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Your Thoughts On Ash Staying In The Anime?

Should Ash Stay?

  • Yes, stay as main character.

    Votes: 21 46.7%
  • Yes, but downplay him to supporting character.

    Votes: 9 20.0%
  • No, drop him already.

    Votes: 15 33.3%

  • Total voters
    45

cmarston1

Animation Enthusiast
I want him gone and I want it done by yesterday. The anime would be better off finally removing him and replacing him with a main character that can actually grow and develop. Also seeing Ash lose the league all the time is super boring.
 

Victorian Rush

Weather Manipulator
While I do admit that I do not like seeing Ash lose every league he participates in, I still want him to stick around. Ash is the main character of the show and, besides Pikachu, he is the arguably the biggest money maker for the series. If he was going to leave, he would already by now. He is not going anywhere.
 

Genaller

Silver Soul
Honestly OS -> AG -> DP -> XY provides a complete arc for Ash as both a person and trainer. There’s really nothing left for an end of XYZ Ash to do (except maybe learn how to use entry hazards) other than train up his pokemon, so that he can compete with top tier trainers from a strength standpoint as well (he’s already good enough to compete with even E4s/Champions from a skill standpoint by that point). Ideally I would like this show to give him a proper send off which is what I’m hoping either this series or the next 1 does, but if that’s not the case then I’d rather they just drop Ash as the main character rather than drag his name through the mud but of course that won’t happen because Pikachu is the franchise mascot hence it needs to be a constant in the show. With that in mind I think the best compromise would be to reduce Ash’s role from primary main character to secondary main character who perhaps serves as a mentor/Brock-esque figure for the new main character or something along those lines. Of course if this were my ideal then Ash would win the next league conference and we’d get an entire season dedicated to his champion league run.
 
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DatsRight

Well-Known Member
Honestly OS -> AG -> DP -> XY provides a complete arc for Ash as both a person and trainer. There’s really nothing left for an end of XYZ Ash to do (except maybe learn how to use entry hazards) other than train up his pokemon, so that he can compete with top tier trainers from a strength standpoint as well (he’s already good enough to compete with even E4s/Champions from a skill standpoint by that point). Ideally I would like this show to give him a proper send off which is what I’m hoping either this series or the next 1 does, but if that’s not the case then I’d rather they just drop Ash as the main character rather than drag his name through the mud but of course that won’t happen because Pikachu is the franchise mascot hence it needs to be a constant in the show. With that in mind I think the best compromise would be to reduce Ash’s role from primary main character to secondary main character who perhaps serves as a mentor/Brock-esque figure for the new main character or something along those lines. Of course if this were my ideal then Ash would win the next league conference and we’d get an entire season dedicated to his champion league run.

I feel like SM proved one thing about Ash however, and that is that, even if a character's personal arc has mostly seen it's day, you can still get a fresh look on a character by giving them completely new situations and thinking how they will respond to them. One of Ash's setbacks most series beforehand was that he was mostly doing the same thing but with a different backdrop. OS-DP stuck out for giving him the odd new personal challenge, but by XY his arc was done so mechanically that he didn't react to any rare thing that was new anyway. SM has thought about giving him a completely new dynamic and premise and seeing how he immerses in that, and the result isn't half bad. I mean, sure the companions still feel more fresh in terms of development, but Ash isn't a dried husk anymore, we see odd new depths to him here and there.
 

VoltTacklingPika

Well-Known Member
Removing Ash as the protagonist would merely cure the symptom, not the cause.

A new protagonist might have a different personality and a different outlook on things, but they're still going to be bound by the same rules. He wouldn't be able to age, nor would he be allowed to win.

So I'm ambivalent to this idea. If it happened, I'd be interested to the point it becomes apparent that the character can't go anywhere else. At which point, we'd just be restarting this whole discussion.

That said, I've always been interested in what Pokemon would have been like had it changed protagonist at the end of Johto and went with a new main character every new season, as it currently does with its female characters. Too much of a risk for this show to take, but an idea that's fun to play with all the same.
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
Removing Ash as the protagonist would merely cure the symptom, not the cause.

A new protagonist might have a different personality and a different outlook on things, but they're still going to be bound by the same rules. He wouldn't be able to age, nor would he be allowed to win.

