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  #1    
Old September 22nd, 2007, 10:35 PM
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Trainer fics. We’ve all heard of them; they are stereotyped as “bad fics”, mainly because it is rare to see a trainer fic that is not cliché while still following the plot of collecting all eight badges of a certain region and then competing in the league.

Right now, at 12:40 a.m. CST, I am bored out of my mind so I am writing some things that bother me in trainer fics. I‘m not going to go into much detail with all of them, since I‘ll probably go into a nonsensical rant due to tiredness. Also, you guys can add anything if you want to.

1) Not every trainer you see on your journey has to battle you.

This is a common one. The main character sees another trainer, and automatically is asked/asks for a battle. This doesn’t have to happen constantly . . . Just make the trainer not appear at all, or have him/her do something else pertaining to your plot.

2) Money still exists in the Pokemon world.

All of your characters should be washing millions of dishes for all the times they went to a restaurant in the Kanto/Johto/Hoenn/Whatever region and pulled out money to pay with . . . They buy food, but with what? They buy supplies such as potions, but with what? Money that probably never existed before that day. Money still exists, whether or not you refer to it as PokeDollars, yen, and all those other things you can call it. Have your character save up money over the years, and keep a note of how much they have. Perhaps running out of money could cause a huge problem that your character has to overcome.

3) Your backpack is too small to fit all your stuff in it.

Alright. Yeah, unless your character is super strong and is use to carrying heavy things, I don’t know why I never see characters complaining over the heaviness of them. With all your food, beverages, potions, clothes, and everything else, there is no way that thing can weigh less than five pounds or so. I saw the suggestion of everything just being minimized when inside the backpack or something, which could work, I guess.

4) Your Pokemon and readers don’t enjoy stupid nicknames.

I never want to see a Pikachu nicknamed “Zap” or “Sparky” again, even though I’m kind of guilty of it. XD Due to unoriginality, it may cause readers to think of other author’s Pokemon with the same thing. An example of finding a somewhat unique name would be finding out the words “leaf” or “plant” in Japanese/French/Greek/German/Whatever for Bellsprout, and then combining them together, or combining them with it’s Japanese/English name.

5) Your story can still be complete without a real starter Pokemon.

By real starter pokemon, I mean a Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, and the like. Be original! Why can’t a Pidgey, Caterpie, Taillow, or anything else simple be a starter, too? A starter is basically just a trainer’s first pokemon; I don’t see any sign that says, “YOUR TRAINER MUST HAVE A BULBASAUR, CHARMANDER, OR SQUIRTLE TO BEGIN THEIR JOURNEY.” Just recently, I even saw an author on PE2K give their trainer a Voltorb, and that story is going great.

6) Your Pokemon are not robots.

. . . Pokemon are no different than humans and regular animals; they have personalities, you know. A perfect example of what -not- to do is following the anime’s pokemon “personalities”, simply because they all act the same. They’re all nice, and friendly, and want to help everybody. It gets boring. A perfect example of great Pokemon personalities is in Griff’s story, “Never In The Wrong Time Or Wrong Place”.

7) Not every city has to be exactly like the one in the games.

If you look at Oldale Town on a walkthrough guide, all you see is roughly five houses and a sign smack dab in the middle. How freakin’ interesting. You are allowed to twist things around. If you want to add a daycare center in Azalea Town and have the one in Goldenrod removed, go right ahead. Just make sure it makes sense; a casino wouldn’t go very well in such a calm and collected place like Canalave City, would it?

8) Your trainer shouldn’t win every battle/gym battle.

Ugh. If your trainer is going to win everything, I could skip over the entire battle and still know the outcome of it straight away. Losing is an important part of pokemon training. Make it happen.

9) Your Pokedex does NOT need to tell readers information about pokemon.

