The Simulacrum

by Egathentale

Original ONGOING Comedy Fantasy Romance Magic Male Lead Slice of Life Supernatural Urban Fantasy

"Um... Hello, I guess? Is this where I'm supposed to explain what's going on? Well, I would love if someone explained things to me for a change, but whatever, I will give it a try.

So, my name is Leonard Dunning, pleased to make your acquaintance. According to my ID, I'm a fairly average high-schooler, living alone while my parents are somewhere 'overseas', wherever that may be. I'm tall, pretty fit, living in an impeccably clean house, and I attend a scenic high school full of friends, romance and coming-of-age hi-jinks. Sounds neat on paper, right? Too bad I have absolutely no memory of any of this. One day I simply woke up in this weirdly pristine world with a splitting headache and a nasty case of retrograde amnesia that left me a blank slate unable to recognize even my face in the mirror. Worse yet, apparently this whole place is running on fairly clich├ęd writing conventions and stereotypes, complete with obvious background characters and dense harem protagonists!

So, what would your average guy do in this kind of situation? I have no clue, but as for me, I decided to roll up my sleeves, grab a notepad, observe this weird world and work out what makes it tick. If you are curious about how deep this rabbit hole goes (and trust me, we will need spelunking equipment), you are more than welcome to come along for the ride."

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Oninomad
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It is what is seeks to deconstruct

Don't want to spoil it but it is and yet isn't harem while tearing down harem trips. It may or may not be a GameLit, we don't know because the story uses tropes and meta to explore  mysteries including the very nature of the world. It manages to maintain a light (yet heavy in places), fun and humorous anime like story while itmanages to parody genres yet be an excellent examples of many of those genres at the same time.

CiaphasAbel
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Better than the sum of its parts

If you only look at the surface tropes and elements, this story should be a mess. The characters are literal clichés and tropes, the world is intentionally bland, the protagonist is yet another amnesiac who adopts way too fast to his circumstances, and as for the actual plot, it is only hinted at through slow slice-of-life scenes for the most part, and then it even does a huge genre-shift in the middle of the first volume that recontextualizes everything we have read so far. 

However, the thing that somehow manages to take all of those elements and blend them together into an immensely entertaining and creative work of fiction, is the actual writing. More accurately, it is the character writing, which makes every chapter so much fun to read. The author somehow manages to take character archetypes, and make them feel like actual, three dimensional people through their interactions and banter. Most of the time I didn't even mind the slow pace, as I simply enjoyed the various characters bounce off the protagonist, each other, and even change in the process. 

I had fairly low expectations at first, but I was hooked very early, and now the author even has his hook in my wallet. I really hope he will reach his next Patreon goal and we could have weekly updates soon. 

Samlakios
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Great story, great mistery, great characters (his friends can think and feel wow!) great fantasy/superpowers and great fights. The uncovering of the mistery is gradual, the main character makes mistakes/wrong assumptions. 

I like how the story is progressing, this is a precious gem for those who like, fantasy, mistery, romance (and doesn't mind harems). Those like me.

 

Anrov
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From the first few chapters i have read. I can only say that I love it! This is a masterpiece, and i can only recommend it!

Hyperion915
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im not usually one for these sorts of stories, i prefer more action-packed tales (as might be inferred from the fact that i frequent this site in particular), but goddamn bro, this is some quality shit. characters are (ironically) very fleshed out and i actually believe everything, despite/because of the context it was presented in. cool fucking idea, and a really fun slice of life

oridesu
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Great story, read it you wont regret it.

 What really to say, story is amazing, its one of truely great gems you come accross on here once in a blue moon, you'll find yourself bindge reading the whole story without stop till you run out of pages to read thn want more. easily the best part about the story is the characters from the lead one(s) to side their interactions with eachother and the world around them. I persoanly cant wait to see where the story goes for here, I in all honesty wouldnt be suprised to see this story dethrone the current 'popular this week' leaders, its just that good.

Aaron Greengrass
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Extremely well written.  Well plotted.  Good characters.  Consistent story progression.  Eagerly awaiting more.

Celsica
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A complete, well rounded work of meta

This is the type of work that's hard to review for me.

I could completely understand someone with no knowledge of anime tropes not liking this

But if you have any interest in anime, it would be doing yourself a disservice to ignore this.

 

Style 5/5

Just one name: Nisio Isin

I would not believe it if you told me that this author is not familiar with his work. There's some clear Bakemonogatari influences here, without borrowing too much. But the non-sequiturs and the situatial comedy is so damn on point. It's a hard style to master, yet here it is.

Good job

 

Story 5/5

I'll be honest, the story is not as riveting as some more action oriented novels due to its slower pace. Yet I just read the whole first volume in 2 days without stop except for work and sleep. Good mix of slice of life, mystery and action.

Grammar 5/5

It's excellent. Very good vocabulary. As I wrote before, it takes wits to write good situational comedy that's not difficult to swallow on the long run, the masterful English contributes to that

Character 5/5

The characters are stereotypical... Which is the whole crux of this story. Seeing them br AK those stereotypes is what kept me going

Overall 5/5

It's amazing and fresh by Royal road standards especially, but I would have paid for an ebook.

The whole point of this work is to have fuj with anime tropes so it might be heavy for those uninterested.. Give it a try for 3 chapters, if you like what you see, you won't regret the experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

michaelhenson
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The synopsis does this story no justice. At first glance it seems to be contrived meta-fiction. This lasts approximately 1 paragraph. The depth of each and every character, the bizzare world they live in, and the oddities that so few seem to notice are all vital parts of the tapestry of words on display. Now on to the actual review.

 

Style:

The story drew me in out of boredom, I had nothing else to read and gave it a shot, only to be blown away by the artfully succinct descriptions and logically normal thought processes displayed. Also it's beyond hilarious at times.

 

Story:

I'm not sure I have ever seen any story quite like this. It is an examination and reversal of expectations, putting logical thought and realistic expectations into a genre typically devoid of anything of the sort. The twists and foreshadowing are so artfully done that you feel like you are unraveling the mysteries of the world right along side the main character, which is something of a lost art in modern literature. While there are surprising moments they never feel shoehorned in, they feel like moments of realization and discovery. This is a flawlessly executed story.

 

Grammar:

I am a grammar nazi of the highest caliber. This story has impeccable grammar, I could not find anything to complain about.

 

Characters:

The characters feel like people. It's unusual how much I can empathize with certain characters as they grow and develop their relationships. Situations that may seem contrived and bizzare in the moment slowly reveal themselves to be the result of actions taken long ago, or as preventative measures for actions foreseen in the future. Everything has a reason, and when you arrive at a conclusion yourself it's almost as good as being proven wrong.

 

Conclusion:

I love this story, and spent hours binging from the start to the end of the first volume. Every chapter had me nervous that it would be the last, that I would have to wait for more. Simply phenomenal in every way.

playr543
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Putting the tropes under a microscope and seeing what makes them tick. That is this book and the author shows this amazingly.

Gramma, plot, style the author has all these up to notch so you will straight away be able to jump into the story and not have to worry.