Striking Back: Memoirs of a Clone – Daidolos

Next time someone asks you about Bono’s favourite pokemon, look them dead in the eye and say ‘Mewtwo!’ Striking Back: Memoirs of a Clone is the autobiography of that artificial creature, depicting his origins, participation in criminal activities, rise to power and ultimate redemption.

Of all the things I’ve read, this fan fiction reminds me most of the sections of Frankenstein narrated by the monster. We’re presented with an extremely articulate protagonist who combines perceptive intelligence with infantile naivete, who later gets a monumental grudge against humanity after being mistreated. The comparisons don’t end there; like Frankenstein’s monster Mewtwo is a product of a vaguely described science experiment.

One notable literary technique used by Daidalos is narrating Mew’s thoughts in poetry. Each section begins with an account of Mew’s activities, whether that is flying around in a jungle or receiving instruction from a mythic pokemon, and that account is written in narrative poetry. As far as I can, it’s basically prose with each punctuation mark was replaced by a line break. It works excellently.

The author also introduces each section with a quote from a famous philosopher. You’d think such a thing would be a warning of pretentiously silly fan fiction, but it isn’t. That said, the only other example I have of this is the excellent Dragonball Z story Frigid.

It’s been a very long time since I cared about the narrative side of the Pokemon franchise, but I think that Striking Back covers most of the relevant plot points from the anime and the first movie. Even when I was sure what was going to occur next, the chief pleasure was reading Mewtwo’s reactions to events and how he rationalised his actions.

Fan fiction is a difficult thing to recommend, as the phrase is almost a synonym for writing that is both self-indulgent and unreadable. You’d also need to be familiar with Pokemon to fully understand this story. That said, if you enjoyed Frankenstein and like to see what happens when fans take cartoons more seriously than their creators, check out Striking Back: Memoirs of a Clone.

(Besides, it’s free.)


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