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Thread: The Unfortunate Truth to the Pokemon Trainer Ideal (PG-13)

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    Default The Unfortunate Truth to the Pokemon Trainer Ideal (PG-13)

    Here's my latest pet project: a deconstruction oneshot written in the style of a columnist's article. I want to give my utmost thanks to Bay and Redwood Alchan from Glacidia for their help with this story. As a warning, there's implied Pokemon abuse in this fic, so if you're squeamish about that, don't read. As a disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon or anything associated with it. And as a thought, please tell me what I can improve. With those words, read on if you wish:

    ...


    To the students of the Violet Pokemon Training Academy,

    Pokemon and humans have been together for countless centuries. We’ve achieved extraordinary things together; our technology would not be where it is without the progress we’ve made with Pokemon. It has gone so far as to be a coming-of-age for most young boys and girls to go out and get a Pokemon of their own. It is a concept known as “training”, and the people who participate are “trainers”.

    We’ve glorified the concept for hundreds of years. The dreams and aspirations of most young children are to become the most powerful trainer in the world, and it seems to be rooted in the adult psyche as well. That is why most people will not want to hear what is in this article. I won’t extol the virtues of trainers and the training of Pokemon. What I will do is tell you the cold hard facts that you don’t want to hear, that the ones who succeed don’t want to tell you: this is a brutal, cutthroat business that picks off everyone and anyone who can’t handle the awful truth (i.e., you).

    I can see those smug smirks on your faces right now. I can hear you saying how crazy I am, how I don’t have a clue about what I’m talking about. You couldn’t be more wrong, and I guarantee that if you have the guts to read the entire article, you won’t be smiling afterward. Are you still with me? Then read on:

    ---

    Now, you children probably know the drill by now: get your starter, catch more Pokemon, collect all of the badges, challenge the league, and beat the champion. I get it. Here’s something that your teachers don’t tell you in trainer’s school: out of every one-hundred trainers, thirty-three will die on their journey. Yes, that’s right, you heard me right. Die. It’s not even the wild Pokemon that kill them; despite your teachers ranting about how dangerous they are (and rightfully so), wild Pokemon account for only twenty-four percent of all trainer deaths.

    No, most of them die because they didn’t bother to learn proper survival skills. About fifty-five percent of all trainer deaths result from three main causes: starvation, dehydration, and exposure to the elements. Young trainers will often make the mistake of not spending enough money on survival supplies like canned goods, bottled water, a tent and sleeping bag, a multi-purpose knife, supplies for their Pokemon (that means food and health-care items, kids), and – if they don’t start out with a fire-type – supplies to make fire. Instead, they tend to blow their money on pokeballs and other luxuries. Apparently, catching that rare Pokemon that they’ll probably never see is so much more important than living to see another day.

    Another twelve percent will die from other people who want what they have. These bandits will rob them blind, sell their stolen Pokemon on the black market (or kill them for food), and murder them as an afterthought. If they’re lucky, they’ll leave enough of the victim for their loved ones to identify. If they’re not, there won’t be enough of them to fit in a matchbox.

    The rest of them will die from other natural causes: falling off cliffs, drowning, eating poisonous plants, etc. But if you’re careful, you’ll avoid all of these pitfalls and become a successful regional champion, right? Wrong again, kids.

    About half of the trainers who start out on their journey quit before they get their first badge. Very few of them decide to go back into training. They get homesick and miss their loved ones. They get tired of having to rely solely on themselves and their Pokemon. That’s why there are very few – if any – ten-year-old champions. They simply aren’t mature enough to handle being by themselves. The ones that are at the league are most likely prodigies, and even they’ve contemplated quitting at one point or another.

    But you’re not one of those trainers, right? You think you’re mature enough to handle the pressure. You think that you know everything. Let me tell you something right now: I haven’t told you anything about what comes next. Right now, you don’t know anything about being a trainer. Not – one – bit.

    ---

    So you’ve gotten yourself a few badges. So have a lot of other up-and-coming trainers. It’s only going to get tougher from there. You’ve still got a fairly good chance at dying, especially in cities with heavy gang presences (i.e., all of the large cities in every region). Your Pokemon are getting tougher, but so are the Pokemon of other trainers. So, how do you get an edge over the competition?

