Game Theory: What is Ash Ketchum’s REAL Age? (Pokemon)

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Have you ever noticed how in Pokemon, Ash Ketchum has been 10 years old for a LONG TIME? Does this kid EVER AGE? If he did, how old would he REALLY be? Well Loyal Theorists, I watched EVERY EPISODE of this series to figure out how OLD Ash Ketchum is in real time!
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As much as we all laugh at ash ketcham . for not learning anything about basic . type advantages and pokemon battle . tactics his accomplishments are actually. nothing to scoff at out of all the . trainers in the kanto region he was one . of only 16 to advance to the fifth round . of the indigo plateau conference he's . won himself. 48 total gym badges he was a quarter. finalist in the johto league hoenn . league and u nova league he was the . sinnoh league semi-finalists and kalos . league finalists for a guy whose . strategy is literally pikachu shock not . effective will shock ardour ash has . bested some of the strongest trainers in . the world and yet we've still never seen . him face his most formidable opponents . puberty. [music]. [applause]. [music]. [applause]. hello internet welcome to game theory . film theory flip a coin theory haha . honestly i'm not a hundred percent sure . what falls into kind of a weird gray . area cuz it's about pokemon but it's not. about the games specifically it's about . the anime a topic that would normally go . on film theory curse you ever blurrier . lines and how we consume content in an . ever-changing digital landscape curse . you anyway since the mystery of ash's . age was something you overwhelmingly. voted to see during the last pokemon . game theory i decided to make the most . sense to put it here hopefully that's . not offensive to too many of you so ash . ketchum you know him you love him you . ship him with misty this young would-be . pokemon master has battled its way . through over half a dozen regional. leagues 20 seasons and over a thousand . episodes of televised content which is a. heck of a career for someone who doesn't . look a day over i'm not sure exactly but . he certainly doesn't look like someone . who was 10 years old back in 1997 . that being said 20 years passing in the . real world doesn't necessarily correlate . to 20 years passing on a show so we . can't really be certain of how old ash . is until today it's time to settle this . mystery once and for all . using the narrator's clues holidays . seasonal transitions and even the. ripeness of fruit we can actually . calculate just how old this plucky . prepubescent pokemon professional is. right off the bat it's important to . establish one key difference between the . anime and the video games our trainers . starting age on the second page of the. instruction manual for pokemon red and. blue we see that quote you're an 11 year . old boy living in pallet town however in . the tv show ash actually starts this . pokemon journey after reaching the age . of 10 and now that i'm 10 i can finally . get my pokemon license ten year olds can . get a beginner pokémon from professor . oak so for this analysis we'll be . focusing specifically on ash's age and . that means looking at the tv episodes . exclusively all 1020 of those tv . episodes which let me tell you is a lot . i don't know if you ever noticed that's . growing up but um this show is a bit . formulaic the other key detail we need . is the date of ash's birthday we know . that he's 10 when the show starts but he . may not be exactly 10 it's not like . everyone in pallet town suddenly decided. to coordinate the start of their pokemon. journeys around ash's birthday he could . be as young as exactly 10 years old or . as old as 10 years plus 364 days luckily . we can pin down the exact date to the . day according to takeshi sciuto chief . writer for the pokemon anime in his . novel pokemon pocket monsters the . animation vol 1 we learned that ash's . exact age when he left home was 10 years . 10 months and 10 days quote i can recall . all the past 10 years with ash 10 years . 10 months and 10 days all of the . hardships the times it was too painful . to go on this is how delia felt the day . that her only son left home end quote . and if you thought that little bit . sounded sad you should absolutely read . the part about ash's father abandoning. his family to become a failed pokemon . trainer a few pages earlier it is . shockingly depressing for a story about . a bunch of characters who are meant to . be stuffed animals eventually anyway ash . leaves home on april 1st so counting . backwards we can find that ash's . birthday is on may 22nd meaning that ash . starts his pokemon journey at age 10 but . turns 11 just a month and a half after . leaving pallet town now to save us some . time in my last episode i calculated . that ash's journey through kanto the . time between the day he meets pikachu . and the day he challenges the indigo . league is one year and three months in . other words he's had two birthdays by . the time he enters his first pokemon . championship making him twelve years old . when season 1 comes to a close if you . want any more details on that i go into . it in the previous pokemon theory link . in the icard on the upper right hand . corner of the screen or at the end of . this video after losing in the indigo . league ash spends his summer licking his. wounds in the orange islands you can . tell that this whole 36 episode arc . takes place over just a few months . because the events move quickly as they . explore small islands the weather never. really changes the whole thing is framed . as a fetch quest for the gs ball and. shortly after being crowned orange . league champ we see ash heading off to . johto in the fall . now here's where things start to get . tricky you see outside of the mainline . anime between 1999 and 2001 there was a . sub series of direct to vhs pikachu . shorts named pikachu's winter vacation. with each collection being two or three . episodes with a winter or christmas . theme because they weren't part of the . main series their place in the timeline . is actually not super clear however . since they always feature christmas day . there are single best clues to knowing . how much time is passing in the anime . and it's these episodes that allow us to . determine that the entirety of ash's . johto journey took him nearly two years . to complete let me explain in the 2000 . release of pikachu's winter vacation. episode stantler little helpers shows . ash's and misty's pokemon teaming up on . christmas eve to help santa cure his . sick stantler the pokemon we see team up . include ash's heracross and misty's . poliwag it's also important to note that . ash doesn't have a cyndaquil in his team. yet this means that the christmas day . depicted in stantler little helpers must. fall between episode 119 of the anime . where ash catches a hair across an . episode 141 where he catches a cyndaquil. the presence of misty's poliwag also . confirms this because we see poliwag. evolved into poliwhirl in the totodile . duel . episode 151 so with that being our first . winter spent in johto ash is still 12 . our next timeline clue happens . episodes later with the pichu centric . episode the apple core now at this point . in the series ash is a travelling lineup . of bulbasaur totodile chikorita pikachu . cyndaquil and his most recent addition a . shiny noctowl that he caught in episode . 150 for foul play the next major change . in his team will be chikorita evolving . into bay leaf in episode 199 current . events so why does all that matter well . first remember that jo 2 is based on the . kansai region of japan were based on. harvest calendars apples are in season . for all months except for summer so that . helps us narrow things down but to get a . precise date we have to look at . pikachu's next winter vacation in . pikachu's holiday cash-in featured the . episode delhi birds dilemma where ash's . team helps a delibird recover santa's . presence on christmas ii ash's team in . this. sowed contained a knock doll and a . chikorita meaning that pikachu's winter . vacation 2001 edition had to have been . sandwiched between catching the . knockdown and the bay leaf evolution . meaning that another birthday has passed . for ash to by episode 200 of the anime . our husky voiced pokémon master wannabe . is now 13 and that's the last time that . we see the team in a joto winter meaning . that the league challenge is being held . in march of the following year slightly . before ash's 14th birthday this leads to . the events of the advanced season . corresponding to the 3rd gen videogames . focused on the hoenn region episode 1 of . the series takes place on april 1st . as our misty replacement may gets ready . to begin her pokemon quest my dad's . friend professor birch and to get my . beginners pokemon then i can begin my . journey as a pokemon trainer and if . you're like me at this point you're . probably wondering why every new . trainers pokémon journey begins on april . 1st well it actually has to do with . japan school year according to article . 59 of the ordinance for enforcement of . the school education law . quote the school year shall start on. april 1st and end on march 31st of the . following year if you're like me right. now you're probably thinking damn school . year ends on march 31st and the new one . starts on april 1st that's brutal also . you're probably asking yourself why the . heck would they start school in april . well i dug even deeper to find that one . out apparently it's structured this way . to match the fiscal year a ka the . business year as defined by when you. have to pay taxes which runs in japan . from april to march now all of that . might seem like random trivia but . knowing this information about japanese . schools actually really helps us place . these early hoenn episodes you see