible proportions to go up in place of his original entry. A few weeks later, Dr. O filled my prescription and sent back a review that could be easily finished in a single sitting—if you can keep from laughing your ass clean off, that is.

Room 666 is a story based (loosely) on Puella Magi Madoka Magica, making it notable for being the first fanfic to go up on this site before the series it's based on has been officially localized outside of Japan. Although the source material may be somewhat obscure, the fic's alternate universe setting means that any familiarity with the original characters and setting will only succeed in making you that much angrier. Thankfully, watching Dr. O gleefully perform an autopsy on this reeking cadaver of a story is an absolute riot either way. - Alex

 

 

Guest Special: "Room 666"
(A 'Puella Magi Madoka Magica' fanfiction by Uncle.Dragon)

Reviewed by: Dr. O


Hey everyone, you remember Puella Magi Madoka Magica, right? You know, that lovely little Faustian show about how you can't ever attain something for nothing, and how living an imperfect life is preferable to chasing your stupid, senseless dreams because you'll only end up ruining everything lesbians. Well, here's a hurt/comfort fanfic that jettisons all the remotely interesting aspects of the source material in favor of bullshit melodrama. Which is the worst kind of melodrama.

 


 

Stepping out of the elevator, the cold hospital made me shiver in my black hoodie. I swept my short red fringe from my face, pushing my hood off. My shoes squeaked on the sterile floors as I walked down the familiar halls. Nurses bustled around me and I tried not breath in the smell of medicine, rubber and death. The path I was on was familiar and like all the other paths I'd walked; a dead end.

Oh hey, first-person narration. I'm sure this will be well-written with careful consideration paid to keeping everyone in-character.

Or the other one. You know. Shit.

I turned a corner, passing numbered rooms, where people were hanging onto life. I saw families crying over someone important to them. I blocked out the hospital sounds turning into room 345 to see her still hooked up to machines. Blood and a clear liquid dripped into her over-pronounced veins.

She's suffering from a rare condition known as William Shatner Vein Syndrome.

The white sheets of the hospital made her pale skin stand out. Once lush red hair was thinned, greasy and grey in spots; from old age and stress.

Pale skin... Thin, greasy hair... Suffering from stress...

Chris-chan, is that you?

I tried to smile as I moved closer to her, clearing my throat I watched her peel her eyes open. I stared at her red eyes; which were so much like mine.

The shadow, it covers your face
But your eyes shine, just like mine

"Hi, Kyouko-chan." Her voice was hoarse and dry. I felt bitter hatred boil in me as I thought of who put her here. I pulled a hard plastic chair close to her bedside, pushing those thoughts away.

"Hey, obaa-chan. I missed you." I whispered, placing a kiss on her cheek, lightly holding her hand.


Aaaaaaand we have fanboy Japanese.

"I'm starting to feel better." She rasped; caressing my hand, "The doctor says I'll be getting out of here soon." I smiled tightly at her. She and I both knew that the bastard went too far, and that she might not make it.

I am Sakura Kyouko. I am eighteen


Is this eighteen or "eighteen."

You know what I mean.

and that was the last conversation I had with my last living relative, my grandmother. Her brother, Granduncle Kazu, killed her. He took my whole world away and now I'm lost. I remember it all vividly.

I had told her I loved her and she gave me a soft smile.

"I love you too, Kyouko-chan. You are my whole world." She breathed moving her hand from mine, to cup my cheek.

Her heart monitor suddenly shuttered before going flat, like in the movies.


Somewhere, Light Yagami was writing names in his notebook again.

I watched in horror, my heart pounding in my chest. I leaned over her dormant form, wishing, hoping that this was just a dream.

"Obaa-chan," I whispered gently, "Obaa-chan, wake up." Tears built in my eyes and panic shook my body, "Help! Someone help! Obaa-chan! Help!" I was screaming now and shaking her fragile body. "No! Obaa-chan you can't leave me! Obaa-chan! Please don't leave me!"


