Reviews for Pokemon: The Origin of Species
CMY187 chapter 104 . 5/18
I love that this chapter just keeps building up to the inevitable explosion. Build-up is still underrated in story-telling in my opinion.

“Sabrina seems tired”
Rei said this, not Red. The latter needs to be very wary of her.
“the carseat”
I wonder what cars and other vehicles are like in this world. Now I’m thinking of the dune buggy, car and airboat in Half-Life 2 and its Episodes.
“Co-conspirator”
You know something is wrong, Red, and you want to get to the truth. Why else would you be working with Rei?
“many of the tasks involve putting Red in”
In my opinion, Sabrina even telling him half of the truth is proof to me that Red has been recruited into Giovanni’s organization. He has already signed the letter of employment. He just doesn’t know it yet.
“helped test young psychics in Viridian”
Red’s already a teacher. He, Blue and Leaf are moving fast in their careers…but they still have such a long way to go.
By the way, I’m worried about Blue. The guy is just too ambitious and prideful. I think he is going to do something crazy to leave a major impression on Fushia Gym.
“they’re interviewing psychics who have had The Dream”
In other words, they are helping in the hunt for Mewtwo. Makes me think of Kobayashi in The Usual Suspects (1995) stating that many people never knew that they were working for Keyser Soze.
“Agatha’s interview made it impossible to ignore”
Sam Oak’s words at Lavender make me believe that he at least suspects. I wonder if Agatha suspects, knows, and/or is involved in the now former laboratory in Cinnabar. At the very least, there is no way that Leader Blaine is/was not involved.
“living through so many of those”
You live in Interesting Times, Red Verres.
“a surprise visit from Leaf’s mother and grandfather”
Somehow, I suspect that Professor Juniper did not travel to Kanto just to meet up with her daughter. She has business to conduct in the region.
“her journey only had one world-changing discovery during it”
I love this.
“in retrospect she’s rather happy about”
I suspect that Giovanni’s organization is already at war with Archie and/or Max’s organizations, and perhaps even more. For all we know, Giovanni may be being attacked by multiple enemy factions at once, hence his apparent truce/ceasefire with Sliph. He’s got far too much on his plate already.
He is also going to be caught sooner or later. And he knows it.
What would Leader Giovanni do if he is desperate and backed into a corner? And what does he have planned for Red?

‘I am not a monster.’
- Dragon Age: Inquisition, Trespasser DLC.

