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Blog / Pokémaniacal

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One lunatic's love-hate relationship with the Pokémon franchise, and his addled musings on its rights, wrongs, ins and outs. Come one, come all, and indulge my delusions of grandeur as I inflict my opinions on anyone within shouting distance.

Pokémaniacal is a Pokémon-themed blog currently hosted on WordPress (previously on Tumblr and originally on Blogspot) run by Pokémaniac Chris, a classicist from New Zealand and a big fan of Pokémon. Initially, Chris started out by writing reviews (for the amusement of his friends) of the Pokémon introduced in Pokémon Black and White, the first games of the fifth generation. In these entries he would give quick rundowns on each Pokémon's design backgrounds and flavors, tying them into real-world history, art, and culture, followed by a summary of their battling capabilities, potential team roles, and attractive movesets, before finally giving his verdict on whether or not they "deserve to live". However, it must be noted that Chris is not a so-called "genwunner"; as he pointed out, the whole reason he does this was to show people (particularly said genwunners) that Game Freak are actually still capable designers and that there are still many legitimately good Pokémon designs.


Chris has since moved on to writing and answering plenty of other Pokémon-related subjects and questions, including:

  • Reviews of specific categories of Pokémon Trainers (such as Champions and Rivals) and specific categories of Pokémon (such as Starter Pokémon and Eeveelutions). He has also reviewed the Pokémon introduced in Pokémon X and Y.
  • Reviews of episodes of Pokémon: The Series, along with his own musings on what they add to how we see the world of Pokémon as a whole, either through setting or characters. He also has reviews of a number of Pokémon movies, as well as Pokémon Origins and Pokémon Generations.
  • If I Were In Charge, a series of his suggestions on what he would do if he were in charge of the franchise, what things he would tweak, discard, or keep.
  • Records or notes of his playthroughs of various Pokémon games, usually in prosaic form. So far he has five: White 2, X, Alpha Sapphire, a Nuzlocke run of X, and Shield, the last of which is ongoing.
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  • One-shot entries on other Pokémon-related issues, such as the morality and ethics of Pokémon training, Pokémon and food, Pokémon and gender, Mega Evolution, and the introduction of the Fairy-type in the sixth generation.
  • Stuff that is not Pokémon.

Pokémaniacal contains examples of:

  • Arch-Nemesis: The handful of Pokémon Chris actively despises and thinks are irredeemably stupid, such as Probopass, Garbodor, the Pikachu clones, or any of the Pokémon on his list of Top Ten Worst Pokémon Ever.
    • And to whatever extent that you could call a movie a nemesis: Arceus and The Jewel of Life.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Of various characters in the anime (for example, he argues that Ash is actually a very atypical Trainer), as well as of Hugh and Zinzolin in White 2. invoked
  • Cuteness Proximity: In Deerling/Sawsbuck's review.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: His earliest entries (particularly the ones from his Blogspot days) are unusually short compared to his newer ones.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Constantly argues that Pokémon should be good at what their Pokédex entries say they're good at, and that their designs and powers should complement each other.
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  • Real Men Wear Pink: Chris is particularly fond of baking. One time he even shared a recipe for one of his dishes, pizza muffins!
  • Running Gag: His vitriolic review of Garbodor, The Jewel of Life, or Rayquaza’s role in Emerald.
  • Self-Deprecation: The blog describes Chris as having delusions of grandeur. This was, of course, written by Chris himself.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: See Self-Deprecation.
  • The Cynic: Chris himself, though mostly Played for Laughs
  • The Smart Guy: What a lot of his readers seem to consider Chris. The fact that he can always back his opinions up in well-written but easily-readable essays contribute to this image.

