This is my first fanfic and, as such, I would like some creative and critical feedback in order to help me grow as a writer. Adventures in Acirema follows Ash & Pikachu along their journey through a new region as they attempt to earn all 8 badges and take on the Acirema Pokemon Championship. They meet several new friends along the way and reunite with old ones as well (yes there will be AAML as well as hints of a few other shippings). It is written much like the the Pokemon Anime, I tried to stay as true to the way the Anime forms it's storylines. Also, the story is rated PG-13. There is nothing graphic in the story (no 15 minute detailed sex scenes, gory saw-like murders or things of the like), but it does have mildly adult themes as I wanted to portray a story of how Pokemon would be in real life. It follows a storyline similar to the Anime, but is loosely based on real life (Acirema is America spelled backwards in case you didn't notice). Nothing the average teen can't handle.
The story already has a decent following, but I would like some more thought on it so I'm posting the first chapter here. If you like it and would like to read the rest, Chapters 2 & 3 are posted on Fanfiction.net. Because I'm new to PC I cant post links so just visit Fanfiction.net and search for Writer bigC94 or the story title "Adventures in Acirema" if you would like to see Chapters 2 & 3.
I try to update at least once every week to a week and a half. Don't hesitate to harass me if I am not faithful with this promise! Here is the first chapter for your enjoyment; be sure to leave a comment, I accept all forms of criticism, be they good or bad. I'm writing this for the fans, so if a fan is upset about something, I take it to heart. Now, join Ash & Pikachu on their Adventure in Acirema!!!
Chapter 1: A New Friend
When the ship hit dock Ash was the first to hit land. He ran off with the same childish anticipation that he had the night before he had received his first Pokémon. Ash looked around in awe as he saw the many plazas filled with all types of shops and small restaurants. A flock of Wingull flew overhead and landed on the pier, cocking their heads side to side and waiting for the tourists to drop some food like they always did. All sorts of smells barricaded his nose as he took a deep breath of the salty air. His grin was ear to ear while he read the sign before him.
“Welcome to Mal, Acirema. We made it Pikachu, we’re in the Acirema Region!” shouted Ash with glee as tourists began to exit the ship and jostle him as they tried to get around him.
“Hey, watch it!” Ash exclaimed as he pushed his way through the thousands of tourists eager to see some sights. Ash, however, was not in Acirema for sight-seeing. He had only one thing on his mind.
“All right Pikachu, we have to find out where the nearest gym is,” said Ash as he darted around frantically.
“Perhaps you should ask a local. Look over there,” Pikachu pointed to a small shop at the end of one of the plazas. The shop was very plain looking and appeared to have two floors, the first floor being where things were sold and the top where the owner probably lived. Over the front window was a sign labeled Bicicletas.
“Bicicletas?” a very confused Ash read aloud. “What’s a Bicicleta?”
Pikachu did a face palm. “Look in the window. I swear if I didn’t love you I would leave your sorry ass on the street to die alone.”
“Ohhhhh,” said an enlightened Ash as he saw a shiny red bike in the window of the shop, “Why didn’t they just say Bikes?”
“Bicicleta means bicycle in Spanish, Ash. Mal is a city with a very large Hispanic population, so there will probably be several shops with signs like these,” explained Pikachu.
“Really…” replied Ash. He had never really met a Hispanic person before. He had heard of them and seen them in cartoons on T.V. They had really funny accents and spoke a really fast language he couldn’t understand.
“Ash!” Pikachu shook Ash and brought him back to the real world. “Come on, let’s go inside. The owner probably has some maps of the region or knows the land well.”
“Right, we’ve gotta find a gym soon!” Ash exclaimed as that same childish delight stirred up in him once again as he imagined all the battles he would soon have. Ash and Pikachu entered the shop and looked around. There were bikes everywhere! Bikes hanging from the ceiling, bikes on tables, and bikes lining the floor; there were so many that it was hard to walk through the shop. Suddenly, one bike caught his eye. He walked towards it and slowly ran his hand down the frame. The bike had red rims, an orange frame, and blue fenders.
“This is just like Misty’s bike…” Ash said to himself as he closed his eyes and smiled. He remembered all the good times he and Misty had together and even though she could be crazy sometimes, she was more than a friend to him. He couldn’t help a single tear rolling down his cheek.
