Rosy’s Ramblings: A Thread for Nuzcomic Analysis

Extravanganza Accordian Demo Extravanganza Accordian Demo

Rosyfox2002

Conqueror of the Saffron Gym
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She/her
Dex Entry This Pokémon hoards blankets and hides in large piles of them for warmth. If you listen carefully, you can hear it yelling at its own content.
Pronouns
She/her
Pokédex No.
3291
Caught
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
70
Location
Mt. Chimney, Hoenn
Nature
Naive
Untitled828_20221123131806.png

✨Welcome to the thread! Happy to have you❤️✨

As you can tell from the title and the graphic above, this is a thread where I mainly just gush about other peoples comics and things I liked in them. Sure, I could do this in the comments of the thread but I feel a little bad putting possibly a whole essay in there, and it would be good to keep these in one place! These are not only for the author, but for others looking to take these sorts of things into account for their own content!

Important note:
This is a thread for analysis, not uninvited critique. Please be kind. Thank you❤️

Index


An Xtraordinary Start
A look at how Xtraordinary starts out strong in terms of the early characterization and development of its protagonist.

Emotional Damage (in Sinnoh)!
You ever wondered why the emotional beats in Autumn in Sinnoh hit so hard? You want to know how that’s done? Look no further, as I slam this comic with compliments for how well it does emotional setup and payoff.

Blooming Subversities: Pokéspeech
A look into how Bloom uses pokéspeech in an interesting and unique way that subverts the common use of the ability in many Nuzlocke stories

And if you’ve got a run you’d like to see me cover on this thread, recommend some nuzlockes to me here

 
Last edited:
OP
Rosyfox2002

Rosyfox2002

Conqueror of the Saffron Gym
Badges
Pronouns
She/her
Dex Entry This Pokémon hoards blankets and hides in large piles of them for warmth. If you listen carefully, you can hear it yelling at its own content.
Pronouns
She/her
Pokédex No.
3291
Caught
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
70
Location
Mt. Chimney, Hoenn
Nature
Naive
Hello there! Welcome to my first actual essay on this thread! Hope you enjoy!
An Xtraordinary (get it) Start

Completing a nuzlocke is hard, and building a cohesive story around that nuzlocke can be even harder. At the center of your story is your protagonist. For many nuzlockes, this character is your trainer, the possible soon-to-be champion. But actually approaching making this character can be hard, as you've got to build someone from the ground up—as most player characters in these games have very little by way of personality and even backstory aside from 'just moved in'— but also think about how they will grow throughout the story. The protagonist at the start of the Nuzlocke— at the start of any story— is often the epitome of the tarot deck's' The Fool' card:

"The Fool represents new beginnings, having faith in the future, being inexperienced, not knowing what to expect, having beginner's luck, improvisation and believing in the universe."

But why bring all this up? Well, because I think it speaks a lot to the growth of a character, especially the protagonist, in a nuzlocke. A beginning-of-nuzlocke protagonist is not ready to be the champion, but a story will see them work towards the person they need to be to fulfill that role little by little. The sooner this is started, the better, and to grow a character you have to establish who they are at the beginning just as strongly. So with all that out of the way, let's talk about how Xtraordinary by @LintuLady does this with its protagonist, Evelyn, before its first chapter is even done.​

k65tRmCZaAovpfr7g4SomXGDz1wCh_yPpoMSvnuzLJGoYQNfwxzNulXtvcTXOV9upT-rIypgveqgGskFD_uTFoXXtsQm5x0qdBK79YdZ9a0huB9EZ59EGRzmFsGIZZuw2ZHQBDuzQ9PobZy9SsnJMKewax4wcnN2pLRZSBqayI7K-DlvdQKdPDZsHLk3BQ

[any and all art in this essay is obviously from Lintu's comic and belongs to them]

Obviously I will be spoiling much of the first chapter of Xtraordinary, so if you haven't read it yet I would recommend doing that and then coming back ^^~

This is the first page of the comic! We are introduced to Evelyn here, but just as soon as we are introduced to her we are introduced to a kind of conflict: her mother. I would go so far as to say her mother almost stifles her presence on this page, as most of the dialogue in it belongs to her. This page and especially the one after it very quickly establish that Evelyn is a completely different person when her mother is around, with completely different aspirations. A small art detail that I really like here is how Evelyn does nothing but agree with her mother while present, but notice how the expression is always the same. It comes off as repeatedly plastered on, and while this may be a coincidence I definitely think it adds to this. It definitely feels like an expression she's become used to putting on.

