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What would life have been like had there never been an Ash Ketchum?

owenpeterson

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Throughout the course of the series, Ash has made many friends and has traveled to many places. And it's pretty safe to say that Ash has had an impact on the lives of his family, friends, Pokemon, and even members of Team Rocket.

However, I was wondering what life would have been like for them if Ash Ketchum had never existed. If Ash was never born.

What I would like to know is how life would have been worse/better/same/etc. for the lives of Delia, Professor Oak, Gary, Misty, Brock, the TRio, Butch and Cassidy, Tracey, May, Max, Dawn, Paul, Iris, Cilan, Serena, Clemont, Bonnie, Ash's Pokemon, his friends' Pokemon, etc. And how much of an impact Ash had on their lives.

What do you think?
 

lavandula

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There probably won't be much difference for Oak, Misty, Brock and even the TRio.
TRio will just be after the person with that special Pikachu-- which can be anybody's.
Oak will still give out starters to people and lecture people, Misty and Brock will still run their gyms.

But life will probably be very different for Serena, Iris and May. (I didn't watch DP so I don't know about Dawn)
 

Hidden Mew

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The only main characters that I could say would be significantly different without Ash would be May, Dawn, Serena, Clemont and maybe Brock. Ash affected both May and Dawn's Contest quests in different ways. He was a mentor figure for them, especially for May. His battle style did rub off on May, which factored into why she left at the end of AG if I recall correctly. Ash and Dawn's training and battle styles influenced the others', so Ash played a key role in Dawn's progression throughout DP. Plus, Dawn would have been without the reassurance and support she needed during her losing streak. Serena's crush on Ash was one of the reasons why she finally decided to become a Pokemon trainer. Not wanting to be a Rhyhorn Racer was a factor too, but seeing Ash again gave her that extra push, so without Ash, she might have taken longer to become a trainer. The main impact Ash had on Brock was how he was able to leave the Gym and pursue his own dream. It's possible that another trainer would have had the same effect on his father so that he could appear and take over the Gym for Brock, but that might have taken awhile and Brock might not have changed his goal to become a Pokemon Doctor as a result of traveling through different regions with Ash.

With Clemont, he has become more confident as a result of becoming friends with Ash and traveling with him, so he'd be different without Ash. I'm almost tempted to say that Cilan's desire to leave the Gym also showed that Ash had an impact on him, but unlike with Brock, I don't think that traveling with Ash actually affected Cilan's goal in the slightest. Tracey might count though since he might not have been able to meet Professor Oak without meeting Ash first, but I don't know if that's much of an impact to the point where Ash absolutely needed to be there for Tracey to become his assistant.

Team Rocket would still be after rare Pokemon, but they wouldn't be chasing after one Pikachu unless another extra special Pikachu came along. Professor Oak would still be doing his work as a Pokemon Professor, Delia would have still been living by herself, Misty would have traveled a bit before her sisters asked her to look over the Gym and Iris would have been the same since Ash had absolutely no impact on her journey in my opinion
 

KrspaceT

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I have to wonder if Mewtwo would have blown the world up without Ash.

In fact, there was some talk over on Spacebattles about it. To quote the author of Ashes of the Past....

(by movie number - worst case/best case. Each case assuming that the previous ones did not go wrong as specified.)
1) Mewtwo kills everyone except clones / Mew stops him, probably by killing him
2) Global climate collapse / Lugia blows the Hikokyu to bits once all three Birds captured, resulting in gradual decline
3) Unown crystal covers the planet / Molly eventually makes it stop
4) Time paradox, world goes bye bye / ...no, there's no getting around this one. The best case is a less severe time paradox.
5) Annie and Oakley take over the world / The Soul Dew implodes, everyone in Altomare dies in a tsunami.
6) Groudon Eats Everything / Butler manages to stop the Groudon with another wish from Jirachi
7) Rayquaza is killed / destruction of the city
Scuffle of Legends) World reverts to Hadean epoch / Rayquaza stops them fighting (but see worst case for 7)
8) Tree of Beginning dies / Nothing whatsoever.
9) Captain Phantom does unspecified evil things with Manaphy / Manaphy manages to escape
10) Dialga, Palkia and Darkrai die, universe obliterated / Dialga, Palkia or Darkrai die, universe possibly not obliterated
11) Zero destroys the planet by damaging the Reverse World / Giratina trapped in Reverse World
12) ABSOLUTELY HUGE TIME PARADOX / Arceus destroys humanity
That Thing With Cyrus) Cyrus' new world destroys the old one or sucks it into a black hole / Cyrus gets nowhere because Dialga, Palkia or both are dead
13) Another Time Paradox / Criminal with clairvoyance continues
14) Dragonforce kills everyone in the Vale / Dragonforce only does severe damage
15) Swords of Justice trapped, Keldeo dead / Kyurem beats up Keldeo and leaves
Meloetta) Team Rocket Rules The World / The Three Kami kill Giovanni
16) City destroyed by Genesect / Mewtwo kills the Genesect and leaves
17) Yveltal goes on rampage / Diancie caught by Steel family
 

