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Fanfic / The Greatest There Was or Ever Will Be

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Commissioned cover created by djanubis on DeviantArt.

The Greatest There Was or Ever Will Be is a Pokémon: The Series fanfic written by Forever United Never We Fall on FanFiction.Net.

We've all seen this before... a writer attempts to "fix" the story by rewriting the whole anime so that Ash is smarter or more competent, but 90% of the time succeeds only in making Ash boring and unlikeable. ...This is not one of those. Instead, Ash is so much more powerful than his canon self that it Crosses the Line Twice into pure, unadulterated awesome. The best comparison is most likely Pokémon: The Series meets Medaka Box. At times, it reads like a parody of Overpowered Ash stories, and at other times like a deconstruction, but in truth, it is neither. As long as you don't take it too seriously, it's an enjoyable read.

Has nothing to do with former professional wrestler Bret Hart's Red Baron.


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In the grand tradition of the Internet, the fanfic has its own wiki here.

The Greatest There Was Or Ever Will Be contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: WHERE TO BEGIN with Ash!
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the anime, there is a gang of bikers who appear in one episode, who cause some trouble on a suspension bridge, but that's it. This fic seems to upgrade them into an organized crime syndicate that rivals Team Rocket and whose leader (who has no hint of existing in canon) is worse.
  • Age Lift: Misty is 12 instead of 10, just like in The Electric Tale of Pikachu.
  • The Alcatraz: DeadHeat Prison, in which the inmates are mistreated similarly to in Third World countries, yet for some reason none of the heroes have a problem with the way it is run.
  • Alpha Bitch: In Chapter 10, Misty and Giselle are harassed by some rich girl from Saffron City and her lackey, who believe that the two of them are filthy farm girls who have no shot at defeating them in a Pokémon battle. They actually come pretty close to beating them, before Misty and Giselle learn to work together.
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  • Arc Welding: What are standalone Filler episodes with no connection to one another in canon tend to be tied together in a logical way here. Notably, the entire stretch between Vermilion City and Maiden's Peak becomes a single coherent plot.
  • Ascended Extra: Giselle was originally an One-Shot Character, but here she becomes one of Ash's traveling companions and his Love Interest.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Ash and Brock tour Silph Co., and are on edge because they previously heard that Team Rocket is going to target the place. At the end of the tour, a man in a trench coat looks as if he is going to attack the place, but it turns out he is just a streaker.
  • Blofeld Ploy: After Ash defeats Sabrina, she takes out her anger on her referee, even while he is begging for mercy. It is later revealed that said referee is just a construct created from Sabrina's psychic energy, but it still appeared to have some level of self-awareness.
  • Breather Episode: Chapter 11 doesn't have any conflict with Team Rocket, and the antagonist is easily dispatched.
  • The Chosen One: Ash is this. By Arceus herself no less.
  • Cherry Tapping: This is Ash's MO when facing a really cocky Trainer. In order to teach them humility, he'll use his weakest Pokemon and still utterly curb-stomp them. So far, he has done this against a Team Rocket commander, and Lt. Surge. Only the latter has seen the error of his ways from this.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Surge finds himself on the receiving end of this from Ash and Pikachu.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compare to the original anime, the fic shows a lot of darker moments and the dangers of criminal syndicates.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Chapter 11 gives a lot of focus to Weepinbell and Parasect.
  • Deconstruction Fic:
    • At times the story reads like a deconstruction of the "make Ash a total badass" plot rather than playing it straight. Not only is Ash only the way he is in the first place because of Arceus's intervention to motivate him to learn everything he could about Pokemon before even starting his journey, meaning that the only reason everything goes his way is that Arceus (read: the author) is favoring him, but it this also appears to have resulted in him developing a Superpowered Evil Side, making his friends and him terrified that he will eventually lose control meaning that he needs his True Companions around to remain sane.
    • Once you take away the kid-friendly nature of the series, along with the fact that Ash is no longer held down by the writers' Not Allowed to Grow Up and Aesop Amnesia.
      • The entire Running Gag with the Rocket Trio's Paper-Thin Disguise doesn't fool Ash at all in chapter 8, as both Jessie and James never changed their hair colors nor the accessories they had along with Meowth's short stature, whiskers, and tail sticking out like a sore thumb.
      • Much like with The Incredibles examplenote , "bad guys" like Team Rocket being portrayed as major chumps and that no children would be harmed are not at effect here. This is why Ash had to handle his "war on crime" against the Team Rocket anonymously, less they get wind of his identity and would kill him and everyone he knows who was involved. Furthermore, those who know Team Rocket's deeper roots and operations treat them as The Dreaded for a very good goddamn reason. As Mr.Fuji's backstory with them is of any indication.
      • The Turn-based mechanics of the Pokemon videogames don't apply to an actual Pokemon battle in real-life. Talking Is a Free Action is also averted, and Pokemon moves can also involve unorthodox off-the-fly tactics that could disorientate and confuse the opponent.
  • Dirty Coward: When Haunter No Sells an attack from the remains of Black Fog, the aforementioned villain immediately tries to run away. The heroes are not amused.
  • Doorstopper: Currently, the fic sits at a whopping 918,495 words long. The fic itself has only 17 chapters, meaning that on average, each chapter consists of about 54,000 words. Again, that's 54k words per chapter. And the story isn't even done with Kanto yet! Arceus knows how long the final product will be.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Due to how much of a health nut Ash is and making sure to only feed his Pokemon the most balanced and nutritious meals leaves them a strong intolerance for unhealthy food, to which his girlfriend and his friends, to a lesser extent, had taken up. This is best seen in their visit to Maiden's Peak, where they all are more likely to leave the food district as the unfamiliar smell was too much to bear.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Solidad and Dr. Zager both show up in Kanto. This fic actually did it before Pokémon Reset Bloodlines.
