What if Thymilph killed Simon: A Gurren Lagann What If

My dearest guests and subjects! For the most loyal readers it may be known that one of the anime I hold in the highest of Regards, is Gurren Lagann , prime candidate for my favourite anime, despite my adversity to the Mecha Genre. The themes are a perfect fit for me and I draw inspiration from Kamina’s word.  His vision of his drill piercing the heaven, a message I found inspiring. Yet what would happen if this prophet of my evangelion had stuck around?! What if Simon got killed in the battle with Thymilph.

Disclaimers and Stuff

So before we dig into this story let me make a few things clear, obviously this post will be filled with “spoilers”.  As we will see how the orginal story changes by performing a role reversal of sorts! Secondly I will not write this as a story.. but more how the story would conceptually change. Given what we know, how I envision these characters and  based on things like story motivations etc. I love the original story and do not think this story would be better in any way, I just think it would be an interesting post to theorycraft. As the lawful ruler of Paradise , the only holiday resort located in between reality and imagination I will use both character motivations as well as narrative structure as a guide to come up with this concept.

This means it can happen that characters suddenly change their character quite a bit, as will be the case with several characters in this scenario but this is because some personalities will not fit this new story, I will always try to find a motivator for this but as lesser anime have proven, characters are often pliable to fit a story if the need exists. I fully intend to utilize this.  No custom characters will be inserted but some designs may vary due to how things unfold. Unlike a Dragon Ball what if , this scenario would drastically change the tone of the story, but many major events. Where in Dragon Ball, making an extra character turn good, will alter the scenario..it will still feel like the same series. The events in Gurren Lagann though are pretty inevitable so the main story changes much less than the tone!  With that being said , let’s get into the story.

Episodes 1 Through 7

First let’s look at any changes that need to happen prior to the big event. I will not change any persona’s here. Things would change a bit cinematography wise. We would things a bit more from Kamina’s perspective…maybe even seeing what the man sees in Simon trough a vision of sorts… The first episode would air mostly unchanged but the introduction would look a bit different. Rather than a somewhat casual looking figure we see a more stern hero, clad in black instead of a blue glowing radar we see a more reddish colour scheme as the war across the galaxies proceeds.  A man shrouded in darkness clenches onto a tiny little drill making a tsk noise. Gurren Lagann.. Spin On!   Who the hell do you think I am, is being said… but at a Much Different Tone.  Other than that.. not a single change happens in episode 1.

Episode 2  has a bigger change, in this episode Kamina doesn’t find out his father is dead yet.  He finds his stuff.. but no bones.  Instead there is this little box that looks like it needs the Spiral Key. Kamina believes Simon is the only one that wields it’s power and he asks Simon to try and open it.. but nothing happens. He tries it himself but this time around the key doesn’t even glow. A little mystery towards Kamina’s fathers mythos.  As the character might need something of a story arc to continue on right now. He thinks his father might be dead.. but this also looks a bit like a dead drop! Other than that the episode will remain largerly unchanged.

Episode 3 & 4 will not change at all, there is no need for them to change and it introduces major elements that are told in great ways already. In the fifth episode though we will notice a few changes to the character of Rossiu Adai. The character that was depicted as a fairly devout/pious follower of Gunmen Worship! This time around is not AS pious He is Devout still but he sees something in Kamina.  A Prophet of some kind. A man who can talk to gunmen! Much like how Kamina looks at Simon in some way, Rossiu will look at Kamina in a similar way.. except with the perspective flipped. This initially will lead to Kamina bullying the boy a bit more. “Forehead Boy”  because more of a slur Kamina uses to keep Rossiu at a distance.  With this theme moving forward trough episode 6 and 7, which remain largely unchanged. Yet we do see the religious boy giving Kamina a even bigger hero status. He is the apostille of Kamina after all.

my gif kamina gurren lagann Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann TTGL Simon The  Digger | Anime, Gurren lagann, Gurren lagann kamina

Episode 8

The big moment.. the episode of the first Giga Drill Break and Kamina’s Last Certain kill move! At least in the orginal run! This time we will see a slightly more fearful Simon although rather than fearful, perhaps the better worth is anxious. Rossiu would have talked to him about the hero he thinks Kamina is.. and Simon agrees! He is convinced the world needs Kamina. He looks around him more.. and then he spots the beastmen general trying to make a surprise move on Kamina. We see the original scene play out fastened,  as Simon realises Aniki might die. Overcome by stress.. we see Gurren starting to run and as the attack is about to hit Kamina, Simon’s little droid takes the hit instead.  Kamina immediately reacts and damages the Gunmen of General Thymilph badly in an attempt to shelter his buddy!  Kamina tries to reach Simon through the radio, but there is no response.  As he thinks he hears static come to live he realises it’s rain hitting his window. There is no response from Gurren at all. With Lagann holding the badly damaged Gurren he knows. A rain puddle on the ground right below Gurren colours red. For the first time in his life.. Kamina gives the order to retreat. As Lagann picks up the heavily damaged Gurren, the general laughs, allowing them to leave. His beastmen ask him why he did that to which he simply replies. I want them to feel this pain! Their spirit is broken.

We then cut to a defeated team Dai Gurren , Kamina exits Lagann and opens the pod to find a mortally wounded Simon. Simon  tells Kamina he didn’t want to die.. but he could not let his Aniki die either. His body moved on his own. He apologises to Kamina, telling him.. Aniki is the hero anyway and as Simon hands him the tiny little drill that started their adventure.. he passes on. Kamina falls to the ground distraught, his sunglasses topple to the floor, shattering.  Yoko cries, Rossiu tries to act big, as outside the rain pours we see a lonely Kamina digging a hole. Yoko looked from some distance, distraught but clearly pushed away by Kamina for now.  He then takes of his cloak and uses it as a shroud for Simon, for a moment he thinks of burying the Spiral with him as well.. but he doesn’t he puts it on his neck, as the episode simply ends in silence.

The Remainder of Part 1

From here on out, I will not take this episode for episode anymore as we get a different story.  So who knows where the episodes begin and end. In the 9th Episode we see Yoko comfort Kamina, he is in a funk and unable to fight.. but we see him snap out of it.. yet instead of Simon, who became the idealist in Kamina’s stead.. this change would change Kamina and his beliefs. In its core Gurren Lagann had been the story of a boy trying to fill impossibly big shoes to fill! A story of amazing heroes that try to shatter the limit of what people think is possible, showing that our only true limitation is our shortsightedness.  If we think outside the box enough.. if we follow our own path instead of comparing it to what came before, we can reach new heights!  Kamina has been a beacon for this ideal and the story was about how his will was passed on. That can not happen now.. so instead of Simon, he has to go through change. Yet I feel Kamina would not give up his goal, it is to much connected to him.. so we will go with the hero turning “Dark Saviour ” trope. 

Rossiu will pilot Gurren for now but the boy has to weak of a will to save them all. Kamina realises that if he can save the world  with team Dai Gurren, Simon will not have died in vain.. If they fail.. THEN Simon will have died in vain. He shall be the drill that Wil Pierce the Heavens.. NO!  He will be the drill that MUST pierce the heavens. As Kamina realises this the Spiral Key glows red in his possession. Lagann and Gurren merge into Gurren Lagann, but the greenish/blue elements of fire and power have been replaced by a reddish element with some blue accents (like the yellow speed lines now being blue)  to reflect Kamina’s old colour scheme. Kamina’s energy and catchphrases become much more grim.. like his Drill MUST pierce the heavens.. and “who the hell do you think I am” being said much more menacingly. He also takes a few extra tattoos to look more menacingly! Like a Samao or Maori Warrior.

The key now unlocks his fathers lock-box and in it he  find his father’s diary. With it he finds  out that Lordgenome and his Father once were allies, fighting a force that is greater than them. Yet Lordgenome betrayed the Spiral-Warriors, something that is heavily implied in some side lore for the series, now becoming an actual plotpoint. The Diary said that if Kamina found this, he (the father)  would most likely be dead, but one day he would find a way to get back to his son. Kamina remade his fathers cloak.. in black this time..as well as a much more deeper shaded set of sunglasses. Lordgenome got Simon killed and now he found out he also killed his father. Kamina wanted revenge! Nia would still be found but not a lot of people would bond with her. Rossiu would seem to enjoy talking to her a bit , but Kamina said that they might have to use Nia as bait .. to weaken Lordgenome!  He will avoid it if he can.. but if there is no other way he WILL sacrifice her to see the blight of beastmen end.

The next series of transformations we would see would be grittier and darker. Rather than the insanely abundant designs, the new combinations had something more visceral to them. Stil insanely over the top.. but more functionally so. Think extra drills for defence. Kamina would also ask for some wair paint on all the gunmen!  The other humans would all change as well, as Kamina had this sort of natural charisma , they would all accompany him in his journey to a darker place. While never going villainous, Kamina’s tactics became much more pragmatic. He lost Simon.. so people die in this war it’s just facts people die! So as long as they don’t die for no reason they are allowed to die! While  Kamina would never sacrifice anyone there would be times he comes close to do so to generate tactical advantage.  A few gunmen get sacrificed and replaced though and rather than destroying all the general Gunman he would focus more on trying to obtain those. We also see Dai Gurren putting all their faith in him, very willing to throw their lives away, never questioning his orders. His natural charisma and their need for revenge clearly shaping them.

Except for of course the monkey General! Who begs for mercy after LordGenome has been defeated.. He will only show up in the last battle, not earlier because he is much more directly linked to the person Kamina has become.. he is a bigger villain this time around whom Lord Genome employs to distract Kamina but Yoko would use her sniper to disable his Gunmen and leave him stranded. When the defeat of Lordgenome would be complete and the general begs for mercy, Kamina shows him none! The monkey gets out of his gunman and on his knees and begs to be spared. Kamina lifts Gurren Lagann’s leg and squashes the monkey while the humans simply cheer him on blindly.

Part 2

Just like in the original we make a time jump, towards the time Anti Spiral has appeared.  A few major changes will occur here. Humanity has flourished much like it did with Simon. Though we see a few changes. Gimmy and Darry would not be piloting any gunmen. We see Kittan instead, hunting some beastmen in their machines. As the Star shaped Gunmen lands in front of it’s enemy it and it’s allies do a little Haka!  One one these Maori war dances meant to intimidate their enemy! I feel that is exactly the amount of intimidating but weird that I want this civilization under Kamina to have. His tatoos always remind me of that a bit and I think it would make for a great cinematic element. These Haka’s would return for the “who the hell do you think we are “ type of scenes. The Beastmen would surrender.. and as a result they would get blasted to bits!  Humans do not take kindly to beastmen!  They would do so in the name of Simon and Kamina. In another scene we would see Yoko teaching full time.. but she would look a lot more respectable.. less Bikini look,  instead she would have her hair loose. Looking a lot like Kushina from Naruto. The reason why she looks so homey is soon revealed as Kamina enters his house, the same Simon would have had.. but decorated a bit more garish!

