Ash's friends were crucial to his developmental arc (Image via The Pokemon Company)

Top 5 times Ash's friends made him a better trainer in the Pokemon anime

Pokemon has plenty of moments where Ash Ketchum learns from his friends on his journey to become a Master.

There are some authentic teaching moments that his companions deliver throughout the anime.


While Ash is still far off from being the best, he is continually improving. His friends have a lot to do with that improvement.

Five times Ash's friends helped him be better in the Pokemon anime

#5 - Boulder Badge

Brock taught Ash about empathy towards Pokemon (Image via The Pokemon Company)

While they were not yet companions during their Gym battle, Brock was the catalyst for Ash's journey as a trainer. The brutal battles against Brock in the Pewter City Gym forced Ash to grow up quickly.

Brock gave Ash the Boulder Badge due to his kindness to his Pokemon. This showed Ash that there is more to catching and battling Pokemon.

Ultimately, this care for Pokemon helped Ash become a better-connected trainer to his partners.


#4 - Clemont's Admiration

Clemont brought out the best of Ash (Image via The Pokemon Company)

Ash Ketchum has always been a bit arrogant when it comes to his Pokemon training skills. That is what he shows on the outside, but he is often humble when a proven trainer recognizes the actual ability he possesses. Clemont did just that.

As a Gym leader, Clemont's admiration for Ash and his abilities meant a lot to the latter. Whenever Clemont was around, Ash wanted to be at the height of his powers when it came to battling and being a trainer.


#3 - Goh's Friendship

Goh and Ash shared a healthy, competitive friendship (Image via The Pokemon Company)

After all of this time, Ash finally had a friend in the Pokemon anime that seems to be his equal. It isn't some Gym leader or someone who originally hates the thought of catching Pokemon. Goh is the perfect companion for Ash.

While their goals are ultimately different, Goh and Ash are in a healthy competition at all times. Merely being around pushed Ash to his best, accepting the challenges put forth by each other in every region they ventured to.

#2 - Pikachu's Existence

There is no Ash without Pikachu (Image via The Pokemon Company)

Yes, Pikachu is one of Ash's Pokemon, but no one can argue that the Pokemon is his best friend. Without Pikachu, Ash would have never gone on his Pokemon journey. Pikachu started it all.


They grew together through thick and thin, bonded, and are as close as any trainer and a Pokemon can be. They have pushed each other to the limit so many times. Pikachu has made Ash a better trainer just by being his partner.

#1 - Battle Against Professor Kukui

Fans could say that Professor Kukui is one of the strongest allies Ash ever had in the Pokemon anime. He also is one of the best teachers the youngster from Pallet Town has had. Nothing improved Ash as a trainer more than their battle to determine the Pokemon Champion of Alola.

Professor Kukui held nothing back and utilized the Legendary Tapu Koko. This forced Ash to lay it all on the line. It was his time to prove he was the trainer he always said he would be. Thanks to the Professor's intensity opposite of him, Ash achieved his dream.

Note: This article reflects the opinions of the writer.


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Edited by
Ravi Iyer
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