The world is populated not with animals but with "monsters". "Monsters" appear randomly in particular places, and can be caught using specialized devices shaped like a ball. There are many different monsters (although not as many as we have animals), and about 20 distinct "types", some of which are better at fighting certain "types", and some of which are completely immune to other "types". They are all fairly smart creatures and don't seem to mind living in their balls, so they are used by people for all sorts of things (including simple labor), but they are also often pitted against eachother by their owners in monster battles. Fortunately no monsters are ever permanently injured by such battles, so no one considers monster battling to be an ethical dilemma.

The main character shows up on the scene, and he is simply better than everyone at monster fighting. His advantages can be seen in a number of ways:

  1. While most people only carry around 1 or 2 monsters, he carries up to 6
  2. While most people only carry around one type of monster, he carries a wider variety so he can respond with more flexibility in any given battle
  3. Despite the fact that he has not been monster battling for very long, he quickly trains up his team so that any individual one of his monsters can beat up most others, even without his clear number advantage
  4. Some of the adults he beats in battle are trainers who are generally recognized as being top-notch trainers, who have spent years in training
  5. And of course he goes on to save the world, and is generally recognized as being a prodigy at monster battling.

My question is: why is he so much better than everyone else? It can't be because he spends more time in practice than everyone else. In fact, he's been at this less than most of the people he beats, and the world is filled with people who, like him, are primarily occupied with training up their own monsters. Certainly his habit of carrying around more monsters, and more varied monsters, helps his cause, so I think the main question is: what lets him carry more monsters than most, or what stops others from carrying around many as well? A good answer will also explain why he only carries 6 monsters himself. A great answer will also explain why he is able to train up his monsters so much more effectively than everyone else, or why they are so much more effective at battling. In short:

What is it about my kid that makes him so much more awesome than everyone else? Of course the story isn't about why he's so much better: it's about what he accomplishes. So the ideal answer will provide for easy handwaving (perhaps via hints dropped throughout the story) to allow for easy suspension of belief so the story itself can proceed unhindered.


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    $\begingroup$ Because they are not monsters, they are friends. <3 $\endgroup$ – Malkev Feb 8 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm ... I'd say this sounds like Pokemon, except Ash/Satoshi is really not a great trainer. He's an average trainer who befriends and really enjoys his Pokemon, and through sheer persistence has made it into the top ranks of a couple of leagues. It helps that in the first episode of the anime he spotted a pokemon whose ability was (very specifically) to "grant what would make the target happiest in life", so Ash has remained 10 years old for the past 20 years of chasing, catching, and raising Pokemon all over the world. $\endgroup$ – pojo-guy Feb 8 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ He wasn't raised by trainers he was raised by dog fighters, so he is bringing in tactics and training techniques they have never seen before. Essentially he is escalating the ruthlessness of combat and training. His creatures are used to life and death struggles so these safe matches are a cakewalk. $\endgroup$ – John Feb 8 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ The question is too story based. Basically, the answer will boil down to narrative necessity. You need to have the immature child hero save the world, so naturally, the immature child hero will be better than everyone else. And they lived happily ever after until the next installment... $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Feb 8 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ @elemtilas That seems to be the consensus. Oh well! I've always enjoyed the series, and have always wanted a "reason" why this kid can come from no where and be the best, even though he's just a kid. $\endgroup$ – conman Feb 8 at 15:45

Lament, for that seemingly-innocent 'kid' has developed a dangerous case of 'Protagonitis'

Within the bounds of normal reality it makes sense to people to generally carry at most two Pokemon, er, "monsters", of the same type, because it's thematically consistent - regardless of obvious vulnerabilities or limitations of specific types. However, beyond your sane and normal reality there is a harsh, alien realm with monstrous concepts like 'strategy' and 'grinding' (grinding meaning persistently training, rather than accepting a particular level of skill and assuming no one will progress beyond it).

While the realm of Lovecraftian horrors is largely unconnected with your happy world, sometimes a tiny fragment of "otherness" descends upon some ill-fated soul, transforming him (or her) into a creature of alien habits, often largely out of tune with the logic of the invaded world. Fortune smiles in that, in your case, the infection is fairly mild - with only six pokem- er, "monsters" carried by this troubled soul at a time, and a habit of occasionally saving the world from awful threats. (Lest you imagine that this is actually a good thing, you should know that many speculate on how such world-killing threats arise as a natural harmonic consequence of this alien infection.)

Fear not - these infections of horrible anti-logic are USALLY temporary, with a sufferer of Protagonitis 'living happily ever after,' or otherwise retiring from actively undermining the simple peace and reason of your once-happy world. But perhaps that is only that the fragment of otherness has passed from one host to another...

  • $\begingroup$ Now I need to write a pokemon/lovecraft cross over book... $\endgroup$ – conman Feb 8 at 16:08

You have to believe in the monsters to be able to see and train them, while the (young) adults involved can still see them they don't really believe in them like they used to. Hence the older you get, the less successful you're going to be, in spite of more years of experience.

Nothing will ever compare to the imagination of a 10 year old throwing tennis balls to capture wild squirrels monsters and then taking them off to battle with friends monsters. And adults will never quite understand the rules of the game so they can never win.

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    $\begingroup$ Unless that adult is Susan Sto-Helit, the governess with a penchant for dragging imaginary monsters out from under the bed and beating them to death with a poker. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Feb 8 at 15:21
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    $\begingroup$ @JoeBloggs, I think beating a pokemon with a poker and kicking it out of the back door to evaporate might class as cheating $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Feb 8 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Separatrix -- Only from the monster's perspective. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Feb 8 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ @elemtilas, I've now got the crossover stuck in my head, "Susan uses poker, it's super effective". $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Feb 8 at 15:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Separatrix -- Well any monster with more than two brain cells to rub together will just run when they see Susan coming! (BTW, probably my favouritest DW person. Apart from Granny Weatherwax (of course!) and Nanny Ogg (broad wink!).) $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Feb 8 at 15:30

Maybe certain people have a higher count of certain cells in their body, that help them communicate better with the "monsters", similar to how Midi-chlorians presumably make you more sensitive to The Force. This cell count affect how many "monsters" you can carry around, as well as how effectively you can communicate with them. This can also explain why your kid is so special compared to other individuals that are naturally inclined to train monsters, he was very lucky genetically (one in X generations) where X is whatever number you want.


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