Top 3 times Ash Ketchum died in Pokemon
Ash Ketchum set off as a 10-year-old with the lofty goal of becoming the world's greatest Pokemon master.
While he's made some serious progress towards achieving that title over the last 20-plus years; there have been a few times when his ambitions almost ended forever.
Of course, when living in a world filled with incredibly fearsome and dangerous Pokemon, dying a few times wouldn't be a surprise for the show's main character.
Here are the top three times Ash Ketchum died in Pokemon. Thankfully for fans, he's always managed to come back alive to continue on his journey.
Related: The 4 saddest Pokemon episodes from Season 1 of the anime
Note: This article reflects the personal opinion of the writer.
Top 3 times Ash Ketchum died in Pokemon
#3 - Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
While every Ash Ketchum death is sad for viewers, this one was particularly overwhelming because most of his companions suffered the same fate.
Ash and his friends were consumed in the Tree of Beginnings by a blob engineered to destroy humans who are thought to be a threat to the tree and Pokemon living therein.
However, Ash and friends actually had the tree's best interests in mind and were rightfully restored back to life by the Mythical Pokemon, Mew.
#2 - Pokemon - I Choose You!
Fans really thought this might have been the end for Ash Ketchum. His death in the movie "Pokemon I Choose You!" seemed more lasting than others.
After taking on a force from Pokemon controlled by Marshadow, Ash's body and soul disappear into a world akin to the after-life. That leaves a very sad Pikachu left only with its trainer's famous hat.
Luckily for Ash, the Legendary Pokemon Ho-Oh resurrects him so he can continue with his seemingly endless heroics.
#1 - Mewtwo Strikes Back
It simply does not get any more sad or heartbreaking than when Ash died in the first Pokemon movie, "Mewtwo Strikes Back."
Ash sacrifices himself to end the fight between Mew and Mewtwo, as well as several other Pokemon and their cloned versions. Leaping between two incredibly strong attacks, Ash is caught in the middle and petrified.
Making this brave decision ultimately saved the entire world. Mewtwo learned that humans could be kind and decided to end its rage and violence against them after seeing what Ash did.
The magical tears of all the Pokemon on the battle scene revived Ash and brought him back to life to continue his journey.
Also Read: Top 3 times Ash Ketchum saved the Pokemon world
If you’ve seen the Pokémon anime, you’ve probably heard of the name Ash Ketchum. Ash Ketchum is a young Pokémon trainer from Pallet Town who is, along with his partner Pikachu, the protagonist of the globally popular anime franchise. Viewers have been following Ash’s adventures since 1997 and although the years have passed, Ash still seems to be as young as he was when he started his journey. So, you might raise the question – is Ash immortal? Or can he die?
To be loud and clear – no, Ash Ketchum is not immortal. He is just a regular human boy who might age a bit differently inside the animated continuity, but he cannot go against the laws of nature.
Pokémon, which is short for Pocket Monsters, is a media franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori back in 1995. It is a fantasy franchise set in a world where humans live together with creatures called Pokémon, who take on different shapes and sizes. It started off as a series of video games for the Game Boy console, but soon expanded to other media. Video games and anime (including the connected films) are the most popular brands today, although the franchise has expanded to even live-action movies like Pokémon Detective Pikachu.
Now, let us see how Ash Ketchum does against nature and aging.
Who is Ash Ketchum?
Ash Ketchum, known in Japan as Satoshi, is the main character and protagonist of the Pokémon anime. He lives in Pallet Town with his mother and on the first day of his adventure, he sleeps in and arrives late to Professor Oak’s laboratory so he does not receive his starter Pokémon.
Seeing how desperate he was, Oak offered him a wild and untamed Pikachu he had in his lab and Ash gladly accepted. Although Pikachu did not like Ash in the beginning and hurt him intentionally, after Ash risked his own life to save Pikachu’s they became the best of friends and started their journey together through the different regions of the world of Pokémon.