VI8E54mSf7KAHxmHNdwswNsBoCoFMIJakW820QuJ6azqYoKxWWEf1tU4OdzywKxBAoMaOl-vKA7L55ED8PdXW59r0MmpNH8I8jLQDnMaOoIu0bJfF3lEvKgr4kLy0BdTEVyNPu6Dkgd45y8zsmGW872nFYLX7OKUibk5OMR1eiNP_wMHmWwYDrvYnkWG0w


In the next page, those differences become even more pronounced. Evelyn's mother is precise and strict and doesn't believe names for Pokémon are necessary, so Evelyn has to only call them their names when she's alone. This touches on another point: Evelyn has been made to be a paranoid person, and she is like this because of her mother. Think about it. Were you ever a child who felt you had to desperately hide something from your parents in the way Evelyn hid that note in the drawer within the first few panels? That often happens when a child doesn't feel safe to show something to their parents, maybe because they know the parents will dislike it. This paranoia also shows here on page 2:

Q-L6A3fUvCJXZgUr88v0KzELuN0kSfx6glhO96j0513OLWs8j1UZLECDyk8MzGDb0cUzDhMdd8aPRB_tPUtUSX9DtsGWtqnvirCg7BCI_3zO1F1cM3ZNsjvIIpekk3NsdIJQKzEeIXAdnaPq6O55BLiNG8VrWtxA2YsIkPY5IP_UGSkoDE0x9mTSyP5mfg


Evelyn, logically, knows that her mom can't actually hear her Pokémon, and her Pokémon are quick to point out the same things yet Evelyn is still afraid and cautious that her mother somehow will hear them. This is a running theme. Evelyn knows there should not be an issue, but constantly doubts herself with a lack of confidence, especially when it relates to her mother. Another spot this is shown is on this same page:

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And I guess now is as good a time as any to point out how her Pokémon come into this. Evelyn's Pokémon, especially Goggles and Ruby, are perfect for pushing Evelyn to do the things she has doubts about. They have the confidence that Evelyn sometimes lacks, and therefore the ability to push her to be who she wants to be sometimes, which I think is really good not only to keep the plot moving, but also as part of their character dychonomy. Notice on page 2 how it is Goggles that pushes Evelyn to actually get out of the house and get going.

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And likewise it is Goggles that inadvertently shows us where some of Evelyn's real priorities lie on page 3:
Yxhp0JMAZn14RwjbeEQ1mv3jkG9byQ6wdnpYRRge3T_ZTWfrBcevxZ7YwMzj_ckPMVyfYAB5aL-0CpGe_GBaxhB9OtC5RZwPbC5uwEXBZ_MClqJBzLlbqQAqyqjdwktGufSxlQ8xQZOOguqLxviwyZ-AFUQW8rrD5K1vci-u6tAo2zS4F4MnugJ5HZmz-g


It is clear through this and other pages that what Evelyn cares about, at heart, is the safety of her Pokémon. She is far removed from her mother's opinions on Pokémon since she names them and can talk to them and cares about them enough to get serious in a way we haven't seen her get just yet at this point in the comic. This will become important in a bit. But I also think it's shown in a later page where she over-analyzes her plans for the bug gym. While this could be interpreted as Evelyn being a strategist type of battle, at this point in the comic I interpret it as her wanting to go in with a plan to make sure she not only wins, but her Pokémon come out fine.

uCVr39XoSphBHphhaweiy3-NBK_DF15W5CE5CM8-no1MD8X7OANj4wghig7y64U8Z4TiM4uGRde9MTduDHE-fLifOO23uTxvLIru1MqCDZ4vul1pYBtmzlGvFv_Ty39MgQbWwfNlAa_KIZhHfZ1UCmMB2oEcA4cCe5dQ78iUTulBT7mHrPaU420L0c9d3A


So. To recap. In the first three pages we know all of this about Evelyn:​
  • She wants to try the gym challenge out and also wants to study in a program run by Professor Sycamore​
  • She has a mother who is oppressive and overbearing enough for Evelyn to never voice her aspirations to her. It is enough to make Evelyn do everything she does for most of this chapter in secret without telling her. Evelyn is far different around her mother than how she is around other people or her Pokémon.​
  • She is paranoid and lacks self confidence at times, often having to be pushed to do the things she wants for herself by her Pokémon, who bring out the best in her.​
  • She has pokespeech and cares for her Pokémon and their safety deeply, taking them as her responsibility.​

THREE PAGES. THAT'S ALL IT TOOK. We have a protagonist who is likable—who we want to see succeed— but has some noticeable flaws to work on. This is some extremely strong characterization from the get-go that is really well done extremely fast. But this comic doesn't stop there. Oh no, no no. It goes ahead and begins to have a bit of change and development within the first chapter's own mini-arc for Evelyn.