“You like that bike, hombre?” asked a Hispanic man who began to walk up to Ash and Pikachu. He was about the same height as Ash, maybe a half inch shorter, and well built. He appeared to be in his late teens, Ash guessed he was about 19 or 20. He had short, buzz cut black hair and short stubble on his face. He wore a white wife beater tank top with khaki cargo shorts and sneakers. Ash noticed a small tattoo of a cross on the left side of his neck as he got closer. Ash quickly wiped the tear from his eye, feeling slightly embarrassed. “Eh, it’s not the most macho bike I’ve got at the shop, but it sure is durable. Hell, I bet it could take a shock or two from that Pikachu of yours!” exclaimed the man. The man then chuckled to himself a bit. Ash was a bit taken aback by the man’s statement, but quickly composed himself.
“Sorry, I’m not looking to buy this bike. It’s just that…well, this is a lot like the bike a friend of mine used to have…a very special friend of mine,” explained Ash.
“Oh, I see…was she pretty? I knew this girl once, her name was Natalia, sweetest thing. She loved bicicletas, oh man, me and her would spend hours riding bikes around the countryside. She had this long, raven-black hair that sailed with the wind as we rode. I met her in this very shop…” said the man as he became lost in thought.
“She wasn’t my girlfriend!” Ash snapped. The man was startled as he came out of his daze. He then smirked and nodded his head.
“Oh, I understand. She wasn’t your girlfriend just a “friend with benefits”. You two never got close but you sure did get close if you know what I’m talkin bout! I’ve had a few of those myself. They’re great if you just want to have sex but…you know, there’s a difference between havin’ sex and makin’ love. I’ve had a lot of sex, but the only time I ever actually made love was with Natalia. I miss that you know, having a girl whose your best friend that you can trust with everything. A girl who’s your whole world. And when you have sex, you’re not just having sex, your making love. You feel me, ese?”
“Yeah, I guess,” Ash slowly replied, “but she wasn’t my friend with benefits either! She was just a friend. We traveled around together for a really long time and we never had sex or really did anything romantic; we were just really good friends. Can’t a guy and a girl just be friends?”
“No,” the man replied quickly.
“Why not?” Ash was surprised by the response.
“You must have had some kind of attraction to her?” asked the man.
“Well…we were really good friends and I did trust her a lot. But like I said, we never did anything. I was sad whenever she had to go back to Cerulean City to take over the gym, and she was especially upset when she had to leave,” Ash chuckled to himself for a bit, “We did get into a lot of arguments, but they were much ado about nothing, we were only ten you know. I guess since I was so young I hadn’t developed the part of me that would have let me fall in love with Misty. Now that I look back…” Ash paused, then closed his eyes again.
“Wow, it was that long ago?” asked the man who could clearly tell that the kid in front of him was no longer a ten.
“Yeah, I’m 18 so I should be over her by now but…I guess she just left an impression on me,” said Ash.
“I know how you feel, bro,” replied the man as he stared off into the distance, “I felt the same way with Natalia. We were the best of friends, like two peas in a Metapod. I…I know it sounds all mushy and **** but I really think we were meant for each other. But we had to go our separate ways and…hah, look at me! Having a heart-to-heart with some guy I don’t even know!” The man then stuck out his hand. “My name’s Emmanuel Ortiz, but my friends call my Manuel.”
“I’m Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town,” Ash replied, returning the hand shake. The expression on Manuel’s face completely changed.
“Whoa, wait a minute bro, are you kidding me right now? You’re THE Ash Ketchum! Oh man, you are, how did I not realize it before?” exclaimed Manuel.
“I’m assuming you’ve heard of me before,” said Ash who was now in his signature pose of closed eyes and a smile with his hand behind his head.
“Heard of you? Bro, you’re Ash Ketchum! You saved the world like a million times man! You’re a legend on the streets, you wouldn’t believe it. Ash Ketchum, in my shop, who woulda thought it. So what brings you to my humble little bike shop?” asked Manuel.
“Well, I’m here in Acirema to take on the Acirema Pokémon Championship. But I can’t do that until I get all 8 badges. So I’m looking for the nearest gym,” explained Ash.
“Hmm, sorry to say this but we don’t have a gym in Mal. However, there is a gym over in Goldpond Town,” Manuel pulled out a map and pointed to the city, “we are here in Mal, and Goldpond is there.”
“All the way there,” Ash frowned, “Well I guess I’d better get a move on then.”
“Yeah, you want a bike, ese? It’s going to be a long trip,” asked Manuel.
“Nah, I prefer to travel on foot. That way I get a good lay of the land and catch some Pokémon while I’m at it. The only Pokémon I have with me right now is Pikachu. I left all the others back at the lab with Professor Oak so I could get a fresh start,” Ash explained.
