Ash Ketchum becomes World Champion but how did it happen!
The name Ash Ketchum is synonymous with many Pokémon fans as the boy from Pallet Town started his journey 25 years back to “become the very best, like no one ever was.”
From his days of receiving his starter in Pikachu, winning the first gym battle against Brock, and owning 83 Pokémon, Ash has come a long way in his journey.
A journey that saw him travel through eight regions across 25 seasons since 1997 is etched in the memory of every Pokémon fan.
Not only was he a part of our childhood, but his adventures alongside his friends became a nostalgic tip-off as we all grew up watching him battle every day to claim his rightful place.
Pokémon as a franchise has had its fair share of peaks and troughs when it comes to the anime series, with a good chunk of the fanbase dropping it off post the battle frontier series.
One can cite many reasons for the anime s’ downfall, with common consent being the improper character development of Ash, repetitive storylines, and the fact the anime was solely focused on improving console game sales.
However, when Pokémon relaunched the anime series in the form of Pokémon Journeys, most of the older fans fell in love with Pokémon again.
Despite some complaints about the art style, the Pokemon community appreciated the battle mechanics and strategies coupled with the protagonist traveling to various regions alongside his new friend, Goh.
Despite Ash winning the Alola the previous season, his dream of becoming a Pokémon master remained a vested interest for all Pokémon fans.
Fast forward 25 years and the forever ten-year-old Ash Ketchum has finally achieved his dream of becoming a Pokémon Master as he beat Leon in the Master’s Eight Tournament of the Pokémon World Coronation Series.
Ash Ketchum World Champion after 25 years, is not just a piece of breaking news in the Pokémon community. Still, it’s the culmination of 25 year journey of one of the most iconic and beloved anime characters.
So, how did the kid from Pallet Town achieve this feat? Keep scrolling to find out, How Ash Ketchum became a World Champion after 25 years.
One significant change Ash has received in the Pokémon Journeys series is his past Pokémon battler experiences were utilized as a part of his character development.
He wasn’t the same unintelligent and naïve trainer who, for instance, lost embarrassingly to the Normal type gym leader Lenora in the Unova region.
One major criticism Pokémon fans have always had against Ash is his somewhat underwhelming tournament teams which, to be honest, weren’t built on strategy but on friendship and bonds.
The tides began to change in the Alola region when Pikachu, Lycanroc, Naganadel, Melmetal, and Incineroar finally felt like a League-winning team.
This pattern continued in the journey series by the end when Ash had built an elite team comprising Pikachu, Dragonite, Gengar, Lucario, Farfetch’d, and Dracovish.
Not only the team has four of the most popular and hard-hitting Pokemon in Pikachu, Dragonite, Gengar, and Lucario but also a sturdy Farfetch’d and a tanky Dracovish providing necessary balance.
It was pivotal for Ash to go into the Master’s Eight Tournament of the Pokémon World Coronation Series with a strong team that eventually helped him beat Sinnoh Champion Cynthia in the semi-finals.
All eyes were on Ash, who was against arguably the strongest trainer and champion he had ever faced, Leon, whose team featured Mr.Rime, Cinderace, Ineteleon, Dragapult,Rillaboom, and his ace Charizard.
The stage was set in what was going to be the most prominent and fiercest Pokemon battle in the franchise s’ history.
The Finals kick off in the Pokémon Journey s’ episode 129,” The Finals I: Torrent,” with Leon sending out Cinderace while Ash chooses Pikachu in the first round. Seeing Pikachu, Leon comments, “No thought on tactics,” referring to Cinderace s’ Libero ability, which allows him to change his type based on its previous attack.
Cinderace becomes a ground type, thus negating Pikachu s’ electric attacks, which makes Ash switch him out for Gengar. Cinderace is also called back by Leon, who brings out Intel Xeon.
The two fight briefly, with Inteleon whipping away Gengar s’ shadow ball, which prompts Ash to Gigantamax his Gengar, which knocks outs Inteleon with Dai Acid making the score 1-0.
