Reviews for The Ash Connection
D11 chapter 32 . 8h
Wow! I'd seen that this story had such great reception, but I had held off reading it as I'm not too fond of Ash as a character. But wow! This story sucked me in. I have been glued to my phone reading this in my free time, and I absolutely loved the ending where it comes out that this was just the story being recounted. Very clever. I throughly enjoyed it!
Eclairia chapter 33 . 4/22
Hi there. I have just read this entire story in one go. One entire afternoon, and into the early evening.

I have been utterly dazzled.

I don't think I've ever read anything over 300K long before. I usually get bored by the end of the first 10 chapters, and stop reading. But god, I could not stop with this story. I just kept going and going, and each chapter just kept getting better and better.

Funny, I am quite the anime elitist, but for whatever reason, I journeyed back to the Pokemon fandom, and this is where I find the type of story that I had been looking for all along. A story that reads like another season of the anime, that develops multiple storylines, that includes all of my favourite characters, that has enough plot conveniences to keep everyone alive but never enough to bore the reader, that has an ending that ties it all together.

Thank you for giving me a wonderful Saturday.
bigb360 chapter 33 . 3/21
I've just started reading TAC 2, and I wanted to give this a review before I got too far into it. First off, my appreciation for giving these characters the treatment they all deserve. I didn't necessarily agree with all of your decisions character wise, but you did it so well that any complaints I would have are very minor and are overtaken by the story as a whole.

It does feel like the story gets bogged down in a lot of places by a lot of politics that aren't completely hashed out that I see (like why on earth are people so accepting of a sporting event choosing their leaders in the first place) but it feels so real and satisfying because of how you portray all of the characters and situations they're in. It also gives a needed depth to the Pokemon world that we obviously never see in the anime.

At times it seemed like Ash was a side character in his own story. Granted you're dealing with a ton of characters, and frankly I believe this was your intent. He did take more of a backseat, but in doing so I learned about characters like Drew, May, Paul, Leaf, Dawn, the various champions, etc. Was the intent to flesh them out more and leave Ash as kind of the catalyst for everything, but not necessarily the central character? (I hope that question is clear). He also seemed a little more duncey than I'm used to.

The only character I didn't really get was Misty. I can tell she's strong and independent and cares for Ash and wants more than a simple friendship. But then when it came to Ash's brush with death she dealt with it in an almost blasé manner. Not that she needed to become an emotional mess by any means (there are probably too many stories that treat her in that manner), but I feel like maybe you pulled back a little too far in the other direction. I just had issues figuring out what to think of her and what she was thinking at times.

Gosh I feel like I'm complaining too much. That's not my intent, as I really did enjoy the story (and I plan to enjoy TAC 2 as well). Take any of these critiques as constructive, please (and I know the story is now almost 5 years old)! The story is very good and its scope is beyond impressive. You've given us a mature look at the world of pokemon with a lot of good political intrigue and nice personal moments.

Shipping wise, if I'm not mistaken, it seems TAC set the standard in the fandom for relationships given Ash x Misty. A lot of other fics follow the standard of Ikari, Wishful (my 2nd fav), Contest, and OldRival.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the story and am looking forward to more in TAC 2. And I hear you're mulling over a third story, which would be fantastic.
FlameUser64 chapter 32 . 3/20
Review here because I didn't put in the epilogue review like I should have, but I was actually quite disappointed that Meloetta didn't do something like, say, show up in Ash's hospital room. Like, considering how other characters noted how in-sync Ash and Meloetta already were, I expected her to show up for the aftermath as things were winding down. At least to pop in and say goodbye, you know? Also, gotta wonder why she turned Fighting-type before attacking Mewtwo when she's perfectly capable of blasting things with Psychic or Hyper Voice in Aria Forme. Especially since, you know, being part Normal is supposed to make her immune to Mewtwo's Shadow Ball. And I was kind of insulted that she just got casually one-shotted when she tried to help. You'd think she'd know better than to turn Fighting-type and then try to rush a Psychic-type, instead of playing his game at range where she'd be better able to survive.
FlameUser64 chapter 33 . 3/20
So, the question here is: what happened to Meloetta? She was mentioned as having made a full recovery, but unlike Mewtwo and Moltres nothing further was said about her after that. And, well… I'd expected her to at least appear in the epilogue, seeing as Chili and Cress had promised to take her to a rock concert someday. And, well, it would've been cute.