You see, flaws are things to be overcome at least partially in terms of characters. In a nuzlocke, a flaw may or may not be something that could prevent the character from becoming champion or doing what they want to do if unaddressed. In this case, that is Evelyn's lack of confidence and especially her relationship with mother. This is mostly because the lack of confidence leads to her falling back on the horrible doubt of ' what if my mother was right?' This chapter addresses that… with the death of Bonnie.

The first death is always the toughest, but for Evelyn in particular who feels herself responsible for her Pokémon and their safety, this is an extremely hard blow. It is one that she does need to take, though, because every trainer has to learn that this will happen sometime or another and every trainer comes to terms with it on their own in terms of not beating themselves down and being consumed by it. Here, Evelyn goes do exactly what everyone fears she might. She doubts herself because of what's happened to Bonnie and begins to believe that her mother was right and that she should not take up training like she wants to— or do anything besides what her mother says she can do— because she could not keep Bonnie safe. She blames herself.

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But we also see Goggles once again step into the role of pushing Evelyn forward. They keep Evelyn from spiraling any further down that hole with a stern…well… not quite hand they're a bug- but sh. They're harsh but not incorrect. And it's enough to push Evelyn forward and back out of that hole. While these issues of confidence are not completely resolved because the conversation gets interrupted by the next encounter, it's a good start.

But all of this feels like it plays very well into the end of the chapter, where Evelyn decides to leave a letter to her mom saying that she's leaving since her mother wouldn't approve of what she's doing, and to block her on her phone. Because Evelyn's been through just enough to decide that she can't be in this state where she's got one foot in her home life with her overbearing mother, and the other foot with her dreams, far removed from anything her mom wants for her. She gets the confidence to bite the bullet and just chase after it, a far cry from her behavior in the first page where her Pokémon needed to push her to do that sort of thing.

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And it's clear these issues aren't cleared up just yet, leaving enough room for even more development as the comic goes on. It doesn't feel too fast or anything thanks to this, it feels just right.

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So, while not everything is resolved it feels like there is a very clear arc and progression in this chapter which I find very well done and a really good example of early character development in the main protagonist, and even some really good use of the Pokémon to not only make interesting character dynamics, but also further this development.

I hope this was helpful— or at least nice to read aha! If this all sounds like the makings of a good nuzlocke to you then consider giving Xtraordinary a read 👀. I obviously think it's off to a really strong start! Until next time 👋🏻​
 

LintuLady

Just a dork who draws
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She/They
Dex Entry This artistic Pokemon is from up in the North. Loves writing, drawing and all sorts of fantasy. Easily motivated by snacks
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She/They
Pokédex No.
4395
Caught
May 11, 2021
Messages
165
Nature
Modest
AWDUIAWHDIAWO FIRST OFF. I am SO honored that one of my babies is your first target in this AND SECOND OFF OH MY GOD THIS IS SO AMAZINGGGGG YOU ANALYZED EVERYTHING SO WELL IM SO FLATTEREDDDD THANK YOUUUU!!!!!
 

Pcaara

Kanto League Champion
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Unspecified
Dex Entry Entry unknown.
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Pokédex No.
371
Caught
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
137
THIS IS SUCH A COOL IDEA AAAAAAA. I gotta read Xtraordinary after I catch up on Eclipsed so I can indulge in this TED talk afterwards 😳👏
 
