It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for Crossroads Comics!
This week we’re taking a look at Autumn in Sinnoh by theNessiArtist! This comic is a Pokémon Platinum nuzlocke challenge with an Isekai spin on it. Our protagonist, Autumn, is accidentally swept up into the world of Pokémon and deposited into the body of a Turtwig. Lost and confused, she just wants to get back home, but it seems the ones who brought her there can’t really be bothered to assist her in that journey. Only with the assistance of the friends she makes along the way can Autumn complete her journey across Sinnoh and maybe, just maybe, find her way home.
I initially discovered this comic over on ComicFury, where it’s currently uploading its backlog in an effort to catch up with its other mirrors. But after the author of First Summer (which is another great comic that we’ve previously spotlighted that you should totally check out) reached out to me and recommended it, I decided to take a day to binge the whole thing on Deviantart. Let me tell you, boy was it worth it.
While Nuzlocke comics with a main Pokémon protagonist instead of a human venturing through a mainline game is nothing new, this is the first time that I can recall that I’ve seen a true Isekai take on the story. Typically this genre is reserved for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon comics, since that tends to be a staple for those games. So to see it in a game like Pokémon Platinum is a treat, especially with how well theNessiArtist pulls it off.
To explain how theNessiArtist pulls off the Isekai genre so well, we must first break down what an Isekai is. An Isekai, for those unacquainted, refers to a genre of stories that revolve around a normal person from Earth being displaced, transported to, reborn or otherwise trapped in some form of another world, whether than be a parallel universe, a virtual world, etc. Once there, this normal person much then adapt or assimilate into the new world by becoming accustomed to its new rules, cultures, and philosophies. This is typically seen more in light novels, anime, video games, and manga, with some of the most popular Isekais out there being Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, Inuyasha, Sword Art Online, Digimon, and Spirited Away, though there are many others out there that put their own spin on the genre like Drifters. That said, the genre isn’t exclusive to Japanese fictional media, as one could argue that movies such as Ready Player One, Jumanji, and Space Jam also all fall into the Isekai category.
So then why is Autumn in Sinnoh a good Isekai? Well it boils down to a few things: 1) How Autumn gets to Sinnoh, 2) how the world around her reacts to her arrival, and 3) the mystery of how she’s going to get home. Autumn in Sinnoh takes a more comedic approach to its introduction, with Autumn ending up in Sinnoh basically because Palkia got jealous of Giratina and Autumn got caught as the unfortunate subject of Palkia’s jealous wrath. This is what hooked me on the comic in the first place. In my experience, very few Isekai stories take a comedic approach to the genre, with the only one I can think of off hat being KonoSuba. So to see what is typically portrayed as such a serious genre have such a comedic introduction really got me invested in and made me fond of the story very quickly. That said, like any good comedy, Autumn in Sinnoh knows when to tone it down a few notches and have some more serious moments, which is where the second point comes into play.
Unlike most Isekais, where the person arriving in the strange world just plops into existence, Autumn appears to have taken the place of someone else, namely the Turtwig whose body she took over. It’s unclear what happened to this Turtwig and if we’ll ever find out what happened to them, but it makes for a really interesting story since it’s very clear that this Turtwig already had a pre-established life prior to Autumn’s arrival. This, in its own right, makes for a very compelling plot point. It gives other characters, like the rival, Barry, a motivation and reason to continually run into Autumn throughout her journey, something that an Isekai of this nature might otherwise struggle with. In addition, it gives us another very intriguing subplot centered on the trainer that was supposed to receive said Turtwig as his partner. Lucas, completely unaware of Autumn’s arrival, has to continually pursue her in order to receive his father’s approval and become an official trainer. We’ve already seen them run into each other once and the encounter was… less than friendly. Thus, I’m very excited to see how their relationship grows and develops. Will Lucas ever catch Autumn? Will she surrender to him at some point because she needs his help? Or will Autumn stay independent the whole time? It just leaves us with a lot of potential questions that make for great theory material and that is a foundation for a great story.