He walk in saying “honey I am home” after which a squeaky voice says that Mrs Litner is not home yet, she had some parent teacher night. It is Nia, who now works for the family as a maid. She smiles at Kamina and tells her she put Simon to bed. Revealing Kamina and Yoko had a kid that  they named Simon. She drops the exposition that Mrs Yoko had been trying hard to find Simon his first Birthday gift. Kamina gasps.. “Oh I have to give a great gift as well, what will I do”  Nia laughs and tells him there is still a fair bit of time. Not long after that the anti spiral things begin to happen and Nia turns into an agent for Anti Spiral.. this time taking Baby Simon along with her as a hostage. I feel that just Nia turning into an Anti Spiral agent would not be strong enough this time around , so we need a character like Baby Simon.  As for her reasons to take him, Anti Spiral believes it would break the human resistance and prevent them from striking at Nia, whom never was really beloved as she was the “daughter of the devil”


No betrayal and dickbag moves this time from Forehead boy ! Kamina’s rule is already more pragmatic than Simon’s and he is much more idolised than Simon, no one would ever doubt him. Everyone is loyal to a fault even our backstabber priesty boy!  Like I said before the group has this Maori like feeling around them this time and they will walk into war more akin to War-Brothers and more primal as a society. Simpler though not persé worse ..Not a whole lot would change during the Anti-Spiral wars. We’d see those Gurren Lagann clones being used by a few more faceless people, that Kamina and the rest are more willing to sacrifice, we also seem them cope with death a bit differently. Where Kintan instead of a sad goodbye is more or less saluted by everyone for his bravery and sacrifice. The group is still fairly tight knit..but  with Kamina’s undiluted ideology without the childlike innocence added to it.. it would result in a much more zealous team Dai Gurren. So we would probably see a few extra characters die. Including Rossiu because of course for the final part he has to be replaced with Viral.  Death now is not as sad anymore. People have become much more like Kamina, and the warrior culture that grew makes it all feel very different.

Near the end of the story Kamina notices his transformations barely have enough power to defeat the enemy, which would be a factor leading into the death of Rossisu, his trusted copilot. Having used all those fake Gurren Lagann’s as sacrificial fodder now came to bite Kamina back in his ass well.. as there was no real suitable pilot for Gurren. He did not want Yoko to risk it as she is the mother of his child. Yet he knew of one beastman he had left alive.. a man to which he shared a strange sort of connection with.. a Parallel of sorts. We see the scene from the beginning unfold right before the search for Viral. Kamina butchering a lot of anti spirals as if it was nothing. Yet when Viral confronted him with how much he had changed Kamina began to think… perhaps that is why he could not get everything out of his Gatai?!

The final fight begins and he argues with Vidal a lot, at one point Yoko shows up in her Yoko Tank and tells Kamina to shut up. He begins to realise he might be the one in the wrong here indeed.  This revalation is used as a speech to snap Nia out her control from anti Spiral. Kamina tells her that he was a man that would never sacrifice others before, that he met a boy who saw the good in him, calling him his big brother.. and that team Dai Gurren was family as well.. he was their big brother and a big brother takes care of his family. He tells Nia is family and if she lets him he will take care of her, no one else has to die. Nia returns baby Simon to Yoko and tells Kamina that she thanks him for finally welcoming her in the family. While she was staff before Kamina always shut her out due to her origin! She was so grateful that she had one final gift. Nia would now take the role that LordGenome did in this final fight. She would sacrifice herself to give the rest of the group a chance.

3109367-1348556995-sttgl | HeroMachine Character Portrait Creator

Kamina feels horrified.. yet another person he got killed. Then the box of his father glows.. granting him a vision, much like the anti spiral did with Simon with the false Kamina.. but this time it would all be from within Kamina himself. He would not have a vision of Simon… but of his father. Basically a Bardock Version of Kamina who just widely smiles at Kamina telling him “So You Finally got your own head out of your ass and stopped moping, you know you can do this… I just wanted to say… I am proud of you son, you have grown into a fine man.. and an even better hero, but liven up a little!  Life is to short to be so gloomy..trust me I can know”  Then Simon would appear and he would ask Kamina why he thinks Simon found that key? Kamina answers saying he felt Simon was the chosen one.. it came to him.. as with all heroes. Simon denies this and he tells Kamina to give him the tip to dig there. The Spiral was Kamina’s all along, Simon was just the way to get the key to Kamina. The latter is relieved to hear this but he says no Simon, you were more than that. You were my brother. The shot would return to reality and Kamina’s key would turn bright blue.. with some red accents.. and as he turns it, the final Gatai happens.. forming the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann from the movie.. the Blue Flamey one.

Like the original we get the scene where Anti Spiral keeps impaling these giant robots with a tinier form coming out but instead of Gurren, the final one this time would be Lagann. Throwing his Sunglasses, shouting out Certain Kill Move, before being impaled. Kamina jumps out as his hands turn into a drill as he yells, finally my drills have pierced the heaven .. but before Kamina can land a killing blow he is pierced as well. Kamina slumps over and seems to have died. His black cloak floats away on the wind.. outside the bounds of the universe. Then the logo of Dai Gurren is shown . Anti Spiral makes a comment about Kamina being strong for a mortal but in the end no one can stop him and he is just another failure. Then he jolts as he suddenly sees he is mortally wounded, Kamina has just pierced his chest with a grin on his face. Still alive, his arm turned into a drill. “Who the hell do you think I am? “ he asks.. before Anti Spiral is shattered and team Dai Gurren is victorious.

The series would end with Simon’s first birthday.  His heavily bandaged father walks into the room holding just the tiniest gift.. while his mother gave him a giant plushie shaped like Gurren Lagann.  Kamina bends over and pats his son on the back. Happy Birthday son.. Happy Birthday Simon he says, as he holds out the little drill key that started his adventure.  As Baby Simon’s tiny hands grab the shiny looking thing. Kamina gives his son a kid on the forhead. He sits in a chair looking tired. Then he slumps over…dead.  Yoko picks up her baby and sheds a single tear. She knew this would happen. As the audience is baffled she explains “Kamina was mortally wounded in the final battle, but somehow he managed to keep himself together until his son’s first birthday, to give him this gift” We pan out to a blue haired boy and a red haired woman standing at Kamina’s grave. She smiles at him as Yoko concludes her story with, and that is how you got this little thing.  As the boy looks at his necklace that holds a tiny drill he is in awe at the story he just heard. She hands the boy a birthday gift which he opens to find a bigger drill. We see the boy smile widely zoomed in he is covered in dirt. His mother hugs him if only to hide some tears from him. She whispers in his ear “Happy Birthday Simon the Digger”

And that is my take on what would happen if Simon got killed in Kamina’s stead. I know most events did not change much but with treats this big and wars going on, the events would seem rather set in stone! This tale would function as a cautionary tale not to blindly follow another, and that sometimes even the deepest beliefs can be misguided. While they may not be wrong in what they say, they may also not be right! Always keep asking yourself the question if you believe. Kamina would still be a hero but a pragmatic one rather than an idealistic one and society would change a lot because of it! I like doing these what if scenarios! Do you now a good one for any series? Let me know! Don’t be afraid to sleep in it for a night though! Because remember, Friendship is Magic but Dreams are even more Wonderful! Oyasumi!

The Biggest Pokémon Fan Game Pinkie Ever Played: Pokémon Rejuvenation

Hello again my sweet island guests! Yes this will be my second post of the day!  As we will do that now!.. Not always but I am for it!  While I try to do an animini each day I will also try to keep up my regular content…with the option to more freely skip one of my bigger posts here and there! So strangely one to two posts a day is most likely going to be less work! Those hours saved I can invest in this Pokémon Fan Game I have been playing! Pokémon Rejuvenation.

Pokémon What?!

Pokémon Rejuvenation is a HUUUGE pokémon fan game from the creators of Pokémon Reborn.. that Pokémon game with hookers, suicides, murders and pokémon being tossed into acid. While I loved the game for it’s dark tones, in hindsight Pokémon Reborn might have been a bit needlessly Edgy. Having a criminal team member cut a gym leader in half is fine and all.. but tossing her pokémon in the volcano and forcing her bisected upper half to watch her pokémon melt.. was a bit much.  Seeing a gym leader lose it all after alianating his daughter is fine.. and then him commting suicide ..does bring awareness that these are actual humans sure… but having his corpse plummet into the room of his daughters best friend, who then goes catatonic and put into an Asylum where she recieves Electroshock therapy by electric pokemon torturting her… might be overdoing it a bit.

Rejuvenation gives us the pleasure of having a slightly more “contained” story.  There still are deaths….but they are more so implied. The game brings some elements of magic to the story. People using the power of Arceus for themselves, people finding abilities through ancient spells to compete with pokémon a bit and people utilizing the more advanced technology and pokemon powers more into their everyday lives. Thus this game becomes more like a classical Pokémon story but made for an adult demographic. You play a main character that is significantly older than 10 years old as well and more in 16 year old to young adult range. In this game your mother gets kidnapped by a cult and the ship you are on gets sunk by the evil Team Xen. This attack seems to tie into you or your mother.. but you have no idea why!  There is also a connection to a sacrificial and apocalyptic cult that sends people to Arceus..for this world is certainly doomed. A young girl is trapped to relive this cycle of being sacrificed over and over again…but maybe in your generation she fights back.

Like in Reborn you can choose your own prefix and He/Him, She/Her, They/Them , separately from your avatar. This is always nice, though only important characters will really address you as the correct gender. Most characters will address you Gender neutral… which is still better than the endless being called him of other fan games. The game also has another big advantage over it’s older brother and that is… EASY mode.  Yes I know. .. that sounds like a babies way out but if you ever played Reborn and like me do not want to have to IV and EV train everything and carry 18 different teams and level them up.. this is a godsent.. and while the game indeed is easy compared to Reborn, next to the official Pokémon games easy mode still provides more than a challenge. With many special field types like in reborn affecting your attacks.. it still provides plenty of chances to be tactical for you and your enemies. With some confidence I can say that this is THE Pokémon Fan game for Adults…maybe next to Pokémon Fire Red Rocket Edition.

The Trainers

That is a lot of praise for me to give to a game I haven’t even completed yet. However after spending over 60 hours in the game, and probably over 70 by the time you read this, I have a fairly good impression what this game is about. one of its major strengths are it’s characters. During your journey you encounter a lot of trainers that seem to be based on the archetypal pokémon characters.  For example there is one boy who really wants to be the very best.. like no one ever was… but he doesn’t really have the skill to back it up. As a result he gets into a lot of trouble and is disillusioned and somewhat bitter. We encounter him a few times and we have to make choices…at one point we face a Gymleader of a xenophobic town.. she staged a play to show that outsiders can be powerful and inspiring.. right before the battle we face and defeat him and get a choice whether or not to let him face the gym leader before us. However there is too much at stake.. an entire town might never trust outsiders if we let the boy go first.  So we have to step on his dreams.

