“MissingNo Therian: An Exploration in Identity, Labels, and the Fictotherian Experience” by Rex of the Anomaly; August 2023

I am a MissingNo. My exact form is one that’s been fluid throughout my life, with Kabutops and Aerodactyl fossil forms having preference, but occasionally switching to the Lavender Town Ghost.

I identify as a Pokemon therian or Poketherian for my species – or fictotherian for a broad term. This identification is one which can confuse people – after all, therianthropy is more traditionally associated with animals, and I identify as Pokemon that isn’t real. My species only exists in four games that are well over two decades old and is a failsafe the game spits out. Why should I identify as a therian?

Despite how strange it can seem, I still prefer therian over other labels such as otherkin and fictionkin. My therian identity is deeply intertwined with my hyperempathy, created by a bias of my animality, comes from viewing a MissingNo as a type of animal, and from experiencing common therian traits.

Therian over otherkin, fictionkin, or fictive

Some may be saying “why don’t you call yourself fictionkin?” or even “Isn’t otherkin for mythical species, while therian is for earthen species?” To address the later point, there have been better written essays dispelling this. I would highly recommend Therian: Dispelling the Earthen Animal Myth by The River System for a well written and researched essay.

To address the former point, it is personal preference. I did use “otherkin” for years and still do identify as both otherkin and fictionkin, but the term “therian” is more in alignment to how I experience identity. I am an animal, I experience shifts, and I experience instincts.

I don’t perceive MissingNo as sapient on the level of elves or some dragons. For me, being a MissingNo is also a “real” thing, as tangible as a dog, bird, or dragon. I don’t consider myself glitchkin despite being a glitch, nor conceptkin. I am like the theriomythics who label themselves for being an animalstic gryphon or phoenix.

When it comes Fictionkin and fictive, to me they can be too focused on identifying yourself in the framework of being a character, which I’m not. I’m not a creepypasta character anymore than one of the Hypno species would be. I still do identify as fictional – I can comfortably identify as “fictherian” or my preference “fictotherian” (Which comes from “fictotype”. I believe I started this term usage – since when I started using it, I could find no results to it, but I did use it in forum posts, Discord servers, and other methods).

Fictive falls under a similar problem – but with slightly more alienation. While the term is open to me, my identity history makes me feel out of place in a community of walk-ins and introjects when it was one that developed later in life.

How I became a MissingNo and the grip of hyperempathy

My identity as a MissingNo came later in life. I began existing in my system as a canine pup – which I know from behaviors and mannerisms that I later connected to me in the present, and genuinely expressing feeling like a dog as a child. Years later, I identified this species as a manned wolf.

Then at around the age of ten, my identity shifted to a glitch Pokemon. What at least contributed to it was developing a special interest in Glitch Pokemon around this time. This combined with our natural hyper-empathy and perhaps being conceptum to subconsciously alter my identity over time.

These interpretations can cause me to be out of place. While I still love glitch Pokemon and I am fascinated by them, I rarely find anyone who also has an intense interest and fascination while having this level of hyperempathy – even if I encounter others who have some alterhuman or even gender or sexuality connection to glitch Pokemon. Almost uncontrollably do I see glitch Pokemon as genuine Pokemon. I might grow attached to certain Pokemon in the way I would a pet.

The overall psychological influence means that this identity comes down to personal interpretations and personification. I’m not a natural animal and you cannot read about me in a textbook or find any bits of lore within the games, but rather, I am an animal that came from the mind of a mentally ill person.

MissingNo the animal

What defines “animal” varies. Humans are biologically animals and primates, but not all humans identify with those terms, with some taking offense to it. To someone with hyperempathy, a stuffed animal may be as much of an animal as a living one, or even a car might be a type of animal to certain minds. This connection is what makes me feel a MissingNo can be a type of animal.

Additionally, Pokemon are their world’s equivalent of animals, and this is how most of my system views Pokemon due to one of our deepest parallel life connections being a humanlike Mewtwo. This sentiment is also one I’ve seen many Poketherians have. In the world of our origin, we are animals. For another essay on a similar experience, I’d highly recommend “The Fire Burns Bright” by Jasper, an Alolan Marrowak therian.

Within the contexts of the games and many interpretations – including my own – MissingNo is also a bird. It is one of few Pokemon which use this glitch beta typing. Being a bird can be equally as much a part of it and I’d consider birds as a paralleltype and one where I may confidently call myself a bird. Albeit a very odd bird.

The wolf and animal bias in my core

In addition to the bird of the MissingNo, the manned wolf at my heart is still important to my identity. It’s in between otherhearted and therian on a sliding scale, and I identify it more as manned wolf-hearted for convenience, but it’s closer to “kinth”. I don’t know why I am or was a manned wolf, but it doesn’t quite matter to me either way. What matters is that there is the manned wolf.

To me it feels as if despite my core being or “soul”, my mind became a MissingNo while the core remained the same. To my soul, a MissingNo is a type of dog. Then, to my mind, a manned wolf is a type of Pokemon. Both of these identities came about and exist in harmony rather than opposition.

Another comparison that the heart and soul makes is being “feral”. Glitch entities in video games to me are almost like an animal which can’t be domesticated. They may act fine, but every so often you’ll encounter something that reminds you that at their core, they’re wild. MissingNo still scrambles sprites and Hall of Fame data – and you can’t have a “normal” experience with it. MissingNo is to Pokemon as a wolf is to a dog.

The instincts that made me tear apart playsets when playing house pretending to be a dog are still present in the instincts that make me want to tear apart meat when I eat it.

The Experience of a MissingNo Animal

I fit into many traditional therianthropy experiences and unto a hybrid canine/avian experience – just perhaps with more twists towards the bizarre.

I am a contherian when it comes to mental shifting and almost always feeling like an animal. However, I do experience phantom shifts. I get the sensations of skeletal fangs, claws, and a body that’s far heavier and taller than my tiny, human form. Though the bizarre comes when during these shifts, I don’t feel like I have skin and much of my body feels transparent, I feel like I should be able to stick my hand through my lower jaw.

I feel the sense of freedom and flight when I ride a bike downhill. For a few minutes when I bike, I can imagine myself flying. I sit in rivers and ponds among the wading birds feeling like I belong. I treat the chicks and chickens we raise like a part of my flock.

I still want to hunt. Sometimes I need to fight my instincts to recognize chicks as flockmates and not food. I like to eat wildly and I like to taste blood and fat in my food. When I eat, I feel like like the blood should dribble through my skinless jaw bone. Skeletal claws should be typing this essay instead of fleshy human fingers.


I am an animal, and despite doubts, I am a therian.

This label fits my experiences better than the alternatives. I don’t feel as much alienation or out of place compared to other communities even though my species isn’t an “animal” in the traditional sense. Hyperempathy has created this experience for me in that I feel more comfortable saying I am an animal than I am from fiction.

My center being is animal and always has been, it’s just how its presented through my life has shifted. The animal instincts have only developed as my species has.

It is my hope that more unusual therians might come forth and be encouraged to examine their experiences – and for both earthen therians and potential theriomythics or fictotherians to explore what exactly “animal” means to them. I want others to also examine where their mind’s biases may lead them, how that can impact their identity, and use it to feel more at peace in what the heart wants.