    You might say, “I don’t need an edge. I’m good enough to beat anyone.” You’re just lying to yourself. Trainers only take themselves so far; if their Pokemon are weak, they will eventually fail. So how do they gain an edge in battle? Unless they happen to be extremely-motivated prodigies who have Pokemon that are just as motivated, they’ll either have to get stronger Pokemon, train for very long periods of time, or resort to other “means”.

    There are products that are made entirely for battling. You likely know the minerals: protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and carbos. There are also temporary boosters like X-accuracy and Dire Hit. You want to know another thing that they have in common? They’re all illegal in competitive battling. Minerals are only supposed to be used for recovery, not to boost a Pokemon’s power or stamina. The others are steroids for Pokemon and should never be used.

    It doesn’t stop the idiots from trying, but they’ll eventually get caught. In case you’re thinking about cheating, I want to warn you of the consequences. If a trainer’s Pokemon is caught with performance-enhancing drugs, the Pokemon is permanently banned from participating in any competitive battle and its trainer will have their license temporarily revoked. The trainer is also banned from league competition for three years, and all of their Pokemon – even the ones in their PC – are tested as well. For each Pokemon that tests positive, another year is added to the ban – and if every Pokemon tests positive, the ban is permanent.

    I must also mention the synthetic minerals: Health-Up (HP-Up), Power-Up (PP-Up), and the infamous “rare candy”. If you use one of these on even one of your Pokemon, you will be banned for life – and in the case of rare candy, you will be jailed for five years without parole. Rare candy forces a Pokemon’s body to grow in an unnatural way, which has the nasty side effect of shortening the Pokemon’s lifespan. It’s considered to be Pokemon abuse by every respectable region.

    On an average of every one-hundred trainers, thirteen of them are caught cheating. I hope to Mew that you aren’t one of them.

    ---

    Ah, so you’ve gotten your badges and you’ve managed to carve out a career as a trainer. Congratulations. Do you want a medal? Sorry, but you’re not special in any way. You’re most likely a journeyman trainer (or a so-called “ace trainer” in the slang of the younger generation). You’ll compete in a few minor tournaments, maybe actually win one or two, but you’ll never succeed when it comes to the major tournaments. You’ll never successfully challenge the league. You may not realize it yet, but even you have your limits.

    If you have enough potential (and if you’re lucky), some gym leader might make you a gym trainer. You’ll get an annual salary of approximately $10,000, which is good enough to live on. Sure, you’ll never make the million-dollar-per-year salary that the top trainers earn, but if you’ve made it this far, you’re better than ninety percent of the other journeymen, and that’s not a bad accomplishment in the least.

    However, you probably aren’t that talented. You might be good enough to earn a living, but you’ll have to take another job as well. And after being on the road for so long, you’ll probably burn out four years into your true career as a trainer, like a good eighty percent of all journeymen trainers. You’ll take the other job you have. The money should be good enough to live on (if you make smart investments), you’ll still have your Pokemon to help you, and you won’t be in as much danger.

    If you’re deluded enough to continue on without another job, you might receive an injury sometime in your career from some sort of accident or whatnot. If it’s as bad as mine, said injury will be permanent; I still use a cane to this day. I persisted and eventually became somewhat successful. You probably won’t if you don’t have the motivation, talent, and experience that I do. If you persist, you’ll likely end up like the other ten percent of journeymen trainers and wander the region as lost spirits, desperately searching for a way to better their lives. It’s a dismal existence, and if you choose that path, you’ll regret it every day for the rest of your life.

    Out of all of the trainers who get this far, only three percent of them become stars…and their struggles are far from over.

    ---

    You all have heard of the rags-to-riches story of Sidney Morris, right? The media's shown it around the world so much that it's almost sickening. Raised by a single father who abandoned him when he was fifteen, Sidney was little more than a street punk when he first became a trainer at that age. He had no guidance, no money, and no true friends until Steven Stone, the regional champion, took an interest in him. He started winning, and his father and friends came back, not to say that they were sorry, but to ask Sidney for money. He cut ties with all of them, successfully won the Hoenn tournament, and became an Elite Four member. It gave him fame, but it didn’t give him happiness. Don't believe me? Look up any one of his interviews. I guarantee that he's said those exact same words.

