WIP Professor Arc: Student of Vacuo by Katkiller-V - T - RWBY

Discussion in 'Anime, Cartoons, and Comics' started by Sauce Bauss, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Sauce Bauss

    Sauce Bauss Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Title: Professor Arc: Student of Vacuo
    Author: Katkiller-V
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure/Crime
    Status: In-Progress
    Pairings: Jaune A./Neo
    Summary: Inspired by Coeur Al'Aran's Professor Arc story, this asks the simple question: What if Jaune had actually attended the Vacuo Academy for Gifted Youths as he claimed? Between a fake resume, a sociopath for a partner, criminal contacts, White Fang agents, and overall bad luck... it's going to take everything he's got keep his cover at Beacon.
    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12909945/1/Professor-Arc-Student-of-Vacuo

    So there I am chilling in chat last night when @Dark Syaoran messages me with this. I recognize the author as the person behind the Semper series of Avatar fics(blue, not blue arrow). Five hours later and it's dawn as I finish it. it's as if Coeur Al Aran's Professor Arc were played straight and was actually good. Author hits their stride around chapters 8-10, so give it till then before making up your mind.

    Jaune attends the Vacuo School for the Gifted after sneaking in as he did Beacon in canon. His teammates are fun and relatively fleshed out given how much screen time they get, and the dialogue is on the better side of decent.

    The author is a machine, pumping out a chapter every day or two with 250k words written already. It's technically sound, funny without being crack, and takes itself seriously enough that you could call it drama without lying or groaning. All in all, it might be the best Rwby fic yet written.

    For RWBY it's a 5, but by DLP's standards I'll give it an enthusiastic 4.
     
  2. A Lizard By

    A Lizard By Any Other Name

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    I thought I read this before and remember it being a horrible mess that never went anywhere, then you mentioned it had the same title as that Coeur Al Aran fic. That guy has so much wasted potential... Anyway, definitely gonna read this. Love a good RWBY fic even if I'm not sure I've ever read one.
     
  3. apoc

    apoc The Once and Ginger King DLP Supporter

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    The story is significantly better than the originals story by Coeur. The prose is a bit plain at times (the weakest part by far) and some of the scene skipping around towards the start isn’t really that great combined with some eh characters interaction and dialogue. But the concept and ideas it brings are way, way better than anything Coeur ever brought and after chapter 8 it gets better and better.

    On a chapter by chapter basis it’s probably probably a 3 or 3.5 out of 5, but the proper length of it bumps it up to 4 easily.
     
  4. Xepheria

    Xepheria The Benefactor

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    Been following this for a while now. It's not perfect by any means, and sometimes doesn't know quite what it wants to do with itself, but these are minor quibbles in the face of a frankly crazy update pace, well thought out characterisations and 250k's worth of actually good words in a fandom starved for readable stuff.

    4/5
     
  5. Jon

    Jon The Demon Mayor Admin DLP Supporter

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    Superior to the story it's based on. Needs more sloppy desk sex tho imo and for Jaune to stomp someone viscerally.

    4/5 for a Rwby.

    3/5 in General for my tastes.
     
  6. CareOtters

    CareOtters Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    Head and shoulders above the usual trash in the RWBY fandom. And above the work it's based on - I described Coeur on IRC the other day as being the liberal arts edition of Methods of Rationality's Yudkowsky. While the writing itself is of a wildly different style, it oozes that same authorial smugness (and also contains a brazen attempt to sell fanfiction hidden under a feeble veneer).

    As posters above have said, this builds momentum. You can really tell that the author had little idea of what to write at the beginning other than "AU Professor Arc" but they run with the premise and accomplish something well worth the time investment.

    I'm wavering around on the rating tbh. Jon's sentiments are pretty much on the ball. I'd have given this a 3 if it was in the HP fandom, but I'm inclined to be more generous here to acknowledge the uphill struggle amidst both the shitty fans and the inane clusterfuck which RWBY itself became after a few seasons.

    4/5
     
  7. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Working on this. Honestly Neo is best girl. I'll leave a review when I'm finished.
     
  8. ChaosGuy

    ChaosGuy Auror

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    Better than the vast majority of fics in the fandom, but still a 3/5 story. My biggest issues started popping up in the second semester where apparently between parts of the fic Neo and more so Jaune decided brain cells were for losers and huffed paint or something and started making questionable at best decisions for people in their situation with their experience. Still better than the story it's based on by far though.
     
  9. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    About the one thing the story convinced me is that the series truly would be better off without Jaune. Team JNPR with ilia instead of him suddenly made that team and their interactions and dynamic with RWBY infinitely more interesting than Jaune and Ruby bonding over leadership and Jaune pining after Weiss and getting rebuffed.

