I hereby declare this Wednesday to be “chuckle Wednesday”.
Shirou Emiya: Erogame Protagonist by gabriel blessing is a semi-serious fic which asks the question “How amusing can you make things if you cast the protagonist of a more decorous visual novel as the protagonist for an erogame and then don’t tell him what’s going on?”
In this case, Shirou as the hero, being too skilled and principled to be shoe-horned into the intended narrative, yet with his own set of skills that substitute humorously well when the setting manages to bend them somewhat.
That’s where the chuckles come in… for all the sweatdrop-worthy reactions Shirou has to the setting around him, he is effectively the straight man AND the joke for the rest of the cast, as he constantly succeeds… but not in the intended ways. (eg. Unintentionally accumulating a harem of female monsters, not through sex, but because he’s just that good a cook.)
While I haven’t played the erogame that he’s been crossed into, the characters are definitely entertaining as the author has portrayed them.
Now, as I said, it is a semi-serious fic. (The balance wavers.) For example, the writing mentions, on more than one occasion, that Shirou’s favourite things are “saving people”, “swords”, and “cooking” (in that order) and it’s just taken for granted that Shirou’s skill at cooking is good enough to improve even the greatest of dishes. That said, I’ve definitely seen worse. Stylistically, it reminds me of the anime Gokudo.)
I also like the running joke of the building misconceptions around what the Shinto religion entails.
The editing on this is generally very good… though one glaring annoyance is how, several times in chapter 2, blessing is too eager to break in with a parenthesized paragraph to explicitly say “I skipped over …” when the formatting disqualifies it from passing as a fourth-wall joke and an author of his skill could easily hand-wave such skipped-over scenes properly.
It does also sometimes have fourth wall jokes, which I’m not overly fond of, but I’m willing to put up with them. Also, when they do start to fly thick and fast in the final chapter, the quality the story would have achieved without them rises to compensate.
All in all, I’d give it a 4 out of 5. Nothing special, but solidly entertaining. A completed 93,099-word fic (even if it isn’t marked as such) and worth a read. If you watched Gokudo and liked it, you’ll probably like this. If you like this, give Gokudo a try.