    Not every successful trainer is as lucky as Sidney Morris. They are much more likely to become like Curtis Wilder. Ah, there’s a name you’ve never heard of. You should have; at one point, he was just as successful as Sidney, if not more so. Oh, I’ll tell you about him anyway.

    Wilder, born in Olivine, was also raised by a single parent: his mother. He was a true prodigy and highly-motivated, since they owned nothing except a small, dilapidated house. He caught his own Pokemon, went on his own journey, and promised to send most of his earnings to his mother to help pay the rent. Wilder quickly rose through the ranks. He was personally one of the most talented and gracious trainers I’ve ever faced. He went through the Johto Elite Four like a hot knife through butter. He won two consecutive regional tournaments, which is a feat that only three others have ever accomplished. He could’ve been the greatest trainer of all time…but fate wouldn’t let it happen.

    While he was out on his journey, his mother had spent most of the money he had earned on frivolous luxuries for herself. Every last dollar he had given to her was gone. When she demanded that he give her more, he refused. She sued him and won almost everything based on a technicality. Wilder had to sell all of his Pokemon to breeders in order to pay his court costs. Because of one selfish woman, the dreams of a young man were shattered. Because a good man put his faith into the wrong person, he lost everything.

    One year after the lawsuit, Wilder’s remains were found in the old ninja hideout in Mahogany. Whether by accident or design, he had triggered one of the explosive traps. Only six people showed up to his funeral. I was one of them.

    Curtis Wilder was barely twenty-one at the time of his death. He wasn’t the first famous trainer to self-destruct, and he most certainly will not be the last.

    ---

    So, are you getting doubts yet? I haven’t even gotten to the best part. I’ve talked about you, the future trainer. I’ve talked about the struggles that you may or may not face. But what about the struggles that your Pokemon will face?

    Oh, you forgot about the Pokemon, didn’t you? You forgot that your struggles are theirs, that their struggles are yours. The trainer who is truly successful is the one who works with their Pokemon in unison, understanding how they feel. If you are abusive or neglectful toward them in any way, you will regret it somewhere down the line. Remember this, kids: if you kick the Pokemon, the Pokemon will most likely bite back - and they will not stop until you are no longer a threat to them.

    Do you know how some Pokemon are bred? No, I didn’t think so. The honest daycares are good, but the shady ones commit some of the most gruesome crimes that could possibly be inflicted upon a living creature. Rare candies are the least of your concerns when you send your Pokemon to a daycare center that has not been approved; you should be more concerned about seeing your Pokemon alive and unscathed. And don’t even get me started on the potential for abuse.

    Did you know that Pokemon also burn out? No, kids, Pokemon are not tools of war. They are not machines that do your bidding. Some of them may last a little longer than others, but Pokemon can also receive permanent injuries…and die. It’s a sad fact of life; nothing lasts forever. Even the most beautiful summers pass into harsh winters.

    All the years of accumulating cuts, burns, poison, and paralysis, along other maladies, takes a toll on their bodies. They grow old like we do. They’re still able to battle, but they can’t take the beating that they took when they were younger. They tire more easily. Their overall health deteriorates over time to the point where not even a Pokemon center can repair the damage that was done.

    I pray that you will never have to learn this the hard way.

    ---

    So, you’ve read through almost all of it, have you? Hopefully, you’ve got a pretty good idea why I detest most aspects of training. Is there joy to be had with Pokemon? Definitely. Am I telling you to not get a Pokemon? Of course not. But should training be the ultimate goal for every child? No.

    If you’re having any doubts about going on a journey or if you’re not sure if you can be a trainer, here’s my advice: don’t. Go to a real school. Learn something useful. Train to be a doctor, a financial advisor, or something else that people will need. Celebi knows that we never seem to have enough of those. And if you’re still interested in becoming one, then volunteer at the local center or something. See what those trainers and Pokemon go through on a daily basis. After that, I dare you to look me in the eye and honestly say that you want to be just like them.