Although he has seemingly not aged a day since his first day, Ash has changed a lot while travelling with Pikachu and his other friends; his companions changed as the seasons went by. He caught a lot of different Pokémon, he fought a lot of hard battles, he helped save the world on several occasions and he has appeared in all episodes of the anime and all the related anime movies.
He can be described as a brave and sincere, sometimes gullible and high-spirited boy. He knows the meaning of true friendship and is willing to sacrifice himself for the well-being of his friends and his Pokémon. He has proven this on several occasions as the anime developed and there is no doubt that out interpretation of the character is correct.
The Death(s) of Ash Ketchum
We’ve already stated that Ash Ketchum is not immortal. And he isn’t. He can die and, like all humans, will die eventually, but you’re probably not going to see that happen in the anime.
But, there have been several situations during the course of the anime and in several films, where Ash had seemingly died, only to end up living after all those events. This might cause some confusion to the less attentive viewer, but we can positively state that it is neither a sign nor proof of immortality, but rather of the fantasy-type setting the anime and the whole franchise have. Ash would always end up being revived by a miracle, i.e. by some Pokémon’s special ability.
Now, let us see the situations that caused so much confusion:
1) “The Tower of Terror”
In the 23rd episode of the first season of the anime, Ash tries to catch a disappearing Haunter and Gengar, who eventually disappear into the floor. Ash then hits the floor, only to have a chandelier fall on him and Pikachu, electrocuting them. Haunter and Gengar then pull their souls out of their bodies, only to return them later on. It is not certain whether Ash really died in this situation or was it just a plot gimmick.
2) Mewtwo Strikes Back
In the first Pokémon movie (you can check it out), Ash jumps between the fighting Mew and Mewtwo to stop the reaction of their two beams, which could’ve destroyed everything around them. The result? Ash turns into stone and seemingly dies. But, as it usually is with a fantasy setting, the tears of all the surrounding Pokémon, including the clones created by Mewtwo, have magical powers and Ash is miraculously revived.
3) Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
In this movie (you can watch it on the link), we have a very interesting antagonist – a blob designed to fight off and kill humans who approach the Tree of Beginning. Since Ash did exactly that, he is “killed” by the blob just like every other human character in the Tree. Ultimately, he was revived by Mew and his powers.
4) I Choose You!
Here, the Mythical Pokémon Marshadow controls several other Pokémon who attack and repeatedly hit Ash, until Marshadow sends both his body and his soul into a kind of after life. He is, again, miraculously revived, this time by the legendary Ho-Oh, after Pikachu jumped through a special portal to save Ash.
5) Manaphy and the Prince of the Sea
Here, Ash actually dies of natural causes. Namely, he seemingly drowns while trying to restore the Sea Crown in the castle, which is rapidly being filled with water. But, the magical Sea Crown grants Ash special powers and he manages to save himself from drowning.
6) The Victini movies
In this two-part movie focusing on Victini and the Legendary Pokémon Zekrom and Reshiram (you can check out both movies on the links), Ash freezes to death while in space. And while no one can survive being frozen in space, Victini uses his massive heat and manages to revive Ash and bring him back to Earth safely.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. If you would like to find out “How can Pokémon die,” follow our link. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!
Pokémon: 10 Times Ash Put His Own Life On The Line
There are many instances through the Pokémon series where Ash and his friends find themselves in danger. Many of these incidents result in Ash voluntarily risking his own safety to help out his Pokémon, as well as other Pokémon and people in need. Considering the multiple evil organizations that Ash and his friends encounter throughout the series and movies, as well as battling dangerous weather and other environmental hazards during their travels, there's no doubt that Ash will keep getting in tricky situations as the series goes on.
RELATED: Pokémon: 10 Ways Ash Has Improved As A Trainer
However, there have been a few particular instances in the anime where Ash could have died, or actually did die in action, even if only briefly. All of these near-death experiences horrified fans. Of course, Ash is still alive and kicking, whether it be by chance or thanks to others helping him out, but he also could have easily — and permanently — died in these moments.
