If you already thought some of the theories surrounding a certain character’s apparent inability to age were weird, it might be time to strap in – this one cranks the absurdity way beyond 11.
For those who don’t live and breathe all things Pokémon, Ash Ketchum is the star of Japan’s long-running anime series and has appeared in every single one of the show’s 23 seasons. An achievement in and of itself, no doubt, but one made all the more noteworthy when taking into account that the aspiring Pokémon Master hasn’t aged a day since he first set foot outside of Pallet Town. The most obvious (and likely correct) explanation for his eternal youth, of course, is simply that, as a fictional animated character, showrunners can make him any age they wish, but where’s the fun in that?
Fans have spent years putting forward their own elaborate theories in an attempt to explain why Ash hasn’t celebrated a single birthday since 1997, with Reddit user askthetyrant2’s own suspicion being that he is, in fact, dead and has been for a long, long time.
Upon his first visit to Lavender Town, they say, Ash actually perished and wound up becoming a ghost. This explains why, among other things, that Professor Oak’s protégé can not only see but interact with Ghost-type ‘Mons such as Gastly, Haunter and Gengar. The reason why all three are so receptive to Ash’s appearance is that they are fully aware of his death and consider him a new playmate. Likewise, a separate episode, in which Ash encounters an unambiguously deceased woman, is supposedly a result of his crossing over, with the presence of friend and companion Brock simply being a manifestation of memory, rather than the real deal.
A Farfetch’d tale? Absolutely, but it’s always fun to speculate. Have your own Pokémon theory you’d like to share? Sound off in the comments below!