The Return of Talking Time

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  #1  
Old 08-10-2016, 06:57 PM
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Default Pokemon's Bizarre Adventure: Talking about Pokemon Special, and other Pokemanga

A turtle did tell me to make this thread.


POKEMON SPECIAL (or "Pokemon Adventures" as published in English by VIZ, but that can get confusing because there is at least one other Pokemon manga line that incorporates the term "Adventures" so-) is one of the many, many Pokemon manga out there, and one of the longest-running, alongside...I think the gag one with the Clefairy?

It's one of the few that's ever talked about on the English side of the fandom, and it's also the most popular Pokemon manga on the internet, because there's """"gore""" and "explicit violence" and convoluted plots and therefore it has charmed many a teenager under the pretense of being for grown-ups, I swear, look guys, the Pokemon EAT EACH OTHER

In reality, it's...it's basically Hidenori Kusaka's AU fanfiction of the Pokemon games. Each "chapter"* is based on a single mainline Pokemon game release, and features the protagonists and scenario as reimagined by Kusaka into something he thinks is cooler to read. Characters are embellished, stakes are raised, logic is replaced with two-page spreads of explosions, and airships turn into flying battle stadiums. Some of the chapter-arc-seasons appear to stand alone at first glance, but you can count on older characters and plot devices popping back up to establish continuity.
*actually a season or arc. Actual chapters are called "rounds". Pokespe's publication mechanics are fucking arcane



....

........

Is there anything else you're supposed to put in OPs? I think that hits the sweet spot between "describing" and "nerdsplaining".


The law of conservation of threads means this is also a thread for other, less cool Pokemon comics, if for some reason you want to talk about them.

Last edited by hologramblue; 08-10-2016 at 07:08 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2016, 06:58 PM
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I made this thread because I wanted to essay about Sapphire's character development in the ORAS chapter but then I used up all my enthusiasm on the OP.

It's neat how Pokespe villains evolve into weird heroes if you close the DS for a few years.

I'm happy for Giovanni and his neat bee.

Last edited by hologramblue; 08-10-2016 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:28 PM
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Is there a link to find this online?

EDIT: also oh gods is that archie and maxie next to the bee

can we go back to nerdlinger scientist and possibly-a-pirate please
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:45 PM
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There is! It's this place. But now I want have to explain Spe's localization to you.

So, back when Pokemon was new, Viz took a shot at publishing it outside Japan. They dropped it after Yellow arc (aka Second Chapter), though.

From that point on, the standard source for Pokespe in English - and the source that JB gets its scans from - was a Singaporean publisher called Chuang Yi. They stopped....recently? Somewhere in the BW arc (Tenth Chapter).

About....mnnneh a couple of years ago, Viz picked Spe back up and started republishing it from the beginning (as Pokemon Adventures). This time, they kept going, and I...think they're either caught up or nearly caught up to the tankobans that are out, because Pokespe's publication mechanics are fucking arcane and the books are kind of stuck at volume 52 because the B2W2 arc has yet to come back from the war while the XY and ORAS arcs chug on out of magazines (I think?) and online publication respectively.

BUT WHY IS ANY OF THIS IMPORTANT basically because all the scans online are CY volumes, while the official translations are the physical volumes put out by Viz, and there are some differences.

The main difference is that Viz is just a better translation. CY can get really stilted and lose some nuance - this peaks around FRLG/Fifth Chapter - and there are a couple of places where something complicated is happening and CY just drops the explanation all over the floor.

The secondary difference is that most minor characters have different names between CY and Viz. For manga-original characters, like nicknamed Pokemon, they're just...different. But there's some minor characters that are actually minor named characters from the games, like Gabby and Ty, and Viz is consistent with their game names where CY often isn't.

...So, it's not a super big difference, but I wanted to put it upfront anyways. CY sometimes does weird things with words.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
EDIT: also oh gods is that archie and maxie next to the bee

can we go back to nerdlinger scientist and possibly-a-pirate please
Actually, it's Archie and Maxie's pining boyfriends.

