|Reviews for Blood is Thicker than Water|
| FieryLeaf12 chapter 1 . 6/24
Not bad for a one take.
| wolfeclipse25 chapter 1 . 6/10
I really like this story and the new prespective you put on Hau! Thank you for writing!
| Aoi-Tora chapter 1 . 6/10
Nice work ! It's relaxing to read some slice-of-life Pokémon stories and discover other Pokémon character's pasts and motivations.
Maybe you could have separated the story's events and timeline a little more (with a horizontal line, for example), but it's not that important.
| Pokken Part 33 chapter 1 . 5/29
The last thing I want to comment on is the length of this story, namely the issue of what restrictions of the current length presents. Personally I think it’s a very poor choice to write the story you have right now – especially with the existing sequences of scenes and the message you want to tell – as a short story. This entire fic could really have used about at the very least another 3k worth of words in buffing up a lot of battling scenes and actually describing Olivia’s battle. I can easily imagine this story going up to 20k or 30k in length. If you are not going to extend the length, then you should seriously consider shortening the numbers scenes you have in the story. Less scenes means more details can be devoted to them. Here in this story you start from the beginning when he was kid. You can get the same message across by having him reminisce about the past and it would probably only cost you about a paragraph at most to cover his entire childhood. In the end it comes down what parts you value most and what much attention should be devoted to them. The only good thing that the length factor has going for it in this story is that the story ends quickly enough that most unsuspecting readers won’t really catch on to the structural and world-building inconsistencies.
That being said, I don’t think the basic concept you have – “Hau doesn’t want to become what the Alolan society wants him to be” – is inherently problematic or otherwise a bad idea. It’s an actually a pretty decent concept that, if explored properly, can yield a very strong story. It’s just that you handled the concept very poorly. I get the impression that you wrote all of this out on whim. While I congratulate you on actually managing to get it out (some whims take forever to materialize onto paper), I do think you should have taken a lot more time in figuring out the various parts of the story. As of it is now, story feels like it’s hastily cobbled together with underdeveloped concepts in a way that the ideas don’t really support each other in a coherent way: the pokemon cruelty part doesn’t really seem to related to Hau’s competence as a trainer and the connection between pokemon cruelty and battling styles is just too simplistic to be taken seriously in regards to the message you want to tell.
Also, why is Luna such a terminator?
No seriously tho, why? What exactly is she so good at? Also why is she such a shallow character? She’s basically a cardboard cut-out of a person whose sole purpose in the plot is to be as bitchy as possible and beat Hau down into a pulp. You could have at least gave the villain some depth. Maybe make something up about Kanto trainers’ pokemon battling culture or something.
Anyways, I digress. Regardless of what inconsistencies in the text or plot your story may have, it does deliver the emotional payload pretty well. When I read through the story for the first time, I did kind of get the message that you were trying to say and emotions you were trying to convey, even if your text didn’t seem to support it very well. Unfortunately the ending that you have in place is one of the cases where the actions of your character does not align with what (I think) you’re trying to say about them.
I mean, my impression – correct me if I’m wrong – is that Hau is happy about raising Ilima’s baby yungoos because it means he is able to interact with a pokemon in a way that does not involve beating it to a pulp or enslaving its freedom. But the problem is, you see….
…Hau just agreed to both of those things simultaneously.
Not directly perhaps, but indirectly he is doing the same thing. I mean…he is literally raising a pokemon whose sole purpose is to get beaten into a pulp by stupid little kids trying to prove their worth. Well, okay, maybe the totem pokemon he raises doesn’t have to lose. Maybe he can train it in a way so that it is insanely powerful – although after seeing his efforts as a trainer I have some serious doubts about that – and it won’t ever have to lose a battle. But he’s still condemning it to a life of very strenuous battles where it could – no, it will – sustain serious wounds. And he is happy about that because…?
But the most ironic thing is that he never gave the poor yungoos any choice in the matter. It’s just like Hala and him in the beginning of the story. Ilima just gives him an egg and tells him to train it when it hatches. It’s not like he was given a litter of yungoos and told to pick the most suitable one. No, there is only one egg and the fate of the pokemon was already decided before it even hatched. Was the opinion of the yungoos ever considered during all this? What happens if it doesn’t like battling? Will Hau force it to battle? Ilima does say that Hau can “get another egg if [he] want[s] the trial to be different, being a breeder prodigy and all!” This feels more like Ilima is referring to Hau changing the totem pokemon to something else, like from a gumshoos to a raticate or something, rather than actually choosing another yungoos. What’s more, this solidifies the fact that Ilima’s egg wasn’t supposed to be some symbolic gift encouraging Hau to train yungoos in general as the next totem pokemon and that he doesn’t need to train this particular one. Ilima is directly stating that if Hau wants to change the totem pokemon, he should repeat the same act of choosing one egg and condemn it to be a totem pokemon before it hatches. So really….why is Hau so happy? He is doing exactly what he made such a big deal about not wanting to do in the entire story. At least he used to be a victim of the system so the blame wasn’t on him, but now he is a perpetrator actively enforcing the system when he clearly has a choice not to.