Then there is the poison gym leader called Venam. She is a brash girl living with her mother..but she is extremely loud and a bit Tsundere, we see how in a way she is similar to the character of Misty but instead of being an anime character we do get a lot of exposition on why she is the way she is. We get motivations that interest us in her as an adult. She tries to break free of her mold.. but that results in her mother kicking her out.  She has to deal with things like an adult.. like how is she going to survive and pay for food. All of it contributes to her character. We also have a battle girl whose father works for the criminal team. We see her believes being shaken and see her go on a journey  that fits someone who is on such a journey…much more than just doing the gym challenge she is doing her journey as a little soul search. Then there is you as the character. While you do not have THAT much development the way your journey across the gyms is being done is great. You are facing an evil organisation..of tremendous power.. you do not take the Pokémon Journey to be the champ.. no you use that journey as a measuring stick for your abilities. To see if you are good enough to face those who wronged you!

The game offers you a few moral choices which influence the world around you to an extent. Most of it is by experiencing the story but the game also offers you a subquest  system. For example you have to deliver a love letter from one guy to another.. and include medicine.. However if you are like me and are too poor to do the quest at that time you end up seeing them becoming friends rather than lovers. A psychic girl who has powers akin to those of trainers in the main games.. can’t help but abuse her powers, they corrupt her to an extent.. not into a bad person.. but into a different one all the same. Each location you visit and all important people you encounter have logic behind them. A city close to the woods is built from Lumber, a city worshipping Giratina over Arceus has found themselves being the subject of religious persecution in the past.. however while the rest of the world grew up.. and grew past their old bosses these people never could. We really get a WORLD we treat trough.. not just a map!  We even get Shadow Pokémon you can snag and purify! So it just about brings everything Pokémon ever offered in a single cohesive world as well.

The Pokemon

This game uses the classical pokémon up to generation VII , so no Galar Pokémon… right now.. the game is still being updated so who knows they might arrive soon! Some Galar music already made it into the game.  Much like Reborn the game introduces some new Mega Evolutions and their own variety for story events called Breach Pokémon. These are pokémon from a different Dimension that function like boss encounters throughout the game. Movesets of Pokémon have been slightly altered to be less “broken” and not give you access to anything overpowered early game. Sometimes enemies get their own signature moves. For the most part though they do remain the same. This does mean that to an extend you can use Serebii to help you build a team to encounter some obstacles. However that is not the way I like to play it.. because this game also has custom shinies. These are VERY well done shinies and almost all are unique and vibrant.. you’ll WANT to see a shiny and you can.. because shiny encounter rates are at almost 1/100.. compared to 1/8192.  So I play this game using only shines.. I only hunt the first I find per route and then I have to move on.. easy mode allows me to play this way and I am having a blast discovering these new forms.

Trade evolutions have been fixed and as you go along pokémon get increasingly higher base stat totals.  Which means that if you have a new shiny.. you’ll most likely want to put it on your team and some of your old one end up phasing out.  With the exception of a few statics here and there ..(which are pokémon you can see in the overworld and can only encounter once)  you slowly upgrade your team, your flying bug type vivillon gets traded in for the flying fire type Talonflame.  Your Ambipom gets traded in for a Traveller and so on. You are constantly upgrading your team and even though this game features a lot of mandatory grinding the high shiny encounter rate and the fact that you are always upgrading keeps the game fun.  With the difficulty on easy you can still use Pokémon you really like..as long as it isn’t Shuckle or Dunsparce ,yet you are very much encouraged to have a team larger than six. You swap out your pokémon, and to facilitate this there are pokémon switching stations everywhere! To help you train new team members or give you a more tactical advantage.

Grinding is made very doable by giving you access to a speed up mode, and high level wild encounters. In fact most wild encounters have higher levels than the trainers you encounter. The trainers however use more solid strategies. Each gym caps your level at a certain point after which in easy you can’t progress and on higher difficulties makes your Pokémon rebel against you…which you can undo by feeding them reverse candy. So you can not over-level either way.While it is pretty doable to level your main team with story content, if you need a specific pokemon or encounter an upgrade to your team you  can grind those up within a few minutes. You get the Exp Share early and grass encounters give plenty of XP so the creatures in this world really fit and facilitate the game.  Habitats also make sense if you know the pokémon. For example inside cities you will encounter doves, cats and trash eating pokemon, while the wooden cottage type of village has plenty of bugs. It does do better with this logic than the actual games so hey good on them! And if you don’t like hunting Pokémon.. there are a fair few achievements you can hunt to buy battle items for your Pokémon.

The Atmosphere

So this game provides a great and vibrant world,that feels much more like a living pokémon world than most officially produced worlds, with exception for stuff like Twilight Wings for example,  and they offer the perfect biological diversity in that world to be exactly the game they want to be.  This is Pokémon for adults. This is also reflected in just about everything else.  The music is stellar, recomposed tracks from all the other games, but those rethreads are amazing and SO atmospheric.  The controls are the standard RPG maker controls that are used for just about every other fan game I ever played, with a few extra conveniences such as a soft reset button and up to four registered items being assigned to the F-Keys. The game expects a certain type of player, someone who is passionate about pokémon and geekdom in general and it facilitates towards that rather than offering full on accesibility. Which is great… this is a fan game.. out on the internet for free.

My Graveler’s shiny pattern for example is based on Steven’s Universe, other shinies refer to some other products geeks will likely have seen or at least heard of. There is a museum in the game and the art on the walls are Gen I sprites of Pokémon.  Dialogue has subtle references to movies , anime or other geeky matters without being too obnoxious and  in  your face. Everything this game does oozes that is is made for people like me. It takes a heavy pro LBGTQ stance with you encountering many gay or bisexual characters and it being made a non issue. We get no Big Gay Al, or a gay couple getting better treatment in the story than other characters.. they are just a part of the world. It all has a great atmosphere, almost as if you are at a convention.. as a geek you understand all these characters, either from a cosplayers perspective or deeper down.

The game manages to use technology in a much more sensible manner than the regular pokemon games. Spinny panels are a thing.. but they exist not as a puzzle in this world they exist as a security measure.. they send you over an electric surface that will paralyse you if you do not know the password to turn it off.. or an alarm tile.. will not just send a pokemon towards you..it will get you captured. Gameplay and atmosphere are interwoven in this game. A puzzle never is there just for the puzzle’s sake. If a pokemon traps you in their lair and you have to do a jump puzzle.. it’s not just doing a jump puzzle.. it’s the collapsed area of an old passage that said pokémon have turned into a place for them to play it’s layout exisits for a reason in game as well. Often the game answers these things right about as questions pop in your head, this game knows the kind of person you are and uses that to deliver a potent package.

The Negatives

The game isn’t perfect, there are a few minor issues such as the fact that during a puzzle with some followers you are able to trap yourself.. if you save it then and there you might have to restart the game. I also experienced slowdown during my shiny hunts  if I was watching a youtube video alongside it.. so while it’s not a big issue.. this game really wants you to shiny hunt and not being able to have something to distract you can be tedious with longer encounter strings.  The game doesn’t always play fair some bosses see, to use gen I like AI that chose moves based on your input. Gym Leaders often have custom moves that can at times be brokenly OP if you do not have an encounter. Yet these are all very minor issues.

One bigger issue I have though is the lack of a journal. Where regular games are mostly a track from A to B and then to C and so on… this game has a lot of “Did you hear that Venam was training with a new move” kind of hints. Oftenly these lines are only ushered once so if you come out from a battle with speed up on and you miss an important line of dialogue there is NO way to retrieve it and find out where you need to go next.  This would be fine if you did not have to backtrack as much as you do. You do visit old cities on a regular basis and thus your next step can be anywhere around the HUGE world map.  So it’s best to keep a little notepad lying around if you do not play regularly. Nothing would suck as bad as forgetting you have to speak to this person two towns back next time you play.. and then a week later you forget.

Another issue I did encounter more then once is that some NPC’s are placed in front of objects you need to interact with. I am not sure if this is a part of the puzzle because if you look REALLY well you can just barely make out a few strange pixels behind said character but it would be quite a stretch to call it noticable. There game has a forum where you can search or ask for answers but the player base isn’t THAT big, you could be stuck for a while.  Some characters require materials like Shards as payment like the difficulty adjusting guy you can meet in the first town..however it’s not made very clear that he needs shards. He says he can give you a free difficulty change the first time.. so if you think Easy is to simple you can switch..but if you are like me and then realise that Normal is so much harder to a point it’s not as fun for me… you can not change it back until you obtain shards after the fifth gym. Luckily I had not saved since changing .. .but the game can be obnoxiously vague!

The Score

I still think the Rom Hack of Pokémon Rocket Edition is better for the hardcore pokémon fan, the little insights in the official story is much more appealing to everyone, this is much more a do your own thing  kind of situation where they basically create a whole new alternative world with pokémon.  I do very much enjoy that myself but it is a bit “novel”-like  there is a lot to read and not a lot of reading you can skip either. Since these people talk like normal humans they will not neatly end with the line where to go next. They will say bye.. or thanks for helping out last… which will be the line on repeat so prepare to read! 

The flaws it has though in no way hold a candle to the great atmosphere it has, the briljant way everything seems to be connected and the almost flawless pokémon/world design.. I mean Pokémon design as in.. who lives where. This is definitely a treat to play for both inexperienced as well as experienced trainers IF you at least manage to comprehend the typing chart a little bit.  This game treats you like a gamer.. like someone who is capable of forming a strategy and using their obtained knowledge of pokemon in a meaningful manner. This is a pokémon game for me… and I can even play a girly trainer with pink hair!
This is THE game for me! This is Pokémon for adults… playing it does feel rejuvenating.

Top 5: Dark Type Pokémon

Konichiwa Mina! It’s time for another top 5! So many more pokémon list to make, so many more pokémon to gush about! Recently I started listing my favorite 5 pokémon of all types. I started with the normal type and now it’s time for the second list. As Suggested by ThatRandomEditor.. this is my top 5 Dark types.

Rules and Honorable Mentions

The rules are the same as last time, I can only count one entry per evolution line and the entire line factors in. For example I really like Impidimp the newest Dark and Fairy type introduced into Gen VIII. However I REALLY dislike it’s evolution Mogrem and feel generally somewhat bitterly neutral towards its final evolution Grimmsnarl.  Since we can’t manually stop evolution in this game and lose the utility of an item on it when leveling which it would need because I want to keep it tiny. Therefore it doesn’t qualify in my top 5, when purely design wise it should. It’s about the journey and the feeling in this list.

Because of that rule what also applies is that I need to feel this pokémon actual fits their typings. I really like Absol , however I feel like it should not be a dark type but a normal type that people think is a dark type because it can predict disasters. Even in it’s lore it’s stated people think it’s evil (the dark type is called evil type in japan) but that is a misunderstanding. Therefore in my opinion, it’s typing is a mislabeling as well and thusly it does not qualify for a spot on the list. Yet a pokémon as amazingly designed as this should at least get an honourable mention. I really love it..but in my headcanon it’s a normal type. 

