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Master Pokémon? is another Pokemon fic by Saphroneth, author of the fic, Ashes of the Past. This story is an Alternate Universe Fic that explores the changes that would be made to the Pokémon anime and movies if Ash were actually an illusionist fox Pokemon posing as a human. The fic takes the form of "snippets" detailing the divergence points, not organized in chronological order, mixed in with bits of backstory explaining how Ash and his mother came to live like humans. It draws a great deal of inspiration from the 13th movie.

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As of Oct 19th, 2015, it also contains snippets of Ash as a Mew, although that is considered a separate, Mark II work when reading them on Fanfiction.net.


Examples which apply in both series:

  • Achievements in Ignorance:
    • The author's explanation for Ash's occasional feats of inhuman strength in the anime. Zoru!Ash doesn't know how strong humans are supposed to be, so he semi-arbitrarily decided they're as strong as Machamp after watching some television, and adjusted his human form to match. Hilarity Ensues.
    • Also the reason for Ash being the only person who can fool Brock's women radar by crossdressing. Because he forgot he can simply change to "Ash, in girl clothes" and instead changed into "girl Ash".
    • Mew-Ash does not understand that everyone else has a limited Move Pool. He teaches a Beedrill Needle-Arm.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Team Rocket realizes a fairly large hole in their plans of "Capturing and exploiting powerful Pokemon:" namely, once they steal these powerful Pokemon from their rightful owners, said powerful Pokemon will likely just turn on them the instant they get the chance. They offer the example of them capturing a Dragonite, but then as soon as they attempt to use it, it immediately flash-fries the Boss. In Mk2, Giovanni openly states that he doesn't want to be in attack range of just-stolen wild pokemon who have no reason to trust or obey him, showing he's had similar thoughts.
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    • Also Reshiram, even though he clearly did think about it some, when he decided to send himself to N in a PokeBall. Though to be fair, he did get the idea from Zekrom's own insanity.
    • Inverted in the case of Giovanni in Mk2, who knows better than to actively use the Pikachu the Team Rocket Trio managed to capture, instead planning to use them as part of their customised starter line.
  • Olympus Mons: Latias for Zoru!Ash. Ash himself for Mew-Ash.
    • It goes further for Mew-Ash. Arceus gave Mew-Ash the ability to use every attack from every Pokémon in addition to being able to transform into them. Including Signature Moves. When Arceus wants a damn nap, HE. GETS. HIS. DAMN. NAP!
    • Zekrom for Zoura!Ash. The big guy follows Ash around like a stalker, and is the reason for there being a thunderstorm constantly on the horizon. This comes in handy if Ash needs a bigger stick, as the guy is really good at pulling a Big Damn Heroes.
  • Open Secret: Almost every one of Zoru!Ash's companions find out his secret. Some in relatively short order. And it's usually Ash's fault. It also seems to be coming out faster and faster with each region - while Ash was able to keep it from his friends and most of his Pokémon for most of his journey through Kanto, he voluntarily told Dawn quite early in his Sinnoh journey, and it was exposed to Serena within about two minutes of meeting her in Kalos. During a live TV interview before the Kalos League finals, he decides to just drop the secret and reveal publicly his true nature. Meanwhile, Mew-Ash's secret also seems to be like this, although admittedly, he is getting better at hiding.
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    • Mew!Ash, on the other hand, is just really bad at keeping a secret. He doesn't keep it a secret for five minutes around Misty.
  • Technically Naked Shapeshifter: Ash's outfit is an illusion he conjures. The exception is his hat, which he still wears as a Pokemon.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Ash can transform into a variety of Pokemon, although Zoru!Ash can only do so without his Ring Target.

The original series, based on Zorua/Zoroark!Ash, also includes examples of:

