An ongoing Pokémon-based doujinshi styled comedy webcomic written and drawn by South Korean artist Gooberman, Dating a Team Magma Grunt follows the events of Pokémon Omega Ruby focusing on the developing romance between Brendan (the male protagonist of Ruby and Sapphire) and the titular Magma Grunt, No Name Givennote .
A year after Brendan won the Pokémon League and stopped Team Magma from destroying the world, one of the team's grunts began dating the young trainer, despite their rather obvious age-gap and their past antagonism with each other. The story doesn't dive much farther than that, mainly focusing on comedy and brief mini-arcs revolving around the obstacles the young couple face in their new relationship to keep readers invested.
As of mid-2015, the webcomic has been placed on a temporary hiatus due to Gooberman being sent to the Korean military to fulfill a two-year mandatory service (as is required by all male Korean citizens). The translator informs readers that while Gooberman will continue to try and update as best he can, a very long delay should be expected.
As of January 2019, Gooberman appears to have resumed work on this doujinshi, as seen by this Twitter post.
As of February 16th, 2019, English translations of Chapter 11 have been released.
Tropes used in this work:
- The Ace: Brendan. He is the Pokemon Champion after all.
- Affectionate Parody: Of Pokémon Ruby, namely its Omega Ruby remake.
- Apology Gift: After fighting in Chapter 9, Brendan bought a bunch of Jigglypuff plushies (one of which was at least four feet tall).
- Ascended Meme: The opening of Chapter 10 mockingly quotes IGN's infamous "too much water" remark from their ORAS review.One of the many special features about Hoenn is the abundant natural vistas allowed by its tropical climate. Amongst those, the most noticeable is water. In fact, some might remark that there's "too much water".
- Beach Episode: Chapter 10 and 11.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: The whole reason the Magma Grunt fell for Brendan.
- Brick Joke: In Chapter 9, the Magma Grunt and Brendan apparently had an argument after he compared her to an Octillery. In Chapter 11, the pair come across a whole school of Octillery in a cave, and Brendan jokes that they think the Grunt is one of them.
- Chastity Couple: Brendan and the Magma Grunt. Justified in that she's in her twenties while Brendan is barely in his teens. The most we see is a (barely) offscreen first kiss in Chapter 8.
- Childhood Friends: Before her family moved to Pastoria, the Magma Grunt was best friends with Roxanne, as in the Gym Leader. Mildly deconstructed in that it was only because they were the only kids in the area, though the two do care for one another.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Both Pokémon battles that have been shown in the comic ended after a single attack.
- Dark Horse Victory: When the Magma Grunt and Aqua Grunt compete for Brendan in a Pokémon contest, a female version of Tobias note wins.
- Disproportionate Retribution: In Chapter 4, after the Aqua Grunt insults the Magma Grunt and Team Magma, Brendan decides to challenge her to battle, saying he'll only use a single Fire/Ground type. He uses Primal Groudon.
- Emotionless Girl: Courtney could very well be mistaken for a robot half the time. However, she shows signs of emotion around Maxie. This was especially obvious when he seemingly refused to eat the pie she wanted to feed him.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: What's the comic about? Title Drop, roll credits...
- Fake-Out Opening: Chapter 9 appears to reveal that the Magma Grunt had just been using Brandon to get her hands on Primal Groudon, in order to restore Team Magma to full strength. This is driven home by the chapter's cover depicting a shattered photograph with the caption "Dated a Team Magma Grunt". Then she and Brendan shout "April Fools!", and we're told that the real Chapter 9 is still to come.
- First Kiss: Heavily impliednote when Magma Grunt asks this as her prize from Brendan, whose confident demeanor is shaken up for the first time. Lisia actually witnesses the kiss with a blush. Roxanne later claims that the Magma Grunt had phoned her to excitedly gush about said first kiss.
- Green-Eyed Monster: When Magma Grunt saw Brendan with May, she was initially suspicious, but her worries were proven for naught. Subverted upon meeting Lisia, where she came across as this when in actuality she was just tense from working up the nerve to ask for an autograph (being a really big fan.)
- Hidden Depths: Despite her rough appearance, Aqua Grunt is also a fan of Lisia and manages to be surprisingly cute while performing in a Pokémon contest.