     Tropes in the X Nuzlocke 
  • Affably Evil: Affable might be stretching it a little, but Ruby's willing to listen to Pokémon and their problems if she thinks they can help her in some way. Plus, she genuinely cares about (at the very least) Lavoisier and Spruce.
  • Badass Boast / Catchphrase: How Ruby typically introduces herself to any new potential party member: “I am Ruby the Fennekin/Braixen/Delphox, fiery jewel among Pokémon, sorceress supereme! Perhaps you’ve heard of me.”
    • Lavoisier reveals that it used to be “blazing light among Pokémon” instead of “fiery jewel”.
    • At one point, the party at the time even took the opportunity to introduce her to Yvonne using that line.
    Ruby: …I hate you all.
  • Badass Preacher: Fisher, being a Blessed Apostle of the Church of the Helix and who kicks more and more ass as the story goes on (just ask the assassin Pinsir!)
  • Big "YES!": Everyone in this exchange:
    Spruce: Am I the only one who just wants to help people?
    All others: YES!
  • Bilingual Bonus: Luna and Yvonne speak to each other in French.
  • Blatant Lies: During their first meeting, Spruce lies to Ruby so he would be allowed to join the team. Ruby immediately bluffs him.
  • Brother–Sister Team: The two Furfrou, bodyguards of the Snorlax King.
  • Butt-Monkey: Spruce, and Fisher to an extent.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Ruby, whereas Luna much prefers the Decoy Damsel approach.
  • Character Tiers: Daku the Gabite is so hilariously obsessed with the metagame tiers of competitive Pokémon, even basing his attitude to other Pokémon depending on where they rank. invoked
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: What Luna did to an unnamed Pokémon. For her personal amusement.
  • Confusion Fu: More like Confusion Magic, but the rogue Kadabra fights like this with Kinesis.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ruby, mostly. Not that anyone can blame her, when she's trying to take over the world with dangerous and forbidden magic and her underlings are, well...
    • Yvonne has shades of this as well.
  • Decoy Damsel: Luna, mercilessly so.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Ruby's speech against Viola’s Vivillon, though whether or not the Vivillon is actually evil is up for debate.
  • Flat "What": Ruby delivers one after Luna starts showing her true nature.
  • Flowery Elizabethan English: Boreas speaks in this.
  • Friend in the Black Market: Yvonne to Luna, though Yvonne insists she is a respectable merchant.
  • Funetik Aksent: Brynhildr's lines are liberally peppered with Scandinavian characters, to denote her Swedish accent.
  • Gratuitous German: The game is being played in German, so in-game messages (such as when a Pokémon evolves or learns a new move) are in German.
  • Hired Guns: Bodkin the mercenary.
  • Hive Mind: The Hive of Bug-type Pokémon in Santalune Forest, of which Melissa was a part.
  • Honor Before Reason: Martial starts following Spruce around because he saved Martial’s life, to the delay of his yet-to-be-explained mission.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Yvonne to Spruce in Episode 4.
  • Insult Backfire: Plenty of times whenever Ruby delivers a condescending comment to Spruce.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Martial says this word-for-word, and even continues it with the "I will punish you!" bit.
  • It Amused Me: The only reason why Luna does anything.
  • It's All About Me: Ruby, and to a further extent, Luna.
  • Killed Off for Real: As per the usual rules of a Nuzlocke, Pokémon die permanently. So far, this includes Melissa in Episode 4, Boreas in Episode 7, and Amaldos in Episode 13.
  • Klingon Promotion: After Martial defeats the High Sorceress Sylveon, Ruby assumes she has earned the position. The Mawile, however, immediately contradicts this.
  • Little "No": When Amaldos and Lelanthion answer Ruby's question about Mega Stones with their usual Mixed Metaphor speech, Ruby asks them if they can speak plain Kalosian. Amaldos's response?
    Amaldos: No.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Ruby and Lavoisier consider each other siblings, as they were raised on a farm dedicated to raising Fire-type starter Pokémon.
  • Looks Like Bird Jesus: Spruce, being a Pidgey/Pidgeotto/Pidgeot, was greeted as a child of the Saviour (aka the Pidgeot known as Bird Jesus from Twitch Plays Pokémon) by Fisher.
  • MacGuffin: The Mega Stones, which Ruby is hunting down in order to gain more magical powers with which she can take over the world.
  • Made a Slave: Apparently Luna sold her own sister as a slave in the past.
  • Misplaced Accent: Ruby questions why Brynhildr speaks with a Swedish accent even though the story takes place in the Pokémon world's version of France.
  • Mixed Metaphor: Amaldos and Lelanthion speak almost purely in this. Spruce tries to get in on it too, with little luck, bless the little guy.
    • Earlier on, Sid Arthur. Spruce also tried to get in on it, only for Sid to reply in confusion.
  • Morality Pet: Spruce (and Lavoisier, though he’s rarely in the story) for Ruby.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The rogue Kadabra's Trainer, after being freed from the Kadabra's psychic control.