OP
Rosyfox2002

Rosyfox2002

Conqueror of the Saffron Gym
Badges
Pronouns
She/her
Dex Entry This Pokémon hoards blankets and hides in large piles of them for warmth. If you listen carefully, you can hear it yelling at its own content.
Pronouns
She/her
Pokédex No.
3291
Caught
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
70
Location
Mt. Chimney, Hoenn
Nature
Naive
AWDUIAWHDIAWO FIRST OFF. I am SO honored that one of my babies is your first target in this AND SECOND OFF OH MY GOD THIS IS SO AMAZINGGGGG YOU ANALYZED EVERYTHING SO WELL IM SO FLATTEREDDDD THANK YOUUUU!!!!!
Ehehehe I’m glad you enjoyed it!!💕💕
THIS IS SUCH A COOL IDEA AAAAAAA. I gotta read Xtraordinary after I catch up on Eclipsed so I can indulge in this TED talk afterwards 😳👏
🥺😭💕 aauhhh ty I’m glad you enjoy the idea ahaha. Xtraordinary is definitely worth the read 👀.
 
OP
Rosyfox2002

Rosyfox2002

Conqueror of the Saffron Gym
Badges
Pronouns
She/her
Dex Entry This Pokémon hoards blankets and hides in large piles of them for warmth. If you listen carefully, you can hear it yelling at its own content.
Pronouns
She/her
Pokédex No.
3291
Caught
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
70
Location
Mt. Chimney, Hoenn
Nature
Naive
Hello everybody ;D I'm back again with another essay! Spoilers for literally all of Autumn in Sinnoh by Nessi‘s first few chapters, so if you haven't read that yet, GO DO IT! And then come back ❤️
Ohh, Autumn in Sinnoh, how I seriously had trouble picking a specific good thing to talk about for your essay. Seriously, there are so many aspects of autumn in Sinnoh which work in tandem to create what is probably one of my favorite nuzlocke comics that I've read so far. It was really hard because so many parts of the comic are well done in a way I could probably yell about all day.

You've got the comedy, which is always well placed and helps keep the tone of the comic lighthearted and hilarious in between its sections of absolute heartbreak. It can sometimes be meta while also not going too off the walls, finding just the right spot. What I really appreciate is the variety of comedy. You've got visual comedy and gags, things that are more subtly funny, hilarious dialogue, fourth wall breakers, and more! Here are some of my many, many favorites:

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Then you've got the amazingly paneling, especially in the battles. The paneling in general is very creative, especially with this comic using shorter pages. The shapes and shots make for some pretty and interesting composition. The pacing Is godly, and I never felt like there was too much going on or too little going on. I cannot overstate enough how much I was really impressed with the pages for the battles in particular. I got to the Roark fight and was blown away. The panels make the reader FEEL like the earth is quaking and feel the power and movement and intensity of the battle through the way that it's drawn and staged. It doesn't feel too fast either since there is some banter in the battle and we also get the Pokémon slightly split up, but it's so, so so so so good.

qRFg9_8wkmdzmaszIU3DUUNSzJ9CY3JwiDQNVftx_gZvqUyfDI8IueivaDYgPqERDiXs51-AkaRVzxVkUdy5wcs6ulixKRXOkE06Cb8K4PG5xyPtW5cQ-sWE78GLcMo4FWTBy0KwWdyFKIO03UmNIM3w1cTOC_GJxoEt9HxyeDk0LFcga44RfPCOONIDdw

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We could also talk about how this comic masterfully' teaches' its readers from the outset. In creative writing we usually talk about how to ' read' a piece. If you've got a story that's likely to have POV switches, you should implement a POV switch early on in the work. This comic does that with the cut aways to different characters for me that's really natural and well done. It does that in the same way with the flashbacks that come up. I know this just seems like the style of AIS's particular storytelling, but you'd be surprised how much seamless effort can go into making an aspect of something be smooth and not jarring. Not only that, but it sets its tone of what I can only describe as 'funny and lighthearted, but with emotional consequences' from the outset as well with the legendaries and the very premise of the plot. I haven't even gotten started on how interesting and subversive the very premise of the comic is on its own. Not only is it a PMD style run of a Platinum game, but the protagonist is literally a human inside a Pokémon because of a legendary's fuck up. And the story explores that and what that might realistically look like for them in a meaningful way that's also hilarious! There's a LOT to like here in this comic.

There's also the way every single character- even minor ones— feel very real with a lot going on inside them, and you get that across in very small amounts of time which drives me insane. I love how alive this world and these characters feel.