Jersey Jimmy

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I have to wonder if Mewtwo would have blown the world up without Ash.

In fact, there was some talk over on Spacebattles about it. To quote the author of Ashes of the Past....

(by movie number - worst case/best case. Each case assuming that the previous ones did not go wrong as specified.)
1) Mewtwo kills everyone except clones / Mew stops him, probably by killing him
2) Global climate collapse / Lugia blows the Hikokyu to bits once all three Birds captured, resulting in gradual decline
3) Unown crystal covers the planet / Molly eventually makes it stop
4) Time paradox, world goes bye bye / ...no, there's no getting around this one. The best case is a less severe time paradox.
5) Annie and Oakley take over the world / The Soul Dew implodes, everyone in Altomare dies in a tsunami.
6) Groudon Eats Everything / Butler manages to stop the Groudon with another wish from Jirachi
7) Rayquaza is killed / destruction of the city
Scuffle of Legends) World reverts to Hadean epoch / Rayquaza stops them fighting (but see worst case for 7)
8) Tree of Beginning dies / Nothing whatsoever.
9) Captain Phantom does unspecified evil things with Manaphy / Manaphy manages to escape
10) Dialga, Palkia and Darkrai die, universe obliterated / Dialga, Palkia or Darkrai die, universe possibly not obliterated
11) Zero destroys the planet by damaging the Reverse World / Giratina trapped in Reverse World
12) ABSOLUTELY HUGE TIME PARADOX / Arceus destroys humanity
That Thing With Cyrus) Cyrus' new world destroys the old one or sucks it into a black hole / Cyrus gets nowhere because Dialga, Palkia or both are dead
13) Another Time Paradox / Criminal with clairvoyance continues
14) Dragonforce kills everyone in the Vale / Dragonforce only does severe damage
15) Swords of Justice trapped, Keldeo dead / Kyurem beats up Keldeo and leaves
Meloetta) Team Rocket Rules The World / The Three Kami kill Giovanni
16) City destroyed by Genesect / Mewtwo kills the Genesect and leaves
17) Yveltal goes on rampage / Diancie caught by Steel family

This sounds about right. Remember, in pretty much every movie, Ash and his buddies save the world. If Ash didn't exist, nothing beyond mid-Kanto would have ever happened.
 

CrystaI

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Advice in advance: Take it with a grain of salt.