So I'm ambivalent to this idea. If it happened, I'd be interested to the point it becomes apparent that the character can't go anywhere else. At which point, we'd just be restarting this whole discussion.

That said, I've always been interested in what Pokemon would have been like had it changed protagonist at the end of Johto and went with a new main character every new season, as it currently does with its female characters. Too much of a risk for this show to take, but an idea that's fun to play with all the same.

As said I think the method there comes off as redundant if the anime is only willing to do the exact same premise just in a different scenery every series. SM is the first to really try a fresh direction, and even then it does it fine enough with the existing protagonist just by thinking about how they could make his character respond to it.

The Pokegirls worked because they go through variations of different goals or story arcs per series, and even then some end up just being refinements of each other in areas (eg. May, Dawn and Serena all having similar performance goals and spending most of their spare time dealing with TR filler that could easily be interchanged between all three series).
 
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Zoruagible

Lover of underrated characters
I think he's well past his prime and they need to finish his story. Especially now that he placed in the finals, how long are they going to keep dragging it out? Any lower placement and it's just like the Unova League all over again with backtracking on his progress.

Either do a time skip to the future, where Ash married Serena and have their kid take over the main role with Pikachu's son as their starter or just make a completely new character..... that just happens to have a Pikachu as a starter.

DP really should have been where Ash's story ended, it really felt like it was supposed to have been..... they literally brought Tobias out of nowhere and didn't make a Finale rival for Dawn. It really feels like they were supposed to have won and BW was going to be a REAL fresh start.... but the suits wanted Ash to stay. Kalos was another place where he should have been written off.

I think part of the problem with Ash is that it's been SO ****ing long since he got to win something..... like the Orange League and Kanto Battle Frontier. It'd be nice if they tossed another one of those his way
 

Ignition

World's biggest Incineroar stan
I'm curious: do people want a new protagonist per region or a brand new character to go to multiple regions like Ash? (Obviously this is for people are for want Ash gone)
 

AznKei

Dawn & Chloe by ddangbi
I'm curious: do people want a new protagonist per region or a brand new character to go to multiple regions like Ash? (Obviously this is for people are for want Ash gone)
I would like something similar to the games and mangas, where these versions have a new protagonist, guy or girl in every region.

I know I'm pretty critical about the status quo and Ash, and I'm aware the producers/writers won't change their minds, which partly lead me to make a fan project to get what I want from a certain Pokegirl. Now, I'm still happy and proud about it that I kinda get over with the show issues and watch more casually.
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
I feel like at this point, Ash is fighting the tests of time as the main protagonist, but would probably make the most awesome companion ever.

In most of the other companions' episodes in SM, he's a really endearing presence. He's warm and supportive, he's inspirational without being an excessive one note figurehead like in XY, he's comical without just being comic relief, he's exuberant and vibrant but can be serious when needed, he has clear strengths and weaknesses and can merge his competent facilities well with other characters for fun teamwork. He also still has a goal to make him feel proactive, even if it's not considered interesting enough to be the centre piece anymore. He can also work well within more minimal screen time and still feel like a full character and not dead weight or a glory stealer.

These are great traits for a supporting character or one that takes lead roles in more episodic plots, if maybe not having the full capacity for a dynamic arc. Give the companions the main game arcs and character development, and make Ash top supporting companion.

I admit I'm not sure if I trust the writers to keep up this level of quality, especially given how often they alter Ash's outward personality. Along with the fact that Ash not being the main character would likely give the writers less incentive to keep his role and character in top form, he could slowly dwindle into a Brock-quality role as time passed.
 

satopi

Rooting for best girl May!! X3
Removing Ash as the protagonist would merely cure the symptom, not the cause.

A new protagonist might have a different personality and a different outlook on things, but they're still going to be bound by the same rules. He wouldn't be able to age, nor would he be allowed to win.

So I'm ambivalent to this idea. If it happened, I'd be interested to the point it becomes apparent that the character can't go anywhere else. At which point, we'd just be restarting this whole discussion.

