Well everyone, this is it, we are now in the fifth year of Pokéumans. But, it is always important to remember the events of the past, and recognize the spinoffs that make this group great. Now, I promised I would release this list on the 10th, but I realized, very quickly, that this was going to be a bigger challenge than I thought. Why? Because all the nominations this year were good; not just good, excellent. Each one of them is creative, imaginative, and special in their own way. I had to go back and re-read all of them, nitpicking and thinking hard about my decision. Now, I want to enforce, that this list is in no way, showcasing that one spinoff is better than the other, but merely, to help inspire newcomers and members alike to go out and create their own world, their own story to be told. So, enough chatter, let’s get to the Top 5 Spinoffs of 2014!
Kicking off this year’s spinoff list is a story which I didn’t read into much when it first came out. I had a pretty hard time picking this one, as I had four choices, and in the end I re-read all of them, and picked the one which left the biggest impression on me.
The reason I’m giving the number five spot to And Crow
is simple; its protagonist seems to be the one of the few in this group to be completely self-aware of how ridiculous the situation he’s in, as well as the central premise for Pokéumans, is: that turning into a creature capable of elemental bending and getting sent to a special high school for other creatures such as yourself is outright outlandish.
The first-person perspective works well for this kind of story, and it uses it wisely, letting you see and feel what the main character is experiencing, even if most of it is unrelenting sarcasm and slight psychosis. Running that over subtle, yet dark story elements, leads to some humorous and at the same time, chilling moments. It’s the kind of self-referential, nudge-wink, parody of the classic spin-off formula that gives And Crow its edge. It also deals with serious topics such as prejudice and isolation.
But the story isn’t just eye-rolling self-referential humor, it has its moments, and (without wishing to spoil) contains a great Pokéuman meets clone sequence using a very interesting narrative I have yet to see in a Pokéuman story. Overall, if you’re looking for a different experience than your typical ‘Pokéuman-goes-to-a-base story’, I would definitely recommend this one, if only just to hear more quips laced with doubtful cynicism. Though there is one more spinoff later in the list that uses the ‘self-awareness’ formula to its advantage we will get to later, And Crow is still a fun enough story to put in the top 5.
But before I go: I want to leave a direct quote to share with all.
I bust out laughing. “What. That cannot actually be a thing. That sounds like something a 15 year old would come up with for a school project he was bsing at the last second!”
And crow. For it is all you will be known for.Be forewarned, the quality of this piece of writing may not live up the stellar standards that the writer normally maintains. Furthermore, be aware that the writer has not posted anything he particularly cares about to this site before.
Chapter 1. Welcome to reality.
AS I was walking all alane
I heard twa corbies making a mane:
The tane unto the tither did say,
'Whar sall we gang and dine the day?'
'—In behint yon auld fail dyke
I wot there lies a new-slain knight;
And naebody kens that he lies there
But his hawk, his hound, and his lady fair.
'His hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady 's ta'en anither mate,
So we may mak our dinner sweet.
'Ye'll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I'll pike out his bonny blue e'en:
Wi' ae lock o' his gowden hair
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare.
'Mony a one for him maks mane,
But nane sall ken whar he is gane:
O'er his white banes, when they are bare,
Rounding out the fourth spot on this list is a spinoff that most should be familiar with by now. Divided I Stand
is an adventurous, and action-packed spinoff, written by gamer-dragon
(the guy who made our wonderful icon.)
One of the many reasons I respect Divided I Stand is because for the most part, it doesn’t take place in a base. The story takes a very unusual turn, even in the beginning, by having the main character not being rescued, but end up being a rescuer themselves. It subverts the usual formula we’re all familiar with, and it allows for an interesting new story that showcases a different scenario. Not only that, it deals with other situations that are hardly seen, such as (without wishing to spoil) the introduction of human family to an already transformed Pokéuman. It was enough to make me want to keep reading just to see what was going to happen next.
Divided I Stand is also good at showcasing advanced Pokéuman technology, some of which not even I have thought up of. Not only does it merely show it, it also goes into explanation and feeling of how it works, such as the humanizing rings. Not only that, the last few chapters were also part of the Dimensional Gems contest, and once again it displays originality, and features a very creative use of the Unown (which I remind people, are only forbidden as a transformation option.)