Also, I can assume this story definitely sidetracked stuff midway through Unova. By the end of Unova, Ash and Meloetta were on speaking terms — heck, she was *flirting with him* for a good chunk of Adventures in Unova, adding one more to the tally of "Pokémon with a romantic interest in Ash" — and Ash was more than familiar with Giovanni after the latter attempted to use Meloetta's power to control the Unova weather trio. He succeeded, right up until Pikachu absorbed one of Thundurus's electric attacks and blasted Giovanni and his ritual platform with a Spirit Bomb-sized Electro Ball.
The Happy Pen chapter 33 . 2/18
I have no idea what I can say that can summarise just how good this is without also repeating what you have heard so many times already—the intriguing plot, the beautiful characterisation, the clear structure, your captivating style, etc.—but I know that I can't go without telling you that this was one of the best Pokémon fanfics I have read.

I never got bored of this story, and although it was really, really tough not skimming and rushing through chapters to save time, I had a lot of fun completely losing myself in this, just crying, laughing, smiling, squealing and screaming. I was a bit hesitant about committing myself to reading so much, but I'm glad that I did—everything this put me through was more than worth it, and it left me with a great sense of satisfaction at the end. I can't give you deep or thoughtful insight on this, but I know that there are a lot of things in here that pull us in and make it an amazing read—sadly, I just don't know how to put it into words.

In all honesty, I gave up on Ash a long time ago, but this makes me want to have faith in him again. Really beautiful work.
anjumstar chapter 33 . 1/9
It's whenever I finish a story like this that I think, dang, I should have been reviewing every chapter! Because what I have to say at just the last one isn't really enough. But I'll give it my best shot.

I read half of your Pokemon stories (all the ones that had ships that I liked) before diving into this one. Just because this one is so long and such a commitment that I wanted to make sure that I liked your writing before buckling in. And, truthfully, I only really, really liked a couple of your stories. There were a few that were okay, and a few that I didn't really like at all. But, I guess it didn't matter, because I decided to read this anyway. And...it blew me away. This is a masterpiece. Just because of the plot. That alone-well, not alone. Also combined with the mad balancing of characters, but I'll get to that-was a monstrous task. And well, here I am, totally satisfied at the end of it. Um, onto those characters now.

You were balancing, what, 30 main characters? I couldn't even make the complete list off the top off my head if I tried. And when I say balance, I mean, pretty much perfectly. I mean, little things, like Ritchie could have gotten more screen time or Adler could have seemed a little less doofy or Barry could have said 'I'm gonna fine you' a couple less times. I mean, super, super tiny things. I've never read anything with this many characters and it being handled so well. And I stopped watching Pokemon part way through Gen 3-though I've seen bits and pieces of 4, 5, and 6. I feel like I have a decent grasp of Dawn, at least. But the rest of the crew-all the randos from Gen 5, for instance, not to mention even some people in our group of 14 (Zoey, Trip, etc.)-I didn't have much knowledge on at all. Yet, you made all of the characters compelling with interesting backstories, they were tied well together, you paired together unexpected friendships, and I was nearly equally invested in all of them. I felt like I knew all of them equally well as I was reading, because they were so balanced in this story.

Okay, Imma try to get more specific now...I've been trying to hold onto a few from throughout the story so that I don't just have things to say about the end, lol! So here are those random things. 1, love that you made Barry gay. I've been reading a lot of spectrum inclusive fiction right now, and I'm super digging it, and all of the main Pokemon pairings I read about are so heteronormative! So, while there was still a lot of that in there, Barry at least warmed my heart. Though I don't get why you had him liking Paul...I don't really get why Dawn is shipped with Paul either. He's kinda a dick in the anime. (But I'll touch on your use of Ikari in a sec). I actually maybe would have preferred it if he liked Kenny or someone more understandable than Paul. Because right now, that pick seems kinda arbitrary. I just don't get it. But I also don't like Paul, so it might just be me.

You were really good about building up and releasing tension, answering questions and posing new ones all throughout. Incredible plot balancing, once again. The one moment where I felt that was a little off was the chapter where we got Lance and Leaf's backstory and the scene with Felly Rodriguez. I think that the tension would have worked better if we didn't know why Lance chose Leaf until Ch 30 when he mentions her to Leaf. And Lance himself could have told a watered down version of the tale. But your way was good too...I mean, all of the backstories and how well the weave together and all that...really brilliant. And how you related characters to each other...well, it makes the world seem really small, but it's also very creative!

I loved the last Special. The transitions were artsy and all the moments were so Ash down to the molecule. That's all.

