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The Anime Trope System: Stone vs. Viper, Book 1

A LitRPG (ATS)
Narrated by: David Reimer
Series: The Anime Trope System, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 14 mins
Categories: Fiction, Humour
4.5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Summary

At the mercy of an unknown entity, Clyde gets tossed into the anime world. Yes, it exists, we just don't know it. There, he's declared the Stone, the anime main character. One day, he must kill the Viper, or else it's good-bye, Earth. 

This is the comedic tale of a young man vs. cliche anime tropes. Yep, there's nothing like random anime girls falling in love with you...over anything, crazy yanderes, or that girl with the absurd charisma. But hey, at least he's able to level up, just like the RPGs. 

Will he find the true purpose of this cruel game, or will the anime tropes consume him? 

A lover of character development...  

Warning: This audiobook contains sexual content, scenes, and sexual humor fit for anime fans (and ramps up a lot after chapter seven). You have been warned.

©2018 Alvin Atwater (P)2018 Alvin Atwater
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  • j
  • 20-06-19

tropy, but its in the name

not too bad. its about what i expected from a book called "anime trope system".

not saying its a bad thing, it was quite entertaining in parts and i'll probably get caught up(gonna get book 2)

the only gripes i really have is the whole "your x is not high enough to read this" . while i apreciate the efforts to make it entertainkng, and the banter was indeed fun, it made me dread it ever time the MC analysed anything. not a dealbreaker(like i said about book 2) but its still annoying.

i also skipped passed most of the sex scenes. not a prude, i just found it awkward to listen while eating or on a jog.

still a solid listen/read, and i really like the references and im glad that the party isnt just the MC and a load of women wanting to ride him, one of my favourit tropes is the rich snob side character(jusis from the cold steel games) and im glad that tohru lives up to my expectations.

also, the story got a 3/5 for the over use of rape. i get that its for the story and sense of danger, but again, it makes it awkward to listen to when out and about.

that said, solid work. i hope it gets better from here.

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Question to the Author: WTF is wrong with you?

Since I'm a fan of anime and know about the different tropes, I thought this title would be interesting to listen to.

I would say it started off ok but after a few chapters, it started to get boring. especially the UI narration. I understand that it was trying to adopt an anime into a book, but it doesn't work.

In some anime, character development can be minimal but is necessary to get an idea of what the personally of a character is like. I felt the characters in this title lack that. there needs to be more detail for my liking

to be honest, I'm some what disappointed. of course the tropes are there but the amount of sexual content used is unnecessary. Especially the loose way the author uses rape. it feels more like a joke than it being serious. Yes there is anime that is heavy on the sexual content but I feel that it doesn't work with the story.

So mr author. if you want to make books based off anime, I suggest you put more focus into the characters and the world building. Take a look at titles like Attack on Titan, Tokyo Ghoul or Assassination Classroom as my examples.

While I have finished this book, I will not be buying anyone in the series.

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  • David
  • 26-01-20

Potential squandered. Good concept, bad writing.

I gave this series three books. Each is pretty short, and sometimes these LitRPG books take a little while to get going, what with all the world-building that needs to happen for everything to come together. At this point, though, I'm done.

The central story seems like it has potential, however that story never really has time to go anywhere as each book is fairly short and if you cut all the sex you'd probably wind up with a book somewhere from 50%-75% of the original length. This is why I thought "Hentai Tropes System" would have been a better classification. Also, the sex scenes suffer from the same problem as the fight scenes, which is a complete lack of pacing. There's no build up, no tension, and no stakes. Stuff explodes and it's over, unless the author wants to drag it out longer, in which case everyone will be magically healed and the exact same thing will happen with the same lack of stakes and pacing. Explode, refresh, repeat until word count is sufficient.

The books also fall into the same trap of almost every story with harem elements. Specifically, the cast gets too big to keep track of or develop any of the characters beyond, "Is this one going to screw the main character too?" While the story seems to WANT you to be invested in all of the characters, it's difficult to feel like they matter when only two of them get any real screen time, for want of a better way of putting it.

There is also the tendency to use rape as a punishment or a combat mechanic which also fits in with tropes of hentai. If it had consequences, it could have been a really solid writing mechanic. Imagine a story where a character experiences this trauma and, rather than blow it off as something that only serves as a motivating force losing a fight or suffering a minor humiliation, or, in an even worse narrative choice, the character starts getting into it mid-rape (seriously, are we still doing this?), they have to deal with the very real trauma of the event. That would be a MAJOR critique of the genre and could serve to reframe just how horrifying not only the experience is, but how dark the world would be if there were whole species of creatures whose sole existence is to go around raping people because it's how they feed (I think. It's not explained too well so I'm not sure if it's because it gives them nourishment or power or what.). The first time a monster was listed as having the ability "super rape" I honestly thought it was funny, but then I assumed that this was going to turn around and comment on the genre or the trope in some substantive way. That never happened.