The story is mostly character focused, giving us a broad variety of characters to root for. As such, there is a lot of drama in this series, especially towards the end, and a lot of it was enough to stir something inside me. There are some really intense moments that really make you feel with the characters, and lets you sympathize with them. As a first-person story, it’s written very well, showcasing the emotions and thoughts of the main protagonist without too much repetitive narration. The final climatic battle is satisfying and it showcases the story’s excellent writing.
Overall, Divided I Stand is a fresh new take on the Pokéuman spinoff. It can get a bit difficult to follow at times, and there are a lot of characters for you to memorize, but once you’re invested I guarantee it’s a spinoff you’d want to read right up to the end. And with a second part on the horizon, I can see a lot more from this series, and it makes me excited to find out what happens next.
Divided I Stand: Chapter 1 - Departure
Chapter 1 - Departure
I sighed, homework was so tedious! Why did schools even give homework? It was completely pointless! I put my name at the top of my last assignment and packed it away in my backpack. I silently celebrated my release from the shackles of school for a couple of seconds, and then went to sit on the couch in my living room. I located the remote wedged between cushions and switched the television on. I clicked the button for Hulu Plus and started surfing through the shows and movies that were available. Nothing caught my fancy until I stumbled on one of the old Pokémon movies. Huh, I had no idea that Hulu had Pokémon. I selected it and pressed play. I spent the next hour of my life drooling and half asleep, while the movie played in front of me.
My stomach growled, so I paused the movie in order to make something to eat. Go
Being a Pokéuman isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. It involves a physical, identity altering transformation of your body and soul. It involves isolation from the people you care for the most. It involves being dragged into a world that for some people; might end up overwhelming an already unstable mind. It involves dealing with power and moves no mere human can or ever hope to possess, and for some…they may be inclined to abuse it in all the wrong ways. Pokéumans, Pokéxtinction, humanity…they all mean nothing in the long run when you yourself are the greatest threat to both sides…and that in the end, we are all going to die.
That is what I have learned after reading Morals Distorted
Once again the psychotic, demented, clearly unstable, black hole of a mind of TheEeveeWarrior
, who brought us the unforgiving demon spinoff that was Monster
, Morals Distorted is an interesting bloody dismemberment filled look into a situation that deviates from the usual scenario of “Pokéumans rule, Pokéxtinction drools.”
As a one-off, Morals Distorted had to work pretty hard to keep up with the big scary chapter-based spinoffs that surrounded it. In fact, it’s also similar to Soror Caliginis, another spawn of the demoic undulating flesh that is TheEeveeWarrior’s brain. But despite being only one chapter long, it managed to outshine itself in the same grim way that someone notices a man missing an arm on a crowded bus, with a strong narrative, gory and bone-chilling suspense, and general un-nerving imagery. It may not be the story for the faint of hearted, nor may it be the story for those who like happy endings, but the reason I like Morals Distorted, better than all the others one-shots, is that is really teaches us a lesson that we all need to understand, especially as story writers.
We all expect Pokéumans to be good and Pokéxtinction to be bad, it teaches you that you cannot label any side of any conflict ‘good’ or ‘evil’, rather each individual of the groups determine what is true goodness, or true evil, by their actions. A Pokéuman shown in an evil light while Pokéxtinction is shown as the more stable half isn’t something seen that much. Morals Distorted teaches this lesson well, even while it saws out your eyeballs out with a rusty spork.
Morals DistortedMORALS DISTORTED
A Pokèumans One-Shot by TheEeveeWarrior
It was a quiet day.
Even in a place such as Voyageurs National Park, it was a very quiet day. For a park of over 18,000 acres, not counting the additional 84,000 acres of lakes and ponds, one would expect at least some form of natural ambience. Maybe a few fish breaching the water here and there, the sharp chirping of bird song heard in the distance, maybe even a few tourists laughing happily as they spent a fun-filled day on the water.
And yet, there was none of that here today. The water lay still, save only the gentle back-and-forth lapping of waves against rocks on the beach. The entire avian population seemed to have caught a frog in their collective throats and fallen silent; either that, or left in a massive group the day before for parts unknown. And nowhere in the park, not even on the water, could a single tourist be found.