That said, I've always been interested in what Pokemon would have been like had it changed protagonist at the end of Johto and went with a new main character every new season, as it currently does with its female characters. Too much of a risk for this show to take, but an idea that's fun to play with all the same.
I feel like it'll be the same as what the other children's anime have done whether it's aging them, replacing them with a new character/the main character's child, or making it more adult themed. To me, adding a brand new protagonist in replace of the long running, old protagonist is just adding paint in front of the mold. Covering up the problem without really erasing it. People can always look into other media created like Origins, Generations, Mega Evolution Special Acts, the comics, and games if they want to see a different direction, new main characters, and no Ash in sight. Johto would've been a great sendoff for Ash (I disagree on DP, because by this time, Ash has stuck around too long to be replaced) had they decided to not use him anymore. But alas, I'm glad that they didn't.

I feel like at this point, Ash is fighting the tests of time as the main protagonist, but would probably make the most awesome companion ever.

In most of the other companions' episodes in SM, he's a really endearing presence. He's warm and supportive, he's inspirational without being an excessive one note figurehead like in XY, he's comical without just being comic relief, he's exuberant and vibrant but can be serious when needed, he has clear strengths and weaknesses and can merge his competent facilities well with other characters for fun teamwork. He also still has a goal to make him feel proactive, even if it's not considered interesting enough to be the centre piece anymore. He can also work well within more minimal screen time and still feel like a full character and not dead weight or a glory stealer.

These are great traits for a supporting character or one that takes lead roles in more episodic plots, if maybe not having the full capacity for a dynamic arc. Give the companions the main game arcs and character development, and make Ash top supporting companion.

I admit I'm not sure if I trust the writers to keep up this level of quality, especially given how often they alter Ash's outward personality. Along with the fact that Ash not being the main character would likely give the writers less incentive to keep his role and character in top form, he could slowly dwindle into a Brock-quality role as time passed.
This. Had we gotten another main character who got co star treatment like Dawn or heck, maybe even making Ash the supporting character while the new character is the main character leading the story, Ash would've been great! It would've been Digimon Hunters done right. But what would also beg the question: if they ever tried this, would it have as big as a backlash as BW TRio did where they were competent, on point with their missions, and didn't appear as much? Ash would fit right in with being a third wheel character without suffering from it's issues. It was pleasant to see Ash taking a backseat in some episodes in SM like Lana tackling the School Form Wishiwashi.
 
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DatsRight

Well-Known Member
I feel like it'll be the same as what the other children's anime have done whether it's aging them, replacing them with a new character/the main character's child, or making it more adult themed. To me, adding a brand new protagonist in replace of the long running, old protagonist is just adding paint in front of the mold. Covering up the problem without really erasing it. People can always look into other media created like Origins, Generations, Mega Evolution Special Acts, the comics, and games if they want to see a different direction, new main characters, and no Ash in sight. Johto would've been a great sendoff for Ash (I disagree on DP, because by this time, Ash has stuck around too long to be replaced) had they decided to not use him anymore. But alas, I'm glad that they didn't.

I think the anime's started to find a niche by actually playing on the fact Ash has been stuck on the show so long never allowed to accomplish his goal. XY and SM have slowly altered him from a standard shonen hero going after the usual monster catching/dueling anime quest, to this brilliant enigmatic little weirdo born from the fatigue of the anime's formula.

This. Had we gotten another main character who got co star treatment like Dawn or heck, maybe even making Ash the supporting character while the new character is the main character leading the story, Ash would've been great! It would've been Digimon Hunters done right. But what would also beg the question: if they ever tried this, would it have as big as a backlash as BW TRio did where they were competent, on point with their missions, and didn't appear as much? Ash would fit right in with being a third wheel character without suffering from it's issues. It was pleasant to see Ash taking a backseat in some episodes in SM like Lana tackling the School Form Wishiwashi.

TRio's main critique in BW was that their personalities were sacrificed to make that work. Some believe that later BW/early XY were the happy medium, still being comical villains with their old personalities, but maintaining a competent streak and sometimes taking a back seat to keep from getting stale and let the twerps get proper limelight (sadly XY didn't keep that quality ongoing though, which furthers my concerns for Ash).

SM Ash, while taking some liberties with his character and behaviour, is trying to maintain the basics of his core personality throughout different series and merge them into a fine balance, if with a goofier cosmetic.

