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Literature / Pondovadia

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Pondovadia is a 2020 Archive of Our Own original written by Cherry-Bomb-Bees. The series is on an indefinite hiatus, due to the writer working on Pokémon Crossing instead.

The story follows the adventures of three anthropomorphic animals— the energetic beaver Isabell 'Bell' Woodrow and her two best friends, snarky ferret Toshiyuki 'Toshi' Ikeda and multitalented turtle-chimera Poncio 'Ponce' Ramirez.

The setting is the Appalachian city of Pondovadia, West Virginia (based off the real world location of Morgantown), and takes place in the 3000s in an alternate universe where humans are extinct and the world is ruled by anthropomorphic animals.

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  • Aborted Arc: Minthe is the star of the first chapter, which features her running from her parents and the cult she was raised in to reach the surface. After she joins the school, she ceases to be the star of anything. She's only mentioned a few more times, and her arc is never closed.
  • Absurdly Divided School: The sixth, seventh, and eighth graders never really interact with each other.
  • Aerith and Bob: You got names like Isabell, Violet, or Chris, then names like Aster, Carnegie, or Sandyna.
  • The Alcoholic: Ellie (Bell's homeroom teacher) and Klarisse are both implied to be these, since it's mentioned they're drinking buddies..
  • Alliterative Name: There's several; Sandyna Sanchez, Joan Jorossi, and Maya Mesora.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Frederick (a black bear) is this because he's a 'common' in a private academy meant for mythicals.
  • Alpha Bitch: Beatrice thinks she's this (looks conventionally attractive, but is petty, selfish, snobby, and rude to everybody), but this is deconstructed since she has no friends at all and nobody else in her grade can stand her.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Many of the animals in the series have more colorful fur or feathers, while others have realistic colors such as brown, white, or grey.
  • Animal Is the New Man: The world they live in exists because of a war that wiped out humanity.
  • Animal Jingoism: Commoners (animals like cats/dogs) and mythicals (unicorns/dragons) have nothing but contempt for each other.
  • Apathetic Teacher: Ellie Linon has shades of these. Justified since she's just a homeroom teacher, whose job is to just check attendance for each classroom.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Pondovadia, a city based on Morgantown, is the capital of West Virginia. In reality, Charleston is the state capital of West Virginia. However, since this story takes place in another universe in the 31st century, the capital may have changed by then.
  • Auction: One of these is used as a plot point in chapter twenty.
  • Author Appeal: There's a lot of references here to 80s music and West Virginia culture.
  • Babysitting Episode: Chapter eight is about Toshi watching over his adopted siblings.
  • Bastard Angst: Inverted with Bell. After finding out she's the illegitimate child of the mayor, she's largely unbothered, and cracks a few jokes about it with her friends after. "Bastards have more fun!"
  • Big Good: Joseph Canadendrum is this to the city of Pondovadia.
  • Big Man on Campus: Bell is explicitly mentioned as the most popular sixth grader at Southwest Pondovadia Middle School, due to her charisma, extroverted attitude and eagerness to help others.
  • Birthday Episode: Chapter Four features Bell's birthday as the main plot point, while chapter seventeen is about Toshi's birthday gone wrong.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Commoners who support mythicals are these.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Beatrice is a preteen variant. She's snotty, complains about visiting a farm and prides herself as upper-class.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: "Missing guitar, no. Crowdfunding for the Aqualung Park, no. Hot and single Russian milfs, ugh no thanks"
  • Bullying the Disabled: Serena (a squirrel) in chapter twenty one does this to Klarisse (who's confirmed to be autistic).
  • Carnivore Confusion: Livestock (genetically engineered non-sentient beings created to feed the carnivores) exist to avert this trope.
  • Children Are Innocent: Subverted. A lot of the characters fight and swear and several are implied to be already doing drugs or having sex. Played straight with the elementary age students, however.
  • Complete-the-Quote Title: The subtitles of both entries come together to form a chorus from "Can't Stop"- "The world I love, the tears I dropped, to be part of the wave, can't stop".
  • Concert Episode: The latter half of chapter twelve is about Bell going to a Blyned Jagwar concert.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: The children of Pondovadia seem to be completely at ease with the danger they're constantly put into, as well as the crassness of the older residents (which sometimes stretches to them as well). Chapter 16 features the protagonists tearing open the body of a Livestock with their teeth and sharing its organs for a snack, long before they would have even begun starving. That same chapter, they see a corpse and only consider it 'nasty'.
  • Cool School: Monongahela University is a pretty fun college to be at. Students are never bored here.
  • Country Mouse: Jennifer's a country donkey who's from a rural area.
  • Courtroom Episode: Chapter five involves 'Trial Day', which is one of these.
  • City of Adventure: Pondovadia is a big city, and there's lots to explore. Chapters feature such places as underwater cults, amusement parks, the local Cool School, and the nearby Livestock farm.
  • Crazy Homeless People: The main antagonists of chapter three are homeless animals who ended up on the wrong subway car.
  • Creepy Gym Coach: Coach Maladice was fired for having an affair with a fourteen year old girl and went to court for it. The kids' morbid senses of humor lead to them bringing his name up a few times mockingly, especially during sporting events.
  • The City vs. the Country: In a twist, the city of Pondovadia is portrayed in a positive light (lots to do, many animals to meet, generally nicer animals) where Oakland, the town Bell and Jennifer are from, is in a negative light (way more speciesist, ruder animals there).
  • City Mouse: Beatrice is a city mongoose who snubs the idea of going on a field trip to a farm.
  • Colourful Theme Naming: Violet (purple butterfly) and Minthe (mint green seal).
  • Class Trip: The entire sixth grade (well, except Joan) goes on one to a farm in chapters nine and ten.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Several chapters give focus to other characters outside of the main trio:
    • Chapter Four is about their friends Chris and Aster.
    • Chapter Fifteen focuses on the Aesthetic Club.
    • Chapter twenty one follows Bell's older sister Klarisse.
  • Deep South: Technically. The story takes place in West Virginia after all. Nearly everyone has an accent, and many of the kids fit stereotypes of southern hicks such as being crass and running around without much parental supervision.
  • Deadpan Snarker: All three protagonists are this on occasion, Toshi being the biggest one of all. Violet also has her share of sarcasm.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Emilia and her friends want to murder Frederick over him being the reason they got detention.
  • Driven to Suicide: Vincent, Klarisse's father, does this to avoid paying child support.
  • Dude Magnet: Klarisse is unintentionally one, with several male characters mentioning how attractive she is.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The classmates' reactions to Beatrice's fat joke at Keira's expense.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The Woodrows. It speaks a lot when the older sister is the most mature member of the family.

