Hello, Cosmic Quest readers! This is ChaosProjectAuthor, but you can call me Chaos. Most of you probably know me better as the guy who makes the sprites you’ve seen around this website, and by extension, for the recently-revealed Pokémon Sol Version project as well. While I’ve been deeply involved in the development and planning of Cosmic Quest since the very beginning, this is the first time I’ve ever participated in the actual writing. So now I’m here to review the episode I wrote.
Continuing from where I left off on my own website (where fans of Yuni’s other works can get some behind-the-scenes info on Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium as well), when Yuni first suggested the possibility of a writer’s exchange, I was hesitant, but definitely interested. Who could say no to free advertising? Well for me, the first challenge was apparent. Yuni knew exactly what he wanted to write for my story. But what would I write for his? In order to be an effective advertisement, I would need to make sure that the entire episode reflected who I am as a writer, so that potential readers drawn to my stories could know what they’re in for. That meant coming up with an episode idea that is largely character focused, that has room for emotional growth, and that connects to the reader on that same emotional level. In my own writing, that’s always my goal. The style of the Pokémon anime isn’t quite so conducive to that as the Sonic universe that I’m used to working with, and that’s what made this a challenge. But on top of all that, I also wanted to show that I know what I’m doing, to take advantage of this opportunity, by writing a story that could only exist in the Pokémon world. In my own story, which tends to be at least somewhat grounded in scientific reality, I would never just have a flat-out ghost as a character. But in Pokémon, where we’ve already seen clear proof of ghosts from the Pokémon Tower of Kanto all the way to Acerola’s “Mimikins” my idea for Shinx in this episode fit right in. And of course, writing a story that can only exist in the Pokémon world also means relying heavily on the inherent bond between Trainer and Partner Pokémon, which, conveniently enough, allowed me to add a lot of emotional depth to the episode without much extra work. You don’t need to do much to show a bond like that, because any Pokémon fan will understand that it’s there.
But I’ve gotten a little ahead of myself. I was faced with the problem of what to write, and there was no obvious answer. I’ve recommended episode ideas to Yuni before, and all of them have made it in, so in that sense, it felt like all of my best ideas were already used up. After a lot of brainstorming, I had a few preliminary ideas. I considered an episode involving Team Rocket shenanigans, but in the meantime, Yuni wrote an episode that felt a little too similar to what I had in mind. I considered an episode that would bring back an old character, but I was worried about that being in even more conflict with Yuni’s ideas than my previous consideration. Lastly, I considered an episode that would introduce a new Pokémon, as well as a character from Pokémon Sol Version that none of you know about yet! For quite a while, that was the idea I was leaning towards, but I felt like it would’ve fallen just a little short in terms of the emotional weight that I was looking for.
As it was getting down to the wire, just a couple of weeks before I needed to start writing, I had a dream. And that dream became Episode 106. How close was that dream to the final product? Shockingly close, actually. The story of Shinx and Pichu, the burned bakery, and Pichu’s attempt to get in the way, it was all there (though Pichu was a Pikachu in the dream, and it got a few ridiculous dream-induced plot points that naturally had to be removed). Rabbolt’s role in the story had to be added, but I was very happy to get the chance to work on Rabbolt’s character, since that’s been something I’ve been complaining about to Yuni for a while. And with the other Electric-Type Pokémon already there, it just made sense. What’s funny to me is that the inspiration for my own story, The Chaos Project, came to me in a dream in almost exactly the same way. That odd connection alone was enough to make me certain that this was the episode I had to write.
One other point of note is this episode’s integration with the rest of the story. At the time I started planning, I had no idea that Brenda was going to be experiencing any kind of overarching character development, but I knew how I could fit it right in before I was even done reading the previous episode. In fact, Yuni shared with me that he still wasn’t quite sure what do with his plans for the development of Brenda’s style, which means that I was not only able to acknowledge that plot point, but quite probably influence its direction for the rest of the story. But even I don’t know what the result will be! I guess we’ll all just have to stay tuned!
And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to read Yuni’s episode of The Chaos Project! Or better yet, if you’re interested in Sonic and enjoyed my episode of Cosmic Quest, read The Chaos Project from the beginning!