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September 4th, 2017

Welcome, New Reader! [Sep. 4th, 2017|07:52 pm]
About ANBU Legacy
—By Aubreyli, a dedicated fan who became ANBU Legacy’s editor—

ANBU Legacy is a serial multi-writer novel that draws from canon up to the end of the first Naruto series, and very selectively from Shippuden (much to everyone’s relief). The story is set nine years before the start of canon, and in an alternate reality of Naruto-verse, in which there are a few crucial plot changes:
  1. The Sandaime fought the Kyuubi when it attacked Konoha. The battle ended with the Kyuubi being sealed back into a dying Kushina, to die along with her. Minato lives, as does Naruto.

  2. Uchiha Obito stays dead after Kannabi Bridge.

  3. Nohara Rin does not die.

The storyline primarily revolves around an ANBU team, Team Six, which consists of two canonical side characters: Namiashi Raidou and Shiranui Genma; two original characters; and an eighteen year-old Hatake Kakashi. It currently has two volumes of e-books, with a third in edit and a fourth in progress.

And it’s amazing.

The beauty of ANBU Legacy is that it keeps the world-building that drew many of us to the Naruto series in the first place, and expands upon it in a way that feels authentic, meticulous, and interesting. The characters that populate this world, both canonical and not, are diverse, complex, and multifaceted (even — and in fact, especially — the women). The plot is unfailingly intense and exciting when the characters are on their missions, and unfailingly heartfelt and intriguing when the characters are not. The missions themselves are often quite dark, as would befit an ANBU team, so readers should heed the warnings that head every chapter.

ANBU Legacy is also an exemplary piece of writing. Despite there being multiple authors, the narrative style as a whole is surprisingly cohesive, and the overall quality is both consistent, and consistently good. The prose is descriptive without losing its dynamic flow (which is no mean feat), and peppered with evocative lines that just resonate in your head afterwards. Legacy’s fairly large cast requires each author to write multiple characters, but each character’s POV still manages to be recognizably distinct. It does also result in some abrupt POV shifts, which are more noticeable in the e-books than in the InsaneJournal RP, where the narrative hand-off is more obvious.

Overall, ANBU Legacy is not something that one should start at 11PM the night before a workday, unless one is prepared to call in sick the next day. It’s a marathon of a story, best suited for a quiet weekend at home, or a very long plane ride. But if you are a reader whose literary preferences lie in lushly written, tightly plotted, beautifully characterized epics, then I am pleased to say that ANBU Legacy is most definitely worth your time.

Recommended Reading Order

The easiest way to catch up is to start with the ebooks (Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3). If you prefer the experience of reading online, you can work your way through the Thread Index. Readers who complete the first three volumes of the ebook can pick up with more recently posted chapters starting on June 10 with Red Sky at Morning.

The short introductory pieces posted pre-Yondaime Year 4 will give you a sense for the characters, general themes, and how this alternate universe story departs from canon. If you want to get started immediately with plot, we recommend plunging right ahead with the ANBU Trial Arc in Choose Your Blade, then filling in earlier chapters after you read Run Rabbit Run.

A Man Who Is Not Afraid is, so far, the only chapter with explicit sexual content. If explicit material isn't your cup of tea, you can skip it, and fill in the context in Heaven’s Got A Plan For You.

Thanks for reading. We’re glad to have you.

—The ANBU Legacy writers: Ki, DK, & Nezu
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