Pokemon Director Explains Why Ash Was a Perfect Protagonist

Ash Ketchum is getting ready to move on as the hero of the Pokemon anime. Despite holding the title for over two decades, his world championship victory at the Masters 8 Tournament is giving the trainer the perfect opportunity to hand the baton to the next generation. With the current season, Pokemon: Aim To Be A Pokemon Master, getting ready to wrap, director Kunihiko Yuyama explained how Ash was the perfect protagonist in the series. Needless to say, Ash's final episode will have some anime fans getting misty-eyed.

Ash has been in charge of the Pokemon anime since it first began in 1997. Over countless episodes and a number of movies, Ketchum has learned how to interact with his Pokemon in such a way that it has given him a leg up versus other trainers that might focus more on strength than friendship. While Ash might not be the star of Pokemon video games such as Pokemon Go, Pokemon Violet, and Pokemon Scarlet to name a few, he's certainly earned his place in the franchise's history. 

In speaking with the outlet Animedia, director Yuyama had this to say as to why Ketchum was able to be the perfect character to introduce this anime world to viewers: "The Pocket Monsters anime started airing about a year after the first video games had been released, and Pokémon was already massively popular with children at the time. So in that respect, Ash was "the boy who showed up late". The viewers knew way more about Pokémon than he did. Ash positioned himself as a very equal-opportunities kind of guy as far as Pokémon and the world they live in goes... I think people normally project themselves onto things or filter their thoughts about them in some way, but Satoshi doesn't. He accepts the Pokémon he encounters for what they are, showing no prejudice or fear, and is able to befriend them quickly. I think this is the main thing that makes him so appealing."

Ash & Pikachu: Perfect Partners

Yuyama then went into detail when it came to the relationship between Ash and his Pikachu, as the two have been inseparable since the series began. While Ketchum has captured scores of Pokemon over the years, the electric rodent has been forever at his side over his journey, "Pokémon aren't always what humans expect them to be like. They're unique individuals that each have their own individual reasons for how they interact with humans. That's the kind of theme, or relationships, the Pokémon anime shows; How someone can eventually get along despite being unable to communicate at all when they first meet. Communication is one of the main themes of the show, and Ash's first Pokémon, Pikachu, put it into practice. They don't rely on words." 

Via Serebii