Leon sends out Mr. Rime and freezes Gengar using freeze dry but, in turn, gets disabled due to Gengar s’ ability, Cursed body. Leon boosts Mr. Rime s’ physic move Physcho field, beats Gengar using Wide force, and equals the score 1-1.
Mr. Rime and its physical terrain is proving to be a menace for Ash, so to break the terrain, he brings out Sirfetch’ d and uses consecutive cuts to cut the field. Ash sends out his mega Lucario, who searches Mr. Rime s’ aura and knocks it out using aura sphere, taking the lead 2-1.
Impressed by Ash s’ battle plans, Leon brings out the dragon-type Dragapult, which lands a super effective Flamethrower on Mega Lucario, causing Ash to return the steel/fighting type.
He replaces Lucario with Dracovish, which attacks Dragapult with Dragon Dive only to be countered by Dragon Arrow. Strangely, Dracovish starts powering up with pink fangs protruding from his belly and catches the advancing Dragapult.
Just before Dracovish can use jaw bite, Dragapult sends sit back to the Pokeball using dragon tail, thus bringing out Dragonite.
The pair start trading blows, but Dragapult switches once again by using Dragon tail, sending Dragonite back and replacing it with Mega Lucario,
Mega Lucario is paralyzed after getting struck by 100,000 volts and gets knocked after getting hit by a second flamethrower, and Leon brings the score level to 2-2.
Ash chooses Dragonite in a Dragon vs. Dragon battle, which starts with an intense wave of Hurricane on Dragapult; the latter negates it with a massive 100,000-volt attack.
The battle moves into the sky as Dragonite uses Draco Meteor, unsuccessfully counter-attacked by Dragon Arrow from Dragapult. Dragonite grabs Dragapult and comes crashing down with a modification of seismic toss called “Dragonite Meteor.”
Dragapult is knocked out, bringing the battle to a score of 3-2, but Leon reminds Ash that all of his Pokémon are tired.
Leon sends out his Rillaboom, which immediately goes on the offensive using Drum Attack against Dragonite, but the latter hits a super effective Hurricane on the grass-type Rillaboom.
Despite the damage dealt, Rillaboom fights back with an astonishing Drum Attack which reduces the Hurricane s’ damage and lowers Dragonite s’ speed.
Ash counters back with Draco Meteor, but Rillaboom catches and slams the dragon type using a novelty vine whip through Drum Attack.
Dragonite is hurt but fights back with Dragon Claw, only to be beaten by Rillaboom s’ Acrobatics which knocks it out. Dragonite cannot battle, and Leon again equals the score at 3-3.
Up next, Ash sends out Sirfetch’ d, which goes head to head using Star Assault against Rillaboom s’ 100,000 horsepower. Both Pokémon are knocked back, but Rillaboom stands back up as Sirfetch’ d feels the recoil of star assault.
Rillaboom tosses Sirfetch’ d into the air with 100,000 horsepower, but Sirfetch’ d survives by riding his shield and prepares to attack using Consecutive Cut.
Rillaboom counters using Acrobatics that knocks out Sirfetch’ and Leon take the lead 4-3.
With only 2 Pokémon remaining, Ash sends out Dracovish, which bites through Rillaboom s’ Drum Attack with its Ice Fangs.
Ash goes all or nothing with Dracovish s’ Dragon Dive against Rillaboom s’ 100,000 horsepower, and fortunately, his gamble pays off as Dracovish knocks out Rillaboom equalling the score to 4-4.
Both trainers are left with 2 Pokémon each as Leon sends out Cinderace, which immediately subdues Dracovish with High Jump Kick. Dracovish fights back with a water gun, but Cinderace cancels its attack with Pyro Ball.
Dracovish attacks using Ice Fang but is pushed back with Cinderace s’ iron head. In the battle’s climax, Dracovish goes all in using Dragon Dive but gets knocked out by Cinderace s’ High Jump Kick as Leon brings the score to 5-4.
With only Pikachu left, Ash faces the uphill task of fighting Cinderace, which, due to its Libero ability, makes the electric mouse s’ moves redundant.
