NaRe 2020 Day 17

Two fics with possibly unreliable pokemon narrators about how awesome trainers are, porn, low effort writing.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13483020/1/Harbinger-of-Happiness (1)

You wouldn’t capitalize animal or mouse or dragon, so you shouldn’t capitalize words like pokemon or pikachu or charizard. The only time you should capitalize it is if you’re using it as the pokemon’s name, ie, Ash’s pikachu is called Pikachu. This is because you only capitalize when it’s a proper noun, which are the names of places or things. Similar reasoning should be applied to any other words you’re thinking of capitalizing, like trainer or professor or gym.

And hm.

I keep questioning the narrator’s reliability and I’m not sure if you meant it that way or not.

So, the zubat and golbat think there’s something wrong about the shape of a crobat, and the crobat themself agrees that their form is “unnatural”. Is this simply because it’s unfamiliar to wild because it only happens to trained pokemon, or is there actually something bad to it? It does seem possibly off that a crobat sacrifices their legs for more wings, but it’s small potatoes compared to how drastic the change of the average pokemon evolution is.

The narrator asserts very early on that pokemon love battling all the time and there’s nothing to directly contradict that, but everything about how they describe the zubat and golbat is that they used to be part of a very closely knit highly social community – [I still recognize my brood, my elders. I can even tell which fledgings belong to what parents. ] And this is very different than their current life, where, when they wonder about trying to have a conversation with other happiness evolutions, say [I should ask, next time I come across one, even if we have to do it while battling.] and then immediately follow it with [Though by then, I may be too absorbed in fighting for my human to care.] which sounds horrifying all by itself and even more so when what they’re saying about these zubat and golbat is that they’re entirely capable of having normal conversations with other pokemon. It also makes the question you ask in your ending author’s notes kind of odd – [Do you think the Crobat is happier in its new form, or sadder because it can’t connect well with its lower forms? ] Wild pokemon might not act this way toward a golbat, but by all appearances it’s not like they’d be able to connect even if the other pokemon were willing, because they’re here to fight anyone who appears in order to protect their trainer.

On the other hand, we know that the zubat and golbat are not only “unreliable” but outright delusional – [But no one listens, much less recognizes me. No one seems to even consider that I once lived here too. I’m too different. They keep saying I am a liar.] Which is also weird and seems like too much of a stretch, honestly, since the wild pokemon are completely aware the narrator used to be a golbat and they must’ve come from somewhere, and also the narrator just made it clear how vividly they remember everyone, so they would be able to call out to individuals by name.

[For my human. My human. Everything is for my human. And I am happy. It saddens me that so many of the wild ones will never know that happiness, that fulfillment, that comfort. How did I stand being such an empty being before, when I was wild?]

Anyway, with all this, it’s really hard to tell how to take the narrator’s assertions. They don’t give any evidence of what their human does that’s so great and makes them so happy, the references to their currently life sound more empty than even the snippets about their past, and the happiness mechanics themselves don’t really clarify things either – you can make pokemon evolve by just walking long enough with them next to you, but also by getting them brushed or giving them treats, and also having them battle in their caught location normally makes them like you more so the mechanics don’t necessarily apply in this fic anyway.

Either way, I like the idea of [I am too different. Almost, but not quite, like them. And I will never be quite like them again. Even if I was released into the wild tomorrow, with no more human interaction for the rest of my life, I will never be wild. I am too…human? ] that whether it’s good or bad, there really is something fundamentally strange about this type of evolution and that the strangeness is about bringing them closer to a human mindset.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13483044/1/Pok%C3%A9mon-Mystery-Dungeon-Keepers-of-the-NC-17 (0)

You wouldn’t capitalize animal or mouse or dragon, so you shouldn’t capitalize words like pokemon or pikachu or charizard. The only time you should capitalize it is if you’re using it as the pokemon’s name, ie, Ash’s pikachu is called Pikachu. This is because you only capitalize when it’s a proper noun, which are the names of places or things. Similar reasoning should be applied to any other words you’re thinking of capitalizing, like trainer or professor or gym.

Dialogue is written as “Hello,” she said or “Hello!” she said, never “Hello.” She said or “Hello.” she said or “Hello,” She said or “Hello” she said. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb, which is a verb describing how the dialogue is said. (“Speak” is not a speech verb.) In that case it’s written as “Hello.” She grinned, never “Hello,” she grinned or “Hello,” She grinned or “Hello.” she grinned. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like laughed or giggled is in the second category. Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s “Hi,” she said. “This is it.” not “Hi,” she said, “this is it.” or “Hi,” she said “this is it.” And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s “Hi. This,” she said, “is it.” The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks or any other ones with thoughts.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13483164/1/Catharsis (0)

Dialogue is written as “Hello,” she said or “Hello!” she said, never “Hello.” She said or “Hello.” she said or “Hello,” She said or “Hello” she said. The only exception to this is if the next sentence doesn’t contain a speech verb, which is a verb describing how the dialogue is said. (“Speak” is not a speech verb.) In that case it’s written as “Hello.” She grinned, never “Hello,” she grinned or “Hello,” She grinned or “Hello.” she grinned. Note that something isn’t a speech verb just because it’s a sound you make with your mouth, so generally stuff like laughed or giggled is in the second category. Furthermore, if you’re breaking up two complete sentences it’s “Hi,” she said. “This is it.” not “Hi,” she said, “this is it.” or “Hi,” she said “this is it.” And if you’re breaking up a sentence in the middle, it’s “Hi. This,” she said, “is it.” The same punctuation and capitalization rules apply to thoughts, except you don’t use quotation marks or any other ones with thoughts.

