He finally did it folks, the boy who struggled to find his footing for so long, Ash Ketchum, is officially the world’s best Pokémon trainer.
On Friday, November 11, the most recent episode of the Pokémon anime aired in Japan, showing Ash (or Satoshi as he is originally known) winning the Masters Eight tournament of the Pokémon World Coronation Series. This comes towards the end of the current season, called Journeys, which has shown Ash and best boy Pikachu travelling the world of Pokémon, revisiting some friends along the way.
The tournament saw him facing off against some classic champions, like Cynthia, Iris, Steven, Lance, and lastly, the reigning champion of Galar Leon alongside his signature Charizard. Obviously such a tournament isn’t in the games, but the anime doesn’t really follow the same rules, so this is just a nice way of proving that Ash really is the best trainer around.
This isn’t actually the first time Ash has won a big tournament like this. Back in 2019, during the Sun and Moon era of the anime, he did actually become champion of Alola, a massive change of pace considering he lost literally every Pokémon League attempt prior to that.
With this momentous win, which the actual BBC reported on, it does raise some questions of what’s happening with the anime. Some fans think that the anime could be coming to an end, or at the very least Ash’s journey is. The final episode of Journeys is roughly translated to “Pokémon! I’m Glad I Got to Meet You!!” (via Bulbapedia) which obviously sounds very reminiscent of the anime’s first episode “Pokémon – I Choose You!”
Comments from vice president of marketing for The Pokémon Company International Taito Okiura also present a strong sense of conclusion, especially when paired with the lack of announcement regarding a new season. “Ash Ketchum’s determination and perseverance to achieve his goal of becoming the world’s top Pokémon Trainer over the course of 25 seasons represents the very best of what it means to be a Trainer,” said Okiura.
“We cannot wait to celebrate this moment with Pokémon fans when the newest season of ‘Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series’ and this adventure-defining episode air around the world in the coming year. This is a season fans won’t want to miss!”
Having seen a clip towards the end of the episode, there’s one thing I can promise you at the very least if you’re a Pokémon fan: you’ll cry.