Hey, yell "Obaa-chan!" at her corpse some more. That seems to be working.

People suddenly rushed past me, pushing me away to crowd around my grandmother. I watched their frantic movement through my tears.

They were propping her up so that when rigor mortis set in, she'd be stuck in a funny pose.
 

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The nurses stopped working and the doctor shook his head. They were saying stuff but it was just white noise in my ears. She was gone. She left me.

I turned from the room as they moved to cover her. I ran. Tears streamed down my face and I ran from the truth. The white, sterile halls and everyone in them rushed into one; my mom, not moving, not breathing, just gone.


Why yes, Kyoko's backstory does involve her family dying. And... is there a point to this, fic? It's not like the show didn't address any of this stuff.

I turned a corner and ran into someone. We tumbled to the floor and I barely looked at them before rolling onto my back. I choked on the apology I tired to say. I sobbed instead, staring at the bright fluorescent lights that burned my eyes. I lay on the cold, tiled floor, panting for air as I sobbed.

I'm pretty sure there are better ways of coping. I mean, she is in a hospital. Just nick some morphine.

Mmmmm, morphine... Nature's candy.

I draped my arm over my tear stained face, trying not to see mom. Noise flooded my ears and I heard the concern murmurs of people. Suddenly a voice as clear as bells, and as sweet as candy echoed in my ears.

"Are you okay?"


"BUSTA WOLF!"

I moved the arm from my face to see a girl standing over me. She was short with blue hair that framed her round face, falling in front of her eyes. She was glowing slightly and looked like an angel. She was gorgeous. We stared at each other for a long moment. My breathing slowed and I felt a calm sweep over me.

I know you want to get right to the lesbian antics ASAP, but could you make it a little less transparent, author? Her grandmother just died. Then again, I can think of zero fanfics that have handled anything sexual tastefully, so meh.

"Um… Are you okay?" She asked again blushing. She moved her eyes from me and leaned back a bit.

Blushing could be indicative of attraction or embarrassment. Then again, she's an anime character, so she spends about sixteen solid hours a day blushing.

I pulled myself up leaning on my elbows. I stood from the floor, walking over to a near by wall before sliding down on it and clearing my throat. "Yeah," My voice was still thick with tears. Clearing my throat again I watched the angel move to lean on the wall beside me.

They have exchanged three lines, and one is already referring to the other as an angel.

Just try and guess which direction this is headed.

"Yea, I'll be okay."

She looked out at the hospital before turning to look at me. "I'm Sayaka, Miki Sayaka." She said.


"I'm weeaboo, weeaboo name order."

"Nice to meet you, Sayaka-san, I am Kyouko, Sakura Kyouko." I answered as we smiled at each other.

I'm O, but you can call me Domo Arigato Doctor Obato.

"Sayaka and Kyouko. We'll make a good couple." She said blushing, "I meant… uh... good pair."

Dirty Pair?

I chuckled lightly, realizing it the first in a long time. "Aww, I was hoping you meant couple. 'Cause we'd be good at that too."

Her blush darkened and she looked at her pink converse, making hair fall into her face. Sitting up tall I brushed hair from her face, noticing how tiny she was.


The first time they met in the show, they tried to kill each other, since Kyoko wanted to wipe out all the "competition." Which included basically every major character. But I guess that isn't as interesting as "hey we should have sex lol."

"Sayaka, how tall are you?" I asked looking her up and down. Her converse peeked out from her jeans that hugged her hips. Her shirt was a dark yellow.

"I'm a little less then five feet." She asked glancing at me, "Why?"

"How old are you?" I asked starting to stand up.

"I'm sixteen." She replied her eyes going wide as I stood up. She stared up at me and I looked down at her. "Kyouko-chan! Why are you so freaking tall?"




The red-haired girl on the left is Kyoko. The one in the middle with blue hair is Sayaka.

so short herp derp

I smiled down at her standing tall in my six five frame, "Just drinking my milk. It does a body good."

