Ash Ketchum is forever doomed to be ten years old as the years of Pokemon anime continue, but the original writer behind the series originally disagreed with this idea. Hilariously enough, Ash Ketchum recently celebrated his tenth birthday once again this year and fans have come to accept that we may never actually see Ash Ketchum grow older and move on with his life beyond the Pokemon journey. This always wasn't the plan, at least for original head writer for the anime's first five years, Takeshi Shudo. Shudo revealed that he wanted Ash to grow up and move on for new characters.
Before his passing in 2010, Shudo opened up about the writing process for the Pokemon anime for the first five years of the franchise in a series of blogs. These blogs have since been turned around and translated by notable Pokemon enthusiast and historian Dr. Lava, and revealed that Shudo originally planned and ending for Ash Ketchum.
Noting the period when Ash Ketchum was traveling through the Orange Islands while the newest games in the series were being completed, Shudo was concerned about the repetition already taking root in the anime, "[H]ow long can you go on with the same formula? A new Pokémon appears. Ash catches it. He fights other trainers at a gym or at the League Tournament. Team Rocket tries to stand in his way. He overcomes the obstacle and wins...I feel like it’s all just becoming a repetition of this same formula."
Shudo noted how there was no place for the characters to grow, and even had an ending for them in mind. But due to various scheduling and other issues, he just wasn't able to craft all of the necessary episodes to bring these characters to an end, "...I want Ash to show some development as a character. I want him to one day look back on these past 'days of Pokémon' with nostalgia. That’s the entire reason I made Team Rocket, all the Pokémon, Ash, and all his friends interact with each other. I was even planning out the last episode, where they would finally arrive at some kind of a conclusion."
Shudo had certain ideas to potentially kill Ash, age him into adulthood, and more, but they never came to fruition. Now several years and anime iterations later, Ash still hasn't had that ending. He may be developing as a Pokemon trainer, but will probably never age. What do you think? Will an adult Ash Ketchum make an appearance in the anime someday? How will Ash Ketchum's story end otherwise? Could Pokemon's anime survive without Ash? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.