  • Easily Forgiven: Goes both ways— Ash will forgive anyone who wronged him or a Pokemon instantly if they admit their mistakes, and no one ever holds anything he does against him. Lampshaded in Chapter 10.
  • Easy Evangelism: Every Trainer who Ash criticizes quickly takes it to heart and becomes a better person.
  • Eye Beams: When Ash is particularly upset, he can psychically link with his Pokemon while under the influence of his Superpowered Evil Side. This allows them to fire beams of pure aura from their eyes.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Even from the beginning, one can guess that Giselle will play a greater role than in canon because her name is listed in the character filter with Ash. She doesn't actually show up till Chapter 6, which coincidentally is when the story starts Growing The Beard.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Like in canon, Sabrina demands that Ash become her plaything forever if he loses. Even though he wins, she still uses her powers to trap him and his friends in an illusionary world.
  • I Lied: Even though Ash asked Sabrina to leave his friends out of it if he lost the battle, Sabrina traps them along with him, despite his protests.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite Ash winning against Sabrina the first time, he still incurs her wrath, because he does not use Haunter and therefore cannot purify her soul.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Ash describes Gary as this while growing up, as the latter had always focused on being the "cool kid" that he had never bother to learn anything that wasn't going to help him be better than everyone else, and even said that anything that Gary knows about "winning over the opposite sex" is almost entirely from self-instruction. Even in the present day, there're still certain gaps in Gary's knowledge of Pokemon despite his own natural talent.
  • Likes Older Women: The fact that Ash's girlfriend Giselle, who is three years older than him, his crush on Gary's 18-year-old sister, Daisy Oak, and his attraction towards Solidad count as this.
  • Mission from God: Arceus has declared Ash to be her destined Chosen One since his birth, and Ash is aware of this.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Jeremiah has this reaction when he thinks he killed Ash's Weepinbell in a Pokémon battle. He is very relieved to learn that it evolved instead.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • It is a plot point that Ash has a crush on Gary's sister. She doesn't exist in the anime but she does exist in the manga adaptation of the anime, where Ash's counterpart does have a crush on her. The character of Black Fog is also inspired by this manga.
    • In the anime, Ash assumes that the man who saves him and his friends from Sabrina knows her life story because he is her family photographer. In this fic, the man explains that he is Sabrina's father from the beginning, and adds that he used to have a photography business before Sabrina's powers manifested.
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • Unlike the anime, Misty and Brock have last names; "Waterflower" and "Stone" respectively.
    • Giselle on the other hand has her Japanese last name, Yuto (優藤). Thus making her name sound like, Excel Honor Student.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The author's note at the end of Chapter 7 claims that the next chapter will focus more on developing Ash's romantic relationship, but in fact, Chapter 8 is the most action-packed chapter yet.
  • Obligatory Swearing: Special mention goes to Misty in Chapter 10:
    "Shut your collagen-filled, herpes-infested mouth, [...] you hooker!"
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: To horrifying results.
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: Sabrina's father uses it when rescuing Ash and friends.
  • The Reveal: This fic gives a hypothesis for what Dugtrio's full body looks like.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin/Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: Unfortunately, the author has some trouble with spelling and grammar, frequently mixing up noun cases or using commas incorrectly. It usually does not detract from the story, but can get annoying at times. Fortunately, the author has gotten much better about this starting in Chapter 10.
  • Secondhand Storytelling: Happens a lot, as characters Ash meets on his journey will often tell him their whole life story up to that point. Chapter 9 in particular has many instances of this.
  • Serial Escalation: Every chapter is even more over-the-top and awesome than the last.
  • Shout-Out:
    • What Ash does in Chapter 7. His comment when Dragonite nods her head upon being told to destroy the mechas and the control building? "Dragonite... Smash!" A practically word-for-word shout-out to The Avengers (2012) when Captain America tells the Hulk to do the same thing.
    • Ash inexplicably name-drops Johnny Cash at one point in Chapter 11.
    • Boulder Town, where the buildings are carved into a rock, maybe a homage to the ancient city of Petra.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Averted. Even when the action is very clear about what is happening, the author will make sure to tell the readers about how great a trainer Ash is and how righteous he and his comrades are, despite this not being necessary.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: To date, Ash has never lost a battle, and the readers love him for it.
  • Swiper, No Swiping!: Ash can talk down Primeape even when it has gone berserk from Anger Point.
  • Theme Naming: Erika's employees are all named after flowers.
  • Training from Hell: Ash puts both his Pokemon and himself through training so severe that their bodies are only barely able to recover from the strain, and Ash actually calls it cruel.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Pokémon can evolve when under extreme stress, even when they would usually be incapable of it. Black Fog's Start of Darkness involves evolving after humans killed the woman who took care of him and then killing them in turn. So far, two of Ash's Pokémon has evolved while close to death, though both would ordinarily require a stone to do so: Staryu and Weepinbell.
  • True Companions: Ash and his friends are this even more than in canon, which is particularly evident at Pokémon Land and the Tentacruel incident. It's at that point that Brock, Misty, and Giselle decide that they aren't just going to be bystanders to Ash's heroics.
  • We Used to Be Friends: At least on Gary's end, but Ash never once gave up on his friend and is looking forward to fixing that soon.
  • Worldbuilding: Much of the Narrative Filigree is devoted to the author fleshing out his interpretation of the Pokemon World, which often wildly diverges from canon.
  • Younger than They Look: Ash is only ten years old at the start of his journey, but after intensive body and martial training for five years, he looks like a teenager with a height of 5'2" and having lean muscular stature. Couple with his emotional and intellectual maturity for a boy older than his actual age relatively brings him to around Brock's age (himself being only 15, but is already a Parental Substitute for his siblings).