Pokemon isn't the sort of anime designed to shock fans, but it seems like writer Takeshi Shudo did not like adhering to such a rule. As the original head writer behind the anime, he was responsible for overseeing Ash's quest through the Kanto and Johto regions. Before his death, Shudo took to the Internet to share his thoughts about working on Pokemon, and it was there the writer seems to shared his plans for Ash passing away.
And if that sounds dark to you, then you are right. Shudo meant for the ending to take place in Mewtwo Strikes Back which was sad enough for plenty of fans. However, Shudo had wanted to originally end the film with Ash as an old man reminiscing on his younger days as a trainer before waking up the next day as a kid again. Of course, time-travel could be the cause for Ash becoming young once again, but Shudo's description of the ending seems to suggest something more concrete.
Shudo's blurb was turned around in English thanks to Dr. Lava, a prominent Pokemon historian online. After bringing in someone to translate the writer's blog entries, Lava shared his plans with the world which will shock many fans.
"Months and years pass. Ash grows old, then one day suddenly he looks back on his past. He remembers his childhood fondly. The adventures he had with his amazing Pokemon, the friendship, the coexistence. Maybe Ash wasn’t able to experience these things later in life. However, as a kid there was Pikachu and lots of other Pokemon, Jessie and James, and Mewtwo… And so much more — elderly Ash remembers everything that happened during his adventures as a young boy," Shudo described.
While sitting there, Shudo says he would hear his mom's voice telling him to go to sleep so he could set off on an adventure tomorrow. Ash would reawaken as a young boy "to start a new adventure" where he's not looking to become a Pokemon master but instead "discover the meaning of existence."
Clearly, this is a dark ending for the first Pokemon movie, and Shudo made it when he believed the anime was set to end soon. Still, the image of an elderly Ash sitting alone without Pikachu is upsetting to say the least. And if Pokemon were to ever use this ending, you can expect a torrent of tears to come after.
So, how shocked are you by this original pitch for Pokemon's end? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!