Why Ash Ketchum Always Loses (And Why That's Okay!)

Illustration for article titled Why Ash Ketchum Always Loses (And Why That's Okay!)

Since the late 1990s, Ash Ketchum has been training Pocket Monsters. And with a decade plus under his belt (sixteen years, actually), you'd think he'd be pretty good. You'd be wrong.


In Pokémon League play, in which trainers have their Pocket Monsters battle, it always seems like he's losing. Well, that's because he is. And that's part of the appeal.

On this week's episode of anime Pokémon: Best Wishes!, a teaser for next's week program shows Ash's Pokémon, Pikachu, once again losing. This time, it's to Lucario in the Unova Pokémon League.

Illustration for article titled Why Ash Ketchum Always Loses (And Why That's Okay!)

The subtitle says that Pikachu was "knocked out" and "Lucario wins!" So that probably puts Ash's record in Pokémon league play somewhere between awful and terrible. But there's an important reason for Ash Ketchum's losing streak: Who wants to watch someone win all the time? It would get boring.

What's more, while the Pokémon anime does have its share of fans, its target audience is Japanese children. That means there is a steady flow of new viewers as children get old enough to watch the long running show. Thus, the show's producers need to keep the characters somewhat static.


Yes, Ash Ketchum loses. A lot. If his league record is anything to go by, he's not a very good trainer. But he is an underdog. And who doesn't like an underdog? Jerks, that's who.

Has Ash ever won the Pokemon League in The Anime? [The Pokemon Database]

Why does ash ketchum always lose? [Yahoo! Answers]

またリーグ戦で敗退 16年目もポケモンマスターになれず [2ch via はちま起稿]

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No, it's not okay. Ash hasn't won not ONE "official" Poke'mon League. The Orange League Islands was a filler season and the concept of orange Islands didn't even come from the games. After so many years, Ash's destiny is be a total Poke'mon failure.

Besides Ash not winning any of the Leagues, there's far more problems in the anime which prevent me from watching it anymore.

- The "OH A NEW REGION, I'M GOING TO START FROM SCRATCH...AGAIN!" every new generation.

- A new group /partner swap. For once let's have ash going solo.

- Ash not owning a legendary.

Not to mention you can make so many stories revolving around the fact that he owns one.

For example: Ash now owning a legendary has become overconfident and solely relies on his legendary to win. He becomes neglectful towards his other poke'mon in the process. After relying so much on the legendary, when it's finally defeated he'll have to switch to his other poke'mon who haven't been properly trained/ used very often thus resulting to his defeat in some type of plot which leads up to to his realization that he lately has been a terrible trainer....etc.etc. some moral at the end. It's gives off more depth and character development and it's a good example of how hes still "learning".

- Most secondary characters or rivals disappearing from existence or barely appearing at all.

What happened to Butch and Cassidy? Ash's clone Ritchie? Tyson?Barry? Paul? and all those "once in a while" friends.

(Also something should really be done about "Tobias".)

However Gary did have a nice comeback at the end of advanced generation and made a few appearances here and there in DP.

- More character development. Give ash a life besides being a tool and trying to be the best trainer. What happened to his relationship with Misty? It's OFTEN implied there's something going on. What happened to his long lost father?

These are things that bug me about the series. If anything the series is about as repetitive as the game themselves but the games argument is for a different discussion.