YhWOllpu2sBK5A-T4tz4QKsPcQVkQGMS8QNLvh4283MdRsl8nyufSBoDVALa-LdZEP58axiZTHt0OEixhowxdBrUNs1PaSOKsl4zwiALBkucp09KaJKgckbmL22CC6AyUvV6QO82Y-j7UgjXRuIRZSajA1fwToF_NkYVGE1MsnJIcuhRerBUAPdiehflwg


Or even the world building of certain species of Pokémon like the machop and Psyduck lines built into the comic? Or how pokeballs and trainer ID's, etc. work? It all comes up in this comic so naturally and is really interesting to me. It's always a treat.

But all that being said, I think this comic has one core strength that ties it all together to make it one of the best reading experiences I've had on the forums thus far and that is: EMOTIONAL DAMAGE!

Or, well, okay. When I say that I really mean emotional setup and payoff. You see, this comic has an absolute mastery of when to set up information and how to bring it to a payoff. In the same way, it's got a good hold over when to have things be calmer and fun and when things can be more serious and emotionally devastating. So, that all being said, let's look at how Autumn in Sinnoh does this.

Yes, this was just the Intro. Sit back and buckle up✨.

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So! Remember how I said that the actual premise of this is really funny? Palkia simply gets tired of being overlooked and uhh drags a human into a realm where they shouldn't be, and through some antics said human gets chucked into the Pokémon world? Yeah!

This is hilarious, sure, but as I mentioned before it does have consequences. If anything, the tonal shift lies within the legendaries and says a lot about them— or at least Palkia and Hoopa. And this fits. Human lives can be easily tossed ( quite literally) around by their whims as they are here. It's funny to us at first as it happens but on a character level it's bad and even traumatizing for autumn in particular. You can see the difference between here where that happens:

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And when we see Autumn's actual reaction to what's happened.

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See? Consequences. And this is felt for a couple pages. It honestly makes the interaction with Mespirit rather somber and sad. Autumn thinks she is fine and normal again for a second only to be told that the human form she's in again is just a dream crafted to make it easier for them to communicate. Mespirit literally has to give them a sort of blessing in the form of a marking that will appear on Autumn's chest when they're upset to calm them down. Let me repeat myself: Mespirit. Literally has to use magic. To get Autumn to calm down. It's a little devastating when you think about it hard enough, for something that was done on such a whim by other gods.

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And even then, both seem to be trying to just figure out what to do in the wake of this. Mespirit strings together a plan, but is ultimately kind of hand-waved in a lot of ways by Palkia when they try to confront them about it. Regardless, this whole thing not only kicks off the actual plot, but also kicks off the emotional beats of the plots. It sets up for Autumn kind of having to emotionally come to terms with this and find her groove with herself in this new world. We see a lot related to this as they interact with Dawn, or as they run away— or even as the conflict of Orion not really believing that she's a human comes up where Nao does.

On another level, it also sets up future appearances of the symbol on their chest. It gives all the context so that when the reader sees it appear, it's sad. Because the reader now knows this is a literal calming spell having to come into effect because of how distressed Autumn is.

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But this is a trend. We are explained something which inadvertently sets stakes and circumstances for characters on some levels, this way when it comes up again the reader can feel the weight of that moment or those stakes coming down on them for emotion in one way or another. Here's another very small example of that kind of setup in the beginning.

Lucas has been present for a little in the comic by the point this page happens, and seems well meaning enough. But here, we see that the stage is set to put pressure on him through his overbearing father. It's clear there's an emotional pull here with his father being unnecessarily mean about the situation with his starter, but it is also something which drives the plot. It drives Lucas and Barry to continue looking for the turtwig they lost. It also may or may not lead to us feeling really bad for Lucas despite us wanting Autumn to succeed in continuing to travel around with their group, uncaught.

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Want another one? Sure! Ok! This one has a much slower kind of build up over time and we see the type of 'resolution' of it here, but let's talk about Nao. An absolutely adorable addition to the team who sticks with Autumn for the reason that she'd always wanted to get out, but hadn't been able to till now. But from the onset, it seems like there is something 'off' about that— about the fact that Nao had stayed in solitude in a cave afraid to go out. Of course, as readers some can guess this is because they are a Psyduck and its habit of causing explosions when distressed, but for anyone who doesn't know this, you can feel the beginnings of it creep up even in these cute moments in the rain. There's something so precious that she is happy just to have someone who is willing to have her travel with them at all.