    If you don’t want to listen to me or if you’re arrogant enough to think that you can ignore common sense, go right ahead and become another statistic out of many. Start your journey. Don’t bother to read this. It’s not like I can make you listen to reason. I just want you to know that I won’t hesitate to crush all of your pathetic hopes and dreams when you get to me. You can count on that much.

    To those who do listen to me and know that they want to be a trainer, I will impart one more piece of advice: take good care of your Pokemon and treat them like family. They’re not just your partners; they are the only true friends you will ever have in this world. Keep a close watch on them and cherish every moment…because you don’t know what you have until you can never get it back.

    My best regards,

    Pryce W. Taylor, Mahogany gym leader.
    Last edited by SilentMemento; 7th January 2013 at 11:55 AM. Reason: taking the advice of the reviewer
    CURRENT STORY

    A Time for Everything - Kalos has lived peacefully for far too long, following the ideals of the corrupt. It's time to change that... An AU of X/Y.

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    This was delightful to read. It stands out from a lot of other fics, and it had just the right amount of snark to keep the statistics and warnings from getting too dark. I found it very refreshing to address some of the obvious but overlooked perils of a Pokémon journey. It’s something that’s usually done in parody form, if at all, but I liked the fact that it was taken completely seriously here, and even a little bit sadly toward the end.

    I think the narrator is the strongest aspect of this one-shot. Early on, it was pretty clear that he had a little personal involvement in the subject, and watching that become more obvious as the column was very interesting. I wish you had gone into a little more detail regarding his past, though. I can understand that long, personal stories aren’t exactly suitable for a newspaper article, but I would think personal experience would serve as a much, much stronger incentive than mere statistics and facts.

    I take it you’re using anime-canon pre-Ash Pryce here, based on a Bulbapedia search and the fact that I seem to remember the ninja hideout being an anime location. The thing is, though, if someone were to read this with no knowledge of the show, Pryce would just seem like a crotchety old man with a potentially troubled past that isn’t explored enough to make the reader feel much sympathy for him. We get the meanness and then an occasional, brief lapse into sad nostalgia. Those lapses definitely piqued my curiosity, but since they were never expanded upon, I’ll mostly just remember how amusingly blunt Pryce can be, which I don’t think is all you wanted me to take away from this story.

    Then again, maybe that deliberate disconnect between Pryce and his subject is based on Pryce’s refusal to share anything too personal about himself that may reveal weaknesses. If that’s the case, I think this particular line is a little out of place:

    If only I had known that sooner…
    This is supposed to be some kind of article or newsletter, presumably one that has undergone editing, so this line, so personal and out of sync with the tone of the piece, seemed to come out of nowhere, as if we were reading Pryce’s thoughts, rather than a carefully written article. I almost thought it was leading to a story from his own journey, but then it went right back to the dry tone in the final section. I just thought it was a little odd.


    Each section was well-developed, I think, with the possible exception of the one about the effects on the Pokémon. Everything, from the “shady” daycare centers to the physical tolls on the Pokémon, was touched upon pretty briefly, and abuse and neglect were just mentioned and forgotten. This section should have been an effective final point due to the fact that the material stood out from everything else, but it seemed more like an afterthought. You say that trainers who abuse or neglect their Pokémon will “regret it,” but you don’t tell us how they will regret it, which I would be very interested in reading about. Maybe Pryce is just using scare tactics to keep kids from becoming trainers, but it’s sort of a tease for the reader.

    I still enjoyed this a lot, though. I think you put on the page what a lot of people know in the back of their heads and choose to ignore. Fortunately, you did it in a very entertaining way and with an interesting narrator. Good stuff.

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    This is amusing and the writing style and structure work pretty nicely, but I spent most of it boggling because the statistics you name don't make any sense, and I mean any. Even throwing canon completely out of the window and accepting that you're making up your own Pokémon world, the numbers here are ridiculous.

