Ash Ketchum finally becomes the greatest Pokémon trainer in the world

  • Character Ash Ketchum has made “Pokémon” history in the “Pokémon Journeys” anime by defeating the undefeated Galar champion Leon in a full six-on-six battle, making Ash the No. 1 ranked trainer in the world.

  • Both trainers were in the Masters 8 tournament, which consisted of the eight strongest trainers: No. 1 ranked Galar champion Leon, Kalos champion Diantha, Hoenn champion Steven, Sinnoh champion Cynthia, Unova champion Iris, Johto champion Lance and Ash’s rival from Kalos, Alain.

  • Ash’s team consisted of Pikachu, Gengar, Dracovish, Sirfetch’d, Dragonite and Lucario, while Leon used Rillaboom, Cinderace, Inteleon, Dragapult, Mr. Rime and Charizard.

  • The Pallet Town protagonist’s win even got shout- outs from Taito Okiura, vice president of marketing for The Pokémon Company International, and Ash’s very own English voice actor Sarah Natochenny on social media.

Ash Ketchum is now the No. 1 ranked Pokémon trainer in the world. 

In the current season of the anime, “Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series,” the iconic character and Alola champion from Pallet Town squared off against Galar champion and No. 1- ranked trainer Leon in the Masters Eight Tournament of the Pokémon World Coronation Series. 

The other contenders in the tournament included Kalos champion Diantha, Hoenn champion Steven, Sinnoh champion Cynthia, Unova champion Iris, Johto champion Lance and Ash’s rival from Kalos, Alain. Ash bested Steven in the quarter finals in a three-on-three match before advancing to fight the previously undefeated Cynthia in a six-on-six bout in the semi-finals. 

As with his other matches in the tournament, Ash stuck with his squad of Pikachu, Gengar, Dracovish, Sirfetch’d, Dragonite and Lucario. Meanwhile, Leon busted out a team composed of all three fully evolved Galar starters, the grass type Rillaboom, fire type Cinderace and water type Inteleon, along with pseudo-legendary ghost/dragon Dragapult, the Galarian Mr. Mime variant evolution Mr. Rime and his signature ace, Charizard.

Leon and Ash’s epic showdown spanned four episodes and included a special rule just for Ash. In the Masters Eight Tournament, trainers are allowed to use one1 battle mechanic per match, whether it be Dynamax/Gigantamax, Mega Evolution or Z-Move, but for the finals, Leon allowed Ash to use all three in their fight. 

Their match is briefly interrupted by the appearance of the legendary Pokémon Eternatus, but they quickly get back on track as Leon Gigantamaxes his Cinderace while Ash mirrors with Gigantamax Pikachu. The final altercation is fittingly between the two champion’s starters: Pikachu and. Charizard. 

Ash’s historic accomplishment is the peak of his 25 years as a perpetual 10-year-old trainer in the Pokémon anime. 

Taito Okiura, vice president of marketing for The Pokémon Company International, even released a statement congratulating the protagonist:

“Ash Ketchum’s determination and perseverance to achieve his goal of becoming the world’s top Pokémon Trainer over the course of 25 seasons represents the very best of what it means to be a Trainer. We cannot wait to celebrate this moment with Pokémon fans when the newest season of ‘Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series’ and this adventure-defining episode air around the world in the coming year. This is a season fans won’t want to miss!” 

Netizens jumped on social media to celebrate the crowning achievement. 

“What a special, legendary, historic day. This will never get old,” wrote one user. “I’m so proud of him.”

“Waited my entire life for Ash Ketchum to finally become the Champion,” wrote another.

“25 years of showcasing Ash Ketchum’s journey and today, he reached a new level,” another user commented. “After all his development, struggles and perseverance, Ash defeats Leon and becomes the new World Champion. Ash Ketchum is now the strongest trainer in world of the Pokémon anime”

Ash Ketchum’s English dub voice actor Sarah Natochenny even tweeted, “I can’t wait to share the English dub of this episode of Pokémon with the world. What an absolute honor to be voicing Ash Ketchum as he becomes a world champion. He really is the very best. Like no one ever was.”

She followed it up with another tweet reacting to a video of Ash’s win screened in Shibuya, Tokyo. 

Whether this is the end of Ash’s journey is yet to be revealed, but if the series followsing precedent, he should feature in an upcoming anime season based off of the soon- to- be- released “Pokémon: Scarlet and Violet” games. 


Feature Image via Gmftr

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way.  Thank you for everyone's support. We love you all and can't appreciate you guys enough.

Support NextShark

Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, Paypal