What Is Next for Ash Ketchum, Pokémon Master?
It took twenty-five years but Ash Ketchum, also known as Satoshi, finally became a Pokémon Master. This weekend, in episode 132 of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series, Ash fought the current World Champion, Leon, in a 6v6 battle that lasted for four episodes, and came out on top.
Taito Okiura, vice president of marketing for The Pokémon Company International, said in a statement: “Ash Ketchum’s determination and perseverance to achieve his goal of becoming the world’s top Pokémon Trainer over the course of 25 seasons represents the very best of what it means to be a Trainer.”
Time might mean nothing at this point since Ash has been ten-years-old for over two decades, but as someone who grew up with the anime series and plays the game religiously, it was still really lovely to see him win. The feeling I felt when he won at the Pokémon League is now amplified times 10. Ash losing from time to time as a protagonist was something I felt did make him more interesting. When you watch a series you are used to a certain amount of hero armor that it was good to see subverted. Losing doesn’t mean you should stop.
But now that he is Pokémon master, what is next for our leading man? NPR reported that “the final episode of the season is titled, ‘Pokémon! I’m Glad I got to Meet You!'” in contrast to the series opener, “Pokémon – I Choose You!” Some are predicting that this seems very final, but considering how popular the Pokémon brand is, there is no reason for Nintendo to end it. We’ve never seen the series with Ash on top, so if we are going to do a farewell season, I definitely feel like they’ll want us to sit with him being the champion for a bit. It is hard to envision a Pokémon anime without Ash/Satoshi, but we have seen a common trope of continuing series with a second generation. Skipping forward to see someone else in Ash’s life carry on the legacy would be cliché but expected based on what other anime series have done.
Digital Spy shared a quote from Japanese voice actor Rica Matsumoto, who has voiced Ash/Satoshi since the very beginning, celebrating the win, but also sharing that the character has more to do.
“Although Satoshi [Ash] has won the title of Strongest Pokémon Trainer, he has still not become the Pokemon Master of his dreams,” they said.
As long as Ash and Pikachu are never separated I support all the changes and evolutions that are part of Ash’s journey. And if Misty comes back, even better.
(via NPR, image: The Pokémon Company)
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