I refuse to NERDSPLAIN any actual plot details because you really have to experience Pokespe to get it, an explanation of what's going on in any given scene will never really be adequate.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:46 PM
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I wholeheartedly adore The Electric Tale of Pikachu.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:51 PM
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I one day hope to read this. I've heard so many wonderful, stupid things about it.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kishi View Post
I wholeheartedly adore The Electric Tale of Pikachu.
I think I read EToP years and years ago. I remember a giant Haunter, and Jean-Luc Pikachu, but that's about as far as my memory goes.
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  #9  
Old 08-10-2016, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon Orbit View Post
I one day hope to read this. I've heard so many wonderful, stupid things about it.
If you like Pokemon and you like dumb enthusiastic adventure manga, you'll probably like it. Give it a whirl!
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  #10  
Old 08-10-2016, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hologramblue View Post
I think I read EToP years and years ago. I remember a giant Haunter, and Jean-Luc Pikachu, but that's about as far as my memory goes.
Wow
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:18 AM
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I read this up through the FireRed/LeafGreen arc a few years ago, then I guess I saw a shiny object and got permanently distracted. I've always meant to pick it up again. Just a really fun and clever series that entertainingly expands on the source material.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:33 AM
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The series went through a rough patch around FRLG and through the fourth gen where the game release schedule started to pick up and Kusaka and Yamamoto had to scramble to figure out how to tell a story in a much shorter time.

There's some great stuff in the later arcs, especially if you love character dynamics - as the characters have gotten older, and as Kusaka has improved as a writer, the emotional complexity of it all has gradually ticked upwards. ORAS especially takes a bunch of hanging character development threads from RS and addresses them in a way I never expected to see happen but have been very happy with.
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:11 PM
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The last bit of ORAS Chapter 20 dropped, and I have no idea what anyone is saying in it, but it contains probably one of my favorite battle scenes in this entire series to date, in terms of being a battle where people have feelings at each other instead of blow up volcanoes.



Neither of those poor Pokemon wants anything to do with this.

I'm a little leery of having the whole...Ruby/Sapphire romantic entanglement thing wrap up as neatly as it appears to, since we just came off of a little arc that supported Sapphire standing up for herself(?!), but I'll wait for a translation to figure out what's actually going on.

edit: Every time I think we've hit peak Kusaka he just climbs another thousand feet. Great ways to ask a girl out: LET'S GO TO SPACE AND DESTROY A METEORITE, but first let's be idols for a moment

edit of edit: NO WAIT HOLY SHIT THIS IS POKESPE EVEREST

THEY MODIFIED THE SPACESUITS TO BE THE-

RUBY AND SAPPHIRE ARE GOING TO SPACE IN THE CONTEST OUTFITS

god bless kusaka and everything he does

Last edited by hologramblue; 08-15-2016 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:25 PM
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For some reason I thought this was the same as the one I bought my kids years ago, but no, that was this one (the one that ends with married Jessie & James).

Anyway, the first box set of Pokemon Adventure came from Amazon today so I'll read that one now!
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:45 PM
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GOOD.

I actually started re-reading it from the beginning today because losing my mind over how ridiculous ORASch20 was made me want to refresh and tackle BW arc. It's interesting how the style of it has changed from when it began, way back before Yellow version had come out!

The kind of creativity Kusaka flexes in the early volumes is...just very characteristic of everything that came out of the first generation, official and otherwise. The Pokemon world was not a well-defined thing, and every adaptation was making up its own rules. Having more to work with hasn't made his newer stuff any less interesting (in...my opinion), but his worldbuilding back when he was making it all up himself was...zany in a more restrained way, honestly. Less throwing up his hands and sending kids to space dressed like idols, more giving badges magical powers and weird bio-horror shit with Mewtwo and other wild attempts to fill in gaps in both the original games' logic and their tone.

The pacing is also very different from later arcs. RGB definitely feels like it was supposed to be read in magazine format - some chapters hook up into mini-arcs, but when there's hang time between them, you have to sit back and assume one or more weeks have passed. Newer arcs are paced better for reading in one sitting, either because they happen back-to-back more often or because he uses more transitions between chapters to show the passage of time.

I had completely forgotten about that one POKEBALL BOOBS panel that Viz redrew. I never did find out what they did with Emerald peeing off of buildings. I need to grab the last two volumes of that arc.

Mato's style is so god damn cute. Fatchu is great.

It's really interesting to read this ten years later, with a much better understanding of just how young eleven-year-olds are. Between that and the Early Installment Weirdness, it gives the whole RGB arc this feeling of...like, there's more happening offscreen, but the scale of everything is limited because that's how Red experiences. And the tonal changes (and franchise lore retconning) from this to GSC to FRLG feel like they go along with the cast getting older.