I’m so sick of seeing Pokedex entries in the middle of chapters. They’re boring, useless, and annoying. If the excuse of “Well, I just want to know more about the pokemon” is used, I’ll laugh at you. Trainers can find more about their pokemon by spending time with them, and observing their actions/words (if able to understand their language.). I also believe that pokedex entries stir away from the actual personality of a pokemon. Example: pokedex entry for Granbull claims that it is timid. A trainer’s Granbull does not necessarily HAVE to be timid.

10) Not all pokemon have to be caught in the wild.

. . . This gets boring as well: Trainer travels into forest, sees a pokemon, and catches it with a standard one on one battle and ends it with the throwing of a red and white sphere. Pokemon can also be won in contests, or the trainer can receive an egg, or something else.

11) Trades exist.

It is rare to see a pokemon get traded in a story, but still, the option is there. The option of trading it to a friend for a day of training, or for a break from the pokemon they see every single day is there. Trades were not meant for you to find a person and trade just to fill your pokedex.

12.) Holidays and birthdays should exist.
Another rare thing to see is holidays or birthdays being celebrated in a story, unless the time of year comes around in real life. X_x Does nothing exciting like that happen in the pokemon world? In fact, I think this goes for seasons, too; how often does it snow unless in a place like Snowpoint City?

13.) Make your evolutions reasonable.
An easy example of this would be a Pidgey and its evolutions. It evolves into Pidgeotto at level 18, right? Well, it wouldn't make sense to evolve it two days after having it, and, believe it or not, I HAVE seen it happen. It would be even worse if it evolved into a Pidgeot even a week or two after. Training and leveling should take a lot longer than it does in the games; you do NOT battle fifteen trainers or more every time you travel to each city or stumble upon some Team Rocket base, so you don't get massive amounts of experience. Plan the timing of your evolutions carefully.

14.) Your character's parents and family do not disappear while they're on their journey.
This is pretty self-explanatory. What child would not want to boast to their parents about their accomplishments, unless they were evil and beat them all the time or something? It doesn't make sense. A phone call home once in a while would be nice, and visiting family when in the correct city could be nice as well, and could go along with your plot.

15.) Critical conditions still exist.
I don't see why I never see them in fics. Critical conditions include freezing, burning, poisoning, paralyzing, and so on. Perhaps they aren't used because authors consider them as "omg, my pokemon is paralyzed, now they can't fight anymore instantly!". They could add so much more suspense to your battle, especially in double battles.
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Last edited by diamondpearl876; October 6th, 2007 at 11:39 AM.
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  #2    
Old September 23rd, 2007, 07:16 AM
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This was a very helpful guide. It made me remember to add some things I've been missing.

I'm glad you like my characters
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  #3    
Old September 23rd, 2007, 07:39 AM
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Its a helpful guide, here are some of my opinions on it:

For number three, I don't think authors really have to mention bathrooms. I don't think the reader enjoys knowing whether its number one or two... (I'm trying not to get too vulgar here) It's just something that is taken for granted. Unless of course, it is for humorous purposes.

I totally agree with number five though, I hate nicknames with a passion - I would go so far as to say don't give your Pokemon a nickname at all. Of course, that's just my humble opinion.
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  #4    
Old September 23rd, 2007, 07:49 AM
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added #16

And, I guess I see what you mean about the bathrooms. I really don't have anything else to say. XD
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  #5    
Old September 23rd, 2007, 07:59 AM
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Good guide.
Now if I make a sucky trainer fic, I'm going to blame it on you.
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  #6    
Old September 23rd, 2007, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Portujesus View Post
Good guide.
Now if I make a sucky trainer fic, I'm going to blame it on you.
It can be sucky or good, whether or not you use this guide to help you.

added #17
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 08:33 AM
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Ahh...how lovely, almost all of my OT peeves assembled into one thread. xD

Two more things I've noticed during my long period of despairing over poorly written fanfiction, though: one, the 'touched by a legendary' effect. Y'know, how a fanfic author wants to make their character special by associating them with an arbitarily chosen legendary for no apparent reason? (Sort of like Ash's Ho-oh sighting, except worse xP) Now I don't mind involving legendaries for thought-out reasons, but you shouldn't slap them on just for the heck of it. :\