I like how SM Ash thus far can be a secondary character in episodes, but still have memorable roles without stealing the companion's thunder (eg. protecting or bonding with Lillie during the AF arc, or taking part in the Charjabug race). He works well off of most of the companions as well, who mostly all have varying niches and personalities. Lillie and Sophocles for example are of the 'frail smart guy' types, so their brains function to Ash's brawn works quite smoothly, and they know how to handle it without making Ash look like dumb muscle or Lillie and Sophocles like know-nothings that Ash doesn't really need for input. The main problem is that the companions usually need centre stage to show this niche of their's, while Ash, whose less reliant on such, gets more episodes than them.

Kiawe's dynamic with Ash works especially well in terms of 'input' and 'output' to flesh out both of them, given Ash's battle experienced 'fish out of water' status compared to the Kiawe's Alola researched 'battler in training' one. This is also maybe why Kiawe can get away with having so few limelight episodes even compared to the other companions, since his and Ash's chemistry and subtle development is able to seep through even in episodes where NEITHER of them is actually the star per se. In any other series, Kiawe would likely be the third wheel.

I find it a shame the anime didn't try more of this before, more defined stories and situations where the characters have to bump all their unique talents together, over standard battling and TR situations that nearly any blank slate can do even if it's not their talent.
 
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satopi

Rooting for best girl May!! X3
I think the TRio in SM are a happy medium too. They haven't gotten this much development and important screentime in quite some time! Maybe until the end of the Nygigator episodes. I honestly look forward to the TRio in SM (most of the time.) Come to think of it, I can only remember 2 times where they annoyed me: when they interrupted Ash and Gladion's battle and the recent episode where Steenee evolved.
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
I think the TRio in SM are a happy medium too. They haven't gotten this much development and important screentime in quite some time! Maybe until the end of the Nygigator episodes. I honestly look forward to the TRio in SM (most of the time.) Come to think of it, I can only remember 2 times where they annoyed me: when they interrupted Ash and Gladion's battle and the recent episode where Steenee evolved.

The problem in SM is that they just don't bounce off of the twerps AT ALL, making them okay characters but crappy antagonists, though I could argue this is as much the fault of the twerps' writing as their own. You can only do so much if you're interacting with a stone wall that refuses to play along. For the less developed characters like Mallow in particular, they pretty much exist solely as plot devices or straw losers to make them look better, with no interest in real chemistry or developed rivalry whatsoever, despite the potential being perfectly there if they just fleshed out the companion in question a little more and had them play along more with TR's silly dynamic.

It's ironic the one cast herd Ash isn't working out against is his old foes, though given how long they've been used, maybe that's exactly the reason. The writers just don't seem interested in the old formula anymore, using it solely to pad out their rough spots.

Later BW had the better medium because I think at the time, after a long break from 'classic TR' the writers were willing to bring back the old dynamic in full effort again, with the silly banter back and the two sides generally having creative face-offs. They also seemed more willing to make the twerps look fallible in that series, while afterwards they seem to squirm having them take hits back against even the threatening villains (if even the non-battlers were bulletproof in the Ultra Space arc, they're sure as hell not gonna sell TR).
 
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U.N. Owen

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night ...
Removing Ash won't change anything because he quite literally lacks finality to his current story arc. That's why I'm so against Ash winning and losing leagues unless there was a sense of finality to the story arc itself.

And even if Ash became a master, it's not like we don't have any material to work with from evil teams to the lore of the region itself.

There are many ways to solve the Ash problem:
  1. The DC Method: The show reboots a hard reboot and have him started at square one. We chuck all continuity aside for starting fresh. None of this spineless soft reboot nonsense.
  2. The Marvel Method: TPTB gives Ash a new status quo to work off of.
  3. The Time Skip: A time skip would make it hard to undo without a cosmic retcon.
  4. The Alternate Universe: Sort of what the movies are currently doing, we give Ash an alternate counterpart with some differences enough to make him be his own character.
 

satopi

Rooting for best girl May!! X3
The problem in SM is that they just don't bounce off of the twerps AT ALL, making them okay characters but crappy antagonists, though I could argue this is as much the fault of the twerps' writing as their own. You can only do so much if you're interacting with a stone wall that refuses to play along. For the less developed characters like Mallow in particular, they pretty much exist solely as plot devices or straw losers to make them look better, with no interest in real chemistry or developed rivalry whatsoever, despite the potential being perfectly there if they just fleshed out the companion in question a little more and had them play along more with TR's silly dynamic.

It's ironic the one cast herd Ash isn't working out against is his old foes, though given how long they've been used, maybe that's exactly the reason. The writers just don't seem interested in the old formula anymore, using it solely to pad out their rough spots.