10 Ash Used Himself As A Shield To Save Pikachu From A Flock Of Spearow
The very first episode of the series has Ash voluntarily throwing himself into danger by shielding Pikachu with his own body. He'd only just started his Pokémon journey, and he easily could have been gravely injured by protecting the weakened Pikachu from a very angry flock of Spearow, if not killed outright. If it wasn't for Pikachu defending him at the last second with Thunderbolt, it's very possible that Ash could have died from the Spearows' furious attacks.
9 Ash Almost Froze To Death Trying To Save His Pokémon During A Cave-In
In the episode "Snow Way Out," Ash and his Pokémon are trapped by a cave-in. With little hope of rescue during the snowy night, and after a failed attempt to dig a snow cave and stay warm with Charmander's tail flame, Ash decides to risk his own life by forcing all of his Pokémon to go back into their Pokéballs, realizing that it's the best way for his team to stay warm.
RELATED: 10 Harsh Realities Of Being A Pokémon Trainer
Despite multiple attempts to make Pikachu go inside of its Pokéball, however, Pikachu refuses, and in the end, all of Ash's Pokémon leave their Pokéballs to huddle up with Ash and keep warm together. If it wasn't for Pikachu's initial refusal, though, all of the Pokémon might have stayed in their Pokéballs and Ash could have frozen to death during the night.
8 Ash Risked His Life Trying To Save The Tree Of Beginning
In Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, the party travels to the Tree of Beginning. Despite being a rock formation that is shaped like a tree, it actually is linked to Mew and will release white blood cells to destroy any perceived intruders: in this case, Ash and his companions. Though Mew saves them from being eaten alive, this rescue results in the Tree itself breaking down.
Ash and Lucario use their aura abilities to try to save the Tree of Beginning, but after Lucario realizes that Ash could easily die while doing so, Lucario pushes Ash out of the way at the last second and sacrifices itself entirely. If not for Lucario's sacrifice, Ash could have died along with him.
7 Ash Could Have Drowned Trying To Save The Temple Of The Sea
In Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, the titular temple starts completely flooding after the antagonist, Phantom, takes one too many crystals. In order to save the temple, Ash and friends have to put the crystals back in place. The temple being almost completely flooded doesn't deter Ash, who tries putting all the crystals in place as fast as he can, risking drowning along the way.
Thankfully, he manages to return all the crystals to their rightful places, and this also grants him temporary powers that help him save Manaphy from Phantom trying to kidnap it one last time. If it wasn't for Ash's attempt to save the temple succeeding, however, he definitely would have drowned. Despite this perilous climax, Temple of the Sea is still a very visually-pleasing movie in the series.
6 Ash Almost Burned To Death Saving Gloom From Harm
In the episode "Pokémon Scent-sation," a bomb set off by Team Rocket sets the Celadon City Gym on fire. As trainers and Pokémon work together to put out the fire, the Gym Leader, Erika, notices that her Gloom is missing. Ash ends up running into the gym to find Gloom while said gym is still on fire, risking his life in order to save it from harm.
RELATED: 10 Signs Ash Ketchum Should Give Up On His Pokémon Dream
Thankfully, Ash's attempt was successful, and he didn't earn any major burns for his trouble, but him running into a burning building without any proper protection could have easily harmed him in reality.
5 Ash Could Have Disappeared Along With The Rest Of Town Trying To Stop Dialga And Palkia
In The Rise of Darkrai, Dialga and Palkia's constant attacks result in Alamos Town starting to literally disappear from existence. However, Ash and Dawn both risk their lives to make it to the Space-Time Tower while the rest of the town is still vanishing to make the tower's music machine play the healing Oración song that will make Dialga and Palkia stop fighting.
There are many instances during this part of the adventure where Ash and Dawn could have died, mainly by either vanishing along with the rest of the town or falling off the tower itself as parts of it started vanishing as well. If their efforts had failed, the two trainers, along with the rest of the town, would have been history.
