It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for Crossroads Comics!
This week we’re taking a look at Ash and Raichu Propoganda by PkmnMasterWheeler. Ever wondered what it’d be like to see Ash’s lovable partner Pokemon as a Raichu? Well now you can! Ash and Raichu Propoganda is an ask blog that follows the ever youthful protagonist, Ash Ketchum, and his now-evolved partner, Raichu! This blog is mostly a fun little interactions blog where you can talk and chat with the duo. Questions range from who’s the best cook, to requesting cheek pinches, to finding out their current standing with the local Spearow population. It’s overall a very relaxed blog with no overarching plot, but is still a really enjoyable AU for reasons I’ll get into below.
So what makes Ash and Raichu Propoganda so interesting? Well from the onset, the premise of Ash having a Raichu is already a pretty unique starting point. The dynamic duo of Pikachu and Ash are such an iconic team that it’s hard to imagine Ash without Pikachu. But for us fans who prefer Raichu to Pikachu, this AU is actually really cool! It’s neat to see Ash interacting with the evolved form of his starter, especially since this was undoubtedly a big decision for Raichu. Raichu also seems to have gotten more mature as part of the process so it’s cool to see him acting as a sort of doting parent over Ash, since we all known that he’s still a kid at heart regardless of how many years have passed. Their friendship definitely hasn’t suffered because of the evolution, and in fact they seem to have a much stronger bond than before, which is really cool! With evolution being such a big theme throughout Pikachu’s lifetime in the anime, it makes sense that if Pikachu decided to ever evolve, it would be something that the two would bond over.
Another interesting distinction about this ask blog is that it takes place in the “I Choose You” Movie timeline. For those unacquainted, the Pokemon anime and movies largely take place in the same timeline, with Ash going on various adventures in all the regions, meeting new friends, encountering legendaries, etc. These all took place in roughly the same canon up through the nineteenth movie, Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel. Though there is some debate about the canonicity of the movies as a whole with regards to the anime, that’s not what we’re here to discuss today. See, after Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel, the 20th Pokemon movie was released, titled “Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!”. This movie marked a split in the canon of the franchise, with the creators stating that this film marked a new alternate universe for Ash’s adventures to take place in. The differences are evident right away with Ash’s early Kanto adventures being very different from the anime itself both in terms of traveling companions and Pokemon Ash met along the way. Since the release of this movie, thhree other Pokemon have been released, two of which are also in this timeline, “The Power of Us” and “Secrets of the Jungle”. While “Secrets of the Jungle” hasn’t come to the US yet, if the two movies that have reached the international stage are anything to go by, this timeline is set to be very different from the original anime and not in a bad way.
So why does this matter? Well, as PkmnMasterWheeler makes clear early on, this means that Ash doesn’t have any knowledge of these other universes. His team, his companions, and his adventures are all different because they take place in another timeline. This fact is really interesting since, while it’s still Ash, it makes for a cool discussion point to ask about these other companions, since fans who haven’t seen the movies might not know them as well. Plus, it allows PkmnMasterWheeler to work with a more clean slate when it comes to what Pokemon, friends, and adventures Ash has had. PkmnMasterWheeler also has actually stated her reasoning for picking this timeline as well. “So as some of you may have heard, the most recent episode of the Pokemon anime was an evolution fake out with Pikachu. And while Ash’s Pikachu evolving in the MAIN anime would be dumb for numerous reasons, mainly how long he’s been a Pikachu and it going against what he wants as a character, In the movies not so much. So ever since movie 20 “Pokemon: I Choose You!” the movies have followed an alternate reality version of Ash and Pikachu. And THIS version of Pikachu, has never been established to not want to evolve. On top of that he’s only been around 3 years, which by comparison would be like if Ash’s Pikachu in the anime changed his mind in like, season 1 or 2 of Johto and evolved there, so not nearly as crazy amount of time as the over 20 years he’s been a Pikachu in the anime.” In short, Ash’s Pikachu in the “I Choose You” timeline has never shown an aversion to evolving like his counterpart has in the anime, and therefore the possibility for evolution still exists. It’s a really interesting point to bring up that I would have never realized had it not been pointed out. But it really does work well for the blog’s setting overall, even though it undoubtedly probably gets a little annoying getting bombarded with questions about the incorrect timeline.
I also can’t think of a better author for this than PkmnMasterWheeler. Ash as a character has gotten a lot of crap thrown at him throughout the years. He’s constantly being compared to Red and for a long time he didn’t even have a championship title to his name. And with the mentality towards Ash has definitely started to shift after his victory in the Alola region, the desire for a new main character is still there in the fandom. Which is why I think PkmnMasterWheeler is a great candidate to run this blog, because I have not met a bigger Ash Ketchum fan than her. She currently runs six different comics, four of which update weekly and one of which updates biweekly. Of these six comics, three of them feature either Ash or his Pikachu/Raichu as a main character, these being Ash and Raichu Propoganda, Across the Divide, and Golden Sun. I plan to spotlight all of PkmnMasterWheeler‘s comics one day since she puts a lot of work into all of these and I want to make sure they get the spotlight they deserve, but I bring them up now to emphasize how big of an Ash Ketchum fan she is. If there’s anyone who could create a well written Alternate Universe about Ash Ketchum with a Raichu for a partner, it’s PkmnMasterWheeler. She knows Ash as a character very well, but also isn’t afraid to put her own personal spin on the character as she sees fit, and I think that is great. Writing characters that already exist in an established canon can be tough since not every fan is going to like what you do with those characters, but PkmnMasterWheeler does a great job and it’s really praiseworthy.
You can read Ash and Raichu Propoganda on Tumblr and Deviantart. You can also find PkmnMasterWheeler on Deviantart, ComicFury, Tumblr, and Twitter. Also, if you like video games streams, PkmnMasterWheeler also does a fair number of video game playthroughs ranging from Metroid to Pokemon nuzlockes, all of which you can check out on her Twitch and YouTube. I’d also highly recommend checking out their other comics, all of which you can find on her Deviantart and ComicFury profiles!
And without further ado, let’s check out the rest of this week’s lineup!
Land-Shaymin Jail for mother! Jail for one thousand years!
PMD: Chanterelle Hmm something suspicious is going on here.
PMD: Explorers of Life Oh goody there’s more of them.
PMD: Rangers of Sky So many cameos so little time!
PMD: Wildfire It’s a big decision that’s for sure.
Charismata Those aren’t birds!
Chimeran Legends We’re right behind you!
Digimon Saviors 2 Get him, Hackmon!
Moonblast Aww what a cutie!
Pokemon Hometown Rest easy, little one.
PMD: Team Rowanberry Seems this will be a tough battle for Myra.
Pure Light The gang is back together!
The Long Way It’s back for round 2!
Monty and Millie Look at all those cameos!
PMD: Keepers of Light This seems unfair!
PMD: Turncoats This is foreboding.
Sunlocke These backgrounds are so pretty.
The Caretaker Interesting. Very interesting.
Undertow He understands, given he stole his starter and all.
Wanted! – A PMD Story Seems Aspen has some hesitancy.
What the Water Gave Me He seems friendly.
Ash and Raichu Propoganda Zeraora would make a really cool teammate.
Ask Team Spirit What a tearful reunion.
Ask the Isle What a beautiful scene.
Digital Sylveon Who doesn’t love puns?
Flake-n-Rudy Poor Flake… that had to hurt.
Leilani-and-Kass Seems Leilani had quite the interesting visitor!
Peachy Gulpin What a cute sneeze.
TC-96 Mistakes were made.