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Pokémon Fans Can't Help But Love This Amazing Team-Up

For over 25 years, the "Pokémon" anime has seen its protagonist, ten-year-old Ash Ketchum, collecting friends with a rate of success that he can never seem to translate into an actual Pokemon collection. Although the famous "gotta catch 'em all" phrase is normally understood to apply to the titular pocket monsters, it could also refer to the revolving door of friends that Ash sees fit to routinely join and discard. Seriously, every few seasons, he cycles all of his buddies out and finds a new crew. In fact, there is such a variety of teams in the "Pokémon" universe that we have gone to the trouble of listing every "Pokémon" gang ranked worst to best.

While this can certainly be a bummer for Brock stans (kicking it old school with the references today), it's an important aspect of the series that also leads to interesting character explorations. Most of Ash's friends are lucky enough to have unique personalities, and such a revitalization process allows for a variety of dynamic storytelling opportunities. In fact, most of the individuals in the "Pokémon" universe have well-defined characteristics.

Unsurprisingly, managing so many different idiosyncrasies can lead to some fun character clashes. Even more interesting than the plethora of rivalries are the odd character team-ups, especially the ones that fans don't expect. On more than one occasion, the series sees fit to throw two completely disparate characters together. Despite the characters' many differences, the writers always seem to be able to build interesting team-ups. 

Here's one of the best team-ups, according to the fans. 

Fans love it when Ash and James work together

In a subreddit dedicated to the anime, u/Bitter-Record-3831 shared, "Seeing James and Ash together is really wholesome and I don't know why." Beneath the text, they also posted a set of screenshots from episodes in which James and Ash collaborate. The episodes in question, as they went on to clarify in the comments, are Season 7, Episode 32 ("The Bicker The Better") and Season 8, Episode 12 ("Claydol Big And Tall"). 

For those who might be unfamiliar with the "Pokemon" anime, Ash Ketchum spends approximately two or three seasons exploring a specific region, like Galar or Hoenn, before — usually — losing that region's Pokémon league, at which point he moves on to the next place he can find, using mostly new Pokémon and hanging out with mostly new friends. Along the way, Team Rocket, which is comprised of Jesse, James, and Meowth, tries to steal Pikachu. Much like Ash, they regularly fail.

Notably, depending on the conceit behind any given episode, the motivations of the opposing factions will temporarily align. In "The Bicker The Better," James and Ash get into a heated battle with May and Jessie. Similarly, in "Claydoll Big And Tall," James and Ash team up to quell a titan-sized Claydol. Despite the fact that the duo are normally on opposite sides, fans seem to very much enjoy the times that they get along.

It's probable that this pairing gets so much attention because of the dynamic between Ash, who's characterized as an ambitious idiot, and James, who's characterized as a vain himbo. Collectively, the two share, what, maybe five brain cells? It certainly doesn't hurt that Ash is infinitely more interesting when paired with people who challenge his limited scope of perception. In fairness, he is a child.