1711: pepper the match maker – Oneshot

 

Title: pepper the match maker
Author: crazyfacedcat
Media: Video Game/App
Topic: Neko Atsume
Genre: Romance/Humor
URL Chapter 1
Critiqued by Ghostcat

 

 

 

Top ‘o th’ mornin’ to ya, Patrons!

Happy St Patrick’s Day and welcome to a what I really hope is a cute little oneshot from a cute little time-wasting app called Neko Atsume!

Come play with us.

The “game” is relatively uncomplicated; the player has a space where they can set out different foods and toys that attract cats. You can’t actually do anything with the cats except take their pictures to put in your album, but the cats reward the player with fish (that can be used to purchase more items) and the occasional collectible. The app isn’t really a “game” in my opinion, since there isn’t any interaction with the characters or any kind of goal to be reached, but it is cute and appeals to the completionist in me.

And there’s cats, lots and lots of cats.

 

And sometimes snow.

 

Now, you would think that the fact that there isn’t any kind of story or plot involved would make it difficult to write any kind of fanfics for this source material – but the Internet will always find a way! The characters are blank canvases that authors can project whatever they want onto. There’s fanart and fanfics and forums where people discuss their OTPs, the whole nine yards. The summary for this particular fic is fairly straightforward;

pepper tries to get patches and ginger together

Not very informative, but still – more straightforward than many summaries I’ve read.

To the fic!

~ginger’s pov~

:headdesk:

Great, a POV Tag.

Wait, I have the perfect thing for this!

This is actually Ginger – AKA あかげさん or Akage-san, which translates into “Redhead”

i sat on the porch and watched patches and fred, fred then got up and went over to tabitha, probably going to hit on her again.

I have the Japanese version on my phone, so I don’t really know the English names for the different characters. I could look them up so I know what the characters are supposed to look like, but that’s not really the audience’s job. It is also possible to change the names of the cats to whatever you want, so without any kind of description of the cats it is going to be difficult to figure out what is going on.

“…hey” i heard a quite and shy cat say, i turned around to see pepper, she sat down next to me and stared at patches with me.

…Really difficult to figure out what’s going on. Also, the cats don’t have assigned genders in the app. When you “collect” a cat (take its picture) you get its profile but it just tells you the cat’s personality and what their favorite toys are.

“so…are you just stalking your senpai right now?” she asked.

The cats have senpai/kouhai relationships? Really? How?

“w-what? no!” i said. “well that’s what it looks like to me…” pepper was very shy, but around me and her other good friends she was more out going.

:sighs: Yet another fic where the dialogue gets smushed together and makes it really hard to tell who is saying what.

“i’m not stalking…i was just looking around the yard and he caught my eye…” i say.

Mmm-hmmm. That’s something a stalker would say.

“that makes scene…true senpais are good at catching eyes” she said nudging my shoulder a bit, i just blushed and looked down at the wood planks i was sitting on.

Someone buys in bulk at Anime Tropes ‘R Us, don’t they?

“why don’t you just ask him out already?” pepper asked me.

That’s a good question! Maybe Ginger is just shy?

“what? are you crazy? he’s straight!” i said.

So? What does that have to do with … Wait, is Ginger a guy? From the narration I can tell that Pepper is female and Patches is male, but I really have no idea if Ginger is either. Ginger is traditionally a female name among humans, but the same naming conventions don’t always apply to pets.

“how do you know?” she asked.

:shrugs:

Hell, I didn’t even know Ginger was a gay male until a second ago.

“really? he hits on she-cats all the time!” i tell her.

Which is probably a good indication that he’s into the ladies.

“yeah but he could be bi or pan?” she said. “don’t you think he would hit on tom-cats too if that was the case?” i ask.

Not necessarily; being bisexual or pansexual doesn’t mean that you constantly hit on everyone of your preferred genders regardless of your attraction to them. Also – these are cartoon cats that are mostly just static images on a cell phone screen, for mercy’s sake! Now they suddenly have complex sexual identities?

she looks off into the distance for a second, then snaps back into reality. “iv’e seen him hit on a few non-binary cats” pepper says.

