03/10/2019: Commentary: chapters 43 and 44Chapter 43: To Champion Island (commentary)
Chapter 44: Polaryu (commentary)
Another two-chapter week! My eighteen-year-old self continues to blaze ahead at an impressive pace as May spontaneously catches a Floatzel, Lapras gets the cruelest possible sendoff, I describe in detail exactly how Mark places his badges into a verification mechanism, Spirit is Not Okay, I refuse to use the fourth and fifth generation's awkward capitalization of item names, Chaletwo continues to have dragonfeelings, and I manage to make it completely unclear even to myself when the legendary battle is over.
Next week will probably be doubled-up too, before we get to the League proper and its much longer chapters. That being said, if you're having trouble keeping up with the two-chapter Sundays, please do let me know and I can try to resist the temptation to double up.
Commenting on: chapter 55
Altissimo (03/10/2019 20:16:00)
Polaryu has always been one of my favorite chapters, and it's one of (if not the first) chapter that I can distinctly remember reading when it first came out. It feels very self-contained, with - as you mentioned - a good advance buildup to the Nevermeltice thing when Polaryu comes around, but even apart from that, the whole thing has this bizarre air of creepiness and there's something really off-putting about everything in the chapter - the fact that Spirit and Floatzel are just frozen on the ground when they find them the second time, Polaryu being awake and Chaletwo having no idea that it happened (and Spirit's noticing this in advance), all of the Sheer Colds Polaryu uses, and the inhumane cries that Polaryu makes when the crystals are attacked (and Mark and Chaletwo's reaction after the battle, and that last line of the chapter!) - I think it just comes across as a light foray into a very creepy and unsettling place and I always, always liked that about it. I never noticed they ran out of Pokémon either, but if I had (or in a revision) I think its strength could easily be imparting a sense of terror and desperation about these legendary battles that wasn't necessarily there before. Even if all three dragons might be murderous due to their inexperience with the Agreement (et Al), the Thunderyu battle was not exactly in an unknown place and for Volcaryu they not only had Carl but also the entire town was aware of what was happening, but with Polaryu they had no fall back or resources - it's two kids with not even 20 Pokémon between them taking on Polaryu in a secluded valley where they are very much out of their element and help isn't likely to be nearby. No wonder it's terrifying. I've rambled but let's just leave it at "I love this chapter"
Butterfree (03/13/2019 07:44:26)
That's interesting! I've always been fond of this chapter but I don't recall it getting a particularly strong reaction when it was posted, so I'm thrilled to hear it had an impact on you.