Question: If Ash really has grown up, why in Black&White, Sun&Moon and the new Pokémon Anime it is stated that he is 10 years old?
Answer: Black&White, Sun&Moon and the new pokémon anime started in 2019 are series which are considerated reboot and take place in a sort of an alternative timeline. As recently confirmed ALSO by the anime’s sound director (Masafumi Mima), Pokémon Sun&Moon “is NOT a continuation of Pocket Monsters XY&Z”.
Question: But if those are parallel timelines, why characters like Dawn, Misty and Brock came back?
Answer: A parallel universe doesn’t prejudice that the character may have met the same character, in a similar contest like the one known. And also,in this case, the return of these characters, function only as a “fanservice” strategy, to attract nostalgic naive fans.
Question: So how do you explain the fact that XY Ash comes to Kalos with Alexa? He knew her in the Black&White saga!
Answer: As already explained, we only take in consideration the main series. In XY/XYZ series Ash never mentioned where or how he meet Alexa. Indeed she is presented in XY simply as a character that Ash met in the timehole.
Question: But so why in Sun&Moon and Black&White it is not clarified in episodes that they are parallel series?
Answer: In “commercial” animes the logic is not directly explained, but only left to be intended, hoping that the audience gets it by themselves. So writers often insert clues (like the ending scenes of Diamond&Pearl and XYZ, or the total absence of clear reference to the parallel series in the main ones) and continue the narration with ambiguity.
This happens because the Japanese narrative system is different from ours. It was explained by Michael Haigney and Norman J. Grossfeld, who were in charge of the dub version of anime, when it was in the hands of 4kids. Indeed, as explained by them, they had to ask the japanese staff if Sammy was really Professor Oak, because in the original version of the movie it was only left just to be intended (Who has the DVD of “Pokemon 4 Ever” with the audio comment of the autors can verify this)
Does Satoshipedia hate the Black&White and Sun&Moon series? Do you hate the new anime started in 2019? Are you Haters?
The problem with these series is simply how Ash is treated, all the rest are personal tastes. We do not intend to disrespect anyone or anything and we want to emphasize this. The fact that Black&White and Sun&Moon are considered apart series, is NOT an insult to them, but a factor that safeguards public opinion on Ash.
Question: Is the Tweet from Masafumi Mima dependable?
Answer: We asked a competent person to translate the tweet. The tweet literally says that Sun&Moon “is NOT a continuation of Pocket Monsters XY&Z”. As for the rest, the last sentence is simply incomplete; to make a parallelism with English, it looks like as if it ended with a Saxon genitive (Ash and Pikachu’s), so it certainly lacks a final noun (due to an excess of characters in the tweet).
But what we are interested in knowing is in any case confirmed. Besides, Masafumi Mima is since the beginning the sound director of the Pokémon anime and is very commited in the projects he’s in. In fact, his statement is completely in line with the evidence of the facts in the anime, this means it is meaningless to argue with the reliability of his tweet.
Question: But Rica Matsumoto did really say in a tweet that Ash would have changed?
Answer: The tweet by Rica Matsumoto it was often used against us to debunk our news about Masafumi Mima‘s declaration. But how many of you really read that?
Let’s clear things: Rica’s tweet was pubblished just after when the first picture of Sun&Moon anime were published, to try to calm down protests by fan. Here’s the tweet translated:
“Even if there were changes in the design in those last years, Ash’s personality and feelings have not changed. Please, appreciate all the version of Ash that exist. I’m surprised that my passion about Ash did not change. I’ll try my best to give my voice to an Ash you’ll like.”
As you have just read, Rica didn’t say anything that debunks Mima’s tweet (published by the way, long after Rica’s one), on the contrary she confirms it underlining the existance of various versions of Ash.
Question: So why do you not consider trustful the screenplayer that in 2008/2009 declared in an interview, that Ash would have never grown?
Answer: A certain lie doesn’t become truth not even if it comes from someone who works in Pokémon anime. Accepting it or not, a timeline exists and this cannot be negated by no one. We took Mima‘s declaration as an example because they simply confirm a truth already proven. The fact that he works in Pokémon anime simply gives more value to the information.
