As many of us know the Pokemon anime started 25 years ago with a perpetually 10-year-old boy named Ash Ketchum. He sets off on his Pokemon journey from Pallet town which had captivated an audience of Pokemon fans for decades. After all this time we find ourselves at the end of the road and must say goodbye to the duo that has won the hearts of so many fans from their youth all the way to their adulthood.
This is a very interesting and rather difficult topic to discuss as I have a wide array of emotions over this many of which surprised me. You see I was less than 10 years old when the Pokemon anime first started and now I’m in my early 30s and I’m still a Pokemon fan to this very day. While I’ve long since stopped tuning in regularly to the anime I’ve been an avid fan of the series and still keep up with the major events in Ash’s journey. I have essentially wanted this to happen for some time because I felt like Ash has done so much that he has earned his grand moment of success to end his incredible journey on. Then it happens and Ash becomes the strongest Pokemon trainer of them all and while he still continues to pursue his love of Pokemon we will no longer be following his achievements after that point.
So the first emotion I felt is just an overwhelming sense of joy. In the last few episodes, Ash is reunited with his Pokemon some of which I haven’t seen since I was a kid and the powerful feelings of nostalgia kicked in. Plus finally seeing Ash earn the biggest Pokemon title of them all after years of trying and only getting so close to reaching the champion status was a sight to behold. This was without a doubt the ending I was hoping for after all this time. Some grand moment that puts Ash at the height of his Pokemon career but also pays tribute to everything he’s done along the way.
Then I have my feelings of disbelief. I mean the show has been on for 25 years so it’s hard to just look at it and accept that Ash’s journey is over. It’s like having an old friend that has been with you all this time even if you don’t see each other every day and you get that sense of comfort knowing that they are there but you don’t realize any of that till that is no longer an option. That is in many ways how I feel about this. I’m still happy for the journey to be over as I feel like now is a good time for it but frankly, Ash has been some part of my life longer than I’ve been Getmorexp. Longer than I’ve played Fire Emblem, almost as long as I’ve been alive. I guess it’s only natural that it’s a little difficult to put into perspective that this is the end.
Then finally you have nostalgia. As soon as I saw the last moments of the final episode I found myself looking up some of my favorite memories of Ash and Pikachu on Youtube. The day Ash and Pikachu first met. The moment they saved a poor Charmander abandoned by its trainer. When Ash was petrified due to a clash between Mew and Mewtwo. To more recent moments like winning over the cold heart of one of his rivals Paul and later becoming the first Alola champion. There are so many individual stories that were incredible in their own way. I will probably spend a lot more time going back and revisiting these moments.
So the big question is how do I sum up all of these emotions after initially experiencing them. The answer is that I’m at peace with it all. As grandiose as this adventure was simply accepting it as the end was not a quick process but looking back at how amazing the journey was from start to finish and the fact that I got to be there for it all was easily one of if not the most impactful part of my own journey as a fan of anime and video games. It is sad to see this end because they have essentially been my own lifelong companions for the longest time but I am happy to have experienced it and I guess there is only one thing left to say. Thank you, Ash and Pikachu.
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