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The Pokemon Scene That Fans Have Been Waiting 25 Years To See

It's an unspoken rule, almost a commandment, really, that cartoon protagonists cannot age. Were they to do so, then the show would have to progress emotionally and thematically with them. There are exceptions to this, of course, but such rarities are saved for story-driven cartoons that have an endgame already in mind and, for all the wealth of love it deserves, "Pokemon" is not one of those special cases.

Its protagonist, a 10-year-old boy named Ash Ketchum (from Pallet Town!), has been 10 years old for a quarter of a century. According to Movie Web, only "South Park" and "The Simpsons" have run for longer consecutive durations than "Pokemon," both of which also subscribe to the immortality rule. If he stays unageing for much longer, the conspiracy theories might start to dive unabashedly into pinpointing the exact moment in which Ash Ketchum joined the Cullen family.

Worse still is how the show's entire concept centers around Ash's determination to become a Pokemon Master. That's all well and good until the second, equally important, unspoken rule is taken into consideration: Protagonists can't ever win in a meaningful way, otherwise they've achieved their goal and the show is over.

Therefore, the poor kid's been caught in the crosshairs of plot purgatory for most of his eternal existence. In 2019, though, after over 1,000 episodes of shenanigans, Ash won his first Pokemon league. It was Alola's league, which was still in its inaugural tournament, so it was a win, but a tiny one. In the current series, "Pokemon Master Journeys," it looks like Ash is finally getting some attention on a grand scale.

Ash Ketchum finally got a little respect

In a subreddit dedicated to the anime, u/NebbyInTheBag56 posted a clip from "Pokemon Master Journeys," along with a brief sentiment, saying, "This scene from the newest episode was just... amazing. Our boi finally getting the recognition he deserves after so many years." The clip in question, which is still in the original Japanese translation, shows Ash Ketchum heading into the Masters 8, a contest featuring eight of the strongest trainers ever depicted in the entire series. Among them are Lance (the Dragon type trainer from the first Elite Four), Cynthia (one of the only champions to ever have a diverse, balanced team), and Leon (the ultimate goof lord and Charizard fanboy). 

The best thing about this clip, though, is how the stands are packed with fans, including Ash's dear friends, who are cheering him toward victory. Remember, this kid's been snubbed so many wins that he's probably in the Pokemon universes' version of the Guinness Book Of World Records for "most losses." Hearing his name chanted by a crowd as excited for his success as the fans who've been watching him since 1996, well, that's enough to make a grown man a little teary eyed. Hypothetically, of course. 

As of yet, the season is still airing, so the true winner has not been decided, but it seems likely that the World Coronation Series Master Tournament (yes, that's the full name) will see Ash rise to the level of a global champion. After all, as Comic Book noted, the most recent iteration of the series has felt more like a nostalgic victory lap for the trainer who's traveled everywhere, and shows really only do that when they're about to make huge changes, like finally letting a tired 10 year old fulfill his dreams.