4 Ash Is Almost Killed By Entei While Trying To Rescue His Mother
In Spell of the Unown, Ash's mother Delia is kidnapped by Entei and the Unown in order to become Molly's new mother. Ash and his friends venture off to rescue Delia, only for Entei to handily defeat Ash's Pokémon and almost kill Ash himself at the same time. If it wasn't for Molly telling Entei to stop its attacks before it could seriously harm Ash and the others, it's possible that Ash might have died right in front of his mother, of all people. Many fans were shocked by how easily Ash could have died if not for a little girl stopping her furry father figure from destroying him.
3 Ash's Journey As The Chosen One Puts His Life At Risk Multiple Times
In Pokémon: The Movie 2000, Ash becomes the Chosen One as part of a festival where he must take three crystal balls from each of the legendary birds' islands and bring them to Shamouti's shrine. However, Ash's journey to each of the islands is fairly risky.
RELATED: Pokémon: Ash Ketchum's 10 Worst Strategies
The weather is stormy, Lugia itself is awakened in the process, and the legendary birds' fighting is dangerous to encounter. The entire movie basically forces Ash to put his life at risk multiple times to merely complete the requirements for the festival.
2 Ash Temporarily Turned To Stone After Being Caught In Mew And Mewtwo's Crossfire
During the first movie, Ash almost dies permanently while trying to stop Mew and Mewtwo from fighting. He throws himself between their attacks, only to turn to stone and collapse. Pikachu tried to bring him back by shocking him multiple times, and when that failed, both clone and original Pokémon were completely horrified. Even Mew and Mewtwo themselves were stunned by this outcome. If it wasn't for the tears of Pikachu and the others bringing Ash back to life, Ash would be dead for sure.
1 Ash Fights A Fake Groudon To Save All Of Forina
In the movie Wish Maker, the antagonist Butler tries to use Jirachi's power to awaken Groudon. Unfortunately, a fake Groudon is created instead, and this faux Legendary starts turning all of Forina into a complete wasteland, literally absorbing living Pokémon and people alike. Ash ends up battling the fake Groudon along with his friends in order to stall its efforts, and there were many moments during this encounter where Ash could have been swallowed up by Groudon, too. If it wasn't for Jirachi finishing off the fake Groudon, Ash probably would have been eaten by Groudon sooner rather than later.
NEXT: 10 Scariest Locations In The Pokémon Games
Next5 Harsh Realities Of Being Ash's Pokémon (& 5 Perks)About The Author
Claris Lam is an avid anime fan, gamer, reader, and writer based in Canada. In her free time, she catches up with the latest anime episodes and reads many light novels and manga. Her writing has been featured on The Blank Page, UWImprint, and more. You can follow her at ClarisYLam on Twitter to see more of her work.
Ash Ketchum is the protagonist of the Pokemon anime. Despite the fact that Pokemon has much less death than other animes, and that Ash is the main character, Ash is killed several times throughout the series (mostly in movies) (all non-canon), though he always comes back.
- In the episode "The Tower of Terror", jumped toward Haunter and Gengar when they sank disappointed into the ground (as he wanted to capture them), and as they sank into the ground before Ash could reach them, he smashed into the ground, and the chandelier fell on top of him and Pikachu, crushing/electrocuting them both. Their spirits were pulled out by Haunter as ghosts, and were later returned to their bodies. (Unexplained if Ash and Pikachu died or merely knocked out when their ghost-selfs were pulled out and returned.)
- In the first movie, "Mewtwo Strikes Back", jumped between Mewtwo and Mew as they shot energy waves at each other that could have destroyed everything and everyone present. The attacks collided on him and turned him to stone; however, the tears of all the Pokemon (original and cloned) brought him back to life.
- In the movie "Lucario and the Mystery of Mew", along with nearly every other human character in the Tree of Beginning, was eaten by a blob designed to fight off humans. Was later revived by Mew along with the rest.
