Listen To The Original Voice Of Ash Ketchum Congratulate Him On A Long-Awaited Pokémon League Win

I’m so proud of this never-ageing fictional character. (Image: TV Tokyo)

He’s finally bloody done it. Ash Ketchum, star of the Pokémon anime and perennial clutcher of defeat from the jaws of victory, is finally the winner of a Regional Pokémon League. The world of Pokémon fandom is rejoicing with him, including... himself?

Well, actually it’s sort of herself: in the first eight seasons of the western dub of the Pokémon anime, Ash was voiced by voiceover actress Veronica Taylor. Although since then, all the way up to the currently airing Pokémon Sun and Moon anime, Ash has been voiced by Sarah Natochenny, to many fans Taylor is the Ash voice they grew up with, and Taylor clearly still relishes just how much the character means to fans.

Which means that today’s news is extra cause for celebration. The latest episode of Sun and Moon aired in Japan this weekend, and saw Ash triumph over Gladion to become the inaugural winner of the Alola Region Pokémon League.

While previously in the anime Ash has won major tournaments like the Orange Island Challenge and Battle Frontier, neither held the same status as either the anime or the video game series’ traditional Regional League competitions.

All the way from Kanto up to Kalos, Ash has faced crushing defeat after crushing defeat in the anime versions of the Regional League battles — the Kalos loss in Pokémon XYZ being the closest his got, causing heartbreak among fans when it seemed like he had a killer Pokémon team and was, at last, about to break his losing streak. But two years later he’s finally done it, and Taylor took to Twitter (with the help of a little Ash figurine) to deliver an inspirational message to the character she once embodied:

Hey, Ash! It’s your younger — but still the same age — self, Ash Ketchum! Congratulations on winning the Pokémon League! I wanna say I always knew you could do it, but really? I didn’t. I only knew that to achieve your goals, you had to train hard — and that is true, but along the way I’ve found out the importance of constantly learning, and challenging yourself, and being open to new experiences. That, by helping others, you help yourself. And mostly: it’s not winning that counts, but how you play the game.

But man, it sure feels good to win. Congratulations, and keep up the good work. I gotta go — Mum’s making dinner with Mr. Mime. Catch you later!

Awww. It’s nice to see Taylor acknowledge her character’s journey, even if she’s no longer actually a part of it. It makes Ash’s win all the sweeter.


Comments

    I guess the forever a loser meme didn't hold up.

    This version of Ash is worse looking than the original. There is something about it that looks really stupid.

      It's those stupid lines under his eyes, either side of his nose. It makes him look like he's got the shittiest moustache ever.

        What are they even supposed to be? Crowsfeet from all those sleepless nights of loser-hood or something?

          I think it's a bit of shading for his cheekbones, that also acts as a bit of scruff to show 'this isn't a neat and squeaky-clean boy'. You saw it as a common thing for younger shonen protagonists in the 90s; Goku had it in the original Dragon Ball and Gohan in Z, although by Z the art had evolved to the point where it was more clearly cheekbone shading.

          It was a completely normal thing we weren't batting an eye at in the nineties, because so many other anime was doing similar. It went out of style over time, though. I'd mark Yu-Gi-Oh as the 'beginning of the end', because it's there for some designs and scenes in that but it phases out even over that time. It stands out on Ash now because it's basically a thing of the past in anime designs, but Ash has retained a broadly similar design over twenty-two years, so he's basically the only one around with them now.

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