Ash From Pokemon Just Had The Battle Of His Life  

In the latest episode of Pokémon XYZ, Ash faced off against Alain for the Kalos League Championship. Since Ash has been doing so well this season and since he's become somewhat of a cooler character, victory seemed possible. [Image: YZ13007477]

[Note: This article has spoilers]

This was Ash's big chance to win an official Pokemon League. Here is how that went down.

Dammit, Ash.

Sure, you could make the argument that his loss was to easily move into the next story arc, but I'll make the argument that Ash is a loser and doomed to lose forever and ever.

He was a good sport, sure, and all the other characters were proud of him for doing his best.

Ash was so cheerful after his loss (Serena even said that he smiled!), that it was hard to identify with him as a human being. This is why Ash loses and will never win. He seems perfectly content with defeat, and everyone close to him does, too. They are his enablers, and he needs to get far, far away from them.

Part of the appeal for some children could be that Ash isn't the best, and the show is probably trying to teach lessons about being a sore loser. OK, fine. Part of the point of having Ash constantly lose is that it's easy for kids to plug into the show whenever. This is Ash, a good kid, and he always loses.

But at this point, the entire Pokemon animated franchise has become a sadistic and defeatist odyssey. Watching him compete against other trainers is the anime equivalent of Sisyphus. This has been going on for nearly two decades, so can't he win an official league just once?

At this point, I think the only time Ash will ever win an official Pokemon League is when the anime is finally going off the air. (Sometime before that or soon after, he'll probably find his father, too.)

With the way generation after generation of children fall in love with Pokemon, the chances of it going off the air seem even more slim than the odds of Ash winning a League. I don't see either happening anytime soon.

There is one thing that will always be true:

Gary was so right.


Comments

    Kotaku always forgets that Ash won the orange island league

    Why couldn't the show be about Red? In the first episode he caught more Pokemon than Ash managed to capture in an entire season.

      This ^ 100%... red is the very best like no one (ash) ever was...

      Maybe they can kill ash off next season (fingers crossed)

      i would love to see a pokemon series about red and blue and green and gold and silver and etc and etc and any other precious elementally name character. although, i did stop reading the manga when i got to emerald. they really dropped the ball with that weird bag of dick tips.

    Seriously?!

    Man, I fell out of Pokemon right after the first gen.
    I always assumed Ash would go on to clinch a win eventually, so I was surprised to see a story here revealing he hadn't, but was close.

    Poor sod

    Yeah can't say I'm surprised.
    It sounds like they had some awesome ideas in the Indigo League series surrounding the GS ball etc but they dropped it and it seems that is as creative as the show will have ever been.
    Its much easier just to re-hash the same concept of trying to win the Pokemon League than do anything that would you know... build his character more. How would winning the Pokemon League effect Ash? Would the power go to his head and build some sort of tension with his friends or pokemon?

    A huge let down, but at the same time bloody typical.
    Having not played nor watched Pokemon since Orange Islands era, I jumped back in with X & Y on 3DS and have recently been enjoying the series of the same name on Netflix.
    Was pleasantly surprised at how mature Ash had become and his approach to his battles had a lot of tactics employed rather than fluke wins. But as usual, makes it to the end and fizzles.

    This again? Ash won the Orange Islands League. Also he's a kid that continuously makes it into the finals of leagues dominated by people older than him. He often loses to people labelled as "geniuses" or "pros" and goes down with a fight. I actually find refreshing that he's not a magical Mary Sue that is successful at every single endeavour he gets into because life is not like that.

      Orange island isn't a full 8 badge league. It's like the only one that's half a league. I think it's fair to not count it.

        I think only two of the four(?) gyms in the Orange Islands were 'normal' gym battles. I recall a Starmie using Thunderbolt (that was neat) and the double battle. I also recall the first gym pretty much being a race...? Don't remember what the third gym was. Also Brock traumatised at the mere mention of whatsherface. One of the anime's biggest mysteries.

        I'm shocked I can remember bits and pieces of a series I've not seen since I was maybe 10-12 years old.

        Also, once someone has 4 badges they can challenge the leader at any time. There isn't really a league of competition between many trainers, you just go for the leader.

        He must also follow the strict rule of being unable to switch Pokemon with his opponent, giving them a slight edge.

      He often loses to people labelled as "geniuses" or "pros" and goes down with a fight. I actually find refreshing that he's not a magical Mary Sue that is successful at every single endeavour he gets into because life is not like that.

      The problem is, is that this time he actually went and did everyting right. This wasn't a case of him using an electric type against a rock type and wondering why he lost. Against a Charizard, that had already taken damage, he sent out a water-type, one that's some sort of "Super-friend-mega form (Which personally I thinks' total bullshit. If that 'trust between trainers gives them a new form that looks like them' thing is an actual thing, why not bloody Pikachu?)

      Sorry, kind of rambled there. TL;DR: Against a weakened charizard, his fresh, super-powered water pokemon lost to a fire attack.

    Ash won the battle frontier which included battling against legendary Pokemon. Was a very impressive season

    "You aren't the literal single best person in your field, so your friends are enablers and you're content with failure for only being in the extreme elite of your field. You need to ditch your friends because you need to focus on being the absolute best at the cost of your happiness"

    So... Asian Parent Stereotype for a Japanese Anime?

      "I need to be, the very best♩ Like my mother demands♩"

      You know, I just realised something. Where the hell is Ashs' dad?

        Giovanni of Team Rocket?

          I looked it up and it seems the creators of the show just forgot Ash has (had?) a dad...

    THANK YOU! I'm glad I wasn't the only one thinking that!

    I was flabbergasted reading this article. Understanding that "winning" in a worldly tournament isn't actually important at all is a massively important life lesson kids need to understand. Living an entire life deriving your sense of accomplishment and purpose from comparative value is the fastest way to misery and self-loathing.

    You can do absolutely everything right and perform your role perfectly and there will still likely be others who perform at a higher level than yourself. So what? It was never a meaningful race. As long as you genuinely brought the best you had (devoid of self-destructive methods) to the table then that was all that could ever reasonably be required of you. Being content with loss in such a large-scale tournament is exactly the kind of virtue that far too few people possess in the world today, and this article seems to treat such a virtual with contempt and spit in its face.

    The real irony here is that the anime seems to be quite determined to oppose the messaging of its first Western intro:

    "I want to be the very best, like no one ever was."

    That opening line always bothered me. If everyone derives their value from being the best then only one person will ever truly be happy, and we know already that's not how happiness works, and such a motive is to achieve greatest through disfunction because doing it the healthy way requires discipline and self-mastery.

    [\rant]

      You talk to much.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now