- In the movie Pokémon: I Choose You, Ash is hit by multiple attacks from Pokémon controlled by Marshadow, which kills him and sends his body and soul to a kind of afterlife, but is later resurrected by Ho-Oh after Pikachu jumps through a portal to save him.
- In the movie "Manaphy And The Prince Of The Sea." Ash proceeds to die via drowning in an attempt to restore the sea-crown as the underwater castle they are currently in is filling with water. Ash comes back with a power bestowed upon him via the Sea Crown.
- In the Victini movie, Ash freezes to death. No mortal can survive being frozen in space. Ash died, but was later resurrected by Victini and his massive heat.
- In the remake of the movie "Mewtwo Strikes Back" he jumped between mew and mewtwo's blasts to stop the them fighting he was turned to stone the the tears from original and clones resurrected him
Ash died pokemon
The 5 Most Tragic Deaths in the Pokémon Anime
Despite being for children, Pokémon has tackled many adult themes, such as depression, war, PTSD, and, most notably, death. That’s right, even in the colorful world of Pokémon, the grim reaper still reigns supreme, giving us some of the most tragic deaths in anime. Here are the five deaths that made us weep into our pillows at night.
The Entire Cast — Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
During the movie’s climax, a series of blobs absorb the main cast. They cause the cast to disintegrate and, in the process, pass away. This is already hard enough to watch without the writers adding another emotional punch to the blow.
Out of sheer desperation, Ash, Brock, and May release their Pokémon and urge them to escape. But the loyal Pokémon refuse to obey their trainers. They would rather die alongside them than to abandon them. As expected, Ash’s best buddy Pikachu also chooses to remain by his side. He grabs Ash’s hand and tries to pull him out of the blob, but it’s no use.
Ash disappears, and Pikachu, like all of us, stares at the space where Ash stood in disbelief — and cries. The heartbreaking scene happens so suddenly that it overwhelms both children and adults. It’s no wonder that everyone was brought back to life by the end of the scene.
Ash Ketchum — Pokémon: The First Movie –Mewtwo Strikes Back
Surprisingly, Ash Ketchum’s famous death at the climax of the first Pokémon movie doesn’t rank highly for casual Pokémon viewers. This sentiment is a testament to how mercilessly the anime pulls at our heartstrings. The anime has gotten more mature with age, tackling increasingly darker themes.
During the scene, the (initial) antagonist Mewtwo and (initial) anti-hero Mew launch two powerful attacks at each other. Ash, who doesn’t want the two Pokémon to fight, throws himself in the middle of the attack. He successfully stops the two from harming each other but ends up in a petrified state as a result.Pikachu, unwilling to accept Ash’s fate, repeatedly tries to shock life back into him until he runs out of juice.
Despite his efforts, Ash doesn’t respond, and it looks as if Pikachu has lost him forever. Tears fall from his eyes and those of the Pokémon surrounding them. Ash’s death was unnecessary and helped the two opposing sides realize the impact their feud had on innocent bystanders. Ash just wanted to save everyone but was killed in the process. Eventually, the tears of the Pokémon magically revive Ash and convince Mewtwo to change his ways.
Ash Ketchum — Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You
It’s no secret that the movies are more emotional than the show, and the latest movie is no exception. After Ash and Pikachu’s battle with the mythical Pokémon Marshadow and his antagonistic trainer Cross, the latter places an artifact stolen from Ash onto a mythical stone. This act enrages the Pokémon world and creates a dark shroud. As a result, the wild Pokémon around Ash turn on him.
Ash selflessly protects Pikachu from the other Pokémon, but is injured in the process. In Ash’s concussed state, he gains the ability to communicate with Pikachu. He asks Pikachu why he won’t get into his Pokéball to protect himself. Pikachu replies, “It’s because … because I always want to be with you.” As if we weren’t already choked up by Pikachu’s declaration, the movie takes it a step further.
