In the world of Pokemon there exist creatures with unimaginable power. These magical and mysterious beings are called Pokemon. Some people keep them as pets, while others study them or train them for fights. A person’s journey with Pokemon begins at the age of ten years old. It is at this age that they can obtain a Pokemon license.

This means that you can choose a beginner Pokemon from Professor Oak, the Pokemon expert of Pallet Town. In the animated series, Pokemon: Indigo League (1997), directed by Masamitsu Hidaka, this is where Ash Ketchum’s journey begins. The show was adapted from the popular video game, Pokemon Red And Blue, which was developed by Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori.

Ash and Pikachu are sitting nearby while Misty is entertains Togepi and Brock cooks a warm meal
Pokemon Indigo League (1997) studio OLM, Inc.
Created by Satoshi Tajiri & Ken Sugimori

At the start of the series, the main character, Ash, is ten and ready to begin his training. His goal is to become a Pokemon Master. While new Pokemon species and characters are seen throughout the following years, some details of the show continue to be similar to the previous series.

One major detail is that Ash has now been ten years old for twenty-two years. There has also been an unchanging relationship among the friends that Ash travels with. In Pokemon The Series: Sun And Moon (2017), there have been some unexpected changes to the show’s dynamic, including Ash exhibiting new life skills.

Alola To New Pokemon Adventures on Melemele Island

In previous seasons, Ash typically traveled with two or three other companions. They would go from city to city, in different regions. Ash and friends were constantly traveling on foot. They would stop in between cities to camp outside. Typically someone, aside from Ash, would cook meals for everyone. Usually, there was one female companion and one male.

Ash and Mallow meet with up with his mom and Mr. Mime as well as Principal Samson Oak at the Pokemon School.
Pokemon Sun And Moon (2016) studio OLM, Inc.
Created by Satoshi Tajiri & Ken Sugimori

Each companion had their own reasons for joining Ash, but they all supported him as he battled gym leaders, entered tournaments, and participated in contests. The show initially focused on Ash developing his skills to become a Pokemon Master, though there was a shift during later seasons. Eventually, Ash’s female companions would take the spotlight. This offered a new point of view for fans of the show.

Ash Is Still Training To Be The Very Best

For many seasons, Ash has maintained the desire to become a better trainer. In the first episode of Pokemon Sun And Moon, “Alola To New Adventure!” Ash gets lost and chased out of the forest. Once out of the forest, he happens upon the Pokemon School. Student Mallow mistakes him for being a new student and introduces him to Principal Samson Oak.

Ash, Sophocles, Lillie, Mallow, Lana and Kiawe stand posed in a line with Pokemon in the background.
Pokemon Sun And Moon (2016) studio OLM, Inc.
Created by Satoshi Tajiri & Ken Sugimori

Afterward, he was given a tour of the school but then was suddenly disrupted by a group of bullies called Team Skull. At that moment, he meets another student, Kiawe, who is ready to battle them. Ash quickly joins him in battle. At the end of the battle, Kiawe uses an attack using the Z-Crystals that Ash had never seen before. Ash also gets a glimpse of legendary Pokemon and island spirit guardian, Tapu Koko.

New Pokemon Region, New Narrative

After Ash’s experience at the Pokemon School, he made the decision to stay on the island to learn more about the region. Unlike the previous seasons of the series, Ash’s journey in Pokemon Sun And Moon focuses on everyday life. The series follows Ash as he regularly attends the Pokemon School in the Alola region on Melemele Island.

Pokedex, Rotom, assists Ash and Pikachu to clean up a mess in the laundry room.
Pokemon Sun And Moon (2016) studio OLM, Inc.
Created by Satoshi Tajiri & Ken Sugimori

At the school, he quickly befriends five other students, Sophacles, Lillie, Mallow, Lana, and Kiawe. Following Ash’s decision to attend the school, the teacher and Professor Kukui allows Ash to live with him, taking on the role of his guardian. Instead of traveling from city to city, Ash remains on Melemele Island where he can develop his Pokemon’s skills using Z-Crystals. 

Ash Gains More Experience

Since the Pokemon Sun And Moon series keeps Ash in one location, this allows different opportunities for Ash. His new life on Melemele Island helps viewers relate to his experiences. One experience Ash has not had before was being friends with more kids his own age. Since Ash is going to school, he is able to maintain more friendships. Going to school is something that every ten years old can relate to. He is also able to experience each of his friend’s different lifestyles.

Another difference in the series is that Ash now does household chores. As a result of him living with Professor Kukui, Ash tries his best to take care of himself. There are several episodes where Ash is cooking or cleaning, which are new behaviors for his character. While most kids do not like doing chores, this is also something every kid can connect with.

Even though Ash will most likely continue to be the age of ten for years to come, Pokemon Sun And Moon was able to change the series in a positive way. The series puts Ash in a setting more familiar to its viewers, while also putting the focus back on Ash. There is still more to look forward to as the series continues.