    Granted, the conflict between them that arose after Phyrra smacked Ruby across the field felt a bit forced but the Blake and Ilia thing was pretty neat.

    Honestly, the story has good parts and bad parts. Yeah, I enjoy Neo but then again she isn't exactly more fleshed out than in any other story so far. She is still the same only she likes Jaune here because of their initial bonding and God made her like Jaune for reasons I am unable to fathom. Honestly not seeing why she would like him and this is not me shitting on Jaune but a serious question. What made her like the idiot who couldn't fight and who had a moral alignment rather different to her own outside of bonding after a catastrophe? I could roll with that only she liked him before that. I get that they were younger but still. Was just never believable and kinda handwaved into team friendship, mainly because this backstory for Neo just doesn't seem to fit her but maybe that's just me.

    Similarly, yeah, not really feeling Jaune. The same problems that plagued the original story are present in this one only, quite frankly, without the charm. The same harem-y vibes are there, even if that's far less likely to happen here because the JaunexNeo ship is a thing, it's still full with (almost) all the girls crushing on him. Jaune is still warping the story and characters so that everyone thinks he is the coolest shit ever and the story never really made me root for him or see his side. Am mainly reading for the side characters, who spend most of the story being lectured by him. The family thing is still rather shitty and entirely avoidable and it doesn't help that his main goal so far is...to fuck over Beacon.

    Am at chapter 28 so far, and while I am going to finish reading this can't say I am seeing why this is getting such rave reviews here. Parts of the story are solid the other is "OP" protag telling all the canon chars how much they suck and having them say how hot and cool he is in return.

    2.5/5
     
  10. apoc

    apoc The Once and Ginger King DLP Supporter

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    Not sure I really agree with this, it's not that Ilia being there instead of Jaune allows for much more interesting interaction between the teams - it's that in the original show they don't actually explore any sources of serious potential conflict. Most of the inter-character conflict in the series resolves itself instantly like the friction between Weiss and Ruby and Blake and Weiss. The fic is more interesting because it actually plays up a lot of the differences and makes conflict out of them. I'll agree that Ilia adds an interesting dynamic since canon JNPR has basically zero characters that actually cause any conflict or friction, but if she's going to replace anyone it should be Ren since he's basically a cardboard cutout until Season 4 or so. Jaune's arc is basically the only decent piece of storytelling until around Season 3 so I don't think removing him would help the overall writing and with some other sources of conflict it actually gets even more interesting.

    Sort of related, with Nora, Ren, and Pyrha basically any sort of inter-character conflict has to feel forced since they're just so generally passive characters. The Pyrha-Ruby conflict was forced, but the introduction of a novel source of conflict is welcome I think since JNPR is generally lacking in it. I also like the fact that the story tries to do something with Pyrha beyond her just being the generic nice girl and amazing fighter, the thing with Ruby is forced but not implausible, though I feel like the story should've shown part of the conversation between Yang and Pyrha before the fight rather than after.

    I think the story is pretty balanced overall, which is nice. It's a refreshingly pleasant read even if the writing isn't great and part of that is because, even if it isn't that great at that many things, it doesn't shit the bed at anything either. To quote something Sauce said, it manages to be funny without being crack, to be dramatic without being a drama fic, to be serious without being edgy, etc.

    As for Neo... meh. I feel like their chemistry work outs fairly well and its also got some dom/sub vibes that are present (if mostly played for comedy). They're also the only survivors of their team, have a shared purpose, good banter, and Neo seems to have liked the fact that Jaune went from someone she got to throw around easily to someone of parity with her, I've definitely seen real world romance that works off of less so I don't think it comes off handwavey. I do think Neo could use with some more characterization to iron out some of the definitive nuances in her but I don't think the fic focuses on any character to that degree - not even Jaune.

    I thought the harem-vibes were a lot, lot less of a thing than in the original and when they do come up, they're mostly used for a comedic chance for Neo to assert her dominance, which has a lot more charm than the mostly-unironic harem vibes of the first. The charm of this in general sticks a lot better than the original Professor Arc, given that it doesn't go for crack humor nearly as much.

    The latter part mostly seems like a personal taste thing, given that you've already admitted to disliking the protagonist.

    Yeah I'm not sure you read the same story as me. Jaune is stronger than all the students sure, but he's also older in this fic with threeish years of practical experience. He's still notably outclassed by just about every Hunter or Huntress who isn't a student so I wouldn't call him OP, nor is his ability even the focus of the fic. There's a few points where it grates a bit like where Blake notices how "alert" he is towards the opening of the transition to Beacon but those moments are pretty few and far between. His fighting parts are in focus towards the early parts, then after that there's a couple parts where he spars with Neo to help teach people, he fights Roman, and he helps train Pyrha and Ilia. That's just about it, this certainly isn't the fic for anyone looking for an OP Jaune romp.
     
