"Antoshi, you make the best waffles in the whole world! That's it — from now on, you're our personal waffle chef. What's that? 'What a great idea, Fireball'? I know it is. You can thank me later."
Fireball is the main Pokémon protagonist of A Blond Ray of Sunshine — a Pokémon fan fiction series that takes place in a future timeline, almost one hundred years after the events of Pokémon Red and Blue. He makes his debut in A Blond Ray of Sunshine as Antoshi's best friend and only Pokémon on hand. He is portrayed as comical, upbeat, and has a love of all kinds of food, particularly waffles. He is abnormally large for a Typhlosion, standing at over six feet tall.
Fireball and Antoshi travel the region of Kanto to collect all eight Gym Badges and reach the Indigo Plateau. Along the way, however, Fireball is kidnapped by members of Team Rocket. This event allows Antoshi to unlock his pent-up superhuman energy. With his powers, he is able to single-handedly stop the two Team Rocket members that kidnapped Fireball and rescue his friend.
After a loss in the first round of the Indigo League tournament, Antoshi and Fireball decide to travel to Johto on a new badge-collecting journey. There, they meet Antoshi's twin brother, Latoshi. While they get along well at first, Antoshi confronts him after believing Latoshi to be the culprit behind the recent destruction of a Johto town. Ultimately, the two boys engage in a superpowered brawl. From this fight, Antoshi's power and penchant for fighting is further explored. Fireball helps Antoshi immensely, supporting the boy in his times of need as their lives begin to radically change.
Conception and creation
Fireball was conceived some time in 2002, through text role-playing in AOL chat rooms. He was originally named 'Bakufun', a Hepburn romanization of Typhlosion's Japanese name, and was part of a roster of long-forgotten Pokémon to fill out Antoshi's team of six, which also included an Espeon and a Crobat.
In an attempt to make Fireball a unique character during role-play sessions, he was given the identity of an edgy street gangster who wore a bandana. This personality carried over late into the first series of fan fiction stories starring the character, which began in 2002. In these stories, Fireball initially acts as nothing more than a tool for Antoshi to use when it came time to battle, or to fight Latoshi. He is kept in his Poké Ball at all times, unless Antoshi needs him for something. Eventually, Fireball decides to split from Antoshi and go on his own, which is when he recruits two other unnamed Typhlosions into his gang. This gang made sporadic appearances, while Fireball inexplicably obtained, and learned how to drive, a lowrider car for them to travel around in. The first series lasted for six stories and one 'special', spanning from 2002–2008.
The series went through a reboot in 2009, starting with a new story, A Blond Ray of Sunshine. More focus was put on making a serious, coherent, ongoing storyline. Here, Fireball acts as a permanent traveling companion, as well as comic relief. He is portrayed as having a short temper, and eager to fight others on Antoshi's behalf if he felt the boy was being disrespected. The backgrounds of Fireball and others are also explored further. The second series spanned five stories, with a sixth left unfinished, before being dropped in 2012.
The series went through another reboot in 2017 — its current incarnation — overhauling and expanding the story of 2009's A Blond Ray of Sunshine while keeping the core plot points intact. As a reference to the 2009 series, Fireball is described as having a short temper before the events of the first story occur.
A Blond Ray of Sunshine (2017)
Given to Antoshi as a Cyndaquil by his parents, he was overly energetic and out of control. Antoshi worked to become friends with Fireball, eventually learning to train him against wild Pokémon. As a Quilava, Fireball continued to be rambunctious, out of control, and would disobey Antoshi when they first started their Kanto journey. However, after evolving into a Typhlosion, he grew to simmer down, and forged an unbreakable bond of friendship with Antoshi — particularly after the boy discovered he could communicate with him.
In A Blond Ray of Sunshine, Fireball is first seen out of his Poké Ball, constantly by Antoshi's side throughout the majority of his journey. He is deeply loyal to his best friend Antoshi, always offering a quick joke or banter or giving Antoshi a shoulder to cry on. However, he still does not pass up opportunities to tease Antoshi.
After taking a boat from Fuchsia City to Cinnabar Island, Antoshi and Fireball obtain their seventh badge at the Cinnabar Gym. Before they can obtain their eighth and final badge, Fireball is lured away and kidnapped by Team Rocket members Matt and Jalyn, when Matt steals Antoshi's wallet. Fireball eventually escapes from them, but is ultimately captured yet again, this time right in front of Antoshi. Antoshi's unlocked superpowers allow him to stop the Rocket duo and free Fireball. Later, they move on to the Viridian Gym, and obtain their final badge.
