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Why are people so obsessed with Ash never aging?

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by Treadshot, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. Treadshot

    Treadshot New Member

    Why do people make such a big deal out of Ash still being a ten-year-old? I keep seeing a lot of videos discussing why he doesn't grow up and posts pointing out how he never ages.

    EX:


    EX:


    EX:


    EX:
    https://kotaku.com/unlike-in-pokemon-digimon-human-keep-aging-1827963691

    EX:
    https://kotaku.com/okay-real-talk-whats-going-on-with-ash-ketchums-age-1309193978

    EX:
    https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-4782c9b9ec8c0edab51dc295bc692fec.webp

    A lot of animated characters don't age and nobody really cares. (i.e. Bart Simpson, The Loud House kids, Charlie Brown, etc.).
     
  2. DatsRight

    DatsRight Well-Known Member

    I could see why it was offputting in a show with dynamic development if not for this one detail.

    NO ONE ELSE IN THE SHOW AGES EITHER.

    It's obviously working on a stagnant timeline like many other cartoons where long periods of time are implied but never take their toll on the cast. If Ash is stuck in some limbo where he's forever 10, then so is Serena apparently since she was an infant when he was, and unless other flashbacks with the companions happened long afterwards, so is every other 10 year old in the show. Hell looking at how they evolved May's biology, she might actually be aging DOWN. :p

    I don't see why it's a big deal to have the cast visibly age and get older, there's other more important ways to develop a character besides making them older. Besides that, Ash and the other companions' appeal comes from them being kids taking in new things.
     
  3. Pokegirl Fan~

    Pokegirl Fan~ February 15, 2011-February 15, 2020

    Good question lol

    I think it might have to do with people seeing themselves in Ash and they want to see him progress and mature, even though age is not a very good indicator of progressing or maturing. They're also not part of the target audience.
     
    Moonlight Starlight and satopi like this.
  4. Ignition

    Ignition Champion SZN

    It's one of those things were people exaggerate the fact that their childhood shows don't fit the logic of our world.
     
  5. blizzardblaze

    blizzardblaze Comp. Battler Who loves The Anime

    Maybe the calendar in Pokemon is just a lot longer than ours lol. It would be nice to see him at least age 1 year so that he can be 11.
     
  6. It's just a thing people do tbh. There's always going to be someone taking a kid show too seriously
     
    FlygontheRavager likes this.
  7. Bolt the Cat

    Bolt the Cat Bringing the Thunder

    It's just strange to see a show go on for this long and for Ash to never age. It gets harder and harder to believe all of this could take place within the span of a year the more this goes on.
     
  8. Akuroma

    Akuroma The Doctor

    Because most people want to see progression in Ash's character. And they attribute age to character progression. Ash is fine for a 10 year old, and there are times where he is shown to be mature.
     
    Moonlight Starlight likes this.
  9. AznKei

    AznKei Badass girls saving their boyfriends. XD

    For me, it's related to the continuity of the show. I remembered the kid from the kindergarden episode in XY where he told Ash that he's going to battle him once he grows up to become a trainer, it would never happen. Also I wanted to see the progression of the companions in their own adventures after they departed from Ash, but it would never happen, and their cameo appearences felt like they were resetted in similar extents than Ash.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
    cmarston1 and blizzardblaze like this.
  10. Akkipeddi

    Akkipeddi Gold Experience

    Because Pokémon actually (loosely) does follow a timeline. Numerous times, we've heard about when Ash and Pikachu met, Ash promising to meet and battle certain characters again, and also continuity references which obviously mean Ash had met said person and done so and so in the past. Also, seeing Ash for 20 years and continuing, people want him to progress and get somewhere, and aging would ideally prove that he's actually progressing somewhere in his goal.
     
  11. Genaller

    Genaller May 16th 2016 - October 12th 2019

    I’m honestly not sure how I should even address this question. Ash’s canonically stated age has never really been the actual issue; it’s far more about the consequences of that supposed fact which concern:

    — The progression of time in the anime.

    — Applicability of biological and social norms to characters in the anime.