Again, what is he so happy about….?
Honestly…I don’t know if that’s what you originally intended…maybe you wanted to show Hau betraying his principles or something, but that is what the text is actually saying. Perhaps you might want to change the ending a little..?
But man, is the irony is strong with this one.
| Pokken Part 23 chapter 1 . 5/29
poison powder and proceed to dodge and or spam defensive moves for the rest of the battle? That seems like a very real and applicable defensive strategy. And mind you, it’s not like I’m using my headcanon here. These are perfectly logical conclusions that any reader familiar with the pokemon franchise can arrive at on their own – especially those who have seen the anime. It feels like you just basically took the battling system in the game and slapped it onto your story with any effort to apply real life logic to it. Strangely, the only time when you do apply it is when Hau’s Pikachu is beaten because “it’s tired out from the trek”…really?
Normally, this weird simplification of how pokemon battling would work in real life wouldn’t really be a problem in most stories because they don’t have an important role in the plot. In this story, however, the simplification becomes very glaring because the plot actually hinges on it. If Hau is able to develop a successful battling strategy where he is able to minimize damage to his pokemon, then there would be no place for a lot of the emotional angst that happens in the story.
I know you might say that Hau’s stance on the issue is that he does now want his pokemon not to be harmed *at all* but if you read the text that’s actually not what the story says. While we see in beginning of the story that he was concerned about rowlet’s health when he first started battling, the fact that the issue wasn’t raised during his first and second battle with Luna indicates that he is no longer concerned about it. The text certainly gives no indication that he was. Again, when he fights with Luna and Galdion later in the story, we don’t see anything that would hints that he is uncomfortable with how much damage his pokemon sustains after a loss. We get one outburst of “Do you even care if your pokemon are happy, Luna?!” but seems to be directed at Luna’s method of capturing her pokemon rather than the well-being of his own. The only time we see him care about his pokemon’s wellbeing because of a battle is when he fought the totem gumshoos. In all of all other battles – majority of which he loses – the thought of his pokemon’s wellbeing is never mentioned. He makes sporadic references to other people’s pokemon’s being injured, but there is really isn’t much in the story that would indicate that he would be concerned about his pokemon’s wellbeing in a normal battle in which he loses. This actually implies that the totem battle was an abnormality, a rare occurrence of sort. So the uncomfortable implication is that he is actually *okay* with some harm being done to his pokemon, as long as it’s not excessive. Since the text does not consistently pursue the issue – even though it’s actually an important part of the plot – this is not an unreasonable assumption to make.
With that in mind, Hau’s helplessness at pokemon battling becomes very suspect. I mean, why can’t he just train his pokemon more? Why doesn’t he win more battles? We all know he has some very real societal and personal motivation to do so, even if it is only to avoid the humiliation. As I have tried to explain, there’s really no real restriction that prevents him from training his pokemon in a competent way, even if you factor in his supposed stance on pokemon treatment. There seems to be two main reasons why Hau loses battles in the story: either the opponent (usually terminator Luna) is inexplicably somehow stronger, or it was just sort of an unfortunate accident – like his Pikachu being tried from a trek. Sometimes it is hinted (because we are never told explicitly) that one of Luna’s strategy is that she relies on quantity rather than quality. If that is the case, I’m not sure why Hau treats this method like some brilliant strategy that he can never overcome. That is not going to work forever, and eventually he will catch up to her with his full team of six. Luna can’t keep spamming five yungoos and one litten and expect to win. So Hau shouldn’t be too concerned about the entire strategy because he knows he will be able to overcome it later on. What’s more, it’s stated in the text that Hau studied pokemon battling from books dedicated to the subject, so this basic numerical strategy really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to him. All the more reason for him to not panic.
And please, don’t say that Hau loses a lot because he loses a lot in the games. In the same vein I can also argue that since a lot of NPCs in the game stays in one spot until the end of time, there should be no problem for them to do the same in my fanfic. If you are going to write a story from an NPC’s point of view and pretend that they are a living human, then don’t be surprised when the readers ask why they aren’t acting like people who have goals and are actively trying to achieve said goals. What’s more, Hau in the game isn’t really that bad the battling. He clears through all of the trials, kahunas and even the Elite Four. The only time he seems to lose is when he fights the player or for plot purposes relating to the ultra-beasts.
