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How would you write Ash off

"His fellow Gym leaders"?

And why is he apparently not only retiring as a trainer but releasing all his Pokémon?

This Al fellow is a terrible writer.
It could have been worse; the AI could have given all of Ash's Pokémon to Friede.
It could have been worse; the AI could have given all of Ash's Pokémon to Friede.
Personally, I think it’d be interesting if he gave all his Pokémon to Friede lol. It’s just so out there that the story itself would be interesting.

For me, I’d want the episode to end with Ash remembering all his friends and seeing where they are right now.

I would still leave the story open-ended but have it more of a party with just all his companions. There’d references galore and finally, the end would eventually come and everybody goes home except for like let’s say Serena, Dawn, and Brock. The three take Ash outside into the forest where he meets his dad. Ash challenges him to a battle and the episode ends there.

That was not fully my idea but I really liked it. There would probably have to be some slight buildup to this moment so the preceding episodes would slightly have to be changed.
At the end of the day, I don't have much of an issue with the way Ash's sendoff was handled since it was still a very fitting conclusion, but there are definitely a couple of tweaks I would've made to make it feel more special:

  • At the very least, have him acknowledge his past companions! I didn't mind them not being featured in the finale, but for them to not even get mentioned (even when Latios/Latias got that honor) was ridiculous and I think without that factor it took away from what could've made the final episode much more sentimental
  • Bring up the question of becoming a Pokémon Master either much sooner in the episode, or earlier in the series period. It felt like such an afterthought that I think it would've been more appreciated if it was NOT in the initial trailers
  • More acknowledgment of Ash's victory inside his own hometown. To go from having a crowd of people cheering him on in the beginning to it being dead empty in the finale outside of the Labmons + Delia just feels.. weird?
  • Have the rest of Ash's lineup that was absent appear in some form
  • Let the TRio interact more meaningfully with Ash for the final episode; maybe something alluding to his goal? Outside of the brief motto and blast-off moments, their last encounter felt average and pretty unremarkable, which is insane after we got one of their best send-offs less than one series ago. I don't particularly feel one way or another about if they should've retired or not but I just wish their presence and impact was more felt in JN147 :confused:
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