  • Every Man Has His Price: Instead of regular payment for artworks, Ander takes payment in weed.
  • Extinct in the Future: Humans have long since been wiped out after a human-animal war.
  • Fake Band: Blyned Jagwar, a somewhat old post-war band several characters are a fan of, said to have begun in the California punk scene before striking it big. Chapter 12 revolves around one of their concerts.
  • Fantastic Racism: Chapter thirteen mentions this with the death of a deer at the hands of a 'mythical' (animals based on species like unicorns or dragons instead of ones like cats or dogs). Beatrice also has no problem calling her chimera classmates 'mutts'.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Non-chimera animals call chimeras 'mutts' and 'half breeds' due to their mixed heritage.
  • Festival Episode: Chapter eight mostly takes place at the'fall festival'.
  • First Day of School Episode: Chapter three is about the main trio and their friends getting trapped on the school subway during the first day of middle school.
  • Foil: The Neruda mongoose twins are these to each other. Robby is a friendly country kid with a heavy southern accent, while Beatrice is a snobby city kid with a refined manner of speak and nothing good to say about anybody.
  • Foreshadowing: Every chapter in part one has some for Bell being the mayor's illegitimate child. A news report in chapter 13 talks about the mayor going around to visit all of his children in a row, with eight left at the time of reporting.
  • Fully-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Everybody in the series is these.
  • Free-Range Children: All the main characters are these. The kids regularly go out to different areas in the city without any adult supervision. Before they even enter middle school, they're allowed to take multiple subway trips down to the lake and back in succession.
  • Genki Girl: Side characters Amelie (the friendly lemur at Klarisse's favorite cafe) and Sandyna (a shiba inu classmate of the trio) are both these.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Several of the female cast members have these.
  • Heinz Hybrid: Some chimeras can be these. Ponce is the most notable one.
  • Jerkass: Several characters through the story, namely the corrupt journalist Maya and the snobby wannabe socialite Beatrice.
  • Junior High: Southwest Pondovadia Middle School is one.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Chimeras are implied to get this treatment by the purebred.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Beatrice and Robby are these.
  • Homeschooled Kids: Becky is revealed to become one after elementary school.
  • Humanity's Wake: The main events of the story take place centuries after humans were wiped out.
  • Kid Hero: All three main protagonists are eleven year olds (who turn twelve over the course of the story).

