Over the course of the entire Pokémon anime, Ash Ketchum has explored and experienced eight generations’ worth of regions and species of Pokémon. Every time he goes to a new region, he will set out with his Pikachu and a group of travel companions, on his quest to obtain all of the region’s Gym Badges, en route to participating in the Pokémon League tournament.
Every generation sees Ash catching new Pokémon, often exclusive species to that particular region. While Ash is a passionate and determined individual, his methods in reaching his goals are not always conventional or even correct. Regardless, his Pokémon are essentially the tools that will help or hinder Ash in achieving his dreams. It may not always be pleasant, but there are good and bad sides to being one of Ash Ketchum’s Pokémon.
10 Harsh Reality: Leaving Home On Someone Else’s Terms Can Be Scary
When a trainer catches a Pokémon, they not only gain possession over it, but they are also removing it from its home, or at the very least a location or habitat that it was comfortable in. Joining someone like Ash who is always staying busy and on the move, any Pokémon that joins his team will be leaving their home for some time.
Not every Pokémon wants to or is ready to leave their home, friends or family behind, but having to do so at the behest of someone else can be a terrifying concept to grasp. Many of the Pokémon that Ash catches offer their services to him voluntarily, but they are rarely briefed on what they are signing up for.
nine Perk: They’ll Be A Part Of A Competitive Team Going For Badges
While Ash’s traveling companions often have different goals and interests, Ash’s aim in every region is to beat the best and become the best. This means that he will always be taking the Pokémon League challenge, acquiring Gym Badges before entering the tournament in that region.
For Pokémon that enjoy battling and becoming stronger, there may be few better trainers than Ash. He may not be the brightest or execute the best plans all the time, but he tries his hardest and certainly trains an appropriate amount between battles, especially when a rematch to avenge a loss is in the cards.
8 Harsh Reality: There Is No Guarantee Of Frequent Use
Ash takes his Pikachu everywhere with him, so there are essentially five further slots to be filled on Ash’s team. Aside from important battles that require more than one Pokémon and situations that might require a species that can swim or fly, immediate situations will often be dealt with by Pikachu, as it is already out of its Poké Ball.
Therefore, there is no absolute guarantee that any Pokémon on Ash’s team will be used all too frequently, even if they are in his active team of six. The fact that Ash and his friends often get distracted between major battles or events is another reason why they might end up being stuck inside their Poké Ball for an extended amount of time.
7 Perk: If Not Being Used They Can Be Sent To Professor Oak And Be Well Cared For
When Ash goes to a new region he often leaves most of his Pokémon behind in Pallet Town with Professor Oak. While it does make for a sad goodbye and limited time with the trainer, the Pokémon are left in good hands and are cared for by the Professor and Tracey, once he moves to the lab.
They will get to live outside of the Poké Balls for a lot of the time and spend time with other Pokémon, with no pressures of battling in intense circumstances. As shown by how Professor Oak got along with Ash’s Muk and vice versa, they are by no means cast to the side and forgotten about, even if Ash isn’t in constant communication with them.
6 Harsh Reality: If Not In Ash’s Party, They Might Not See Him For A Long Time
As nice and friendly as the Professor’s lab in Pallet Town is, the fact is that Ash goes a long time without seeing the Pokémon of his that he leaves behind. It is a conscious decision that he makes every time, to leave them behind when he moves to a new region, and while he is okay with it, Pokémon like Bayleef would much rather be staying by his side.
Even if Ash does make a trade with Professor Oak in preparation for an upcoming battle, the Pokémon that he calls for help rarely has enough time to prepare and shake off any rust before battling for Ash.
five Perk: Traveling With Ash And Friends Often Means Good Food And Care
While Ash may care deeply for his Pokémon in terms of loving them, his abilities to actually take care of them leave a lot to be desired. Ash is often lucky to be surrounded by friends who enjoy cooking and cleaning Pokémon rather than focusing on battles or contests, with the likes of Brock, Tracey and Cilan all helping him out in this regard.
With Brock especially, Ash’s Pokémon will know that whenever they stop to eat, not only will the humans be getting an impressive meal, but the Pokémon will also be getting some tasty treats. Brock’s desire to become the best Pokémon Breeder makes him try extra hard to keep the Pokémon in their group satisfied and well-fed.
4 Harsh Reality: They Have To Contend With Team Rocket Trying To Steal Them
The Team Rocket trio of Jessie, James and Meowth are in almost as many episodes as Ash and Pikachu, which is a testament to their persistence, even though it could be described as delusion. A Team Rocket attempt to steal Ash’s Pikachu is essentially as frequent as them stopping for food.
While their main aim is to steal Pikachu, Ash’s other Pokémon will often get caught in the crossfire, either getting injured or captured themselves in the process. Even though Team Rocket rarely get any victories, the constant hassle of having to deal with them would annoy anyone, human or Pokémon.
3 Perk: If Anything Bad Happens, Ash Will Act To Save His Pokémon
What does come from the Team Rocket attacks, however, is a display of Ash’s love for his Pokémon, with him often demonstrating this with a daring attempt to rescue his friends from the villains’ clutches. Ash will never give up on his Pokémon, and they know this, especially if they give him a chance to earn their trust.
Ash has put his life on the line countless times to protect Pokémon from getting hurt, with Pikachu and Riolu being but two of countless Pokémon that have been protected from harm by their trainer. Not every trainer is as kind-hearted or courageous, so any Pokémon that chooses to follow Ash gets a loyal friend and protector.
2 Harsh Reality: Ash’s Pokémon Have To Enact His Bizarre Strategies Even If There Is A Type Mismatch
Considering how Ash has been on countless adventures during his long Pokémon journey through multiple regions, it is concerning and frustrating for fans when he doesn’t learn from past mistakes. Although the anime has been rather inconsistent at times with type mismatches, advantages and disadvantages, with Electric and Ground-types being a prime example, Ash has still remained ignorant to mismatches on occasion, needing counsel or reminding from his friends of what he needs to do.
For a Pokémon that trusts Ash and his orders, it must be frustrating enacting some of his plans and ideas when there are much better alternatives that could be taken. Ash would argue that he has faith in his Pokémon for them to overcome these mismatches, but common sense and thought could save his Pokémon needless and unnecessary hurt.
one Perk: Joining Ash’s Team Allows Pokémon To Make New Friends And Memories
A main perk of joining Ash and his friends on their journey is the bonds and friendships that any of his Pokémon can make. They will spend a lot of time with the humans and the Pokémon alike, traveling the whole region, participating in battles, getting lost together and generally going through a lot as one big family.
Any such bonding in the wild would normally be limited to a specific species or typing, but with the wide variety of Pokémon that Ash and his friends amass, their Pokémon can explore more about other Pokémon and subsequently themselves.
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