Last edited by hologramblue; 08-16-2016 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:05 PM
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They only published the first two volumes of this over here; a shame, I like what I've seen (and heard of it).

I do have the complete Electrifying Tales of Pikachu (*well it's only 4 volumes), it's very good. More off-kilter and freeform than your common Pokemon media, but in a good way. A couple of chapters are more poignant than I expected. Wish there were more volumes, though.

I also read some of this, this, and this. Man, there sure was a lot of Pokemon comics back then. The Clefairy one is basically a straight-up parody and so delightfully silly, although the insanely ugly drawing of the Pokemon may understandably turned off a lot of people.

I'd love to read a PMD comic.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:18 PM
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There were a couple of PMD comics, but they were all of the one-volume GO BUY THE GAME type, not unlike the anime specials for the same. I'd love to see one of decent length that did the same kind of fleshing-out that PokeSpe does...though the games themselves are so story-driven that it's hard to expand much on the core plot.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hologramblue View Post
GOOD.

I actually started re-reading it from the beginning today because losing my mind over how ridiculous ORASch20 was made me want to refresh and tackle BW arc. It's interesting how the style of it has changed from when it began, way back before Yellow version had come out!

The kind of creativity Kusaka flexes in the early volumes is...just very characteristic of everything that came out of the first generation, official and otherwise. The Pokemon world was not a well-defined thing, and every adaptation was making up its own rules. Having more to work with hasn't made his newer stuff any less interesting (in...my opinion), but his worldbuilding back when he was making it all up himself was...zany in a more restrained way, honestly. Less throwing up his hands and sending kids to space dressed like idols, more giving badges magical powers and weird bio-horror shit with Mewtwo and other wild attempts to fill in gaps in both the original games' logic and their tone.

The pacing is also very different from later arcs. RGB definitely feels like it was supposed to be read in magazine format - some chapters hook up into mini-arcs, but when there's hang time between them, you have to sit back and assume one or more weeks have passed. Newer arcs are paced better for reading in one sitting, either because they happen back-to-back more often or because he uses more transitions between chapters to show the passage of time.

I had completely forgotten about that one POKEBALL BOOBS panel that Viz redrew. I never did find out what they did with Emerald peeing off of buildings. I need to grab the last two volumes of that arc.

Mato's style is so god damn cute. Fatchu is great.

It's really interesting to read this ten years later, with a much better understanding of just how young eleven-year-olds are. Between that and the Early Installment Weirdness, it gives the whole RGB arc this feeling of...like, there's more happening offscreen, but the scale of everything is limited because that's how Red experiences. And the tonal changes (and franchise lore retconning) from this to GSC to FRLG feel like they go along with the cast getting older.
...Pokeball boobs?
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:59 PM
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There's a single scene in the first arc in which Blue(/Green in Viz, they swapped two characters' names to match the US game release) taunts an enemy trainer about her looks, she attacks, the attack hits Blue and her top rips, and she'd put two Pokeballs in the front of her dress so it releases the Pokemon and they get in a sneak attack.

Viz redrew the panel so nothing ripped and plays it off as just a generic "haha got you to let down your guard, GO POKEMON" play. It's completely inconsequential because there are a lot of nonsensical strategies in the first arc, just a little funny to turn the page and see if you knew what was there before.

There's a single other instance of "censorship" I can think of, which is that there's a scene in GSC where Crystal's mom slaps her, and they change it to a STERN GLARE that...makes Crystal flinch so hard she reels back? Sure. Again, unimportant, but a little less so because it does reveal a character dynamic instead of just being "lol boobs" for the sake of lol. There are a lot of adults in Pokespe who are not very good at being parents or mentors and are treated with some ambiguity by the people around them for it, and Crys' mom is one of them.

And then there's the aforementioned dude pissing off buildings repeatedly in Emerald arc, but I don't actually have those Viz volumes so I have no idea whether they redrew that or what.
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:36 PM
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Got through Yellow Arc in my reread. It is

ssssssoooooooo

duuuuuuummmmmb


Yellow arc is soooo duuuuumb in the most brainlessly shouneny way possible and I love it and hate it at the same time, oh my god

