I was sitting in my 3rd grade class during the school year of 2000-2001. I do believe I was sitting in the front row that faced the chalkboard on the far right side near the door and the teacher’s desk. We had these little blue journals our teacher wanted us to write in. Me being myself and not really knowing what in the world a journal was used for, I simply just wrote down whatever came to mind. It just so happened that one of the days we were journal writing, I decided I wanted to tell my teacher about the 16th episode of the Pokémon anime series – Pokémon Shipwreck. I do believe over the course of a day or two, I had written the entire episode down in the journal from memory, with doodles to compliment the scenes I had been talking about. It was just a straight retelling – no added characters, no nothing. Much like the Tracey West adaptations of the TV series.
Some time during that school year, I had begun making fan characters for the Powerpuff Girls series that was airing on CartoonNetwork – Rainbow, Outer Space, and Hula Hoop. After drawing them for a while and with my love for Pokémon, I had decided to draw “myself” as a Pokémon character.
Kelly’s first breath of story life was at the end of the 2000-2001 school year. I had cracked open the journal and went back to those pages I wrote, retelling the 16th episode of Pokémon to my teacher. I re-read the pages, occasionally erasing Misty’s name or adding Kelly’s name after some of the characters speech to add her into the story. I added extra pairs of feet to the images I had drawn and established Kelly owning a Pikachu. (Of course, what kind of Pokémon fan who loved the TV series didn’t want a Pikachu as their starter? Not too many.)
It soon hit the 2001-2002 school year (4th grade) for me and Kelly’s journey in the Pokémon world began blossoming in my head. I established that Kelly more or less wore the same outfit as Ash did. Her hair was about hip length and tied into two lowish pigtails with stars on the band. Mist (or as she’s called now, Mistico (though she’s still called Mist for short)) was introduced in to the world of KJ as a tool for me to poke fun of Misty and by the thought that it would be entertaining if Misty had a younger sister rather than being the youngest.
Kelly in her Founded Day uniform; Founded Day was to celebrate the founding of Jento.
I began creating up my made up region of Jento, named after my younger sister, Jenni (the “to” in the name came from the pattern of Johto and Kanto – I thought all the regions were going to have “to” at the end. Obviously I was wrong). Four city names and gym leaders were established – Kelly City, Riley City, Dalton City, and Jenny City. All in which were named after those who were the gym leaders of the city. Just like Kelly was suppose to be me, Jenny was suppose to be my younger sister. Riley and Dalton had been based off friends we had. I also created possibly three starter Pokémon at this time, but eventually I scrapped them for KJ and moved them to an original story instead.
The initial idea for Kelly’s journey was simply a movie entitled Ash’s Girl. Ash, Misty, and Brock had been traveling through Johto and they came across a Pokégear chip. Ash popped it into his Pokégear (which I thought he would have received at the time of brainstorming this movie – I think it was before Johto aired, but I’m not sure) and the group was treated to a video of a beautiful girl dancing. Suddenly, from several feet behind them (or perhaps in front of them?) they hear a stampede and shouting coming up over the hill they were on. They see the girl they had viewed in the video running with a Pikachu by her side towards them with a stampede of people chasing after her. Sometime after the stampede disappeared, they talk to the girl and find out her name is Kelly and that those people had been chasing her out of anger for some reason. Obviously the group quickly befriends Kelly and she proceeds to bring them into Jento via Dragons Den (I think…that may have been a later location idea before it was scrapped). Shortly after they arrived in Jento, Mist(ico) is introduced to the group as Misty’s sister who she abandoned (who greets her with a teasing “Hi MisTY” with emphasis on “ty”). As some point, Ash and Misty get engaged (clearly my 4th grade self was ignoring their ages) and get married. After the ceremony is done, Kelly bursts out of the hall crying and goes up into a tree. Ash ended up chasing after her, asking her to come down, in which she refuses. Later that night she ends up playing some magical flute that takes away her energy and Ash and Brock both end up being there to witness the event. After witnessing the event, Ash desperately tries to remember a reoccurring dream of a shadow figure of a girl who had originally thought to be Misty. He soon comes to the realization that the girl wasn’t Misty, but was Kelly instead. After noticing his and Kelly’s Pikachus are in love, he goes to Misty and announces that he is in love with Kelly. Somehow he manages to restore Kelly’s life energy and Kelly goes to defeat Misty by pulling a magical girl and transforming into the “star princess”. The movie ended with a dance party. (If you want to see a bit more visual explanation of this movie, go here.)