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This is just set up, but we can already feel bad almost with a sense of dread. Especially if you're already aware about Psyduck. The comic hasn't addressed it at this point just yet, but there is the dread that we know it WILL eventually cover this and it might be sad. Spoiler alert: It Is. And it comes in the form of these two machop kind of harassing her for it.

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These two are chased away, but it leaves Autumn— who has no clue what they're talking about by it— curious. Nao is quick to try and dismiss and gloss over all this, clearly desperate to try and keep Autumn from finding out about that for the fear that Autumn may not want her to continue to travel with them if she finds out, as all Pokémon try to avoid her because of this.

So, she tries to keep the topic away from that and continue to bottle her emotions in to avoid a psychic flavored explosion from happening. We see this get harder and harder for them to do…until they get to the museum, where it becomes downright unbearable. This ups the tension and stakes of the museum trip as we see Nao struggle to keep this under control along with Autumn trying and failing to get information, right next to her trying to have to quickly get Nao out of there. Of course, this is doesn't work and what happens is well…

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Yeah. Which kicks off the entire gym battle. I also appreciate how the comic makes good use of the cuts to previous or different times RIGHT before this to cut back to a very similar situation Nao had happen with a zubat right before that.

But more importantly, after the battle we finally get the resolution we were hoping for in that Autumn tells Nao she isn't going to leave her over something she can't control. Sure, she's heated about it since it's tangled with her own feelings, but it gets there and Nao understands that she should've told Autumn because not everyone will be so quick to leave over that. It's really cute, actually. I love this little duck so much.

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Another moment where we see this is through the Entire Thing with Orion. This essay is getting so horribly long though so I'll try and keep it brief. We get to see Orion in the flashback having a normal and happy day with his human family. We see that his partner is getting a promotion, his wife is pregnant with a baby on the way, and he has a brother(?) who is also working in the mines as well. He is eager to help and happily employed at this point. Then, after the mine collapses and everything goes straight to hell, all of that comes back to bite the reader in the ass in the scene where they talk about releasing Orion. Costs are brought up, and the reader now has to deal with the weight of the scene as they remember that Orion's partner has a pregnant wife. The conversation is natural but it is made so much heavier with the information that we were once presented in a happy manner. To take on the costs for everything would be to take on a lifetime of debt.

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The tension of this whole thing is felt deeply by the reader, and though it is heartbreaking the reader entirely understands why Orion has to be released, and must live with the agony of knowing that Orion himself will not get to know everything about why that happened and how his partner didn't really want to do that. The reader gets to know how this experience has absolutely tainted Orion's view of humans and explains why he reacts the way he does to Autumn saying she is a human.

And it is All so GODDAMN HEARTBREAKING . This is all just with some plot points and backstory things and character developments, mind you. I'm going to literally lose my mind when someone dies in this comic. There is a LOT that I glossed over here. I didn't even talk about how that very same conversation about Orion gives shreds on the world building of pokeballs, trainers, and team galactic. I didn't even get all the way into Orion's backstory in the way I planned to. There is seriously so much to love about this comic I cannot put it into ONE essay succinctly. But I hope this was fun to read and maybe helped you see some of the patterns that may or may not have emotionally punched you while reading. Have a good day y'all!!
 
Last edited:

Nessi

Conqueror of the Olivine Gym
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I.. I don't actually have the words to tell you how much this touched me omg QmQ
This was so incredible toughtful and you spoke about things I was so unsure I got them right just- goooooosh <3<3<3<3
Thank you SO SO much! Seriously! I am so incredible honored that you liked my comic enough to put so much love and work into such an amazing analysis!
 
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Rosyfox2002

Rosyfox2002

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Hello y'all! Sorry for being late with this one. Finals week reared its ugly head and made uploading last week a little impractical.​


When you go to make a nuzlocke story, what are some of the first few things you think of? Is it the protagonist? Is it the plot and how you might change it? Is it the kind of vibe you're looking for the story to have? Is it the Pokémon? Better yet, is it the relationship between people and Pokémon in your world? Do people and Pokémon talk to one another?

Yep, that's right, today we are talking about Pokéspeech!