The wild Pokémon fire off an explosive attack, forcing Ash to scoop up Pikachu to protect him. Once the smoke clears, all we see are Pikachu and Ash’s hat. As Ash begins to fade away, Pikachu tries to place Ash’s hat on his head, but Ash disappears, and the hat hits the ground instead. Watching Pikachu sob into that hat while simultaneously releasing a massive electrical charge is painful. This beautifully written scene will make you hug your loved ones a little bit tighter.
Luxray — Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You
Before Ash’s death later in the movie, the supporting character Sorrel explains his tragic backstory. One that involves the death of someone close to him. When Sorrel was a child, he formed a close bond with his family’s pet Pokémon Luxray. One day, as Sorrel was playing in the snow, he got lost couldn’t find his way home. Luxray, able to sense that his master was in danger, left in search of him.
By the time Luxray found Sorrel, he’d already begun to fall victim to the freezing temperatures. Knowing that his master was near death, Luxray cuddled up with Sorrel. His actions saved his master from the cold. However, when Sorrel awakens, he finds Luxray frozen in the snow.
The scream he lets out is gut-wrenching, one borne from all the time they’d spent together. Anyone that’s lost a beloved family pet, especially as a child, will struggle to hold back the tears during this haunting scene. The lasting effects on Sorrel, as well as the audience, are proof that tragedy and heartbreak can happen anywhere, at any time.
Stoutland — Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon (Season 20, Episode 21)
Hands down, Stoutland’s death is the most tragic one in the entire series. It recently came about as a part of the show’s new stance to teach children adult themes in the most appropriate way possible. The old Pokémon Stoutland spent his time looking after his housemate, a young Pokémon called Litten. Though Stoutland was weak, he decided to teach Litten the move Fire Fang. In return, Litten found food for its master.
Sadly, Stoutland’s condition deteriorated as Season 20 progressed. One day, Litten wakes up from a terrible nightmare where Stoutland dies. Unfortunately, this nightmare becomes a reality when Litten realizes that Stoutland has disappeared, meaning that he died.
His death hurts even more when you realize that leaves on a nearby tree fall off as Stoutland’s health declines. When the last leaf falls, we know that he’s passed on. After everything that Stoutland’s done for Litten, he’s gone in an instant. Ash and friends appear to help Litten. As they help Litten grieve, a Stoutland-shaped cloud appears near a rainbow. The wonderful scene clearly drew inspiration from The Lion King.
If you want to experience this scene as originally intended, do yourself a favor and watch the Japanese sub instead of the English dub. The sub plays a heartfelt piano solo throughout that highlights the severity of Stoutland’s death better than the upbeat music used in the dub.
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Pokémon: Pikachu and Ash Died WAY Earlier Than You Realized
In Pokémon, Ash Ketchum's journey to catch 'em all almost ended before it ever really started.
In the world of Pokémon, main protagonists, Ash Ketchum and his partner Pikachu are far from immortal. Though they appear to be ageless and time seems irrelevant, the two have died more than once. Ash's most famous death came when he ran between the crossfire of Mew and Mewtwo in the Pokémon: The First Movie, which turned the trainer to literal stone -- only for him to be restored by the tears of Pokémon and clones alike.
However, that wasn't the first time Ash perished. He also died in the Pokémon anime near the start of his Indigo Adventures. In the Lavender Town, Ash and Pikachu were murdered in a series of ghostly events that culminated on Ash and Pikachu becoming spirits and pulling spirited pranks on Misty that, from her perspective, came straight out of a horror movie.
RELATED: Pokémon: Who Created Mewtwo In The Red & Blue Game World
Terror Before the Tower
In Pokémon Season 1 Episode 22, "The Tower of Terror," Ash travels to Lavender Town to capture a ghost Pokémon. It truly is a matter of life and death for Ash already, since, as of the episode before, Ash had been almost imprisoned forever in a doll house by the psychic gym leader Sabrina of Saffron City. Sabrina's almost insurmountable power led to Ash losing brutally to her Kadabra, and, as punishment, the gym leader and her sentient doll -- representative of the "innocent" part of her mind -- used their powers to shrink Ash and company to play as dolls.