    If we accept that Ash is a 10 year old by the standards of our world, then we run into an explicit contradiction based on the information provided in the anime and other canonical sources themselves. Here are examples of what I mean:

    For starters in Takeshi Shudo’s (the initial head writer of the anime) novelization of the pokemon anime Ash is stated to be 10 years 10 months and 10 days at the start of the series. In episode 9 Ash tells Giselle that he’s been traveling for 2 months which would mean that as far as Shudo was concerned st the time, Ash was already 11 by then! Another example is that in the Pikachu short, accompanying the 3rd movie, it’s the anniversary day of when Ash and Pikachu first met, so at least 1 year had to have passed by the time of early Johto (which was when the 3rd movie happened). Also if we keep track of all the statements made by characters with regards to passage of time, then it was 2 months after Ash started his journey by episode 9, Ash had to wait 2 months till the Indigo League, Ash had to wait 3 months till the Johto and Hoenn leagues, a month till the Sinnoh League and 2 months till the unova League and if you add all of that up you get 2 + 2 + 3 + 3 + 1 + 2 = 13 > 12 months = 1 year. We also know from the Goldenrod episodes in Johto League Champions that the magnet train from Johto to Kanto would take a year to complete yet in the end of BW Iris and Cilan are using the magnet trainer hence at least a year must have passed between those 2 points in time. In addition Dawn is going to Johto for another iteration of the Wallace cup after her Unova return and the Wallace cup is an annual event meaning that about a year has passed between them and the Sinnoh Wallace cup. Finally you could literally count the number of times the sun has gone up and down in the show and you would see that more than 366 days have passed well before BW.

    The point is based on the evidence in the anime there’s no way Ash could biologically be 10 by the standards of our world. If we accept that the statement of Ash still being 10 at the start of BW refers to “10 years old” as it is understood in our world, then we have that Ash simultaneously is and isn’t 10 which is a contradiction. Of course you can circumvent the issue by saying that being “10” in the pokeverse isn’t the same as being 10 in our world (what the difference is exactly is up to individual interpretation), but if you did that then you’d have to accept that the social norms of 10 year olds in our world cannot be applied to Ash! By this I mean you can’t go; “Ash is acting too mature for a 10 year old in XY” or “Ash is acting his age in SM” or “Ash shouldn’t be romantically involved with someone because he’s 10” etc... The point is that if we accept that Ash is still “10” by the standards of his world which would in this case be very different from ours, then we can’t view Ash as a “10 year old” in the way that we view 10 year olds in our world a.k.a we can’t apply the social norms or biological norms of 10 year olds in our world when assessing Ash’s character, how long Ash has actually lived or what is and isn’t expected behavior for Ash.

    Getting into more subjective territory, I really don’t like it when people use the fact that Ash is stated to be “10” to undermine the progression of time in the anime which undermines many things in the anime itself. Examples include “how close could Ash and Pikachu really be; they haven’t even known each other for a year” or “Charizard hasn’t been training for all that long since not even a year has passed in the anime”, or “so what if Ash has traveled to so many different regions, it’s not even been a year, so Ash obviously hasn’t really gained that much expereince or wisdom from his travels”. It’s not that these claims (and many many others) are necessarily true even if 1 year hasn’t passed in the show, but because Ash is stated to be 10, it prompts such responses from people which honestly doesn’t sit well with me due to how much it undermines Ash’s (and his Pokemon’s) story as a whole. I also take serious issue with any statement along the lines of “Ash is/isn’t acting his age in so and so series” or “Ash should/shouldn’t act in such and such way because he’s 10”. To be frank based on my above reasoning such statements are utterly meaningless.

    If the writers want to define Ash as “10” for marketing purposes and to make him seem more relatable to the “target demographic” (for the record Pokémon never had a target demographic even if the bulk of its consumers are 7 - 14 year olds; it has always been a child friendly franchise and not a child exclusive franchise, and yes there is an enormous difference between the 2), then so be it, but it’s blatantly fallacious to use that as an excuse to undermine Pokémon anime characters and their expereinces (especially when it concerns Ash).
     
  12. Spider-Phoenix

    Spider-Phoenix Go, Go Power Rangers

    I have the same question. The fact the show has been running for 20+ years yet Ash is still 10 doesn't bother in the slightest. Nor I have any concern about there being a new for time to pass in the show. He could remain 10 forever for all I care.
     
  13. Blue Saturday

    Blue Saturday too fly

    Very simple.

    Satoshi's an audience surrogate, people often project their own idealogy onto him and several other characters in the anime. It's very easy to do with Pokemon anime's writing not being that super deep. Satoshi's not aging, becoming a Pokemon Master and winning a league while we do is seen as a very ingrave and bad thing. Hence why so many casuals hopped on board during XY's end with him being so "badass" and "handsome" and then we saw backlash later for his loss and S&M "de-aging" him. Don't look into it and ignore it, with Pokemon anime fandom it's one of those things you have to do to not let it drive you mad.
     