“anything like the Hoenn incident”
I just love the writing of how badly Elite Lance was affected by that event. He must have felt completely powerless against Groudon, and may even felt that everything he had overcome and accomplished in his life meant nothing. And now he may be obsessed with acquiring a Legendary-class pokemon…
I would be downright stunned if an auction for a masterball does not lead to violence. Heck, there may even be one or more attempt to assassinate Sliph. However, in my opinion, killing him would not stop the masterball project. Sliph has started something that he can no longer stop even if he wants to.
“there was the ditto thing”
There are definitely people attempting to successfully become trainers of ditto. There’s just too much potential in those creatures.
“senses her curiosity”
Red in my opinion is eventually going to put two and two together and realize that this ex-student of Sabrina who may be causing and spreading the Dream is also the person who has mastered lying to a point where even a skilled psychic like Sabrina herself can be fooled and manipulated.
Said it many times before, and I will say it again; Mewtwo is the most dangerous pokemon in the world. He is far from the most powerful, but in my opinion he does not have to be.
“supposed to be behind her”
In my opinion, there is no other option for Rei; she must either be brought into the fold of Giovanni’s organization, or permanently silenced.
“he’s been curious too”
Yep.
“The car slows to a stop”
…wait. Who’s driving it?
“mostly younger psychics”
This made me smile.
“convince himself he can’t hear anything”
I’m honestly worried that pogroms may occur out of fear and paranoia.
“after declining her own offer of tea”
Ha!
“what you hoped Leader Sabrina could do for you”
I can imagine politicians and/or other powerful/influential figures stating that the current system is not working.
“one psychic giving another amnesia”
I shuddered at this.
“she forgets how young he is sometimes”
He really is. And Rei continues to be a fascinating character.
“we would like to learn what we can about”
This isn’t a consultation. It’s an interrogation.
“in Goldenrod”
Mewtwo’s been travelling far and wide. Unfortunately, it seems that he has not been taking much time to stop and enjoy the places he has been to. He has to constantly stay on the move.
“because I tried so hard to forget before”
Mewtwo has spent years being manipulated and lied to, and manipulating and lying to others.
“To make sure I don’t, this time”
If he has to inflict lasting, even permanent psychological damage on people to get them to recognize and act to stop what he saw in the unown, so be it. Victory cannot be achieved without sacrifice.
“a whole city got it”
If word spreads that more people are becoming fairly certain that a single intelligent individual is responsible for ALL the dreams…
“even the slightest difference may be useful to us”
Mewtwo may approach Saffron City if he is certain that Sabrina is not there.
“record themselves while sleeping in case they talk in their sleep during the dream”
Have I mentioned that Hachiman is dangerous?
“Was it more desperate?”
…Rei knows, doesn’t she?
Yeah, far too many people know. Giovanni could start ordering murders and disappearances and it wouldn’t prevent him from being eventually discovered. Instead, he must prepare himself as best he can to weather the inevitable allegations and accusations.
“nothing was added to the second one”
Mewtwo may be actively investigating the unown even as he is distributing the dream.
“on the verge of tears”
Now I’m thinking of the prothean beacon in Mass Effect 1.
“who felt Zapdos’ pressure as divine punishment”
Pressure is so horrifying, and the fact that pokemon other than Legendary-class ones can emit it only makes it worse.
“training a drowzee, to”
Oh my God, don’t.
I’ve never thought about it before; suicide-by-pokemon.
“breaking a renegade law”
And Kanto is notoriously harsh and merciless toward renegades. I don’t blame Blue’s companions for being afraid over what happened beneath the Rocket Casino.
“her first guess”
…it’s not a guess, is it?
Agatha knows or at least suspects.
To be fair, there’s no way that Giovanni would not have at least tried to get one or more of the Elites on his side.
“more likely to be a human with a uniquely powerful projection though”
I grinned at this. Red was going to find out sooner or later.
“convincing enough to have them risk their own anonymity”
Giovanni and Sabrina have got to be taking this very seriously.
“how did they know to target the most famous psychics first”
One of if not the most intelligent pokemon alive, if he can even be considered a pokemon.
“she has ore drive than she used to”
Perhaps she hopes that if she contributes to solving the problem presented in the Dream, Mewtwo may choose to contact her.
“why she didn’t just lie”
Because she wants people to know. Sabrina does not want to keep Mewtwo a secret any longer.
“They’ve lived a fairly isolated life”
Sabrina is all but blatantly stating that her ‘ex-student’ was more-or-less a prisoner for most of their life.
“been publishing it online”
I love this so much.
“It lasts just a second”
Red is a good observer and investigator.
“a call I need to make”
The Cinnabar lab is going to be discovered. Shaw only delayed the inevitable.
“a terrible idea to write any of this out”
I agree.
“as tall as his shoulders”
To think it used to be so small it had to climb up Red’ leg and torso to steal a berry.
“She withdraws her abra”
For some reason this made me laugh.
“I can’t really risk more”
Red and Leaf are already IN the ‘other’ world; one where the slightest mistake could spell disaster. And in my opinion Blue is the one who is in the LEAST danger at present.
“maybe he’s getting a bit too riled up for this”
This made me smile. Red’s Charmeleon has not a small amount of pride.
“only to drop his end of the rope as soon as Red pulls”
Ha!
“takes a step inside”
Cats are our masters. We were put on Earth to serve cats.
“takes a step toward his dresser, then turns back and opens it again”
I love this moment.
“her impatience didn’t keep her from waking him up”
This is a fun chapter.
“something I think he can uniquely help with”
Oh no.
“if he doesn’t leave Fuchsia gym stronger than when he got here”
Janine is just too skilled for him to defeat…for now.
skido7 chapter 104 . 5/14
In which Red proceeds to not tell Leaf that she could be the Target of a conspiracy that wants to keep a lid on their experiments on sentient beings. I get why the characters didn't end up talking about it, but... aaaah, that was frustrating to read. Good job.
Rusty Thebanite chapter 104 . 5/7
In the line "I'm becoming more and more convinced was right with her first guess", who is right?
Wonderful chapter! Loved how much natural emotion Red is getting into with being shocked at Sabrina's reaction, laughing with Leaf...he feels more "normal" now if that makes sense. Also, the conversation between Blue and Satori was glorious. I always love breakthroughs! I can't wait to see how it develops further in the coming chapters!
imaginair chapter 104 . 5/6
Wow... just wow. This story is absolutely incredible! I can't believe how much time, research, and effort you've put into creating your story. Absolutely amazing. I've been reading this story for a while, but I decided to only post a review after I finally caught up (which took a while considering how long this story is lol). So I'll be leaving my thoughts on the entire story.

