A critical defense of Ash Ketchum, the greatest champion there ever was

Ash Ketchum.

Known as Satoshi in Japan, Ash is the greatest Pokémon master of all time. No questions asked, the end, goodbye (said in the voice of Mad Eye Moody).

Why, you might ask, am I defending a fictional character from an anime? Because he’s under attack by a ravenous bunch surfing the web like they own it like Gary Oak! Yeah, you know who you are you bastards.

Anyone who fails to defend Ash is officially a Gary Oak.

Anyone who fails to defend Ash is officially a “Gary Oak”.

Ash needs my help and I am the only person qualified to provide him with the assistance he needs to sustain his reputation as the first Pokémon trainer to capture our hearts.

I must tell you brothers and sisters, do not be fooled by this … Red … as some call him. Powerful though he may be, he is no Ash and no Satoshi. Every one of Red’s achievements, Ash has done ten fold. So here’s a short recap of Ash Ketchum’s greatest moments.

Caught 30 Tauros in one go

Anyone who says Ash Ketchum sucks because he has never won a tournament is a liar, a thief, and quite possibly a larcenist. Back in the heyday of Ash’s first journey through Kanto, he made a stop at the Safari Zone to capture some Pokémon. Let’s just say it couldn’t have gone better… except for that mishap with some firearms and being herded out of the conservation zone.

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about! No, we’re here to talk about the 30 Tauros Ash caught in one go. When journeying through the Safari Zone, he happened upon a stampeding herd of the Normal-type Pokémon. After a great bout of strategic thinking, he pretended to trip and fall resulting in a whole net-full of Pokéballs falling into the midst of the stampede. It was a coup for him and for Professor Oak who took on the entire herd at his lab.

Look at that. See how cute that is!

Look at that. See how cute that is!

Did Red ever catch 30 of the same Pokémon? I think not! During the Winner’s Cup in the Orange Islands one of Ash’s Tauros lead him to his first, big victory! Do you think the insanity stops there? No, it’s just begun! During the Pokémon Swap Meet, Ash uses a Tauros to win yet another competition sending his opponent’s bison flying through the air! In another tournament, Tauros literally sends a Metagross into the air just with its horns! A Metagross! Those things weigh over 1200 pounds! Are you reading this?!

Ash Ketchum has an entire herd of Pokémon that he could send to your house to trample your things and on one occasion they do just that creating a hole in Professor Oak’s lab. That’s right. While Red is strolling along in the Safari Zone cherry picking one Pokémon at a time, Ash is taking names and entire herds and putting them in conservations, not somewhere trainers can just displace them one-by-one.

Sacrifices everything to benefit his friends

“But Ash Ketchum is such a loser,” you say citing his many companions who travel with him and choose to leave. Sure, he might be a little down on his luck, but he’s only like that because he sacrifices everything for his friends. Misty, Brock, Tracey, May, Max, Dawn, Iris, Cilan, Todd, Ritchie, Barry, Lyra, Luke, and Stephan have only benefited from travelling with him.

Think about it, Ash is the protagonist. Before any of Ash’s friends met him, they were likely content to either sit in gyms or languish in uselessness.

Ash saves lives by taking people out of their every day routine and right to the very edge of sanity.

Satoshi 003

Let me explain the “Ash Ketchum Phenomenon”. Every time someone leaves Ash’s company, they get better. Misty, for example, leaves Ash’s party and returns a total badass. When travelling with Max, May, and Brock, Misty returns to help defend a Togepi Paradise that was being threatened. As well, she remains the Gym Leader of Cerulean City Gym and became the Champion of Tour de Alto Mare. This leveling up after leaving the party happens with almost every character who travels with Ash.

This might lead you to believe that Ash holds people back, but you’re wrong. So wrong, and you’re also a mean person. Ash inspires people to travel. Without Ash, Brock and Misty would still be living their boring lives and not traveling the world. Think of what it would be like to live with someone like him. Everyday is a new adventure! Every adventure changes the world! The world becomes your Cloyster! And every companion gets the benefit of improving themselves after the leave. Ash never wins in this formula. He provides. He sacrifices. He’s a hero.

Almost became a Frontier Brain

Do you know who THE toughest Pokémon trainers are? No, don’t think about the Elite Four or any of the criminal syndicate leaders who exist in the world. It’s the Frontier Brains.

For those who don’t know, Frontier Brains are some of the most diverse trainers around. They’re tough because unlike most Gym Leaders who stick to one type, Brains use all different types and different parties to defeat their opponents. They use different conditions and a whole host of other challenging factors to make things… difficult. Guess who almost became one? Ash Ketchum.

He could have used any of his friends here.

He could have used any of his friends here to do it too.

In a battle against Brandon – one of the Frontier Brains – Ash manages to come out on top using only a Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Pikachu. That’s like going to a knife fight with a DVD of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage and a shopping cart. It doesn’t make any sense.