She was just daydreaming about Patches hitting on non-binary cats while in the middle of having a discussion with Ginger about Ginger making a move on Patches?

Pepper’s a bit of an odd one, isn’t she?

Also, there’s apparently more than one non-binary cat in this group that hangs around this random person’s yard. I don’t know how accurate that is since I am not aware of any studies focusing on gender identity among household pets or even how you would study that particular subject.

“have you ever seen him hit on a tom-cat though?” i ask her. “…idk he seems to be pretty friendly with fred…” pepper said. “W-WHat?” my face turned red. “t-that can’t be true!” i say putting my face in my smol paws.

Dude, you were stalking senpai watching Pepper, shouldn’t you have known about him being friendly with Fred? And what the hell are you doing with your paws?

something caught pepper’s odd eyes.

Fun fact: in the Japanese version, Pepper is called おっどさん (Oddo-san) because they have heterochromia – two different colored eyes. Of course, if you didn’t play the game you wouldn’t know about the mismatched eyes because the author doesn’t mention that very distinct physical feature.

That’s Oddo-san in the middle.

(Keen-eyed Patrons will note that the backgrounds of some of the photos are different – that’s because you can change those as well. That would mean any setting would have to be described in detail so the audience knows where they are.)

“frosty-chan!” pepper stood up and jumped off the porch.

“Have fun with that massive emotional bomb I just dropped on you!”

“i’ll talk to you more about this later, ok?” pepper said while walking backwards to her senpai. “…yeah sure” i said. pepper and frosty then ran off somewhere together.

To do … Important senpai/kouhai stuff. It’s very technical.

This is Frosty, AKA ゆきねこさん or Yukineko-san;

Yet another cat with very distinct physical features – in this case, red eyes and green ears – that aren’t described. This particular cat is modeled after the traditional ゆき うさぎ or yuki usagi (literally “snow rabbit”) of Japan;

Shown here in the game.

 

i yawned as i curled up into a ball and slowly fell asleep.

He just found out that the guy he’s been crushing on but had written off as unavailable might be available and just decides to fall asleep?

:thinks:

That does kind of sound like a cat – mine tend to react to things in two ways; by freaking the hell out, or by falling asleep.

~pepper’s pov~

This isn’t Pepper, it’s Shadow (はいいろさん or Haīro-san).

“so do you know anything about why ginger is always stalking patches?” frosty asked me.

Typically it’s due to mental instability and/or some sort of unhealthy fixation on the other person, but in this case it’s probably meant to be romantic.

“cus ginger is patche’s kouhai~” i told her.

Ummm… I don’t think you understand what that term means.

“oh!…ohhh~ and let me guess… you’re playing match maker?” she asked.

So the fic title would have us believe. So far all she’s done is tell Ginger that his crush might not be a straight as he previously assumed.

“well of course, us kouhais have to do something while our senpais are away~” i said.

 

Please stop using words you don’t understand.

Senpai and kouhai don’t really have English equivalents; a senpai is just someone older or more established who kind of takes the younger or less experienced kouhai under their wing and shows them the ropes. Most anime and manga show this as upperclassmen and lowerclassmen in a school setting, probably because the intended audience is mostly school-aged, but the relationship can be found anywhere – from offices to sports clubs.

frosty giggled and blushed a little. “isn’t patches dating fred?” frosty asked.

Does everyone except Ginger, who is apparently Patches’ assigned kouhai, know about that relationship?

“lol no, that’s what i thought, but apparently he’s straight…which i kinda doubt…” i told her.

Pepper sounds more and more like a fangirl discussing one of her favorite ships.

“yeah, didn’t he try to hit on rascal 1 time?” she said.

:THWACK!:

No numerals in the dialogue! That’s just plain lazy, dude.

“wait, what?” “yeah i, and a few other cats saw him hit on rascal. did you not hear about that?” she asked “no?!” i said. “well he did…so much for being straight i guess…” she said.