Ash needs to beat Sabrina to accomplish his dreams, but he'll never be able to challenge the Pokémon League if he doesn't get Sabrina's Marsh Badge. However, an old man with psychic powers -- Sabrina's father -- gives Ash some advice: go to Lavender Town and capture a ghost Pokémon. While Misty and Brock are too scared of ghosts to travel to the Pokémon Tower, where most of the ghost Pokémon hang out, Ash fearlessly walks in, dragging Pikachu along with him.
RELATED: Pokémon May Have New Competition, and That's a Good Thing
Drop a Chandelier On Him
Ash almost immediately encounters a trio of ghosts: Gastly, Haunter and Gengar. Despite Ash's best efforts, he can't hurt any of the ghosts. But his efforts to capture one of them are halted abruptly when a chandelier falls on both him and Pikachu, crushing them. While it first appears as though they've been knocked out, Haunter extracts their souls from their bodies and leaves their lifeless bodies behind.
However, after a moment of existential panic about dying, Ash and Pikachu really start to enjoy being weightless poltergeists who can soar through the sky and haunt the living. This is most notable when Ash picks Misty up into the air only to drop her into Brock's arms. This immediately alerts Misty to the fact something is wrong with Ash -- she seems to be aware it's Ash lifting her up on some level -- which leads to the two rushing to Ash and Pikachu and pulling them out from under the wreckage.
At the same time, Ash and Pikachu are brought to the ghost Pokémon's room, where they learn the ghosts just enjoy fun games and playing pranks. While they want Ash and Pikachu to goof off with them for the rest of eternity, Ash explains to them his dreams of being a Pokémon Master, and they help them return to their bodies, despite their disappointment. When traveling back to Saffron City to re-challenge Sabrina later on, Ash finds that Haunter has followed him back. Eventually, Haunter's pranks prove essential to him earning a Marsh Badge.
RELATED: One Pokémon Proves the Series' Most Disgusting Theory
While the two of them are only dead for a few moments, it's clear that Ash and Pikachu did in fact die, and that Pokémon were responsible for it. While very few characters actually stay dead in Pokémon -- though Latios from Pokémon Heroes and Hunter J very well are dead for good -- it's clear that Ash and Pikachu have died way more times than anyone would like to admit.
And if Ash and Pikachu had stayed dead, they may very well have turned into ghost Pokémon themselves. Many Pokémon that would be introduced in later generations are actually the spirits of the departed, such as Phantump and Yamask. Phantump's Pokédex entry from Pokémon Sword reads "After a lost child perished in the forest, their spirit possessed a tree stump, causing the spirit's rebirth as this Pokémon." Yamask's Pokédex entry from Pokémon Black says "Each of them carries a mask that used to be its face when it was human. Sometimes they look at it and cry." It's highly possible that, should Ash have remained a floating spirit, he might have become one of these Pokémon. This would have given his quest to become a Pokémon Master a grim irony, as he would become a Pokémon himself, albeit a sad, lonely one.
KEEP READING: Pokémon: Pikachu’s Unseen Final Form, Explained
New Spider-Man and Iron Man Manga Coming from Yu-Gi-Oh CreatorAbout The Author
Earned my MFA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Written for The Mary Sue, ScreenRant, The Anime Feminist, The Gamer, and Vocal. Lifelong lover of comics, anime, and weird films. Loves different varieties of coffee.
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Pokémon Theory: Ash Doesn't Age Because He & Pikachu Are Ghosts
Another dark Pokémon fan theory claims Ash doesn't age because he died in the first season, and he is actually a ghost possessing his own body.
