Ash’s journey has been a long one, and despite not aging, he has learned many lessons along the way to becoming a Pokémon Master.

From Pokémon Ash Ketchum has been 10 years old for 25 years, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t grown a bit in that time. From his beginning as a sleeping child who barely managed to get his starter Pokémon, to the Alolan Champion and current research assistant to Professor Cerise, Ash has been changing and maturing throughout his journey, becoming a better person.

In the days of the Indigo League, Ash’s personality was almost unrecognizable compared to his current counterpart, aside from a few key traits. The first and most obvious of these key traits is his tendency to rush into things without thinking, like when he tried to catch a Pidgey by throwing rocks at him in the first episode.

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Another possibly more important aspect of Ash’s character is his readiness for self-sacrifice – from protecting Pikachu in Episode 1 to basically dying multiple times in the movies, Ash has no problem risking his life if it means doing the right thing. He also cares deeply about his Pokémon and respects their decisions – whether it’s out of evolution or love, Ash won’t force any of his Pokémon to do anything he doesn’t want to.

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Ash Ketchum

But Ash’s love for Pokémon doesn’t necessarily translate into maturity, especially since he had a great little love for his neighbor at the beginning of the series. When the show started airing in the late 90s, Ash was caught up in some of the thoughts of the day and often teased Misty for her femininity, despite the fact that she used to be a much more capable trainer than him. Similarly, Ash from the original series struggled a lot with pride and overconfidence, bragging about his accomplishments and putting very little work into those accomplishments.

He was quite lazy, taking every shortcut he could think of to avoid the hard work required to earn his badges, out of his top five, just one was won by defeating the gym leader in a fair match. While his kindness earned the loyalty of his Pokémon, it was its strength and not his coaching ability that earned him a spot in the Top 16 of the Indigo League.

Fortunately for Ash, he had many opportunities to learn. Traveling with Misty through two regions allowed Ash to see how strong girls could be. When he met May, he regarded her as an equal and supported his goals, setting a precedent for the rest of his journey. Likewise, Charizard taught Ash that kindness alone wasn’t enough when it came to training Pokémon – he needed to earn their respect, give them space when necessary, and work with them to develop their own battle style. He stopped taking shortcuts in the Orange Islands and, throughout Johto and Hoenn, began working on training with his individual Pokémon to not only become stronger but to deepen the relationship between himself and his Pokémon, a trait that has continued. to this day.

Ash also began to notice others more when he left Kanto. Where he had once been self-centered and boastful, he now discovered the joy of helping others achieve their dreams, such as encouraging Clemont’s inventions or helping Mallow find Yellow Nectar to make his restaurant’s legendary dish. As a result of caring more for his fellow humans, he grew up not only able to accept defeat, but even sincerely congratulate his friends when they surpassed him, as with Iris in Season 14, Episode 42, “Club Battle Finale: The Result of! a hero! ”In the same vein, Ash also became more independent as the program progressed, from relying on Brock to take care of his needs to becoming a coach who could comfortably travel alone. He was even able to take the lessons he had learned through his travels and use them to help others, teaching May the basics in Hoenn and confidently guiding Dawn in Sinnoh.

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However, perhaps the most important way that Ash has grown up is in regards to their rivalries. When the series began, Ash’s rivalry with Gary could conservatively be described as “toxic,” with Gary constantly berating and beating Ash in every way possible, perhaps leading the good-hearted young man to emulate the bragging and arrogance of Gary. All of that changed when Ash finally defeated Gary. He didn’t do this out of sheer power, but through quick thinking and using the environment, exactly the kind of unorthodox battle style that Ash is now known for. The defeat allowed Gary to see Ash as an equal and Ash to leave their rivalry behind. They have both gotten better because of it.

Nowhere is that foundation more important than in regards to Ash’s rivalry with Paul in the Sinnoh region, which helped solidify Ash’s training style and motivations. Paul believed that only strong Pokémon were worthy, releasing anyone who did not live up to his standards regardless of the Pokémon’s feelings. Ash spent much of the Diamond and pearl series that seeks to prove that Paul and his tough and callous methods are wrong by showing that any Pokémon can become strong through training, hard work, and kindness. While Paul’s methods showed instant results, the bond of respect and love between Ash and his Pokémon allowed them to finally defeat Paul when it mattered.

While Ash may stay 10 forever, he’s certainly grown a lot throughout the series, and he’s not done yet either. He is still rushing to do things with the enthusiasm of a child his age, and he has yet to learn the meaning of “touch.” Still, Ash has softened significantly since his first appearance, becoming more tolerant and compassionate towards others, even humiliating himself as he seeks to become a better trainer worthy of the title of “Pokémon Master.”

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