  • Immoral Journalist: Maya is this. She's only a sixth grader yet she runs a tabloid style school paper for quick reads and nothing else, and she has no problem snapping at her classmate Jamie until chapter eleven where she gets a change of heart.
  • Injured Limb Episode: Chapter Six is about one of Bell's teammates, Robby, breaking his leg and being unable to play hockey.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Exaggerated. Basil (a skunk) adopted five kids of four different species; Toshi the ferret, Da San the guinea pig, Kulap and Malee the chinchillas, and Trai the otter. Justified since he can't biologically have children according to the bonus chapter 'Vacation'.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Every character in the series has one of these.
  • Interspecies Romance: Pretty common in the series, this is how the chimera characters are made. However some animals inexplicably avoid this due to anti-chimera bias.
  • Last Disrespects: Alice (Klarisse and Bell's mom) only went to her ex-husband's funeral just to spit on his grave afterwards. And then a fight breaks out over child support.
  • Let X Be the Unknown: The year is 302X, an unknown amount of time after humans were wiped out.
  • Lovable Jock: Chris and Bell are the most 'jock' out of the cast and quite likable.

  • Mature Animal Story: Yes it has colorful anthro animals as the main characters, but it deals with adult topics like classism, illegitimacy, and bigotry.
  • Meaningful Rename: Bell wants to change her last name to her biological father's name. However, since she's only twelve so she can't just do it already.
  • Movie-Theater Episode: The main trio go to a theater as a science experiment in a tribute to Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  • Mouthy Kid: Toshi, big time.
  • Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls: Keira is mentioned to be a fanfiction writer.
  • Most Writers Are Adults: The main characters are all twelve, but most middle schoolers aren't doing things like going to murder mystery dinners or auctions.
  • Musical Theme Naming: Every chapter is named after lyrics to songs the author likes (example: World I Love, Tears I Drop is a reference to the Red Hot Chili Peppers' song Can't Stop). Several other characters are named after different musical names.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The existence of chimeras (animals who possess DNA of two or more animals).
  • MST: The main characters do this in chapter seven as a college class experiment.
  • Noodle Incident: There's several of these mentioned by other characters.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: The city of Pondovadia is directly based on Morgantown, West Virginia and thus several places in the series are based on the surroundings:
    • Monongahela University is a stand in for West Virginia University.
    • Lake of the Unknown Knotts: Cheat Lake.
    • Deutschendorf Forest: Cooper's Rock State Forest
  • No-Paper Future: In Pondovadia, yes. In more rural areas, no.
  • Once per Episode: Every chapter is named after lyrics from a song, and Mayor Joseph Canadendrum is mentioned in every chapter of part one.
  • Patchwork Kids: All chimeras are these by default, and so are some of the 'purebred' characters (Bell has Alice's fur and eye color, as well as Joseph's orange-pink hair and freckles.
  • Pen Pals: A class mandated assignment kicks off a majority of the plot of the second part.
  • Prom Is for Straight Kids: Implied for Francis's school. Francis and his friends complain that the school won't even let them go with a group of friends.
  • Pun: The author loves using these (a nurse who's a shark, for example)
  • The Place: Pondovadia's the name of the city the series takes place in.


  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: Chapter twenty one deals with Klarisse's biological father killing himself and the turmoil it causes to Klarisse and Bell, but mostly Klarisse.
  • Wacky College: Monongahela University. The average student there is an extroverted hard drinking young adult. Justified here as Monongahela University is directly based upon West Virginia University, one of the top party schools in America. It also helps that the author is a West Virginia student.
  • Western Zodiac: Bell's a Leo (born August 18) and she has the passionate attitude and charisma of one. Several of the 'mythicals' have Zodiac signs as their last names.
  • We Will Spend Credits in the Future: Cash is extremely outdated here, even children already have debit cards.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Chapter seven's plot is one to Mystery Science Theater, chapter eleven's plot (where the trio and Becky think they killed Elijah aka Maya's father) is a shout-out to Nasty Patty, and chapter seventeen references Murder on the Orient Express.
  • Widow's Weeds: Klarisse wears a black outfit to her father's funeral
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Bell willingly wears a male school uniform in chapter twenty.
  • World of Funny Animals: No humans here. All characters in the story are anthropomorphic animals.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Several minor antagonists so far have no problem with being willing to hurt children.
  • Vegetarian Carnivore: Beatrice (a mongoose) is vegan despite being a carnivorous species. This is lampshaded as well to her annoyance.
  • Young Entrepreneur: Tabitha's only twelve but she already takes commissions for costumes from her classmates.