In the end there seems to be no real justification for Hau being so incompetent at pokemon battling other than a ridiculous lack of initiative and selective bad luck. Sure, I can understand if he doesn’t like battling, but as your story mentions so often, there are very real societal and personal pressure for him to succeed. Instead of proactively trying to do something he just sort of crumbles into a heap and gives up. I mean, I would imagine that the process of him exploring and developing a less violent but still successful battling style could be a very important part of the story. He may very well come to the conclusion it’s still not worth it, but that process would show real initiative and determination on his part as a character. Again, that leads back the question about characterization that I brought up earlier. Just giving up seems like a very uncharacteristic thing for game Hau to do. Throughout the game, Hau makes multiple declarations on how he wants to become stronger and proactively challenges the player to a lot of battles that doesn’t need to happen. So one would imagine that the natural thing for Hau to do is not to just give up, but at actually try to come up with something that works.
What’s more, your (vaguely implied) idea that all of Hau’s failures in pokemon battling should be attributed to his feelings about pokemon being harmed is…questionable. The text in your story doesn’t consistently support this and because of the painful lack of details regarding the issue, a reader’s logical interpretation of pokemon battling that they come up with on their own wouldn’t really support this either. So really, the entire plot of your story sort of depends on a statement that is both unjustifiably vague and theoretically faulty.
Honestly at this point it feels like you as the author simply declared that “Hau will suck at pokemon battling in my story and no amount of logic, reason, or common sense will change my mind because I need him to suck so that I can get him to be all sad and angsty for the emotional scenes”. Your artificially placed glass ceiling is so low that Hau starts the story almost touching it. As the story progress the reader’s expectation of him as a trainer becomes higher – because logically if anyone does something long enough they will get better at it – and the floor begins to rise up ominously. Hau goes from having his head touching the ceiling to his face pressing against to having to squat in between the reader’s expectation and the glass ceiling. By the end of the story he is lying on the floor with a crushed nose as he is sandwiched in between the two immovable forces. As a reader, it’s just so sad to have to watch this torture unfold.
While I can understand that you want to focus on the emotional aspects of the plot, that doesn’t mean you can just neglect the battles or not put as much as thought into making them coherent.
The inconsistencies in the battling system aside, I would like to point out that you actually skipped – the entirety of it – one of the most important parts of the story and the plot. That part in question is Hau’s two loses against Olivia. This is literally all we are told about it: “Olivia was a great trainer, Hau supposed. He didn't beat her the first time, or the second.” That’s all. Nothing about how the battles went, or what emotions Hau had when he challenged her twice. All we know is that “Olivia was a great trainer” and Hau lost twice. I mean…these battles are pretty *hecking* important. The fallout on Ula’ula can be directly attributed to his two losses against Olivia. I mean, literally, one moment we have the text saying “For the first time Hau wondered if, perhaps, that wasn't what he wanted after all.” About two short paragraph later we see that it’s no longer “the first time” and he is no longer “wondering” about it. He’s actually very convinced that he is not trainer material and even point-blankly refuses to battle because of it. What on earth happened in between? Clearly A LOT happened in between the transition. A lot of important things. I would assume that this is a watershed moment for Hau in which he realizes that he really is not cut out to be a pokemon trainer. So why did you think it was a good idea to skip the part of the story where the conflict is at its strongest? Where Hau actually comes to term to with the nagging doubt that he shouldn’t be a trainer? I mean, Hau didn’t reach any new conclusions about his suitability as a trainer by the time the scene took place; he was already convinced that he wasn’t a good trainer.
Again, the fact that we the readers are supposed to just blindly accept that Hau lost the two battles for…unexplained reasons just feels so wrong. If he challenged Olivia twice it would mean that he actually wanted to win badly enough to endure the possible humiliation of losing again. One would assume this is a pretty important part of his character development where Hau actually displays some determination in trying to win and trains his pokemon with a sense of purpose.
The message you sent to the reader – intentionally or not – by skipping the scene is that you, as the author, never intended for Hau to come even remotely close to winning in the first place. There is no point in showing the conflict because the outcome cannot *possibly* be changed. Why? Because you are the author and you say so. The result was already determined because you the author wanted it to be so. That just makes the reader feel like there is no reason for them to be invested in what happens in the plot anymore. Anything that happens in between the emotional scenes is really just you – half-heartedly and sloppily, if my wall of text is anything to go by – going through the motions of justifying and laying the groundwork for the parts that you do want to talk about in your story. This sense of apathy is one of the last thing you want your readers to get, because it really nullifies any sense of tension your plot has.
If people thought GOT was just an elaborate scheme of portraying as many characters dying as gruesome deaths as possible, then why should anyone care about what happens? They are all going to die anyways. Well, maybe they really *are* all going to die, but if the writer actually treats the conflict, plot and the character themselves with respect, then the ensuing sense of suspension (will they survive or won’t they?) will create enough uncertainty for people to keep following the story.