  11. fire

    fire High Inquisitor

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    Looks interesting; as the resident Jaune fangay I'll definitely take a look and come back with a review and rating.
     
  12. Dark Syaoran

    Dark Syaoran Golden Patronus Admin

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    It sort of feels like you've read an entirely different story, Nemrut. And from the comments about changing out Jaune for Ilia, it sort of seems like this is more of a 'It is Jaune, so this is bad' sort of thing. A pretty popular train of thought in this fandom that I honestly can't grasp. I can't really say much more than apoc has already said, he put it perfectly, other than saying that there is really no harem vibes at all. One other girl liking him - Yang - doesn't make this a harem, nor does another occasionally checking him out.

    Never checked out a taken girl before? Or a guy? I don't think that means they have a harem. And in regards to Jaune being OP, here is a quote from the story.
    Doesn't seem very overpowered to me. Just because he can beat the student cast in a fight doesn't mean he is OP, especially when he is 3 years older with much more training, and much, much more experience.

    All conveyed in the story.

    When I opened this fic the other day, I wasn't expecting much. I was bored and had nothing to read. But this turned out to be one of the most interesting stories I've read in the fandom, with some of the very best characterizations. Not just of people, but of things like the White Fang. By playing the crack source material straight, it created something pretty damn good. Something almost unheard of in RWBY.
     
  13. Probellum

    Probellum Death Eater

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    Read this fic the other day, and loved it. It scratched all those itches that Coeur's fic set up but never actually did anything with, and is overall a lot better told. I put part of that up to the author at least having a general idea of the fics overall tone before starting, rather than the original's, which started off as pretty much crack.

    Crack that then tried to take itself seriously, and as such made itself bad.

    But we're not here to shit on Coeur -not that we can't, I enjoy it, really- we're here for the fic, and it was pretty good. It has some trouble with pacing in the beginning but accomplishes what it's going for. A bit rough around the edges, but the writing itself is decent enough to keep you reading and to ignore the nitpicks. As well, characterization is pretty decent, with a focus on fleshing out and exploring other characters.

    Well, those not Nora or Ren, but that's a problem with the series and fandom in general.

    I'm...not entirely sure where a lot of Nemrut's complaints come from and have to agree they sound a lot like the fandom's general, illogical and irrational hateboner for Jaune having any kind of screentime. Jaune's a hell of a lot more competent than canon, and definitely more skilled than the other students, but it's also made clear he ain't some super prodigy. It's stated multiple times that other hunters have more skill and would be able to match or beat him.

    Hell, even the students notice that his entire style is a pale shadow of Neo's and not actually suited to him. I also can't think of a time where he actually managed to seriously defeat an opponent that wasn't Team CRDL. Every time we've seen him spar with Neo, he loses. The Roman fight was staged. Even during the Forever Fall incident Jaune only helped a bit.

    Jaune's stronger and more competent, but he also definitely has real and noticeable flaws, both in character and ability. Nor does every character always think about or react to him, or serve only to show cool they think Jaune is.

    No, they have their own problems, and their own interactions, that develop and influence the story. Do they note Jaune now and then? Sure, but usually no more than a sentence or two. And Jaune usually gets involved in the plot points those secondary PoV's bring up, but, well...

    He's the main character. That's kind of what Protagonist's do. This fic isn't an ensemble piece, or about two different protagonists, it's about one protagonist and that protagonist's story.

    And this fic accomplishes that.

    So, I'll give it a 4/5.
     
  14. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    I mean, fair enough if all you guys are digging it and it's likely that I'm the odd man out in that the story just didn't work for me on a subjective level but I would disagree with the implication that this is due to me being an unreasonable rabid anti jaune person ( or in Probellum's words an "illogical and irrational hateboner for Jaune"). Just because I don't see the appeal in him that most people here do doesn't mean I hate him or anything or hate any story with him in it.

    But yeah, all that said, if you guys are loving this, fair enough. It just didn't click with me and I'm unlikely to finish it.
     
  15. A Lizard By

    A Lizard By Any Other Name

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    Well I'm on chapter 23 and I'm struggling to continue. I'm kind of just... not sure what the point of this story is? It's not particularly exciting to read about Jaune doing not much. I've been waiting for him to viscerally stomp someone as Jon mentioned or really just do anything worth reading about. He faked his way into being a teacher and everyone is praising him but i don't feel like he's handled any of the situations he's been in particularly skillfully or tactfully, or imparted some great wisdom onto his charges. He's self admittedly pretty mediocre at everything, including being a teacher.
    Maybe this is the natural progression of DLP standards and my tastes just haven't evolved yet. Not too OP, not too weak, not too smart, not too dumb, not too hot nor cold. Flawed and believable. Just a perfectly safe, inoffensive, luke warm, white bread Jaune.

