So, if you’ve been living under a rock the last few months, let me tell you about one of the biggest events that will happen this year. It was revealed that after all these years, 26, in fact, Ash will be leaving Pokemon. This means Pikachu, by association, and presumably, Team Rocket will also be leaving. It’s a new age of the anime with the next region.
I’m mixed on this. I think Ash’s time should be done. He became a champion, finally, and reached the goal he really always wanted. But it happened so abruptly, that I can’t help but be sad. We get 11 special episodes ending Ash’s journey, each one focusing on Ash’s past in some way. Whether he meets old companions, Pokemon, or just reflecting on his journey to this point. It is an outstanding send-off, I think.
I wanted Ash to leave and for them to pull a Boruto and make the next character Ash’s child. Do I think that’s happening? No, but I would have liked it. What I can be happy about is that Ash, this incredibly important character in anime, so well-known more people can name him than freaking Goku, or Naruto, at this point, is getting a beautiful send-off. It’s what he deserves.
Ash has had a lot of highs and lows on his journey, and I have actually watched basically all of it. Everything except Galar, and there have been some emotional moments, in many ways. From all the touching moments Ash has with Pikachu and his other Pokemon, to the way he was cheated out of becoming champion in Sinnoh to a bunch of legendary pokemon, to the time his level 100000 at that point Pikachu lost to a new Snivy. There’s been a lot.
Ash and Pikachu have had a wild journey over these almost three decades, but regardless of those highs and lows, I love my boy and his boy. I love Ash and Pikachu a lot. They’re as iconic as Pokemon itself, and being as iconic as the largest multimedia franchise in the world is a pretty big deal. And, finally, after becoming champion for the first time in one of the most epic battles the series has ever had, Ash will be leaving. It’s a fitting send-off, just like these last episodes have been.
I’m glad that Aim to be a Pokemon Master has been giving Ash a different kind of send-off. It’s been a slow burn. There hasn’t been anything epic or crazy. Each episode is just focused on Ash being himself, traveling with his old companions, and enjoying life. It’s a love letter of the entire series. Everyone is back. It’s the Smash Ultimate of the Pokemon anime. Everyone is, in fact, here.
This cute, wholesome, nostalgic, almost melancholic ending is exactly what Ash deserves. The boy had his epic finale when he fought Leon. He literally broke every law of the games, using Z Moves, Gigantamax, and Mega Evolution in one fight. It was raw, and it was, in a way, already the end of his journey. Now, these 11 episodes are a celebration. It’s a victory lap of who Ash is.
By comparison, Ash wandering around with his friends on a very normal adventure could feel anti-climatic, but it doesn’t need to be climatic. Again, that already happened. In a lot of ways, this is the epilogue to this journey spanning 26 years. It makes episodes where Ash bonds with his Pokemon carry that much more weight. One of the most recent episodes shows that best.
Ash and Pikachu get separated by Team Rocket for the 7000th time. They then work hard to reunite for the 7000th time. It’s nothing new, but when you know this is like the last time you’ll ever see this bond they share (at least in this exact way), it means a lot more. It was also just a beautiful episode. Aim to be a Pokemon Master has really hammered down Ash’s characterization, which is famously all over the place. In gen 1, he’s a goof, in 4, he’s pretty strong, 5, he sucks, 6, he’s a badass. It’s crazy, really.
But with Ash already achieving his goal, they’re able to slow down and focus on who Ash is. Somebody with a very strong connection to all Pokemon, not only his, and an exceptionally strong one with Pikachu. So much so that they know what each other is thinking. Time and time again they hammer in how strongly Ash can connect with Pokemon in these episodes. They’re doing a good job of making him a decent character again.
There’s just something special about this send-off. It is largely because of the emotion of knowing things are almost over, but it’s largely because of how focused this new series is. It has one goal: to show who Ash is and how he got here and, most importantly, to say goodbye to him. It’s a beautiful adventure, honoring both the new and old of the series, and I literally can’t watch an episode without crying. I’ll probably talk about this again, so I won’t say goodbye, but I will thank the anime for doing things right at the end here. My boy deserves it.
Will he ever come back? Of course. Does that take away from this mini-series? Only if he returns as the main character. If Ash comes back, I want him to be a side character, at least. It’s already been confirmed that Ash will return and that he will never age. They’re strangely adamant about that, but we do not know how he will return or when just that he’ll be similar. Either way, this is a beautiful send-off I really hope they don’t spoil.
Thank you very much for reading
I’ll only have to cry a few more time
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Whenever I see Ash I can’t shake the fact that in Japan he’s called “Satoshi” and how strange it is for him to have a completely different name like that. Never really watched much of the anime aside from what I saw as a kid though, so can’t say I have any real strong opinions on his departure.
Basically, he overstayed his welcome far too long. Since the Orange Island League was not considered as part of the regional leagues since it was just a filler arc, I think his tale should have ended there on a high note. Ash growing up can be also a good thing, or even getting a family with a wife and kids, or he can just grow older and continue his endless journey with Pikachu. Nevertheless, it’s time to finish Ash’s story since there is no more point on continuing it.