The Pokemon fandom has once again proven that there doesn't need to be a Pokemon Nintendo Direct or a major in-game event for the game to start trending. Late Sunday evening Twitter and Reddit blew up with chatter about longtime franchise icon Ash Ketchum, after the dramatic conclusion of a new episode of the Pokemon Sun and Moon anime.
Ash Ketchum has been a popular anime character for 20 years, so many gamers feel like they grew up alongside Pikachu's best friend and constant companion. The latest hype surrounding the iconic Pokemon character comes after the hardworking and fair playing hero finally took home first place in a Pokemon League Championship.
It seems hard to believe, but after twenty years of content Ash had actually still never taken first place in a Pokemon League Championship. There were quite a few top 8s and other high finishes, but the little trainer who could never took home the top prize until episode #139 of the currently ongoing Pokemon Sun and Moon anime series. When you consider all the Pokemon that Ash has caught and released, that's pretty surprising.
So, as you might expect, Pokemon fans are going crazy over the monumental achievement and taking to social media to praise Ash's performance and the fact that the hero is finally getting a trophy that he's worked so hard for over the years. The hashtag has evolved into a celebration of Ash's whole career and a look back at all of his past finishes in prior tournaments, as well. There's a ton of history to explore when it comes to the Ketchum legacy, so even if you consider yourself a Pokemon expert there may be something new to learn by following along with the celebratory threads on Twitter or Reddit.
Ash Ketchum has been a part of millions of lives & while many stop watching the Pokémon anime Ash continued to be a role model trainer for new generations. He's lost every Pokémon League to teach children it's ok to lose & today he finally won. What a day to be a Pokémon fan :) pic.twitter.com/Gzbf9j08N9— Aero (@ActualAero) September 15, 2019
This feat comes after over 1,000 episodes of various Pokemon cartoons. The first appearance of Ash dates back all the way to 1997, which means that this victory is 22 years in the making. That said, Ash ages at a very slow rate in the cartoon, so don't try to do the math and figure out how old the character actually is.
This new hype surrounding Ash is likely to resurrect recent discussions of the upcoming Pokemon anime series reboot and whether or not Ash should be the protagonist in the new series. There are some strong arguments for bringing in a new trainer to be the face of the franchise for a new generation of players, but longtime fans are clearly more fond of Ash and his adventures than ever.
That said, the fact that the writers have finally given Ash the chance to win the top prize may signal that they are planning to sunset the character for the foreseeable future. Could this tournament possibly have been the last we'll see of Ash for some time? That honestly seems unlikely considering the characters massive appeal, but it will be interesting to follow along and see how the Pokemon franchise goes forward from here.
Be sure to check back for more Pokemon-related strategy guides, news, and updates in the coming days. Until then, good luck out there, trainers!
Pokemon GO is currently available on Android and iOS devices in select regions. Pokemon Sword and Shield will launch on November 15, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.