First of all, the world building in this is phenomenal. I loved that you didn't rely on expositions dumps to tell your story and instead let the information come out naturally. I'll admit this was a little jarring and difficult at first since there were things brought up such as Tier attacks that I didn't understand at first. Now that I understand it though, I wouldn't have it any other way. I adore having a darker take on the Pokemon universe that makes it feel like a real and lived in world. When you really think about it, Pokemon on horrifying creatures. They're essentially animals that have magical powers... yikes.

The characters here are also amazing! I loved the beginning when it was just Red, Leaf, and Blue going on their journeys, making some mistakes, and improving in their own respective fields. I was a little hesitant when Aiko joined and I realized there'd probably be a lot of OCs that I'd have to keep track of, but I'm glad you did it. The world is so much more fleshed out because I love it (and needless to say the additional conflict of Aiko's death and the subsequent fallout between Red and Blue was amazing. Though I'll admit I was on Red's side the entire time). Also, I was surprised by how well you wrote all the gym leaders. I would never expect to sympathize with Giovanni, but my goodness you managed to make me do that haha!

Also the way you seemlessly interweave the random events in the game into an overall narrative is incredible. I love that the evil teams from the games are renegades that use Pokemon to kill people (and honestly it sounds better than something like Team Rocket or Team Magma etc). I'm constantly amazed when I think about how one event ties into the game such as the entire ditto situation. We find out that they were created from the DNA sample's in the lab, they had to be blown up, and that's how the mansion and labs got ruined like we see in the games.

The philosophy, math, science, politics, and economic concepts that you present here are so well-written and fit the narrative. I have honestly learned so much (and as someone who studies behavior science I was very surprised to find it referenced in the earlier chapters). I honestly feel like I've learned so much from this just from reading this and looking up some of the concepts on the side.

I honestly can't heap enough praises on this story! It's clear you're dedicated to your craft and you go above and beyond to present a well-written and researched story that has a compelling narrative. And you give this all to us for free. I couldn't thank you enough.

I'll still give a few criticisms... because... well... I feel like any good read would. Hope you don't mind them and again you're an incredible author and this is a wonderful story. Some of the things I noticed was that there are times that what the characters say doesn't feel... natural. I know this is a narrative choice and it isn't really too immersion breaking (plus every good author makes dialogue more refined. If they didn't and tried to make it as realistic as possible, it'd be filled with "uh"s and "like"s with people going off on random tangents or dropping off midsentence lol). It's just that there are times when characters are delivering exposition on one theory or another and I'm just left wondering how on earth they can retain all that information just to deliver it in such a smooth performance. I also think that all the character's feel hyper-intelligent. Like there isn't a single person who is kind of mediocre and a bit of an idiot (even though the OCs travelling with Blue or Aiko's dad aren't really, but even they feel pretty smart and on top of things. Everyone for the most part is incredible and fairly ambitious). This all being said, I honestly wouldn't change any of it. You're going for a more rational approach with rational characters and I really do love it. Plus if you added any of that it'd be super weird and out of place.

If there's any real criticism, it's that Leaf's ambitions are... uh... a little horrifying. Like I get that she wants to make a world where people don't have to capture Pokemon, yada, yada. It was honestly the line when she was talking to Dr. Fuji and she said that she'd one day like it if she could alter people's diets so that both humans and Pokemon wouldn't eat other Pokemon. Like... what? She does know how ecosystems work, right? If Pokemon didn't eat other Pokemon than they'd graze the land to extinction. A similar problem happened in Yellowstone National Park where humans exterminated all wolves there until they went extinct. This caused the elk population to explode who then proceeded to eat the land up which negatively affected other species. It led to humans reintroducing wolves to curb the population so the land could hear. There's this entire thing with keystone species and many of them are predators who eat another species to keep it down. Getting rid of that natural order would destroy the environment. Leaf... what the hell? I know that it's Pokemon, but if you're going for a realistic look on the world, I feel like this is a problem that should be addressed rather than everyone patting her on the back and being like "what a great ambition." Yeah... she's just as bad as any evil team if she went through with that. There are other times when I've thought about that some things are brushed off that are actually really horrifying. For example, the idea of humans living forever. Nice thought at first, but doesn't that mean they'll have to sterilize the entire human race so that they don't breed and produce more immortal humans. Is that morally right? Also, who gets to decide who becomes immortal or not (the rich and powerful obviously)? Also, how would a person react to living for such a long time? Is it actually healthy for their mental health? Anyway, there's a lot of things that are presented as "ideal" directions for the human race, but they make me feel... icky. Maybe I'm too much of a tree hugger and a circle of life kind of person to get behind a lot of these concepts. I feel like I'm not a rationalist and am more the type of person who thinks that humans shouldn't ever think they know more or have complete control of their environment.