I don't actually Jojo's myself but Jojo friends assure me that Yellow is the ENEMY STAND arc and I will take their word for that. Yellow Arc is where Kusaka got to the end of things from the first-generation games he could base little stories on and started pulling shit directly out of his ass. I joke about ORAS reaching peak Pokespe, but I know that can only ever be a joke, because nothing this manga does in the future will ever come close to how completely, unapologetically insane and wildly dramatic Yellow Arc is. It starts with Kusaka's ORIGINAL CHARACTER DO NOT STEAL and just escalates from there every chapter, with villains whose final forms you have not even seen yet, and mysterious mentor heroes chopping flaming boulders in half casually for training, and I ANTICIPATED THIS PLAN FROM THE BEGINNING THAT'S WHY I DID THIS VERY SPECIFIC THING TEN CHAPTERS AGO HA HA

I guess, having refreshed myself on this, Emerald Arc kind of calls back to Yellow Arc in a lot of ways, what with the Original Character Do Not Steal and weird battle strategies and all. But its insanity is way less out of nowhere because game mechanics and battle strategies actually did get that complicated in the Battle Frontier, so all of Emerald's bullshit is stuff you can actually do in the games.

List of things that do not work like that oh my god what were you smoking while writing this arc:

- moonlight
- snakes
- ponytails
- industrial waste
- swords
- bubbles
- sound
- hypothermia
- lava?!
- Pay D- no you know what that's probably exactly how Pay Day works


Everything about RGB and Yellow arcs makes so much more sense if you assume that you're seeing everything magnified through the eyes of the ten-year-old protagonists. I like to imagine that every now and then Green finds something that reminds him of how he was when he was ~13 and the residual embarrassment just washes over him.

I really want that Rapidash phone Blaine has in his lab.

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Old 08-18-2016, 10:28 AM
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I enjoyed the Yellow arc the first time through ._.

But then I guess I'm a sucker for brainless shounen stuff as long as they keep giving me interesting fight gimmicks. Maybe it's just that it pales in comparison to the later material, which you've said has some more nuanced character work.

I'm planning to restart the series and not stall out after FR/LG this time, so I guess I'll see how I feel about Yellow on the re-read.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:17 AM
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Oh, no, i'm not saying it's not good or enjoyable. Yellow arc is a blast. I adore it. It's just incredibly weird and you have to just bask in the intensity of its weirdness or risk madness trying to take it seriously. It's Pokespe's Catapult Turtle moment.

I just remembered that Viz put out these "Best Of" volumes on the original run that tried to condense the RGB and Yellow arcs into one volume each, chopping out most of the actual plot in the process. The Yellow version cut the "epilogue" bit at the end, because it alluded so heavily to other chapters they'd removed...but that made the last chapter close out on a dream sequence that made it look like Yellow had died.

Whoops!

Anyways, I got to volume 10 today. This is the point at which Mato, suffering from some medical condition that affected her hands, had to hand over the series' art to Satoshi Yamamoto. The guy took a few volumes to hit his stride, and he still had chronic trouble with things like "drawing Mewtwo on model" and "not making villains' faces get all deranged when they show strong emotion", but he started rendering battles in a little more detail than Mato did, which made the manga feel a little less...abstract? Nobody beats Mato on sheer cuteness, but Yamamoto is pretty great at rendering motion.

The series also hits that tonal change I talked about right here, and I think Yamamoto's style has something to do with it. Everything feels a little more real from here on out.

GSC is a fun arc, and way more sedate than the first two, probably because the world of the main games had started to expand and they were able to get into what a normal life in the Pokemon world looked like. Gold is way less in his element than the prodigy Red was, the camera peels back from the action to peer into League politics (I love when Spe does this shit), and there are a lot more characters with their own goals rattling around.


volume 11 edit: fucking lol, right, this is the part where we start getting inoculated to the pokespe universe's flagrant child endangerment problem

DON'T LEAVE YOUR FIVE-YEAR-OLD ALONE IN THE WILDERNESS TO BE MAULED BY GIANT DOGS/DRAGONS/BIRDS WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU

Last edited by hologramblue; 08-18-2016 at 01:23 PM.
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  #23  
Old 08-18-2016, 10:53 PM
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In Pokémon World, it is illegal for a parent to provide for a child for more than ten years.

Some just start early to make sure they're in the good side of the law.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:52 PM
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Crystal is good at kicking things because when she was five her mom left her in the mountains to get good at catching Pokemon and she broke both of her arms.

I guess her mom is one of the exceptionally terrible parents in this series, along with fucking Norman, but that's just so...extra.

