All good things must come to an end. The beloved and long-running Pokémon anime series is no exception to this rule. While the anime adaptation of the massively popular monster-collecting video game series doesn’t have to end now, it is high time for a new era of the Pokémon anime.
The time feels right for a fresh restart for the Pokémon anime that wraps up Ash Ketchum's story and welcomes a new protagonist. For many seasons of the anime, fans have joked about how it’s high time for Ash Ketchum to grow up and move on with his life. And it finally seems like the stars are aligning for that to happen.
Ash Ketchum Has Been The Protagonist for Too Long
Since 1997, Ash Ketchum has been the charming, curious, and adventurous protagonist of the Pokémon anime series. Modeled after the creator of Pokémon, Satoshi Tajiri, he’s been the eternal representation of youth and never growing old that many kids yearn for.
But after eight generations of Pokémon, well over 20 seasons of anime adaptations, and just as many animated films, it’s time for Ash Ketchum to say goodbye. There is only so long he can remain 10 or 11 years old — he did have one birthday, after all — and his endless journey has to close at some point.
At this point, the fans of the Pokémon anime who were Ash’s age and even younger when the anime first came out have grown up, found their purpose in life, and many started their own families. Sadly, some of their own kids have already outgrown the Pokémon anime because of how long it’s been.
With several generations of Pokémon fans who are now grown up or too old to want to watch the Pokémon anime, it’s time for a fresh start. His story can only continue for so long, and it will likely only get more stale and dull as time goes on.
Pokémon Journeys Wraps up Ash’s Story Nicely
What every long-running show should do is try to end on its own terms and on a high note. The best part about the current chance for the Pokémon anime to end Ash Ketchum’s story is that he could finish his time on an exceptionally high note. Admittedly, the Pokémon Journeys anime arc hasn’t been the best.
In fact, the first two seasons of the three-season series were pretty meh at best, but it wasn’t all negative. The entire purpose of this arc was to focus not on the Generation 8 Galar region as many expected but to show some love to the entire Pokémon world.
Every region and nearly every Pokémon was shown some love equally, and it got back to the basics of just being about catching Pokémon. The entire series paid homage to the journey of Ash Ketchum and the video game franchise.
This is especially true in the final season of Pokémon Journeys, where Ash took on the most significant challenge: finding out who the strongest Pokémon Champion of all time is. As a Champion finally himself during the Sun & Moon arc, he had the opportunity to face off against old rivals and new ones for the ultimate battle of a lifetime.
This season brought back memories of the old, created new unforgettable moments and battles, and even showed love for iconic episodes and characters from the past. It feels like a greatest hits moment that wraps up Ash’s story in the best way possible.
Benefits of a New Protagonist
Without Ash Ketchum, the Pokémon anime could continue with a new main character. The series will be better off this way, too, allowing a new generation of fans to connect with a new, eternally young Pokémon Trainer. This would also allow for a new tone and style to the series not beholden to Ash.
As controversial as this would be, it would even allow a Pokémon other than Pikachu to finally get the limelight as the core partner of the new main character. There would be brand new characters to meet, the main character with a different personality than Ash, and the chance for something new to happen all around.
The anime series would finally wipe away the staleness it is rapidly moving towards with the same old formula for Ash Ketchum. And it really can’t return to that repetitive cycle after Pokémon Journeys, either.
Scarlet & Violet Also Feels Like a New Start for The Series
The most important part, though, is that Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, the Generation 9 mainline games, are poised as a new start for the series, too. Fully embracing the open world format where a player can go anywhere at all and the ability to complete the story in whatever order you want is fresh and exciting.
Just as the Pokémon video games move into a new era and direction, so does it feel suitable for the anime area. There is even the fact that the Gen 9 games are all about being a student at an academy which could lend itself well to introducing a new main character who might be a student at that school in the Paldea region.
Fans could see this new main character go to school and inevitably save their region from doom while connecting with the new legendary Pokémon, Koraidon, and Miraidon. This fresh start could lead to later anime series following the main character graduating school, heading off to new, never-before-seen regions, and meeting new characters alongside their trusty partner Pokémon.
As for who that replacement mascot Pokémon would be, an easy guess would be Eevee. But there could even be some love given to Pawmi, the recent Pikachu clone, Mimikyu, Jigglypuff, or even a brand new Pokémon that players have never seen before. Regardless of how it happens, it is now time for the end of Ash Ketchum’s seemingly endless Pokémon journey.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.