Misty:
Misty would had not met Ash in Route 1, her bicycle wouldn't get burnt by Pikachu, she would continue her dream of becoming the Water Pokemon Master on her own way, wouldn't forced to go back to Cerulean Gym seeing her three sisters she grew sick of due to some twerp wanting to compete in this gym. Then after a year or so later when Misty thought she had travel enough and wanted to revisit her home on a whim, she noticed the Cerulean Gym had closed down (or changed its leader), because her three sisters are so incompetent being a trainer, using the gym as a recreation facility rather than pokemon battle facility giving off training sessions to newbie trainers, even if there were trainers coming for challenges they simply just give off badges. Now the three sisters needed to do different part-time jobs in order to pay the rental of the small flat they are living in and also support their daily expenses. They were no more the idol swimmers where in the past people called them "The Cerulean Mermaids", they were no more pokemon trainers like Misty is now, but they became much more independent and no more idle away their life. Though, when they saw Misty coming back, the immediate thought pop up in their head was there comes a free housemaid, we can go on vacation! Misty got upset, leave home for good and vow to never come back for these three idlers...... :p
Brock:
Brock wouldn't faced Ash in the first place, and he would continue to be the Pewter Gym Leader until one of his brother is old and experienced enough to take his place. Flint would still reveal himself in front of his family, but just not in such early stage. Probably in one day when Brock on his way going back to the gym from supermarket, he noticed a rock-selling old man in the side which somehow catches his attention. That old man notice Brock, immediately getting nervous and turn away his eye from him. At first Brock was not minding about this issue, so he just walk away. But one day a powerful challenger appeared which shatter the body of Onix, where it requires a large rock to replace its broken body. Brock remember that rock-selling old man, so he went to ask for his help, which then accidentally found out that old man is his escapted father. Flint was ashamed for hiding his identity for so long, but Brock immediately forgives him and ask for his help in order to save his pokemon. There Flint can finally return home not being blamed for abandoned his family, and Brock also reveal his dream of wanting to be a breeder than gym leader, where Flint gladly took the family responsibility for redeeming such long abandonment, and Brock finally leaving Pewter Gym and set himself on a journey......
Gary:
Gary then didn't have a rival from the very start, he then didn't have someone whom he can humiliate for fun. He would continue his badge quest just like how it was, losing the Kanto League but then aimed for Johto League, but this time probably he would be the champion, if not then at least rank higher than it was. He grew much wiser due to the lose in Kanto League, and after finish challenging the Johto League regardless of the result, he confess to his grandfather what he learned through his journey, saying being Pokemon Trainer is not what he wanted to do for his life. He would become Pokemon Researcher just like his grandfather, case closed.
Professor Oak:
Professor Oak...... Nothing changes because he didn't depend on Ash for anything, as Ash is not his assistant nor research sample nor family member nor someone important. There then just didn't exist the trouble of waiting for a late-coming newbie trainer on that morning of distributing starters, and there would also be no more trouble of taking care of +50 extra pokemons in his lab.
Team Rocket:
TRio would continue being the notorious criminal hunted by all Officer Jenny as portrayed in the wanted poster of EP002, they will be much more competent as they were now because they are not blind by the power of one single super-charged rat. Their continuous hunting for large amounts of pokemons from here and there received high appraisal from Giovanni, where they were promoted to be admins of the organization. Butch and Cassidy became jealous, so they planned to get rid of these two ultimate rival of them by making use of the police. But plans were backfired, where Officer Jenny found out the headquarter of Team Rocket, many admins and grunts were arrested, organization dissolved. Giovanni was not found, he escaped before being arrest, vow to bring back the organization in the near future......
Tracey:
Tracey wouldn't met Ash in the first place, so he didn't have a guide lead him to his admiring Professor Oak in Kanto. But that doesn't matter, because one can always found it out very easily in the internet. Especially for a super famous honourable professor known for many noteworthy pokemon researches, it would be rather difficult to be not famous. Supposed Tracey was really intended to meet Professor Oak even before he met Ash, then probably he would go visit Professor Ivy. After a short stay for collecting information, he headed to Kanto on his own, arrived in Prof.Oak's lab, and became his assistant, period.
May:
In May's case, she would still continue her journey even without Ash and Brock aside, just with the difference of her bike wouldn't be burnt to charcoal. After knewing contest, she would then changes her goal to become pokemon coordinator. But because there is no Ash and Brock, she had much higher difficulty in reaching her goal as there is no mentor. Though Max is wise and can provide some advice, but then still she would had difficulty in getting along with her brother in the beginning. After her first contest lost, she realized her lack of experience, hence wanted to take apprenticeship of some veteran coordinator, where there she set her eyes on Solidad. Solidad gladly help her out and provide as much advice as possible. After many trials and failures, May became top pokemon coordinator that even surpass her mentor. Congratulations.
Dawn:
For Dawn, nothing different again, as her goal was already fixed right from the start, and she always had a clear picture of what is needed to be done. The only difference would then be her bike was not destroyed, and didn't have Aipom traded from Ash. But even without help from Ash and Aipom, Dawn would certainly found an alternative way to win contest, as she always show self-confidence in whatever things she participated. She would still become the top coordinator that even surpass May.
Paul:
Paul would have not had a passionate fool proposing an one-sided rivalry. His battle record will just be a little lower deducting Ash's matches. His personality wouldn't have much large impact even Ash didn't exist in the first place, because then oppositely he would learn about love from other veteran trainers which he give respects to. So at the end, Paul would still grew in the exact same manner as it was, just may be it would took longer as there doesn't exist an idiot which will dare to scold at him for his ruthless attitude toward pokemon.
Iris + Cilan:
Well, these two wouldn't change much, because they were subjected to anytime traveling as long as they wished to go on a journey, regardless of there exist a non-native foreigner interesting to tag along or not. Besides, their reason of travelling were in fact had nothing to do with the existence of Ash. So whether Ash Ketchum exist or not, they will still do their own works of being gym leader or not, and they will still set out to go to journey as long as they feel the necessity for a journey (especially in Cilan's case).
Serena:
Amourshippers wouldn't exist in the first place. There didn't came a boy bring her back to the camp during the Summer Camp in her youth, instead it would be Prof.Oak or other kids found her in the nearby forest when they realized Serena went disappearing from the camp. She didn't have a princess-saving knight which she grew an attachment with.
Then in the present time, she would then continue training for being a Rhyhorn racer, but soon grew sick of such unwanted training sessions forced by her mother. But without another goal at that moment, despite she continued to complain, she still continued the Rhyhorn riding training sessions. Until one day, she realized in order to escape from her mother, she need to have another fixed goal for her own life. So she left home for a goal-searching journey, tried many different things in order to look for something she would devote all her passions into it, where then she found out Pokemon Showcases. There started her dream of becoming the top Pokemon performer......
Ash's Pikachu:
Either became someone else's handheld pokemon, or being released back to wild by Prof.Oak. What more do you expect for a pokemon?
At last, my comment:
Ash Ketchum was in fact not such an important person as suggested by so many audience, both from in-universe viewpoint and out-of-fourth-wall viewpoint IMO. Lifes of everyone will still goes on without Ash Ketchum, everyone will still aiming at each own dreams without Ash on the side. Ash Ketchum in fact didn't contribute a large significant part in anyone's life, he was not that important as so many people suggested.