And really that’s the main problem with this story. There was never that sense of uncertainty in it. The more and more the reader reads the more obvious that becomes. Hau’s helplessness in the beginning of the story persists all the way till the end, even though one would think there are very real reasons for him to seek change. He loses a lot of battles for no real reason just so he can be sad. He never had any chance of beating Luna. Nothing. Hau was destined to fail and you as the author never even pretended that any other outcome was remotely possible. What’s worse, you seemed to very invested in making Hau fail as miserably as possible in order to get your point across in the strongest manner, and you have no qualms with changing a canon character’s defining characteristics in order to make that happen. The only saving grace is that the story ends quickly enough before that realization can sink in.
Honestly I don’t have any problems with you wanting to focus on Hau’s emotional reactions and sidelining everything else, but as a writer you have the obligation of giving the plot the due process it deserves. You can’t just ride the plot around like some convenient mode of transportation to help you get to the parts that you want to describe. Actually, you *can* do that, as long you make sure all the plot-crucial parts of the story are sufficiently justified. That’s not what happened here. We jumped straight to the outcome of the plot; we skipped Olivia’s battles and went directly to the fallout resulting from these of loses. You need the *earn* the outcome of the plot, or at least do a sufficiently good job of pretending that you earned it. Entirely skipping what can be considered as the turning point of the conflict is anything but doing a sufficiently good job.
I mean…come on! The least you can do is include like an expository paragraph about Hau’s battles with Olivia. Something along the lines of “Hau tried his very best….his pokemon suffered many wounds from her attacks….he came to the realization that” etc etc. It’s literally just one lousy paragraph!
I get this sense of disregard a lot of when it comes the battling parts of the story. A lot of it feels like it could use more descriptions and clarifications. Not because I think they are what makes the plot interesting, but because your entire message regarding pokemon cruelty really depends on these details. If Hau’s attitude towards pokemon treatment is actually a crippling obstacle to him becoming a good trainer, you should actually state that clearly and provide elaborations on it at some point in the story. And be consistent about it. If he cares about his pokemon getting hurt one time then he should always care about it. Instead all we get are vague implications and unclear hints about concepts and ideas that don’t really seem to work in unison to deliver a single coherent message.
| pokken chapter 1 . 5/29
tl;dr – Nice story and all, but a lot of things that don’t make sense. Ranchers are all idiots. Hau is not Hau. Pokemon battling makes no sense. Hau sucks for no reason other than you wanting him to suck. You skip things because you can’t be bothered with them. And then some misc. compliants.
If you want to read the whole thing…well, be warned! A giant wall of text incoming!
Before I get to the structural problems in the fic, I want to first address the ranch scene. Just because something happened in the game doesn’t mean it would still make sense when you try to apply real life logic to it. The fact that it happened in the game also does not absolve you (the writer) of the responsibility of reconciling the differences between game logic and a real life. As of now, the segment is ripped straight from the game with some changes and reinterpretations of your own. Unfortunately, all of the added details only makes the scene much more irrational and illogical.
For example I find it completely plausible that Hau is aware of the fact that tauros don’t like mud beneath their hooves. However, I find it very implausible the ranchers are not. Especially when it’s literally their daily job to interact with tauros on the ranch. I mean….how did they not know? This isn’t a very technical piece of information that one can only learn in a classroom environment. This is literally natural observation and some very elementary deduction. Mud is not some very rare or otherwise scarce substance on a farm. How is it that someone, anyone, over a period of several years, did not make the connection between mud and tauros behavior? Again, this isn’t some sort of technical information that only modern science can reveal. This is exactly the type of the knowledge you would expect an experienced traditional rancher to have, either because it’s passed down orally through generations or it’s just common sense. Are all of the ranchers present novices or something? Why would they need a ten-year-old kid to tell them something about their profession that they should have known in the first place? This unbelievably sense of stupidity among the ranchers continue on throughout the scene, especially when it comes to matters related to Tauros behavior. At one point Hau – in an incredulous tone – asks the ranchers that “[they] know that, right?” and they just “looked down and mumbled to themselves”. Well, with the same tone of increduality I must ask you (the writer) about how you could have possibly thought that it would make sense for a ten-year-old kid to lecture a group of professionals about what they do for a living? While I can appreciate that Hau is more kind-hearted and caring than those evil satanic ranchers, I don’t think that trait by itself should suddenly make everybody around him transform into slobbering idiots suffering from collective amnesia.