You wouldn’t capitalize animal or mouse or dragon, so you shouldn’t capitalize words like pokemon or pikachu or charizard. The only time you should capitalize it is if you’re using it as the pokemon’s name, ie, Ash’s pikachu is called Pikachu. This is because you only capitalize when it’s a proper noun, which are the names of places or things. Similar reasoning should be applied to any other words you’re thinking of capitalizing, like trainer or professor or gym.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13483261/1/My-uncle-works-at-Nintendo-and-all-I-got-was-this-stupid-shirt (2)

[“Do you know what a lizard is?” I asked the Pokémon whose name wasn’t Durbal.

“Ledbred,” it said, sadly pulling at the tag around its neck as though it wanted it off. Ledbred wasn’t its name either. I still don’t know what Pokémon it is]

This almost hits mild surreal horror but the jokey element just kneecaps that while not actually making it comedic. I’d suggesting committing to one particular thing

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13483276/1/Williams-kanto-adventures (0)

Script format: still banned.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13483288/1/A-Bulbasaur-s-Story (1)

You wouldn’t capitalize animal or mouse or dragon, so you shouldn’t capitalize words like pokemon or pikachu or charizard. The only time you should capitalize it is if you’re using it as the pokemon’s name, ie, Ash’s pikachu is called Pikachu. This is because you only capitalize when it’s a proper noun, which are the names of places or things. Similar reasoning should be applied to any other words you’re thinking of capitalizing, like trainer or professor or gym.

[I’ve heard some humans complain about forcing Pokémon to fight. Sure, there’s some who are forced, but most of us Pokémon are doing it willfully.  ]

Okay, so “only some of us” is not actually the great argument you seem to think it is. Anyone getting forced is worthy of objecting to. Neither is going on to say that there’s lots of pokemon humans keep that never fight – if most pokemon like fighting, that means most of those pokemon are being forced not to fight against their will. You really can’t counter an objection about “being forced” with “luckily a lot of them were cool with what they have no choice in”. The actual issue is the lack of choice. If you want to counter this, don’t have them be property in the first place. Have him say he like any other pokemon could leave if he wanted to and chooses not to.

[In some ways, we choose our trainers just as much as they choose us Pokémon. ]

It’d have really helped if you went on to illustrate any element of choice at all, instead of just listing benefits to a human deciding they own you now that that boil down to food and shelter.

In conclusion: [I couldn’t ask for a better partner ] Yeah. Because he literally could not ask. It’s not an option he has.

This one really really reads like it should be some sort of parody, but if so, they deeply misjudged the baseline state of fandom and its one review at least is taking it at face value.

13 Comments

  1. illhousen says:

    I couldn’t ask for a better partner

    The line is in black, making it unreadable.

    Otherwise, I kinda wonder if the whole slavery issue is a fandom loyalty coupled with the lack of critical thinking. Like, do people just enjoy Pokemon and then go on to justify iffy elements because they don’t want to feel bad about enjoying something Problematic (even if maybe intellectually they kinda get that it’s an issue), or is the idea of owning people is in itself the appeal here?

    1. CrazyEd says:

      I think, less than wanting to justify iffy elements, it’s more a matter of… those iffy elements don’t exist within the logic of the setting. That logic of the setting is different than our own world, however.  In the setting of Pokemon, all pokemon are okay with being captured and trained, because of course they are; they need to be in order for the setting’s premise to work right. That’s why the story of Black and White had the problem it did. It tried to address that logical disconnect between what the setting presents and what our own real world logic would suggest would happen, without actually changing the logical disconnect, because it needs that disconnect to function properly.

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      1. Farla says:

        To make it even more of a problem, the iffy elements are in canon, just inconsistently!

        First gen, pokemon always approached you to fight, with the exception of four pokemon where you walked up to them to say hi and got attacked. Second gen introduces “fleeing”, along with pokeballs to force pokemon clearly want nothing to do with you to be yours anyway, and happiness mechanics. The happiness mechanics get updated in third gen and on to involve the idea different pokemon start at different levels of dislike for you, including buneary that start off seething with abject hatred (and ralts/kirlia start at just one tier higher, so they absolutely want nothing to do with you, they’re just one tick short of hating you with literally every fiber of their being). And later gens also introduced elements of stalking pokemon instead of them attacking you, first with rustling grass and then actually having to sneak up on the pokemon or else they’ll flee.

        But there’s no way to actually engage with any of those elements. You don’t know why pokemon feel that way and you can’t tell if this is an actual opinion they have or if it’s like a half-feral cat where once they calm down they’ll enjoy their new life and while you can opt out of some of them you have to play significantly against the grain and the game won’t even notice.