Dark Type Number 5: Krookodile

Aside from it’s hideous shiny , purely because of eye design,  Krookodile or Krook as I lovingly call it is an amazing dark type in every way. It is canonically bad natured, it is scary , it has some solid stats and a nice dual typing, it comes with great abilities and I simply love the design. Krookodile is a pokémon that is fairly fast when compared to other ground types and it is able to spot its prey up to 30 miles away using it’s extremely sharp eyesight. It will use it’s fangs to clamp it’s prey than twists his jaws around to rip his prey in half. A very crocodile thing to do. It’s jaws can crush cars according to the pokédex so it’s no wonder that it gets the ability intimidate.

I used a Krookodile named Hippo (because it was hungry hungry) during my Pokémon Black playthrough.. and I was so happy with it that when I played Pokémon Black 2 I also went with a Krookodile which I named Kaminom.. after Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, but with more eating flavor. Ash had one in the anime as well so it’s always nice it’s personality is showcased a bit. I also used to run a Krookodile EX card in my pokémon TCG Night Marsh/Dark Deck which made me warm up to it even more. 

 While Krookodile as a competitive Pokémon stat-wise completely gets surpassed by Tyranitar it has the better abilities in Intimidate and Moxie. Because it is defensively lackluster the hidden ability Anger Point I feel is a bit wasted on it, but hey that means I can use a decent one without having to breed for the best version, that is a win in my book. One set up as a Choice Scarfed Sweeper, with Earthquake Moxie and Crush.. this pokemon becomes about as scary as a dark type really can. With earthquake it can become a bit of a double edged sword in double battles, but with a good team to back it up and a great move pool this is one pokemon one never should underestimate. 

Dark Type Number 4: Guzzlord

While I like Darkrai more as a legendary , it always felt as if that one should have been a ghost type. It works trough sleep and nightmares and I’d associate that with ghosts. Now Guzzlord is an all consuming Eldritch Abomination that consumes everything.  It’s  body is rather indescribable and it’s cry.. especially in the anime feels really otherworldly. Eldritch Abominations really should be dark types. Which is why it’s probably my favorite Ultra Beast next to Poipole. (That last one is pink though so there is no contest)  It just hits that brief of what the Ultra Beasts were meant to be so well.  An all consuming force that just will devour whatever it’s in its path. Able to consume entire buildings and mountains (allegedly) it does credit to its name.

Competitively Guzzlord is nothing to really write home about. It’s Dark and Dragon typing along with it’s poor defences leave it wide open for to be destroyed by the fairy type, which will can hit it 4x effectively.  With fairies being very active in the competitive scene Guzzy isn’t your smartest pick. However it has potential for a great physical tank. With moves like Stockpile, Heavy Slam and Stockpile Normalium Z in it’s generation  or an Assault vest in current rules it is something that is quite bulky due to it’s insanely high health base stat. So if you are a rookie battler and want to learn pokémon movesets a bit, it’s a pretty good scout switch in to learn the ropes. 

In D&D we have something called the alignment chart.  A character can be Lawful, Neutral/True or Chaotic in mindset and Good, Neutral or Evil in heart.  One of the scariest evils to encounter is that of True Evil. A chaotic evil character just likes to see the world burn and enjoys seeing people suffer, lawful evil are your typical megalomaniacs who belief they can improve the world my reshaping it in their image. Thanos is a good example of that or Lex Luther.  However the scariest evil to me has always been Neutral/True Evil.. these characters are evil just because they exist. Their entire existence is evil and I feel Guzzlord falls under that category.. therefore he becomes de facto one of the best dark types.

Dark Type Number 3: Zoroark 

One of the few dark types that actually have a nice Shiny, this Illusion pokemon takes the third spot on my list. Like the other two designwise you can immediately tell it’s a dark type. However Zoroark is much more a dark type than it is an evil type. It’s really a family guy or gal who lives to protect it’s pack. With the adorable Zorua as it’s pre-evolution it is no wonder why.. you’d obviously want to keep  that precious thing safe. It’s darkness stems from it’s abilities to use illusions.

Unlike the psychic type these do not play out in people’s minds but manifest “physically’  allowing hundreds of people to believe in this Illusion. It protects it pack.. although quite dramatically. When it senses humans coming it can conjure strong illusions to make them wonder the forrests aimlessly. We do not know what becomes of these humans.. but we do know how Phantump are born.. they are children that get lost in the woods and starve to death.. since most pokémon trainers are children I am sure there is a link there.

Pokémon battling is all about momentum, and while not the best in any stat, Zoroark’s ability illusion allows its owner to gain momentum like crazy.  When you send it out in battle it will always look like the last conscious pokémon in your party. Taking on its nickname and even potential shininess. If you like to run poison types like me , it is very easy to bait out a psychic attack on your beloved poison attack.. but it doesn’t affect anything .. because Zoroark is a dark type. While most poison types are slow.. Zoroark is very fast. 

Having great special attack as well and access to fire moves it hard counters one of it direct weaknesses, and soft counters the other (while fire is not super effective on fighting..the burn condition halves physical attack making attacks do neutral damage in the end). If you use Zoroark effectively it’s easy to lure the opponent in making a bad play and you can seize control of the battlefield, and anything that messes with the mind of my opponents is darn sure to be a favorite of mine.

Dark Type Number 2: Malamar

While not my favorite on my list Malamar might be THE most deserving of the evil type. While Guzzlord is True Evil and just evil for existing, Malamar is Lawful evil, manipulating people into doing their bidding. Malamar is a pokémon who is stated to virtually always have evil intentions, they are so evil that they manipulate humanity to their own gain.. historic events in the pokémon world ..

Like the Kalos Pokémon war,  might be because of their influence. They seek to make humans eradicate themselves and enslave them.Now I must say that not all Malamar are that evil.. some just hypnotize you to give them a hug after which they wrap you into their tentacles and finish you off with digestive fluids.

Design-wise it also looks super evil, this is pokémon looks like a Disney Villain or I could even see it as some Isekai beast world villain. You can just see how nefarious it is. It will not play by the rules. It’s fins are said to be razor sharp and by staring either into its eyes or it’s body you can be hypnotized to either become a slave.. a tool to further their plan to get rid of humans.. or willingly walk into an acidic shower. The dark and psychic typing give it that flair and feel of a menacing villain as well. To evolve it’s predecessor Inkay, you have to level it up to level 30 and then flip your 3ds upside down enforcing that feeling that this thing does not play by the normal rules.

This is further enforced by Malamar having the ability Contrary which makes sure that whenever it would get stat downgrades it gets upgrades as well.. not only can you  not lower it’s stats because that would mean you raise them.. it also has access to the fighting move.. Super Power, which normally lowers physical attack and defence but in case of Malamar raises it.. and since it IS a physical attacker it can dish out massive damage.. while getting stronger by it in the process.  Now overall Malamar’s stats aren’t great but this is compensated by the fact that it only has 2 weaknesses. It is 2x weak to fairy and 4x weak to bug.

While that last one might seem like a problem, aside from U-turn people rarely run bug type moves.  U-turn has a low base attack power and usually is quite easy to predict. Malamar also is the only pokémon that possess the ability Topsy Turvy a move that inverts stat upgrades to stat downgrades. So it blocks off pokémon from setting up Sword Dances to get over its own raised defence. In fact.. just by bringing it to a match you can probably prevent your opponent from using stat boosting sets. A great mind game pokémon yet again!

Dark Type Number 1 : Umbreon

My number 1 dark type is also the actual number 1 dark type as in it’s the pokémon that can be considered the first dark type ever encountered. While Gen II also introduced us to Sneasel and Murkrow Umbreon is the lowest national dex number pokémon that was a dark type upon its release. This pokémon is simply stunning in every single way… well except for it’s japanese name being Blacky.. that feels a bit off. It by far is the best dark type shiny and a contender and probable winner for me for best shiny ever.  It’s just gorgeous.

While it has fairly mellow lore compared to other dark types, Umbreon still hits the flavor for both evil and dark types all the same. Trough actual darkness it’s rings can glow up which have the ability to instill fear into others. Yet it can also bland in the darkness completely to sneak up it’s prey from behind just to stealthily rip open its throat to do and enjoy it’s meal afterwards.  When backed into a corner Umbreon can secret poisonous sweat which it then tosses into its opponents eyes to play dirty. All cheat like moves in pokémon count as dark type attacks so it just works. Add the cute but mysterious design and we got a winner.

I so enjoy using Umbreon in PvP combat. It’s role as a toxic staller is something it does so well. Umbreon is a non offensive pokémon that should be run with moves like. Toxic, Mean Look (to lock a target into the field) Moonlight, which heals it and Protect.. to take a hit. Mean Look you can replace with other moves like Heal Bell to cure status, confuse ray  to make hits unreliable.. or if you feel trolley even sand attack. 

While Umbreons poison slowly wittle their target down they HAVE to deal more than 50% damage to it each time if they do not want to be whittled down, if you have no counter against it all you can do is despair and pray for a critical hit. The heal bell set even prevents your from counter toxic stalling it yourself, high jump kick becomes risky because of it’s protect..and it’s amazing defensive stats leave your opponent with very little options in general. For all those who can not breach it defences.. things are looking very dark.

What is your favorite Dark Type?
What Type would you like to see
me tackle next?

With 16 types left to cover there still are 90 Pokemon to love!
Untill then you can check out the others in the series here:

Normal Types

Thank you for reading! Keep Smiling


I Love The Darkness: Pokémon Reborn

When we think of Pokémon we think of a colourful world full of creatures to befriend. We think of lighthearted stories or in the case of Sword and Shield.. barely any story at all. We think of happy clefairies dancing and lickitung sushi eating minigames. Yet what if we look at pokémon in a different way? What if we go darker? This is what the amazing Rom Hack, Pokémon Reborn is about. 

Terrorists and Hookers

The game begins rather uniquely. You can choose a gender, including non-binary and up to six avatars regardless of what gender you choose to identify with. A nice touch, now you can play as whatever avatar you like best.  After that we get a wholesome train scene. Some guy talks to you about the Reborn region and the gym challenge there. Then it starts. A mysterious incident happens on the train.. and while you drive into the train station of reborn city, the train explodes. Terrorists have struck! While you arrive at the station you encounter a happy and bubbly girl, who was fascinated by the explosions.. she claims to be the first gym leader and tells you to meet her soon. At this moment you get control and you can walk around. Normally there is this guy who tells you that science is amazing explaining new features of the game. That guy is also walking around here! I decided to talk to him. “You were on that train?” He asks me?  “So was my wife”. We all know what happened here and it hit me like a truck!

Just like my hometown!