Sibling Rivalry (2018)
After competing in the Indigo League's semiannual tournament, Antoshi and Fireball are defeated in the first round of the bracket. They return home to Saffron City to take several months off. After Antoshi's thirteenth birthday, the duo embark on a new badge-collecting journey in Johto. They travel to Goldenrod City, led partially by Antoshi's curiosity of his link to the recently destroyed Johto town. In Johto, Antoshi develops a sixth sense that draws him into a chance meeting with his apparent twin, Latoshi.
Latoshi lures Antoshi and Fireball into the Ilex Forest, where he reveals his plans for his ideal utopian world — by murdering everyone Latoshi deems to be evil. He invites Antoshi to join him. Antoshi is shocked by Latoshi's willingness to kill, and vehemently declines. A clash between the two young men with superpowers ensues. Fireball initially stands on the sidelines at Antoshi's behest, but eventually gets involved in the fight. Lazarus chants an incantation though Latoshi, summoning forth an undead Houndoom named Lucent. Fireball and Lucent fight for some time, though Lucent is victorious, and Fireball is left unconscious and badly injured.
After fully awakening some time later, Fireball is mysteriously healed. Antoshi leads Fireball out of the woods.
Antoshi and Fireball stay in a hotel room in Goldenrod for the time being. Following their fight, Antoshi is both enraged and haunted by it. He is unable to sleep, consumed by his memories and a thirst for revenge. He is cold and distant toward Fireball. Antoshi decides to head into the woods to begin training himself. Fireball, acting as his sparring partner, manages to calm his friend down for a time.
Antoshi decides to visit a library to learn more about martial arts and self-defense. The next morning, they hear a news report of a mass killing at a Goldenrod prison. The boy soon senses someone's Ki, following it to its source, believing it to be Latoshi. It turns out to be the person who healed both of their injuries — a young woman named Serenity. Fireball sits with them as Serenity chats with Antoshi, answering many of the questions on his mind. She also informs him that Latoshi is not the evil person Antoshi believes he is. Latoshi is being controlled by a spirit parasite named Lazarus. Serenity asks Antoshi to promise to help Latoshi instead of trying to kill him. Antoshi agrees.
Eventually, Antoshi finds Latoshi. Antoshi pleads with Fireball to stay out of the fight, to which Fireball reluctantly agrees. Antoshi leaves him a safe distance away from where Latoshi is, only to be suddenly accompanied by Serenity. She and Fireball spectate the ensuing fight together. Lazarus' manages to infect part of Antoshi's spirit, speaking to him, mesmerizing him. His aura becomes corrupted, just like Latoshi's, and prepares to finish off Latoshi for good.
Antoshi hears Fireball plead for him to stop, breaking the parasite's control, letting Latoshi go. The two boys share a moment of somber peace, before Lazarus forces Latoshi to flee. Serenity informs Antoshi not to follow, and that ridding Lazarus' spirit is something that Latoshi must do on his own. Dejected, Antoshi walks away. Fireball quietly follows him, back to their hotel. As they depart, however, a mysterious, trench coat-clad stranger follows them.
Family Reunion (2019)
Fireball and Antoshi finally leave their hotel. Antoshi still regrets losing control of himself, questioning whether it was worth learning to fight. As they prepare to leave Goldenrod and attempt to restart their Johto journey, the boy realizes they are being stalked by a figure clad in a trench coat. He and Fireball lead the stalker down and alley, confront the person, wanting to know why they're being followed. The stalker finds a source of water and, to their disbelief, turns their entire body to water and escapes down a storm drain.
On Route 35, the duo follow a sign into the woods, lured by the offer of free food and shelter. Finding a cabin, they are greeted by the owner, a young girl with long blue hair named 'Mimi'. She is friendly and cordial, allowing them to stay as long as they want. However, Antoshi soon discovers Mimi, unaware of his presence, turning her hands and arms to water. He confronts her, correctly deducing that she is their stalker. She reveals to the duo that she is Antoshi's sister, and that her name is actually Mitoshi. Overwhelmed, he runs outside. Fireball sits with him, managing to comfort and cheer him up. Antoshi returns to the cabin, apologizes, and talks to Mitoshi.
Mitoshi explains that, before she was born, her parents were forced to give their two twin boys up for adoption due to financial struggles. Their names were Antoshi and Latoshi. After learning about her brothers, she eagerly set out to find them, which is when she came across them during their second fight on the beach. Though shocked that he was adopted, Antoshi comes to terms with it, accepts her as his sister, and agrees to stay with her for a while longer.