    The rest of the cast with the exception of maybe Roman is just bland, either the same as in canon or worse, especially with all of the forced teenaged angst. Neo is probably the worst offender though. She just comes off as a spoiled brat instead of a trusted partner. I certainly find it hard to see her as sexy when all she wants to do is play and eat candy.

    I think I would have liked this story more if it had skipped over pretty much all of the school bits that aren't relevant to his mission. As it is, I'm mostly just waiting around for Jaune to figure out things I already know and move the plot already. The slice of life stuff just isn't written well enough to spend so much time focusing on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  16. Ryuugi Shi

    Ryuugi Shi Jazz Hands!!!

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    Yeah, I feel like it really can't be overstated just how much a lot of the character conflicts in RWBY have been squandered, and so saying they'd be better without Jaune seems disingenuous. I mean, that kind of requires us to figure out how it's Jaune's fault that, say, Ren and Nora haven't said Pyrrha's name in two seasons, or given much implication of even remembering that she died. RNJR as a whole literally began this quest because Penny and Pyrrha died and never once talked about it in Season 4 or 5. And I'm still fucking angry that Yang and Blake basically resolved their issues with each other before they fucking met up, and said nothing during their reunion. The show can suck my fucking dick on that set up, frankly.

    As such, while it's not necessarily false to say that the team and their interactions and dynamic with RWBY was much more interesting in the show, I think that's more a result of them, uh, having interactions and a dynamic than anything intrinsic to Jaune or Ilia, particularly since Ilia in the show, um...kind of wasted any potential she had.
     
  17. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Could you... Could you clarify?
     
  18. A Lizard By

    A Lizard By Any Other Name

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    Not really, it was mostly a shitty joke about DLP having higher standards. A lot of fanfic authors tend to lean towards extremism in their character writing and if they (or someone else) post their work for review, it can sometimes get ripped on for being "too X". Edgy, OP, angsty, whatever. So naturally, if you want to please the reviewers, you just have to write a character that can't possibly offend anyone, right?
     
  19. SeekingSerenity

    SeekingSerenity Third Year

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    Well look on the bright side. We are not spacebattles tier yet.
     
  20. Zansa

    Zansa Second Year

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    The author can't decide whether this is crack humor or super serious, and both sides of the story are spoiled by the other's existence. Neo is a bitch to everyone, including Juane. It's played for laughs, but it's not funny because we're supposed to believe that her and Juane are experienced, determined Huntsmen on a quest to avenge their teammates. Apparently they came up with this plan for Juane to score a job as a teacher at Beacon, and then Neo will find out all the security and plant bugs and gather information. Juane does his job, and then Neo...plays a prank in the middle of a job that could get both her and Juane in very deep trouble when she unscrews the bolts for the chairs.

    Then, of course she has to go stealing Ozpin's coffee, including his secret hiding spots for it. Not only is this ridiculous behavior for someone in their position in the first place, but the coffee is also apparently very expensive, and the amount Neo stole wasn't small. This was a serious crime that could very well compromise their entire ploy, targeting Ozpin of all people, and Juane's response is to give Neo a back massage and feed her ice cream?

    Sure, if this is a crackfic go ahead and do that. But it's not, as the author is so insistent on making sure we know through his ANs.

    This nonsensicality carries through to other characters who change their world view on a dime because Juane tells them to. In an apparently very serious story with real ramifications team RAVN and RWBY become mortal enemies because Pyrrha is really good in a fight and Ruby is inexperienced. Then they all but completely reconcile instantly because Juane shuffles the team and has them play hide and seek.

    I have to agree with Nemrut, nothing makes sense here. I will be the first to admit that I read some really trashy stories - I read harem collectathons daily - but even I can't get behind Juane as a character, or even begin to fathom why Neo started to like him other than God decreeing it so. Juane is supposed to be flawed, but as of chapter 23 there's nothing he's done wrong. He's scored the babe (somehow), formed strong ties to people that are so criminally skilled that they can both get him a bullet proof false identity (somehow) and can also seemingly effortlessly find out Cinder's identity is false (somehow), and he has also easily solved every interpersonal conflict he's gotten into (somehow).

    I liked Professor Arc until it turned serious and I loved its portrayal of Neo, but even in something that started out as pure crack Neo had more characterization, was more mature and was an overall more sympathetic character than this story's Neo. And somehow its harem-style female cast was more internally consistent than the characters here.


    2.5/5
    because it's readable, rounded to 3.