While Ash Ketchum may not age, the Pokémon anime has been around for 25 years, so why did the franchise take so long for him to become a World Champion?
The Pokémon anime debuted in Japan in 1997, so 2022 marks the 25th anniversary of Ash Ketchum’s journey. Most fans already know that he just took home the highest award ever, but why did the series take more than two decades for Ash to become the World Champion?
Often anime is created for a variety of reasons, some are adaptations of popular manga, such as Dragon Ball, and it simply retells that story through animation, adding sound , motion, color, etc. Some have pre-anime, for example Cowboy Bebop. But there is the kind of anime that usually goes unnoticed, and that’s the anime that’s associated with advertising. The Pokémon anime was not created because it was adapted from a hit manga or because it has a compelling story that needs to be told through animation, the Pokémon anime exists to make the franchise more popular. , teaches kids what a Pokémon is, and thereby sells more toys, stuffed animals, and games.
While an anime series created primarily for advertising is often looked down upon, Pokémon is no slouch. It became a phenomenon upon its release, so much so that new releases at the time became instantly iconic, such as Pikachu, Charizard and even Ash Ketchum himself. You and the Pokémon anime are extremely popular, appearing everywhere. Initially, the series was not planned to last as long as it is now, it was only intended to end in the Indigo League. However, due to an incident involving Porygon, the broadcast was delayed by 4 months and the first movie, Pokémon: The First Movie, was also delayed. This incident made Ash and the anime of that time even more popular.
The character Ash Ketchum is very popular so it affects his win
At the time, Ash Ketchum was among the most iconic anime characters, just like Dragon Ball’s Son Goku, so it wouldn’t make sense to end the anime with the Indigo League. Due to the delay due to Porygon, the final arc was broadcast in 1999, close to the planned release of Gold and Silver (November 1999 in Japan), so it is quite appropriate to… not let Ash win. physical! This character is just getting famous and has yet to achieve his goal. The series even spawned the GS Ball, to create an additional mystery storyline that would involve Celebi in Johto. Since that time, Ash Ketchum has become an iconic character, he is always on a mission to travel the world, if the franchise for Ash is to win from the first seasons, the anime series was likely to end soon, so he often lost, despite Ash’s best efforts.
After 25 years, perhaps the brand feels it’s time to change the motif, and the easiest way is to let Ash become the World Champion. With other interesting installments like Mega Evolution Specials, Pokémon has proven that other characters can be mains too, so perhaps the franchise feels it’s time for Ash Ketchum to win and… retire, as World Champion?
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