  • Nice Guy: Spruce is unequivocally the nicest member in the party, almost to the point of being the Token Good Teammate.
  • Number Two: Spruce is this to Ruby.
  • No-Sell: Spruce's Keen Eye stopped the rogue Kadabra's Kinesis attacks cold.
  • Oh, Crap!: Ruby's reaction upon realizing that Melissa had prepared a swarm of flesh-eating parasites to be released upon her death.
  • Only Sane Man: Spruce again.
    • Amusingly, from Ruby’s perspective Melissa was her only sensible minion (much to Ruby’s worry).
  • Phrase Catcher: As befitting his position as The Lancer, Spruce does this to Ruby often. See Badass Boast above.
    • Another example is when Boreas was resurrected and Ruby introduces herself, Spruce immediately adds the "perhaps you've heard of me" bit, forgetting that Boreas has been fossilized for millennia!
  • Pinky Swear: Melissa the Beedrill forced a Vivillon to do this to never again attack Santalune Forest. Vivillon pointed out that they’re insects and they don’t have pinkies, but Melissa wasn’t having any of it.
  • Pirate: Cap’n Steve the Lapras, complete with pirate talk, an Eyepatch of Power, a Jolly Roger, a wooden oar for a fin, and even a Pirate Parrot in the form of Polly the Chatot!
  • Playing with Fire: Ruby, very literally as a Fire-type Pokémon. Especially when she first took hold of the Charizardite.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: “BURN.”
  • Pyromaniac: Ruby’s solution to anything (forests, giant webs, etc.) is to burn it. Including other Pokémon. See the above trope.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: So we've got an egotistical pyromaniac witch-fox bent on world domination, leading a party consisting of (among others) a kind-hearted but hapless bird who mistakenly thought he was on a quest to help other Pokémon, a terrifying insect in loyal service to a Hive Mind cult, a clueless preacher duck going around spreading the word of an ancient fossil god, a psychopathic and bloodlusted treasure-hunting cat, a Straw Vegetarian hippie-ish crocodile, a mysterious jackal who seems wise and knowledgeable but only speaks gibberish...
  • Riddle Me This: The rogue Kadabra the party had to dispatch appeared by doing this:
    Kadabra: Riddle me this, foxy: what walks on three legs in the evening, has a bed but never sleeps, makes some men blind but helps others to see, and is like a raven and a writing-desk?
    Ruby:— I don’t— what?
    Kadabra: You! CONFUSION!
    Ruby: That doesn’t even make s-aaaaaaaauuuughh!
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Fisher, after Boreas was killed.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Turns out the High Sorceress Sylveon only summoned Ruby to a trial so she can pardon Ruby for her magical crimes in exchange for money.
  • Serial Killer: The rogue Kadabra.
  • Ship Tease: Spruce and Bodkin, though it's more on Bodkin's side.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sincerest Form of Flattery: According to Spruce, “flattery is the sincerest form of- um… something!”
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Ruby constantly asks other Pokémon if they've heard of her, and thinks of herself as "an exquisite specimen of Pokémonhood", despite no one knowing who she is before they meet her. Of course, when a grunt Pokémon in the service of Team Flare actually has heard of her and her actions, she becomes endearingly happy.
  • Squick: Ruby, Spruce, and Fisher all react with this upon witnessing Yvonne's, ah, elasticity. invoked
  • Straw Vegetarian: Merneith. Despite being a Sandile/Krokorok…
  • Take Over the World: Ruby’s ultimate goal.
  • The Dark Side: The power of the Dome, which Fisher contemplates on accepting after Boreas’s death before fully embracing it in Episode 9.
  • The Dreaded: Melissa. She terrified Spruce, Bodkin, and even Ruby, until she died, of course.
  • The Fashionista: The two Furfrou encountered in Episode 4.
  • The Sociopath: Luna, so much.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: When Amaldos and Lelanthion were testing Ruby, Spruce says she has to it by herself. Ruby immediately calls him out it.
  • Villain Protagonist: Ruby, in spades.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Ruby and her entire party. She seems to have caught on to it...
    Ruby: It hardly matters anyway. I give it... two minutes, absolute maximum, before some dim-witted local creature shows up, foists its problems and inadequacies on us, and offers to transport us in exchange for help with some nauseatingly banal task.
    ???: Ahoy thar, mateys! It be lookin’ as though ye be wantin’ to cross yonder bay – do ye think our good selves might be of assistance to ye?
    Ruby: ...oh, gods, it’s even worse than I thought…
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Oh Spruce… Yvonne even calls him out on it.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Luna's favorite tactic.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Spruce in the beginning, though he's slowly growing out of this.

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