And you say nothing will change because of the badge quest and Pikachu. But the badge quest is fine. Pikachu is fine. Ash just had enough good development he'll ever get without a climax in mind or some aging. I mean his flawlessness was at Ritchie levels before BW and if you think about it Ash best development in a long time was during DP and DP heavily foreshadowed the champion league so there's some evidence for you there. And I think you are too liberal with the term clone I mean people say Ritchie was an Ash clone but that was because the creators wanted you to believe that Ritchie was different enough to carry his own series (if he used some pokes Ash didn't of course) he was just different in the wrong way as in his personal style WHICH HE HAD was not suited for a main character but it was different
. Every Star Trek captain was different enough every Robin was different enough every Yu-gi-oh protanginist and Digimon lead were for the most part different enough every power ranger team is different enough. He'll be different enough. Not only that but he can be the same through his characteristic but be different through relationships with other characters. He can be more reluctant to make friends but still be impulsive, he can tend to challenge people to battles to settle arguments but still like food. Even with same stuff he can be different enough. I don't want him to be replaced cause I don't like him I want him to be replaced because the route they are going there is not much the can to with him that hasn't already been done. And it not the amount of time that determines whether it is time for Ash to leave it's the story and storyline wise the time is now cause with every passing year the will be more and more reluctant to ever end his journey. What motive will they have to develop a character with an endless arc.