    Thirty-three percent of trainers die on their journeys? One in three? Pokémon training is twice as dangerous as Russian Roulette, and an order of magnitude more likely to kill you than an actual suicide attempt? If this were true, everyone, literally everyone, would personally know multiple friends or family members who died training. In a world like that, there is absolutely no way that 1) anyone would be unfamiliar with the danger of Pokémon training and need it revealed to them in an article, 2) anyone sane would want to be a Pokémon trainer or allow their kids to be one if they wanted to for God-knows-what reason, or 3) it would be even remotely legal. First statistic cited and my suspension of disbelief is way out of the window. It's just not congruous with the idea that training is actually a thing that kids aspire towards.

    You go on to say 55% of these deaths are a result of poor survival skills - i.e. that 18% of all trainers die because they have no idea what they're doing. Again, this is nearly one in five - everyone would know multiple such trainers personally. How on earth can this problem and the pattern behind it have escaped everyone? Why are they not ensuring that trainers are actually taught these things before being sent out into the wild? At least if it were wild Pokémon that were so dangerous there wouldn't be much people could do about it if having Pokémon training at all were that desperately important to them - but this is so easily fixable that there's no excuse.

    Then you say that 12% of trainer deaths are theft-motivated murder, which works out to 4% of all trainers being murdered. That is insane. In the real world, violence (in general) accounts for less than 1% of all deaths - and you want us to believe that these ten-year-olds with no survival skills, in a society prosperous enough to waste time on extravagance like sending their kids out to be Pokémon trainers, are more than twelve times more likely to be murdered than an average person in reality worldwide, purely because people want their stuff? I can't see what kind of stuff they could possibly be carrying - they're kids, it's not like they have Rolex watches or are carrying flatscreen televisions in their backpacks - that would motivate child-murder on such a drastic scale, unless this is a Harry Potter crossover and they're all carrying the Elder Wand. And why would the bandits apparently go out of their way to leave no remains of the victim's bodies? What on earth is that about? Why waste their time on something like that?

    All in all, these statistics shattered my suspension of disbelief so utterly I couldn't quite take the rest of this seriously in any way. Sure, you can make up statistics and generally people won't notice or care, but they can't be this off - it just rings false immediately when you start saying a full third of all trainers die on their journeys and twelve percent of them are murdered. Just saying most of them give up a few months in after realizing surviving in the wilderness isn't the happy fun adventure they were expecting would be way more believable, realistic and sensible for a story like this, instead of trying to go all EVERYONE DIES AND IS HORRIBLY MURDERED - you can deconstruct the romantic ideal without getting so ludicrously over-the-top cynical.

    Some other things seem odd or overdone. I kind of rolled my eyes when you started talking about how vitamins are BANNED IN COMPETITIVE BATTLING and X-items are STEROIDS and Rare Candy is POKÉMON ABUSE - again, it feels like you're trying too hard to be edgy with your interpretation. Deciding vitamins are banned in competitive battling seems really arbitrary - canonically, a bit of training will do the same thing for the Pokémon's stats as a vitamin, and vitamins are even limited in scope compared to what training can do, so nobody can cheat their way to the top with vitamins only. Even for something like the Rare Candy, where nothing in canon technically says it isn't unnatural and abusive so you can decide it is if you want, the fact you're choosing to go with the dark edgy ABUSE interpretation based on no evidence whatsoever (Rare Candies only leave your Pokémon less powerful if you neglect proper training altogether in favor of just pumping it full of candy), even though it doesn't appear to make your story better in any way, just feels silly and over-the-top.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilentMemento
    While he was out on his journey, his mother had spent most of the money he had earned on frivolous luxuries for herself. Every last dollar he had given to her was gone. When she demanded that he give her more, he refused. She sued him and won almost everything based on a technicality.
    Whaaat? A mother being able to sue her son for not giving her all of his own money and win is so outrageously unbelievable that vaguely handwaving it as "based on a technicality" just makes it appear that you were too lazy to think of any remotely plausible way for this to happen so you try to just make us take your word for it. I'm not buying it. If you have an actual technicality in mind that could possibly lead to this, then explain it briefly; as it is this just feels like a ridiculous diabolus ex machina.