Also, peeve number two in a similar vein: shiny starters. Let's be honest, shall we? Shinies are extremely rare and would thus hold great collector's value; obviously they're not the kind of thing you hand out for free to some random kid who wants to be a master trainer. (I mean come on: the poor kid would get mugged by rabid pokemaniacs. xD) If the shininess is properly justified and serves a plot reason then by all means: go for it, but the shiny usage I've seen thus far has just been another cheap (and utterly failed) shot at originality.


Also, a small note on the TM thing: I'm personally not a big fan of the 'ZOMG you didn't give your pokemon a silly little disc so it can't use that move!' argument; TM moves can be bred so all it would really have needed is a suitable parent. ;3
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 08:36 AM
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The exception to the Shiny rule is good in PKMN Breeder Jack's fic (it can be seen on serebii, and in the future, here). The shininess serves a purpose.
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  #9    
Old September 23rd, 2007, 09:15 AM
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I made a fanfic about a Trainer who started with Pachirisu. It took a very long time before he caught his first wild Pokemon, since a lot of other things happened before. Well, that's okay too isn't it? And he haven't battled against a Trainer yet, just a witch that turned into a pokemon. I wonder, are most pokemon fanfics in today and future environtment? Mine is more fantasy, but there is a high tech region as well.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 02:55 PM
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It seems to me that a lot, if not most, trainer fics are set in the future - or at least I see a lot of people saying that their story is set in the future, without having anything "futuristic" really in their story.

The actual anime isn't really set in the future because it's an entirely different world, although it does have some futuristic elements to it (video phones, teleportation, etc.).
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  #11    
Old September 25th, 2007, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooberdued
It seems to me that a lot, if not most, trainer fics are set in the future - or at least I see a lot of people saying that their story is set in the future, without having anything "futuristic" really in their story.

The actual anime isn't really set in the future because it's an entirely different world, although it does have some futuristic elements to it (video phones, teleportation, etc.).
It also depends how far into the future they go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Te-em
I made a fanfic about a Trainer who started with Pachirisu. It took a very long time before he caught his first wild Pokemon, since a lot of other things happened before. Well, that's okay too isn't it? And he haven't battled against a Trainer yet, just a witch that turned into a pokemon. I wonder, are most pokemon fanfics in today and future environtment? Mine is more fantasy, but there is a high tech region as well.
Yes, it is okay; many readers would prefer character development and things like that more than a capture. It also gives time for your trainer to get attached to his starting pokemon; if he can't even do that, how is he going to get attached to the others (unless they're not supposed to like each other; I haven't exactly seen your fic or anything)?
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  #12    
Old September 25th, 2007, 08:41 PM
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I have a point as well:

Regarding the "evil" team that strives for world domaination, PLEASE give good reasons for their actions and why the main character must stop them. From my perspective, Team Rocket was the only team with a real plan (Draining the seas or flooding the planet? Real smart Magma and Aqua. Oh, and Galactic, disrupting the space/time continuum isn't exactly much better). Also, why always make main character feel a hate towards the team? Why not have him/her actually want to join the team, and slowly realize what a horrible mistake they made.
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 12:35 PM
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allow me add on a few things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post

1) Not every trainer you see on your journey has to battle you.

This is a common one. The main character sees another trainer, and automatically is asked/asks for a battle. This doesn’t have to happen constantly . . . Just make the trainer not appear at all, or have him/her do something else pertaining to your plot.
something to consider here is that, as I heard is the case in game canon, it's customary for Trainers to battle when their eyes meet. Of course, assuming you're following game canon, you don't need to show every single battle.... you could easily skip ahead, possibly imply how the character has been struggling through several battles lately and is exhausted or whatever.

Quote:

2) Money still exists in the Pokemon world.

