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Pokemon Director Says Ash Was Beloved Because He Showed "No Prejudice Or Fear"

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Ash's Pokemon journey is about to come to an end. Later this month, his final episode of the anime will air in Japan. Kunihiko Yuyama has been fielding questions about Ash's journey as the world prepares to say goodbye, revealing he believes the trainer's fearless attitude is why fans have gravitated to him for more than two decades.

Speaking with Animedia (thanks, ComicBook.com), Pokemon director Yuyama detailed the beginnings of the anime which came around a year after the launch of Red & Blue. “Pokemon 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,” Yuyama said. Not just late to the Pokemon fandom, but also late to pick up his starter in the very first episode.

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Many of us were already better equipped than Ash to embark on his journey. However, he was accepted by fans and has gone on to become one of the most recognizable fictional characters in the world. “He accepts the Pokemon 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 throwing a pokeball in the pokemon anime
via Pokemon

The basic premise of a Pokemon Game is to catch, train, and battle 'mons against each other. Having Ash lead the anime was clearly a successful attempt to add various layers to that world. An early episode centers around Ash finding an abandoned Charmander and trying to return it to its trainer. The trainer has no interest in the Pokemon, labelling it too weak to care about, something many of us have likely done in Pokemon Games when we cram a lower-level team member into a box and replace it with a strong new addition.

Whether you agree with Yuyama or not, there's no denying Ash has left a mark on a lot of people's lives. As has his Pikachu who will also be leaving the show. Yuyama noted in the same interview that Pikachu could almost speak like Team Rocket's Meowth. It was ultimately decided his bond with Ash would seem stronger if they couldn't communicate verbally.

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