Then why is she so flat? Are you saying that anime lied to me, fanfic? Is that it?

She rolled her eyes as I slouched on the wall. "Go figure. I hate milk. And my bones are tiny."

"Would you like to see mine, it's huge." I muttered making her look at me confused. I wiggled my eyebrows and the sexual innuendo hit home, making her blush. I laughed again, realizing I liked making her blush.


Uh... That one doesn't really work unless you're a ma— Oh.



Ooooooohhhhhhhhh...

"I'd love to see it, another day." She whispered her voice low and husky. She leaned closer to me making me shiver from the promise.

"I'll hold you to that," I whispered back leaning closer to her as well. My eyes flashed to her plump, pink lips. She had the bottom one in between her teeth. Looking back at her eyes I noticed they were a gorgeous blue.


Just your average blue-eyed Japanese girl.

"Sayaka-chan!" A voice shouted making Sayaka jump away from me.

She turned quickly and caught a blur that jumped at her. "Kyou-chan!" She answered holding the tiny boy awkwardly in her arms. The tiny boy's eyes saw me over Sayaka's shoulder. His short grey hair fell onto his face and he held his arm-cast over her shoulder. He whispered something to her and she placed him on the ground. Turning to me she smiled.

"Kyouko-san, this is my brother Kyousuke." She said "He's smarter then an average six year old."


I don't remember this kid. That means we've now had as many author-created characters as people from the show so far. Not a good sign.

I bent down to Kyousuke's height - which was half of Sayaka's. "Hi, there kid." I said.

"Don't patronize me." He said immediately glaring at me, "Are you going to get nee-chan pregnant?" He asked.


Is there some kind of fanfic community revolving around girls getting other girls pregnant? Like reverse mpreg? Because that's not really something I want to consider the existence of.

Shocked I looked at Sayaka who looked like she was trying not to laugh. She raised an eyebrow at me - challenging me. Looking back at Kyousuke, I saw he was serious.

"Nah kid, I am a girl dammit, as for bedding your sister, that doesn't come until later." I said, hearing Sayaka giggle in the background.


I think this kid's odds of turning out well-adjusted are somewhere between "zero" and "Jack the Ripper."

The glare dissolved from Kyousuke's face and he gave me a dirty look. "Eww! That's nasty!" He turned to look at his sister. "Mom's going to hate her."

Sayaka shrugged her shoulder in indifference.

"...But I like her!" Kyousuke said looking back at me, "I broke my arm. Wanna sign my cast?"


"Could you sign next to this one? That's the gigolo who visits my sister every night. They do things that are illegal even in Japan. Which is where we live. You can tell because of the way we randomly slip '-chan' into our speech, Ms. Lesbian-chan."

I smirked at him. "Duh!" I answered swiping a marker from a nurse who walked by. I signed my name quickly, handing the marker to Sayaka, "How'd yah break it?"

Sayaka knelt beside me rolling her eyes, signing his cast.

"Extreme tag!" Kyousuke screamed, jumping in spot.


Ah yes, extreme tag. The not-so-silent killer.

"I'm here for my stupid little genius." Sayaka said, ruffling Kyousuke's hair affectionately. "So why are you here, Kyouko-chan?" She asked my name sounding like sugar in my ears.

Clean that up right now! That's how you get ants!

Suddenly I felt a wailing, aching pain grip my heart at being reminded of my grandma. She was gone and here I was having a good time. Anger raced through me and tears filled my eyes. I stood turning away from Sayaka and Kyousuke, wiping tears from my face.

Sometimes, when I'm feeling down, there's a song I like to listen to. No, not "Don't You Cry," though that is a good one. I was thinking of "I Can't Decide."

Hey, maybe that's why they have me on meds!

My shoulders shook as I tried to calm down. I heard Sayaka shift from behind me as I panted. I felt warm arms wrap around me filling me with warmth. I tensed before turning in her arms to hug her close to me. We stood still for a moment before Kyousuke pulled on Sayaka's pant leg, making her pull away from me.

