Again from Scratch
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- Traumatising content
He never knew what he wanted to become, so the winds of time swept him away. Now he finds himself in a new setting, similar yet at the same time so different to what he knew. What will he do now with his fresh start?
What will he do when he starts Again from Scratch?
[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]
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I had pretty high hopes for this story seeing the synopsis and enjoying the beginning. However, the story quickly became flat. There are many aspects of the MC himself and family that I felt should have came up earlier, but have not shown up at all. I will try to explain my thoughts below.
The MC is someone who has reincarnated as a newborn in a completely different world with a system. However, the 'isekai' theme is incredibly weak. We know pretty much nothing about the backstory of the MC up to this point so far at around chapter 10 (he is like 5 years old now), and he pretty much doesn't seem to act like anyone who has apparently been an adult already (other than what goes on in the MC's head). His parents barely even notice it either. You get more backstory of the MC from the synopsis than the first 10 chapters/roughly 100 pages or so of the actual novel. That's a lot of material lacking I would expect to know about the MC, and you get a large time-skip of about 4+ years right when you were expecting some great development. At this point in the story, I basically have no idea who the MC is other than that he is "focused" and is interested in skills. It's to the point where I don't even know which world the MC is originally from (all you are told is that the current world the MC is in is "pre-industrial" compared to his own).
This is supposed to be a story about a second chance at life. What the hell happened in the first one? For all the prose the other characters get you know nothing about the main character.
Not only that, for a story that is apparently setting up to be explain-heavy regarding skills, and for the MC being from another world and knowing the possibilities of magic, he hasn't once asked anything about it or even tried to find magic for himself in 5 years. He is however, very interested in stone-shaping and gardening. Super weak and lame skills for someone who came from what is maybe present day, especially since there also seems to be a cap on the amount of skills one can have (to be fair, there is a hint that the MC will be working on solving this, but I think this is WAY in the future) and the MC knew this beforehand.
Also, there is a lot of filler prose between memorable or important parts of the story, especially regarding the perspectives of the family. You can skip whole paragraphs without missing anything. I feel that a lot of it is just a waste and could have been served better for learning more about the MC. I'm not even sure if the MC truly cares at all for his family, and feels more like an empty husk who just cares about leveling skills. Even though the author is trying to world-build, it just feels so dull. There is only so much 'slice-of-life' filler you can add before it smothers the plot.
I think this is a good attempt at a story, but ultimately I find it rather dull.
The thing I like most about this story is the skill system. It is built so that a person can have only a few high level skills, forcing people to specialize. Unfortunately for me, the protaganist gets to surpass these limits with his 'skillz'. I mean, the limits are what make it interesting.
I don't think any other part of the story was that great. Grammar has quite a few errors sprinkled throughout. The characters are alright, but really need more meaningful interactions with each other.
The story slow and I'm still unsure what the author wants this story to become. Nineteen chapters in and the main character has gone form birth to ten years old. Which isn't necessarily the problem. A main issue is that there are few events with meaning in that time.
The biggest issue I have with this story is the writting style. It's hard for me to pinpoint exact issues I have with it, but the way this story is writen is just so boring. I found myself wanting to skim most of the story. There are some good impactful moments, but most of the time I felt that entire paragraphs could be more effective if distiled down to a single sentence.
The characters are pretty great. My favorite by far was the uncle. The entire family seems very well fleshed out. I also enjoyed his dynamic with his parents. The grammer is also great for a non native speaker.
Pacing, pacing, pacing. This story is at 1000 pages and the protagonist has had no real impact on the story. He has potential up the wazoo but that is about it. Oh and he is also still only 11 years, while the real players of this world, at the youngest, are 40, while the real powerhouses are centuries old.
At the pace this novel is going the author would have to write 3000 more pages just to see the character have some real agency. I suggest a rewrite cutting out the excessive and unnecessary info dumps that most likely will never be relevant to the story along with at least half of the pages of his time gardening, stone smiting, reading, etc. A few sentences would more than suffice for these meaningless skills that he picks up.
Same goes for his inner meditation thoughts. We don't need to know every thought the protagonist has on what decisions he should make or how they compare to his last life. All of that is tiresome to read every other chapter and takes away from the other far more interesting parts of the story.
I skimmed most of these parts that I am complaining about, but it will definately put of most readers.
tl;dr: A slow burn slice of life with no immersion breaking issues with phrasing/grammar and an interesting take on the LitRPG progression system. Not a progression fantasy.
A nice, slow burn of a story. While I'm unsure as to why many of the other reviews are giving the story less than 4 stars I personally enjoy this fiction. With it being a good mix of slice of life and the LitRPG genre that (as a person who is usually not a fan of slice of life) the story never gets too slow or directionless that it gets boring but at the same time is pleasant to read with an interesting take on the LitRPG 'system' to boot. The story only gets better as it progresses.
The grammar and writing style is alright, at no point in the story are there any major grammatical issues or issues with phrasing that make it hard to understand what the author was trying to portray. On the same note, at no point have I found myself questioning the characters decisions or logic which in many other LitRPG's is a source of frustration for the readers.
The only main issue I have with the story is the lack of detail on the characters previous life. While it's not a major concern as the story is called Again from Scratch it sometimes may have been a good idea to at least give some insight on his backstory to at least to explain why it comes up so little.