You may or may not notice it when reading, but one of the first things that gets established in a nuzlocke at the first sight of people and Pokémon interacting is the presence or lack of Pokéspeech. This is people's ability to speak to Pokémon in a story. There are a lot of different interpretations of this ability. Sometimes, the people and Pokémon talk freely on a wide scale, making pokéspeech common. Sometimes, pokéspeech is an extremely rare gift only held by a few people. And then there are times where there is no pokéspeech present at all, and the people and Pokémon never quite communicate through words to humans. Sometimes the effects of someone having pokespeech are deeply felt in their character and have an effect on how they are now or their circumstances, and sometimes they're not. It's a mixed bag. It's an aspect of these stories that I feel has a lot of untapped potential outside of Unova comics, where it is usually expanded upon more because of N's plotline.

However, across pretty much every comic that I personally have read, the disconnect in language is only on the human end. Humans often can't understand Pokémon, but most of the time it appears that the Pokémon can understand humans just fine. And that's all fine and good! But what if I told you there was a comic which subverted this common nuzlocke standard detail?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Bloom by Zombie-Zcorge. I will be spoiling aspects of this comic's first and second chapters, here. So, if you haven't read it yet, go do that and come back.

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In this Alola comic, we follow a protagonist named Bloom as she navigates the Alola region with the goal of becoming a Pokémon trainer, but it's pretty clear from the onset that all is not as it seems. This comic has plenty of mystery and intrigue in store for us, as a very interesting detail about Bloom is revealed in the first couple pages that I also haven't really seen before:

Until the start of this comic, Bloom has never seen a Pokémon in person in her life.

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This is immediately very eye-catching. In a world where Pokémon are as common as animals— as far as we can see from the comic— must be very hard. No wonder the boy whose Lapras is taking Bloom to Iki town has the prompt response of " What kind of rock have you been living under?" This implies a few things, but most importantly that Bloom must have been pretty heavily sheltered. Her being sheltered is also partially supported by the extreme anxiety she seems to show in social situations several times throughout the first chapter, such as:

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And also:
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The mention of her mother in that first one is important, because it does come up again in the next and most relevant example I'll be showing. So, keep that in mind. But it would make sense that someone who must've not even been outside a lot would get very easily overwhelmed or second guess themselves in this way. It is implied that her mother may not have wanted her going outside because of this ability. This is already a very unconventional but also very well executed, interesting setup for our protagonist and how the ability of pokéspeech can affect them and their situation. But then it gets even better.

You see, because Bloom has not met a Pokémon in person in her life, she is also unaware of her ability entirely. It takes her completely off guard once she actually hears a Pokémon talk for the first time.

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And when she verbally brings this up to Kukui, Hau, and Lillie, their responses immediately send her into a self questioning spiral. She had no idea this was abnormal and worries for herself here, going as far as to question her own sanity for a split second. There's a lot of conflicting paranoia. Part of her doesn't even have a way of knowing that Kukui and the others aren't just messing with her somehow, and Pokémon do talk. Another part of her maybe knows Pokémon don't talk, having read about it. It's clear that this is a lot to sort of take in.

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This whole thing kind of sees her try and deny that there is anything different for a little bit. Here when she's choosing her starter, she aggressively tries to tell herself that she isn't hearing anything and that they don't talk. A lot of this is already really good internal character conflict, but here is also where another really interesting part of this dichotomy begins to show its face: This is abnormal for the Pokémon, and the Pokémon do not understand most human speech. We see a hint of it here when Val talks about Bloom.

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Here it is again a little clearer. Pokémon do not know humans just talk in the way that Pokémon do, and a talking human to them— or at least to Val— is startling. I also think this does a good bit to show us some of Val's personality, as communication seems important to them. They're a bit of a sarcastic jerk sometimes, but they are interested nonetheless. I can't speculate too much on Val yet, but I'm curious as to their background 👀. Bloom is the only trainer she takes a liking to, and she just so happens to be the only trainer who can understand her ( though she does clarify that a trainer who can understand her is better than any other).

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While these examples are smaller addresses of this topic, these next two just come out with it as plainly as they possibly can:



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I've said it before and I'll say it again, but I think this whole concept of the Pokémon having a complete and utter dissonance as to most things humans say is really cool. We often see that on the huma end, but I've never seen it on the Pokémon's end. Not only that, but the ability to talk to pokemon in this way seems to tie deeply into Bloom's character; her anxieties around it, her lack of knowledge on it, and her backstory, it seems (even though we don't know much yet). It's an awesome execution of a very cool subversion. I really hope to see more things like this in the future, as I like seeing common nuzlocke story 'tropes' or aspects flipped on their head, expanded, or changed.