Sayaka is wearing pants? This must be some kind of alternate universe story.

"Don't worry Kyouko nee-san; Onee-chan will kiss your booboo better." Kyousuke said, in a tone like all naive six years old had.

And by "booboo" he means "girly parts."

Sayaka smiled, moving away from my arms, leaving me cold as she picked Kyousuke, "Tell me were your booboo is and Kyousuke and I will kiss it better."

I smiled at them patting my heart, "Right here. My heart is breaking, she is gone and I am lost without her."

Sayaka stepped closer, letting Kyousuke kiss my shirt over my heart.


"Okay, now could you be hurt a few inches to either side?"

"Who?" She asked quietly leaning closer to my chest.

I shook my head, "Grandmother. Now officially an orhpan." I choked out, making Sayaka look up at me with concern.


Well, that's nice. We have now established her background. She has some motivation. Can something happen now? No? Then I'm going to watch some of the source material while I wait for this fanfic to grow a point.

"What the hell are you doing here?" an enraged voice sounded from behind us. Looking up I saw a tall blonde through my hair. Sayaka turned quickly, putting Kyousuke down as he shrunk behind us.

"Nothing." The quick answer came from Sayaka.

"Don't you nothing me! You stay away from my little genius!" Behind the lady stood a splitting image of her and a tall man with blue hair. I assumed this was Sayaka's family.


Improbable hair colors run in the family, apparently.

"Kyou-chan is a human being! Not some trophy you show off to your friends!" Sayaka yelled back.

The lady's face turned red and she looked like she was about to explode. "His name is Kyousuke. And I am his mother! I know what's best! You're just a homeless slut!"


Yeah, Sayaka! Don't you know that respectable sluts work out of home, or at least an apartment?

"You know nothing you stupid wench!" Sayaka shouted bringing attention to us.

Who says wench? Well, LARPers do, I guess. But I'm pretty sure it would be a terrible idea if we allowed LARPers to have any say in our popular vernacular.

"Sayaka please, stop making a scene. Your take your little friend away from my son. You dirty whore." The lady's face was tight and bright red. Her voice was a dark whisper. "If I see you with Kyousuke again I'll place a restraining order on you."

That'll show her! For, uh... What did she do, exactly?

Sayaka turned away from her family, pulling Kyousuke into her arms. She whispered something in his ear before turning back to everyone else. She picked him up walking past her mom to her father.

"Take care of Kyou-chan and grow a backbone, dad." She handed Kyousuke over to him. She continued walking past her family. I pushed past them trailing after her. We walked in silence until we reached the parking lot and Sayaka turned to look at me.


This conflict is so interesting.

It would be even better if any of these characters existed in the original show, so there was some basis for what was going on.

"You got a car?" I nodded at her question, leading the way to my old Lincoln. The car was black and shiny, an antique that I had been taken great care of. We entered the car quietly. Looking over at Sayaka, her head was against the window and tears were running down her face. Putting the car into gear I thought of the perfect thing to cheer her up.

A car.

The orphan who eats food that's fallen on the floor and who hangs out around the abandoned ruin of her father's church owns a car. A Lincoln, no less.

Sure, whatever.
 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I pulled to a stop in front of my rundown apartment. The lights were off like they had been for the whole time that I'd been hiding from you-know-who.


Chris Hansen?

I stepped out of the car. I walked around to her side and I threw my arm over her shoulder pulling her close to me, I felt an electric like shiver run up my spine.

"I've got the answer to all your problems, Sayaka." I murmured. I pushed the door, the hung from its hinges open and pulled her in after me.


"Sign a contract and become a magical girl! Oh, what's that? No, there's no catch. Don't be silly! Your soul will get to stay right where it is..."