Later BW had the better medium because I think at the time, after a long break from 'classic TR' the writers were willing to bring back the old dynamic in full effort again, with the silly banter back and the two sides generally having creative face-offs. They also seemed more willing to make the twerps look fallible in that series, while afterwards they seem to squirm having them take hits back against even the threatening villains (if even the non-battlers were bulletproof in the Ultra Space arc, they're sure as hell not gonna sell TR).
SM is still airing so maybe we'll get better interactions between the classmates and the TRio. I was quite looking forward to the TRio and Aniki and his goons with him's interactions. I think the TR vs TS episode was one of the best episodes to date in SM and it was cool seeing how the TRio acted towards a different evil organization without the main plot being the only thing putting these two groups together. It was also nice seeing the Team Skull grunts humanized for a couple of moments (Aniki losing the girl he had a crush on because of Ilima, the pink haired girl spazzing over cute Pokémon, and the fat guy being too nervous to check into the Pokémon Center to heal his Garbodor.) I wish they would appear more!! :(
 

Shooti

Uber Trainer
Please drop Ash ASAP maybe in the very next generation, make him realize his dream and keep him as a recurring character who occasionally acts as a mentor for the new protagonist.

We're not talking about what realistically would happen, because Ash could easily continue starring in the anime for at least another couple of decades as a 10 year old. The question is more like what you want Ash's future to be in the anime.

To draw an analogy, suppose you are a Roger Federer fan and would like to see him playing for as long as he could. But, let's say he stops winning after the age of 38. He continues to play but loses for the most part. What would you prefer ? Continue watching him play, or to retire if he can no longer win grand slams and other big tournaments ?
Ash becoming a pokemon master is more important to me than continue to watch him lose every time reaching at the brink of success. If letting Ash win means his retirement then so be it.
 

DatsRight

Well-Known Member
Please drop Ash ASAP maybe in the very next generation, make him realize his dream and keep him as a recurring character who occasionally acts as a mentor for the new protagonist.

We're not talking about what realistically would happen, because Ash could easily continue starring in the anime for at least another couple of decades as a 10 year old. The question is more like what you want Ash's future to be in the anime.

To draw an analogy, suppose you are a Roger Federer fan and would like to see him playing for as long as he could. But, let's say he stops winning after the age of 38. He continues to play but loses for the most part. What would you prefer ? Continue watching him play, or to retire if he can no longer win grand slams and other big tournaments ?
Ash becoming a pokemon master is more important to me than continue to watch him lose every time reaching at the brink of success. If letting Ash win means his retirement then so be it.

I think the difference there is that the anime has started finding ways to play more and more on Ash's perpetual 'loser' status with his goal. He was the moral victor in last series' league, and SM makes him competent in nearly every area BUT competition. This makes it more an intentional deconstruction than an ungratifying straight played arc with nothing different except they're not allowed to win.

Also keep in mind that, even most characters that ARE retired in the anime rarely achieve their goal, so Ash could just as easily leave still as unfulfilled as if he stayed.

SM is still airing so maybe we'll get better interactions between the classmates and the TRio. I was quite looking forward to the TRio and Aniki and his goons with him's interactions. I think the TR vs TS episode was one of the best episodes to date in SM and it was cool seeing how the TRio acted towards a different evil organization without the main plot being the only thing putting these two groups together. It was also nice seeing the Team Skull grunts humanized for a couple of moments (Aniki losing the girl he had a crush on because of Ilima, the pink haired girl spazzing over cute Pokémon, and the fat guy being too nervous to check into the Pokémon Center to heal his Garbodor.) I wish they would appear more!! :(

It's odd they can get Team Rocket and Team Skull to have good interactions with each other and almost any other character BUT the twerps. It's like they're meta aware they're acting in a cartoon and these guys have been butting into their roles the entire anime so have just straight up decided they're done cooperating with their shtick.

"Prepare for trouble. And make it double."
(teeth clenched) "Just ignore them, just ignore them, just ignore them..."

Actually I could argue doing that would be more amusing than what we have now. :p
 
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horrahforyou

Pokemon and Kamen Rider is life
I think XY should be Ash's last saga. I think the reason whyAsh and Pikachu can't replace because of marketing.
 
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