P.S. I would not discuss about the impact he would had on in the movies, as every single movies had their plot made to be Ash saving the world from world-destroying catastrophe, so they were all made to center around Ash. Withoug Ash, the plot of the movies will not work at the very first place.
 

pokemon fan 132

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Ash left impact on most traveling companion he met on journey changing their lives from core. For some more, for some less but its questionable if many of his friends would defeat their inner demons(fears, selfesteem issues, insecurities or anxiety), meet all kind of powerful traners, discover new pokemon and tournaments which helped define what they want to do in life ad how to achieve their dreams.,

If it wasnt for Ash.

Take Brock for example: Because of meeting Ash and seeing in him restless spirit and enthusiasm in stubbornly pursuing dream of becoming pokemon master. Gace Brock required inducement to reconsider his sitiuation and go on journey to pursue his for long time desired dream of becoming top breeder. Not wanting to be gym leader and evntually coming to realize in what way he would be of best help for pokemon and learning about alternate ways to extract pokemon inner qualitiues on surface.

Misty: before meeting Ash she was full of supressed anger, frustration, fears and disappointment. Having bad childhood where she never experienced parental love and care, living in shadow of three egocentric sisters. Had no friends and wandered around fishing in random lakes.

This changed after meeting Ash who burned her bike and prompted to go on adenture allowing her to see world, all kind of new unique water pokemon she had no idea to exist. Enter all kind of competitions.
Meet several water trainers, her rolemodel E4 Lorelei dreaming seeing her in person,. Find out about Whirl Cup and how there exist prestigue competitions, places to gather water trainers and tasks she can fuflfill advancing her dream of becoming water pokemon master.

This helped her more in reaching dreams than gym position ever did in reality.

Most of all by joining Ash on journey it gave Misty someone to rely on,; a friend. She started to open, become more considerate and confident becoming better person and discovering value of friendship starting to view world in different perspective with way she treated pokemon(like Psyduck)or people around herself .