Now, since this comic is still just beginning and is still ongoing, I can't go into depth much further, but I WOULD like to speculate on some things regarding the last few pages. Recently, we've been introduced to an Alolan Meowth named Keman. He is a rather dramatic character, but one who seems to know a little bit about Bloom's ability and worms his way on the team due to this, as Bloom thinks he might know a little more about it than she does. Of course, this could easily be a lie. The other two Pokémon on the team at this point heavily dislike him, and denounce him as a bit of a trickster who steals things. It could very easily be that Keman is intrigued by the ability and, for lack of a better term, bullshitted an excuse to be on the team through his ' oh! They're the chosen one! I want to be with the chosen one !' act without actually knowing anything about the ability. But who knows, it could be either.
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zkHjuCnOV6jkgB5L5EESdIh-QtWOb00Q71oPT1dofpCZ7QUjzyDOghefm0VwCFfsrIyxjtuFmffxVo0MJelCCkBUHSvpOTsMPWnSC9EF43SaN6Lc92tQCsDEmDBVi6BLOO68bj4eBMj2SMwASnJF43ItDgwkJHPq0y15S99hTqL1cAuVk7RkQv4YfCzt-Q

QrxMC4FywVkHvbEKEHxS3TyutmqUxY0xa1gWE6l98RrPVpOn-pF0zgp7jemD87mzdkObxn8XeIt7-9ZR3nqB8tB7K1f6wbUsenqFgewgj1ZivLMlkR0O6DAarIknJiqF07tZjgr2vyEpTBjowkuRB-w4SnhTf9AaSV3o4ei57arTidXchZA85pAmD4rnSg


Either way, I'm interested. But all of this leaves me with a bit of a theory. With some of the things Keman has said regarding people who are Pokémon whisperers — lie or not— and the detail that bloom is from Viridian city, being heavily sheltered away from the outside and from others, as well, I almost wonder if this comic is playing with the idea of the Viridian Child from the manga. If so, I will be on the floor. I think that is SUPER cool.

dNGEp2r3D_PNKNGmZ1WCnqBxsiwngZDJxVxTyJwAHbhzn4-VQ5_vJjtIgLOrYRzYMZ9YaHKjgiWNHpbwBTNlPS9uJKhp3z85TBtT6YCUvX3J5WLd5HuGpdg8LjdDCHaRmI3BNNfrTVRq-K09WEb9-mwbdfFs7Qqsq8_N4eNj2vgfqgWQoY3WGL476AdvEw


But that's just a theory, and I could be very very wrong ahaha. At any rate, I hope you've enjoyed taking a look at this comic's use of pokéspeech thus far. I'm really excited to see where it goes, as there is a lot of intrigue and mystery going for it so far, and I'm hooked. I didn't even mention how Lillie mentions Bloom reminding Kukui of someone, and I almost wonder if it's because he knew someone who had that same gift, or due to the way Bloom acts. His reaction to the question of whether or not Pokémon talked was pretty odd. I highly recommend giving the comic a read! And I hope you enjoyed this little essay, even if it was smaller than my others, ehe 💕. Happy holidays, and I'll see you all again on Sunday!​
 

zombie-zcorge

Conqueror of the Saffron Gym
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Pronouns
he/it
Dex Entry Zcorge [Pronounced Scorge] is an artist and Pokemon (and Guzma) enthusiast. Don't get him talking about his nuzlocke comic or else he will never stop.
Pronouns
he/it
Pokédex No.
5516
Caught
May 14, 2022
Messages
70
Nature
Naughty
SORRY i forgot to respond on the forums (i did in a server) but i love this essay so much, thank you!!!! aghjsjgs
 
OP
Rosyfox2002

Rosyfox2002

Conqueror of the Saffron Gym
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Pronouns
She/her
Dex Entry This Pokémon hoards blankets and hides in large piles of them for warmth. If you listen carefully, you can hear it yelling at its own content.
Pronouns
She/her
Pokédex No.
3291
Caught
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
70
Location
Mt. Chimney, Hoenn
Nature
Naive
Not quite an essay but! As I work on the next essay I find myself at some dead ends for other things to analyze! So I want to get some suggestions from you guys 👁👁. Your nuzlockes! Hand em over! Read the below graphic and fill out the form here


Untitled464_20230107125254.png
 
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