When we exit the screen we get a cut away scene,  to a policeman who captured the terrorist responsible. The terrorist is tied in a small room, cuffed to a metal chair. When he refuses to talk the policeman takes out his torkoal and tells it to super heat the chair. With the screams of the terrorist we are told we aren’t playing any random pokémon game. We are playing Pokémon Reborn. We get taken to a building where we get one of 21 starters. All the pokémon up to gen 7 are in this game and you can choose each starter. I chose Piplup a choice I came to deeply regret. As soon as we leave the pokémon lab we can battle a few trainers. These are all hoodlums or hookers.  The hoodlums use your standard Team Rocket Esque pokémon while the hookers named Doxies, use baby pokémon who use charm and attract. When you win.. you win 3 or 4 pokédollars…because these people don’t have any money. After a few battles I encounter a group of ruffians who are bullying a zigzagoon (but it can be a bidoof as well if I am not mistaking) they are scaring it and threatening to toss it off a bridge. I call out Piplup to school them! Piplup has a bad nature ..(for now) and I end up losing the fight. When I return to them to save Ziggy.. it is gone. It was tossed off the bridge. I then find out the water is acidic in Reborn City, and the zigzagoon died. I can’t live with myself and reset the game.

Can’t let a good boy die!

A real Gym Challenge

It is time for a new run, I choose my main boy Bulbasaur instead. This game is hard and I will need it’s bulk! Zigzagoon is alive again! Unfortunately .. the wife of the technology guy… is still dead. This time I know what’s ahead and I grind a bit, I even manage to catch a bidoof to assist me. We win. When healing up I see someone selling pokémon for 500 bucks! Sure I will allow myself to be Magikarp scammed! I’ll use a Gyarados!  Unfortunately this is not Pokémon..this is Pokémon Reborn.. I basically get robbed of my money and end up without a pocket monster! However I’d advise anyone to buy that pokemon as it will grant you a side quest that will encompass a fair few hours as you get revenge and go find your promised pokémon. After exploring the first ward in the city I got a hand full of okay pokémon. Bidoof already evolved to Bibarel and I think this is the perfect time to take on the first gym.  I was dearly mistaken.

This is like a Pokemon Game where all leaders are Whitney!

Pokémon Reborn treats gym leaders like actual competent people. Every single gym leader (which includes gyms for each type)  uses a full team of six Pokemon. Not only that each gym leader uses actual tactics. The explosion loving girl is the electricity type gym leader, and while you can not really find any ground type Pokemon to counter her.. her move sets are made to compensate any flaws in her team. Bulbasaur can take electricity fairly well… so virtually every single Pokemon on her team has a move that can hurt it normally.  Not only does this apply to the gyms it also seems to apply to wild monsters to an extent. It seems as if Pokémon in this world have developed better defenses against this hostile environment.

To distinguish gym battles from regular battles though, all gyms are hosted on special fields. These are like the terrains in Pokémon Main Games but more complex. For example during the steel type gym fight, the entire room is covered by mirrors. Every beam type attack is powered up.  Every special attack.. when missed is reflected off the wall and has a second chance to hit..if they dodge that.. you need to dodge as well. If you miss with a physical attacks some of the mirrors shatter and those who miss take damage of glass shrapnel. The Dark type gym is shrouded in darkness.. which empowers dark type moves..but by using electric moves you can turn on the lights weakening dark moves instead. Using electricity again will power up your electric move but short circuit everything out going back into darkness again.  Those are some deep strategies! Now this is a challenge.


Suffering and Sorrow can be great!

Now you might think you can just grind levels and overpower your enemies one by one.. but no you can not. You see in Reborn pokemon and human are further apart, so when something is overleveled it stops obeying you regardless if it is traded or not.  Essentially this means the Gym Leaders ace is always the strongest pokémon and you can NOT outlevel it.
Now your monsters can still gain xp and it would be a shame to lose your pokémon because it because unresponsive so the makers made a clever new item. The common candy, an item that brings your pokémon down a level. This way you can still always focus on your team.  The fact that I do use these things a lot is a testament of how easy it is to actually level .. and that is a good thing.. because you might have already figured this out if you read between the lines… the gym leaders use a full team of six that can benefit from their fields. Essentially this means that you have to have a solid team to face them each gym. You can’t just pick Bulbasaur and hope to steam waltz through everything.. you can not  waste a slot on Bulbasaur in a psychic or fire type gym. You are going to need a team made for your next challenge. Gone are the days of coasting you need to work to be a master in this game. 

The difficulty can be somewhat relentless at times, you are constantly fighting a battle against the unknown. The evil organisation in this world is experimenting with forced mega evolution and augmenting or mutating pokémon, which means you never fully know what to expect.  Fairly soon in after the game I encountered a street that was fully torn up.. huge rifts torn in the streets.. a girl crying as her boyfriend just fell to his death by this event… the reason for this is a giant weaponised tangrowth who the evil team is using to tear the ground asunder to unearth something they want to find. You have to navigate across these chasms by bursting through gang territory, by raiding warehouses and saving a popplio from dissolving in acid. The game while difficult encapsules that atmosphere.. you are not meant to make this in one go.  You need to push as far as you can.. retreat to a pokémon center and lick your wounds. You need to adapt.. say goodbye to the pokémon you want to use.. and take that one that offers you an advantage. We are not in Agatha’s ideal world… the stakes are real this time. At times it can feel “not fun” it can feel like you are struggling and suffering..but that in a way is the point. In Reborn you shall not feel powerful.. in Reborn you make due.. and try to get by the skin of your teeth.

Hey no fair!

Reborn is one of my favorite pokémon fan games ever, even if I have yet to complete it. (Updates are brought episodic and I am not sure it is fully finished yet, but at least there are 18 gyms already so safe to say you are good for a solid while). The feeling of this world is so unique and gut punching real that it is truly a sight to behold. We all wonder why people alway play by the rules in pokémon right?! Well in this world they don’t. At one point you challenge a sick fighting master. Yet the evil team is on her trail. She battles with the leader and when she is putting up a good fight, the team leader uses his garchomp, not to attack her pokémon but to cut her in half.  Her distraught pokémon promptly tossed in the volcano and dies as well. People use pokémon as weapons in this world not as friends and somehow it manages to balance it’s difficulty to reflect that. While I loved my Pokémon during my runs of the game, I had a team of about 20 that I had to use. So I did not bond as much to that one pokémon in my party.. as in this game you should really not do that. 

Cause Bulbasaur can’t do *censor peep* against huge Steelix!

This world feels cold.. and sometimes victories can feel hollow. For example a certain gym leader upon his defeat will get so depressed by his defeat that he ends up committing suicide by taking jumping of a bridge. One of the next gym leaders, his daughters best friend witnesses this event as she lives right next to the place where he landed. The sprite of her house even shows stains indicating where he landed. As a result this girl is traumatised and put up in a mental ward. Which uses Electabuzz to experiment with electroshock therapy on children. You have to rescue her from these experiments which leads to an even bigger story line that will have you flee reborn city for a while. Trying to keep this vulnerable kids safe.  Never do you feel in control though. Never do you feel like the champion, you feel like you are being chased and as such this game gets a bit of survivor horror genre vibes. Which resources do you use.. do you stay there and gather or do you try to push on. Which battles have consequences and which reset you? Pokémon Reborn doesn’t feel fair.. it’s not about winning, it is about surviving. 

And evil machine Pokémon!

Amazing design

Obviously a game with this tone can not really use the original soundtrack assets from pokémon. It would not fit theme wise..so the soundtrack has been very overhauled and it is truly amazing. The songs in this game feel broody and dark, dystopian. Gym battle themes feel like you are facing someone truly powerful and boy are they powerful. I managed to beat about 7 gyms so far (like official badges..not including any invalidated ones)  and while they changed it up a bit in the more recent updates I can say nothing but praise for this soundtrack. Each area is so memorable. Simple decisions can be super effective. One gym leader..who feels barely human has the gym leader theme others have played backwards, causing you to feel very uncomfortable. The sound mixes so well with the theme of this game that I would think this is an official product. Very little about this feels ..fangame to me!

 While it uses GBA style graphics and to an extend borrows from  the original pokémon tilesets it goes completely it’s own way. From the water that is a rusty disgusting brown to all the derelict graffiti covered  buildings. From the ash covered beaches of a volcanic island to a toxic wasteland that has it’s grass turn into a sickly purplish shade due to all the chemicals leaking into the ground. This is pokémon like we have never seen before.  The boss pokémon look a bit less official with some sloppy sprite work here and there but they do feel properly twisted for this story. The game also features increased shiny rates and many shinies have received customisations that look absolutely stunning. On one of my attempts, I managed to get a Golem (you can get an item to get trade evolutions)   whose core had a magma-ish glow while it’s rock have been darkened I squealed in excitement. Shinies in this game look absolutely amazing and with the higher encounter raid they made the much needed grind quite a bit more exciting.

Not Pokémon

This game is definitely not going to be for everyone. There is a steep learning curve, and I mean steeeeeeeep,  but for those who like a challenge this game is truly excellent. The writing feels somber but not needlessly edgy..well maybe a bit..but at least it’s consistent to the entire world so never feels out of place.  There are plenty of lighthearted bits as well to make it all tolerable and digestible! It has a pretty great story that does feel like it respects what pocket monsters can truly do. It respects the power that inside. Yet at the same time this did not completely feel like a Pokemon game to me. It feels like a JPRG more akin to Final Fantasy VII or Nier. It feels as if the pokémon are a mechanic .. in a non franchise game.
I’d say they more take on a role more similar to the concept of “magic”. A mage in one game is not persé like a mage in the next. These creatures are not your pets.. and there is no one to evaluate your pokédex and give you shoulder pads. These are your shoulders and together you fight to survive.

These guys don’t Muk around!

Pokémon Reborn is free to play and is fully made in RPG maker. It features online trading and online battling (though I would not expect to much out of that)  and to any gamer who likes darker RPG’s I say definitely check this one out. At a certain point it even gave me Chrono Trigger Vibes (especially in the future bit) .  There are a handful of colourful locations as well but to the pokémon fans who are in love with Pokémon Go and Let’s Go, I’d say.. this is not like that at all. Puzzles are as hard as the battles and require you to actually require you to read some dialogue. However unlike in other fan games where you can get quizzes that  need you to look up stats of pokémon or so on the internet.. or know them by heart ..this game does offer you all the right tools. While hard and grindy it never really asks you to EV train.. or breed… like some of the more hardcore fangames do. This one is all about strategy … and surviving… and I love it dearly for that.

For those interested you click here to get Pokémon Reborn yourself!
Let me know if you decide to play! Remember I love you all! Keep Smiling and Stay Positive! Even darkness can be amazing!


Selector Infected/Spread WIXOSS: When cute girls, play a children’s card game.