Oh, I said I'd mention IkariShipping. Well, I'll just dive into the ships in general. I liked what you did with Paul here because, near as I could tell, he was still pretty in character. A douche. But he was protecting Dawn and he didn't know why and then when he did know why, it didn't really change him. That sounds like Paul. And Dawn was just sweet, but attracted to the bad boy (happens to all of us, babe). It worked. ContestShipping. Always a fave, always makes me smile. I'm glad that this was kind of the prominent ship, because that's how it is in the anime. It's the most canon one. They were the ones most relationshippy the whole time. I dug that balance. And the PokeShipping was just right. I mean, some carnal part of me wanted more, but this was just right, really. I mean, Ash is an idiot. I think that you didn't give him enough credit in that he could understand what a girlfriend is after it's explained to be one word, but aside from that, he wouldn't know squat about a relationship except for gut instinct stuff. And that's what he did. And not a lot of it. Because he's an idiot. And we love him for it. I liked Cynthia and Steven and little Emily. Cute. Maylene seemed a little random, but I liked the use of the arc, and ending with a wedding was brilliant. I don't like Iris and Cilan, but you didn't focus on them, so I give it a pass.

Really, my bottom line is that this is my favorite kind of Pokemon story. A lot of action and the romance on the side-haven't mastered writing it myself, but I know it when I find it and this is IT. You laced it in throughout to give the readers a little something sweet to suck on, but it wasn't the whole meal, as Cilan would probably say. (Speaking of which, you captured a lot of characters' manners of speaking and personalities really well, but Cilan's dumb cliches were kind of a missed opportunity. I see how good you are with Harley's dumb dialogue-I know you could do Cilan's!)

And even though that's my bottom line, I'm gonna keep talking, because I have many feelings! The Luke-Lu thing was a funny almost-inside joke. There were a lot of things in the last few chapters that had me making squeaks of various different emotions.

I liked the mirroring between Mewtwo and Silver at the near-end. It was unexpected and surprisingly satisfying. I loved when we got to see Delia's past and she saw Ash as having saved her life and that's why she loved him so much. It was touching. Deeply. Especially because right at the beginning when Delia was breaking down with the revelation that Giovanni was Ash's dad, I was kind of like, oh sheesh, this again? But that one tidbit made it super worth it. And Ash and Silver's dynamic was very interesting. And Silver DESTROYING Giovanni there at the end. Oof, that boy has some daddy issues.

Speaking of, Drew and Ash's scene at the end was nice. I just really liked it. And usually last minute drama between a meant-to-be couple is really annoying and unnecessary, but Drew's response was actually super believable. And him quickly realizing his mistake and fixing it was also nice and unusual for that kind of situation. (I'm a total Drew fangirl, btw.)

The mirror that Lance made between Paul/Reggie, Drew/Solidad/, and Leaf/Lance was super smart of you. Perfect timing and a really nice message. I liked how you were mentioning Iris's issue with the cold for so long before finally revealing the story of her parents dying. Because when it was first introduced, I thought it was kind of melodramatic writing but then you pull the rug out from under us! Yikes, so many tragic backstories!

I could probably say so much more, but this is already beyond too much, so I'll spare you from anymore, save for this last gem: I wanted more Brock.

That's all. Thank you for this.
Xexclaima chapter 4 . 12/26/2016
Wait... is the Pokemon Mewtwo!? I remember that it used to wear armor in Giovanni's care and its attack is somewhat similar to a Shadow Ball.
TabathaEvans chapter 32 . 12/17/2016
Dang. This has been an amazing ride. From the beginning, your characterization has been spot-on, and you slowly built up momentum until we were hurtling to the thrilling conclusion. Your grammar, spelling, and punctuation have been perfect, and I loved this. Five stars for The Ash Connection.

I'd be suffering from withdrawal if I weren't about to go read the epilogue and sequel.
AfterTheEpilogue chapter 11 . 12/4/2016
Wow, Leaf's idiocy was... very, very painful in this chapter.
AfterTheEpilogue chapter 10 . 12/4/2016
Gary is genre savvy as fuck. DAMN.

Is Agent Adalent a secret TR member though?
AfterTheEpilogue chapter 7 . 12/4/2016
Didn't see that coming, wow.
AfterTheEpilogue chapter 4 . 12/4/2016
I wish Ash wasn't so dumb in this fic, he's like, at least 15 or something, right?
RedSoulDreemurr chapter 15 . 12/2/2016
so much foreshadowing! here it says that Paul "can't lose torterra" but in the next book, he does!
RedSoulDreemurr chapter 15 . 12/2/2016
omg, Gary says that the world will freeze over before they go on a date, and it DOES freeze over in the rest of the story
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