Ash Ketchum has finally become the greatest Pokémon Trainer the world has seen.
The Pokémon animated series debuted in 1997 with the premiere episode, “Pokémon, I Choose You!” From there, we’ve spent decades alongside Ash and friends. We’ve seen him burn out in various Pokémon leagues but also learn from his mistakes and win tournaments.
All of his hard work is about to pay off.
Nintendo and The Pokémon Company announced via press release that Ash Ketchum has finally become the best Trainer in the Pokémon world. In the newest episode of “Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series” that debuted today in Japan, Ash wins the Masters Eight Tournament of the Pokémon World Coronation Series. He previously won the debut Pokémon League Champion at the Manalo Conference in the Alola region. Ash also won the Orange League, which has yet to appear in video games.
The episode will air worldwide at a future date.
Ash has come a long way from struggling to control his Charizard seen in the early seasons of the animated series.
Fans Are Thrilled With Ash Ketchum’s Success
“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 Taito Okiura, VP of marketing for The Pokémon Company International. “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!”
While the Pokémon animated series began in 1997, the franchise’s first video game was released the year prior. Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue (known as Green in Japan) were released on the Nintendo Game Boy in 1996. The RPG series features turn-based battling alongside attempting to collect every Pokémon in the Kanto Region. In total, there were originally 150 Pokémon to collect. 151 if you include the Legendary Pokémon Mew.
From there, nearly a dozen regions have been introduced. Each region, from Jhoto to Paldea, has introduced new Pokémon to collect and battle with. The latest entry in the franchise, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, is set to release later this month on Nintendo Switch. It will introduce new Pokémon to discover and take inspiration from the spin-off Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series is available exclusively on Netflix in the United States. The first season premiered earlier this year. Nintendo further commented on the current season of the series, saying that “Ash and his team train to be the very best and battle against some of the greatest Trainers from across the Pokémon world to become world champions. This historic title win marks a significant milestone in pop culture for the many Pokémon fans who grew up watching Ash and his Pikachu, as the duo proves that dreams can come true with hard work, perseverance, and teamwork.”
What’s Next for Pokémon?
The Pokémon franchise is believed to be the largest media franchise in the world, with an estimated revenue of $118.5 billion. In total, there are currently 122 Pokémon video games that have been released to date.
A release date for the newest season’s release in the US has not been announced.
Ash Ketchum wanted to be the very best like no one ever was. Now, that dream has come true. Not bad for someone who’s only ten years old. Or is it eleven years (the animated series celebrated the first anniversary of Ash and Pikachu’s friendship)?
The newest games in the series, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, will release on Nintendo Switch on November 18th.