    Also, if a Pokémon day-care doesn't actually return the Pokémon alive and well, it's going to go out of business, because obviously the trainer isn't going to pay for a corpse. What kind of a business model is that? Sure, some sadist who just wants to kill Pokémon could set up a fake day-care to get trainers to give them their Pokémon, but that's only going to work once before they'd have to hastily leave town or get arrested; you make it sound like these are perfectly operational day-cares that just happen to subject the Pokémon to really obvious horrific physical abuse, which would simply be shut down within days.

    So all in all, you need to remember that dark and gritty doesn't equal realistic - you've here just thrown realism and believability out of the window for an arbitrary and nonsensical grittiness for grittiness's sake. Think about how your world works properly, not just how you can make it dark and dangerous; when you just pile on horrors without regard for whether they make any sense, the result is cartoony rather than chilling.

    But I do like how you write Pryce's voice, the hints of the personal roots of some of his bitterness (particularly when he gets to talking about the Pokémon), and the general idea behind this.
    Last edited by Dragonfree; 7th January 2013 at 5:48 PM.

    Chapter 64: Hide and Seek
    The story of an ordinary boy on an impossible quest in a world that isn't as black and white as he always thought it was.
    (rough draft of the remaining chapters finished for NaNoWriMo; to be edited and posted)

    Morphic
    (completed, plus silly extras)
    A few scientists get drunk and start fiddling with gene splicing. Ten years later, they're taking care of eight half-Pokémon kids, each freakier than the next, while a religious fanatic plots to murder them all.

    Lengthy fanfiction reviewing guide / A more condensed version
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilentMemento View Post
    It has gone so far as to be a coming-of-age for most young boys and girls to go out and get a Pokemon of their own.
    Something about this line is a bit unwieldy to me, and I had to read it 3 times to get it right. Maybe instead of "It has gone as far as to be...", it would be better as "It's gotten to the point where getting a pokemon is a child's coming-of-age"? Just an example.

    What I will do is tell you the cold hard facts that you don’t want to hear, that the ones who succeed don’t want to tell you:
    i think the "that" might supposed to be a "what". Am I right?

    this is a brutal, cutthroat business that picks off everyone and anyone who can’t handle the awful truth (i.e., you).
    Heh, I like the end there.

    Now, you children probably know the drill by now: get your starter, catch more Pokemon, collect all of the badges, challenge the league, and beat the champion. I get it. Here’s something that your teachers don’t tell you in trainer’s school: out of every one-hundred trainers, thirty-three will die on their journey. Yes, that’s right, you heard me right. Die. It’s not even the wild Pokemon that kill them; despite your teachers ranting about how dangerous they are (and rightfully so), wild Pokemon account for only twenty-four percent of all trainer deaths.
    I'm curious here, and perhaps the answer will be delivered in the story, but it's hard to fathom a world where 33% of children who do something DIE, but the media doesn't talk about it when we live in an age where society wants us to keep children in car seats until they are 8 years old and playgrounds are torn down because a kid might fall off the monkey bars. In our world, if one out of every million kids dies doing something, the media has a crapstorm over it.

    Another twelve percent will die from other people who want what they have. These bandits will rob them blind, sell their stolen Pokemon on the black market (or kill them for food), and murder them as an afterthought. If they’re lucky, they’ll leave enough of the victim for their loved ones to identify. If they’re not, there won’t be enough of them to fit in a matchbox.
    Wow! Jesus! That's intense.

    So you’ve gotten yourself a few badges. So have a lot of other up-and-coming trainers. It’s only going to get tougher from there. You’ve still got a fairly good chance at dying, especially in cities with heavy gang presences (i.e., all of the large cities in every region). Your Pokemon are getting tougher, but so are the Pokemon of other trainers. So, how do you get an edge over the competition?
    I think the parenthetical here might be better if the author listed off some cities. "(i.e., Castelia, Saffron, Detroit are all examples of cities that prey on wandering youth)"

    I must also mention the synthetic minerals: Health-Up (HP-Up), Power-Up (PP-Up), and the infamous “rare candy”. If you use one of these on even one of your Pokemon, you will be banned for life – and in the case of rare candy, you will be jailed for five years without parole. Rare candy forces a Pokemon’s body to grow in an unnatural way, which has the nasty side effect of shortening the Pokemon’s lifespan. It’s considered to be Pokemon abuse by every respectable region.
    This reminds me of another fic on here (Carry on Blissey) that talks about trainers using Action Replay drugs on pokemon and causing severe damage. It's quite an interesting take on the matter! Good thinking.