I love card battle animes and when it is presented in a cutesie Moe Moe way as an all girl cast series, I simply could not resist. When I started watching this show for the first time in early 2015 (a little after the second season concluded)  I was expecting a Kawaii Yu-Gi-Oh series with a hint of maybe Digimon due to the talking cards. One episode in I felt I was right about that assumption. Back than I had never watched a certain magical girl anime yet so I could not tell the signs yet, but Selector WIXOSS would completely bamboozle me. I was actually shocked at the story this anime really tells.  This review of (mostly) spoiler free, save for the basic premiss.

A girl and her LRIG

Ruuko Kominato is the protagonist of the first two seasons of Selector Wixoss,  Season one is titled Infected and Season 2 is called Spread, a fourteen year old girl, living in the big city alongside her grandma and brother. She is a simple girl who doesn’t have any deep desires for love, acknowledgment , good grades, beauty or whatever like most of her peers. She comes of a bit as a loner, but isn’t exactly unhappy about it. Her brother however also noticed and gift her a card deck for a game called WIXOSS, the popular card game  all the girls play, at her school. Not having any idea how to play Ruuko isn’t really sure about what to do with it at first, but one night when she actually looks at her desk she finds a very special card that looks like it holds a living girl. This girl can speak to her, albeit somewhat brokenly, and tells Ruuko she has amnesia,, or at the very least her head is very foggy. She has no name so Ruuko decides to name her Tama.

Tama is an LRIG a living card that can be used in WIXOSS battles against other card users who have been granted a living card.  Ruuko has become a selector she finds out, and winning three battles will grant her her deepest wish. There is one problem however. Ruuko doesn’t have one. When the series starts we see Ruuko befriend Tama..almost like a TAMAgotchi, she shows her stuff in the real world, they talk, go to sleep as if having sleepovers and so on. Yet Ruuko notices Tama is missing something, so she dips her feet in the world of WIXOSS which leads to her making new friends and growing into a stronger person. If you have seen any card battle anime, or even anime before.. you pretty much know how it goes.. except you don’t .

Dark , Darker, WiXOSS

This series is a bit of a slow burner, while season one carefully builds a world and gives our main character plenty of growth we as the viewer could at times feel this series isn’t doing anything special and you would be very wrong. Competitive events that grant your wish are nothing new, we have seen it in Dragon Ball, Yu-Gi-Oh heck even Oban Star Racer has it.  On first glance this looks like another generic series following that trope. Yet this series takes a LOT of inspiration from Madoka and assuming you’ve all seen or at least heard about Puella Magi Madoka Magica, you all know that isn’t a very happy show. That show is pretty dark. WIXOSS even goes a step beyond in terms of narrative darkness. While not as threatening or vicious as Madoka, this anime very much knows what it is and thinks very much about the penalties and the rewards of the “wish” system and uses it to create the darkest and most claustrophobic situation players can be in I’ve ever seen in the genre. If you think a Duel Monsters shadow game , where you risk your life …or risk going to the shadow realm if you prefer the dub, is badass, Selector will show you an entire new level of badass. The penalty for losing three times in a row I’d say might be even worse than dying like legitimately , I’d see the “shadow realm” as a vacation after losing after what awaits these girls.

As the show closer towards the second season, we find out this show goes even further than that.  Winning three times in a row..arguably is EVEN worse than losing. Which already is worse than death. I am pretty sure the writers of this series will go to hell after they die, not because they were bad people in real life, because Satan wants to hire people who can think up more evil stuff than himself. Several times throughout the series I have actually felt anxious and queasy by realising what was going on. I watched Madoka shortly after this and when I found out how evil Kyuubi was I kinda asked to myself.. is this it? Not as evil as WiXOSS. So this is a legitimate warning, if you do not like dark stories..this one certainly isn’t for you.

Pretty Dark

While despair and darkness certainly are themes in this show, it is certainly brought to you in a colourful way. The character designs look good, the LRIGS are mostly cute and colourful and their worlds look super pretty. I think the show keeps a very good balance in keeping the visuals humble, as well as their designs yet still succeed into making  those elements that need to be special, actually feel special. Tama for example , who turns out to be a bit of an odd LRIG also feels that way in design and voice and those kind of things. While she wears a very simple white dress and there are no traces of over design you instinctively know she is unique. Card Battle anime tend to be overly designed, Just look at the later seasons of Yu-Gi-Oh or Cardfight Vanguard for example, Monsters appearing on stream are so extremely detailed, with almost World-of-Warcraft-Like armor on them it is almost distracting. Wixoss uses a much more minimal approach which I really liked.

While there is magic and solid combat, never does it detract from the characters. They still feel real. This low key battling style allows you to relate to Tama more, you feel her pain more easily as it’s more “real”  When Yu-gi characters take real damage, they still only take scratches from screen filling beams, cards shatter and duelists get their hair messed up by the wind that’s it. This show relies more on tiny projectiles and actual punches with a much more correlating effect. We see them scream and cry out in pain, which feeds that anxious feeling but also makes battles more investing as their is a much more direct correlation between what is actually happening and what we see. While some can perceive it as dull compared to it’s bigger brothers and sisters I’d say for what this show is, their looks and style is chosen flawlessly. It’s never really mind blowing , but the series doesn’t want you to lose your mind over their style.. it wants you to explode your brain with their story.

Active Anime

In this day and age, anime tends to be very heavy on exposure, characters will figure out stuff for you , and loudly state their thoughts even if there is no one around but the viewer to hear it. It makes it so that most anime are easy to watch lying down on the couch with a glass of wine or tea of whatever you prefer.  Wixoss is NOT that type of anime. If you take it as is, the plot can feel quite convoluted, especially in the second season. While we do get answers to what is going on, rarely ever does Ruuko do that finger snap and go like “ooh so this is why that is happening!?’ In fact stuff that is discovered by Ruuko’s friends might not be magically transferred to Ruuko. Investigation into the story happens on seperate level, for example on the LRIG level and the reality level. Characters making discoveries on the reality level might not have the answers of the LRIG level, so never does one character really have all the answers. Only the viewer does have all the information and even then at times we are asked to fill in some blanks ourselves.  This series doesn’t hold your hand, you HAVE to get invested in it to properly enjoy it.You are going to have to put your brain to work to make some links yourself or the story doesn’t make sense. When you do get it though, everything can click, you’ll be the one that goes like ‘ooooh, now I get it’. In a way the show isn’t the full story itself. The show is the crutch that allows you to see the whole story.

While I do really like this concept I would actually say this is a weakness to the show as it seriously hinders when you can watch this show. Normally watching with friends makes any anime show better. This one I recommend strongly to watch alone. With friends you pay less attention making the story harder..though figuring it out together could still be fun. Yet with friends I’d say you’d feel less of the anxiety and the despair these girls feel, because strangely enough there is to much love in the room. This show is enjoyed best if you can relate to negative emotions. Like if you could wonder how it would be to be absolutely lonely, or how it would feel to see what these characters see. Weirdly enough this is best endured alone. So in a way this show banks on you relating to negative emotions to be as powerful as it can be. You best enjoy it when watching it alone, when you are a bit vulnerable, but positive enough to bounce back and enjoy it. Great but there is a certain amount of RNG involved in how much you will enjoy it depending on your viewing situation. So how do we flavor this?

Selector Flavor

Selector Wixoss is one of the most underestimated anime I ever watched. It left a lasting impression on me which I am sure will also remain there. Some people can not see it other than a Madoka clone, while others swear by it and praise  what it does with it’s own tropes. If you look at it like a Madoka clone, that is exactly what you will get and what you will see. If you see it as a dark Yu-gi-oh and Madoka hybrid you will get way more out of it as it completely does it’s own thing with the card battle genre while still managing to hit the right tropes to feel as a part of it.

The story is compelling and invites you to play an active role in it and investigate alongside the characters. Which works wonderfully well with the flavor of a card battle show. You do try to strategise along, you do try to find out what that face down card could be.I loved how dark this show got and how it made me feel even if that was negative at times. I’d compare it to visiting a scary haunted house where we are going in to feel a negative emotion in a controlled environment where you can feel them without actually getting harmed and still get the positive side effect. This show is a bit like that, the negative being the anxiety and the despair the main characters feel, and the positive of working it out alongside with them and finding hope and strength within it. Like with the main cast, this will not end well for everyone.. so just for this time. I will make you the Selectors! and it’s up to you to select your own flavor. As this show’s rating really needs you as a part of the equasion. The show has more seasons, but to me these two stand strong enough as their own.

(You Decide)
(I Personally would give it Berry Good Flavor)

Ready or Not (2019)

Dear guests, today I want to talk to you about the recent, dark horror comedy, Ready or Not. The movie stars Samara Weaving (The Babysitter) Andie MacDowell (Groundhog Day) and Henry Czerny (Mission Impossible) as well as a slew of lesser know people in a movie that is all about a very deadly game of hide and seek. One that is aimed at a chuckle rather than a jumpscare. How good is it?

Hide and Seek

Grace (Samara Weaving) is about to marry Alex Le Domas, heir to a family that made their money with board games. She quickly notices how strange her new, filthy rich, in-laws are. Her Aunt never smiles, her father in-law sees her as a golddigger and her sister in-law, her brother in-law clearly is a boozer and her sister in-law clearly is on drugs.  The rich sure are different. Yet she has no idea yet how strange the family is. On her wedding night she has to play a game at midnight. The Patriarch tells how their family made a deal with a mysterious man, who promised them fortune if they performed this little ritual. From a magic box you have to draw a card with the name of a game, of all the games one leads to a life or death scenario.. and wouldn’t you know it .. Grace draws that card.. the life or death game being hide and seek. The family starts hunting her with weapons from the earliest days of America. What follows is one of the most twisted and disturbed  but funny movies that I have seen in awhile. Because of how polarised it is however, I do find it somewhat tricky to be invested in either the horror or comedy side for it.

Scream and Laugh

While Weaving plays a briljant Grace and kept me invested throughout the entire movie, I had some difficulty how to feel. The movie clearly aims to be funny, with snafu’s happening and zippy  and spunky dialogue. There are moments of clear slapstick and the comedy is actually good. The evil aunt calling her niece ‘brown haired niece’ because she just doesn’t care at all about the family and just about their pact and wealth is great and feels both funny and fitting at the same time. The slapstick comes from reasons and the follow-up is acted out well as a well deserved punchline. The revealed set up also makes sense so comedy wise this movie is quite solid and good for a few chuckles. However it is when the horror elements come in we ask ourselves if that chuckle was right or bad. There is this sequence of body-horror  somewhere in the middle where Grace suffers some horrible injuries, brought to life in such a visceral manner. I could really feel her pain. There are parts segments in this movie where I really feared for her, once again due to the great acting of our lead actress. This movie is a dark horror-comedy and it certainly lives up to that name, however I would have liked to see it blend a bit more. One scene I am watching a comedy, the other I am watching a horror movie and it pulls both parts off, however each time they switch, you feel like your thrown for a loop. 