Anyway, still a great story! I can't wait to see where the protagonists go and how Cyrus will mess everything up. Also looking forward to seeing more Mewtwo and hopefully more interludes since they're some of my favorite chapters! Sorry for the long review!
Guest chapter 104 . 5/3
This chapter was amazing! I’m fully invested in all the plot threads happening gahk, can’t wait for next month
Lord Xaos chapter 104 . 5/3
Whelp. Sabrina is on the road to figuring out that Fuji talked to Leaf about Mewtwo's story.

I've been waiting for Giovanni's and the kids' paths to actually collide, which might just be about to happen.
SK chapter 104 . 5/2
Oh man they got so close to finding out more about Mewtwo. I'm a bit surprised they didn't say anything, given that Red knows Sabrina is making a phone call and might reasonably believe that Leaf may be in some kind of trouble and should be aware of it. But their meta-secret-reasoning makes sense. Also, knowing both secrets I would score it a 3 vs. 8 in favour of Red.

I'm so excited for Mewtwo to return! The Mewtwo interludes have been my favourite so far. I'm really curious whether Sabrina knew (or now knows) about the fake weakness they gave Mewtwo, though her saying that she can guess why her student might not trust her makes me think it's a yes. But she also seems so genuinely hurt by his betrayal that she couldn't have been betraying him herself... could she? Maybe she genuinely thought it was best for him, but.. I don't know! So many questions!

Thanks for posting so consistently, these chapters are what I look forward to most each month.
Leaky Lou chapter 104 . 5/3
On the first day of every month I choose whether or not to spoil present me at the expense of future me. It is a monthly exercise in restraint. This month, for the first time since February, I decided to splurge and read the 3 chapters I previously had the restraint not to read. And it's the same as it always is. An hour or so of pure bliss...

And then comes the dread. The dread of waiting. But not just of waiting a single month, which is bad enough. Reading just one chapter is such a fleeting high! This is a dread that knows that it precedes multiple months of waiting. Months of agonizing waiting just so that one day in the future I may build up enough chapters to ride that high for a sufficient amount of time.

So long, OoS. May I have the restraint to not return until August, maybe September, or December even. I'll be back to get my fix again, and I pray that it is a long one.

Lol idk what that was but I felt compelled to share it. Such amazing chapters. 103 is one of the best of the whole work, although I'm pretty sure all my favorite chapters are interludes so I'm biased. Every single section was brimming with fascinating character development, intrigue, and revelations that had major implications for the story at large. I had a lot of fun figuring out how "the moment" with Sabrina/Red in 104 would play out in an anime. 102 did lose me with some of Red's science talk, but I've grown to accept that at this point. This is not a complete review (every chapter has so much great stuff!) - just some thoughts that stuck out as I'm writing this. You are the best! Keep it up. I'll be back in a few months.
Parselmaster chapter 104 . 5/2
The foundation you are establishing here: I like it.
Vote4Batman chapter 104 . 5/2
Great chapter. It amazes me how many concurrent story threads you have going, each interesting and suspenseful. I’m looking forward to the next chapter!
Leaf5 chapter 104 . 5/1
New chapter is great!
coralsky chapter 103 . 4/25
This story is so good, it gets better as you go on and read it. Thanks so much for writing it all. It’s brilliant.
Ziggrrauglurr chapter 103 . 4/21
I love your perspectives. The characters are amazing. Keep up please
Ziggrrauglurr chapter 101 . 4/21
Oh hohoho no you didn't, I can't believe you did this!
Beautiful, simply beautiful
scourgethehalls chapter 25 . 4/18
Like the story but a small gripe.

It doesn't make much sense that protective gear and items are not bought because of artificial money limits. If so many kids are dying due to that it seems more like a governance issue, maybe this world is a 'survival of the fittest' scenario and were all running around in giovanni's hunger games. It makes no sense from a business or national defence perspective when you consider trainers are essentially military assets.

Thanks for this great story :D
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