All of your characters should be washing millions of dishes for all the times they went to a restaurant in the Kanto/Johto/Hoenn/Whatever region and pulled out money to pay with . . . They buy food, but with what? They buy supplies such as potions, but with what? Money that probably never existed before that day. Money still exists, whether or not you refer to it as PokeDollars, yen, and all those other things you can call it. Have your character save up money over the years, and keep a note of how much they have. Perhaps running out of money could cause a huge problem that your character has to overcome.
however, you forget that these are ten-year olds traveling in the majority of canon. And concerning the "yen", whether you already know this or not, that's actually what the currency is called in the Japanese version of the games (minus Colosseum and XD, which uses "Pokedollar in both versions). Yeah, I'm sure that equivalent to 10 US bucks you just ripped off of that little bugcatcher kid after beating him in battle is enough to live off of for a week... for that matter, where's he getting the money if he's sitting in a forest searching for caterpillars and getting his ass kicked all day?

It's commonly believed that Pokemon Trainers receive some kind of small currency and other services from the Pokemon League (or at the very least, all necessities can be gotten for free at Pokemon Centers, including food, likely cheap-quality but food nonetheless, as the anime indicates. Meanwhile, they rely on their own survival skills out in the wild). Given how much emphasis the culture seems to put on Pokemon battling, it's not difficult to believe that enough of the economy is devoted towards supporting every single participant (assuming they're active in their training career, of course... the second episode of Advanced Generation seemed to lightly touch upon the notion of abusing the system).

Quote:

3) Bathrooms should exist.

You’ll all think I’m an idiot for this one, but what the heck happened to bathrooms? I’m sure the writers of the anime just think of them as nonexistent, but it is still part of human life . . .
god knows why the hell you bring this up. Of course bathrooms exist, and given the high anatomical detail of most anime characters, it can be assumed they have a realistic digestive and, subsequently, waste-disposal system. However, a very large majority of media (not just Pokemon) chooses to just skip the subject, likely because most audiences would just prefer not to see it (unless it's for the purpose of comedy), given its putrid nature. Also, bathrooms don't exist in the games because RPGs have a tendency to severely simplify places, especially living quarters (which is why a lot of houses only seem to have one room). This should all just be common sense, really, and not have any baring on anyone's writing ability.

Quote:

6) Your story can still be complete without a real starter Pokemon.

By real starter pokemon, I mean a Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, and the like. Be original! Why can’t a Pidgey, Caterpie, Taillow, or anything else simple be a starter, too? A starter is basically just a trainer’s first pokemon; I don’t see any sign that says, “YOUR TRAINER MUST HAVE A BULBASAUR, CHARMANDER, OR SQUIRTLE TO BEGIN THEIR JOURNEY.” Just recently, I even saw an author on PE2K give their trainer a Voltorb, and that story is going great.
while it is nice to put some more emphasis on Pokemon that're otherwise ignored by the fandom or the official franchise itself, let me just say that I'm opposed to this "overused" bullsh*t mentality that several fic-writers seem to have. If you try to force in an underused Pokemon just because you're afraid of a Pokemon that you believe every other fic-writer used (or were convinced by some other writing tutorial that every other fic-writer used it), you're probably just gonna make things suck worse than you would've just using the "overused" one. Just use what you want. If you can make a story work with an Eievui or the traditional game starters, go right ahead. If you personally feel some lesser-mentioned Pokemon deserves more love, all the power to you. Don't let other works affect your own writing.