Out of all of these od
Now we’re nearing the end of the list, I think its time we jump off the innovation train and look for a story that was genuinely good, regardless of content. So, with that in mind, the second best spinoff of 2014 is Winner Takes All
, fellow admin and the creator of Fighting Talk and Things Not to Do In A Pokéuman Base. A story which began by getting the group involved in choosing the species for its main protagonist turned out to be one of the most shocking and original stories I have come across.
Now, Room 181, MiC4’s previous spinoff, was very good. Despite taking place in the Long Island Base (which I am quick to remind people I will never agree to let anyone use in their story again so for the love of Arceus quit asking me, and also while you’re at it also stop mentioning there was a Shiny Azelf in the Original Series and don’t you dare justify that for using one in your story sorry what was I talking about again), it was able to create its own identity without latching or relying too heavily on the Original Series.
Although Winner Takes All falls into the familiar habits of the spinoff formula, is able to balance it with a very strong narrative focus, going through descriptive detail on what the protagonist is feeling, rather than slapping it across the screen for all to see. In the end, it is a well-written, if not a bit formulaic spinoff.
That is all I would have said if I hadn’t continued reading past the first few chapters.
If you can look past the deceptively ‘cloney’ first few chapters, what you’ll find is a story bursting with heart-racing suspense, utter depth, charismatic action, and dripping with originality above else. Winner Takes All started off as a poll to vote for the main protagonist, (I refer of course to this
.) However, this was no mere poll; as it inevitably led to the whole construct for the whole story. Without wishing to spoil, all the other choices that weren’t picked make it in one way or another. (Read the title for a better understanding.) Once the story gains momentum, there is a chapter that depicts one of the most creative, out-of-the-box, and impressive scenes I have ever seen in any spinoff ever, showing the literal definition of ‘meeting one’s maker.’ It completely justified the cloneiness of the first chapters, setting into a nice safe area only for it to yank the rug out from underneath the reader’s feet when they least expected it with plot twist after plot twist. It handles the self-awareness aspect in a different way than And Crow, and not only does it break the fourth wall, it outright destroys it.
In all seriousness, I cannot fully express how good this story is, its originality, its concept, and even the fact it even features a transgender Pokéuman, and handles all of it perfectly. I had a really difficult time deciding whether it deserved to be the best, but in the end, the only reason it’s not number one is that the formulaic beginning, while important; may turn off new readers, and it does take a bit to end up getting to the twists the series offers. But in all honesty, Winner Takes All is a superlative example of how to create a wonderful and original spinoff and I encourage you to experience it for yourself.
Now I better wrap up this list quickly before Emily the Porygon-Z comes by and ruins everyone’s day by shooting shurikens and lightning at us.
Winner Takes All Ch. 1Chapter 1 - A Life-Changing Experience
(Hello everyone. This is the Author speaking. You'll know it's me because this is my special Author formatting.)
(I won't keep you long. All I have to say is: if you don't know that this thing happened, the plot is going to make no sense at all. http://fav.me/d75d1es )
(Seriously. You have to know about this. It doesn't look important, but you have to have seen it.)
(That's all I have to say. Why is it important? Well... some things happen before other things...)
My hand snapped out onto the alarm button before the klaxon had got even halfway through. Many years of getting up exactly the same time every morning for school every weekday had got my body on a schedule as regular as clockwork. By the time I had rubbed the sleep out of my eyes I was already on my feet and out of bed, the pathetic sunlight of 7:30 am making even less attempt to get up than I was.
Within a minute or two I
Each year Pokéumans has had one token breakout spinoff that really helped define what this group is all about: taking a novel concept and turning it into something beautiful and extraordinary without having to fall to the clichés of the original story. 2011 saw the release and competition of former member Galactic-Rainbow
’s Rescue 301
, a tale of the struggles of a young ten year old Jigglypuff in the PRT, and in 2012, Dragon Island
came to be, a story of a natural-born Bagon in a Pokéuman base, which is widely to be considered to be one of the best spinoffs of all-time; so good it won Best Spinoff again in 2013 (though I will take a gander and say Monster
really was 2013’s breakout spinoff, even if it made your eyes weep blood.)
