Ash Ketchum has always wanted to be the very best, like no-one ever was. Now, after more than 20 years, he’s finally become a Pokémon Master.
The eternal 10-year-old Pokémon trainer has travelled far and wide trying to win championships and catch em’ all, but victory escapes him every time.
Alas, no more; in the most recent episode of Pokémon Sun & Moon, the sixth series of the anime which started in 1997 (the English version hasn’t aired yet), he’s won the Alola region Pokémon League – and ascended to the rank of Pokémon Master.
The hero has been working hard over the years. He’s attained badges in multiple Pokémon regions and won two major Pokémon competitions: the Orange Islands League and Battle Frontier.
But this marks the first time the protagonist has won an official Pokémon League tournament.
Veronica Taylor, the actor who voiced the original English version of Ash in the first eight seasons, wrote on Twitter:
Congratulations to Ash Ketchum on winning the Pokémon League from Ash’s ‘younger’ self, circa 1998… yup, hard work, determination, good friends, and a bit of luck pay off!
The kid finally did it.
Ash Ketchum became a Pokemon Champion after 20+ years! pic.twitter.com/LncVCvvnVy
— Mike Mamon (@xPmnms) September 15, 2019
Other fans took to social media to share their pride. IGN‘s Mike Mamon wrote on Twitter: ‘Well damn… The kid finally did it.’
Another user wrote: ‘It took Ash Ketchum 20 years and countless series to win the Pokémon league but he finally did it. Never stop chasing your dreams! Never give up! Anything is posssiiiiible!!!!’
— Benana xXx (@Banana6677) September 15, 2019
— Sour (@Sourcastic25) September 15, 2019
It’s a momentous occasion in the series’ canon – the culmination of an entire saga in anime history.
There are rumours that the next Pokémon anime might not feature Ash at all – but as fans noted, he’s earned a period of rest as a Pokémon master.
Twitter user @Frostsplash wrote:
I think what broke me the most about this episode was Ash’s face when he won. Pure shock.
The entire stadium cheering for him, and he was speechless. THIS. WAS. EARNED. We THE FANS who have seen this 10-year-old grow from a klutz to a legend. I’m speechless too.
Longtime Pokémon director and composer Junichi Masuda took a moment to mark the occasion, writing ‘Congratulations’ online.
— 増田順一@GAME FREAK inc. (@Junichi_Masuda) September 15, 2019
Imagine getting to retire at 10 years old – what a life.
It’s a reminder to never give up on your dreams. Remember: ‘The the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant; it is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.’
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.