Latoshi, meanwhile, waits until Antoshi and Fireball are gone and decides to kidnap Mitoshi. He leaves a note, telling Antoshi to follow him to Mt. Mortar. Once the blond boy returns, he does so, taking Fireball with him. Antoshi explains Mitoshi is their sister, but Latoshi believes it's a bluff and attempts to execute her. She is saved, faster than any of them realize, by Serenity. Infuriated, Latoshi attempts to fight Serenity, but is effortlessly defeated by her. After Antoshi declines to fight him again, Mitoshi steps up and fights in his stead despite having no fighting experience. She, too, defeats Latoshi, highlighting just how enfeebled he has become under Lazarus' 'tutelage.' The showdown is interrupted when a mysterious young man named Collin arrives, hovering over their heads. He reveals himself to be Serenity's brother, and the former host for Lazarus. Collin explains to Latoshi that he's wasting his time keeping Lazarus around, and that the parasite is only out for itself. Collin takes his leave, as does a confused and enraged Latoshi, and then the rest go their own way.
Days later, back in the cabin, Latoshi appears before the group after having cast away Lazarus' spirit. They eagerly accept him, allowing him to stay in his own bedroom in the cabin. Latoshi sleeps for the better part of a few days, before startling the others with the revelation that he finally regained all of his memories. He finally knows he killed not only all of Fern Town, but also his adoptive parents. The next day, the three siblings and Fireball visit the remnants of Fern Town, which had been turned into a memorial park. Latoshi goes alone, finding his parents graves, deciding to speak to them. Having found closure, Latoshi rejoins the group, prompting Antoshi to seek closure of his own. He and Fireball return to Saffron City, explaining to his parents that he discovered he'd been adopted by them. They admit that they had been waiting to tell him after he was older, and had lived his life as Pokémon Trainer. Antoshi accepts their reasoning, admitting to them that he wants to put his Pokémon journey on hold to spend time with his siblings, and shares and embrace with his parents.
Once the duo return to the cabin, Latoshi suggests that there's one set of parents left to speak to: Mitoshi's. They set out for Mitoshi's home in the suburbs outside Olivine City, although Fireball opts to stay behind. He tells Antoshi that this is something personal for him and his siblings, and that he'd only be a distraction. He offers to meet them next time, and waits with Bubbles until the siblings come back. That night, he talks with Antoshi, reflecting on what's happened to them since coming to Johto. Both of them are content in coming to terms with the fact that their journey around Johto is effectively over.
Some time later, while the group are enjoying breakfast together, Antoshi notices a mysterious figure fly over their house, leaving behind what appear to be snowflakes.
Frozen Summer (2019)
As the group begin to learn to live together, a mysterious blizzard forms out of nowhere. The clouds consume most of the forest where their cabin is located, surrounding routes, as well as Goldenrod City. It continues to expand with no sign of slowing down. Antoshi, meanwhile, is forced to play peacekeeper between his two siblings as Latoshi and Mitoshi squabble with each other. An enraged Latoshi storms out of house to cool off, but soon rushes back home after finding a couple of nearly frozen Pichus that were passed out in the snow. Latoshi opts to stay with the two Electric-type Pokémon until they begin to show signs of recovery.
Fireball initially translates on behalf of the Pichus. However, having quickly formed a strong enough bond with the Pichus, Latoshi and his siblings are soon able to communicate with them. The Pichus introduce themselves as Poka, a male, and Chika, a female. The pair explain that they believe the culprits of the blizzard to be a group of 'people who look like Pokémon' whom they encountered somewhere in the nearby forest. The sibling trio opt to head out together in the hopes of stopping the source of the blizzard, which has threatened the lives of those living in Goldenrod City while beginning to spread toward Ecruteak City as well. Fireball stays behind in order to take care of the Pichus.
After the blizzard, Fireball watches as Latoshi 'catches' Poka and Chika in individual Poké Balls, making him a Pokémon Trainer. They are let out of the balls quickly, and Fireball proceeds to celebrate the accomplishment by playing in the yard with his new two Pichu friends. During the night, however, a poster breezes by the sibling's cabin, advertising an upcoming carnival and its main attraction: the circus.
Reception and legacy
Early opinions of Fireball included that he felt “too human”. In time, Fireball has been called “cute”,, “cocky”, and “a total dork”. Fireball and Antoshi's relationship has been praised for having a positive dynamic. In Sibling Rivalry, Fireball and Antoshi “prove once again how close they are and how willing they are to protect one another.”
|A † shows that the move was used recently, unless all moves fit this case or there are fewer than five known moves.|
- A Blond Ray of Sunshine (2017)
- Sibling Rivalry (2018)
- Intervention (2018)
- Family Reunion (2019)
- Frozen Summer (2019)