There's a lot of that in this series, moments with potential to be brilliant that then abandon that potential for something worse or, at times, for what seems like no reason. Imagine a story where a character is walking down a hallway full of doors labeled things like, "Cosmic Power Stones," or, "Secrets of the Universe," each time commenting that there must be something really amazing behind that door and wouldn't it be cool to see what was in there, then turning around and continuing to walk down the hallway, never mentioning any of the doors again, until they came one one labeled, "Bus Terminal," which they enter. That's how I felt for most of this series.

Also, another large chunk of the book is spent reiterating the main character's stats. They are endless and, because so much of the various powers, energy types, game mechanics are never explained, almost totally meaningless. You can skip them by jumping to the next chapter, which the book tell you explicitly, and that, at least, is a good decision on the part of the author. But take away those sections and the story itself becomes even shorter.

There's another issue I have with this series and it is that of the inability of some creators (not just here but in a lot of places) to understand satire. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'm assuming this is meant to be satire due to the way the narrator and main character keep pointing out the various tropes and making snide comments about them along the lines of, "Oh, it's this thing. Great." But it's not enough to simply engage in the conventions of a genre while pointing them out. There needs to be some commentary on them. It's why I do not consider Scream, the 1996 film by Wes Craven, to be satire, no matter how many film students tell me I'm wrong. It is not enough to use a cliche and then point to it stating, "Look! I did this cliche thing!" Ok...and? What statement are you making about it? What greater point is there to your using it here? Because otherwise you're just defaulting to a lot of trite story mechanics in a very self-aware manner.

Now, you can argue that a lot of anime have characters with arbitrary abilities, powers that come out of nowhere, rules that are never defined, and so on. First, that doesn't mean it's good writing. Second, not all anime is good for that very reason. And finally, after a certain point, the defense, "Because anime," wears pretty thin. I was hoping after the first book the story would stretch its limbs a little and do more to comment on or subvert the usual course of these tropes, but the closest it seems to come is the main character saying, "I am not going to be one of those ________ characters," before becoming exactly that thing.

There are two points where I can say the author did a pretty good job of setting up some solid satire and genre commentary, though both still fell a bit short. The first is the skill, "Main Character Stuff." It does a great job of pointing out the way some protagonists survive, grow stronger, or develop sudden new abilities for no reason other than they're the protagonist and the story needs to keep going. However, this only works if you build up the tension with a genuine threat that seems insurmountable, for which the protagonist prepares, trains, studies, gathers allies, and finally confronts the enemy...only to be beaten despite all their efforts. And as they see not only their death, but the death of all their friends and allies, THAT is when you've earned the right to bust that kind of thing out. But the story is too rushed. There's no tension. When Clyde is facing a serious threat in book three (or maybe it was two at it all feels the same), he decided he'll need to train. Great! Looks like we're going to work for this reveal! Except the training started when I walked out of my garage and I had barely reached the end of my driveway when it was over. For the record, my driveway could fit about four cars if they were parked end to end and none of them was any larger than a mid-sized sedan. Again, potential discarded either out of laziness or boredom. We could have learned more about his abilities and how powers worked in this world, as well as more about his companions' abilities as they trained together. Instead, he does some push-ups, some cardio, swings a sword a bit, and we're done. Eventually the "main character stuff" does nothing but eliminate all tension from conflict. The only question is, will Clyde win this fight easily, or will he ALMOST lose before the main character stuff takes over and simply ends the fight? Nothing matters anymore because there are no stakes and all tension is eliminated.

The second bit that stood out was when Clyde and a character whose name I honestly can't remember (Tyrone? Terrance?Trebuchet?) play a card game. The game itself is much like the larger story, more so than it seems to realize. In a well framed shot at things like Yu-Gi-Oh! (I'm not entirely sure if that exclamation mark is part of the title so I'm leaving it in), each card played seems to SHOCKINGLY negate the last card played, only for THAT card to be countered and its effects undone before the end of the next turn. It's a hot mess. And it honestly would have been a great sequence if the characters had finished the match and spent a moment talking about how thoroughly broken the game was, how there was no point to it because some cards were so absurdly overpowered they rendered any skill the player had utterly meaningless, and how it would be really stupid for them to keep playing it. Instead they decided that, yes, Clyde's deck is overpowered and broken...which just makes that deck better. No one notices the utter pointlessness of playing a game where skill is meaningless. You might as well settle disputes with a game of pinball where the flippers have been removed. I feel like it would have been hilarious if the two had decided the game was a hot mess and they didn't want to play it, only to repeatedly run into people who demanded that they fight them in Card Duels or whatever stupid name it had. That is a scenario with some real comedic potential, but I think I've made clear just how well this series is able to turn potential into results.