Should I assume from the context of this conversation that this Rascal is male or possibly one of the non-binary cats Pepper was so excited about earlier? If that’s the case, which one is it? There’s quite a bit of difference between being male and being non-binary.

“omg! i have to tell ginger about this!” i got up and ran out of the big box and into the yard. “GINGER!” i yell at the top of my lungs.

Very subtle, Pepper. I thought you were supposed to be shy and quiet?

~ginger’s pov~

Is there a point to these perspective shifts?

i woke up when i heard some cat call my name. “PATCHES ISN’T STRAIGHT!” she yelled.

And I’m sure he really appreciates you broadcasting his orientation to the entire frickin’ world, you daft idjit.

all the cats, including patches, fred and rascal looked at her and who she was so clearly yelling at. me.

The nebulous Character Blob just happens to include two of the only three other cats who have been named in the fic, both of whom were romantic interests of Patches. That’s quite a coincidence.

Also, it would be extremely clear who Pepper is yelling at since she called Ginger’s name before outing Patches.

my face turned redder then my fur,

Cats have fur on their faces so it wouldn’t matter how deeply she was blushing since there is no exposed skin available to show the blush. I’m not even entirely sure cats can blush at all.

:distant booming noise:

I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.

as i stared at her confused.

Are you wondering why you’re friends with this dumbass? Because I know I am.

“HE TRIED TO HIT ON RASCAL! SO HE’S PROBABLY BI!” she yelled again.

“MAYBE YOU SHOULD ASK HIM OUT! YOU COULD FINALLY LOSE YOUR V CARD! HEY, HE’S RIGHT OVER THERE!” :points: “CAN YOU SEE WHERE I’M POINTING? HEY, GINGER! LOOK OVER THERE!

i just looked at her with a worried look. “w-what’s the matter? isn’t this good ne-…” her ears dropped and her face turned red, when she realized all the cats were looking at her, and that she just yelled all that out loud for every cat to hear.

:thunk!:

There’s that other shoe! I was wondering when it would drop.

“…hah, hah…” she laughed awkwardly as she turned and ran out of the yard again.

:slow clap:

Good job, dumbass.

all the cats then looked to me, as if waiting for an explanation,

Tell the Character Blob to fuck off, you don’t owe them an explanation – especially not an explanation for the actions of another.

i froze and slowly went after pepper.

You froze and at the same time went looking for Pepper? How do this?

after looking in tones of boxes i finally found the 1 she was in.

:THWACK!:

Stop being so frickin’ lazy, author!

“…hey” i said to the small black nerves cat in the box.

Quick, let’s shut the lid and Schrödinger her ass so we can end the fic early!

she raised her head up from her paws to look at me.

It’s odd how there are these little bits of the characters acting like cats when they’ve mostly been behaving like humans.

“huh?!…oh…hey” she said softly. “so what was that all about?” i asked. “oh just me being stupid…” she said.

That’s probably the first thing Pepper has said that I can agree with.

i coughed. “so um, is what you said true…?” she smirked. “yes?” she answered.

 

Frickin’ hell. This fic fell out of the bad-trope tree and hit every branch on the way down.

:looks around:

Huh. I thought Cerbs would be here by now. Crunchy’s macramé class must be running long this week.

i blushed just a little.

:more distant booming noises:

I continue to hear nothing.

“oh, um, cool. good to know…” “you should just ask him out” pepper said.

Which I’m sure will be really easy to do after that incredibly awkward public scene Pepper just caused and not the least bit embarrassing.

“i can’t just do that! even if he is bi!” i told her.

In theory Ginger could just ask Patches out, although it would probably be a good idea to wait a few days until the memory of Pepper’s screaming fit fades a little, but these characters seem to be acting like they are in the late middle school/early high school age range, which is the peak time for extreme social awkwardness. Ginger might be head-over-heels in love with Patches, but he also might rather gnaw off his own foot before asking Patches out on a date.

“boi have you seen how desperate he is? do you really think he’ll turn YOU down?” she said.

:blinks:

What the hell did you just say?

I’m sorry, but I don’t care how big a crush you have on someone – you should want them to date you because they, y’know, want to date you and not because they are desperate for personal attention. That reflects badly on both of you.