Still let’s consider that interview in 2008/2009, still mantaining the fact that those declarations do not correspond to the effective timeline shown in the anime. As for us, it may was simply ignorance on the timeline or a reference to the Black&White series which was by that time in idealization. Please notice that this screenplayer answered about Ash’s age in a mocking tone.
Question: And what about the director Kunihiko Yuyama? In the interview he released for the 20th Movie “I choose you!“, he really confirmed the eternal 10 years legend?
Answer: Obviously we consider that interview, in which Yuyama said these words:
“I’ve always saw the anime pointed to my 10 years old self, thinking about what would children about Ash’s age would like. There are still things that I loved when I was 10 and still like. And if I think about it those are the basis of my being, i did not change too much from when I was 10, just some beard and belly.”
Take in consideration that this goes against the “Kishōtenketsu” (progressing the development and the history of the characters: first rule in japanese narrative), in a shōnen screenplay this is extremely important, and this is the basis of the flop of Pokémon anime. If the situation really depends on Yuyama, and his (eventually) egoistical desire to still latch on childhood, we would face a grave fact, that would be even considered an illness.
But apart from that, the fact that this interview was made in occasion of the 20th movie (Pokémon: I Choose You). This movie is placed in a parallel universe (as confirmed by Yuyama himself) and connected to the Sun&Moon series. The phrase “to children who as the same age as Ash” do not confirm Canon Ash’s effective age (As some jokers write in certain sites..), because Yuyama could have just talked about the Alternative Ash.
Question: So the Manga really confirms that the Ash who is the protagonist of “Pokemon:I choose you!” is the same of Sun&Moon? Even if it tells about events that did not happen in the anime or movie, it is still trustworthy document?
Answer: The fact that a scene is new doesn’t prejudice the officiality of it. Pokemon movies manga are pubblished every year in japanese official magazines and already revealed in the past extra scenes or complementary ones.
In this manga, Sun&Moon Ash remembers, through a flashback, the start of his journey, in which we saw him with 20th Movie’s outfit. Yuyama himself as officially confirmed that “Pokemon: I choose you” is setted in a parallel universe. So it is easy to deduce that this confirmation goes also for the Sun&Moon series.
Question: So, how old is effectively Ash?
Answer: The only certain answer to this question is that Ash CANNOT POSSIBLY still be 10 years old.This is deduced, not only from the timeline, but also by his psychological maturation through the series. But, on what is Ash objective age there’s still no definitive answer, since the timeline is perfectly registered untill the end of the Johto saga, after that the time data is more vague. We staff from Satoshipedia, took in consideration every single episode which showed an effective measure of time passing, to try to refere as objective as possible how much time has passed, but we don’t exclude some possible imprecision (particulary in the Battle Frontier series). Anyway according to our measurement Ash should be 16 years and a half old at the end of XYZ.
Question: So why is height is somehow the same even after time has passed?
Answer: First let’s start by saying that is impossible to confront Ash height to those of the pokémon ones, and as explicated by Bulbapedia, anime drawers do not often respect the proportions between pokémon and characters.
Even if height should be ambiguos to help everyone to project themselves in Ash, is it possible to see through episodes a certain growth of Ash even in stature.
The official sketches of the characters proportion confirms that his stature was really the one shown in the examples mentioned above. While in recent episodes Ash is ALWAYS taller rather than how he was in the first series.
Question: But what if the Pokémon anime was like The Simpsons, in which the protagonists never grow old?
Answer: No. First of all, because Pokémon has an objective timeline. But beyond that, it is as common as senseless to compare Pokémon to The Simpsons, because these are two completely different narrative genres: The Simpsons is an animated sitcom that focuses primarily on comedy, while Pokémon is a shōnen anime.
As already mentioned in the above paragraphs, the Japanese narrative style is based on the “Kishōtenketsu” and this provides that there is always a progression of the characters and of the story, especially in genres such as the shōnen.
However, there may be souls that reflect the narrative style of cartoons, but it may be a “kodomo” for very young children or “nosense” comedies.
Question: Can the drop in audience of Pokémon anime be due to the “crisis” of Japanese animation?
Answer: The ratings of the Pokémon anime have always been progressively declining. This is because the underlying problem (the development of the main character Ash Ketchum) has never been solved.