One of the many pictures I did for that “movie”; Kelly is suppose to be sliding on the ground here…
The movie itself was never written, but MANY pictures ended up being drawn for it (heck, I drew them in two separate notebooks). However, there were numerous adventures in Jento that had been written, mostly very much unrelated to Pokémon itself. The stories typically were me channeling things I pseudo-hated (a.k.a. pretending to hate or forcing myself to hate) into stories just so I could make fun of them or something. For instance, one story I vaguely remember included “myself” (Kelly) and Ash going against Aaron Carter and his girlfriend in a basketball game.
5th grade (2002-2003 school year) brought about an addition or two to the story, as well as one very, very important change in the history of KJ. I introduced a cheerleader named Christy who ended up as Brock’s girlfriend and his eventual wife.
I do believe it was around this time (and if not this time, then somewhere between the years 2002 to 2004) that Kelly’s journey became more than just being in Jento – I became interested in the idea of what would happen if she had been in the TV series in the first place. I started to inject her inside of episode retellings. The very first versions of KJ began to appear inside a notebook I had. It began as an important starting point to the current Kelly’s Journey series you most likely read if you’re reading this post.
An important change was brought about in 5th grade, about two years after Kelly’s creation with the original intention of her being me. I was hit with a realization that Kelly looked nothing like me, therefore she wasn’t me. From that point of realization, Kelly was no longer me. She was a character born from me. Even though she was no longer me, I did not hesitate to inject various traits of mine into her character, from personality to physical looks.
Then I hit middle school, or “junior high” as some call it, in 6th grade and a second major turning point came in my life that further influence KJ. I had been introduced to anime and manga (more or less – it was more of I saw someone reading manga of a series that looked familiar, asked them about it out of curiosity, and went to go buy it for myself) and my life changed possibly for the better. I became happier and started almost never being bored. It brought back the return of many anime I had watched as a child (such as Sailor Moon) and I took an extreme interest in Japanese. I also introduced myself to the Japanese version of Pokémon thanks to the Internet.
Due to a criticism from a friend and my new interest in anime & manga, I had begun to draw differently. The heads start to have that upside-down pentagon shape anime heads usually display. My drawings began to evolve and I began to adjust Kelly’s character design further.
My middle school years spent a lot of time developing KJ and different aspects of it. I continued to write various versions of KJ and draw various comics, most of which started out more or less like Ash’s night before receiving his starter Pokémon. At one point I even drew a comic of it, still excluding Daisy from the list.
The “Star Princess” idea from 4th grade transformed into an idea that was a cross between something that would appear in Sailor Moon and something that, by a long stretch, could be done in Pokémon. Kelly no longer had “star powers”, but had become half Pokémon instead. In order to explain her having these Pokémon powers (as well as why Kelly “belonged” with Ash), Kerii-hime was created.
Kerii-hime (left) and Kelly (right).
Kerii-hime (or “Princess Kelly”/”Princess Kerii”) was a princess of an ancient kingdom who was bored with life and one day decided to escape. That night she meets a prince named Ashi who convinces her to return home. They end up falling in love, but unfortunately, their kingdoms (and the surrounding ones) got into a huge war. While in an underground tunnel, she meets up with Ashi who almost gets killed by a solider. Fearing for Ashi’s life, she screams louder than she ever had, her Pokémon powers activate and she ends up killing most of the planet. Ashi and Kerii-hime end up being among the few survivors and their souls were sent into the future to be reincarnated into Ash and Kelly. (And just as a completely off side note, this actually sounds like it would make a really good story to me (a non-Pokémon one), minus the reincarnated part. Oh my Arceus, I should write it. Eventually.)
