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Ash Ketchum

8 bytes removed, 16 September
Original series
Over time, Ash's dedication to his goal paid off. After earning his first eight Badges, Ash went on to compete in the [[Indigo Plateau Conference]], advancing to the fifth round - one further than Gary - and ending up in the Top 16.
Following Ash's defeat in the Indigo League, Professor Oak asked him to travel to [[Valencia Island]] in the [[Orange Archipelago]] to retrieve the [[GS Ball]] from a [[Pokémon Professor]] named {{prof|Ivy}}. While in the Orange Archipelago, Ash learned of the [[Orange Crew]], an elite group of Trainers not unlike Gym Leaders, that provided challenges for Trainers to overcome in the [[Orange League]]. After Brock decided to stay with Professor Ivy and help her with her work, Ash and Misty were joined by an enthusiastic [[Pokémon watcher]] named [[Tracey Sketchit]]. Ash, Misty, and Tracey traversed the Orange Islands on the back of a lost {{AP|Lapras}}. Ash caught the Lapras during this time. He eventually defeated the four members of the [[Orange Crew]] and finally won the Orange League by triumphing over the [[Orange Crew Supreme Gym Leader]], {{OBP|Drake|Orange League}}. Before leaving the Orange Archipelago, Ash managed to find his Lapras's pod and [[release]]d it back into the wild. Upon returning to Pallet Town, Ash discovered that Brock had returned due to some unknown incident that left the aspiring Pokémon Breeder in dread of even hearing Professor Ivy's name. Meanwhile, Tracey stayed at [[Professor Oak's laboratory]] as Professor Oak's assistant, and Brock rejoined Ash and Misty. After his victory in the Orange League, Ash encountered Gary again, and after being defeated in a one-on-one battle, he learned that his rival had been training hard in order to participate in the [[Silver Conference]] in [[Johto]].
Excited at the prospect of meeting new Pokémon and facing Gary again, Ash and {{ashfr|friends}} left for the Johto [[region]] to collect eight Badges from the Gym Leaders in the Johto region and compete in the [[Johto League]]. Much like his travels through Kanto, Ash, Misty, and Brock impacted the many people and Pokémon they met along the way (one of them being [[Kurt]], to whom Ash delivered the GS Ball).