I plan to wordvomit all about Norman's parenting failures when I get to RS. ORAS made it relevant again and gave me permission
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:00 AM
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Do you think Hidenori Kusaka has issues with his parents

Cause it sounds like he does
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:05 AM
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The two current arcs are, like, fundamentally about children recovering from being horribly failed by the adults in their life, so it's entirely possible. ORAS is one long string of "hey did you think we missed the implications of Norman's bullshit? haha we didn't here have Ruby trying desperately to love himself*", and XY is "so when you put tons of pressure on small children to succeed for your own satisfaction, it turns out that really fucks them up, so, fuck you".

That or it's a current Topic in Japanese media because I feel like I've seen this story in a lot of things lately.

* he did in fact finally succeed in loving himself as of three days ago but i'll get there when i get there because i've been waiting ten real life years for this to happen to hoenn kids and i need to cool down to avoid nerdsplaining
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Old 08-19-2016, 10:01 PM
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RAID ON THE CITY, KNOCK OUT, EVIL TUSKS that doesn't get any less silly as the years go by, what the hell giovanni

The Mask of Ice plot really does set the tone for what Pokespe ended up being. I'm having trouble quantifying exactly how it's different from the stories that RGB and Yellow told, but there's just something about how all the pieces come together in GSC that just feels like it foreshadows how future arcs go. I guess this is where a touch of human drama gets added?

That might be it. I like the little character explorations we get once Suicune sets out to court trainers, and the Indigo exhibition match chapters are one of the first instances in this series of long, formal battles that don't move the action forward and really just exist to show you how characters tick.

I also love that as of Volume 11 you start getting appendixes thrown at you that explain some random set of details about the universe. Some of them just compile information that was already in the volume, but some turn up entirely new information, especially anything that's about Association politics. I think Emerald has the neatest appendixes in terms of being all-new information; they're written as the in-universe brochures handed out to explain and advertise the Battle Frontier (or something along those lines) and they've got a bunch of minutiae about the facility rules that isn't gone over in the manga itself. NERD SHIT


---


On the ORAS front, every other fanficcer kid that REALLY REALLY wanted Ruby and Sapphire to smooch ten years ago is losing their shit exactly as hard as I did and the results are great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by im convo with a friend, in which she gives voice to my soul


franticshipping happened, everything in the world is pure and good for one holy minute

they are going to hold hands and punch the moon

and that is all i care about

RUBY FINALLY FUCKING GOT HIS HEAD SURGICALLY REMOVED FROM HIS ASS

SAPPHIRE I REALIZED I DON'T WANT TO PUSH AWAY EVERYONE I LOVE AND FLY INTO THE SUN LIKE MY GARBAGE DAD THINKS I SHOULD

INSTEAD, I WANT TO HOLD HANDS WITH YOU AND WEAR CUTE OUTFITS

MAYBE... INTERTWINE OUR FINGERS



i like how the packages are supposed to be their cute wedding outfit contest outfits but it just looks like he's pushing two reams of paper at her

I UNCLOGGED THE COPIER SAPPHIRE!!


im so glad the moral was not "ruby needs to get over contests and embrace battling so sapphire will dig him," it was instead "ruby needs to stop being a stupid little shit and just ask her to hold his hand"

Last edited by hologramblue; 08-19-2016 at 10:32 PM.
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  #28  
Old 08-30-2016, 11:38 AM
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Just reading this thread, it sounds like these comics should be titled "Pokémon Comics For Octos"
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  #29  
Old 08-30-2016, 11:53 AM
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It's basically Jojo for smaller children (but adults are also welcome).
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Old 08-30-2016, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyblue View Post
It's basically Jojo for smaller children (but adults are also welcome).
Yeah basically.

I haven't been posting because I've been running around doing school shit instead of finishing GSC, but hooooly shit so much is happening in XY and I want so badly to talk about it but there's no point because nobody is following XY. Even I'm not properly following XY, because I already made the mistake of getting the BW mini-volumes before the full versions came out and I don't want to buy an arc twice again.

It's so fucking good though.

Green apparently met Diantha when he was 19ish and she was like TWELVE. That puts him in like. His late 20s in XY arc? THE OG KIDS ARE SO OLD NOW WHAT THE HELL

Ahem anyways.

The end of GSC is so goddamn wild. I think this is the last arc Kusaka absolutely freeballed it through because I think RSE has a cohesive theme and I know FRLG does. I skimmed FRLG and apparently I give it more shit than it deserves, the back half is pretty good.

Giovanni is ten times the father Norman thinks he is.
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