  14. Zoruagible

    Zoruagible Lover of underrated characters

    It's because the fact that Ash has gone through 7 regions now, Kanto twice and is STILL ten!
    Hard to care about Max and Bonnie too with this factor in mind as we'll never see them become Pokemon trainers.
    Ash should have been 11 at least, to be faithful to SM games. But this saga is entirely disrespectful to the games
     
  15. Pokegirl Fan~

    Pokegirl Fan~ February 15, 2011-February 15, 2020

    Honestly I'd rather Ash stay 10 over Ash suddenly aging and is still continuing to lose leagues. It would change nothing and it would look worse if he's a teen or young adult and still hasn't won his first regional league yet. Besides it wouldn't work well and would alienate the target audience, which are around 7-10 years old kids.
     
    Ash-Pikachu, satopi and Darthlord7 like this.
  16. Honestly not sure why anyone would want Ash to age at this point anyway. If he suddenly started aging now after being 10 for 20 years wouldn't that be even worse? It would make even less sense.
     
  17. Genaller

    Genaller May 16th 2016 - October 12th 2019

    I’m sorry but could either of you please explain what you mean by “suddenly age”? Last time I checked “aging” as is defined in our world corresponds to maturing both physically and mentally. Well guess what; Ash has done both of these things from OS -> AG -> DP -> XY. The best measure for physical growth is to measure Ash’s height relative to Jessie in episodes animated by Masaki Iwane and you’ll notice that he goes from Jessie’s chest in OS to Jessie’s forehead in XY. As far as mental growth goes... I’d presume I don’t have to go into detail but if anyone would like an essay explaining Ash’s growth as a person from OS -> AG -> DP -> XY then please let me know :). Honestly BW is inexcusable trash not only because it was inconsistent with what came before, but it actively spat in the face of the narrative intent from OS - DP which believe it or not was that Ash was in-fact gradually aging.

    PGF~ I find it hilarious how you are contradicting yourself since you’ve stated that you don’t think age is necessarily an indicator of expereince or progression yet you claim that aging would somehow make his performances (namely his lack of winning a league conference) seem even worse which would imply that aging should have an impact on progression (but wouldn’t have in that hypothetical scenario). Also the “target audicene” (by which I’m referring to the bulk of the fanbase) is more like 7 - 14 (that’s why the MCs are 10 or 11 as they represent an approximate of the average player age); not 7-10 (unless you’d like to give me a source for this claim). Matter of fact if we’re using the formal definition of target audience, then Pokémon from the get go has been defined as a game that someone of any age and generation can enjoy a.k.a everyone is it’s target audeince! It avoids more “adult” elements because it wants to stay child friendly, but that has never meant it’s made with only children in mind.

    I’m sorry KIS; could you please explain how BW Ash makes any sense as DP Ash’s successor and XY Ash’s predecessor? The answer is..... he doesn’t! The BW Ash we saw is a blatant contradiction (in multiple ways) to how he is in both DP and XY, so we’ve already passed the point of no return as far as trying to “make sense”goes with respect to the overall anime.
     
    LilligantLewis and blizzardblaze like this.
  18. Frozocrone

    Frozocrone Miraculous!

    The one's that are passionate about his age, are the ones that have a continued interest in him and his story.

    The start of the anime seemed to be a coming of age story to begin with - which seems to have been stunted through executive meddling.

    Now it's a floating timeline, a subtle form of retrospective continuity, meaning the production team can pull the GOAT saga and it ain't gonna mean s*** because in three years that audience will have grown and they'll have to restart again to entice the new children viewers.

    People care about the narrative and progression. Who knew?!?! Unfortunately their preferences don't line up with the production team's values and for all these viewers know, maybe the production team considered keeping a logical progression but decided against it for the better of business.

    eh, what do I know, I'm here to watch cute monsters do s***
     
  19. being confirmed 11, then 12, 13 and so on, is what I'm saying doesn't need to happen. he went through 7 regions being ten years old; randomly having his age start to steadily increase after all that time spent as a ten year old would be really odd honestly.

    Only because you're selectively ignoring Best Wishes ._.

    has he also consistently grown in episodes animated by other people?

    > we're ignoring BW and claiming Ash has aged
    > we're not ignoring BW, and using BW as an example to say the anime doesn't need to make any sense anymore due to past contradictions

    pick one. you're getting snappy at PGF for making contradictions when you're also doing that. If you can ignore BW to make one point, why are you using aspects of BW to make other points?
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
    Pokegirl Fan~ likes this.
  20. Dragalge

    Dragalge Lucy Eiscue

    They didn’t make Ash 15 years old in BW like the BW1 protagonists so why would they age Ash to 11 in SM? :p

    Anyway Ash’s age is the least of my concerns. There’s more interesting things to be invested in the anime than just that personally.
     

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