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        1. CrazyEd says:

          That’s why, I think, on the whole, pokemon would benefit from more animalistic pokemon. Taming feral animals with a high natural urge for combat is a lot less iffy than forcing sapient beings to fight.

      2. Keleri says:

        One day I’m gonna put on my ANBU mask and do a youtube video about how N Was Right: the existence of kind and fair trainers does not excuse a system that’s set up without clear ways of looking for and stopping wrongdoing, and maybe even rewards abuse of pokemon, MUCH LIKE OUR OWN WORLD JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE NICE TO A POC DOESN’T MEAN THAT RACISM IS SOLVED thanks for coming to TED talk

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    2. Farla says:

      It’s surprisingly hard to tease out.

      I know that when I brought up a variety of issues, like “the happiness mechanics involve a lot of stuff that trainers do that benefit the trainer so it doesn’t mean the trainer actually cares” people would be personally offended because they cared so much. And to change that would mean what they already did wasn’t good enough, so instead they dig in their heels and insist that no they’re saints.

      But I also think there’s a lot of self-selection going on, where the idea of having a friend that can’t say no, can’t leave you, can’t assert any boundaries…is very much the point.

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    3. Keleri says:

      Like, do people just enjoy Pokemon and then go on to justify iffy elements because they don’t want to feel bad about enjoying something Problematic

      I have a lot of empathy for people who balk at the various issues we’ve identified with pokemon training because, emphatically, it’s A Lot to consider, and I understand the reaction to the suggestion being hostile and Trainer Fragility-y (ha) and maybe even making you so mad that you go on a multi-sockpuppet campaign to try to smear the name of whoever suggested the idea to you in the first place (cough).

      It’s actually what made me stop writing the original Gods and Demons (well, + depression); I couldn’t justify how Moriko treated Vleridin the Mooskeg or how pokemon training worked until I rejigged the whole system (and now Moriko being abusive is a feature rather than a bug bc I like imperfect protagonists).

      So I understand why you might not even want to engage with it or have to narratively deal with all these independent pokemon personalities. That said, I don’t think the Pokemon Waifu types are thinking about it too hard either; they would be writing about indulgent Waifus ready to serve their every need (and I support your fetish, just please know the difference between fiction and reality) regardless of fandom (or original fiction, hahahaha literature is trash) and these ones that we see just happened to pick Pokemon.

      1. CrazyEd says:

        I couldn’t justify how Moriko treated Vleridin the Mooskeg or how pokemon training worked until I rejigged the whole system

        This is how I feel writing classic style cyberpunk.

        I don’t think the Pokemon Waifu types are thinking about it too hard either

        Yeah, I definitely think that, regardless of what you think about Farla’s interpretation of why these stories are so popular, the overwhelming majority are doing it subconsciously, probably because it’s their fetish. It’d probably be better if they consciously realized why they were doing it, but as long as they remember to separate reality from fiction, they probably won’t hurt anybody.

        I seem to recall a conversation on this site once about how you can kind of tell when bondage/discipline fetish fic is being written by the person who wants to do the discipline or the person who wants to be disciplined, and I think that kinda applies here. If you’re doing it because it’s your fetish, and you know it’s just a fetish, and treat it accordingly, it doesn’t really do any harm.

        Maybe it came up when Butcher wrote that random mommydom scene in the third Dresden Files book?

  2. CrazyEd says:

    Is this simply because it’s unfamiliar to wild because it only happens to trained pokemon

    This is actually a really interesting idea, and a good way to demonstrate how training is beneficial to pokemon. Some pokemon can literally only achieve their ultimate form with the assistance of humans.

    For my human. My human. Everything is for my human. And I am happy.

    Yeesh. This is… as the twitter people say… yikes.

    This story seems like it might be scratching against some good ideas and an interesting premise, but the author just isn’t quite aware of what they’re writing, or ready to tackle such a complex subject.

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    1. Indiscretion says:
      [Some pokemon can literally only achieve their ultimate form with the assistance of humans.]

      As a counterpoint to that, you should totally check out Almost Like Flying.

    2. Farla says:

      a good way to demonstrate how training is beneficial to pokemon. Some pokemon can literally only achieve their ultimate form with the assistance of humans.

      Well, it used to be relatively good evidence for training’s benefits, but that’s also gotten less clear ever since the SuMo pokedex established that mega evolution fucks pokemon up.

  3. Actislazyandwontlogin says:
    While hoping is for fools, my knee jerk reaction to the crobat one is that the narration is meant to at least make you question the crobat’s reliability. Are they really happy, or just Stockholmed into a kind of pseudo-humanity that works, but not totally?

    If that reading wasn’t intended this is a really weird piece.

     

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    1. Farla says:

      It’s apparently supposed to be unreliable, but the author thinks it’s still hard to say if the choice was a good one even though if the narrator is unreliable there’s no confirmed upside to the evolution to balance all the downsides. It feels like it’s similarly running into the problem that pokemon aren’t expected to have the same rights/treatment, so the standards for “it’s fine, really” are much much lower.

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