Image: The Pokémon Company

‘Pokémon’s Ash Ketchum wins the world championship

Ash Ketchum, the lead character in the Pokémon anime series, has won the Pokémon World Championship.

There has been widespread delight that Ash has become the strongest Pokémon trainer in the world, more than 25 years after the first episode of the programme aired.

The anime has followed the character and his partner Pokémon, Pikachu, in his quest to become a Pokémon Master since 1997. More than 1,200 episodes have been aired, and most of the seasons of the anime followed Ash’s journey across various regions as he aimed to win eight gym badges to qualify for their Pokémon League.

In the most recent series, Pokémon Ultimate Journeys, he has travelled around the world, rather than been limited to one region, and he has had to overcome strong trainers from across his travels.

The final battle, which saw Ash face off against former world champion Leon, spanned four episodes, and saw the return of former companions from previous series who have since been retired, including fan favourites Brock, Misty and Dawn.

He succeeded in winning the battle with a team comprised of Pikachu, Gengar, Lucario, Dragonite, Sirfetch’d and Dracovish. The final confrontation saw Ash’s Pikachu face off against Leon’s Charizard.

Fans flocked to social media to share in the joy of seeing Ash achieve his dream, with one person describing it as a “special, legendary, historic day”. A post on the official Pokémon Twitter account attracted more than 200,000 likes at the time of writing.

It is not currently known when the full episode will air in English – the episode just broadcast in Japan and is due to air worldwide sometime “in the future”, according to a news release.

The news comes at an important time for the Pokémon franchise, as Nintendo will be releasing the latest mainline games in the series – Pokémon Scarlet and Violet – next week, the second major launch of the year following Legends: Arceus.


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