Also, the logic behind of them asking Hau to battle the tauros is…questionable. Even if you take into consideration the battling culture of the pokemon world, it still seems like a very stupid idea for ranchers to beat their own animals. Especially when one would assume that tauros are probably bred mainly for meat in the pokemon world. While strenuous exercise to develop muscles probably does help in making a tauros “meatier”, it doesn’t take a genius to see that beating your pokemon until they are unconscious isn’t the best way to achieve that. The “battles” that these tauros partake would probably be closer to sparring matches enforced under controlled conditions with supervision rather than actual battles that only ends when one combatant is unconscious. The NPC ranchers we do battle in the game are probably battling with their personal pokemon rather than those of on the farm. After all, they have no real guarantee that their pokemon wouldn’t suffer some sort of a defibrillating injury that might be treatable but would reduce the desirability of their tauros when market day comes around. Therefore it would make no sense for them to risk the ranch’s tauros on pokemon battles with strangers. Even if you say that the ranchers would feel comfortable with battling because there is some sort of a “standard etiquette” among trainers, you have to take into consideration that there are lot of tourists wandering around Alola and they also partake in battles. Even if they do feel comfortable with battling with local kids, they have no guarantee that some tourist from Johto won’t pull out a siczor and slice their tauros in half. So it is very implausible that they would battle strangers with tauros that are intended for commercial purposes.
With that in mind it seems implausible that they would ask Hau to fight it in a situation where they have no real control over the variables. Even if their pacification option didn’t work, why would they ask some stranger to beat their pokemon up? Is Hau even known on Akala? I doubt his reputation as Hala’s grandson carries much weight on another island. Why should they entrust the well-being of a pokemon they so carefully raised to a stranger? Perhaps the ranch mainly breed tauros with the purpose of them being used as ride pokemons? But since ride pokemon doesn’t seem to be expected to battle the idea still seem out of place as well. What’s more, a ride tauros can also sustain injuries in an unmoderated battle that could seriously undermine its ability to ridden. A ride Tauros with a broken leg – even if it healed – is not very useful. So it’s quite hard to believe that the ranchers would see the act of Hau beating it up as the next best option to turn to, especially when….
….logically they should have A LOT of other ways to handle the situation without having to rely on outside help. What *really* baffles me is that the only method the ranchers seem to have is the mistress. Literally, the mistress is the only way the ranchers have to calm their tauros, and in this case it is hinted that only the mistress can do it reliably. Are you seriously implying that these ranchers, whom I assume have been doing this job for years, have no other method of pacifying pokemon that are known to inherently temperamental? Why don’t they have their own individual pokemon and train them specifically to handle situations like this? How can they think it is acceptable to depend on only one pokemon for a situation that probably occurs quite frequently? What happens if the mistress is unavailable? They’re very lucky that the mistress wasn’t too preoccupied this time. What happens if the mistress is sick, giving birth or at the pokemon center and some fight happens? Do they just stand there and watch? Do they shut down the whole ranch whenever the mistress is unavailable? This entire setup is just so inconceivable and prone to failure. No competent ranchers will agree to gamble their livelihood on something as unreliable and dependent on chance as this. And mind you, it’s not like miltanks are the only ones who can calm a pokemon so the ranchers are forced to stick with it. Off the the top of my head I can think of a number of other pokemons who can do the same thing: an butterfree using sleep powder, an igglypuff using sing, a gastly using hypnosis or – if you want to stretch the interpretation of game moves a little – a bounsweet using sweet scent. And yes, all of these pokemon exist in-game on Akala, so any rancher with a brain and some initiative can easily catch some. Is there any real *justifiable* reason that these ranchers have no pokemon of their own to assist them in their daily work?
I mean, come on! You can at least have the ranchers set a pack of herdiers loose on the tauros or something. Would it be a pretty stupid waste of resources? Probably, but at least they would be showing some actual problem-solving skills that normal human beings possess. If you really want to push the “trainers are cruel slavemasters” narrative so Hau can virtue signal his kind-heartedness, at least make the slave masters competent at what they do. Like have them use a Pikachu to paralyze it first and then set the herdiers loose. Unnecessarily and irrationally cruel, sure, but at least it shows that they are organized and prepared. As people who have probably been working in the profession for at least a couple of years, the ranchers’ reactions in this scene are just so implausibly ignorant and unjustifiably incompetent.
