It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for Crossroads Comics!
This week we’re taking a look at Ask King Zamazenta by Kyzy. Fair warning, just going to be up front with this one, this blog is not going to be for everyone. Recent events in the blog have been somewhat violent, with on-screen deaths occurring. In addition, the main character is written to be very mean and cruel, making him difficult to like. However, at least for that latter complaint, I would not let that stop you from engaging with this blog. It is very well written and illustrated, making for both an interesting and visually beautiful story thus far. Today I’ll be analyzing some of my favorite aspects of this blog thus far and telling you why I think it’s a worthwhile read. I’ll mainly be focusing on the worldbuilding of the story as well as the King of the Northern Wildes, himself. I feel that these are the two strongest pulls that the blog has aside from the art itself, which speaks for itself, so without further ado, let’s get started.
Ask King Zamazenta is a blog with a very interesting blend when it comes to its worldbuilding. While the story has its roots in the Galar region we come to in Pokémon Sword & Shield, it isn’t afraid to establish its own canon and deviate from the pre-established worldbuilding from those games. In addition, it takes certain mechanics and elements from the Pokémon franchise as a whole and recharacterizes them to fit the worldbuilding of this ask blog. This is actually a pretty smart writing tactic, since it takes something that the target demographic would in theory already be familiar with and uses it to fill certain needs in the plot. That way, since most fans would already be familiar with the topic, not as much explanation is necessary as to how or why that thing worked the way it did. What do I mean by all this? Well, allow me to elaborate.
Spoilers Begin Here
Ask King Zamazenta‘s story thus far is based on that from Pokémon Sword & Shield. 3000 years prior to the events of those games, Eternatus tried to absorb the Galar region’s energy, causing a huge storm to break out that caused Pokémon to go berserk while Dynamaxed. As a result, there were mass amounts of destruction and it only ended when Zacian and Zamazenta defeated Eternatus. Similarly, Ask King Zamazenta‘s story starts with a prediction of the Darkest Day’s arrival. However, when Indulf tells his sister and the king of his plan to dispose of Eternatus before it awakens, they refuse to agree to it. This causes Indulf to try and take matters into his own hands, resulting in the Zamazenta being sealed away and leading to the events of the ask blog in the present day.
This is just one example where the story takes some pre-established piece of worldbuilding and then twists it to suit the tale that is being told. Already, this interpretation makes the tale of the Darkest Day much more fascinating. For one, how did Indulf find out about the future? Was were the king and Ingrid so reluctant to act according to Indulf’s plan? Why was Indulf sealed away? By creating a different version of an already established story, it leaves readers with a lot of potential questions about the story, which is great since it leaves plenty of material to ask Indulf about.
Similarly, this story also makes use of Shadow Pokémon. Originating in Pokémon Colosseum and most recently appearing in Pokémon GO, the concept of Shadow Pokémon are nothing new to the franchise as a whole. A Shadow Pokémon is a Pokémon whose heart has been closed off artificially, either by Cipher or Team GO Rocket. However, this ask blog takes that concept and puts a new spin on it. As revealed through a recent Munday ask, “Shadow pokemon originally turned because of repetitive trauma, constant anguish and never ending strife. It was and is a much slower process.”. Presumably, this is what we are currently seeing happen to Indulf, and it will be very interesting to see how this trauma and anguish factors into Indulf’s character and the story overall.
Speaking of Indulf, let’s shift our focus onto the muse himself, since he is a rather interesting character. While rude and abrasive characters are nothing new to the ask blog franchise, they’re not the most common thing to see. For the most part, many muses are rather likeable, since if a jerk character isn’t written properly, it won’t garner much of a following. Fortunately for us though, Kyzy knows what they’re doing when writing Indulf. Despite his aggressive demeanor, Indulf is also characterized by his seemingly valiant intentions. He wants to see the Galar prosper and is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that, even if it lead to some dubious actions as laid out above. This really adds to his likeability as a character, since it causes people to see him as something of a “jerk with a heart”. Similarly, the themes of obvious trauma and lashing out against a higher power, in this case other legendaries, are things that potential readers can relate with to a certain degree. This garners sympathy for Indulf, even if he isn’t the most deserving of it. All in all, Indulf’s character is a complicated one, to put it simply, and while is rude demeanor can be off-putting towards some, I think it’ll be interesting to see if and how he grows and changes in the long run over the course of the story.
And without further ado, let’s check out the rest of this week’s lineup!
PMD: Chanterelle It was WHAT?
PMD: Explorers of Life See you say that’s simple, but it’s really not.
PMD: Wildfire Huh now that’s some interesting worldbuilding.
Renegade’s Redemption Away she goes!
Shinka: The Last Eevee Nick go night night!
Eenea Oh they’re acquainted!
Kitsune Bakery Can’t argue with that logic.
Of Rain and Snow No time for medical advice! What’s that I heard?
PMD: Alliance Well that’s not good.
PMD: Rescue Rangers Wonder why they can’t tell.
PMD: The Search for Shaymin Deep breaths!
Slumber Town Something deeper is definitely afoot here.
The Essence of Being Doggies!
A Normal Eeveelution Comic What could possibly go wrong?
Autumn in Sinnoh They made it!! But at what cost?
Deadly Syns Spark, no!
Kurukkoo! Seems Gary has caught Brock’s interest!
PMD: Adventures In Viraska Le gasp!!
PMD: Adventures of Team Sunflower What’s this?
PMD: Outlanders Now ain’t this an interesting fellow.
Spirited Souls This looks somewhat grim.
Trick of the Night Seems simple enough.
A Bundle of Pokes I don’t know if I like where this is headed.
Ask Dewdrop Ooh the egg can respond?
Ask King Zamazenta Violence warning! This rampage is bloody.
Ask Team Spirit It seems Azura is more motivated than ever.
Ask the Poke Mutants Seems they’ve reached some sort of agreement, for now.
Ask the Tides We have a name for this wonderful face!
Flake and Rudy Poor Flake…
Team Next-Gen Man this Darkrai fellow sounds very intimidating.