  • Action Mom: Delia may not be kicking ass full-time any more, but give her a reason to fight you seriously, and you'll regret it. Assuming she leaves you alive to regret it.
  • Adult Fear:
    • There's a reason that Ash's mother chose to pretend to be a human for over a decade, and raised Ash to live in human form. It involves Hunter J.
    • During their first meeting Ash's father tries to impress him with a story about how he and Ash's mother once helped stop a group of criminals. Upon seeing Ash's rather underwhelmed expression, he's given the abridged version of some of Ash's adventures. Pride and Worry came in equal measure.
  • Battle Couple: Ash and Laura (or rather Latias). Also Tamamo and Gaheris (Delia and Cynthia's Lucario, respectively), back in the days.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Charizard has this happen to him. When he's a Charmeleon, he confronts Ash, accusing him of just using him for his power, like his asshole original trainer did. So Ash agrees to only use him when Charmeleon asks. Fast forward a bit, and Charizard is bored out of his skull. He accuses Ash of being terrified of him... only for Ash to point out that no, he's just respecting Charizard's wishes. Charizard agrees to be used if only so that he won't be bored all the time.
  • Berserk Button: Hurt Latias. Come on, hurt her.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Zekrom, a few times, due to stalking Ash and party after the business with Ghetsis was done (see the Deus ex Machina entry for an example). By now it's something of a Running Gag.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Bonnie blowing Ash's secret in front of Serena, much to Clemont's irritation.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Ash and Delia. Crotch shots, blinding, illusions, the works. If either of them takes the field in a serious fight it's going to get very dirty very quickly.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Pikachu, during one of their encounters with Zekrom.
    Zekrom: "Hero of Ideals, hail!"
    Pikachu: "Actually it's rain."
  • Confusion Fu: Iris's Archen ends up defeating Ghestis's Hydreigon by flying so clumsily the Dark Dragon knocks itself out by smashing all three of its heads into each other.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Ash in the main timeline having an extremely similar aura signature to Sir Aaron in canon was somewhat interesting, but a little contrived. It gets blatantly contrived when Sir Aaron's Lucario says that Ash still has a similar signature, given that he's not even human. His father is a Lucario, but that's still really stretching it.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Ash and Serena's first meeting in Lumiose City.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Dark Type Pokémon (like Ash) are not depicted as any more evil than other Pokémon types. In fact, Ash's personality is almost exactly the same as his canon anime counterpart.
    • Ash's mother (the same breed as Ash) worked hand in hand with Cynthia's team to stop regional gangs before she had Ash's egg.
  • Deus ex Machina: The "Malimar reterriforming the planet" situation is handled very quickly because Zekrom reveals that he has been following Ash through Kalos in a storm cloud for months.
    • Same thing with the racist bitch Florges who attacked Goomy's home.
  • Everyone Can See It: Ash and Latias. They're clearly smitten with one another, though neither of them has sufficient relationship knowledge to actually notice for quite some time. Everyone else considers it blindingly obvious. They eventually do get together, but due to the way the narrative jumps around, the audience has seen both before and after they get together before the event itself.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Ash falls out of a boat. Brock has to rescue him because Ash forgot that he could shapeshift into something that can swim. Though to be fair, he's spent most of his life pretending to be a human and wearing a charm that maintains his form for him, so he's a little out of practice with doing Pokemon things or even remembering that he is a Pokemon.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Subverted with Ash and Serena, as unlike in canon, Ash recognises and remembers Serena with very little prompting.
  • Furry Reminder: When petted in Zorua form, Ash purrs.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Push Ash or Delia far enough, and you will NOT like the results. Delia kills Hunter J. Ghetsis "merely" gets sent into a coma via Groin Attack.
  • Groin Attack: Delia kicks the Unown-created Entei "somewhere sensitive". Ash gives Ghetsis the same treatment.
  • Heroic BSoD: N suffers from one of these when Ash and "Laura" reveal their secret.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Ash is such a good ninja that he's a bad ninja. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Happens on occasions, with phrases like "on the other paw". Justified since the ones using those phrases are Pokemon.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Ash himself points out that just because he can change into other Pokemon, that doesn't mean he knows how to use their bodies like they do. Case in point, he wasn't able to fly until after his Pidgeotto taught him how to.
    • Because he spent most of his life pretending to be a human, he's shown to be a little rusty on normal Pokemon things.
  • Idiot Hero: Delia berates Ash for not taking off his charm during the third movie, which would have allowed him to use all his abilities in getting his mother out of trouble.
  • Interspecies Romance: Predictably, his mother is a Zoroark, his father is a Lucario. Specifically, he is Cynthia's Lucario.
  • Kitsune: Zorua and Zoroark are shapeshifting fox Pokemon of course, and Ash and Delia are frequently referred to as "kitsune" in the text.
  • Mama Bear: This version of Delia snaps out of the Unown's hypnosis on her own and then proceeds to kick Entei's ass when Ash finally shows up and decides she needs to fix everything herself. She also posed as a human for ten years to keep Ash safe from Hunter J, and when J threatened him again she outright murdered her.
  • Master of Illusion: Delia thinks your anti-illusion measures are adorable. And not remotely a problem.
  • Mythology Gag: Ash and Gary used to play hide and seek all the time, but Ash could smell where Gary was. This leads to Gary almost using Blue's infamous Catchphrase from Pokémon Red and Blue.
    Gary: So that really is how he always won? I thought it was a joke! That's why I said- (trails off)
    • In Ashes of the Past, during the "Ash gets turned into a Pokemon" incident, Misty says that she's glad that no one else was turned into a Pokemon, as she'd hate to be turned into a Psyduck. In this story, the magic doesn't work on Ash, so it turns her into a Psyduck (and Brock into a Crobat).
  • The Nose Knows: Serena's Fennekin is able to smell that's something's up with Ash almost immediately. Also, it's mentioned that Ash was good at hide and seek because he could sniff out Gary.
    • In another snippet, a Deerling susses Ash out once it gets close enough to him.
  • No-Sell: As a Dark-type immune to Psychic attacks, Ash does this often.
    • That said, this is only if he has his charm off. When it's on, he's basically a human, and has as many resistances as normal humans do to Psychic powers in the Pokemon world (that is to say, none).
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Ash is such a good ninja that he's a bad ninja.
    • To elaborate further, after Ash and the Gang met Koga, the ninja master privately pointed out to his younger daughter how Ash's clothes (except his hat) while they had travel grass stains didn't have any particularly faded or prominent stains, how his eyebrows "regrew" after taking one of Charmeleon's Flamethrowers to the face (Though he also noted that such a feat in and of it self didn't mean much since Ash could have been an Aura Adept note ), and his utter lack of stealth skills to recognize that Ash wasn't human. He narrowed it down to Ditto, Zoroark, and Zorua; leaning more heavily to the Dark type family, though he was interested in how Ash's illusion didn't pop if that was the case.
  • Omake: According to Saphroneth, the snippet about Arceus declaring that Ash will be made the guardian (basically adoptive father) of all the legendaries, bar Latias, because he's basically been in loco parentis to most of them for quite some time, is this.
    • A second one has been written, in which Ritchie is actually a Vulpix using illusions and telekinesis.
    • A third one has been written, with multiple alternate-universe Ashes meeting up and comparing adventures- a Canon one, one from Master, Pokemon?, one where he is a Mew, one where he saved the Lucario from the Tree of Beginning, and one from Ashes of the Past.
  • Politeness Judo: Upon first meeting him, Iris is stunned by Ash's tactic of talking a Deerling into letting itself be caught.
  • Power Limiter: Ash's enchanted Ring Target not only locks him in human form, it suppresses his immunity to psychic attacks. After Mewtwo's first attack knocks it off of him, he completely No Sells the rest of the assault.
  • Power of Love: What finally causes Ash to evolve.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Ash is being taught by his father, who is a Lucario, to use Aura Sphere. This requires two hands... and at the time, he's a Zorua, which walks around on four legs, so he physically can't do it.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: In one snippet where Pidgeotto has to carry him it's noted that Ash's human form weighs considerably more than his twelve-kilo fox form.
  • Taking the Bullet: Ash takes the Night Shade attack from Oakley's Ariados before it can hit Latias.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: You attacked Ash? Congratulations, you have a pissed off Latias on your ass. And if you chose to attack Latias instead? Congratulations, you have a berserk Ash on your ass.
  • Unblockable Attack: Hunter J's anti-illusion goggles are absolutely worthless against Delia - she just creates an illusion of the goggles showing whatever she wants Hunter J to see.
  • Weirdness Magnet: This is Ash, what were you expecting? Lampshaded by the Riolu Ash rescues when they reach the Lucario Kingdom.
    • Also lampshaded by Ash when his father tries to impress him with some of his exploits when he was younger... leading to Ash pointing out that he's met multiple legendaries and gone on adventures to literally save the world multiple times.
  • What an Idiot!: Mewtwo. Most powerful pokemon in the world. Master of genetic engineering. Traveler of the world in secret. Somehow, he doesn't know what Dark-type is, or that it's capable of no-selling his type.
  • You Are Not Alone: How Ash reacts on learning that Latias is not a human girl- he pulls off his disguise.

