Pokemon Confirms Ash Will Return, But Not How Fans Want

By Zack Zagranis | Published

ash ketchum pokemon

It’s been widely reported in the Pokemon community that Ash Ketchum—a boy who’s been ten years old for so long he could give Bart Simpson a run for his money—is finally leaving the Pokemon anime after achieving his goal of becoming “the very best,” Pokemon trainer in existence.

But according to Comic Book.com, the fans haven’t seen the last of Ash. A new interview with Kunihiko Yuyama reveals that even though the Pokemon torch has been passed to new trainers Liko and Roy, Ash isn’t gone for good.

Ash Will Eventually Return, But He Isn’t Likely To Age

Pokemon cards

Fans hoping to see Ash pop in a few years down the road, older and wiser, may be in for a disappointment, however. Yuyama stated in no uncertain terms that as far as he is concerned, Ash is “forever ten years old.” This bit of information would seem to put a stake through the heart of the fan theory that new trainer Liko is secretly Ash’s daughter from the future.

Instead, if and when the Pokemon anime does decide to bring Ash back, it will most likely be to check in on his post-world championship adventures. Perhaps now that Ash has become the greatest Pokemon trainer of all time, he’ll switch his focus to completing that other famous Pokemon challenge: catching them all.

Ash Could Return And Finally Catch ‘Em All

Those of you who haven’t kept track of the Pokemon universe since the games were still black and white—or shades of ugly green if you played on the OG Gameboy—might be surprised to learn that there are currently 1,021 different pocket monsters to collect. More than enough Pokemon to keep a geriatric ten-year-old like Ash busy for a few years or so, should he choose to try and “Catch’ em all.” That’s a whole lot of Pokeballs to lug around.

Ash Was Created For The Anime Series Way Back In 1997

Ash Ketchum, or Satoshi as he’s known in Japan, was created specifically for the Pokemon anime in 1997. The original two North American Pokemon releases—Red and Blue—featured protagonists named after the cartridge’s respective color, with Ash nowhere in sight. When it came time to adapt the games into an animated series, the creators realized a protagonist named “Red” with no personality to speak of wasn’t going to cut it thus, Ash was born.

Ash And Pikachu Became The Faces Of Pokemon

The character proved to be popular right out of the gate, as did his Pokemon companion of choice, Pikachu, leading Nintendo and Gamefreak to create a third iteration of the first Pokemon game, this one vibrant Yellow. The new Pokemon cart was essentially the same game, but now players controlled Ash, and Pikachu was included as the starter Pokemon.

For 25 Years, 10-Year-Old Ash Has Been The Human Aspect Of The Franchise

pokemon: horizons

From there, Ash has gone on to become one of the most well-known and recognizable fictional characters of all time. He has been the main character of the Pokemon anime for 25 seasons, and in all that time, Ash hasn’t aged a single day. According to Pokemon creator Satoshi Tajiri, Ash represents the “human aspect” of a series.

Given that he’s spent the last 25 years enslaving sentient creatures and making them fight for his amusement, that sounds about right.