If you grew up in the 1990’s or even the 2000’s you may very well be familiar with the Pokemon Anime series, the tv show which is based around the video game franchise has been running since 1997. The anime is split into 6 sequential series in Japan which are split into the video games that they are based around: the original series, the Advanced Generation series, the Diamond & Pearl series, the Best Wishes! series, the XY series, and the Sun & Moon series. In the international market these are split into 20 different series.
For those who may be unaware Takeshi Shudo was the head writer for the first three seasons of the Pokemon anime, as well as the screenwriter for the first three Pokemon movies. Any of the episodes he was involved in had an over arching theme of the importance and bonds of friendship. However, a recently translated blog from 2009, the year before Shudo passed away hinted at a dark ending which Shudo had in mind for the show.
What Shudo wanted to do was to end the show with Ash (Satoshi in the Japanese anime) as an old man, and it being revealed that all his Pokemon adventures where a figment of his imagination. The translated blog post gives an explanation for it: “Months and years having passed, Satoshi (Ash), who has become an old man, suddenly remembers the old days. It is an embellished memory of childhood. A fantasy…The imaginary creatures, Pokémon, and their adventure. Friendship. Coexistence. That is, in the real human world, something Satoshi could not possibly encounter. However, somewhere in childhood, surely Pikachu and the other Pokémon are there, Musashi (Jessie) and Kojiro (James) are there, Mewtwo is there…” The blog also hinted that the show would end with and elderly Ash going off on one last adventure to discover who he is. You can check out the blog here.
While this does sound like a really grim way to end the show if it ever was to end, elements of it would make for a good ending to the show. Obviously it being a figment of Ash’s imagination would be removed, but the show could end with him sitting telling stories of his adventures to young kids, maybe possible grand kids, or even future trainers. It could be an extremely fitting way to wrap up the long running show, have Ash pass on stories and reminisce about the good ol day and share his adventures with others. If the show ever is to end, it will be interesting to see how they decide to warp it up.