Kelly received numerous character design tweaks, most notably her hair. Her ever changing lengths hair became about knee length. Her straight hair became wavy, similar to my natural hair type. At one point, there was a time when her hair was about shoulder length due to a fire burning off much of her hair! Her eye colour went from being black or dark blue to a much lighter aquamarine and blue colour. Her character design also jumped back and forth between having Z’s under her eyes and not having them (which was actually an earlier trait she also had, but I rarely drew them). Eventually I decided Kelly would not have Z’s under her eyes.
The stories of Kelly’s journey throughout the Pokémon world FINALLY gained an established name in 2004-2005. I officially named my rewrite Kelly’s Journey. During those years, I had come up with the idea that I wanted to make KJ into a radioplay. Since I had wanted to do so, I decided to give it an official name so I wasn’t switching it between Kelly’s Story and Kelly’s Pokémon Adventures.
- An old Photoshop drawn image of Daisy from 2005.
The idea of a radioplay brought about a new character – Daisy Ketchum. She was to be Ash’s younger sister with a hobby of photography, blackmailing her older brother, and fangirling over the idea of her brother and Kelly being a couple. She is a character that has stayed the same throughout the further development of KJ in terms of likes and interest, with an added over dramatic personality who hates it when anyone makes fun of her brother. Her original character design consisted of a black dress with a red bow, based off a Sailor Moon manga picture.
I wrote as many radioplay scripts as possible, eventually writing up to episode 16. Each radioplay script was like a nutshell, on crack version of the TV series with fan characters thrown in. Sadly, I was completely serious about the content at the time of writing them – they weren’t originally meant to be like crack versions of the TV series. A heavy majority of the series was Onlyaindreamshipping (Ash/Kelly) based content. Many characters of the day gained a sibling or a friend with a similar personality to be Kelly’s “rival” or person she helped of the day.
Kelly was also officially established as a rich character in the series during the radioplay. I don’t believe her parents jobs were quite established at this point, but I do know she was a rich character. Mainly because I very vividly remember her family having a house somewhere inside Viridian Forest (which, by the way, doesn’t exist anymore).
The radioplay saw the first inclusion of fan characters other than mine. My new friend I had made on the school bus, known online as shugotenshii, became the first person to have their fan characters included in Kelly’s Journey. They made their first appearance in the Lt. Surge episode of the series.
I continued to try and write the fanfiction version of KJ. 2005 saw the last of Kelly’s identical beginning to Ash’s as well as romance right from the start.
I continuously tried to figure out Mistico’s back story of why in the world Mistico wasn’t with Misty and her sisters. Several of the ideas did include Misty hating Mistico and brought her to an area to simply leave her alone to fend for herself. Of course, one then must question when that was, why Mistico hadn’t seen Misty for so long, and why couldn’t she have gone back to Cerulean City by herself?
The first picture I posted of Neutral OC Kelly and the first picture I posted of Sinnoh Kelly. Notice how Kelly’s neutral design influence her Sinnoh design.
The summer between 8th and 9th grade brought about another change into Kelly’s character design, completely by accident. I had decided that I wanted to make a “neutral OC” version of Kelly (meaning I could easily put her inside of my own stories or other series – very similar to my other character, Kanata, who doubles as my Kingdom Hearts fan character and a character in one of my original stories). The neutral OC version of Kelly included nearly floor length hair, bangs that framed the sides of her face like fangs, and locks of hair that stayed in the front of her body. In one picture I had drawn (with Neutral OC Kelly near two of my other characters while they were heading to school), Neutral OC Kelly had her hair in a low ponytail with the front strands looping back. The hair style became the basis for Kelly’s Sinnoh region hair. After drawing Neutral OC Kelly several times, Pokémon!Kelly’s design was very, very quick to adapt to a change. She was beginning to look less like Ash with long hair and more like her own character.
