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AV MOD MATERIAL: Ash Ketchum - - Character Spotlight

He's been doing the same thing, over and over again, for over a decade. And he seems to constantly be re-learning lessons. But Ash deserves still deserves your respect!

HalberdierV2 and Takashichea explore notable anime and manga characters from the 90's & 2000's.

Takashichea

Same old Ash and Pikachu
Same old Ash and Pikachu

Ash Ketchum is a well known character in Pokémon. A lot of folks stopped watching the show at the end of the Silver Conference in Johto where Misty, Brock, and Ash depart.

As you all know, Ash "resets" his character every region after that point. The purpose for Ash's reset is to hook in viewers (mostly children and teenagers), and to have a fresh adventure to show that he is still growing and learning despite him still looking like a 10 year-old. It is a little hard for the older generations to take Ash seriously when he takes out his Pokédex for a Pokémon he has already seen before (or the time he messes up in battle with type match-up and abilities he has seen before).

The show's theme is friendship, of course, and to suit that, Ash is constantly making new friends. His role after Hoenn is to journey with new people who are inexperienced and show them the beauty in the Pokémon world. In their adventures, they learn from each other. For example, May finds out her passion is to be a Pokémon Coordinator, instead of a trainer; Dawn learns new ways to show off her Pokemon in contests, and so on.

For me, Ash is unforgettable I don't hate POKEMON. I recommend it to people, young and old. I still watch it since I have a little brother who bugs me every Saturday morning about POKEMON BLACK & WHITE. Of course, whenever my old friends come across the show on Cartoon Network, they are shocked to see Ash and Pikachu doing the exact same thing like they did back in the old days...

HalberdierV2

Some of the younger ones are probably wondering why us older dudes give Ash so much flak. A lot of this stems from where arguably his best character development occurred - - the first three seasons of the show (Kanto, Orange Islands, and Johto). Those arcs all ran when POKEMON was at its highest popularity in the 90's and early 2000's.

Now, if you'll allow me to get business-y for a moment: Nintendo's higher-ups hadn't fully decided to make POKEMON a cash-in at that point. They were actually planning to make the show end after Johto, right when Ash parts ways with his partner (and crush?) Misty. However, they instead decided to carry the show onward, perpetually locking Ash in as a 10-year-old (even though, in the earlier seasons, it's implied that he's already been doing this Pokémon shindig for at least a year in Kanto).

Ash saying good-bye to Misty
Ash saying good-bye to Misty

Just like Taka, I also don't hate the series; even though the best moments ended for me after the epic Gary vs. Ash fight. Well, there was also the brand new Blaziken vs Charizard battle in Mt. Silver, and also some touching moments like Ash releasing his Butterfree and saying goodbye to Misty... but still, * SNIFF *, it was never as consistently good.

To be fair, the show probably wasn't designed to grow with its original watchers like other have. It still manages to make me look at it once in a while, though: usually when Ash enters a new region. Actually, with the group going to Unova's version of the Orange Isles soon, I think I might give this stalwart of my adolescence another watch.

That wraps up on Ash. Feel free to share your experiences with the dude in the red cap below! Also, we're doing another character spotlight from the 1990's next month. Could you recommend any notable characters from that period?

Follow us on Twitter: @HalberdierV2 and @Takashichea.

SamJazon May 17, 2013 at 10:50 a.m.

What about Gohan?

Destinyheroknighton May 17, 2013 at 11:36 a.m.

For me, it lazy writing to keep rebooting Ash and don't let him move on. Ash deserve to move on, not be the same guy. It feel like the creators are taking it easy and safe route

I don't respect Ash anymore, that ended in Johto

Also I don't get they can't replace Ash with a new character every gen, in Pokémon Adventures they replace there cast every gen and it still popular

Lurkeroon May 17, 2013 at 11:53 a.m.

I wasn't too disappointed with Ash's constant skill and experience resets until Pokemon Black and White basically made him seem like an amateur.

I wish the Pokemon writers would have let his character move on. The Pokemon anime can still be great without Ash.

bigz007on May 17, 2013 at 12:15 p.m.

I find it hard to believe that Pikachu who is probably already level 100 can be beaten up by some noobs.

takashichea moderator on May 17, 2013 at 1:15 p.m.

@Destinyheroknight:

Yeah, Nintendo or Game Freak likes to play it safe. If a formula works, they keep using it.

Remember how we talked about how the female protagonists were expendable in the What makes Female Pokemon trainers so Expendable? thread? Good times, man.

They need to change things to make the franchise feel fresh.

@bigz007:

That actually happened in Black and White. I won't spoiled you. You should watch the first few episodes.

@SamJaz:

Thanks, Hal and I appreciate your recommendation.

@Lurkero:

To add on, I didn't mind Ash losing at the championships from time to time. It shows a bit of realism. There is always someone better than you.

Halberdierv2on May 17, 2013 at 2:42 p.m.

@SamJaz: what about him?

SamJazon May 17, 2013 at 3:04 p.m.

@Halberdierv2: As another 1990's character to consider. Also, Ranma.

Halberdierv2on May 17, 2013 at 4:11 p.m.

@SamJaz: yep, he's one on our list. we'll try to make this a weekly thing, if its possible. also Ranma's one of my personal favourites, I can't forget her....um.... him.

SamJazon May 17, 2013 at 4:17 p.m.

@Halberdierv2 said:

@SamJaz: yep, he's one on our list. we'll try to make this a weekly thing, if its possible. also Ranma's one of my personal favourites, I can't forget her....um.... him.

There needs to be a gender unspecific way of referring to people. Hom?

Halberdierv2on May 17, 2013 at 6:37 p.m.

@SamJaz: well, Ranma is a guy... who's feisty personality fits his girl side better imo.

takashichea moderator on May 18, 2013 at 2:19 p.m.

@SamJaz: @Halberdierv2:

Haven't watch Ranma. That's going to be a problem. Don't worry, I have a free week. I probably check out the manga since I read chapters fast.

SamJazon May 18, 2013 at 2:27 p.m.

@takashichea: Manga has pros and cons. One one hand, it was actually completed so you get the full joys of the completed story and the epic battles and character development in the later arcs. On the other hand, the Ranma 1/2 Dub is amazing and hilarious for all the right reasons.

Given a week, read the manga, but make sure to watch a couple of episodes of the anime while you're at it so you get to enjoy some of that quality animated joy too.

zaldaron May 26, 2013 at 9:59 a.m.

pokeman bleh KILL IT WITH FIRE! Yes I know it got a lot of little kids into anime but this is simply a Japanese Saturday morning cartoon. Anime is supposed to be more than this.

Dig Deeper into Ash Ketchum

The main protagonist of the Pokémon Anime. Ash has a dream of becoming the greatest Pokémon Master ever. To accomplish this he has set out on a journey throughout most of the regions known in the series to challenge the Gym Leaders and enter the region tournaments.

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