“You know, I’ve never been to Kanto and Pikachu aren’t indigenous to Acirema, so I’ve never seen one before,” said Manuel as he petted Pikachu behind her ears. Pikachu smiled at the friendly man’s touch.
“Indigenous?” asked Ash, once again confused. Manuel laughed.
“Sorry, I forgot, they say you’re not the sharpest tool in the shed. It means that Pikachu aren’t found in the wild here. This isn’t their natural habitat,” explained Manuel with a smile.
“Hey!” Ash got a little defensive. “I may not be the smartest, but I’m a damn good battler!”
“So I’ve heard,” replied Manuel.
“By the way, you wouldn’t happen to have a phone here would you? It may sound a little childish but I have to call my mom. I always give her a call when I get to a new region, she worries if I don’t,” said Ash with a slight blush.
“No problem man, I know how it is. Mi mama would get muy nerviosa if I didn’t call her every once in a while. The phones over in the corner,” Manuel pointed to the back corner of the room. Ash and Pikachu walked over to the phone and dialed the number. Delia appeared on the screen.
“Hi Ash, how are you honey?” she asked with a smile.
“I’m fine mom, how are things back at home?” Ash replied.
“Well, I just burned a batch of cookies so I’m not so happy about that. Other than that everything’s just like it always is, you know Pallet,” answered Delia. Suddenly, a loud crash was heard in the background followed by a groan.
“What was that!” asked Ash. No sooner had the question left his lips did Professor Oak appear on the screen.
“Sorry about that Delia, I tripped over Mr. Mime’s foot,” said Oak with a slight blush, “Oh, is that Ash?”
“Sure is, hey Professor Oak, how are things back at the lab?”
“Quite busy actually, I’ve been selected to host the annual Research and Development Conference this year. I haven’t hosted in a while so your mother and I along with Tracey and Gary have been frantically getting the lab ready for all the brilliant minds that will be making their way into town within the next week,” explained Oak.
“Really? Sounds like fun, too bad I can’t be there,” said Ash.
“I know, but research isn’t your thing so you would probably grow bored of it after a while. That reminds me of a poem: A Magicarp on land is out of its element. So too, is a Trainer in a lab,” Ash sweat dropped while Oak just grinned at his self-proclaimed genius, “Well, I’d better head back to the lab to check on Tracey and Gary. Goodbye Ash,” said Professor Oak.
“See ya Professor, say hi to Tracey and Gary for me!” exclaimed Ash.
“Of course,” replied Professor Oak as he sauntered off screen.
“Samuel is something else isn’t he,” said Delia with a smile.
“Sure is,” replied Ash.
“Oh, who’s your friend there Ash?” asked Delia. Ash turned around and saw Manuel standing behind him.
“Hi, my name is Manuel, mam,” said Manuel with a smile.
“Hello, I’m Ash’s mother, how are you?” asked Delia.
“I’m doing fine. I just wanted you to know that you raised one great son, mam. What with him saving the world and all,” said Manuel.
“Oh I know,” replied Delia with a smile, “I am proud of my Ash.”
“Mom, you’re embarrassing me,” Ash said with a blush.
“So is Manuel your latest travel buddy? You make friends so quickly Ash,” asked Delia.
“Well we haven’t really talked about that,” Ash said as he rubbed the back of his neck.
“Oh, well have fun whatever you do. I’d better go now. Just remember to brush your teeth, eat your vegetables and change your underwear sweetie,” said Delia with a wink.
“MOM!!!” exclaimed Ash.
“Goodbye sweetie,” Delia smiled.
“Bye mom,” said Ash as he disconnected the call. He turned around and faced Manuel. “What’s the big idea man, eavesdropping on my conversation?” he asked with a frown.
“No way, ese! I was just walking by when your mom caught sight of me. By the way, you’ve got one good looking mom bro,” replied Manuel.
“Aw, come on man!” exclaimed Ash.
“I’m sorry hombre, but your mom is a babe,” Manuel grinned sheepishly.
“So, do you wanna come with or no?” asked Ash, eager to change the subject.
“Do I want to travel with the legendary Ash Ketchum? Do you even have to ask that question, hell yeah I do!” exclaimed Manuel.
“Awesome!” replied Ash as he leapt out the chair. “Let’s get going then!”
“Slow your roll, bro. You’ve gotta at least let me pack some things!” Manuel pleaded.
“All right, but make it quick. I’m just itching for a battle!” exclaimed Ash.