Honestly I just find the way you handled the entire scene very sad. I mean, you had to dumb down everyone else so much and make them so incompetent just so Hau can have a chance to shine. And mind you, this is the only part of the entire story where Hau displays anything that even resembles confidence or assertiveness, and for all of this to be hinged on the incompetence of other people who should be anything but that, is just…sad.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the structural problems in the story. The most obvious one I can think of is your interpretation of Hau himself. As some other reviewers have pointed out, the Hau that is depicted in the story really bears little resemblance to the one in the game. Honestly without a grandfather named Hala it would be pretty difficult to believe that your Hau is actually related to the game counterpart. The personality portrayed in the fic have some substantial differences from the game counterpart. Your Hau is characterized by what appears to be indecisiveness, low self-esteem, and a lack of initiative. The game counterpart on the hand, seem to be a complete opposite of the character in your story; he just seems to be filled with some sense of blind and irrational confidence. He is also portrayed as a very jovial and hearty kid with a very enthusiastic outlook on everything.
While I think it’s fair to say that game Hau probably isn’t always as happy as he portrays himself to be, it is a completely different thing to imply that he is unhappy all the time. The feel I get from your fic is that Hau always seem to moping around or in some perpetual all-consuming state of unhappiness. While the questions of proving himself probably bugged game Hau as well, the fact that he is still jovial *most* of the time would indicate that being cheerful is actually a part of his character rather than it all being a façade. This dissonance is made worse by the fact that the only times when your Hau seems to act “in-character” is when he has to interact with Luna. Almost of these instances include Hau trying to downplay his unhappiness about losing to Luna. The fact that he felt unhappy (to the degree portrayed in the story) seems to be in direct contradiction with game Hau’s actions; he is courteous and polite about losing. Again, it’s not unreasonable to say that game Hau does feel a pang of jealousy or unhappiness, but the fact that he *always* take his loses rather well would indicate that whatever negative feelings he has is never a major part of his feelings.
While we do see instances of Hau feeling unhappy about his competence as a trainer later on in the game, the context with which the frustrations are shown doesn’t have much to do with player character. Even later on when the player does become the champion and Hau’s desire to beat them becomes apparent, the sentiment is expressed in a spirit of (arguably) pretty genuine sportsmanship rather than personal spite. Again, that doesn’t mean it’s not reasonable to say that Hau does harbor *some* resentment towards the player character, but it’s a completely different thing to say that he is consumed by the unhappiness of being unable to beat the player counterpart. That is the impression one would get from reading your fic.
I’m not condemning your decision to do a subversion of Hau’s iconic cheerfulness, but there is a line a fanfic writer should be careful not to cross. Especially when the personality traits that you are trying to subvert is more or less *the* definining aspect of the character. It’s the pretty much one of the few things about his personality that most people who’ve played the games can agree on: he’s a cheerful kid. The rest – pressure from society to succeed, loving pokemon, disliking the player character – can be open to different degrees of interpretation with everyone all having varying opinions on the matter. The fact that the game only hints at most of these things in between dialogue lines broadens the range of interpretations that can be considered acceptable. Maybe some people think the pressure wasn’t that bad. Maybe some people think Hau didn’t have a real problem with trying to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. So the problem with your Hau is not that game Hau would *never* feel unhappy about losing to Luna. It’s that the prose and the scenes you chose to include in the story made it seem like a much more important part of his feelings than most people would agree with. It gets to the point where the act of him being sad and helpless completely dwarfs the iconic cheerfulness that Hau is known for as a character. Again, the only time we do see him being cheerful is – quite conveniently – one the few times when he might actually be pretending to be cheerful. That and one quip about Gladion’s jacket are apparently all the “cheerfulness” your Hau can muster up. And it’s questionable to even attribute that one quip to Hau’s personality because Luna does the same thing to Kukui. This implies that it’s less of Hau acting like himself and more of you the author being sarcastic.
The rest of the story seems to be focused on making sure that Hau is either very sad, unhappy, or just generally miserable. The Hau that we know in the game may very well be sad, unhappy or miserable *sometimes*, but your (selective) portrayal of him being like that *all* the time just feels plain wrong.
In conclusion it feels like your in-story portrayal of Hau is so far removed from the game counterpart that it feels less like an adaptation of an existing character in canon and more like an original character. Seriously, if you named your character Bob or Joe nobody would bat an eye. The only real similarity Bob/Joe would share with Hau is that they both have a grandfather named Hala who expects them to become a good trainer. It feels like you chose to portray Hau this way because it’s much more convenient to have a character who is not (even just a tiny bit) cheerful so you can really milk the emotional reactions out of the entire “I don’t want to become what the pokemon society wants me to be” setup. Again, nothing wrong with choosing a character to tell the story you want, but please don’t do that to a canon character. If you feel like you have to downplay or even ignore a canon character’s (most defining) personality traits in order for them to fit inside the narrative you want to tell, then you have a real problem.
Just make someone up!