When it hit early 2007, the rest of the establish fan characters of mine in Kelly’s Journey began to receive character redesigns. Daisy had received a completely new outfit consisting of more or less the same colours of her mothers clothing with rolled up jeans, sneakers, a sweatshirt, and a t-shirt as well as bows in her hair to hold up her pigtails. Mistico received her first major design upgrade. Her hair was lightened in colour to more of a crème orange than a carrot orange and placed down with two low pigtails at the side. Her outfit still copied Misty’s colours, however, she received a short sleeved, half body red jacket with a yellow tank top, short jean shorts, and red boots. Her eye colour had become brown.
Daisy’s redesign with clothes far more suited for traveling.
Daisy had also received proper Sinnoh and Hoenn designs around this time with the first indication of characters really actually aging during the KJ series.
Kelly’s Kanto (or original series) design became tweaked once more, getting rid of the weird pigtail thing she had going on and replacing it with a low ponytail with all of her hair tied back. Her eyes also became gray.
Late 2007 saw another Mist redesign – this time her hair resembling Misty’s sisters more than Misty – and a proper version of Kelly’s Journey (or so I call it). The previous versions of the fanfiction were slowly building up to this “proper” version. All the different versions of the first episodes were getting better and better the more I wrote them. With the start of this version, I told myself it would be the final time I would rewrite it. It had to be done right this time.With that idea set in mind, I went ahead and wrote the first episode once again for the very last time.
It no longer had an identical beginning to Ash’s. Kelly was had her own identity and her own reasons as to why she was late that morning and why she could meet Ash when she did. Kelly and Ash no longer had a crush on each other right from the start. It was simply just two ten year old kids who had over slept in the front of Professor Oak’s laboratory getting ready to go get their first Pokémon. Daisy’s drama queen personality was quickly established as well as a very brief introduction to Kelly being part Pokémon. Kelly being rich was still mentioned, but done so in a way that would not come off braggy. Kelly’s mother and grandfather are established as famous (though she never specifically states what her mother is famous for until later on in the series) and her father being a vice president of a construction company. It introduced the Fu-gear (later renamed – which I’ll get to soon enough), a device created by her grandfather.
The second episode came along shortly after and I attempted to avoid watching the show as I wrote it, only to find myself having an insane amount of trouble writing episode 2. Once I had finished it, I couldn’t shake off the horrible feeling that I did a terrible job on it. After I had posted it up on Fanfiction.net, I decided to rewrite episode 2 one more time, actually watching the episode as I went. The second rewrite of it made me feel like I did as good a job as could and left it at that. I then realized that I needed to watch the episodes as I went along in order to get it to be all right.
The second episode did a few important things for the series as well, going into slightly further detail about Kelly being half Pokémon as well as Daisy’s blackmailing, photo taking hobby and her new obsession with the idea of her brother and Kelly being a couple.
The fanfiction hit episode 5 in 2007, marking the first time that the KJ fanfiction has ever gotten over 4 episodes! It introduced Mistico to the cast of characters and a bit of her personality. Just as I said though, it’s still an important episode in the history of KJ simply because it WAS the first time the fanfiction made it to chapter 5! From there, I continued writing, uploading things every few months or so.
Kelly was given a slight back story to how in the world her Pokémorph powers were discovered, but hadn’t quite been mentioned until later in KJ. She had been horribly frightened by a hoard of Beedrill attacking her and Gary Oak that she had unconsciously activated the powers and used them on the Beedrill. Her feeling bad as well as having a fear of Beedrill fueled her decision to catch a Weedle.
January 2008 saw a final redesign for Mistico (with the exception to second tank top underneath the first becoming blue instead of yellow). Her eye colour was now an even lighter brown and her hair was now wavy and less like Misty’s sisters, but still gorgeous. The design made its premiere on an ID for the Kelly’s Journey club on deviantART.
