Ash Ketchum and Pikachu set to be killed off in Pokemon TV series?

When the Diamond & Pearl series of the Pokemon anime comes to a close later this year in Japan, we might be saying goodbye to the entire original cast. I'm trying to keep it together here, but this is like the end of an era for Pokemon fans or anyone who grew up watching the show after school.

It's hard to imagine the show without Brock, let alone Ash and Pikachu, so this comes as quite a shock if it proves to be true. Still, we can probably all agree that it's about time for Ash to retire from life on the road and settle down as respectable gym leader, or maybe even follow in Oak's footsteps and become a Pokemon professor.

Starting completely fresh with all new characters would be a huge shake-up for the show, so it's exciting to think about whether or not this could mean anything for the games too. Can we can expect more of an overhaul to the Black and White games than we've seen in past new generations? From what we've seen of the screens so far, the gameplay looks unchanged aside from the more 3D graphics, but who knows?

Above: RIP Ash Ketchum, Pikachu, Brock (1997 - 2010)?

Even if the core gameplay remains the same, we could see a change in the way the single player story is structured. Maybe instead of the same old routine of facing eight gym leaders and Pokemon League, Black and White will have a totally new story quest with different objectives. The Diamond and Pearl anime series has been a lot less focused on gym quests compared to the previous series, so it makes sense that the games may follow suit.  

So how do you think Ash will make his exit? Will he be killed off, finally succumbing to the coma he may or may not have been in this whole time? Will he become a gym leader and take the place of Electric-type expert Lt. Surge? Or will he marry one of his lady companions, become a minor NPC in some house somewhere and forget about Pokemon forever? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

[UPDATE: This is probably all a false alarm - the original story doesn't actually mention anything about Ash leaving the show when the new Black & White series starts. Here's to another 12 years of Ash Ketchum not evolving his Pikachu!]

Apr 16, 2010

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