You see, the strange thing is that it’s entirely possible to have a canonically friendly Hau explore the “I don’t want to become what the pokemon society wants me to be” setup. I mean, really, just sprinkling in – in an authentic and genuine way – some of the jokes and cheerfulness that Hau is known for will give you enough justification to explore a lot of his potential unhappiness. All you have to do is make sure you don’t portray him as being whiney or otherwise miserable all the time. You can play with the “I’m just pretending to be happy” interpretation and tweak just how much pretending is involved, but you will never convince most people in the fandom that *all* (or most) of it was just a lie. Most people generally agree that there is something genuine to his cheerful personality.
Another problem I have with the story is rather complicated and seems to originate from structural and world-building inconsistencies in the story. So, the entire story seems to hint – in painfully vague ways – that the main reason why Hau cannot become a good trainer is because he doesn’t want his pokemon to get hurt in battling. And the entire plot sort of depends on it, because if Hau *is* able to become a good trainer while being able to keep his pokemon reasonably out of harm’s way, then there is no real reason why he would…well, quit. At least not in manner in which that event occurred in the story. Furthermore, the story seems to imply that there is only one battling style and it represents an absolute – with no possible deviation of any kind – viewpoint towards pokemon treatment. From what I can infer from the story, it can be summarized as:
1. If you battle aggressively, then you are basically using your pokemon as cannon fodder.
2. Only aggressive battling will bring you victory.
3. You cannot participate in a pokemon battle without putting your pokemon in harm’s way.
Since the prose is generally very stingy when it comes to describing the battle scenes I will try my best to explain how I arrived at these conclusions about pokemon battling in your story.
Luna is shown to be one of the strongest trainers in the fic. She beats both Hau and Gladion easily. During your descriptions of the battles, you hint that she is able to overwhelm Hau because she cares less about her pokemon than he cares about his. With the exception of the first two battles between them, all the other battles basically imply the same thing. After Hau completes Ilima’s trail, his notes during his battle with Luna that “she threw her pokemon into his attacks without batting an eye – but they just kept coming”. We are not told who won this battle, but it is we can make the deduction that a) Luna doesn’t care about her pokemon’s wellbeing and b) her strategy pretty aggressive because it involves charging headfirst into attacks. Later, when Luna fights Galdion (who beat Hau) it’s once again noted how “her pokemon fell to blows that made Hau wince”. It is noteworthy that Luna actually beat Galdion, who had Type:Null on his team, and that she didn’t have difficulty in doing so. Since we are not told about how many pokemon Luna has or how the battle unfolded, we the readers are forced to make the conclusion with the information we have on hand. The best conclusion we can come up with is that Luna’s aggressive strategy does indeed work and it includes using her pokemon as cannon fodder. Now, if we work backwards and see that since Hau lost most of his battles and he seems to be unable to do anything about it, it’s reaonsable to say that he probably could battle aggressively (like Luna) but choose not to out of concern for his pokemon. What’s more, because Hau always loses, we can assume that whatever his strategy is, it doesn’t work. It certainly doesn’t work as well as being aggressive. This is further supported by Hau’s reaction during the totem scene. With all that analysis, it is logical that we the reader would come upon the three conclusions listed above. Again, since the text isn’t very clear on the issue, it’s reasonable for the readers to operate on these assumptions until proven otherwise.
While at first glance all of this seems to be a…somewhat passable take on the pokemon battling system, that view starts to fall apart when the readers…well, actually thinks about it.
The idea that the only way to battle aggressively is throw one’s pokemon headfirst into an attack is illogical. What’s more, there’s an important implication connected to this view and it’s that battling aggressively is cruel to your pokemon. I’m assuming that this is case because it wasn’t, then Hau would have no reason not to battle aggressively as well. But I mean, I’m sure there are other ways to battle “aggressively” that do not involve charging headfirst into everything. If you train your pokemon to spam ranged attacks and to keep their distance while doing it, then that wouldn’t really mean you’re using them as cannon fodder would it? The idea that only aggression will win battles also seems pretty doubtful. I mean, what if you had your pokemon use status moves like po
| FireFoxDriver chapter 1 . 5/6
This is supposed to be for the review exchange so I’ll give this a good to honest review. I haven’t read the story yet, so I don’t know wether I’ll like it or not. Here goes nothing.
Ok so going in I can already see that this is a sun and moon fic. I really hope I can understand what’s going on. I haven’t played the sun and moon games, or seen the anime.
In paragraph 15 (Not including 1 liners) Hala says “You new friend” I think you mean’t “Your new friend.” Don’t worry too much about it, it’s only slight distracting, but so far as I’m reading the story it has a nice charm to it.
Overall this is a nice charming story. Although it isn’t exactly my cup of tea, for most of the story it feels like Hau is looking back at his life. Some parts did feel rushed, but all in all it wasn’t all that bad of story.
| Guest chapter 1 . 4/22
*Reads the other reviews* I admit I disagree with some of what you say, but God, I swear everyone in this fandom is so childish.