Overall a pleasant read this past month that I've been following this story, an unappreciated gem.
This story deserves more praise than it's actually getting. Sure, there are some small grammar issues here and there but the author fixes them when noted.
The story is a total slow-burn, but the build up of inter-personal relationships is phenominal. It feels like an actual full re-incarnation type situation, just with your memories included.
The only serious critique I have is that the MC seems to make decisions that a re-incarnated person seemingly would not. I do recognize (pulling from psychological experiments such as the guard/prisoner one) that human psychology will quickly adapt to new social circumstances given new and different social pressures. This makes me wonder if the author is intending to immulate this kind of behavior to create deeper immersion for the reader.
Overall, wonderful job on the story so far and I hope it keeps going. I'm personally interested on how his schooling will go in the Academy to become a mage.
Unlike what some of the other reviewers are saying, I find the grammer to be good enough that it doesn't detract from the story.
While there is a system (which is clever), the MC manages to somehow break it almost immediately through his ingenuity/skill/experience from his old world. This in combination with the focus on leveling skills is reminiscent of a progression fantasy (which the story is not tagged as). Now this isn't necessarily an issue (plenty of OP MCs out there) but the MC doesn't do anything with his (meager) power, he just spends his first ten years of his life...just kind of living (perhaps this is par for the course of a slice of life). It doesn't appear like he has any ambition other than being alive in this new world.
This is especially frustrating considering that the title of the story implies that the fresh start brings meaning and purpose to the MC (not the same feeling of not knowing what he wants to be.).
It is interesting how all the problems that he solves are actually a form of baggage that his family has carried up until now.
Now there are hints of the MC wanting to go out into the world an explore, as well as the obvious excitment of discovering the existance of true magic, but the MC seems otherwise content to stay at home, and relax with his siblings.
But I am getting ahead of myself. The real issue with this story is that for a progression fantasy to really be amazing, the MC needs to minmax to a certain degree. Here, the MC manages to get ahead of the curve, but he does so inefficently and almost accidentally, only really succeeding due to his adult mind which allows him to focus for longer periods of time. (and not because he is driven and wants to become the greatest earth mage of all time, or the baddest scoundrel to sail the seven seas... as an example)
In the first five years of his life he spends more than two of them stuck at an artificial level ceiling. For some reason the MC behaves as if his parents are out to get him, even though they have shown only love for him so far.
Now let's assume there was a good reason to keep his aggressive leveling from his parents. If that was the case why wouldn't he have asked in some roundabout manner, like: "Hey papa? What's your highest leveled skill?" to which he would have immmediately realized that level 20 was not the maximum, to which subsequent questions like: "What did you do something special to get that skill so high?" would have worked. Childlike curiousity would have been forgiveable, and wouldn't have caused undo suspicion.
I refuse to believe the parents would have gotten suspicious of a three year old being impressed at the skills of the parents.
For a slice of life story it is pretty good, but this story seems to jerk the protagnoist out of our world and dumps him into a world that is not all that different (despite the system). If you are looking to escape the real world and explore a world of fantasy and adventure than you may be disappointed.
To the author: Your story is very good for a first story, and I encourage you to keep writing. This is mearly a warning for readers who come here for a very specific type of isekai.
I've been a subscriber on patreon for a while now and I have to say this story is quality is constantly improving. The Early childhood adventures are delightful and fun in a way that manages to explore the world and the rules without endless exposition. Adventures at the pyramid and the house of pleasure and pain further improve upon the already solid system established early in the story. I don't believe this story receives enough recognition on Royal road. Truly a talented author. I'm currently on chapter 90
Let me start by saying im a fan of the from birth isekai
But what initally starts as an informative take on the genre starts to get a bit monotonus
@ chapter 41 he has not even entered mage school
Whilst there are some time skips they dont seem to be used as effectivly as they could have been.
Main character is intelligent and has relatible motives
Power/skill systerm is unique and interesting
POV changes are short and done well
If you are into more of a slowish dramady litrpg you might like it more then i have
I really enjoy this serial predominantly told from the MCs perspective with some minor different perspective. This story is reincarnation through birth and I thought the start would be slow but I really enjoyed the family dynamic and skill development started early.
I felt the story slowed down later but I don't want to spoil later development.
It appears that earlier chapters have been rewritten and I found the quality of the grammar very good. In more recent work there are more frequent errors and typos, as you would expect. Some of these confused me as they were quite immersion breaking.
Overall very good. Lost half a star for the grammar. Keeping me interested for over 100 chapters is a 5 star for me.
There is not much to review but what's there is good.
The story seems to be about the mc discovering or rediscoving how to level in this world's system the "correct" way, or at least a more efficient way.
The grammar could be improved by a quick proofread; there are a couple words in the beginning couple chapters that have a few extra letters. It is still entirely readable.
The main character seems a bit passive/quiet when interacting with other characters but this may just be because the mc is currently a child and social etiquette means he can't properly speak his mind.
The leveling system as shown so far seems similar to ' The Skill Trainer' but definitely has its own peculiarities with the 'Wisps' that have been introduced.
All in all this story is pretty good and I'm looking forward to future chapters.
This is the first time I've done an advanced review and I'm doing this because I believe it should get some more attention.
This still isn't two hundred words wow uh ok, so I'm just going to ramble for a bit to see if this is enough words because doing this on a phone was a terrible idea.