After embarking upon his journey over 22 years ago, the 10-year-old Ash Ketchum finally won a core, regional Pokémon League, much to the fanbase’s delight. It’s become something of a running joke over the years that Ash isn’t a great Trainer, with many resigning themselves to thinking the anime protagonist would never bring home a Champion title or trophy. However, promotional media for the Alola League arc inspired hope he would finally win this time, and the powers that be finally let him:
While some are disappointed or underwhelmed with the nature of Ash’s victory (Sun & Moon has been somewhat of a departure from the anime’s prior incarnations), reception to the news has overall been positive. Social media is erupting with excitement, with “Ash Ketchum” tending on Twitter. Many longtime Pokémon fans are congratulating the tenured Trainer, including his previous English voice actress Veronica Taylor, Game Freak figurehead Junichi Masuda and the Vegas Golden Knights, an NHL team.
Congratulations to Ash Ketchum on winning the Pokémon League from Ash’s ‘younger’ self, circa 1998…yup, hard work, determination, good friends, and a bit of luck pay off! #pokemon #ashketchum #winning pic.twitter.com/JhgRcGJBEy
— Veronica Taylor (@TheVeronicaT) September 15, 2019
We’d like to use this intermission to formally congratulate Ash Ketchum on winning his first Pokemon League championship after 22 years 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/lBLQc7wAwI
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) September 15, 2019
I haven’t seen the episode yet, but as a kid I was gutted when Ash lost the Kanto and Johto Leagues. Afterwards, I figured he’d make incremental progress but resigned myself to thinking he’d never get a gold trophy.
— Matt “Cart Boy” Reisine (@LegendCartBoy) September 15, 2019
Ash Ketchum has been a part of millions of lives & while many stop watching the Pokémon anime Ash continued to be a role model trainer for new generations. He’s lost every Pokémon League to teach children it’s ok to lose & today he finally won. What a day to be a Pokémon fan 🙂 pic.twitter.com/Gzbf9j08N9
— Aero (@ActualAero) September 15, 2019
— 🐰🔥Mark/Ryan🔥🐰 (@Rylade475) September 15, 2019
— 増田順一@GAME FREAK inc. (@Junichi_Masuda) September 15, 2019
The Sun & Moon anime will end later this year and will be replaced with a new Pokémon program, coinciding with the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield for the Nintendo Switch. The brand’s seventh mainline anime series will be formally unveiled on September 29, although the general premise will involve all eight core regions in some way. It’s currently unknown if the hero will reprise his role as the protagonist or if his presence will be reduced or even eliminated, but a recent interview with his Japanese voice actress Rika Matsumoto suggests Ash will remain around.
Fragment from an interview with Rika Matsumoto
“Even though Satoshi won his first Pokémon League, the way to become a Pokémon Master isn’t over.” https://t.co/ssO0W1T0nZ
— Primaster 🍊 (@Primaster_M08) September 15, 2019