Anyway, this is rather decently-written. Your grammar is great, your description ok. A little dull at times, but still interesting enough to hold my attention. Hau felt a little OOC, but for the most part, I found your interpretation of him interesting. I also liked the last scene where he became a captain.
| jukko chapter 1 . 4/9
MO ONNN IS TEH GUD NAER Y U DONT LIEKSSZ?!/1
oh and litten is lit yolo ecks dee loud bass
i hate my life
| EeveeAbby chapter 1 . 4/6
Finally someone notices Professor Can’t-Wear-A-Shirt
| fanfictionpolice chapter 1 . 3/30
hau and professor kuck are OOC ... this does not align with canon...sry it’s a no from me dawg
| Guest chapter 1 . 3/25
This story is a piece of sh*t, just like you. You complain about everyone's story, saying "it needs more dialogue" or "it needs more detail and description". Well, guess what? You need to proofread your own stories, because what you review on other stories is a load of crap. You say WE need less dialogue, and then in your own story, there's nothing BUT dialogue. You're not a screenwriter, are you? No. You're an author (one that needs work, if I dare). You don't need to be telling people off for their own way of writing and then make a sloppy-ass story like this one that follows NONE of the "rules" you say we're breaking. You are the reason that so many people have deleted their stories on their site. You are the reason that so many aspiring authors with real promise gave up. You are the reason that so many people's stories turned from a real, promising, creative, original story into a dull, flat one with no emotion. You take the time to criticize everyone's stories, except for your own. You even had one of your little friends reviewing your story and correcting your errors. Well, I say you deserve that, you b*st*rd.
Why can't you just leave everyone alone? The Pokémon fanbase would be a lot more peaceful without you. If you "can't stand bad authors", then why are you here? This is a beginner-friendly site, and you should be more welcome towards beginning authors instead of immediately crushing their dreams was soon as you see their first fanfiction. If you would just leave everyone alone, the world would be a better place.
| Icarus The Fallen chapter 1 . 3/7
You know what? I think I'll join the hate train. It was so refreshing to find that dear St. Elmo's Fire both has a story and that it has as many inherent flaws as any of the ones he/she so thoroughly mocked. This story does seem exceedingly forced, for one. For two, the characterization off. Your grammar is good, but not perfect. And we all know how so very tolerant of any level of what you perceive as imperfection. Look, mate. You're smart enough to know the basics of grammar and good writing. You're learned enough to be able to link people to things that support your narrow-sightedness and hypocrisy. But you're not the smartest, you're not above us - you're just a troll.
And unless you get your act together, that's all you ever will be. Listen guys, this guy probably has an ego the size of the sky and a complex that goes deeper than the Mariana Trench, but he or she (still haven't looked deep into gender of this particular person) just isn't worth your time. If St. Elmo's Fire were actually trying to make the world a better place, they would have taken a much different approach. Maybe St. Elmo's Fire even intends to do good, which would be almost tragic in nature, but as it stands, St. Elmo's Fire is simply the biggest troll I have ever encountered on any FF site. So don't pay this person any mind; they are as imperfect and as fallible as any of those he/she has wronged.
| Dragon's Blaze chapter 1 . 3/5
his belongs in the Anime world. Find your story under “Manage Stories” and select it from the dropdown menu that says “World: Any” in the “Category” section. If you have difficulties or objections, take it to this thread: fanfiction (d o t) net/topic/11834/165132256/1/World-Tags
Including author’s notes in the middle of a story is not a good idea. Stories run on immersion and suspension of disbelief; interrupting the story and pointing to the wires shatters that, much like an actor breaking character in a theater production.
[(A.N. : Ash can understand his Pokemon, so he can converse with them normally)]
Then why is he not horrified that his culture is entrapping talking beings?
Script format is banned on this site, and for good reason. You’re an author, not a screenwriter.
This isn’t a video game. You should establish time and place through context or narration. Non-general scene transitions are jarring.
Behold how we all fill
| cadenceheart117 chapter 1 . 12/20/2017
As much as I would like to say I liked this fanfiction story, and I can clearly see the effort behind it, i would be lying through my teeth. You need to work on your spacing. What you fit here, with some filler, paragraphs purely for detail, and a bit of time spent focusing on individual character advancement, you could easily have fit this into three, maybe four chapters.
That being said, another issues are your characters. They are there, yes, but are really nothing more than talking heads spouting emotions. You gave them little to no depth whatsoever.
I also get the sense that you rushed this out, as if you had a deadline. Buddy, this is fanfiction, there is no deadline. Take your time, and this would flow much easier.
All in all, I can see you tried, but I would give this a 2 out of 10.
Yours truly, Cadenceheart117