“Ok, how about I go upstairs and pack, while you go to the Pokemart for some supplies?” asked Manuel. Ash nodded. Manuel quickly scribbled out a list of supplies and handed Ash some cash. “That should be enough, don’t take too long though,” said Manuel.
“Don’t worry, I won’t!” exclaimed Ash as he grabbed the money and darted out the door, eager to start his next journey with his new friend.
Leave some feedback if you liked (or didn't like) the story!!! If you did like it, Chapters 2 & 3 are posted on Fanfiction.net with Chapter 4 coming next week so stay tuned! Also an a/n: Pikachu is a girl in this story and she does talk, but only Ash can understand her. I portrayed this with italics in its original format, but when I copied and pasted it here I didn't bother to italicize every word she said as that would take too much time!
You have just opened the floodgates. At least for me. I wasn't planning on commenting, feeling my words would be a tad rude, but...
This has to be the funniest pokemon fan fiction I've read in my life! This is good for a first fan-fiction. It's out of tune with the fandom, which makes it funny. Manuel is your stereotypical Hispanic. Ash still sounds completely outrageous, even at the right good age of eighteen. This sounds like a combination to a would be a horrible fan fiction, but like stated, it's the comedy that satisfied me the most. I found myself laughing every two or three paragraphs. Manuel and Ash warm up so quickly it's unbelievable. They get way too personal for people meeting each other for the first time. Pikachu would never leave Ash on the street.
Is Ash going to stumble in to a cantina with Manuel and get shot up with Tequila? I enjoy reading works of author's who don't take themselves seriously. It's fun.
When introducing a character, their existence should be defined by something. Their appearance should be justified. In not, what's the point of having them in your story?
For example: Ash called him mom because she gets nervous when he's off on his travels. Their conversation should have had something that reminded this note. Instead, Oak stole the spotlight with his meaningless convention that has no relevance to Ash's story. All his mom really did was annoy the heck out of me because her only function in the story was to remind Ash to eat his vegetables.
As his mother, there should have been more emotional attachment.
Also, you overuse, "says with a smile." Use this only once or twice. Or else we get a picture of all these characters smiling at each other all the time. It can be downright creepy.
While I appreciate your view of the story, I can't help but disagree with a few things.
Manuel is your stereotypical Hispanic. Ash still sounds completely outrageous, even at the right good age of eighteen.
I don't know if I made this clear (I believe I stated it in the an a/n on FanFiction.net, but note here), but almost everything in the story is based on something in American culture or modern "Pop Culture". For instance, Acirema is America spelled backwards and the port that Ash came in on is supposed to be in Florida, thus the city of Mal (which means "bad" or "evil" in Spanish and comes more in to play during Chapter 2 and later on in the story) represents Miami-Dade county. Now, I don't know how much you know about Miami-Dade, but it has a very large Hispanic population, thus the tiendas (small shops or stores) with Spanish signs. Also, Ash still sounds "completely outrageous" to show that he is still naive, a character flaw which will cause much conflict when he meets up with Misty later on (didn't bother to put a spoiler tag because I told my readers there would be Pokeshipping and from the sound of it you aren't going to read the rest of the story anyway)
Manuel and Ash warm up so quickly it's unbelievable
I agree, they do warm up quickly, but if you watch the Anime you will notice that Ash seems to make friends (and enemies) rather quickly. Ash is a polarizing figure in the anime, either you love him, or you hate him; but the love/hatred is displayed rather quickly. A recent example of this is Iris & Cilan. Neither Iris nor Cilan really needed to go with Ash on his Journey, it's not like Ash had some sort of watch on a chain or took them as his slaves. They willingly came (although Iris a little less willingly at first) along with Ash. Look at Cilan, the man left his brothers, his family, and his prominent position as co-gym leader to go travel with Ash. That's a lot to leave behind just to travel with someone you don't even know to learn their "battle secrets" as I believe he said. It just goes to show that Ash leaves an impression on people and rather quickly at that. Also, Manuel and Ash had a common ground which made them warm up to each other even more. Albeit it was faster than Cilan warmed up to Ash, but I wrote a 3,000 word Chapter not a 30 minute cartoon spot so it had to be cut a little short.