One of the most talked about theories among Pokémon fans revolves around why the show’s protagonist, Ash Ketchum, never ages. Ash first started his journey to become a Pokémon Master back in 1997. Twenty-three years and 7 seasons later, Ash is still portrayed as a 10-year-old boy.
It’s easy to just dismiss Ash’s perpetual youth as an intentional trope to maintain a sense of continuity over the last couple decades, not dissimilar to Matt Groening’s The Simpsons. However, fans have thought of more clever theories to explain Ash’s seemingly immortality. Whether he’s been in a coma since Pokémon’s premiere or has been granted the wish of eternal happiness by the legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh, theorists have had a lot of fun contemplating Ash’s ageless mystery.
Related: Pokemon Theory: Why Ash Never Grows Up
A few years back, Reddit user u/askthetyrant2 brought up the popular theory that Ash is actually dead, and gives some compelling reasons to back this claim. One episode in particular supports this theory: Pokémon season 1 episode 22, “The Tower of Terror,” in which Ash does appear to die.
Ash Died In The First Season of Pokémon
After losing to the psychic gym leader Sabrina in episode 21, “Abra and the Psychic Showdown,” Ash, Misty, and Brock head off to Lavender Town in search of a ghost Pokémon so he can have an advantage against Sabrina’s powerful Kadabra. Upon reaching the Pokémon Tower, where ghosts are rumored to hang out, the gang decides to wait until morning in hopes the setting will be less scary. That doesn’t turn out to be the case, and after hearing screams from inside — which are actually coming from Team Rocket — the gang decides to enter. Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar are the ghost Pokémon responsible for scaring Team Rocket, and they continue to pose their spooky tricks on Ash and friends.
The heroes run out of the tower in a fright, but Ash is determined to go back in. He gives Pikachu and Charmander a pep talk, and they re-enter the tower. Misty and Brock aren’t as easily convinced, deciding instead to stay outside. Ash and his Pokémon quickly encounter Haunter, whose Lick attack paralyzes Charmander, forcing Ash to recall his Pokémon to its Poké Ball. Gengar then joins Haunter, but their goofy antics are lost on Ash, and his unamused bewilderment saddens the ghosts. They sink through the floor, and Ash and Pikachu try to stop them. They crash on the ground forcing the chandelier above to fall and crush them, rendering them unconscious.
The theory states that this crash actually killed Ash and Pikachu, which doesn’t seem too improbable considering Haunter then pulls out their ghosts from their physical bodies. Ash and Pikachu are startled when they see themselves lying on the floor, and Ash exclaims that he “doesn’t want to be a ghost yet!” The ghost Pokémon end up getting specter Ash involved with their pranks. After spotting Brock and Misty outside, he pulls Misty up into the air, causing her to suspect something bad has happened to Ash. She and Brock go back into the tower, concerned for their friend. They’re devastated when they see Ash and Pikachu lifeless on the floor. Not wanting their friends to worry, Ash and Pikachu descend back into their bodies and wake up.
The haunting fan theory surmises that Ash and Pikachu died, and their ghosts have possessed their corpses. Thus, Ash and Pikachu continue the rest of their journey as apparitions controlling their own bodies, never aging with the times. Of course when considering that both Brock and Misty make later appearances in Pokemon the Series: Sun and Moon looking just as young as they did in the original Pokémon series, it’s easy to go back to the notion that the characters’ agelessness is just a trope. Nevertheless, Pokémonfans continue to have fun with some of the darker theories surrounding the franchise, allowing this kid-friendly series to keep fans of all ages engaged many years after it was first released.
Next: Pokémon Theory: Ash's Dad Died In The Pokémon War
Nintendo Retail Store Vandalized in NYC RiotsAbout The Author
Alex is a lover of video games, animals, and the arts. She received a BA in English at the University of Central Arkansas. Since then, she has worked in a tax office, has been a bookseller, receptionist, studio coordinator, and Licensed Massage Therapist/pain management specialist. Based in Colorado, Alex continues to pursue her passion for writing in her downtime.