For 22 years, Ash Ketchum has had one thing on his mind: to become a Pokemon master, along with his trusty Pikachu by his side.
As the iconic title song goes, he has “wanted to be the very best, like no one ever was”. And now it’s finally happened!
In the latest episode of Pokemon: Sun & Moon , the Pokemon trainer wins the championship competition of the Alola League, making it the first ever time Ash has won an official Pokémon League tournament, making him a Pokemon Master.
The Pokemon anime premiered first in Japan in 1997 and became a global phenomenon. It was inspired by the video games of the same name, that were first released in 1996 in Japan for the Game Boy. Since then, movies such as Pokemon Detective Pikachu and the augmented reality game Pokemon Go have aided to the popularity of the franchise among kids and adults alike, across the world.
For those who came in late: Pokemon is centered on fictional creatures that human trainers catch, befriend and then train for sport in an alternate universe. The tagline for the English version ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All’ is one of the most famous in video-game and anime folklore.
Now, Ash Ketchum’s achievement at becoming a Pokemon master is celebrated by fans all over on social media, including celebrities. Even director and composer Junichi Masuda tweeted on the same, congratulating the character. Ash has been journeying for two decades (in his perpetual 10-year-old avatar) with this elusive goal in sight, battling several enemies, Pokemon, and other Masters along the way that has made for epic viewing.
The official Pokemon Twitter account tweeted: "Anything's possible when you believe in yourself, Trainers."
Veronica Taylor, who originally voiced Ash in the English anime, also offered her congratulations with a post on Twitter.
Pokemon the series: Sun and Moon has not aired its 139th episode in English yet, in which Ash becomes a Pokemon Master, as fans outside Japan wait to celebrate.