Pokémon-an end to an era?

He finally became the very best, like no one ever was. 

Ash Ketchum, the protagonist of the famous Pokémon franchise finally achieved his lifetime dream of becoming a World Champion.

In episode 132 of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series, Ash finally did it, defeating the current World Champion in a battle that lasted 4 episodes culminating on Nov. 11. The show’s official account on Twitter, @Pokémon also celebrated this huge milestone, tweeting “He’s done it! Ash has become a World Champion!” 

Since the anime first aired on Japanese television on April 1, 1997, Ash Ketchum has been trying to reach his goal. Now, a long 25 years later, his dream has finally been realized. 

Needless to say, Ketchum’s triumph was long overdue! It is very nostalgic and emotional for fans who have watched Ash fail to become World Champion throughout these past two decades. 

Ash’s win now marks the beginning of the end as fans have raised questions over the future of this beloved franchise. 

The franchise was first created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1996, centering around fictional creatures called “Pokémon” and Pokémon Trainers, who catch, train and fight with them. The franchise first began as a video game called “Pocket Monsters: Red and Green” and since then the franchise has grown, releasing anime television adaptations (with over 20 seasons and 1000 episodes) as well as different spin-off series and movies and a card game called The Pokémon Trading Card Game.

All adaptations of this franchise were highly successful, making Pokémon the highest-grossing franchise of all time. Additionally, the Pokémon video game series is the third best-selling video game franchise of all time and even spawned a successful anime television series. Furthermore, a Pokemon Trading Card game has also been developed, making it the most successful and highest-selling card game of all time. Pokemon is untouchable!

I remember growing up watching Pokémon episodes in 5th grade with my class and being obsessed over collecting Pokémon cards and the cute little creatures. I would always be comparing them with the rest of my classmates and would be ecstatic whenever my teacher rewarded me with Pokémon stickers. Pokémon became my first introduction to other forms of Japanese media, helping [me] delve into this immersive world. 

Does this now mean that the iconic franchise is coming to an end? Now that Ash has finally achieved his lifelong dream, what does this mean for its future? Pokémon Journey still has three more episodes to air, before the show culminates in Japan.

While the future of the franchise is still left undecided, Pokémon continues to remain a stellar pop-culture icon that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. As Sarah Natochenny, Ash’s English voice actor says, “Pokémon truly is the best, like nothing ever was.”

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