Artist’s depiction of you as a couple.

i thought about that for a moment, she was right he probably wouldn’t turn me down…

… I hate everything.

“you’re right…” i said.

No, she’s not. She’s the opposite of right.

“well then GO GET YOURSELF A BOYFRIEND!” she yelled. “I WILL” i ran back to the yard.

BECAUSE YELLING FIXES EVERYTHING!

Starting a relationship is not like finding Pokémon; despite what romance movies and novels tell you, you don’t always catch them all. (Which in hindsight is oddly like Pokémon in a way. I’m not very good with relationship metaphors.)

“PATCHES!” i yelled, catching his attention. “…um…yeah?” he said.

No sudden moves, Patches; I think he can smell fear.

“WILL YOU BE MY BOYFRIEND?” i yell. he blushes an his ears go down a bit.

“JUST CHECK YES OR NO!” :throws balled-up piece of paper in Patches’ face: “I’LL WAIT FOR YOUR REPLY RIGHT HERE!”

THIS IS HOW YOU GET DATE, RIGHT?

“geez what is up with all the yelling today?” pasty said.

I’ve been asking myself the same thing, cat who suddenly appeared out of the Character Blob.

I prefer the Japanese version’s name (うすみけさん or Usumike-san) rather than Pasty, even though it just means “pale tortoiseshell”

“r-rEALLy? YES!…i-i mean um…yeah, sure…” patches said.

“Hooray! Now I won’t die alone!”

“YAY” i jumped on him and hugged him.

Which is totally something a cat can do and not at all an anthropomorphized action that has no place in the fic.

THE END

Roll credits and cue the cheery pop number!

a/n: yeah…sorry if this kinda sucked… i was just practicing, so yeah.

At least you’re aware that the fic is bad, which makes me wonder why you posted it at all? Practice is essential for any skill, but it isn’t necessary to share those first efforts with the world.

The author has a number of fics like this, and the earlier ones are barely readable so they have gotten better with time – but there is still a long way to go.

That’s all for this week, Patrons! See you next time!

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40 Comments on “1711: pepper the match maker – Oneshot”

  1. AdmiralSakai says:

    pepper the match maker

    No, silly, pepper is a spice. Phosphorus is what’s used to make matches.

  2. AdmiralSakai says:

    “so…are you just stalking your senpai right now?” she asked.

    The cats have senpai/kouhai relationships? Really? How?

    I’m still hung up on the fact that the cats talk.

  3. AdmiralSakai says:

    Senpai and kouhai don’t really have English equivalents; a senpai is just someone older or more established who kind of takes the younger or less experienced kouhai under their wing and shows them the ropes. Most anime and manga show this as upperclassmen and lowerclassmen in a school setting, probably because the intended audience is mostly school-aged, but the relationship can be found anywhere – from offices to sports clubs.

    Sounds like “mentor” and “apprentice” make for pretty good English equivalents to me. Maybe drop an “informal” in front of either.

    • GhostCat says:

      Kinda/sorta; the relationship is both less formal than a mentor/apprentice relationship while being more formal due to the societal obligations associated with it. It’s also kind of similar to outreach programs like the Big Brothers/Big Sisters, except you don’t sign up for anything because it is sort of assumed that you’ll do it and it can apply to adults as well as kids.

      Anime and manga tend to portray the relationship as one of two extremes; either a very close (sometimes intimate) relationship between the senpai and kouhai, or as a very distant relationship where any slight sign of acknowledgement from the senpai will cause the kouhai (who usually has an unhealthy fixation on the senpai in question) to become faint with joy. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

  4. AdmiralSakai says:

    after looking in tones of boxes

    She looked in puce boxes, magenta boxes, lavender boxes, peach boxes….

  5. AdmiralSakai says:

    “…hey” i said to the small black nerves cat in the box.

    There’s a small black cat made entirely of nerves?


    Good thing I now have the SCP Foundation on speed-dial.

  6. BatJamags says:

    Ginger is traditionally a female name among humans, but the same naming conventions don’t always apply to pets.

