After 25 years of watching Ash Ketchum work his way through the regions, Pokemon is now saying farewell to him, and the latest episode made sure to highlight a missing piece of the puzzle by taking a jab at Ash’s father in a new anime special! Although Ash has traveled around the Pokemon world in a variety of episodes over the past 25 years, there are several major features of his existence that remain constant. Ash never grows old, he constantly travels with Pikachu, and his father is always absent.
Even when Pokemon began exploring Ash from the start in an alternate take on the anime’s world, such as the new Pokemon: The Distant Blue Sky anime special that just aired worldwide, these things remained. In fact, the special ends up teasing fans about Ash maybe seeing his father for the first time in a long time, but it’s all a ruse. When Ash tries to meet up with his father, his father leaves before he arrives.
Check out some of the reactions of the fans to Ash’s dad:
In Pokemon: The Distant Blue Sky we see Ash coming to Pallet Town to begin a new adventure, and his mother summons him to the Pokemon Center. She explains that Ash’s father is also in town to meet him, which is a thrilling possibility for both fans (and Ash). However, when Ash arrives at the Pokemon Center near the end of the special, his mother confesses that his father had to leave long before he arrived. Outside of the fact that he needed to depart, no particular reason is mentioned.
It’s clearly aimed at Ash’s father, who couldn’t wait a few minutes to see his son face-to-face, but it’s also a hilarious jab at a long-running gag in the game. And his father isn’t all awful; he was able to get Ash a new (but vintage) hat that fans would know from the beginning of the series.