The Pokemon anime is typically the silly cartoon one would expect, but there are times when it can make a grown man cry.
Everyone remembers the first time they watched Pokemon or played one of the games. The youngster, whether it is the player character or Ash Ketchum, is an immature adventurer who wants to take on the world.
In the anime, that immature youngster grows quite a bit. Ash still makes novice mistakes to this day, but throughout his journey, he has become a protagonist that fans love. Seeing his most vulnerable moments leaves not a single dry eye.
Top 5 heartbreaking moments from the Pokemon anime
#5 - Ash Turns to Stone
While not from the anime series, it still comes as part of the anime journey in Pokemon The First Movie. The very first theatrical release for the series was nothing short of amazing. By now, everyone should know the story of Ash and friends traveling to meet with Mewtwo.
During that meeting, Ash sacrifices himself to save his partners and turns to stone. Pikachu shocking Ash, attempting to wake him, is a tear jerker. Thankfully, the tears of all the Pokemon bring Ash back to life.
#4 - Pikachu Gets Jealous
In Pokemon Journeys: The Series, Ash meets his new friend Goh and travels throughout all the regions. In that time, he hatches a Riolu that wants to train nonstop. This takes up a lot of Ash's time and Pikachu is visibly jealous.
Ash's mom comes to visit and sees this, treating Pikachu with the kindness and attention it needs at that moment. When Ash's mom leaves, Pikachu chases after her, but gets lost with Mr. Mime. Eventually, they find their way home and Ash and Pikachu reconcile.
#3 - Caught in a Snowstorm
This moment shows Pokemon fans the bond that Ash created with his early companions. Caught in a brutal snowstorm, Ash takes shelter in a cave. That does not prevent the harsh conditions and cold weather from taking its toll, however.
Ash calls upon Charmander to help keep them warm, but Charmander quickly tires. When that happens, Ash returns all of his Pokemon to their Poke Balls, except Pikachu who refuses.
Shortly after, the Pokemon remove themselves from their Poke Balls and huddle around Ash. This act by Charmander, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Pidgeotto brings Ash and viewers to tears.
#2 - Bye-Bye Butterfree
This heartbreaking Pokemon moment still has fans hoping for a reunion between Ash and Butterfree someday. As a Caterpie, Butterfree was the first wild Pokemon that Ash ever caught. Having been through so much together, it was an emotional moment when they went their separate ways.
During Butterfree mating season, Ash's Buttefree connected with a pink Butterfree. Team Rocket, of course, interrupted, but Butterfree and Pikachu put a stop to it. After that, the pink Butterfree expressed wanting to be Ash's Butterfree's partner.
This is where the heartbreak kicks in. Ash believed his Butterfree finding love was more important than being his Pokemon companion. After a short farewell, the two Butterfree flew off into the sunset as a river of tears flowed from Ash's ducts.
#1 - Pikachu Speaks
Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You is a loose reboot of Ash Ketchum's beginnings. It was made to celebrate Pokemon's 20th anniversary and a lot of the adventure will be familiar to fans of the original anime season. During a climactic point in the movie, several Pokemon are preparing to attack Ash and Pikachu.
Ash asks his longtime friend why it won't go in its Poke Ball. At this moment, Ash seemingly understands Pikachu. In plain English, Pikachu explains that it won't go in its Poke Ball because it wants to be by Ash's side always.
As weak as it is, Pikachu can't refuse to go back in its Poke Ball now. It is forced back in right before the attacking Pokemon trigger their moves and Ash is caught in the blast. This seemingly kills Ash Ketchum.
Pikachu exits the Poke Ball after, finding Ash's charred hat and what appears to be his spirit lying in front of him. Pikachu erupts with electricity and tears, bringing just about every Pokemon fan to do the same.