in . episode 12 the lotad lotad it's warm . enough to swim in a lake but just three . episodes later gonna rule the school we . see that classes are in session so . knowing that hoenn is a more tropical. region based on kyushu a japanese island . closer to the equator we can look up the . average monthly temperatures in that . region to see when we could do some . decent swimming and then compare that to . the typical japanese school year which . takes its summer break between august . and september to altom utley conclude . that the hoenn adventure starts around. june or july . meaning that ash is now 14 and that's . where it stays for a surprise . a long time actually the hoenn arc has a . ton of episodes but we don't actually . get that many time jumps in it with each . episode adding only a day or two to the . overall journey we can actually double . check this with the episode garden of . eden number 88 where the team tries to . save a local banana harvest from a. hungry snorlax if you look closely . you'll notice that the bananas used in . this episode are slightly smaller than . you would expect and this isn't an . accident while kyushu isn't tropical . enough to really grow its own bananas . the japanese island of okinawa a bit . more south absolutely is and it's known . for growing smaller bananas known as the . shima banana it's harvested from may to . october which allows us to know that 88 . episodes into the season we're still in . the same year we actually don't hit . summer again until the battle frontier . are and we know this through of all . places - pikachu centric shorts that . aired exclusively on japanese airlines . yeah i'm not kidding about that and . serious talk here guys i know a lot of . you sometimes question my research and . yeah sure. sometimes i miss really obvious things. but between this episode and that deep . dive into korean copyright law from a . few weeks ago i hope you noticed that i . try really hard. anyway this short is titled pikachu's . summer festival and features brock's . lombre which he captures early on in the. battle frontier art we get further . support that this is indeed summer in . the pokemon anime from a second pikachu . short pikachu's ghost carnival another . of those airplane exclusives which . appears to be pikachu in the gang . celebrating the hungry ghost festival a . traditional buddhist celebration held in . asian countries like japan during the . festival which is held in august ghosts . are free to roam the earth where they . seek food and entertainment these ghosts . are believed to be the ancestors of . those who forgot to pay tribute to them . after they died or those who are never . given a proper ritual send-off and in. the short we clearly see the pokemon . putting out food for the spirits . we also clearly see ash's phanpy coming . in to the fun - who just a few episodes . later number 154 reversing charges will . evolve with this being in august once . again ash has crossed his birthday. making him drumroll please . fifteen why can't this kid ever get acne . or some awkward body hair it would make . this whole episode so much easier to do . sorry about that outburst but i'm now on . our 40 of researching this stuff . referencing episodes cross-referencing . pokemon teams analyzing day/night cycles . looking for every detail i can find and . i'm only up to season 9 of 20 40 hours . oh it's like chipping away at a giant . blog it's a good episode but it is the . most tedious process ever okay know if . you can tell right now but i'm quite . literally losing my mind so um if you'll . excuse me i have to cut it here . otherwise this thing is gonna be . literally a 40 minute long episode that . takes me three weeks just to write and . the editor is probably like a month to . edit so please do me a favor and make . this all worth it by taking a guess in . the comments as to what you think ash's . age is gonna be by the time i finish all . my research my guess is let's see we're . in season 9 of 20 i'm gonna say like 21 . we'll see anyway i'm excited to see your . guesses in the meantime i'm gonna go . take a shower because i don't shower . until i finish scripts yes i know that's . gross but it just shows you how . dedicated i am to grinding away at these . things until they're done and then i'm . gonna hop back in for another whatever . 600 episodes that i have to cover expect . part 2 of this theory out in a couple . days or at the latest next week probably . have a staff one mixed in there - since . ultimate custom nights coming out in the . new book and all that subscribe so you . don't miss anything please don't make me . feel better about all the time i've . literally sunk down the drain writing . this thing and in the meantime remember . that's just a theory a theory that was . way too aggressive - right in the middle . of iii and vidcon i need a nap ooh and a . shower first the shower . .
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