For example: Ash called him mom because she gets nervous when he's off on his travels. Their conversation should have had something that reminded this note. Instead, Oak stole the spotlight with his meaningless convention that has no relevance to Ash's story. All his mom really did was annoy the heck out of me because her only function in the story was to remind Ash to eat his vegetables
I agree with you on part of this front. I could have done more to flesh out the relationship between Ash and his Mom, but I believe it is canon that Ash's Mother loves him and he in turn loves her. Also, when Delia saw Manuel, she started to embarrass Ash which would cause any teenager to want to end the conversation immediately. I was also trying to show the stereotypical side of Ash's mother. Ash far as Professor Oak, his "meaningless convention" does serve a purpose, but that purpose comes later on (Chapter 3 and other Chapters further down the road). I agree that there could have been more "meat" to the conversation, though.
Also, you overuse, "says with a smile." Use this only once or twice. Or else we get a picture of all these characters smiling at each other all the time. It can be downright creepy.
I laughed with you on this one as I also agree that I overused smiling. But, alas, there are already three Chapters posted so what can a guy do right? Anyways, the meaning behind the smiling was to show that Manuel is different than the other people in Mal (which again means "evil" or "wrong" in Spanish). This difference is one of the reasons they will grow to be good friends. Since you are probably not going to read Chapter 2, I'll explain. There are not "Teams" in Acirema like other regions, but there are two gangs which are based primarily on the Bloods and the Crypts but also on gang violence in urban American cities in general. Like I said, most of the things in Acirema are there for a reason, I leave little tidbits of American culture throughout the story and challenge my readers to find it, much like the game developers do with their regions. Manuel used to be part of the gang, but left and is not liked among the gang members. This, coupled with an incident caused by Brock in Chapter 2, prompts one of the gangs to follow Ash & Co. around the region, much like Team Rocket did. Only they're more dangerous than TR because the gangs aren't afraid to kill. They are also corrupt and run many of the city governments, etc. etc. and later on they are going to work with Giovanni and another Region villain on something big (semi-spoiler, but again you aren't going to follow the story so it doesn't matter)
I must say Maced, you made some valid points, but most of what you said was just misunderstanding about the story as a whole. Perhaps I should have explained the premise of where I was going a little better. Anything that seems trite or cliche is probably there because it was supposed to be in order to make the region more like America and American culture. Thank you for your critique though, you are the first negative review I have gotten so far and I've published three Chapters. Maybe my readers are just to afraid of hurting my feelings to post a bad review? Maybe they understood the references and where I was going with the feel of the story? or Maybe they are just as jaded as I am...the world will never know.
Hahahaha! I don't know about dog fights, I'm trying to keep it PG-13. Also, the Region itself is based on America, while the City Mal (which means "wrong", "evil" or "bad" in Spanish) is based on Miami-Dade County which has a large Hispanic population. I made Manuel Mexican because it's more convenient than writing a Cuban since I have a few Mexican friends which I can base the culture off of, but don't know any Cubans. Sadly, Mal will be the only Hispanic based city. Every other city has its own theme based off of something in America or American Pop Culture as well as a few nods to other cultures as well (this will come into play later on in the story). America is a true melting pot, so I try to get as many cultures some love in the story as I can.
Thanks for the reply! Read on Chapter 2 if you'd like.
I like how you cleared things up, now I'm left questioning if there was way to explain that within the story. I like reading and writing anime canon fan fiction. And it can be tricky to write. It's hit or miss. Either readers agree with your on take on the canon, or they don't. That usually lies in how well it resonates with the readers. I never said I didn't like it and that I won't continue to read it. Normally, I don't review stories unless I really have something to say about it. That means I enjoyed it and want to help you make it better. If I hated it, you would have never known. It's as easy as clicking the back button.
As far as the Anime goes. It doesn't take itself too seriously. I mean, it's a kid-show. We're talking about a world were ten year olds can run around in the world without their parents watching them. Subjects like sex completely fly out the window. We know in our society the harsh realities of 'journeying' happening in our world. Ten year olds can be kidnapped, killed...even raped. In essence, you're trying to keep the kid aspect, (the anime part) while including realistic subjects like sex. Anyway, I respect your take. It is written pretty well, and there is a good satisfying plot for me to follow. I don't go on fanfiction.net or any other places like that. This is the only place I read and post Pokémon fan fiction.
Also, I forgot to mention this earlier, but your tag lines ( the he said, she said parts) could also use some improvement. At times there was too much information in one single sentence. And in others, you include 'said' and 'replied' when we already knew who was conversing. You do an great job bring out character personality through dialogue, but it needs to be polished to be the better. Little things like that weaken the story. I'd be more than happy to help you with the story's plot. Just hit me up with a PM and send me your manuscript, if you'd like.