Monday, June 16, 2014

Poke'mon: Seeing Triple Part 2

Hello again everyone, last week I started off my analysis of the different versions of poke'mon through their main characters with the hero of the games Red.  This week we're going to talk about Ash, the hero of the TV series. 

He just looks so happy right now

Of our three subjects, Ash is probably the most well developed, simply due to the sheer volume of episodes he is in.  For the sake of simplicity we'll only be looking at Ash during his journey through Kanto.  Ash is a new trainer but unlike Red his journey starts off rather poorly, with him oversleeping and receiving an uncooperative Pikachu instead of a proper starter.  He then proceeds to steal and destroy a bicycle, but after that his journey goes rather smoothly. 

Ash's most striking feature in comparison to our other subjects is his unskillfulness as a trainer.  He seems to lack any understanding of Poke'mon types or battle technique which should be well known to anyone planning to become a trainer.  Basically, Ash failed to prepare himself with the basic skills of a trainer before beginning his journey.  Even after he is made aware of his unpreparedness, he doesn't do anything to correct it, instead learning each of the basics from his companions when it becomes relevant.  This would show that Ash is not particularly studious and like many 10-year-olds prefers to learn from experience. 

However Ash excels in the non battle component of being a trainer.  He and his Poke'mon have an incredibly strong connection which is regularly said to be just as vital to battling as the skills of the trainer.  The strength of his bonds allows Ash to battle trainers who are far more skilled on even footing.  A secondary part of this skill is Ash's ability to make friends with others very quickly.  This is vital since part of the challenge of defeating a gym leader is convincing them to accept your challenge.  Ash's ability to form bonds with others is his central skill and is one of the iconic skills of an anime protagonist. 

Worth noting is Ash's relationship with Team Rocket.  After a single encounter Jessie and James dedicate their entire careers to capturing Ash which either means that they are incredibly foolish or that Ash's Pikachu is exceptionally powerful.  Despite numerous attacks, Ash never relents and allows Team Rocket to succeed which shows a unique strength of character, willingness to endure.  His inability to see through the disguises and deceptions of Team Rocket often overshadows this but the fact that Ash actively stops them each time highlights how much he cares for his Poke'mon.  This dedication is also relevant when he rechallenges gym leaders after a defeat and in his quest to prove himself to be Gary Oak's equal.  After all of the four trainers who left Pallet town that day only two of them made it very far in their journey, Gary the golden boy of the town and Ash.  Collecting all eight badges and competing in the Poke'mon League takes a great deal of time and effort and many trainers give up or choose an alternate path for themselves.  In light of this the fact that Ash completed his journey through Kanto at all marks him as particularly dedicated. 

In conclusion Ash is an unskillful trainer but is extremely dedicated to both his goals and his team and is a natural at forming bonds with others. 

Next week we'll cover the third and least well known medium of Poke'mon, the manga, and it's protagonist Red. 

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