In the end, I couldn't take it anymore. There was just no point to a story that refuses to put in any of the work needed to create stakes and characters that exist beyond hair color and boob size.

David Reimer does an excellent job as narrator. I can always tell who is speaking based on his performance and his pacing as well as the introduction of sound effects in later books to indicate that combat has started or a character's details are about to be rattled off. It really helped to make the story more dynamic and more game-like. That said, I would still know what was happening without them as Reimer does an excellent job distinguishing the voice of the game system in a way that makes it unmistakable for anything else. Full marks to the technical crew and narrator. You're all solid and talented people. I will gladly check out anything you do that isn't this.

Final summation: The story and the concept have potential. Maybe it will go somewhere interesting, but I'll never know because I just don't care anymore. I got three books in. There are currently eleven. There are better LitRPG stories out there. There are better harem-themed series on the market. Hell, there's better erotica. And I'm only thinking about what you can find on Audible. Read something else. If you want sex and violence, I recommend the Wild Wastes series by Randi Darren. Excellent world-building, engaging characters, and sex scenes that actually have some pacing to them.

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  • Kaz
  • 07-02-19

I agree solid 6/10

So I was recommended this by audible. I asked on the litrpg group in Facebook. They said it’s ok. I tried to get some details but no real reason stated. However they all seemed to agree 6/10.

The Mc is a bit of an idiot and for this being anime world that is saying something. The prompts were rather annoying but actually told him to turn this section off so why didn’t he? The whole your an idiot thing just got annoying to listen to.

This is more Hentai than anime. Which is fine because the premise says that but hell it involves tentacle rape. This book is a Mc-17 if it was a movie maybe a hard R with the right critics.

My issue with the narrator involved the chosen voice for Mc. Despite seeming a low cha stat he always adopts this suave way to speak. Just bug me as it doesn’t seem to fit the character.

I recommend this for a down time listen when you have nothing else. However do not listen out loud or around other people.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ray Johnson
  • 05-02-19

Tropes galore, story is wanting

You may have heard me recently say that I am a fan of Anime, but really only hit something like 3 series altogether, those being Naruto, Inuyasha, and Cowboy Beboop. I have watched a lot of others, but I am really only devoted to those three. I have seen Death Note, Full Metal Alchemist, Bleach, Dragon Ball, etc. So, I may not be as knowledgeable as others I do know what anime is and the tropes it produces. So, I really thought I would love to give this a shot and see how this set in comparison to what I know about Anime tropes.
First of all, the narrator, David Reimer is going to play a huge factor in the score of this book. SO, I’m going to start with him. I want to say that he isn’t a horrible narrator, he does do some voices, and add inflections, but his normal reading of the non-dialogue bits really drops the ball. It was hard to tell if some of the bits would have worked with a different narrator, because he did not have a voice made for comedy or comedic moments. In Anime a lot of things are exaggerated including the way characters react vocally. Angry girls yell loud and talk fast, someone gets knocked for a loop and they (in the less serious anime) exaggerate their pain with moans as they speak. When they get hot and bothered they have a lovey dovey voice and none of that was done here, and it would have certainly helped. This was more of a mechanical reading, and it did not grab my attention. Again, I don’t want to bash, but if you are going to narrate an Anime styled book, do some research. Go to crunchy roll and watch a few shows and get a feel for what the tropes are like. Not having the narration fill in like it should have really hurt this book.

There were a few things that Atwater did as a writer that bothered me. One, I could tell when there was a typo because Reimer would say a wrong word, and while I always say that the narrator is the last line of defense against typos they ultimately are not to blame. Secondly, I really think that Atwater missed the mark with this book. At first it felt like it was going to be a kid friendly novel, but then POW sex scenes started popping up, and in every anime I’ve ever seen sex is hinted at, there might be some groping, but that is it. It really did not fit the spirit of the story, honestly if he was going to go Hentai I wouldn’t have had an issue, but it should have said so and I would have been fine with it, but this was the anime trope book. On the hentai topic I was a little surprised that he would so casually drop the F-bomb, but then would refer to a certain part of the male anatomy as his “horn”. He did this not once, but multiple times and I would have preferred any other euphemism than horn. It just felt very out of place. Again, I think that this book would have benefitted from one cohesive vision. If you are doing Anime then keep to the style of how they talk. I have never heard Inuyasha or Kagome utter the F-word. Additionally, the book is called Stone vs Viper and we never got to even see the viper until the end of the book. So, that was a bit of a disappointment. From what I could tell, Atwater did have some tropes down and he played them out well, but it was difficult to enjoy it like I should due to narration. Overall, the book has some real potential, but it didn’t make me not want to put it down or listen to it nonstop. Thankfully, it had a shorter run time.