    Case in point: my family had a male cat named Madison (In that case, he was named after James Madison – our pets all had president names for some reason; Madison’s brother was Jackson and we had a dog named Truman. Though my mom, whose name is Ginger, oddly enough, always insisted that Jackson was named after Jackson Pollock for reasons that are somewhat mysterious to me.).

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      Probably because Andrew Jackson was a monumental ass.

      • GhostCat says:

        Yet North Carolina and South Carolina still fight over him like a couple of dogs over a bone. (Jackson was born in the Waxhaws area, near the border between NC and SC, but no one’s exactly sure where so both states claim him.)

    • GhostCat says:

      We had a LOT of outside cats when I was small (three adult females who would have at least one litter each a year) so we started to get kind of creative with names. One year there was Watermelon Face (his face smelled like watermelons for some reason) and Precious (who was one of the most affectionate love-sponges I’ve ever known), both males.

      • TacoMagic says:

        Our cat’s name is Vir because FPM and I are monumental dorks.

        The fun thing about the name is that pronouncing it is like a geek litmus test for vet clinics.

  7. BatJamags says:

    Also, there’s apparently more than one non-binary cat in this group that hangs around this random person’s yard. I don’t know how accurate that is since I am not aware of any studies focusing on gender identity among household pets or even how you would study that particular subject.

    Isn’t gender mainly a sociological thing? I’m not sure it would even apply to cats.

    • AdmiralSakai says:

      I have a hard enough time figuring out how it could apply to humans.

    • GhostCat says:

      Technically gender is a biological thing, but I don’t think the issue of birth genders vs. preferred genders (or lack thereof) is really something that has been studied in lower-order animals. I assume it would require a certain level of sentience to even contemplate such an abstract concept.

      • TacoMagic says:

        Gender is both biological and sociological. FPM is a gender anthropologist, so she’d be happy to talk to you at extreme length about it if you have interest.

        Biological sciences kinda muddies the water here because, until about 70ish years ago, gender and sex were used synonymously.

        • GhostCat says:

          I was thinking more of the biological definition of gender that’s synonymous with sex; I’m not entirely sure the sociological definition would apply to lower-order animals. I don’t know if anyone’s ever studied gender identity in cats, or how you would even do that.

      • AdmiralSakai says:

        I cannot imagine why you would even do that. But since sociological constructs are constructs, I suppose someone could with very little effort come up with genders for cats -or paramecia, or whiteboards, or Eigenvectors- just as easily as they could for humans.

        • GhostCat says:

          As evidenced by the vast amounts of fanart and fanfics for source materials like Neko Atsume or Five Nights at Freddy’s that assign the characters all sorts of gender roles.

      • TacoMagic says:

        There’s actually some societal gender stuff in animals with social structures (apes, monkeys, dolphins, wolves, emperor penguins, etc). In house cats? No so much.

  8. BatJamags says:

    shouldn’t you have known about him being friendly with Fred?

  9. BatJamags says:

    daft idjit.

    That’s not how you British at all! Repeat after me: Daft… Wanker.

  10. BatJamags says:

    :distant booming noise:

    I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.

    Sorry, sneezed. Did I miss anything?

    • BatJamags says:

      :more distant booming noises:

      I continue to hear nothing.

      Geez, there must be something in the air. Did somebody let Syl into the ventilation again?

  11. Delta XIII says:

    Also, there’s apparently more than one non-binary cat in this group that hangs around this random person’s yard. I don’t know how accurate that is since I am not aware of any studies focusing on gender identity among household pets or even how you would study that particular subject.

    They had classes about that back when I was in college, but I was too busy with my Mad Science degree.

  12. DasCheesenBorgir says:

    Is that Leider Hosen sitting in the throne?

  13. lurkrealclose says:

    Wow. That was really, really horrid.

  14. Jon Arbuckle says:

    “i froze and slowly went after pepper.

    You froze and at the same time went looking for Pepper? How do this?”

  15. TacoMagic says:

    When I saw the title, I was expecting to have to do a barrel roll.

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