Incidentally, I'm personally biased against other fanworks, and close to the only thing that could possibly influence what elements of Pokemon I'd want to incorporate into my story is official canon itself. It's not just because fanworks are unofficial, it's also because a majority of them don't seem recognizable enough for me to give a damn. As far as fanfics go, about the only thing that seems recognizeable throughout the entire internet fandom is Ace Sanchez's Pokemon Master, and its popularity pales in comparison to some of the other fan mediums like Pokesho and Takeshi's Diary (hell, those two managed to cross over into western fandom... I doubt Pokemon Master is well-known over in Japan). If it ain't official, or something well-known along the likes of Evangelion RE-TAKE or Yu-gi-oh! The Abridged Series, I'd consider it ignorable and pay no mind if someone else happened to use a similar Pokemon, or even a similar plot idea (mind you, I am talking about coincidental similarities. I'm not at all suggesting that you could get away with blatantly ripping off someone else's work), and I'd even ignore the several people bitching about how Trainers starting with an Eievui should be burned at the stake just because all these guys I never heard of used them and used them poorly. All that should concern me in the end is execution.


UPDATE:
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
7.) Your Pokemon are not robots.
. . . Pokemon are no different than humans and regular animals; they have personalities, you know. A perfect example of what -not- to do is following the anime’s pokemon “personalities”, simply because they all act the same. They’re all nice, and friendly, and want to help everybody. It gets boring. A perfect example of great Pokemon personalities is in Griff’s story, “Never In The Wrong Time Or Wrong Place”.
actually, it is commonly accepted within fandom that Pokemon, while they are more capable of complex thought than regular animals, still don't match up to humans (there're also some debates on Foodin/Alakazam's intelligence... it is quite possible to have a high IQ while not having as quick of a thought process as us, thus the reason to rely on humans for tactics in battle. Though, I guess some could also chalk this up to loyalty, being bested and subsequently caught in a fight, and whatnot). I'm not saying you should make Pokemon mindless fighters who seem to be driven by little more than pure instinct, but there should be no shame in it neither, despite all the anti-Pokebot emphasis out there.

Sure, some people seem to want deeper personalities in their characters, either human or non-human, but they also forget that serious loyalists (especially with tamed animals) are still just as realistic (and from a writing stand-point, it kinda makes things simpler when you consider each individual human character is capable of carrying up to six Pokemon with them at a time, with even more in storage that may or may not show up at any point. That's essentially an average of seven different characters counting the human, and you're multiplying that number for every Trainer that's carrying a full team. While you could garner some respect for managing to make deep and versatile personalities for each and every one of those characters, the readers shouldn't expect you to take on such a difficult task neither). Though, if you do decide to go that path, it can't hurt (nor should it be very hard) to show some simple emotions to indicate they're not completely soulless (as the Pokebot stereotype seems to indicate). Signs that they're proud when winning a battle or receiving praise from their master, for instance. You could even have them object when ordered to kill or some other such extreme (alternatively, they could carry out such an act, thus showing how devoted they really are).... or you could just give them some kind of quirk that doesn't really do much in the long run (like Satoshi's Cotoise/Torkoal having a tendency to get emotional and cry).
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Old October 5th, 2007, 09:05 PM
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Here's one that's been bugging me for awhile, and I wish the Anime had never mentioned anything about this.


Pokemon Are As Capable Of Evil As Humans Are!!!

For God's sake, Pokemon should have as much right to be evil as Humans do in your Fic. I've read some excellent Fics about Pokemon turning evil and attacking the world (and not just mine). The point is, it works, it's not seen very often, and it's something that can add a great deal of plot to an often repetitive universe.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 05:45 AM
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A solution to #4 that I've seen used and I've mentioned being developed in my fic is matter containment devices that can hold items and equipment, probably with a set mass limit, probably at first they would be pretty heavy still, but then as it was developed it would get lighter so that it would way about the same as a pokeball. (Because already, there's little difference between, say, Charizard and Bulbasaur in a pokeball).

Another rule... Teams can actually make sense and have a viable, realistic plan, quite easily achievable barring major interference (basically, teams don't have to be canonical and cheesy).
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Old October 6th, 2007, 11:15 AM
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I've been reading this thread since it was posted, and yet never involved myself in the discussions at hand. I guess that now that I have a few minutes, I'll leap in.

