The newest overseas episodes of Pokémon Journeys are finally getting into the highly anticipated battle between Ash Ketchum and Sinnoh Champion, Cynthia, and fans are abuzz. Ash Ketchum has been a hero to the Pokémon fandom for over 20 years, with the original anime a great source of childhood nostalgia for many, and he is popping up in more and more memes, in recent times.
Memes about Ash revolve around a number of things, including being 10 years old for over 20 years of the show, his almost constant failure to succeed, and the bizarre occurrences in his day-to-day adventures.
One of the longest running memes with Ash Ketchum pokes fun at how long he’s been 10 years old. The show definitely requires some suspension of disbelief, as he’s traveled through various regions, fought in tons of competitions and gym battles, and met thousands of people, all the while remaining the same age.
Ash’s ascendance to a league champion was a major event for the internet, as fans were stoked to see their favorite trainer finally win. In the show, he’s still 10, of course, but it’s hilarious to imagine the character finally winning a tournament having lost a head of hair from the stress of losing so many battles.
Ash has had some very powerful Pokémon and put together excellent lineups for the tournament he’s competed in. His look in Sun and Moon changed elements of his classic design that left many older fans perplexed at his new cartoonish style.
So when this iteration of the character was the one to win the league, many fans were baffled by the comparison in strength to his Sinnoh and Hoen league teams. Not to mention, many were confused by the change in tradition, and Ash deciding to compete in the World Championship instead of the Galar League.
Since the beginning of the anime, fans have been speculating around the differences between the show’s hero, Ash, and the games’ hero, Red. Both wear red caps and follow a similar story pattern in the Kanto region. They even seem to build similar rosters.
So when Ash won his first League after 22 years, the comparisons continued, with many noting that Red had won his first, and was therefor the better trainer. The games and show have different properties, with the show often subjecting the game laws for story purposes, so in fairness to Ash, he had a team of writers working against him as well as opposing Pokémon.
The TV series, and well, all of Pokémon have questionable and inconsistent logic. Pokémon stats are one of the hardest aspects of the universe to comprehend, as they quite often don’t make sense. An example is Rayquaza’s low speed, which is a common legendary Pokémon meme.
The stats also display a Pokémon’s weight, and some are quite heavy. Larvitar is an example of a small Pokémon that is massive, so this image of Ash lifting the 160 pound reptile without any difficulty is hilarious. He must get some wild workouts in with his Pokémon.
This skit from Key and Peele has been an excellent format for so many funny memes, and works perfectly with Ash’s recent reunions with many of his past Pokémon. Pokémon is one of the longest running anime series, so he’s made many friends along the way. While Ash would never treat his Pokémon poorly due to them underperforming, the fans have held nothing back towards them.
Many tier lists and videos have been made, analyzing the battle abilities of Ash’s various Pokémon, deciding which were the strongest and weakest, and which were simply just duds who never won battles. Ash’s (Jordan Peele’s) reaction to each Pokémon should be a signifier of which is which.
Pikachu has become the mascot of the Pokémon world, and one of the cutest mascots of any anime, mainly thanks to the TV series. The electric mouse isn’t too strong in the card game or video game, but yet, many will use it out of appreciation for its design and love for Ash’s Pikachu.
With Ash set to face off against the extremely powerful Cynthia, many fans have speculated on a final throw down between Pikachu and Garchomp. Logistically, Pikachu has no chance, and will be even worse off in type matchup than when Ash’s Charizard faced off with Gary’s Blastoise. But in the show, Pikachu always has a chance.
Jokes aside, Ash has some major accomplishments over most trainers, and definitely could form some incredibly strong teams. He’s definitely a source of memes, and many fans like to bring him down for his failures, but there’s a reason he’s competing in a world championship.
To have the news delivered by Spider-Man himself is even more difficult, but fans will have to accept that if they want to be the very best, they’ll have to train as much and for how long as Ash has.
Whether the various worlds of Pokémon are connected by some sort of Multiverse is an idea yet to be explored, and one that probably doesn’t need to be, but it’s almost certain that Red isn’t from Ash’s universe, as they definitely would have crossed paths by now.
If Ash does win the world championship though, it’s hard to imagine what would be left for the character to do, aside from continuing to travel through each region and capture new Pokémon. It would be entertaining, but his overall arc as a trainer would have been completed already. Red might be the only frontier left to face.
Team Rocket’s disguises are one of the most hilarious parts of the anime, and a great source for some of the best Pokémon memes all around — especially upon getting older and realizing just how ridiculous some of their disguises and gimmicks are in the original run.
Ash and his crew falling for the tricks every single time is incredible, and speaks to the magic of cartoons. Cartoons don’t have to make sense, and that’s part of what makes Pokémon so fun even for older audiences looking back.
The power of Ash’s Pikachu has already been spoken to, but this meme truly highlights just how strong it’s really gotten. Its move set has evolved over time and the consistency it has had with its trainer and battles is unlike any other Pokémon.
Ash and Pikachu have a particularly special bond, and that bond is the source of Pikachu’s great power. Pikachu isn’t a legendary Pokémon, but they do have a legendary relationship.
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