Borne of Caution
An irritated Pokemon might tell you to stop what you're doing. An irritated animal will probably just attack you. Pokemon, for all their power, would be open books and a breeze to care for to any competent animal handler on Earth. After a fiery death, a professional zookeeper who never outgrew Pokemon games ends up in the world of Pokemon. The entire world is thrown onto its side.
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This novel is definitively one of my favorite stories I have ever read. The main character is relatable, and endearing in his strengths and weaknesses. You took a fanfiction, and instead of writing using the mc of the fiction, you created a new main that was demonstrably more 'real' that the original. You added physics to a game, and it works fantastically. I am constantly on the edge of my seat, waiting for new releases.
This story is way better than it has any right to be. I'm so happy I picked this up despite being extremely offput by it being Pokémon fan fiction. It is very much at minimum an 8/10, and it is well worth the read. Trust me, this story isn't trash like you probably think it is.
Basically what it says to be, a OC insert (which may or may be not a Self Insert) in the Pokemon world, but incredibly well done for a fanfic to the point i actually loved every moment of reading it, including even the grim start and those vivid & horrifying flashbacks.
Lee has a passion for Pokemon, something he has never outgrew as he is still playing even while being an adult with heart for animals which stems from his passion for pokemon, and relates to his job as a professional zookeeper. Sadly this nice life is abruptly interrupted as nuclear disaster strikes and all he knew and cared about is wiped away in an instant, but thats not the end, as he finds himself in the Hoenn region of the pokemon world for some unknown reason, with massive scars both physically and mentally from the dramatic event that he witnessed and by no means should have survived, yet did. Thankfully for him he is not alone, for there is his trusty Vulpix from the most recent playthrough as support, preventing his total collapse.
Well, as said, the MC is mentally scarred from losing everything, and likely would have broken without Vulpix being there, thankfully he is quick to adapt to the new situation he is in, with his memories from the game and anime aiding him in this new world, with the MC making important decisions like sharing his knowledge about handling animals & his secret to one of the professors. Yet he also makes mistakes, as he is just a normal person in a world he only knew from games and anime, and just being there changes things, and then there is the topic of him being from another world, which he quite struggles with keeping it all secret, fumbling really hard at times, which is made all the harder by the presence of his companions who join him on his journey.
I feel bad for Lee though, it would take just so little for him to totally break down, he just keeps having those horrid memories about that moment, where everything burned. I hope for him that he can somehow recover and live his life in the pokemon world, as going back is no option anymore, bar an absolute miracle happening.
Given this is a fanfiction set in the same timeline as the pokemon games and anime, that also means characters from there appear in the story. And it can be a hard thing to manage to keep their personalities faithful, even with all their exaggerations, which the author manages rather flawlessy here while making the characters behave realistically yet faithfully to themselves, no easy feat at all!
Best written however are the Pokemon, and most especially Lee's. They just feel like actual characters instead of being just two dimensionally like the games tend to portray them (no fault to the games though, hard to do it well), i just love how the author has portrayed Vulpix here, without her, Lee would be just done for, she is such an emotional support for him, preventing him from emotionally falling apart due to his trauma, she just carries so much weight on her. Then there are his other Pokemon which he has acquired, though revealing them would be quite the spoiler so ill leave it at that, just sufficient to say that they are quite interesting, with one of them being rather stubborn and disrespectful, and the other well.... decidated to battle and growing stronger.
Well the setting, for a fanfic it is actually very well done and faithful to the original Pokemon setting even if there were some small changes like blending the game and anime plots together, which makes things rather interesting. And unlike the games & anime the regions arent that isolated with pokemon from newer regions even appearing in the story. Having the anime being part of the story also means Ash & co are having their trek through the many regions of the Pokemon world, which runs concurrent with the MC in this case, even having some encounters with the MC. I love all the additional realism & depth that the author has added to the pokemon world, which is quite lacking in that because the games are first and foremost just a game, not an actual story sadly. Expect quite a lot of adventuring in this story, as the band makes its way through the world, in a way a parallel to Ash & Co. And since its a pokemon story, the battles such as gym battles, trainings and even tournaments cant be missing from it at all, its what made the franchise great in the first place! Oh also at times the weird Pokemon logic is being used, which the MC comments on, anyone familiar with the Pokemon games & anime should recognize those moments quite fast. Interesting is to see just how much it all changes just by Lee being there having his own adventure in the pokemon world, since already a couple significant changes have happened in the story. And it looks like Lee is going to play a role in the main story, despite him trying to avoid continuity issues by staying out of it all. And then there is him knowing those 'secret' mechanics and other knowledge from the games, which arent common knowledge, to the point of even being considered legends, but they do apply, with the MC being quick to notice oddities like that and deciding to take advantage of it, which can be a major plot point for this story as he has the potentional to change so much with all that knowledge.
A minor complaint with this story would be that it requires quite some editing, there are major typos throughout the story, such as names being all misspelled or sentences sounding very weird. Bar that though this story is very readable grammar wise, just needs that edit to smoothen all those typos out.
Writing is just so much better than those fanfics that can be commonly found, its better to compare it to some of the better written webfiction on this site and elsewhere, and belongs to the peak of fanfiction. Its quite clear that the author is either a skilled writer, is talented or both, since because of how smooth this story reads (bar the grammar), like without a hitch even, it drew me into it incredibly quick, from the very start even! Each chapter is a blast to read, as long as they may be, even the action scenes are just great, and then there are those moments where the scars show up.... the feels, i did not expect to feel this much emotion from a pokemon fanfiction.
