Reviews: Almost Like Flying
I've been out of the Pokémon fandom for almost a decade now, tired of the banal shipping, the cliché original trainers, and even the angsty anti-capture stories from the perspectives of pokémon, which seem to be the only three kinds of fiction you find in the genre*. Almost Like Flying is an example of the "angsty pokémon" type, but a stunningly good one. It's written from the perspective of a scyther, named Skir, who loves to fly. When she and a friend go exploring in a park, Skir ends up getting caught by a trainer taking part in the bug catching contest. The rest of the story is heart-crushing tale of how she loses her identity, her individuality and pride, while developing a sort of Stockholm Syndrome to her well-meaning trainer. There are no clear-cut villains here. The trainer in this story (Lyra) genuinely doesn't seem to realise what her actions and captivity are doing to her pokémon, and she actually does care for them, if only in a kind of oblivious, flighty sort of way. It's definitely a cut above most of the stuff in the fandom, but with that said, the dark subject matter means that it's not for everybody either.