We stood in the dark for a minute as I fumbled with the light switch. Light flooded my small dirty living room. The kitchen stood behind it, messy as well. Stairs stood off to the side leading up to the master bed room. Blood stained the stairs and spotted the living room floor. The couch was ripped and covered in clothes; the TV was thrown near a wall, broken. Ripped pictures also littered the floor as well as ripped clothes.

Japanese apartment or one of Elvis' hotel rooms? You decide!

Just like the day it happened. My grandmother raced through my mind and I felt mad at myself for forgetting her, again. Stepping around the messy living room, I pushed the both of them to the back of my head, trying to forget the memoirs that haunted me and still does.

"Get out of my head, geisha!"

Stepping into the kitchen, empty beer bottles and empty pill bottles covered almost every surface. Pulling open a cabinet I found the sins; drugs and boozes. Sayaka giggled behind me.

Heheh. She thinks "boozes" is a funny word, too.

"So, you want to forget, Sayaka?" I asked. Looking at her I watched her face light up.

"Of course." She purred in my ear. Heat rush through my body and in that moment I knew I loved my little angel.


My Little Angel: Lesbian Angst is Magic

I just poured two drinks. I handed one to Emma sitting on the couch beside her. We sat in silence staring at our cups. "My father killed my mother and two little sisters before hanging himself, something about debts." I said swirling my drink, "Then my grandma took me in, until she got killed by her brother, who tried to rape me. Now I am so lost without her."

On the other hand, she made good money selling her story to the Lifetime channel.

I felt the heat of Sayaka as she leaned on me. "Kyou-chan is my whole world, without him, I'm so lonely."

I looked down at Sayaka who had tears running down her face. I nudged her into a sitting position. "To hell with families." I said, raising my glass. Sayaka raised her glass slowly. We clicked glasses before downing it. I pulled two pills from a bottle on the floor. Swallowing one I offered the other to Sayaka. "Grief seeds, they take you good places."


Nonononono. Grief Seeds are the corrupted shreds of human souls that turn into witches once they've accumulated enough despair. When did this become a dopey alternate universe fanfi—

Ooohhhh. Right.

Sayaka took the pill from me swallowing it with the rest of her drink. She smiled at me placing her glass on the floor beside mine. "I have yet to kiss your booboo better." Sayaka mumbled, leaning into me. I felt my hands start to shake as my heart beat quickly. The alcohol rushed through my veins, speeding up the affect of the Grief seed.

Didn't anyone tell her never to mix downers and uppers? If you're doing crystallized witch souls, you really should be using meth instead of booze.

"Maybe you can kiss something else as well." I said, brushing hair from her face.

Everything was a hazy, blur with a rainbow around it. I was stumbling around a yard chasing after Sayaka. The wind was blowing my hair from my face but my body felt hot in the spring night.


"For some reason, this guy in a purple suit and top hat who called himself the Warden was there."

Sayaka's laugh echoed around me and I found myself rolling on the wet grass with her. I laughed with Sayaka. Nothing was said - but it was funny anyway.

"Kyouko-chan, ya…ya know…before I met you…I wouldn't have done this." She murmured.

"What…what'd ya mean?" I asked rolling over to stare at the sky.

"You're … you're bad for me." She said snuggling into my side.


But can she quit her?

"Bad for you…?" I asked echoing after her.

"Yeah but I'm…I'm bad for you, too." She said rolling on top of me. "It's what makes us the perfect couple."


I... guess that's complementing one another... Sort of.

She leaned down and pressed a sloppy kiss to my lips. Suddenly the sky rumbled and lightning flashed as rain fell on us. Sayaka screamed, pulling away from the kiss at the feel of the ice cold rain. She jumped off me and I pulled myself up. We stumbled wondering into the street.

"Come here, Kyou-chan." Sayaka muttered sexily. She stumbled away from me. Her body started to move to no music. I moved towards her pulling her into my arms. Swaying with the her and the unknown music


She calls Kyoko the same thing as her little brother. Maybe a more appropriate title would have been Puella Latent Incestuous Desires Magica.