Final score 6.6 stars, again I think a better narrator would have ratcheted up the score.



As seen on the Litrpg Audiobook Podcast.

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  • Josh Noneya
  • 27-03-20

Not even if it was free.

The story is total cringe.

The narration was terrible.

I wouldn't recommend it even to the most steadfast of haram enthusiasts.
Enough said.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 30-11-19

Narrator is soul sucking

I really wanted to get into this book, but the narrator is just terrible. It's like listening to siri tell you the time. There is no emotion behind any of it, I made it 23 minutes into it before I came back to check reviews to see if it gets better. From what I've seen it doesn't and at the time of writing, this all nine books are narrated by this guy. Hard pass, promising story, terrible narrator. Returned.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jai
  • 25-04-19

Finally an MC that gets it

I kept on getting recommendations for ATS because I read a lot of litrpg. I decided to take a leap and got the first book. I was like holy crap, the MC isn't some indecisive idiot who runs away from his problems or has morals about sleeping with hot chicks. Well he does have standards, no dumb bitches. I'm reading the fourth book now and I plan on finishing the whole series by next week. Thank you for addressing the issues of damn anime tropes that piss off the audience.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • P. C. Gardner
  • 11-01-19

maybe I don't love anime enough

this book was okay. the story was kind of boring. unexplainably attractive guy moves from one girl trying to bed him to the next. maybe I don't know enough about anime to really appreciate this book, but it is more likely that this kind of anime is just trash. however, I gave the book an extra star because I don't know enough to appreciate it. to me the book just seemed kind of boring. also, I didn't love the expilict sex scenes though I didn't lower the rating because of it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Hunter
  • 18-03-20

Excellent for what it is.

This is a ridiculous harem hentai litrpg. It's a very good example of the combination of genres.

It does have a bunch of rape a la monster hentai, so keep that in mind before deciding to listen.

Clyde is kinda an idiot, he keeps inner monologue about how he is aware of all these anime tropes and he won't fall for them, and then does obviously stupid stuff that is designed to place him in a position for running smack into these tropes.

For all that it is still a fun story with some good humor and character development. Most of the cast are pleasant and interesting and the adventure itself takes some whacky turns.

I enjoyed this book pretty well, however it is shorter than I like in an audio book. It is unlikely id be willing to pick up the next book at full price. If the series goes on sale or gets bundled together in a volume collection I'd happily pick up more of this series. As it stands the books are just too short to be economical to spend credits.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-03-20

Too much monster rape goin on.

By 2/3 through the story everyone ends up being raped by boy and girl monsters. If you liked that tentacle rape stuff this books for you.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 30-01-20

Series Review,

Review icludes up to book 14,

Overall I enjoyed the series, with that said it does have it share of issues. One of the major issues is how much of it is devoted to stats. This would not be an issue however given how short each book is the stats really reduce the actual length of each book. Additionally the secondary character's storylines does take away from the actual MC development. I honestly don't care what the villains are up to. I would rather have that time devoted in developing the MC and the relationships.

Frankly multiple books should not have been standalone but combined. For example there is a book dedicated on the travel between cities or one about saving a restaurant. Honestly I could see there only being 7 books instead of 14. This combined with my reasoning given under spoilers might make me stop the series. Honestly I feel like I'm being ripped off.


Spoilers,

One of my main issues is the lack of focus on growing in strength. How many sword lessons has he had? What about actual combat or martial training? Let's not forget about how long it takes him to read his magical books. That all has nothing on the lack of marriage. After 14 books and even being soulbound to someone he has yet to marry. Even after a cities destruction and almost losing everyone he knows and loves he has yet to become serious on growing. How many times does the system have to tell him that those who he marries will pretty much become godesses? In addition to his own strength growing.

To be honest the lack of progress in the story as well as building his strength and those he loves has me thinking of not continuing the series. After 14 books I feel we should be much further along in the story as well as the relationships.