Pokémon Theory: Ash’s Final Battle Will Be Against His Father

Expanding over games, TV shows and even a short-lived musical over the course of three decades, Pokémon is one of the most popular franchises in the entire world. Although there are different characters introduced throughout all mediums, the most recurring cast member is protagonist Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town and his trusty Pikachu. With such an iconic history, countless fan theories have circulated over the years, with plenty focusing on Ash's mysteriously missing father. Who is he, and why is he never shown when Ash visits home?

Confirmed by the novelization of the latest Pokémon movie, Secrets of the Jungle, Ash mentions his father for the first time in more than 20 years. Granted, it was in reference to advice he gave Ash as a younger child, but it's enough to confirm his father is not Professor Oak as many fans had speculated. So who exactly is Ash's father? A circulating theory suggests Ash will face this mysterious man in his final battle to be the best Pokémon trainer in the world.


It is confirmed in books from the original animation that Ash's father is a Pokémon trainer. Judging by his constant absence in Ash's life and considering how far and wide Ash has traveled, his father must be pretty notable. Still, it is curious that no other character has spoken to Ash about him at some point in the story.

All of the canonical references in Pokémon mention waiting for a return. The characters and fans alike have certainly been waiting, so much anticipation has been built around this mysterious character. He has to be introduced in a grand and climactic moment in Ash's life, otherwise his lengthy absence would surely be considered a waste.

Not only does this information debunk the Professor Oak theory, but it also debunks the outlandish suggestion that the Ketchum family's Mr. Mime is actually Ash's father. This stems from the mysterious notion that Ash doesn't age, which could be a whole other discussion by itself.

Another popular Pokémon theory suggests that Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket, is Ash's father. In the musical "Pokémon Live!", it is revealed that Delia Ketchum did, in fact, date Giovanni and was part of Team Rocket before Ash was brought into the world. Putting this questionably canonical tidbit into perspective, this theory wouldn't be too far-fetched at all.

Will the answer of Ash's father's identity ever be revealed? It just may come when Ash's journey finally comes to an end with one final, epic battle, but who knows when that will be. Ash has been 10 years old for almost 30 years, after all.

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