Ash wasnt mentor to Misty or taught her how to improve as trainer, journey did. But thanks to her feelings toward Ash becoming stronger over time turning in more than friendship and their shifting relationship resulted in leaving great deal of influence on her personality growing in more mature and selfreliant person eventually. Boosting her moral and discovering her own qualities.

Tracey: thanks to Ash was able to hear about famous professor Oak and determoned his destiny to follow in life. This opened doors to Tracey in meeting someone he respects so much fulfiling his dream of becoming Oak assistant(actually Tracey is the only main character who accomplished his dream).

May: Ash obviously left great deal of influence in teaching her about pokemon basics. How to catch pokemon, train them and develop good counter mrasures and strategies when utilizing them in battle. Giving her helping hand and support in realizing what she wants to do in life and how to achieve it.

Although it was double edged word with May style in contests starting to emulate Ash way of battling resembling more trainer like strategies than what is expected from coordinators. Beginning to work against her.

Dawn: with Dawn it was more so Ash unconditional encouragement, motivation and support that helped her to get out of deoression. Restore confidence in her abilities and selfworth as coordinator, Rather than mentorship itself.

Helping Dawn to emerge in more empowered character getting out of Johanna shadow and prove both to herself and others how she has every tool and ability required to become top coordinator,

Resulting in strong friendship between her and Ash.

Cilan: it was more that Ash on fly thinking and unorthodox weird utilization of attacks and pokemon abilities left so much impression on him. That he realized how at gym he wont be able to reach such level of innovation, finding yourself in unusual situation having to think outside the box and develop more sophisticated way of exploiting pokemon strength.

Something which helped Cilan by entering tournaments, meeting champions like Alder and Cynthia and all kind of strong trainers . With fruits of his labor showing when defeating Trip, Jenniper and Bianca or Morana.

As for Serena well Ash was pretty much main reason why she left home in first place(well one of main ones)due to borderline obsessive crush at that time and Ash confidence and strongwilled nature impacted Serena character in positive way. With talks with Ash about future and dreams(such as in Summer camp)helping her to strenghten belief in herself and realize what fulfills her as person finding dream in life she may want to strive for.

With Clemont Ash served as muse to him, inspiration. Admiring Ash bravery, compassion and lot of care expressed toward pokemon and persistence trying to look up to him and become stronger trainer. Person which has more faith in himself and selfrespet, courage and decisiviness in achieving his dreams.

Which showed to leave effect on him becoming more perceptie of his pokemon and his calls as trainer, risking life more than once in protecting Bonnie or trying to stop TR and developing stronger understanding and relationship with his pokemon(Chespin and Luxray).

Characters i left out while were able to explore pokemon world, see new places, catch new pokemon and compete in various activities building on their knowledge, skills and working toward fulfilling dreams or preparing yet to start doing so(like Max). Werent really impacted as far as im concerned by Ash in emotional sene or as trainers. Affecting their skills, resourcefulness , direction they wish to walk upon in life or ambitions they have.
 
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CrashBash

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I suppose the easiest way to answer this question is to ask what Ash did for the other characters?

BROCK: Ash essentially gave him the chance to explore Kanto (and a good deal of other regions henceforth) and allowed him to explore his dream as a Pokemon Breeder. It's something he may not have done otherwise, at least not right away.

MISTY: It's possible she might not have ever returned to her Gym (given how reluctant she was). She was travelling anyway, so she might have done the same things as in Kanto, although I doubt the Orange Islands or Johto. Also, can't help but think being around Ash helped out with her socialization, which lets face it, wasn't great. Consider how mature she is during the Hoenn arc in comparison to the Kanto arc...

TRACEY: Ash didn't really do much for him except essentially lead him to Professor Oak. That was pretty much it. And that could have happened at any time.

MAY & MAX: If I recall correctly, May had no interest in being a Pokemon Trainer when she set off. I think if Ash hadn't been there, she still wouldn't have an interest, or at the very least wouldn't have learnt about contests until much later. Not sure about Max, except possibly supporting him when he needed it.