A few of these I do agree with. In my own fic, my main character goes out into the world thinking that traveling is like the badly-written fanfics one would read in this world. (For her, they're "trainer blogs".) A lot of these were kept in my mind while planning out my story.

But a few...ah, those I have a slight problem with.

Quote:
3) Bathrooms should exist.
You’ll all think I’m an idiot for this one, but what the heck happened to bathrooms? I’m sure the writers of the anime just think of them as nonexistent, but it is still part of human life . . .
I agree with Yamato-san on this one. Your human characters are creatures that eat, so it would be common sense that they would have to go. It's not, however, something vital to the plot that needs to be known. It's expected. The only way I could see using this is if you want to show how incompetent your character is at figuring out plants, as in using poison ivy to clean themselves.

Quote:
5) Your Pokemon and readers don’t enjoy stupid nicknames.
I never want to see a Pikachu nicknamed “Zap” or “Sparky” again, even though I’m kind of guilty of it. XD Due to unoriginality, it may cause readers to think of other author’s Pokemon with the same thing. An example of finding a somewhat unique name would be finding out the words “leaf” or “plant” in Japanese/French/Greek/German/Whatever for Bellsprout, and then combining them together, or combining them with it’s Japanese/English name.
This one always annoyed me. I mean the "let's use super-creative nickname!" aspect. Depending on your character's age, or what culture you stick into the world, they aren't going to know random words for "plant" in random language. (If you think about it, it's the basics that come up first for a language. Like greetings, unless you specifically look up the word. Or have been speaking the language for years.) As a ten-year-old kid, unless they have a wide knowledge, they are going to call their Pikachu "Sparky". (Didn't Red from Special call his Pikachu "Pika"?)

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17.) TMs/HMs -can- be used.
TMs/HMs do not require surgery to be used on pokemon, darnit. They look like discs. CD discs. That's all. I saw one trainer fic use them, and all it required was the pokemon to grasp it for roughly 10 seconds, while glowing at the same time to assure that it was working. The point is that they're THERE, and your pokemon can't learn some moves without them.
Depends on which canon you're writing in. In the game canon, you can use the CD way. For anime canon, TMs and HMs don't exist. The Pokemon learns the move by either breeding or through training. Ash didn't just stick a CD in Treecko's paws to have it learn Bullet Seed. He worked with the Pokemon to help it learn the attack, which was a great moment for the bond between trainer and Pokemon to grow.

Just my two cents. *tosses in fake pennies*
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Old October 6th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Okay, you guys have a lot of good points here.

I removed the bathroom one and the TM one, because I liked the idea of breeding and such a lot better in a fic. >>
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Old October 6th, 2007, 12:21 PM
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I agree with Hanako Tabris' take on the TM thing with the training and what not. That will happen in my fic in terms of learning moves. (ps, I'd say that Treecko's have hands no paws...there are opposable fingers afterall.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 12:37 PM
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Yamato-san, have "common sense" and watch the language-- I believe you should know how to argue maturely.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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My .02:

Nicknames: When I have nicknames, they usually are--

A. What I would most likely name the Pokemon in question
B. A name that suits the Pokemon (factoring in species and its personality)

I do not use boring names like Zap and Sparky if I can help it. The dictionary (English and Multilingual), thesaurus, and other universes are my name inspirations.

Some examples of names I use:

Luce-Italian for "light"
Zelda-The name of the princess in The Legend of Zelda, this is great for a Ralts when you consider what Gardevoir looks like.
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  #21    
Old October 6th, 2007, 01:58 PM
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Um... AE, Ranger O'Brien was making a point about evil teams. (As in Team Rocket, Team Magma, etc.) Not Pokemon teams. (Besides, how could a Pokemon team be 'canonical', unless you were copying that of someone from the series?) *Sweatdrop*