Releases tend to be infrequent, but on the other side chapters are seriously long, which more than makes up for it. Though i already carve more!
Basically full five marks for this story bar grammar.
Even if you do not like fanfiction at all or have not read any before this, like me, i would still recommend you this story, even more so if you are in any way a fan of pokemon, whether currently or from childhood, It is worth the read many times over if you are familiar with Pokemon.
I'll keep this short and simple.
I never thought I'd enjoy reading a Pokémon Isekai at the age of 30.
However here I am writing this review.
This is an inspired piece of work that has a genuine spark of creativity.
I may not be a true critic... but I am true reader. So what I'm about to say stems from that honest desire to share something good that you have found with others.
This story is worth reading.
This story will most likely make you pick up a Pokémon game and binge the hell out of it.
This will be a real short one, cuz all the people here who actually can make a review already did (and really know how to do one).
Alas, I will just try with pointing things out.
-The characters all feel real, not like I am a professional, but I can't find any flaws in them because they all have (I'll repeat) a very real feel from their personalities.
Even the Pokemon do. I can't imagine how mind boggling it is to make characters this way. 5/5 imo
-The grammar is on the better side for this website but there are sometimes flaws which can be seen, but they don't really hinder the storytelling. Sometimes you literally just overlook them as I think does the Author when proofreading.
-It may be a problem to read this for people who don't know any pokemon lore, but I don't have any problems with it even if I have to google for every Pokemon except Magikarp.
-I think that the battles are well done and the story itself, sucks one into it, as it has a lot to offer. Even the "Logs" chapters are nice because one can see the logs which weren't told in the story itself and see Prof. Birch's perspective on the travles of our Protag. Lee.
I am hereby ending this review, as it is still short but still more than I expected I could conjure up without making it sound like filler.
ps. If you already aren't, read this story right this instance.
Edit: Eeey, even Zethuron made a Review
Edit²: I played through Pokemon Gen 3 becuase of this and am now enjoying Pokemon Y. Imma thank this author because I wouldn't have ever started playing pokemon games otherwise. (Do mind that I never had anything like a Gameboy Advanced or other stuff. Emulators for the win!)
well this is one of (if not) the best fanfiction i have read , in just one chapter ash got more character development than in a whole new season of s/s and that by itself speaks volumes of the author. All in all a better worldbuilding and main/side stories
The one flaw: There arent enough chapters.
seriously though, dont look down on this because its a pokemon fanfic, It is a great story through and through so far.
Im still waiting for the day when Lee and Brock geek out together over how to feed pokemon and which foods and nutrients go best for different types of pokemon
This is my first ever review on royalroad but this story deserves it This story is a work of art plain and simple no ifs ands or buts this story is a wonder to read and this is coming from someone who never got into the pokemon fandom BECAUSE of the unrealistic and downright childish way all story's I have found handle the SI or OC transported into the pokemon world trope and this story has RUINED most of the pokemon fandoms showings for me...it's a true story of friendship hardship and overcoming your problems as lets not forget the Pokemon training part of the story it shows a really in depth and entertaining realism to what we all Know and love about pokemon and brings the nitty gritty of real life people into the childhood fantasy of going into the pokemon world as every kid who played a pokemon game on their game boy or ds has had it really made me stop and think about whether or not I would be able to handle watching my pokemon battle if I was living in that world...my only request for the author is something one of my fellow reviewers brought up in his review....longer log chapters! I love it when we get to see just how shocked the world natives get at Lee's training methods and behavior regarding pokemon training! It's the second best part after the training that makes the logs so if your looking for a true to reality pokemon fan fiction this is your one stop shop for cute pokemon cool battles and real people and NO ANIME PROTAGONIST PLOT ARMOR BULLCRAP
I have to admit that I started chapter 1 simply because I love stories about modern day people being transported into a fantastic fictional universe and forced to cope. The word "Pokemon" alone almost pushed me to close it before giving it a try, not because Pokemon is a bad fictional universe, but because many of the fan-fics that come from that community tend to be rather weird and not at all up my alley as a rule of thumb.
I'm glad to say that I was absolutely wrong and almost missed out on a true gem of a story. The author takes the basic foundations of the Pokemon universe and expands on it in a way that feels, ironically, really realistic. The story spins a damn good yarn, the fights are thrilling and well-executed in a way that even the show would have a hard time to match and if I read this in a book, I'd be satisfied with my purchase.
Can't wait for the next chapter, thrilling ride, 10/10, would read again - IGN, gold stars all around, hoping for a post-nuclear apocalypse so the author can grow a third arm so they can pat themselves on the back as much as is deserved.
Excellent and well thought out. We have some poignant trauma, some solid motivation, characters that are actually interesting and not carbon copies of each other, and a unique viewpoint through the MC. It doesn't fall in the classic fanfic traps of demonizing, dominating, or tritely regurgitating the canon content. The MC, while logically at advantage due to his background, is capable of losing. This means actual stakes and dramatic tension and all sorts of wonderful things.
Some quick bullet points:
+ There are no arbitrary jumps in power or unnecessary pandering.
+ I did not cringe at any given point.
+ The author did not make me feel bad for liking Pokémon by making unnecessary allusions to slavery.
+ Gardevoir was, mercifully, left alone.
+ MC is believably disturbed about his situation without beating the self-pity drum to death or spending days exploring the depths of his own naval.
the story is now at parity with the FanFiction, a03, and spacebattles versions, which means I'm out of chapters. And yes, I liked the story so much that when I finished I immediately went to check all of those.
Read it. Totally worth your time, even if you're not traditionally into Pokémon or Isekai.