March 14th, 2016

green riverscape

The Dark Lords of Nerima by claymade (Teen)

Title: The Dark Lords of Nerima
Fandom: Ranma ½ / Sailor Moon
Pairing: Minor Ryouga/ OC, Canon Pairings (or Lack Thereof)
Categories: Comedy, Drama, Action/Adventure, Friendship, Romance
Length:  Super-Epic (230 000 words)
Warnings: Canon-typical violence and abuse

Author Website: claymade on ff.net
Story FAQ

Author’s Summary:
Ranma and Ryouga are no strangers to trouble. But when they accidentally convince both the Sailor Senshi and the Dark Kingdom that they're megalomaniacal villains bent on world domination, trouble starts to take on a whole new meaning.

Review:  
The Dark Lords of Nerima is an amusing, drama-laden take on the fairly popular category of Ranma ½ / Sailor Moon crossovers.

The fic is a mixture of the two source canons in tone, moving between Ranma ½'s fast-moving character-based comedy and Sailor Moon's more serious drama. Both series have a lot of fighting and characters jumping to ridiculous conclusions, though they treats these events quite differently, and this is used very effectively to set up numerous shenanigans.

In crossovers where two “good” groups fight, the conflict can seem very artificial, driven by the creators desires rather than the characters and reflecting negatively on the decision-making capacities of both. After evoking the canon absolutism of the Sailor Senshi and the preference of the Ranma ½ characters (or "Nerima Wrecking Crew") for complicated hijinks instead of communication, a plausible catalyst is all that is needed for the two groups to fight each other in earnest. You really can see the disaster coming.

There a handful of main characters who get their own emotional arcs. Ryouga gets the most extra focus compared to canon, with a number of developments in his personal life beyond befriending a life-sucking monster. It's nice to see his relentless determination primarily focused on helping people instead attacking Ranma.

There are also a lot of characters that briefly get the limelight. All of these get characterisation that is both believable and somewhat sympathetic. (This is particularly impressive with the Nerima Wrecking Crew, as in canon the characters are not only shown as reckless, immature and deeply selfish, they frequently manipulate, abuse or otherwise wrong each other. If the characters weren't also shown as flawed and fallible, they wouldn't be recognisable.) There are even a handful of in-character kindnesses or selfless acts from unlikely people, which I always appreciate, because they are much more touching for being unexpected.

There is some exploration of the morality of killing youma, which Sailor Moon noticeably fails to do. It makes sense that this is an issue, as killing is far rarer and more serious in Ranma ½, but it is also a fairly interesting topic in its own right.

The Dark Lords of Nerima