Yamato, agreeing with you on the whole "animal-style works well too" bit, even if I find it more interesting to juggle multiple characters.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Careful With That Axe, Pichu View Post
Yamato-san, have "common sense" and watch the language-- I believe you should know how to argue maturely.
I'm just a crude person, maturity has little to do with it (as a matter of fact, some would argue that I'm among the more intelligent users on the forums I go to... for that matter, are you trying to deny the quality of my post just because a few particular words were used somewhat sparingly?). But if you've got a problem with asterisked profanity (and looking over this place's local rules again, it seems you do), I'll stop. One question, though: why so long to reply? I know you have a life and other forums to mod, but... honestly, this place has been dead for like two weeks now, and for a good part of it, my post (which, just so everyone knows, doesn't have an accurate date because I recently deleted it to include the edit while still getting bumped) was kinda sticking out as the "Last Post" for the entire Writer's Lounge (even the whole fanfic forum for a while), and only when other people finally start to reply does it get noticed?

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Originally Posted by Hanako Tabris View Post
This one always annoyed me. I mean the "let's use super-creative nickname!" aspect. Depending on your character's age, or what culture you stick into the world, they aren't going to know random words for "plant" in random language. (If you think about it, it's the basics that come up first for a language. Like greetings, unless you specifically look up the word. Or have been speaking the language for years.) As a ten-year-old kid, unless they have a wide knowledge, they are going to call their Pikachu "Sparky". (Didn't Red from Special call his Pikachu "Pika"?)
one thing that shouldn't be forgotten: while the franchise has been heavily Americanized in the localization, the Pokemon world at heart seems to have a lot of its basis from Japan. In other words, certain words and names that sound foreign to us would be normal to them. Subsequently, some words and names that're normal to usewould be foreign to them (though, probably not as severe.... English is pretty well-implemented into Japanese culture, and Western names are used quite a bit in the media, namely in RPGs). It's probably also worth noting that Japan, as a culture, is derived from several other cultures in mainland Asia, with some heavy Westernization added to the mix for the past 1.5 centuries. Students are usually (and somewhat accurately, so far as I'm aware) portrayed as being very studious as well, so a ten year old may know a few things about anthropology. They could also choose a name by knowing different methods to read a kanji symbol, if not combining multiple kanji (alternatively, they do like to abuse teh Engrish ).

I guess what I'm saying is: given Pokemon's setting, it is quite possible to have a more complicated name (at least to a westerner) while still making it believable for the character. Though, it does help to do research.... assuming you wanted to base your fic more around the non-Americanized aspect of the franchise, you gotta remember that some names in their language would be just as dull, if not bad, as names in our language. One common and seemingly simple Japanese naming convention is to end a name with "suke", "rou", or "bou" (I think) for masculine, and "ko", "mi", or "rin" (I think) for feminine, among others (these endings are common among human names, too). Several nicknames for Pokemon (which can be seen in the Japanese versions of the games in cases such as in-game trades), and even other RPG monsters like Dragon Quest's Slime, usually involve taking the first kana or two from the species name and adding such an ending to it. Ex. Pikachu becomes "Pikasuke", and a Slime that can join you in Dragon Quest V is named "Surarin" (derived from "Suraimu" and the aforementioned "rin"). They could also use the first kana or two (or even the whole species name) and just add "chan" or "kun" to the end. Stuff like this would be very workable if a character is particularly childish.

Last edited by Yamato-san; October 6th, 2007 at 06:48 PM.
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Old October 7th, 2007, 02:29 AM
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Um... AE, Ranger O'Brien was making a point about evil teams. (As in Team Rocket, Team Magma, etc.) Not Pokemon teams. (Besides, how could a Pokemon team be 'canonical', unless you were copying that of someone from the series?) *Sweatdrop*
Lawl, I'm such a ditz. *Facepan* That's what I get for my late-night rants. xD Right, I'll just delete that post since it's basically redundant. =O