DAWN: Unlike May, Dawn pretty much had her goals set out before she left. The only thing I can think that Ash did to help her was boost her confidence when she was feeling down. Although she likely would have been fine after a while anyway.

IRIS: The only thing I can think Ash did for Iris was, like Misty, to help with her human-socialization, albeit not completely. She certainly stopped calling Ash a "kid" every episode, be fair.

CILAN: Ash really didn't seem to do much for Cilan. He just tagged along for...reasons. Nothing he couldn't have done for any other trainer...or even just Iris.

CLEMONT & BONNIE: Well, they wouldn't be back at the gym, for one thing. We know Clemont isn't confident in his own abilities, and I think Ash encouraging him really helped him in the long run. I can't help but think he's slowly getting his self-confidence up as the time goes on. Bonnie...OK, I promised myself I wouldn't do this, but I really wish she and Ash would interact more.

SERENA: Oh geesh, where do I begin? Let's start with the obvious answer that Serena would still be stuck at home if Ash didn't exist. Heck, she probably wouldn't even like Pokemon at all. Lets face it, Ash pretty much made Serena who she is today, and helped move her towards her goal...heck, even obtaining a goal, right from the get-go.

JESSIE, JAMES & MEOWTH: Before Ash and Pikachu showed up, they were pretty much general thugs. Now they're stalkers. That blunt.

GARY: Well, he probably wouldn't have a rival. There's possibily even the chance he wouldn't mature the way he did.

PROFESSOR OAK: Ash was just another trainer. Simple as.

CASSIDY & BIFF: Pretty much had no interaction with Ash anyway, so no change. Also, I just heard someone telling me "My name is Butch!" Which is stupid, my name is Crash.

PIKACHU: Tough call. Pikachu wasn't a very well behaved Pokemon when he started with Ash, who's to say he wouldn't be the same with another rookie trainer. Can we know that that other trainer would recklessly try to save his life? One may never know.
 

owenpeterson

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I think it's a safe bet to say that if there had never been an Ash Ketchum, a number of these characters would have been far worse off. Especially Misty. Which I imagine would have resulted in such tragic circumstances. In some strange way I'd say meeting Ash practically saved her life. Gary would probably still be the egomaniac who would become Pokemon Master. Ash put his ego in check by ending his career at the Silver Conference in Johto. The TRio would probably be the top team on Team Rocket. Ash made pathetic losers out of them time and time again though that could also be as a result of the TRio's obsessive compulsive disorder. Plus a number of other things.

Ash Ketchum has had a huge impact on the lives of a number of characters in the Pokemon Anime.
 

Arceus the Dragon

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There wouldn't be a show. Ash is the only reason for the show existing in my opinion. Without him, the whole thing is pointless in my opinion.
 

Karamazov

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I think Iris would be worse off. A key part of her backstory and character was her loneliness and struggles fitting in with people outside of her village. Her journey had her outside of the village, so presumably she'd be having a hard time unless she could find people who were willing to be her friends. Hanging out with Cilan and Ash really helped her to mature as a person and learn to fit in more, imo; I could definitely see a change in her behavior since her first appearance.

Plus Axew was totally balls. As weak as it was by the end of the series, I could only imagine it would be much worse off if it didn't have sparring opponents and Scraggy to help him along. IIRC Ash and Cilan also helped her realize what's wrong with Excadrill and reconnect with it, though that was mostly Cilan. She also wouldn't have Ash's Snivy to help temper Emolga's irresponsibility and tricks.
 

Gengarzilla

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If Ash didn't exist, Cyrus would have succeeded.

That is all.
 

CrystaI

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People really like to exaggerate the importance of Ash Ketchum. Personally I don't think Ash is that important to any person. One just need to think, does there exist any other alternative way for any of the characters to grow in the exact same manner like they had met and follow Ash? Does there exist any other person that can also bring in the exact same influence to those characters?
For me, I can think of many. That's why I don't see the importance of existence of Ash Ketchum. Not only to those characters, but also for the entire Pokemon Anime as well.
 

Almonds

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Aside from Pikachu and Serena, I think it wouldn't have mattered much if Ash Ketchum existed or not. A lot of the other characters already had jobs as gym leaders or such so there probably wouldn't have been much influence.
 
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