I put a lot of thought into making this list, and I had to nitpick so I would choose the spinoffs that best represented this group and Pokéumans in general. But for 2014, there was one story that immediately stood out. A story I knew would be in the number one spot before I even conceived the list (well, at before I read Winner Takes All.) A story nominated more times than any of the others, a story with beautiful, relatable characters, a story that makes you go ‘Wow, I wanna go back and read that again.”
Of course, I am talking about Chosen
, by TheEeveeWarrior
HA! Had you going for a second there didn’t I?
Actually it’s Monster.
Okay serious now.
Were there any serious contenders for the top spot besides this story, well aside from Winner Takes All? I think not, because for its simple, yet engaging premise, a concept that doesn’t rely too heavily on gimmicks but instead focuses on character relationships, powerful emotional depth, and a protagonist that everyone can relate to/wants to immediately hug, The Story of Cubone Books I-III
, deserves all the praise it gets.
The Story of Cubone is a wonderfully fascinating tale with characters that everyone can relate to. The main protagonist, the eponymously named Cubone, is a wonderful character, because he feels real and genuine. He mourns, he grieves, he worries and fears throughout the tough journey that has befallen him. But he also cares, he sympathizes, and more importantly, he loves. Cubone is my favorite kind of protagonist, because he uses his heart against his opposition, and feels compassion towards enemies’ normal people would straight up hate and not give a second thought to. But Cubone’s caring demeanor brings dimension to his character.
Speaking of which, the characters are strong enough to stand on their own, even if it starts out with a somewhat tame plot that gets very exciting later, they still made the story so immersive and engaging that I didn’t pay any attention to that, I just wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next. As it stands, Jason and Cubone are probably two of my favorite ‘friend’ characters in any spinoff. This spinoff really lets you see into the fact that the characters a now POKEMON. The story really lets you into their world, acting as their new instincts tell them too, and while retaining a human brain, your body is telling you different things.
But not only that, the story truly is heartwarming; it teaches us important lessons of family, being true to ones self, and the ability to let pain go. The visions of family, of loss, and of mourning made it a genuinely emotional experience, and it made us sympathize and love the characters even more. In Book II, (without wishing to spoil) we are introduced to the character’s human father, and all I have to say is it’s handled beautifully, maturely, and just wonderfully.
All I can say is that The Story of Cubone is the spinoff you want to re-read again, just to bring a smile and a bit of emotion to your life. For all these reasons and much, much more, I declare all three books of The Story of Cubone as the Best Spinoff of 2014.
Pokeumans: The Story of Cubone - Chapter 1It started one fateful morning when he found it. Waking up, he saw it clutched in his hand off to the side of the bed. The most peculiar thing he could imagine. It looked like some kind of animal bone. He'd seen bones before, but... one so large and pristine? Shedding his sleep paralysis, he had to mentally persuade his clutched fingers to let go. The large white bone clacked onto the floor. Cass examined the object for a very long time, wondering if this was still a dream. There it lay, an ordinary - if a bit large and oddly-shaped - bone. It was thinner on the end he'd been holding it, as if it were designed as some kind of makeshift club. Well... he'd know if he had made something like THIS, that's for sure.
Cass sat up in bed. Picking up the bone, he went to toss it into the trash can by his desk. Inside the waste basket nothing but a few stray sheets of paper from old homework assignments took refuge, crumpled into meaninglessness. But he stopped hovering his hand over the bin. In
Well that wraps up the Top 5 of 2014. As I’ve said, this was an incredibly hard list to conceive, especially since there were so many others spinoffs I wanted to see on here. Ace Attorney
, Electro-Static Discharge
, Two Birds, One Flame
, For Her
, Brother In Arms
and so many others are all beautifully written stories, each deserving all the praise they get. But it really goes to show how much this group has grown over the years, especially considering the first spinoffs we got were mere clones of the original. But it really goes to show that even the simplest concepts can be used to showcase the creativity of their owners.
Don’t get discouraged by this list, the point of all this is to inspire all of you to go out and make something worth noticing. Use your talents and share your story with all of us. And who knows, maybe your story will end up in the Top 5 of 2015! But until then, let’s make this another great year for Pokéumans, because every Pokéuman has a story, and we all want to share it with the world