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Did the writers originally plan for Ash to retire and Goh to be the focus character?

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I've seen my share of clickbait videos on Goh taking over the anime in full from Ash....but we can't really deny that Ash was fairly underplayed after the series ended and there was a bit of an odd gap between the end of SM and the start of Journeys. Ash also took a while to really ignite and get going as a character in Journeys. So....was he originally going to have his story end in Alola?

....It's something I've been wondering, as I could see the anime staff reconsider the idea after seeing just how much Ash winning blew up all over the world. All of that time plus the 3 month gap to Journies should have been long enough for them to adjust Ash back in and by episode 10 plan things around him.
 
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but we can't really deny that Ash was fairly underplayed after the series ended and there was a bit of an odd gap between the end of SM and the start of Journeys. Ash also took a while to really ignite and get going as a character in Journeys.
It wasn't odd at all. They were trying to establish Go as a new co-lead, so Ash took a backseat early on.
 
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They both cover a fairly different niche. Ash is the battling side and Go is the collecting side, their personalities are different enough too. Enough to infer that Go was probably designed as a foil for Ash. If Ash leaves there will be a pretty gaping hole to be covered, unless, they make a trainer similar to him which wouldn’t make much sense (his Pikachu and hats are iconic enough to be trademarked).

Ash and Pikachu are as iconic as stuff like Mickey Mouse and that’s probably why they’re going with a more episodic approach. The current scenario is a product of writers trying to juggle Ash and Gou's focus, probably giving Go more since he’s the new person the writers want fans to like: there are only two people on the main cast this time round so it’s pretty important for the target audience to like at least one of them (unlike, say, SM where you had five choices of characters to enjoy the show with).
 
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I've seen my share of clickbait videos on Goh taking over the anime in full from Ash....but we can't really deny that Ash was fairly underplayed after the series ended and there was a bit of an odd gap between the end of SM and the start of Journeys. Ash also took a while to really ignite and get going as a character in Journeys. So....was he originally going to have his story end in Alola?

....It's something I've been wondering, as I could see the anime staff reconsider the idea after seeing just how much Ash winning blew up all over the world. All of that time plus the 3 month gap to Journies should have been long enough for them to adjust Ash back in and by episode 10 plan things around him.
My pseudo-theory is that the writers pitched the series as a duo series starring Gou and Koharu only for the executives to veto the removal of Ash and Pikachu but at the same time the executives loved the duo idea so much that they insisted it stay even though it now meant that there wouldn't be a female main character. I say "pseudo-theory" because I doubt it's what actually happened, but the lack of a main female baffles me so much that I find it very hard to stomach that it was an actual willing design choice.
 
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I've seen my share of clickbait videos on Goh taking over the anime in full from Ash....but we can't really deny that Ash was fairly underplayed after the series ended and there was a bit of an odd gap between the end of SM and the start of Journeys. Ash also took a while to really ignite and get going as a character in Journeys. So....was he originally going to have his story end in Alola?

....It's something I've been wondering, as I could see the anime staff reconsider the idea after seeing just how much Ash winning blew up all over the world. All of that time plus the 3 month gap to Journies should have been long enough for them to adjust Ash back in and by episode 10 plan things around him.
3 months isn't nearly enough time for a decision like that.
 
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I definitely don't think so. Ash has become the face of the series almost as much as Pikachu, and I'm sure the decision to swap him with someone else would've had more buildup to it instead of it just happening suddenly with no one expecting it. Needing to make assumptions on whether or not it may have been intended is probably a sign that it wasn't originally going to happen. Go just fills a different niche since they know there are many people who either only play Pokémon GO or got back into the series with GO. They've clearly been experimenting with new things for the anime lately, from the new art style + a traveling companion who actually wants to catch them all + not picking a single region to travel through, but I can't see them retiring Ash for a long while, if at all. That edges on the 'too much of a risk' side imo. The anime does well enough with him as the main.

At most we'd probably get more spinoffs/side episodes not involving Ash, like with Twilight Wings. It's the least risky move.
 
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I really doubt it. While Goh does get more focus in the early episodes, I think that was mainly to establish him as the new co-lead, getting Scorbunny and getting his own goal. I don't think Ash really took a back seat per say during those episodes either. He didn't get much attention, but he wasn't really in the background either. Even the issue of how he didn't really have a goal until thirteen episodes in seems a bit strange me. I can understand why it would look jarring when Goh was getting a bit more attention right off the bat, but at the same time. Ash didn't really have a proper goal in SM either. It initially seemed like it was going to be the Island Challenge, but that came up so infrequently that I genuinely thought that they were going to drop the Island Challenge. While Ash not having a proper goal is still weird and jarring, it wasn't exactly a new issue in Journeys either. Admittedly, it might be harder for me to judge that aspect of the series since the World Championship was well established by the time I started watching Journeys on Netflix, but I don't think that Ash's screentime was negated that much by Goh early on in the series.

I honestly can't see Ash being replaced so suddenly. He and Pikachu are way too iconic for the anime to replace them. A lot of fans would want it, but it would still be a big risk and I don't think that the anime would necessarily improve if Ash wasn't the main lead. I like Goh, but I really can't see how he could carry Journeys as the main lead. Even without factoring in how recognizable Ash is for a moment, Goh feels more like a foil to Ash, at least in some sense. Ash is more focused on battling and emotions, while Goh is a bit more logical by comparison. I think that they were more interested in having two characters to represent both the battling and catching aspects of the franchise rather than wanting to replace Ash only to make Goh into a co-lead at the last minute.
 
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So you're saying that Ash was inserted in all the produced PM episodes (and promotional material) between August and October? How would that even work? Which Pikachu was supposed to be the one from Episode 1 then?

The Alola League being Ash's swan song is very unlikely as it doesn't feel like a gigantic accomplishment as many have explained in other threads, but I don't rule it out because the writers take weird choices when it comes to character arcs. But what we can rule out is that they planned to replace Ash with a capture-oriented character travelling alone.

However I agree that parts of the PWC probably took a while to be defined, as there's zero foreshadowing of it before Episode 12 with Episode 7's lack of it being the most suspicious.
 
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Obviously not since there wouldn't have been enough time to change that decision. Also no matter how many people try to spin it Goh doesn't get as much attention in the show as people like to pretend that he does. He's pretty much a co-star similar to how Dawn was treated, but maybe a little less important because his goal doesn't require him to have as much focus since he's just collecting Pokemon.
 
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I also don't believe this is the case. I think the show is just continuing down the path SM started on where it's a different format than we've gotten used to. This time around, instead of a large group, they decided to go with one co-protagonist. Ash was definitely shafted in the beginning (which, as an Ash fan, I hated) but I really think it was ultimately so they could establish Goh as the co-protagonist and get viewers to know him better, since we pretty much know what Ash is all about at this point. I don't think that's any indication that they were ever considering removing Ash.

In all honesty, I am of the opinion that if they wanted to replace Ash, they would've done it already. It's been nearly 25 years and he's still the protagonist. To get rid of him at this point would just look kind of odd. If they were really planning on doing that, I think they would've done several series ago.
 
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In all honesty, I am of the opinion that if they wanted to replace Ash, they would've done it already. It's been nearly 25 years and he's still the protagonist. To get rid of him at this point would just look kind of odd. If they were really planning on doing that, I think they would've done several series ago.
I do agree. If Ash was to be replaced, then it would have happened at the end of Kanto or even Johto. Heck, the way they did the sinnoh league it seemed like they were going to replace Ash.
 
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I highly doubt it. Given the way that they write Go and his goal, I don’t think that he’d be able to carry the anime alone. He’d need someone like Ash to balance things out.
 
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