As Pikachu enters the field, Leon calls back Cinderace and brings out his ace Charizard in the first Pokémon vs. first Pokémon Gigantamax battle.
Both the Gigantamax Pokemon use their final power moves with Pikachu s’ 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt and Charizard fighting back with Gmax- Wildfire.
The two move s’ collision shoots an explosion in the sky as both Pokémon get knocked back. The resulting attacks awaken Eternatus from the Hammerlocke Lab as it starts flying around the stadium.
In a surprising turn of events, Eternatus recharges the Daimax bands of Leon and Ash and the battle resumes.
As Eternatus makes its exit, Leon calls back Charizard and sends out Cinderace to fight Ash s’ Pikachu in a Gigantamax battle.
Cinderace attacks with G-Max Fireball, and Pikachu counters with G-Max Volt Crash, but the latter s ‘move proves too strong for Cinderace, and he gets knocked out.
Ash finally levels the score to 5-5 with Leon s’ Charizard the only Pokémon left between him and his dream of becoming a Pokémon Master.
It all comes to this battle between two aces, Pikachu and Charizard. Leon praises Ash for pushing him to the limit, as the latter thanks him for helping him get stronger.
Ash remembers his journey and mentions how this battle means everything to him and Pikachu. Following this battle cry, Pikachu attacks first with Quick Speed as Leon counters with Charizard using Ancient Power.
Pikachu follows quick speed with the iron tail, but Charizard sends Pikachu flying with Air Slash. Charizard releases Fire Blast, but Pikachu catches the attack in its electroweb and makes an escape.
The two go at it again, with Charizard firing another Fire Blast while Pikachu attacks with 100,000 volts. Pikachu uses iron tail on Charizard, but Leon asks his ace to take the hit.
With Pikachu in point-blank range, Charizard fires off Dragon Pulse and sends Pikachu back flying. Pikachu makes a safe landing using its electricity and charges up in full Super Saiyan mode, followed by a Quick Attack which Charizard can’t see.
Charizard uses Ancient Power again, but Pikachu manages to ride the attack as it reaches the stadium’s roof. Charizard hits out once more using Air Slash, which Pikachu counters with Iron tail in a mid-air fight.Pikachu misses one of the Iron Tail and lands on the ground; seeing an opening, Charizard hits Pikachu with Fire Blast.
As the smoke clears, we see Pikachu huffing and puffing as it dazes into unconsciousness.
In a cutaway scene, Pikachu is greeted and encouraged by all of Ash s’ Pokémon from past regions as they cheer him on to continue fighting.
Now revitalized by his friends, Pikachu wakes up and charges for one last move in this deciding battle.We see the iconic Ash s’ cap-backward scene indicating his determination and belief as he asks Pikachu to give everything in this last move.
Leon feels the same excitement as he throws his cap away, saying, “it’s Champion time.” For one last time, Charizard attacks with a fully powered Fire Blast, and likewise, Pikachu sends out a fully charged 100,000-volt attack as the two Pokémon meet each other face to face.
The battle climaxes with Pikachu squeezing every energy left as Charizard lets out a last breath of fire and tumbles down in defeat.
Pikachu looks back at Ash, and before it can collapse, Ash picks up Pikachu and embraces it as Ash Ketchum becomes World Champion.
Watch the Charizard vs Pikachu fight below:
Following the battle, the scene cuts to the Pokémon Centre, where Ash thanks Pikachu for his help beating Leon.
The former champion enters the room and congratulates and thanks Ash for a great battle. He claims from today, he will be just another challenger who will look to get stronger and participate in more battles.
Ash is crowned the World Champion as Leon presents him with the trophy. We see a montage of Ash s’ friends and family sharing his victorious moment from all regions.
Notably, Ash has his Championship-winning Pokémon Team with him on stage as he celebrates his dream of becoming a Pokémon Master.
Ash Ketchum s’ journey from “a dreamer to become the very best like no one ever was” will be written in golden words of anime history. Ash Ketchum becomes World Champion will go down in anime history.