If you’ve seen the Pokémon anime, you’ve probably heard of the name Ash Ketchum. Ash Ketchum is a young Pokémon trainer from Pallet Town who is, along with his partner Pikachu, the protagonist of the globally popular anime franchise. Viewers have been following Ash’s adventures since 1997 and although the years have passed, Ash still seems to be as young as he was when he started his journey. So, you might raise the question – is Ash immortal? Or can he die?
Ash Ketchum did temporarily die six times. But he is not immortal. He is just a regular human boy who might age a bit differently inside the animated continuity, but he cannot go against the laws of nature.
Saying that there is more to the topic. Let us see how Ash Ketchum does against nature and aging.
We’ve already stated that Ash Ketchum is not immortal. And he isn’t. He can die and, like all humans, will die eventually, but you’re probably not going to see that happen in the anime.
But, there have been several situations during the course of the anime and in several films, where Ash had seemingly died, only to end up living after all those events. This might cause some confusion to the less attentive viewer, but we can positively state that it is neither a sign nor proof of immortality, but rather of the fantasy-type setting the anime and the whole franchise have. Ash would always end up being revived by a miracle, i.e. by some Pokémon’s special ability.
Now, let us see the situations that caused so much confusion:
In the 23rd episode of the first season of the anime, Ash tries to catch a disappearing Haunter and Gengar, who eventually disappear into the floor. Ash then hits the floor, only to have a chandelier fall on him and Pikachu, electrocuting them. Haunter and Gengar then pull their souls out of their bodies, only to return them later on. It is not certain whether Ash really died in this situation or was it just a plot gimmick.
In the first Pokémon movie, Ash jumps between the fighting Mew and Mewtwo to stop the reaction of their two beams, which could’ve destroyed everything around them. The result? Ash turns into stone and seemingly dies. But, as it usually is with a fantasy setting, the tears of all the surrounding Pokémon, including the clones created by Mewtwo, have magical powers and Ash is miraculously revived.
In this movie, we have a very interesting antagonist – a blob designed to fight off and kill humans who approach the Tree of Beginning. Since Ash did exactly that, he is “killed” by the blob just like every other human character in the Tree. Ultimately, he was revived by Mew and his powers.
Here, the Mythical Pokémon Marshadow controls several other Pokémon who attack and repeatedly hit Ash, until Marshadow sends both his body and his soul into a kind of after life. He is, again, miraculously revived, this time by the legendary Ho-Oh, after Pikachu jumped through a special portal to save Ash.
Here, Ash actually dies of natural causes. Namely, he seemingly drowns while trying to restore the Sea Crown in the castle, which is rapidly being filled with water. But, the magical Sea Crown grants Ash special powers and he manages to save himself from drowning.
In this two-part movie focusing on Victini and the Legendary Pokémon Zekrom and Reshiram, Ash freezes to death while in space. And while no one can survive being frozen in space, Victini uses his massive heat and manages to revive Ash and bring him back to Earth safely.