The last arc of Pokemon The anime starring Ash Ketchum has come to an end, but the miniseries ultimately fell short of fans’ expectations, especially for those who were hoping Ash’s final Pokémon miniseries would actually have a fitting ending.

Pokémon: The goal is to be a master was announced after Ash’s victory in the World Coronation Series and promised the return of Misty and Brock as traveling companions. The miniseries seemed to revolve around the question, “What does it mean to be a Pokémon Master?” that would have been a great focus. Fans expected Ash on the series to question his progress and reconsider his goals, and while that eventually happened, it certainly wasn’t the central theme of the miniseries. In fact, it would be quite difficult to even come up with an overarching theme for the miniseries.


Pokémon: The goal is to be a master is far from Ash’s perfect farewell

Pokémon: Latias is sad after revealing Latios suffering.

The miniseries got off to a promising start with its first episode, in which Ash rescued the injured Legendary Pokémon Latias. Latias then developed an interest in him and chose to follow him invisibly, observing his actions throughout the miniseries. Latias then did nothing but watch until about halfway, after which it saved a falling Ash and Pikachu, but still didn’t reveal itself. Latias remained hidden until Episode 9, when it announced that its partner Latios was being held captive by a Pokémon Hunter and needed Ash’s help to free it. This storyline was the focus of Episode 10 and was quickly completed, leaving Episode 11 completely unrelated. Ash didn’t catch any of the Legendary Pokémon, much to the chagrin of fans who were hoping these might be his first.

Also see: One last fan-favorite Pokémon returns in Ash’s final episode

Worst of all, Latias didn’t seem to have had a good reason to wait; it might as well have asked Ash for help in the second episode. There wasn’t an overarching story for Latias to flow into, so just waiting what seemed like a long time to ask. Also, since it was invisible, Latias and Ash didn’t even really have much time to bond.

Misty & Brock were wasted in Ash’s Last Pokemon miniseries

Pokémon: Ash, Pikachu, Misty, and Brock stare at Latias.

Pokémon: The goal is to be a master brought back the original companions Brock and Misty, but this seems to have been done mainly for nostalgic reasons, as neither of them has significant input into the plot and their roles could easily be filled by one of his other companions. While Misty can catch a new Pokémon (Clauncher) and Brock can apply some of his medical knowledge, that’s about it. The series really needed some character scenes with Misty, Brock, and Ash interacting and discussing his progression and goals as well as their own, but there’s really none of that. Similarly, many of Ash’s returning Pokémon, some of which have not appeared in over a thousand episodes, have been underutilized and often reduced to glorified cameos.

In total, Pokémon: The goal is to be a master wasn’t the big event that many fans were expecting; The episodes were chock-full of continuity references, but there just wasn’t much point other than giving Ash one last cheer before the end. The episodes are perfectly fine and maybe even above average for the most part, but there’s just no sense of finality. That may well have been intentional given the series’ open-ended ending, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that missing out on final character development for one of anime’s most recognizable faces feels like a mistake. ash can be gone Pokemon for now, but it would have been better if his goodbye was a little more special.


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