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!