On the nicknames thing: Well, you've established possibility for complicated words, Yamato-san, but that doesn't equal necessity. If the character in question isn't a studious type/language geek (Like, for instance, Red sure as heck isn't) then cheesy nicknames make perfect sense. I'd also like to point out Yellow from pokéspecial here, who nicknamed all her pokémon by replacing the end of the species name with 'y' (Gravy, Omny, Dody, etc.). Still being a kid, it makes sense that she'd go for a simple naming practice. Sure, they're generic as heck, but a lot of people give names like that anyway (This brings to mind a certain fanfic wherein a character named his Hoothoot Nigel. xD); I see no reason why every RP character should have to be a nicknaming genius (Heck, there's a lot to be said for picking on the lame nicknames that characters give); as long as it's a conscious choice of lameness it's all good. Plus, the random Japanese naming in English narrative is a pretty overused technique as well. For instance, random grass pokémon named 'Hana' aren't really much of an improvement from Umbreons named 'Shadow'; it's just switching the genericness to a different language so it doesn't stick out as badly. xP
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Old October 7th, 2007, 05:11 AM
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mind you, I wasn't saying those naming conventions were completely flawed, as I did acknowledge that they're workable in some situations (like my example of a particularly childish character). I was just pointing out, to those people who just wanna use Japanese names to sound cool, that they should consider some things over there are just as unoriginal as ending a name with "y" and thus proper research should be taken.

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Originally Posted by Alter Ego View Post
On the nicknames thing: Well, you've established possibility for complicated words, Yamato-san, but that doesn't equal necessity. If the character in question isn't a studious type/language geek (Like, for instance, Red sure as heck isn't) then cheesy nicknames make perfect sense. I'd also like to point out Yellow from pokéspecial here, who nicknamed all her pokémon by replacing the end of the species name with 'y' (Gravy, Omny, Dody, etc.). Still being a kid, it makes sense that she'd go for a simple naming practice.
those are the names she uses in the Viz/Chuang Yi version. In the Japanese version, her Pokemon's names are Chuchu (Pikachu), Racchan (Ratta), Omusuke (Omstar), Gorosuke (Goronya), Dodosuke (Dodrio), and Piisuke (Butterfree; originally a Caterpie), thus proving my point from earlier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter Ego
Plus, the random Japanese naming in English narrativei s a pretty overused technique as well. For instance, random grass pokémon named 'Hana' aren't really much of an improvement from Umbreons named 'Shadow'; it's just switching the genericness to a different language so it doesn't stick out as badly. xP
well what do you expect? It is based off of a Japanese franchise, and one which seems somewhat significantly influenced by the culture at that (rather than, say, a JRPG with a clearly European-style setting). Plus, as I said before, it was heavily Americanized in the localization, thus there were a ton of traditional Japanese names originally, and some fans, such as myself, will choose to stick with those original names. Even if some fic-writers do prefer the dub names, there're still quite a few of those who will nonetheless try to emphasize the fact that their fic takes place in Japan (seeing as the Pokemon regions are actually based off of Japan). Simply put, it is used quite a bit, but it's perfectly understandable.

Also, the way you described the usage of "Hana".... if they used it for a grass-type that isn't flowering, or doesn't even seem very pretty or feminine (or maybe you have the Trainer, whom you're seemingly emphasizing as being Japanese, suddenly forget what the word means), again, that shows poor research. Also, even if you did want to portray a Japanese character, given what I said about their western influence, there's nothing saying they can't use western names in combination with eastern ones (or even all western names), so "Shadow" would be perfectly fine.

Lastly, even though I was pointing out that a 10-year might know more about naming that we initially think, my advice is mainly targeted at those who focus on Pokemon's heritage, or even those who think any random Japanese name is cool.
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Old November 1st, 2007, 10:25 PM
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I totally agree with number five though, I hate nicknames with a passion - I would go so far as to say don't give your Pokemon a nickname at all. Of course, that's just my humble opinion.

Think of it this way. My Tabby Cats name is not Tabby Cat and my German Shepards name is not German Shepard. Why would you call a Pikachu, Pikachu?
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