"I love you." I whispered, smiling down at her.

She smiled up at me. "I love you too, Kyouko."

She said pulling me into a kiss. Lost in the kiss we didn't notice the fast approaching eighteen wheeler. Pain abruptly ran through my body, and then there was nothing.


Man.

That's a whole lot of "nothing" for the highway department to clean up.
 

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I was back were it started, at the hospital.


It sure is annoying when they only put save points back at the very beginning of areas where there are obstacles that can kill you in one hit.

The same one my grandma died in. I was lying on a hard bed staring at the white ceiling. Machines beeped around me and the mask on my face itched.

I looked over at the bed beside mine where a tiny body lay still. She was hooked up to machines - like mine - that beeped loudly. I moved my hand from my bed and watched the tiny form of Sayaka do the same. Our hands met in the middle and our heart beats spiked.


I can hear your heartbeat
For the very last time...

"I love you." She whispered to me, a smile tugging on her lips.

"I love you too." I said.


I am not going to speak out against girl-on-girl content in fiction. That would be crazy. But is it really necessary to hijack a perfectly decent anime with it? Can't the yuri fans stick to Nanoha or whatever crappy show they were obsessing over before they found Madoka Magica?

Our machines beeped quickly and we smiled at each other. I met her and I fell in love. She fell hard, I fell harder. Lost and Lonely - the perfect couple. But in the end we weren't. We were bad for each other. But it was love.

People rushed into the room but the world fell away. And all I saw was Sayaka the lonely and all she saw was Kyouko the lost. Our machine beeped in the single line and it all ended, in this room. In this room I was born, my grandma died in here, I found the love of my life around the corner from this room and we died in it. In room 666.


Oooh aren't we symbolic.

 

Wait a minute. If this was the story of how Kyoko died, then how was she narrating it? This whole thing was just a ripoff of The Lovely Bones with drug-use and lesbians thrown in. How those things managed to make the story worse, I have no clue.


 

So, that was Room 666. What baffles me about fanfics like this is how completely they miss the point of the original material. It's like the author never even watched it. Madoka Magica did have slice of life stuff, but it also had action. And a plot. I suppose one could be generous and say that this fic has a plot, but it's just not the same. Madoka Magica was basically Faust with magical girls. It had an interesting story where seemingly minor events in one episode became significant later, and where there were plot twists that honestly took you by surprise without coming out of nowhere. It tackled weightier stuff than "I want to be with this person I just met today, suddenly suicide." But I suppose Uncle.Dragon didn't think people would want to see any of that as much as two characters shacking up for no reason.

The most puzzling part of this thing isn't even the fact that it's a shipping fic; it's that the author felt the need to write an alternate universe story that makes extremely feeble efforts at drawing connections to the show. I know this is a common thing for fanfic authors to do, but Madoka Magica is different than most shows in that it already deals with the concept of alternate universes. And instead of being claptrap like this, each iteration is similar in most ways, with differences gradually being introduced by one character (who is, ironically, completely absent from this fic). Of course, that alternate universe stuff was explored to provide insight on character interactions and motivation, which is a world apart from... whatever this is supposed to be.

The characters, theme, story, and setting are so far removed from the original that I just don't get the point of calling this a Madoka Magica fic. It's always interesting to me how fanfic authors write material that makes it seem as though they're extremely dissatisfied with the show they're supposed to be a fan of. They pick and choose which elements to include in their work and neglect everything else, as if to say "Only I know what works. I can do better than the people who made this." It speaks of complacency and arrogance, neither of which are desirable qualities in a writer. And I have to admit, it's a little frustrating to see people so readily discard all the things that make a show interesting just so they can set up their favorite pairing.

Still, I guess if there's any governing philosophy behind Project AFTER (other than giving Alex all our money so he'll put our crap on the main site), it's that no matter how good something is, the fandom will always find some way to ruin it.

 

-Written by Dr. O.