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Ash Ketchum

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Perhaps one of Ash's greatest rivalries was against [[Paul]] during his time in the [[Sinnoh]] region. On the contrary of Ash, who strongly believed in the [[Friendship|bond between Trainer and Pokémon]], Paul's only concern was with a Pokémon's strength, believing that bonding only caused them to become spoiled and unmotivated. Due to this, aside from winning the [[Sinnoh League]], Ash's biggest goal during his Sinnoh travels was to ultimately change Paul's mindset and have the latter finally acknowledge him as a Trainer worth of his attention. After a long and exhausting journey, he finally managed to accomplish this after defeating Paul at the [[Lily of the Valley Conference]], after which Paul finally recognized Ash as his rival and equal.
 
In most episodes of the anime, especially those during the {{DL|List of original series episodes|Johto League arc}}, Ash befriends someone who will influence him and cause him to strive to become a better Trainer. Although he is not a dependent individual, he is still young and has learned to make his way relying on his friends, particularly the maternal skills of {{an|Brock}}. The honor of "best friend" is usually reserved for Pikachu, but Ash has come to see his closest human friends in the same light over time; using the term for {{an|Misty}} and Brock in ''[[EP273|Gotta Catch Ya Later!]]'' as well as {{an|May}} and [[Max]] in ''[[AG178|Battling the Enemy Within]]''. Also, Ash is even a role model to many people as they look up to him for various reasons.
 
Ash has changed a great deal throughout the series, particularly in regards to his skill at [[Pokémon training]], but his earnestness, rashness, and determination have remained. Never straying from his goal, he has remained loyal to his friends, family, and supporters, but most of all his Pokémon. Ash became a great Trainer by learning to find and use the inner strength of each of his Pokémon by bonding with them. For example, when he received a banner filled with prints from his Pokémon in ''[[AG187|The Unbeatable Lightness of Seeing!]]'', he knew which Pokémon placed specific prints, showing his close bond with them. He also learns where their hidden abilities lie, as well as resorting to unorthodox strategies when fighting particularly challenging opponents. For example, he uses his Pikachu's speed to outmaneuver larger foes and attack. In another instance, his {{AP|Charizard}} defeated [[Gary's Blastoise]] by causing the field to overheat before mounting a close-quarters attack while Blastoise was blinded by the steam. He also prefers to train a Pokémon to be the best it can without forcing it to [[Evolution|evolve]], as evidenced by his treatment of {{AP|Gligar}} in ''[[DP085|Fighting Fear With Fear!]]''. He is happy when his Pokémon evolve but lets them choose whether or not they want to evolve instead of forcing them.
 
Early on, Ash originally trained not to further himself but instead to catch more Pokémon than Gary, a feat that he never accomplished. Ash later slowed his pace, which allowed him to focus on the individual traits of each Pokémon. At the [[Silver Conference]], with great humility and maturity, Ash finally won a battle against his old rival, signifying a great milestone in his history as a Trainer. His maturity has also increased in his dealings with Pokémon. This was shown when {{AP|a Mankey|Primeape}} stole his {{AP|hat}} in ''[[EP025|Primeape Goes Bananas]]'', he screamed and yelled at it, even climbing trees just to get his hat back, but when an {{AP|Aipom}} did the same in ''[[AG179|Slaking Kong]]'', he stated merely that he would feel strange without a hat. When Aipom stole his hat again on several future occasions, however, while she was under his ownership, he chased after her in the same manner as before, most likely out of exasperation that she still hadn't learned her lesson.
 
Ash's biggest fear is losing anyone closes to him, his friends, love ones, and Pokémon. Ever since the events of ''[[AG089|A Scare to Remember!]]'', Ash's fear worsen as he doesn't wish to lose his Pokémon family the same way he almost lost Pikachu but is more scare of them leaving him for not being strong enough or didn't meet their expectation. Due to his fear, Ash sometimes doubts his Pokémon abilities which not only effects his faith in them but also his trust as well. Ash has shown to have nightmares about his Pokémon family leaving him, as shown in ''[[XY116|The Synchronicity Test!]]'', as he could't move his body due to being shook up with fear. Despite this, Ash tired many times to let go of his fears but could't. At first, Ash didn't take his fear as a issue to his battling or his bond with his Pokémon. However, during the events in ''[[XY119|A Full Strength Battle Surprise!]]'', Ash started to question his fears but at the time he was unaware of how far he was letting them get the better of him, until the events in ''[[XY120|the next episode]]'' when the [[Snowbelle City]] Gym Leader [[Wulfric]] hinted to him after losing to him. Realizing this and for not doing something about the situation sooner, Ash left all by himself in shame for not only how he did in the battle but also for letting his fear get the better of him. Towards the end of ''All Hail the Ice Battlefield'' and in ''[[XY121|the following episode]]'', Ash went through in identity crisis and nearly lost himself if not for {{an|Serena}} reminding him of who he is. After being reminded of who he is and why he became a Pokémon Trainer, Ash gotten over his fears of losing his Pokémon family as he realizes that no matter what they will always be there for him even when he's apart from them. However, Ash has shown to still have his fear of losing anyone closes to him but it wasn't bad as it was, as shown during the events of ''[[SM077|Guiding an Awaking!]]" when he doubted his {{AP|Lycanroc}} ability to control his red-eye state. Although, Ash realized his mistake and made amends with Lycanroc for his actions, which show that he has been working hard to not let fear get the better of him.
 
Ash has traversed much of the [[Pokémon world]] and has thus far participated in various [[Pokémon League Conference]]s, but he is still learning new things about Pokémon all the time. He has also gained a close connection with many {{pkmn2|Legendary}} and [[Mythical Pokémon]], such as the ones who played major roles in the {{pkmn|movies}}. In the English dub [[M02|second movie]], he was revealed to be "The Chosen One" - the one who would bring balance back to the world when it was disrupted.
<!--Only confirmed genders are listed. Half-confirmed genders, such as dub only, do not count.-->
[[File:Ash Party SM.png|thumb|left|280px|Ash's [[Alola]] party prior to ''[[SM141|Exhibition Unmasked!]]'']]
[[File:Ash with his Pokémon.png|thumb|280px|Ash with all his Pokémon as of ''[[BW142|The Dream Continues!]]'' (excluding {{AP|Squirtle}}, {{AP|Primeape}}, and {{AP|Mr. MimePrimeape}}) at Professor Oak's lab]]
[[File:Ash Kalos Team.png|thumb|280px|Ash with all his [[Kalos]] Pokémon]]
As a Trainer, Ash has {{pkmn2|caught}} and [[Friendship|befriended]] a sizable number of Pokémon throughout the anime. His philosophy on {{pkmn|training}} is that Pokémon are individuals and that a combination of trust, friendship, and hard work are needed to overcome adversity. Several of Ash's Pokémon were caught because they allowed him to after he befriended them. He seems to {{pkmn|battle}} best with Pokémon that are similar to Pikachu: ones that are [[Appendix:Metagame terminology#Sweeper|speedy and maneuverable, yet able to perform high-powered attacks]]; however, he is willing to work with any Pokémon that comes into his care.
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