Finally, we come to the mystery of how she’s going to get home. One of the rather darker notes we’ve seen in Autumn in Sinnoh thus far has been the fact that we saw Autumn’s human body effectively get Thanos snapped out of existence in her own world. It’s unclear if she’s actually dead, but for all intents and purposes, it appears that she is. That leaves us with many questions like how is she going to get home? Can she even return home in the first place? Is it as simple as Palkia waving his hand and magicking her back or does another higher power like Xerneas or Arceus need to get involved? The journey homeward is often a core aspect of many Isekais, and how the story approaches that journey is very important from a writing standpoint. Jumanji and Sword Art Online are actually a great examples of this, where while the method to return home seems rather simple, the journey there is never quite that easy. In the case of both Jumanji and Sword Art Online, the way to return home is to “beat the game”, which sounds easy enough, except in both cases, the players can actually die, so it raises the stakes for the entire journey. By being a Nuzlocke, Autumn in Sinnoh establishes these stakes from the onset, with the readers knowing full well that a character can potentially die at any moment based on the author’s gameplay experience. But on top of that, as previously mentioned, Autumn is effectively already dead! So it leaves this real mystery of how Autumn is going to get home. Will she even make it there? Perhaps she’ll pull a Pokémon Mystery Dungeon and choose to stay. It just leaves a lot of questions for the audience to contemplate and I’m excited to see what path Autumn in Sinnoh ends up taking.
All in all, Autumn in Sinnoh is a great comic that shines as a really good example of an Isekai. It exists as both something rather unique in the Isekai genre while also playing into some of the more typical tropes, but doing so in a very well executed manner. Tropes exist for a reason and so long as they’re pulled off well, they can be really great tools to draw in the audience, which Autumn in Sinnoh does. This coupled with great visuals, fun characters, and interesting worldbuilding, it makes Autumn in Sinnoh a really cool story that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and look forward to seeing more updates of in the future.
You can read this comic on ComicFury, Tumblr, and Deviantart. Currently, both Tumblr and Deviantart are up to date, with ComicFury currently playing catch up. In addition, if you like what you see, you should consider voting for Autumn in Sinnoh in the Nuzlocke Extravaganza! It’s been nominated for best main character and funniest comic run, so you should definitely consider voting if you enjoy reading Autumn in Sinnoh!
In addition, one of the members of Crossroads Comics, PMD: Rangers of Sky, has also been nominated for a couple awards: Best Artstyle and Best Supporting Character. So if you enjoy that comic, definitely consider supporting on of the members of the official Crossroads Comics lineup! The voting thread can be found here, and while you do need to be a member of the Nuzlocke Forums to vote, it’s a small price to pay to support your favorite comics and maybe discover a couple new ones along the way too.
Finally, I’d also like to take a moment to a moment to thank Krisantyne for recommending this week’s spotlight to me. As previously mentioned, she’s the author of First Summer, which is a really amazing comic that we’ve previously spotlighted. She took the time to recommend this and several other amazing comics to me that I’ve been really enjoying so far, so you can expect to see those spotlights in the future. As thanks, I’d like to also point out that First Summer has also been nominated for a couple categories in the Nuzlocke Extravaganza. So be sure to consider voting for First Summer in the categories of Most Improved and Best Overall!
And without further ado, let’s check out the rest of this week’s lineup!
Chronicles of Starclan Nothing like a game of tag to cheer everyone up!
PMD: Explorers of Life Ral ain’t doing so hot.
PMD: Rangers of Sky Go vote and support them!
PMD: Wildfire But…?
Pokémon Rising Shadows Poor Naya…
Pokémon: Shadow of the Sun Come on, Gardevoir! You can do it!
Pokémon X Adventures Old friends reunite! Time to introduce the new ones!
Renegade’s Redemption The fight has only just begun!
Shinka: The Last Eevee The infamous moss rock!
Between Truth and Ideals Our first Plasma encounter!
In Blood We Rise I wonder what, or whom, he shall encounter out there.
PMD: A Different Set of Eyes The journey officially begins!
PMD: Anamnesis Ya know this is a valid issue I had not considered.
PMD: Another Perspective Wonder what she intends to write down.
PMD: The Search for Shaymin Uh oh! Careful where you step.
PMD: White Rose Yeah this does not bode well.
Autumn in Sinnoh Aww Orion might get to meet his heroes!
PMD: Mystic Island Seems there’s a threat beyond the waves.
Pokémon Royal What does the fox say? I’m gonna eat you!
The Essence of Being Poor Bird. He doesn’t deserve this.
Timetale Poor Alphys…
Undertow Moral support is important!
When Little Emma Ran Away Hmm maybe we should listen to Merlin though.
Ask Color Theory Art block huh? I know that feeling all too well.
Ask the Divine Inferno Seems they don’t have much advice to give in this scenario.
Ask Reluctant Nightshade Wonder what Sola is talking about.
Ask Wasteland Labs Good for him! We love that for him!
Genesis: A Gijinka Story The journey is almost over!
Steven Universe: Switcheroo AU Scary ballerina is scary.
Three Lizard Gang Everyone seems very invested in the fate of this dumpster.