It’s been 84 years… but Ash Ketchum is finally the very best like no one ever was. It’s something he’s coveted since the anime started all the way back in 1997, and it’s a reality at long last.
He gets this win in Pokemon Ultimate Journeys: The Series’ latest episode, conquering the Masters Eight Tournament and beating Sword & Shield’s Leon. This episode premiered in Japan but it’ll be going out worldwide sometime in the future, finally bringing Ash’s nearly three-decade-long arc to a close.
“Ash Ketchum’s determination and perseverance to achieve his goal of becoming the world’s top Pokemon Trainer over the course of 25 seasons represents the very best of what it means to be a Trainer,” vice president of marketing Taito Okiura said. “We cannot wait to celebrate this moment with Pokemon fans when the newest season of ‘Pokemon 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!”
If you’re in the US, you can catch the new series on Netflix exclusively, with the latest episode airing sometime “in the coming year.” We’ll be able to watch as Ash finally grabs that gigantic trophy, hopefully not made out of plastic, and declares himself as the very best.
And what’s more, he does it all with Pikachu still at his side. His team has changed a lot over the years, even if he’s remained a kid for nearly three decades, but there was always one constant – Pikachu. The defining Pokemon itself. And they’re right there on Ash’s shoulder as he lifts up the trophy.
It’s been a bit of an in-joke among Pokemon fans for years now, whether Ash would ever finally win or keep doddering about in his attempt. He’s certainly taken his sweet time getting to the finishing line – we’ve even managed it eight times since he started – but it leaves the show’s future up in the air.
People have long speculated that his becoming the Pokemon World Champion would end the anime, finally wrapping up the story, but maybe someone else will take up the torch. Maybe we’ll get a Legend of Korra-style show with an older Ash for a change, eh?
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