Watch  and Listen

Visually I loved this movie, the Le Domas mansion is so interesting, and it feels like an actual house and not just a set. Clearly some care and clever design went into this place. It feels like the family owns this place, their signature can be read all over it, from the first generation only mentioned to the modern one we see today, it feels like they all had their impact on this place and which room goes where makes sense.Because this house has ‘servant’ exits as a sort of “secret’ passageways (not a spoiler this is in the first five minutes of the movie)  they can play around with who is where in the house at all times as well. A great plan that works quite nice. It also looks stunning. The way scenes are chosen to be filmed (in a cinematography sense) with very close shots of everyone makes the film feel a bit claustrophobic while making the mansion seem way bigger. This works greatly and to me amplifies the small scope of Grace misadventures. At times this can lead it to feel a bit ‘reality tv-ish’ because most of the camera work is done by guys holding camera’s without to much rigs and such, which can make the framing a bit boring but it does work for this film and small locations, it never feels like it’s a 2 walled set, it feels as if you are trapped in a room with grace.. and the camera guy. The sound design while nothing special again portrays how quirky and strange the rich can be which is a important theme throughout this movie, so while I wont remember anything except for two pieces of music, it does work.

Write and Rewrite

The movie’s plot focuses on the families deal with a mister Le Bael , who allegedly demands a sacrifice, because his toy gave a certain card, and whether or not this belief is just rich man superstition or not, slowly building up to their memorable and funny conclusion. Writing-wise I have some issues with the movie though. Two very important characters flip around in their beliefs a lot, Grace moves from frail and scared to ‘final girl’  very quickly and the movie sets up a few plot points that it doesnt follow up on. It works well in the theme of ‘rich people are weird and quirky’ but really it could have been a bit more tweaked. Most of the family stay extremely superficial throughout the movie where they never get past their trope. It fits the cult feeling of this movie very well but it reduces the impact of outsmarting people. Grace managing to sneak by the oblivious guy or the uninterested woman , who only cares for the family for their money,  doesn’t seem like too much of a victory. However one person hunting Grace is depicted as almost a Terminator. Locating her with pinpoint precision, taking plenty of abuse and even catching up with her in a seemingly impossible situation. While the movie sketches a interestingly and deviously dark and funny cat and mouse game, it doesn’t really pace out the wiggle room the mouse has that greatly. There are some rules and confinements in place that limit Grace, but when such an obstacle is overcome the writers have to prevent her from just ‘leaving’ the movie. One in particular feels very forced where we have to assume A LOT in the term of a board game families power.  So when the movie gives Grace some freedom and then has a change of heart it kinda feels cheap. One can argue that is okay with cult-horror , but no one particular scene they really messed up combining their terminator with one of these ‘freedom retcons’

 Judge  and Score

Ready or Not is a good horror-comedy that does a lot of things very well. It however is a movie that never becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Each scene I value  on it’s own and most score pretty high. Never though did I really feel I was watching anything but a movie. It did not suck me in, but it did made me relax and laugh and enjoy my popcorn. In movies like Maleficent 2 , I hate the convenient twists and the extremely unlikely ending. It tries to be an epic and make us feel for the character and get sucked into their world, thusly anything that I would think never happen… I deem as bad. The disney movie having plenty of that.  This one though very much knows that is cult and campy pulp, from the trope-like concept to it’s execution, it never pretends to build an amazing world or mythos. There is just this 90 minute movie meant to entertain you in a really nothing more nothing less type of deal. So how do I rate this? This one is a bit tricky. For what it is it’s a great and very enjoyable watch. Yet it is also too shallow to be really good. .. So with that in mind I have no choice but to rank it as a Berry-Kiwi cocktail. If you can turn of your sense of logic for 90 minutes it is more than likely a Berry Good movie. If you want some semblance of sense.. you’ll mostly taste the Okiwi, but all in all this a great blend.

Top 5 : Twisted Non-Ghost Pokedex Entries

Hey little subjects, sorry it has been a while, my kingdom is kind of falling apart as of late.  My trustworthy laptop Sir Lappington has broken.. or well at least it’s screen is gone and being an old troubled beasty, it is time to say goodbye. Not having money this process however is taking its fair share of time. Luckily a friend of mine we shall name Bear borrowed me a screen to hook up to it. Unfortunately a lot of time is now spend on making back ups, finding new laptops and liberating money. So expect a bit of an irregular upload schedule for a little while.  Today however I have a brand new top five for you, something that fits my somewhat glum mood. The top 5 darkest pokedex entries. Yet there is a twist, because all the darkest pokédex entries and the most well known ones are ghost types. So today we will focus on the others!

Twisted Entry Number 5:  Metapod

Most of you know Metapod, the Gen I cocoon pokémon that probably annoyed you as a kid because it only knows .. or at least spams harden. It  only moves very minimally and if you catch it .. it doesn’t move at all . Pokémon Snap showed us how it can descend from a tree using string shot but even then it just descents not moving a muscle.  If you think that is because it’s a cocoon and I can not move, you are wrong. According to the Pokémon Sun pokedex and I quote: 

Its shell is filled with its soft innards. It doesn’t move much because of the risk it might carelessly spill its innards out.’

That’s right subjects if this little green bean looking thing tilts over it’s innards will spill out. Which are so soft they are basically a liquid. While Pokémon Moon describes the shell as breakable.. which would be a major problem for this pokémon, so it has to avoid massive battles,  Pokémon Ultra Moon adds a bit to the darkness scale. It basically states that while tiny bird pokémon can not even crack its shell a tiny bit, that same attack will make it fall over.. causing its insides to spill out. While it’s not stated that Metapod would die from this.. losing your organs seems pretty fatal to me, yet even if we consider that it could do without looking back and it’s earlier pokedex entries state that is has to ready it’s innards for evolution. In other words IF .. and  we are already making things look brighter than they actually are here, Metapod doesn’t need its organs and it’s just evolution juice.. it still means that as soon as this pokémon tips over ONCE.. it can never evolve anymore and is always stuck as a unmoving Metapod. I do not know which fate is worse.

(So that makes this a Deadapod)

Twisted Entry Number 4: Slowbro

Another Generation I pokemon that got twisted by the wonderful minds that made the Gen VII dex entries is Slowbro.  You know that lovable pink goofball that evolves from a Slowpoke once it’s delicious tail has been bitten by a shellder? Well this  pocket monster has it rough. The synapses of it’s pre-evolution are already quite slow.. taking about five seconds to feel any form of pain, it’s a lovable goofball that just loves laying about and things do not seem to change much it just fuses with a Shellder into a symbiotic thing?  I wished for Slowpoke this was it’s fate, but unfortunately the pokemon Sun Pokédex Entry states:

It spaces out while gazing at the sea. With Shellder poison flowing through its body, it becomes even spacier.

In other words, Slowbro is a pokémon that is constantly to experience a personality diminishing high, as it does gain more intelligent .. for a brief moment as explained in Moon’s dex entry where it has a moment of clarity upon being bitten, but then all memories fade away. Slowbro is also one of the few Pokémon that can devolve if the Shellder on its tail ever lets loose. Which is neat for Slowpoke in the wild I guess but for a trainer that is absolutely terrible, other trainers can just knock of the shell to return it back to a mediocre slowpoke. Ouch…. well ouch after give seconds.However a Shellder doesn’t want to let go. Ultra Moon describes the Shellder on a Slowbro’s tail as a greedy being, who loves to suck more and more sweetness from Slowbro’s tail. Basically it’s addicted to the delicacy of Slowpoke tail.. and as we know Team Rocket cuts of these tails to sell them on the black market as high quality food as well so it all does line up. While Slowbro has some amazing stats  to work with it’s symbiotic relationship basically involves having , what little bit it had of, its personality being deleted by a constant poison in it’s system while it’s tail is being sucked dry of it’s essence. All it gets is one moment of enlightenment.. and that is gone after a few seconds. Poor poor Slowbro.

(Mega Slowbro …because Mega Evolution is cool kids!)

Twisted Entry Number 3:  Komala

The cutest little Koala pokémon you have ever seen is one that is arguably debatable. Komala does not suffer, probably, it does not experience pain, probably and it doesn’t seem to have a care in the world as it clutches to it’s little log like a baby to their first plushie. It is known as the Drowsing pokémon.. but that is a falsehood because Komala never drowses.  To drowse is to be half asleep and Komala is unable of that. The move Yawn can make a pokemon drowsy but this move doesnt work on Komala either. No .. it’s not an insomniac, that would be dark enough. It’s ability Comatose already reveals what you can expect but boy does Komala trump that name. Pokémon Sun quote incoming:

It is born asleep, and it dies asleep. All its movements are apparently no more than the results of it tossing and turning in its dreams.

While it is born into this world, Komala never EVER experiences this world. It will never wake, it will never know it’s trainers face and no one in the canonical world of Pokémon has EVER seen a awake Komala. The log is a gift from its parents which it clings onto in a dreamlike state. If the dreaming Komala gets close enough to their trainer.. or their dream interpretation of it , it will cling to them as well but never is it fully aware. It just dreams something that sort of aligns with reality. While Komala probably never really suffers, not experiencing reality seems like a pretty dark. The reason that this little grey fellow will never wake up is because it only eats the leafs of a plant that are a powerful sedative, as stated by Pokémon Ultra Moon. Komala’s fate is to fall into increasingly deep stages of sleep until it as Ultra Sun states..it stops moving all together. 

(Komala sleeps like a log..forever and ever..)

Twisted Entry Number 2: Bewear

Oh Bewear another Sun and Moon pokémon, (what else did you expect by now)  that has a very dark story to tell. This one however is not only telegraphed through the pokédex but troughout the entire Alola region. Warning signs can be found throughout the Alola region and  the theme of it’s entire evolution line is Irony. It starts out as a stufull a pocket monster based on a teddy bear that hates to be hugged or touched intensely.  Wielding tremendous power, it will flail about when hugged and those flailing paws have enough strength to take down a pro wrestler or even split trees in half.  Stufful is being described as an incredibly dangerous pokémon by the pokédex, clearly it doesn’t look like the face of danger. When it evolves however it gets a lot worse.

This Pokémon has the habit of hugging its companions. Many Trainers have left this world after their spines were squashed by its hug.

This quote is the Moon dex entry for the now bipedal bear. It is a pokémon that is SO strong.. it doesn’t even comprehend its own strength. The problem is, the pokémon now deeply desires to hug, therefore it’s habitats are off limit throughout Alola. Pokémon Sun calls it immensely dangerous while Pokémon Ultra Moon pronounces it THE most dangerous  pokémon known in the region. This would be okay for the pokémon I guess if it has a predatory nature, but it just wants love. This implies that this pokémon is doomed to be unhappy either way. Either it gives love and kills or it gets denied love and dies sad and alone. There is no winning here. In fact it knows it can not help itself but to claim a hug, and it tries to warn trainers by flailing it’s arm in an intimidating matter. It wants to love.. but it KNOWS that it love is deadly, yet it can not stop itself by its very nature . The final pokedex entry for Bewear goes :

It waves its hands wildly in intimidation and warning. Life is over for anyone who doesn’t run away as fast as possible.