If we go by the video game’s logic even at the highest level those three Pokémon wouldn’t even come close to the stats of Dusclops, Solrock, and a Regice. The only conclusion is that Ash is a Pokémon master.

After the battle is over and Brandon picks his jaw up from the floor, he offers Ash a position as a Frontier Brain. Ash is probably 13-years-old at the time and he says, “No”. Ash would rather travel the world than becoming the youngest Frontier Brain in the history of the world. That’s like Harry Potter outright refusing to go to Hogwarts only to stay at the Dursley’s inside of that little cupboard. Speaking of people who save fictional worlds from disaster.

Ash Ketchum saves the world on numerous occasions

Pokémon: The First Movie is the best example of how Ash Ketchum has saved the world without the need for a reward and accolades. At the end of the film after Mewtwo’s anger has been quelled, the Psychic-type Pokémon seals away the memories of the events that took place in the film.

In other words, everything that Ash did to save the world is forgotten like a Slowbro buffing its Special Defense.  What Ash has in spades – aside from a heavy coating of hero armour – is pure gusto and the ability to think outside of the game’s constraints.

Ash runs at Mewtwo and attempts to punch him! Seriously! Like a raging Hitmonchan, he turns his hat around and charges at an omnipotent being!  That’s like meeting God and immediately uppercutting him with the force of a thousand Machops. And after he gets knocked down, he gets back up to try again! This is the kind of daringly stupid actions that make Ash a true hero.

He doesn't need a statue, he is a statue.

He doesn’t need a statue, he is a statue.

After making my 9-year-old self cry inside of the theatre, Ash unites the world of Pokémon through their common love of freedom. Instead of making it his life’s goal to capture Mewtwo, he helps set the genetically created creature free by showing him true love and the meaningfulness of companionship.

Need I go into details about all of the other films where he saved the world? I’m not going to because my wrists are getting a little tired from typing, but believe me Ash is pretty amazing.

Ash is destined to rule the world of Pokémon

Red spent one year traveling the world of Pokémon. He captures one of the first 150 including Mewtwo, one of the most powerful Pokémon in existence. Essentially, he displaces 150 creatures from the world to live out their existence at Professor Oak’s laboratory.

Red is a walking ecological disaster who has too much power to wield and not enough experience to control it all with. Ash Ketchum, on the other hand, is the Pokémon world’s most likely candidate for future president.

Ash is looking at the big picture when it comes to his adventure. Throughout the 17 seasons the show has been playing, he’s put out fire after fire by throwing himself right into the middle of conflicts. Give Ash 10 years and he’d be the most recognized Pokémon trainer in existence and guaranteed to move right to the top of any organization. What people assume about the Pokémon world is that being a master is the end-all-be-all, but what if it isn’t?

Someone has to control all of this.

Someone has to control all of this.

What is Red going to do when he reaches the top? While he has many more years of exploration ahead of him, he’s already become a Pokémon master, he’s already captured a creature capable of transporting him around the world, and he’s already become what everyone aspires to be, yet in a year what has he done?

In a year, he’s traveled the world catching Pokémon. In a year, Ash forged relationships, he resolved conflicts, he made enemies, he found legendary Pokémon, he advanced Pokémon science and nutrition, and he’s taken more jolts of electricity than any known human being in existence.

Ash Ketchum is never going to be a Pokémon master because he doesn’t need a silly title to be awesome. He just has to be himself and he’ll be all right. While he doesn’t have a long list of achievements, Ash has left a mark on the world that people will remember.

***

Ash. Ketchum. Many of you might consider Red to be the better trainer. If you compare each trainers’ first years side-by-side you’ll see that even if Ash has done ‘Less’, overall he’s accomplished a lot more.

This probably has to do with having 17 seasons to play around with, but heck he’s saved the world more times than Team Rocket has blasted away.

He’s the Pokémon Master we all want to be.

Ash-Ketchum-002

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22 thoughts on “A critical defense of Ash Ketchum, the greatest champion there ever was

  1. Thank you sooo much for writing this!
    It’s so good to know there r other people beside me who also support Ash Ketchum.
    I’m rly happy about this!
    This is great! Thanks so much!

    • Yes thanks!!! I’m so glad that there’s someone else supporting Ash Ketchum, the greatest trainer of all time!!!
      ASH IS THE BEST TRAINER OF ALL TIME PEOPLE!!! 🙂

    • Dudes red,gold,silver….. from the mang are obviously the best i hate ash because 1: he needs to learn to be mellow instead of doing that stupid chuckle 2: HE BEEDS TO WVOLVE HIS POKEMON i mean come on (sarcastic voice): i want to teach that i love pikachu just the way he is we dont need to evolve him -_- seriously ash…… OH AND RED RULES last thing is if ash is so hooked on “friendship” then why does he trash his previous pokemon everytime he goes to another region

  2. He is stupid. He isnt the best. Red is the best. No, red is not the best. ALL CHARACTERS OF POKEMON GAMES ARE THE GAMES AND ANIME SUCKS. The Pokemon Special is just like the games. READ IT!!

