Back to Reviews

Reviews Comments: Amazing potential, but only a few fulfill it. Nuzlocke Comics whole series review by Namuri

I'd like to say that I love Nuzlocke Comics. The story telling potential in them is fantastic, however many of the Nuzlocke comics fall short of it. Why? For one simple reason.
The deaths have no impact on the trainer.
Oh, they might cry for a panel or two, but after that, many of them just continue on as if nothing happened. Later on this can change, but usually someone uses the line "They knew the risks" and the trainer gets right through it.\\ Which doesn't really make sense as a reason. The pokemon were captured pretty much against their will and forced to fight. The fact that many of the versions of Nuzlocke have them talking and sentient just makes it... worse. They are human at that point, and they die for the sake of bits of metal, and no trainer seems to let themselves question this, or in fact stop the challenge.
It just doesn't sit right with me, and speaks of poor writing.
However, there is one Nuzlocke comic that I think does it right. Petty's Nuzlocke challenge. The deaths there have far more meaning, in my opinion (except for the intial spree of them) and the ending ties up the story beautifully. Indeed, the pokemon themselves have distinct personalities and characters. Different from many of the comics where they play second string to the trainer. I got to know every one of the main cast and was always on edge when they battled, not wanting them to die.
To me, Petty's Nuzlocke is one of the best of the lot, and I think it deserves a read.
As for the others, I will do my best to summarize my thoughts: Hale's storyline had promis but I feel it fell apart with the romance of May, there was just no justification for it, due to Brendan's previous behavior and that's where it fell apart for me.
Robot's had no real depth or emotional weight for me ( to be fair I did not read it all, I got tired of him just spending one panel on the pokemon's death and moving on like literally nothing had happened.
Nyachan's is very enjoyable. I don't quite get the romance and the third of the series doesn't really make sense. With Lily's prior experience you'd think it wouldn't have a chance to happen.
Apocalypse Jhoto is... something. It does indeed have a good storyline, but Candace develops into a completely unsympathetic character as time goes on, and why does she even NEED the badges?


  • DominusTemporis
  • 31st Dec 11
So I took the time to translate this and figured I might as well respond to your problems:

With Hale's, the May thing is a YMMV thing, I think. And it was pointed out that it was entirely Hale's (the character) fault for how May ended up. Eventually he took responsibility for what he did, and them both having developed some they fell for each other. I think you may have skipped over bits of the comic.

Actually the same could be said for your complaints about Robot's. The comic was based around black comedy. You can't expect every Nuzlocke to be exactly the same in terms of tone and plot. Also, saying you "didn't read it" kind of ruins your point entirely. If you had read on you would've seen that the character is repeatedly punished and suffers for his lack of empathy toward the end of FR and through Sapphire (up til he abandoned the comic).

I don't get what your point about Nya's is. Is it the fact that her daughter's on a journey? Dude, the plot has to happen somehow. You might as well go on and say that nobody should train Pokemon, period, because of the potential of death. What do you want the writers to do, abandon the comic completely after one death? I think you're missing the point of the challenge as a whole. Each character and Pokemon has their own reasons for what they do and the why and the how, and it seems to me from your words that you're skimming these comics and not putting much thought into it. Hell, half your complaints are covered over in the Headscratchers section and laid out very nicely.

As for Apocalypse Johto (thank you very much), Candace is hardly an unsympathetic character. She's wild and ferocious, yes, and she does do bad things, but I'd think her breakdowns over having to kill Morty and her genuinely loving relationship with Whitney would balance that out. I don't think you read much of that one either, especially since it says in one of the early comics that the source of the Change was Mt. Silver and Candace needs the badges to reach that point.

One thing I can agree with you on is how good Petty's is. The thing about the first 15 or so is that they weren't intended to be as serious (look at all the meme references), and then around Pokemon Tower things took a darker turn with James' death. I think the mood shift worked out pretty well, though, losing such a hard-won, beloved teammate was the perfect point to make things more serious.
  • eveil
  • 31st Dec 11
Wow, people even take Nuzlocke Comics' stories seriously. Explains quite a lot.
  • BigKlingy
  • 7th Nov 14
You actuall raise a very good point. A major flaw I tend to find in Nuzlocke stories is that if your main character doesn't have a really, REALLY good reason to be going after the badges, they tend to come across as a total dick. "Personal glory" really isn't a good enough reason to be putting your friends' lives on the line.

The thing most people tend not to realise (see Unbuilt Trope in the comics main page), is that the original Hard Mode comics actually DID address this. The original Ruby run was clearly a comedy, and Ruby was the Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist. He was kind of a cocky jerk we weren't meant to sympathise with, we were supposed to laugh at him. The Fire Red run gradually shifted towards drama, and it became a deconstruction of the enitire idea of "The Challenge" itself. Ruby's quest To Be a Master was all instigated by Mewtwo, who played on his negative aspects to manipulate him into freeing him and helping with his revenge on humanity. Every time he was told by "Nuzlocke" to keep going on with the journey in spite of deaths because "everything happens for a reason"? All lies. White took it a step further with N, tells Ruby the one Fridge Horror that has been there since the beginning "Remember, they wouldn't have died if you hadn't caught them."

And yet most fan works treat the deaths like they're no big deal, "the challenge" like it's a good thing, and are unambiguously happy.

I agree Petty's is really good though. Mostly due to the really fleched-out characterisations of the Pokemon and Locke herself managing to be sympathetic.

In order to post comments, you need to

Get Known