Did 'Pokemon' Just Debunk A Popular Theory About Ash's Father?

Pokemon may not seem the type, but the franchise is ripe with conspiracies and theories. Fans have plenty of unanswered questions, but some fans are curious whether or not the anime just debunked a big theory about Ash Ketchum’s dad.

For those unaware, Ash’s dad has been — well — out of the picture for a long time. When the Pokemon anime kicked off, the boy was growing up alone with his mother and her trusty Mr. Mime. It was never said what happened to Ash’s dad though hints pointed to him being a Pokemon trainer.

As no definite details were given, plenty of fans were quick to say Ash’s dad may be dead. The guy might have passed on his own Pokemon journey or when Ash was little, but a new episode of Pokemon the Series: Sun and Moon might have sunk the conspiracy.

Over the weekend, Pokemon aired its latest episode which follows Ash’s gang as they explore Poni Island. The separated group learn the locale’s Guardian has the power to make people see loved ones who’ve since passed away. For characters like Mallow, she meets her long-dead mother, but Ash is spared. The boy isn’t haunted by any ghostly figure, leaving fans to think the boy’s father is not really dead. If that were the case, it would make sense for the mystery man to appear in this new episode, but there is no sign of Mr. Ketchum.

Of course, Pokemon doesn’t make the debunk clear. There are others in Ash’s party who have lost a parent, but they did not appear before their child. Still, the episode’s choice to overlook any mention of Ash has piqued curiosity, and it’s just matter of time before netizens send out a search party for the older man.

So, did this episode's feels catch you by surprise? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

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If you haven't kept up with the series' current anime, Pokemon the Series: Sun and Moon is described as such, "What starts as a summer vacation in the tropical Alola region turns into the next exciting chapter in Ash Ketchum’s quest to become a Pokémon Master! There’s plenty for Ash and Pikachu to explore in this sunny new region, with exciting new Pokémon to discover and interesting people to learn from along the way—including the cool Professor Kukui and the fun-loving Samson Oak.

More new faces will help guide Ash’s Alolan adventure, in the form of a group of skilled Trainers—Kiawe, Lana, Mallow, and Sophocles—and a mysterious research assistant called Lillie. Frequent foes Team Rocket have also made the trip to Alola, looking to swipe some high-powered new Pokémon. But they have some heavy competition on the villainy front: the ruffians of Team Skull, who delight in causing chaos and may have more sinister intentions..."