    While he was out on his journey, his mother had spent most of the money he had earned on frivolous luxuries for herself. Every last dollar he had given to her was gone. When she demanded that he give her more, he refused. She sued him and won almost everything based on a technicality. Wilder had to sell all of his Pokemon to breeders in order to pay his court costs. Because of one selfish woman, the dreams of a young man were shattered. Because a good man put his faith into the wrong person, he lost everything.
    I like the tales of Sidney and Wilder. Very nice touches, and they ring true to the stories you here about people that win the lottery or become successful actors or athletes. Again, nice touch.


    -So, I totally did not see it end up being Pryce writing this; that was an interesting touch (the old, "I've seen things" experience and the cane... good catch).

    The story was certainly interesting, and good one-shot material. Nice, quick, enjoyable read. Now I will think harder about how the Ace Trainers and gym trainers got where they are when I next play through.

    Now get back to work on Revenant!


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    I really like the project of this piece, a grim take on something as basic of an idea as being a trainer is always interesting, and your presentation of the idea that "being a trainer isn't all rainbows and sunshine" - while at times over the top - is overall pretty effective.

    But a few comments. Dragonfree and Sid87 have already commented on the exaggerated statistics, and I pretty much agree with their points, so I'll leave that out.

    I'm sort-of confused with the flow of the piece. It goes as such: being a trainer isn't as easy as one may think --> dangers of being a trainer --> trainers cheating (using drugs/steroids) to keep up with others --> "pokemon trainer" as an unreliable job --> the influence of luck and mistrusting people --> hardships of a trainer's pokemon --> final words. As is, these are pretty disconnected subjects, and it doesn't help that our only transition is either the point of a trainer's journey where such a problem may be faced [which isn't true for the last three] or the "---" [which I doubt I'll be seeing in a columnist's article anyway]. While they are all underscored by the opening paragraphs [that all of these are reasons why being a trainer is really hard], it felt like the piece was just jumping from one reason to another, which IMO becomes jarring as a reader.

    And somewhat relating to the above: those markers for transitions with Pryce being all "NO YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD IT IS TO BE A TRAINER" gets pretty tiring as the story goes on, and sometimes I find it redundant seeing as you're already doing that warning with the meat of the story. Perhaps it's a consequence of this being addressed to young students, but it does lend to the ridiculousness of the piece that it might be worth trimming down. It's weird coz this isn't necessarily "show, don't tell," because you're already doing the showing but for some reason you're also doing the telling.

    I also personally wanted to see more of Pryce's involvement in the article, sort-of like what you do with that last bit about taking care of your Pokemon. He ventures a lot in giving statistics and examples from other trainers, but if this is meant to be read as a column [and I assume that Pryce would be a pretty popular columnist given his position], he could inject way more than his personality in them. Imaginative Clockwork's point of him refusing to share any personal because of his personality is a good reason, yes, but there must be some personal reason why he ventures into writing such an out-of-the-loop not-what-you-expect article, and I want to see echoes of that in the story.

    Also:

    Start your journey. Don’t bother to read this. It’s not like I can make you listen to reason.
    Did you mean to put this at the end of the piece? Coz, well, I don't know what the effect of the irony is that he tells you not to read this right when you're about to finish doing so.


    Overall it's a good story, and it certainly has a lot of potential for development, what with a very good voice in your narrator and a very interesting project, but as seen in the other reviews, you have a bit of work ahead of you.


    Berries -- Humans of Hoenn -- A Friday -- Escape Rope



    images were taken from four specific web pages of Serebii.net

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