The sequel involving Mew!Ash also includes the following:

  • Attention Deficit Oh Shiny: Mew-Ash has difficulty staying in one form and not using psychic powers.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Mew-Ash isn't at the Viridian City Pokemon Centre that Team Rocket attacked during their first canon encounter, so they don't meet (and as yet still haven't). While the Pokemon being cared for there were transported to Pewter City, they were able to easily capture the Pikachu that powered the emergency power (due to them being wild Pokemon) and brought them to Giovanni.
    • Mew-Ash doesn't capture Caterpie or Pidgeotto, but he does have a Beedrill and Spearow by the time he reaches Pewter. Misty gets a Gyarados much sooner (thanks to him, on a whim, running off to find a Magikarp close to evolving, which takes a liking to her) and she also captures the same Krabby which canon Ash did near Bill's lighthouse. Ash also speaks to the giant Dragonite coming to the lighthouse and helps Bill study it (Misty claiming that Ash is psychic), which he's so grateful for that he gives Ash an Eevee.
  • Lampshade Hanging: As in Ashes of the Past, we see the characters comment on Pokemon using moves that they can't use in the games but logic says they should be able to. Case in point, Mew-Ash pointing out that his Beedrill should be able to learn Needle Arm (a grass-type move) since, well, he has needles for arms.
  • Only Sane Man: Misty is this for Ash, thus far, though Pikachu and Spearow will also readily fill in these rolls.
  • Scissors Cuts Rock: Pikachu's Zappy ability. Like in Ashes of the Past, it allows him to shock Ground-Types.
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