Hey, everybody! Antoni, here, with another fanfic recommendation. And this time it’s Salvation, a Soul Calibur fanfic written by DarkStar56 on February 11, 2012. It’s rated T, it’s in English, it has 16 chapters, but it is unfortunately unfinished, more on that later, and the main pairing is Siegfried and Cassandra. Other characters involved in this fanfic are Sophitia, Mitsurugi, Maxi, Rock, Hwang, Ivy, Hilde, Aeon Calcos, Cervantes, Astaroth, Tira, and Nightmare. On top of that, the story takes place during the events in Soul Calibur 4. Let’s get this started, shall we?
I first caught this fanfic about four years ago and I found it really intriguing. Those same sentiments held up really well and this is coming from someone who loved playing Soul Edge, Soul Calibur, Soul Calibur II, and Soul Calibur 3 ever since I was a kid and has been proud to call himself a fan of the series.
What I truly about this fanfic is that is a character-driven story, meaning the characters move the plot along and do so in a way that I am completely invested in their journey. It is a great mixture of action, drama, comedy, romance, and of course, fantasy and the supernatural, the latter two plus a great deal of action being really great components of the Soul series. There was not a moment in the story which was neither boring nor dragged on for too long. It was well-paced with great interest, great build up in certain moments, and a very enjoyable experience. There were times I imagined the characters from the game living these moments and it is pure awesomeness. However, the story has been left incomplete for five years, which is a major shame because I wanted so much more. I wanted to see how it was going to build up further, more epic fight scenes, more character development, and hopefully a solid conclusion. I am very sure that DarkStar56 has a lot to deal with in his real life and I do understand and empathize with what he might be going through completely, but if he were to come back to this story, I would love to have a lot more exciting moments and a solid conclusion to wrap it up. So, DarkStar56, I do hope you finish the story because I enjoy it so far and I would love to see how it’s going to add up.
What’s a great story without great characters? Fortunately, the main five of Siegfried, Cassandra, Sophitia, Maxi, and Mitsurugi were excellently characterized. They have amazing chemistry with each other and it makes me wish that they would’ve had their own show and have a lot of adventures together. I’m sure that any fan of the games will know that Mitsurugi is usually the stern and serious type. However, in this fanfic, he’s a lot friendlier and more open as a person, which might be a bit out of character, but it’s a welcome treat to make Mitsurugi more diverse. I also like the moment when Siegfried and Mitsurugi make an oath to be blood brothers, which I found rather sweet. Yet when it comes to the character relationships that steal the show, they have to be Siegfried and Cassandra, Siegfried and Sophitia, Sophitia and Cassandra, and Mitsurugi and Maxi.
Siegfried and Cassandra are absolutely great as a couple, even though their relationship is not canon in the games. Despite that, I can sense their budding relationship with each other, as Siegfried is always willing to protect Cassandra, and as a Soul Calibur fan, I just love these two together as their personalities blend really well.
With Siegfried and Sophitia, it should be no surprise that I used to believe that there was the potential for them to become a couple, but it was never meant to be when Sophitia married Rothion and had two kids of her own. Heck, I used to root for them to become a couple. There is one moment between them in which they confessed of how they used to like each other, and I thought it was done in a sincere and endearing fashion. One can tell there was something going on between Sophitia and Siegfried, but fate stepped in and Sophitia married Rothion and Siegfried will very well end up with Cassandra. It should also be noted that Siegfried was voiced by Nobuyuki Hiyama and Sophitia was voiced by Michiko Neya until Soul Calibur 3 before she was replaced by Chie Nakamura in Soul Calibur Legends in the Japanese dub. I can never go wrong with Hiyama-san and Neya-san when it comes to the characters they voice and a good amount of them have pretty good chemistry, not just as Siegfried and Sophitia, but also as Viral and Adiane from Gurren Lagann.
Sophitia and Cassandra have great sisterly moments and each of them can be touching, humorous, and genuine. One can tell that they do care for each other and are practically like best friends.
Mitsurugi and Maxi steal the show for me. I mean, come on! Mitsurugi and Maxi being best buds is an excellent idea. On top of that, I do love their backstory with Taki and Setsuka, which you have to read for yourself, it’s really intriguing. Seriously, there should be a show about them kicking butt, testing each others’ strength, and all the while being the best of pals and having a nice drink of sake to chill out. That would be an amazing concept! Their shining moment was in the combat scene before Sophitia interrupted their brawl and gave them a beating. Also worth mentioning is that Mitsurugi was voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa and Maxi was voiced by Nobutoshi Canna until Soul Calibur 3 before he was replaced by Kenjiro Tsuda in Soul Calibur 4 and Shigeo Kiyama in Soul Calibur 5, but personally Canna-san is always going to be Maxi. Morikawa-san and Canna-san have done a major list of works together mostly as friends and/or rivals like Griffith and Guts from Berserk, Yohei and Yuji from Slam Dunk, and Kimimaro and Kabuto from Naruto. Given the fact that these two gentlemen worked on a lot of projects and are also good friends in real life, it is crystal clear how strong their chemistry is when they voice such characters. And if ever a show about Mitsurugi an Maxi comes to fruition with the both of them being best friends and duking it out at the same time, I would love for Morikawa-san and Canna-san to voice them as they are irreplaceable.
The other characters contribute to the plot handsomely like Rock, Aeon Calcos, Hwang, Hilde, and Ivy, in which the latter two have an interesting backstory. I also should not forget that Cervantes de Leon and Nightmare do fine jobs as the villains, though Tira still has yet to make a fuller appearance.
So with this much praise, I have been giving to the story, you might think it is flawless, right? Not really. The story and characters were great, but I am still in need of a proper conclusion. On top of that, there were some technical errors, which though present did not detract my overall enjoyment of this fanfic. The technical errors present were the wrong words being used like “fair” instead of “fare”, awkward letter placing, words being separated even though they should not, missing closed quotation marks in some places, and places where the italics are used more than necessary, even if a character is not speaking. There were inconsistencies here and there, but they did not distract me that much. I do hope DarkStar56 will come back to fix the errors.
So, overall, this was a wonderful read complete with an intriguing story, the lovable characters from the Soul Series, and so many great moments to be found. Granted, the story has been unfinished for five years and there are some technical errors, which might detract certain readers’ enjoyment, but if one puts the flaws aside, this is a story which is much-recommended reading and I do hope that the author will come back to continue this.
With that said, I give Salvation a grade of A-. I have been this forgiving to this fanfic because even though the errors were present, the story and the characters were enough to make me enjoy everything this fanfic had to offer. This is recommended if you are a fan of Soul Calibur and video games in general and if you love character-driven stories.
Well, that’s all for now, and I will be very busy on the weekend with rehearsals for the Werther adaptation for next month so there might be no opera reviews either tomorrow or the day after. However, I do hope to do another recommended reading post and until then, goodnight everybody!