Ash = Rica Matsumoto. Partial responsibility for Ash's iconic status goes to the voice actress for her depiction of Ash through her voice. If she retires, then Ash should retire as well.Uh, Ash's VA can always be replaced by just some other lady. It's not all that hard for Ash. But for everyone else, it's a little different. But I don't think he will be given up now after all these years. If Ash is working for them, then they won't discard him without using him some more.15 years ago nobody thought Misty would leave the anime. Back then she was seen as the second most important character after Ash, especially since she was originally in more episodes than either Brock or Team Rocket.Originally Posted by Hidden MewBecause he's been the main character for fifteen years, never took any of the other opportunities to replace him and there's no guarantee that a risk this huge would be worth the trouble. I don't think that one needs to work for the Pokemon anime to be sure that Ash is staying for good since it's pretty obvious that they have no interest in bringing in a new main character by this point.
10 years ago people didn't think the original trio would ever split up.
7 years ago people didn't think May would be replaced by another female coordinator.
2 years ago people didn't think Brock would ever leave because he had been there for 13 years.
2 years ago people didn't think the Contests would be axed after being in the anime for 8 years.
2 years ago nobody would have ever believed Team Rocket would miss episodes after being in every single one since their debut.
Ash will have to be let go eventually, because if the anime goes on another 20 years it just makes no sense to still see Ash around. Let alone the VA possibly retiring along the way.