  3. ASH is better for all you dickfaces think red is better what has red done only won the champion and complete the pokedex but what else. Ash just has that warm feeling that you rather be with him than red

  4. overdue comment, and I don’t really care that more, but technically ash is the best trainer EVER. Every time he goes to a new region, he resets his pokemon team besides pikachu. Just imagine if he used a few of his originals more often. The amount of his expeience they would have would be incredible. It’s kinda like playing the game, when you stick with the same team they become insane. Imagine a bunch of charzard level pokemon, cause that’s what ash would have

  5. In fact. I think many people think Red is better because he gets to win everything quickly, but then (as you said), what else? Ash, on the other hand, has so many things that can do, and he knows it, that’s why he turned down Scott’s offer for turning a Frontier Brain.
    A nice argument on Ash’s side I read once was: “Yeah, Red catched Mewtwo. Ash has beaten 4 legendary Pokémon!” (Articuno, Regice, Darkrai and Latios). Furthermore, if he sees a legendary Pokémon in a bad situation (like illness), he prefers to aid it instead of catching it (relatively easy), because he knows that Pokémon has a really important place in the world (and chaos might begin without it).
    Also, one argument against Ash is the fact that he has dressed as a woman many times. But even then, he shows why he’s so badass: The first time he did it was because men (or anyone who disliked parfums) weren’t allowed into Erika’s gym (that showed commitment with his goals), and the rest was because he was helping his friends (he’s such a freaking loyal friend!).
    I only don’t agree with one point: Jessie, James and Meowth have taken more jolts of electricity than Ash, that’s for sure.

  6. Not only that, Red is just a video game character, of course he’s supposed to win since he’s levels and stats higher than other pokemon. Not only that, Origins is pretty much just a completed Red and Green game, so of course Red was supposed to win. More details on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eykFj_nGVo and find the comment that says “Ash still sucks. Red is better.” some guys and I are pretty much on a huge comment war. I don’t hate Red, but he’s just over rated, Ash is the real Pokmon Master.

  7. Ash sucks end of story red is better if you use logic ash would be a grown ass man but no he is still 10 and he still sucks ass just like the show and all the movies

    • I disagree with you. Let me share with you a story that I’ve experienced in one year of my life. You might think that just because Red Caught more Pokemon than Ash, it makes him the better man. But no. It took Red his entire team to defeat Mewtwo. His starter had mega evolved to defeat a legendary Pokemon, for crying out loud. Ash’s specific companions took down legend figures without the influence of a megastone. They took down Legendaries because they had faith in Ash, and Ash had faith in them. It is this fact that convinced me, although Ash is not the strongest trainer alive, he’s not the worst trainer to be born. He has a burning passion, the desire to be the best, by seeing the best of the world. In fact, he’s the best person I’ve seen in Pokemon. Him and His Pokemon are like family. It was because of Ash that people like Paul and Trip started to see life as trainers in a different perspective. It was because of Ash that his friends realized their goals, their dreams. Without ash, they would be high and dry. You might disagree still, but this is my opinion. Through time, Ash will take the Pokemon World by storm. His only 10 years old. Don’t expect too much. I don’t hate Red, but I like Ash the best. Though Red aspires to be the best, he does not have the same commitment as Ash does. Ash may not be the smartest, but he’s not the dumbest, no matter how dense he can be to other problems.

  8. That’s such an amazing article….I have to admit, ash is an amazingly badass trainer..for crying o loud he even has beaten legendaries, and now has a fully badass goodra on his team. So if you all try to hate on ash, remember whose saved the world on billions of occasions, and also look who’s been able to befriend legendary pokemon, and has the power to take down anyone in his path…don’t hate on ash, be use he will always be an amazing trainer.

  9. Red hasn’t even had the opportunity to do 1/4 of what Ash did because Ash replaced the protagonists of EVERY generation and had filler to go through(including the movies). You’re comparing apples and oranges when not comparing what Ash has done in the gen 1 GAME based stuff alone.

  10. The entire goal is to “catch ’em all” and Ash has released more than half of his pokemon. Ash has never become champion. The movies are not canon. Red would stomp the shit out of Ash without even trying.

    • But Ash released those Pokemon because he wanted them be happy actually which makes me think red is an asshole more than anything else

  11. I agree with you,even Gary Oak finally began to understand what his true life purpose in life is or was after battling and leaving Ash and both have become very closer friends and began to have a mutual understanding of each other.

  12. I agree with this completely, Ash is a very good trainer. People criticize him for not using his old Pokémon like Charizard, Snorlax, Heracross, etc.. but I think he is smart to use the Pokémon he caught in that region. The Pokémon he use get stronger and eventually evolve so he gets even more strong Pokémon. Red just threw the majority of his team into a computer to spend the rest of their lives without battling with them.

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