Pokémon: 10 Facts About Ash Ketchum According To His Voice Actor
For the last couple of decades, there has been no one closer to Ash Ketchum than Veronica Taylor, Ash's Pokémon voice actor of now over 20 years. At New York Comic Con, Taylor joined fans to discuss the series, her work, and, most importantly, one of her proudest accomplishments, Ash.
With the conversation ranging from discussion of who Ash's father might be, to who he would most want to take out on a date (a contentious topic, judging by audience reaction), Taylor offered a slew of insights about everyone's favorite Pokémon trainer. Here are ten facts about Ash Ketchum according to his voice actor.
10 Who is Ash's Father?
Taylor demurred the question, saying initially, maybe Giovanni, but "no idea, honestly." She acknowledged that everyone, herself included, likes to joke that it's Giovanni... or maybe Professor Oak. Ash, she added, wouldn't like the latter if it were true and he had to be related to Gary, but it could be both terrible and good, because each and every human has to learn how to patch things up with their enemies or foes, and that would be an important lesson to learn.
Ultimately though, in a way, Ash not knowing who his dad is propelled him forward. There's a desire to know his origin but his not knowing is part of his journey. He and the audience find that it's really his community that is his family, viewers included!
9 Is Ash's Journey Over Now That He Has Won The Pokémon League?
Now that Ash has finally won the Pokémon league, does he feel his journey is complete? Taylor was very clear on this response: No. Ash winning the Pokémon League is not enough for our heroic trainer, in Taylor's opinion. In victory, he sets another goal and continues on in a new quest to achieve it.
Obviously, winning the league has been a 20-year process and a big deal for Ash, but, like the theme song says, Ash is trying to be the very best and to do that he will always need new horizons to explore.
8 When will Ash be a Pokémon Master?
An audience member pointed out there has never been a clear definition of when a trainer becomes a "Pokémon Master," and if it's not when one wins the Pokémon league, when is it? Apologies to all the would-be masters out there, but according to Taylor... never! Taylor believes that Pokémon master is a level of spirituality, a state of mind, a level to attain not to be accomplished. Ash, alongside all of the viewers, no matter how old they are, are on a path, and trainers are constantly learning and trying their best, picking up people as the journey unfolds and helping them along, as goals are set and achieved.
In a way, Taylor said, "Being a Pokémon Master is that moment right before you die, when you say, wow, I’ve got people around me, look at what I did with my life and how I’ve touched the world along the way." No one is a Pokémon master, according to Taylor, not even Ash, but to her, that's a good thing. For Ash, and everyone else, it's about improving the self and the world and always continuing forward in the journey.
7 Who Is Ash's Soulmate?
To a great amount of noise from the audience, Taylor was asked who Ash should be "shipped" with, Misty or May? To which Taylor gave a very good answer. She reminded everyone that, really, Ash is a ten-year-old, which makes him unfit to be anyone's boyfriend. Ash thinks of himself, mostly, and about his next meal, and about winning a battle. He wouldn't do anything kind for a significant other, beyond the normal kindnesses.
For instance, he would never remember a birthday, so he's probably better off alone for now. Taylor concluded her answer by saying that maybe Ash and Misty could find romance, somewhere down the line, when they're both around 22. But for now, they are only deep friends, and that's the most Ash should be to anyone.
6 What Is Ash’s Greatest Accomplishment?
To the delight of everyone, Taylor slipped on her Ash voice to answer this question, allowing the character to speak for himself. Here's what Ash had to say: "My greatest accomplishment is remembering to change my underwear every single day, and I'd like to thank Brock for washing it."
Sometimes it's hard to remember Ash is supposed to be just a ten-year-old kid, but it's nice to know that Taylor never loses sight of that. It's clear she knows the character through and through and is always ready to give his input to the world... And what valuable input it is! Thanks, Ash!
5 What Is Ash’s Greatest Strength As A Character?
Taylor took off her Ash hat for this question and gave a very genuine response. Ash's greatest strength, and the main draw of the show, is his sincerity as a character, how real he is. Right from the very first episode, he sleeps too late, gets stuck with a Pokémon he didn't even think possible, then has to defend him and really put himself out there.
He has such heart, and it's evident from the way he stands up for someone he barely knows, but he knows they're partners, so he goes the whole way. This purity of heart only strengthens across the journey.
4 Does Ash ever grow up?
Nope, is the simple answer. Ash is a ten-year-old forever, as unchanging as the Pokémon logo itself. Taylor joked that if Ash is never home for his birthday, she guesses he never really grows up. But ultimately, she thinks it's a good thing. Ash represents the ten-year-old inside of every viewer, and ten is an age of endless possibility.
Ash doesn't have chores or homework, and he doesn't have complicated adult struggles like falling in love or thinking too deeply about the world. He can just think about himself. In that way, it's good he stays the same.
3 What Moments Have Been the Hardest For Ash?
Taylor answered this questions in terms of herself, but also with the understanding that in every way, she is Ash. She replied saying that there's actually a lot of heavy, emotional twists that happen to the character, even with the overall lightness of his age and the show.
Some of the moments that stick out are setting Butterfree free or when Brock and Misty were leaving.
2 What Moments Were the Best For Ash?
For Taylor and for Ash, the most memorable moment lives in the first episode, defending Pikachu from attack. This moment sets the scene for the entire partnership between Ash and Pikachu, and, in every way, changes Ash's life forever.
Ash gives himself fully to this strange, new partnership and forges one of the strongest bonds he will ever have in his life.
1 Which Is Ash's Favorite Pokémon?
A gimmie if there ever was one. Taylor laughed and shared that both her and Ash will alway favor Pikachu. The voice actress likened her daughter, who joined her on stage, to her own Pikachu, cementing just how important the Pokémon is for Ash.
Although Ash has caught a lot of Pokémon and traveled to many places, and though the original plan was for another Pokémon to take center stage, no one will ever beat Pikachu.