This is the history of Mistico’s character design development; Early Mist (first on the left), first redesign (2nd on left), second redesign (3rd on left), third redesign (4th from left), and her current 2010 design (first on right)
Mistico’s back story of why she and Misty didn’t see each other for so long finally fell into place and made logical sense. ****SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT READ KJ EPISODE 7**** Mistico and Misty were half sisters. Misty’s parents had gotten a divorce and Mistico & Misty had the same father. That’s why they hadn’t really seen each other for so long. Far more logical than the abandoning thing, don’t ya think? ***END OF SPOILER ALERT***
KJ continued to be written and developed throughout the 2008-2010 years. Kelly’s character design was slightly tweaked once more over those years. I had figured that in order for Kelly to do her hair style for Sinnoh, she would need to cut her front locks of hair. Of course, I had already pre-established with myself that Kelly’s hair cannot be cut without it growing back within seconds to the length it was at. Kelly’s hair is also very layered. After testing out Kelly’s Sinnoh hair (more or less) on a wig of mine, I figured out about how long her front locks of hair would have to be for the hair style to work. Finally, in 2010, I had adjusted her design to help out future hair styles – her front locks now reaching about mid-thigh.
This is the first doodle of Melissa I had done to show someone how she looked; her eye colour is later changed to purple as you can see in this picture.
2008 saw the introduction of Kelly’s Sinnoh Rival, Melissa. Melissa was actually originally created for the post-KJ series’, In Between and New Horizons (in which the KJ characters are in their early-mid 20s in the former and late 20s or mid to late 30s in the latter). She had spurred out from an idea that I felt like randomly giving Ash’s rival, Paul, an accidental kid due to being drunk (which was highly influenced by my health class that year). I wasn’t going to let any official Pokémon anime character get paired up with a jerk like him (and before you start wanting to complain to me, I am a fan of Paul), so I decided that I should make up a character to conceive his child. In which I thought “oh hey, I should make her Kelly’s rival!”. With the basis of her being Kelly’s rival for dance contest (since in Sinnoh, I basically just expanded what the game did and added dance contests since it fit into Kelly’s character – and no, she doesn’t stop doing gym battles, so don’t worry) and the type of dancing she does, Melissa was born. She quickly became one of my favourite characters I have created for her fun loving, happy, good nature personality with a bit of attitude thrown in.
The idea with Kerii-hime was scrapped (even though Kerii-hime’s character is still floating around with a strong possibility of her reappearing in the series, just with a completely different story) and instead was replaced with a bit more…plausible legend to why Kelly has Pokémon powers and why she isn’t any known species of Pokémon. Something you’re not going to know for a while!
January 2010 saw the first KJ episode of the year. The episode was episode 10 of the series. KJ, while going at a snails pace for updating, was still going! It finally made it to episode 10!
August 3, 2010 was the latest episode of KJ, episode 12.
In October 2010, with National Novel Writing Month in November in my mind, I decided that I would dedicate December to Kelly’s Journey, both editing the previous episodes to update them and fix things that were wrong with them and writing new ones.
Also, in October 2010 when I was working on the KJ download indicator pictures, I decided that I was going to change Mist’s name to Mistico and have people call her Mist for short. I was having difficulty coming up with a good enough story as to why Misty and Mist had a one letter difference between their names, so I decided to make it easier on myself and give Mist a full name of Mistico which I felt matched her very well.
It is December 2010 and the KJ month has just begun! Let’s see what I can accomplish this month, now shall we?
Visit the Kelly’s Journey Group on deviantART for new images and episodes of KJ!
And for those who are suddenly in deep confusion about my gender because they thought I was a boy or I was a girl or wasn’t sure, I’m a transgender. A gender fluid to be exact. The means I switch between genders (which I’ll easily establish as boy and girl for you). Kelly’s very early creation was before I started to take note of it, which is why she is still a she.