Pokemon Ultra Sun
(Free is a big word when Hugs cost you your life)

Twisted Entry Number 1: Sliggoo

When this slug dragon was introduced in generation VI , it did not seem to have a lot of trouble. It’s eyesight was incredibly bad  and sure it could fire acids at his opponents that would dissolve stuff but we’ve seen worse. Sliggoo is the evolved form of Goomey.. the weakest dragon type pokémon (aww poor thing)  it’s just an orb of slime that needs to stay moist to be able to breath..it will suffocate in the bright sun (can you guess which version added that bit of trivia yet?) so it sticks to caves and damp places. As a result when it becomes a Sliggoo it’s eyes devolve rendering it virtually blind.  ‘Pinkie surely being blind can’t give it the top spot when we have a liquid organ thing and a permanently asleep pokémon there? That would be silly’ Well my friends.. it is time for YET ANOTHER Sun Entry.

It has trouble drawing a line between friends and food. It will calmly try to melt and eat even those it gets along well with.

While a Bewear will kill anyone…  Sliggoo eats it’s friends! Somewhere inside it’s brain can’t distinguish the line of food and friends and it cant even see what is is doing either.  How does he do it? Pokémon Moon has the answer : This Pokémon’s mucous can dissolve anything. Toothless, it sprays mucous on its prey. Once they’re nicely dissolved, it slurps them up. It can dissolve ANYTHING so you as it’s trainer are not an exception in fact if you walk with it it a lot.. leaving it out of it’s pokéball will spell inevitable doom for you as a trainer as  you are reduced to goo .. to be slurped up by your loving pokémon. It is unaware of what is is doing because somewhere in that brain of his .. friends equal food.. That’s seems like a pretty rotten fate to suffer to me. Having my spine snapped would at least be quick. Turning into pudding to be gobbled up seems like a pretty nasty way to go.  The biology of the creature is quite special too. It’s organs and brains are in the shell like goop glob on it’s back. Sliggoo also does not have ears or a nose, it uses some sort of radar system with its four horns. So while it can perceive you ..it has none of the tools to sense your distress. When it dissolves you it can not even hear you scream and it will proceeded to slurp you up happily.

(Taking love goes trough the stomach a bit too litteral there Sliggoo)

Question to my Readers:

What is your favorite Dex-Entry

Thank you Sun and Moon for those happy little images! You really know how to make a happy little game. While I do hope I haven’t traumatised my subjects beyond belief.. I am still a princess and really good at this so.. I will probably see you, after some hot cocoa and marshmallows, in the next post! 

The Pinkest Poké Blogger is blasting of again

The Pokémon Adventures Manga

Hey little monsters, happy weekend to you all!
It’s Saturday so anything goes! Which is a perfect summary for the topic I would like to talk about. The Manga depiction of Pokémon is….different to say the least.  Those who are used to the regular games and anime are in for a wild ride. Like I said before in the manga, anything goes. This series is written by Hidenori Kusaka and illustrated by Mato.

A different shade of Red
The manga starts of introducing us to red, which looks quite a bit like the game boy sprite, but not a lot like the boy we came to identify as Red. First of all, this guy has already been a Pokémon trainer. He and his pokemon Poli, the Poliwhirl are shown demonstrating how capturing pokémon works.  He catches a Nidorino, just from the four opening pages of the manga you already know this story is going to be totally different. Red already has access to some two evolved mon’s after all. Or does it? Red doesn’t seem to take the Nidorino on his journey after all, once again establishing we are dealing with a different kind of beast.
Sharing his love for Pokémon with both Ash and game-R (gR after this for convenience) he is also a lot more arrogant. Seeing a mysterious trainer we know to be Blue battling a Mew he gets extremely angered when the rival withdraws his charmander to keep it safe after he realises Mew is to strong. Sending in Poli, Red gets completely destroyed. Much to his disbelief that he could possibly lose. In many ways he resembles Blue from the games more than he does gR. Yet a different protagonist is only the tip of the iceberg. 

A different set of rules
I will try not to spoil too much but I will address some basic plot outlines which are fairly common knowledge. So though these won’t actually spoil the outcome of events I will name a few events. We won’t go into spoiler territory just yet though, not until the next block but warning people ahead of time seems like the nice thing to do.  First we will talk about some of the rules of the series though, these are quite different from both anime and game. Biggest changes is that attacks actual DO what they should do. Slash doesn’t just do damage it rips flesh apart. A self destructing Pokémon does not faint… it gets blown to smithereens and is dead. In the anime an attack does health point damage. If a Pokémon gets hit in the face, that damaged is spread over the entire body. In the manga you can target specific body parts to blind or cripple making damage a lot more visceral. Damage matters. As a result , this leads to a somewhat secondary rule. Pokémon in the manga are a lot more throwaway. It’s by no means impossible for them to die in battle and people sort of accept it. Early in the series we see a Pokémon that looks like it fell apart. Several pieces being scattered throughout a ring. Though not confirmed it is actually dead,by everything we see later in the series, it should be. People cheer for the victor regardless that the arena now is filled with pokemon parts. Maybe that specific pokemon can survive stuff like that but later we see pokémon get cut in half and be actually dead.  Their trainer just abandons it without remorse, only feeling bad about losing. Owned Pokémon can also be captured by other trainers as long as they are not in control of said monster. That whole game mechanical aspect the anime copied is no where present here. This is a more realistic approach to Pokémon. Evil guys will attack trainers and attempt to kill them as much as they will try to knock out their pokemon, whatever wins them the battle. This results in a much more exciting world where there is a lot more to lose and to gain. You can’t just battle until your pokemon gets spinny eyes, you have to actually be careful and protect them from harm. So for those who like Pokémon but do not like the low stakes, this manga is an excellent read.

A different story (mild spoilers)Though the manga still tells about Red getting his Pokedex and getting send out by Oak to catch as many pokémon possible this story has a completely different tone. Where gR’ and Ash’s journey feels like it is about catching them all, Red’s journey here feels a lot more altruistic. Respectively meddling with the Rocket Situation a whole lot more , he feels more heroic than his two counterparts. Quickly we discover that this world isn’t as nice and happy as those others we grew up with. Many gym leaders work for Team Rocket, like lieutenant Surge and master Koga. This manga is also not about challenging those to honourable combat. Many of the gym challenges are more presented like obstacles for Red to overcome, once done so he doesn’t need to do it in a gym. If he defeats an evil gym leader Red wil loot the badge from their (unconscious?) body. No gym puzzles and at times not even a gym. Defeating your opponent is all that matters. We get a feeling that this Red is saving the world and on his path to become the champion in doing so. This feeling is even further enforced in later installments of the series with the Elite Four trying to destroy the world and removing some main characters for a large part of the series. Though never going completely over the top dark the series does enough to make the stakes feel real. Establishing much more flawed main characters, with Red being quite ignorant and arrogant, Blue being massively uptight and controlling and Green being a swindler and thief. Yes Green is in this series as well, she is a great character that I wish we could see more off. Yellow is introduced near the end of the first series and this time it’s a she as well. While the first series focus on Red becoming the champion while he fights Team Rocket, the second series follows Yellow on her quest to defeat the elite 4. This means the Elite 4 are not part of the league challenge, instead it’s a tournament much more like in the anime. Keeping that more realistic feeling to it as well. The orders badges are acquired is very different (though starting similar) and the journey throughout Kanto takes a fairly different route then what you are used to. All in all, except for some staples, this is a completely new thing.

A different Style
The manga unlike the anime has quite a quick pace. A bikerace is resolved in a single issue. Pikachu terrorising a town, done in an episode.  Same goes for nearly every battle. Though some may like battles for a large span of manga I vastly prefer this format. It makes the manga so easy to pick up. You don’t need to keep track of where you left off, this is just nice series of mini adventures that have some more oomph to them compared to those we see in the anime. No adventure feels pointless, they all contribute but they are just as easy to resume a week or a month after reading your last one as they are to binge. Visually , though I am not a fan of Red’s design the battles are appealing, although somewhat confusing. Due to the fast pacing, and much like in the games, battles are decided by a few moves. Yet the manga can depict a move in a single still frame, just to move to the aftermath and let you fill in the blanks. Which means at times it can be hectic and it would be preferable if you had some notion of how these attacks work and thus some pokémon knowledge  to fill in the blanks. Then again, their names are pretty descriptive. What the manga manages to capture perfectly though is the intense visceral style of battling. It doesn’t shy away from depicting a rotten zombie psyduck (yes that’s a thing) as it is supposed to. We can see eyes shriveled up in the socket and bones sticking out the softening decaying flesh. We can see pain when a human is hit by an electric attack and fear when said person is tossed of a certain ship paralysed. Even the comical scenes get a bit of gravitas around them. A snorlax chasing a honey covered bulbasaur is cute… but there are consequences to when it goes wrong preventing the comedy from ever becoming slapstick. The batman like “CHOOOOM”S   and “FWOOOOOOF’s when a move connects convey their respective typings great as well. If you ever not only want to see the power that’s inside pokémon but also feel it.. the manga is the place for you.

She’s sweet but she’s psycho!
Normally I am not the biggest manga fan. Anime is just a much more a full experience to me. Not only does it offer the visuals, it offers the soundtrack to go with it, the emotions in the voices. I do get the appeal of a manga and your imagination filling in the blanks but I just can’t get myself to consume as much manga as i can with anime.  Yet this manga seems to be exactly made for me, with short chapters, nicely divided hurdles for the hero to overcome bound by the length of the medium. It makes it into an ideal little snack. With a good balance of lightheartedness and a world filled with more tangible risks and a whole lot of additional villainy it makes for one of the most compelling pokémon narratives know.  The art may not always be that impressive and in fairness the pokémon, aside from Pika the pikachu do not show a ton of personality. Saur and Poli have their moments but you will never truly be able to grasp what they are like.  The whole communication skit is left behind, pokémon appear and do their thing and occasionally give Red a certain look to convey how they are feeling. Which are single panel interactions. It manages to create a not so static pokémon world, a world of duality. A world of childlike wonder and whimsy, while being mature and somewhat grim as well. Exploring things none of the other media cared to explore. While Ash journey, i tend to remember the beginning, with Red’s journey I mostly remember the middle, when the tonal shift begins to take place and when i first saw that rotting Psyduck. Oddly enough that image was the thing that told me I had found yet another Pokémon thing I could enjoy but something that is very different.

So ends yet another post and we have discovered yet another thing to love about Pokémon.
With a  poisonous gas alert for my home area , I found myself quarantined for a large chunk of the day. I actually read a bit more the manga! Dang..Red gets the harsh end of the stick in some later parts! I shall surely venture deeper into Yellow now and possibly further beyond. Have you ever read the manga? Let me know, and leave a like before I sick zombie Psyduck on you all… Mwuhahahahaha.
Stay Pink