- Hypocritical Humor: Aqua Grunt calls Magma Grunt a deviant for having a 13 year old boyfriend when she had just been flirting with Brendan.
- Also, when the Team Magma Grunt refers to Roxanne (her best friend and the Gym Leader) as a crybaby with a big forehead, text boxes point out that she is also this. Might explain why they're friends after all.
- It Amused Me: If it's not contests, Lisia's got this on her mind. Why did she not interfere with the Grunts fighting over Brendan?Lisia: ... This looks like fun, so I'm just gonna watch.
- Love at First Punch: Magma Grunt fell in love with Brendan when he lent her a caring hand... After annihilating her without even giving her a chance to attack in a Pokemon battle. Aqua Grunt fell in love with Brendan after he utterly destroyed her in a Pokémon battle.
- Love You and Everybody: When Courtney asks Maxie what his feelings are towards her, he plainly states that he likes her. And Tabitha. And everyone else in Team Magma.
- Meet the In-Laws: Chapter 6 has Magma Grunt meeting Brendan's parents (it was entirely unplanned, Norman just happened to be passing by when the two of them were on a date and invited her over for dinner). Despite the very obvious age gap, his parents approve.
- Mugging the Monster: Due to Steven generally taking his spot as champion, Aqua Grunt doesn't recognize that Brendan is the League Champion when he challenges her to a match.
- No Kill Like Overkill: Brendan has no qualms using PRIMAL GROUDON to put a Team Aqua Grunt in her place when she upsets his girlfriend.
- No Name Given: Invoked; The titular Grunt has a name, but the author makes an effort to keep it (as well as her age) a mystery. All we do know is she was an Aroma Lady before joining Team Magma.
- Not So Different: The Magma Grunt and her best friend, the gym leader Roxanne. Despite the former being a former criminal and basic trainer and the latter being a responsible school teacher and gym leader, they're best friends. While Roxanne says this was because it was because they were the only kids, it's noted that both of them have crybaby-personalities and are sensitive to how other people think about them while also having large foreheads.
- This also applies to Aqua Grunt.
- Oblivious to Love: Maxie is completely oblivious to Courtney's attempts to flirt with him.
- Oh, Crap!: The Magma Grunt freaks out when she realizes that Courtney not only saw her with Brendan, but also saw her Courtney impression.
- Parental Substitute: Magma Grunt muses that she thinks of Maxie as her father figure.
- Secret Relationship: Magma Grunt tries to keep her relationship with Brendan a secret, but this doesn't even last a single chapter because Courtney saw the two of them together. Thankfully, her superiors don't actually care.
- Serious Business: Brandon challenges the Team Aqua Grunt to a duel for making fun of his girlfriend. Silly, but standard for Pokémon. Using Groudon is not standard.
- Lisia, of course, treats contests seriously. She manipulated the Grunts into fighting for Brendan to get them into contests... and because it was fun.
- Shipper on Deck: Lisia, and she was loving every minute of it.
- Shout-Out: The cover of chapter 9 is Magma Grunt and Roxanne doing the Oreimo pose.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Brendan and the Grunt are still lovey-dovey even during the Team Magma reunion. The jealousy from everyone is palpable.
- Sleep Cute: Chapter 9 ends with Brendan and the Magma Grunt sleeping up against the massive Jigglypuff plushie Brendan bought as an Apology Gift.
- Spit Take: The Aqua Grunt's reaction to the Magma Grunt tripping up on-stage.
- Triang Relations: Type 4. Brendan and the Magma Grunt are very much in love, but there's an Aqua Grunt who also has her sights set on Brendan. He's not interested.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: Implied and lampshaded in Chapter 10, when the Magma Grunt - who is wearing nothing but a bikini - takes out her wallet. Brendan wonders where she was keeping it.
- Also shows up in Chapter 11, where she has at least one Pokeball on her, while Brendan had to leave all of his at home because he couldn't carry them wearing swim trunks.
- Weight Woe: Chapter 11 reveals that the reason Magma Grunt wanted the wishing stone was because she had recently gained some weight. Brendan finds this ridiculous, especially since he can't even see the difference.