Ash Ketchum has had an abundance of notable moments throughout his years adventuring through Pokemon world.
While Ash may have started off in Pallet Town, he has proven to be a world class Pokemon trainer. The protagonist has faced some incredibly talented rivals, saved the day from evil organizations, and come to the aid of remarkably powerful Legendary Pokemon on many occasions.
Note: This list is subjective and reflects the opinions of the writer.
Top 5 defining moments for Ash Ketchum in Pokemon
#5 - Ash saves Pikachu from Spearows
The first episode was arguably the best time for Ash Ketchum to have a defining moment. The premiere, Pokemon - I Choose You! , originally aired on April 7th, 1997 exclusively in Japan.
The defining moment is when Ash leaps in front of a flock of Spearows, sacrificing himself to their attacks in order to protect his new Pikachu. This established Ash Ketchum's true character and is one of the most important scenes in the entire Pokemon anime.
#4 - Ash defeats Gary Oak in a battle
Gary Oak has been Ash's rival ever since they fished up an old Pokeball and broke it in half while fighting over who should get to keep it. That was just before both of their Pokemon journeys began, but they each kept half of it as symbol of their rivalry for a longtime after that.
Throughout the anime Ash gets beat many times by Gary, who always seems to be ahead in every way as a Pokemon trainer. However, in episode #269, The Ties That Bind, Ash finally defeats his rival in a remarkable battle during the Victory Tournament. This earns Ash an advancement in the tournament as well as Gary's respect and friendship.
#3 - Ash beats Paul
Gary Oak might have been Ash's first rival, but that doesn't mean he was the best. Paul was initially introduced in Pokemon the Series: Diamond and Pearl. Ash and Paul face off many times in multiple different episodes, and each battle conveys how vastly different their training styles are.
They face off in the quarterfinals of The Lily of the Valley Conference. At the end of the battle, Ash uses his Infernape to defeat Paul's Electivire and win the battle.
Ash's Infernape was originally owned by Paul when it was only a Chimchar, though he released it because he believed it to be too weak. This fact only makes the victory even more satisfying.
#2 - Ash sacrifices himself for the world
In the first Pokemon movie titled MewTwo Strikes Back, Ash Ketchum has a mind-blowing defining moment. As the movie culminates at the height of its action, Pokemon Mew and Mewtwo are in the midst of battle with one another.
Cloned Pokemon face off against the originals all around the two battling in the middle. As Mew and Mewtwo send out two incredibly powerful attacks, Ash leaps in the middle and takes on the entire force of them himself.
Ash was willing to sacrifice himself to bring the fight to an end. Upon realizing this, Mewtwo ceases fighting while witnessing the Pokemons' tears around him magically cure a petrified Ash.
#1 - Ash becomes the Alola League Champion
Ash Ketchum's #1 defining moment thus far in the Pokemon anime is when he wins the Alola League Tournament. This was truly a special, long-deserved, and hard-earned achievement for the champion.
Ash's victory also made him the first ever champion of that particular region. Once he'd won the final battle, it seemed the franchise's hero still couldn't believe it. Becoming a Pokemon League Champion had been a goal for Ash Ketchum since the very first episode of the show. Talk about a defining moment!
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