Farewell Ash Ketchum – the very best, like no one ever was
Growing up as an early Gen Z child in urban Dhaka, taking control of the television with my siblings and having spontaneous debates with my mother over allowing us to watch our favourite shows during Maghrib is a core memory of mine. Among the many great shows that used to be on television around that time, to me, Pokémon was a world like no other.
The series follows the journey of a ten-year-old boy with a heart full of dreams. His biggest ambition is to become a Pokémon master. Through his journey, Ash Ketchum and his partner in crime, Pikachu, have managed to capture the hearts of many around the world.
Starting with his humble yet electrifying departure from Pallet Town, Ash was shown to be an impatient, curious, and confident young boy full of love for the creatures that inhabit his world, known as Pokémon. He aspires to become a Pokémon trainer of great skill and knowledge, and befriend and catch every Pokémon from all around the world.
As a growing trainer, Ash was seen losing battles many times during the show's runtime. Some losses were insignificant or felt unnecessary, while some losses were significant to the story and led to the character's personal growth. Ash's hunger for getting stronger is a personality trait shared by many protagonists from various TV shows.
What sets Ash apart from the trope is his resilience and his love for all Pokémon. Though the strength of love is an ordinarily present notion in contemporary shows, the franchise was able to showcase it exceptionally well with its emotionally driven characters and scenes.
One such scene I vividly remember is when Ash's comically disobedient Charizard lost a battle and was frozen to ice. He grew to respect and admire his trainer as he was nurtured back to health after days and nights of labour and care. This was one of the many important moments from the franchise because Charizard has been one of Ash's strongest companions in his journey ever since.
Ever since the idea of the Pokémon Masters Eight tournament was introduced, a tournament consisting of champions from all the regions mentioned in the anime which would determine the strongest trainer in the world, fans began to speculate that the franchise may be ending soon.
With Ash's magical victory against Galar's undefeated champion, Leon, he finally achieves the title of world champion. The last episode of the franchise featuring Ash is set to air on March 24. As the journey finally draws its conclusion, Ash bids farewell to the Pokémon franchise, and we bid farewell to our favourite ten-year-old protagonist and his twenty-five-year-long journey, and the very best, like no one ever was.
Fahad is a poet, a frog enthusiast, and a self-proclaimed Pokémon master. Find his poetry on IG: @fvehed