Guys, keep on the topic of whether or not Ash should be replaced. Unless it's relevant to the topic, talk about the show's advertisement or dub complaints don't belong in this debate.
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But advertisement is at the crux of this issue. Ash is an obsolete advertisement, and from a corporate point of view, the strongest point in favor of retiring him is new advertising for B2W2 or Gen VI. If anything, if he goes it will be solely because of advertisement purposes, but only if the execs think that a new character would provide better advertising- which I do, and others don't.
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At this point in time, I think Ash and to an extent Pikachu stand a good chance of being replaced.
Hope it doesn't get off-topic, but back then, Pikachu and Ash were used to advertise not only the games, but the TCG, Movies, Action Figures, And whatnot since the target audience was mostly made up of young kids who didn't have access to a computer, and would likely buy anything with Pokemon on it.
Today, I hardly find them beind used to advertise anymore. Heck, I bought Pokemon RSE/DPPT/SS because of pokemon itself, not because they didn't have ash or pikachu in it..
Its time for a clean slate.
I still think that it is far too late to replace Ash. He's been around for fifteen years. I don't think I've heard of a show that had a main lead for that long and then replaced him or her with someone new. Replacing some of, or all of, his friends with each series and even the idea that Team Rocket are going to leave isn't really on the same level of getting rid of Ash. They aren't the main stars and the story isn't focused primarily on their journeys, so just because they replaced those characters doesn't really mean that they would do the same thing with Ash.
yes remove him replace with the protagonist of gen VI
Story and plot doesn't revolve around them.
Only Ash is driving force of entire series , main star with whole plot of anime revolving around his journey of becoming pokemon master. He is main source of money becoming so iconic and integrated into show along with Pikachu that those two alone created brand around themselves with fans associating pokemon with it.
Replacing supporting character is one thing, but when someone becomes anime mascot and icon is time when he becomes vital asset to some show not being possible to replace him easily at all.
Fact that he survived transition to BW format which can be annotated as "semi reboot"by some standards should be indication how writers and producers don't plan on replacing him any time soon.
After such long time there is simply no point in getting rid of Ash, especially when he proved to be successful and likeable among new generation bringing money, charisma and popularity.
It would be reckless and bad move to replace Ash who has been driving force of anime for past 15 years, with people underestimating how popular and iconic to audience he really is with complete overhaul doing nothing but ruining positive image pokemon series established about themselves, and turning away audience from anime.
Considering pokemon would lose its representative and main mascot which stands out for pokemon show, with new protagonist lacking such attributes not having stamina, same promotional value and recognizability to bring new viewers toward anime like established protagonist does.
Like a lot of people have said about Satoshi and Pikachu, if they were to ever be replaced, it would bring down the marketing big time. These characters are part of a legacy that could be an ideal goal to last for a century. Walt Disney, Hanna Barbara, and the Warner Bros. have kept their famous characters for decades and soon going to a century. The Pokemon anime could possibly try to become a life-long legend that will never die. I still see people obsessing over the Looney Tunes, Disney, and Scooby Doo even though their are a lot of changes to their new adaptions. Even super hero shows are becoming a hit to not just children but to all ages. I feel that Pokemon is trying to have that goal for their anime and replacing a character like Satoshi and Pikachu could disrupt how their show will prevail in the long run. If they were to ever have a hint of a change for the better of the anime viewer-wise, they should still keep the ideal goal for Satoshi and Pikachu but add more development to him and the story. There are going to be sagas that are going to get less views and popularity and sometimes greater, that's just how long-running shows have been working for the longest time.
In my opinion, I would like to show some aging in Satoshi's character like in the DP series. I want the writers to take a risk and make a few changes here and there to see whether it becomes a hit or not. I know for sure that the gaming franchise keeps getting better each time, but as for the anime, I suggest they step up their ways on development while adding new material. I saw that right after DP ended, BW wasn't doing well in a lot of gym battles, character development, and a sudden change to Satoshi's character. If the writers were to make their new saga better than the former one, they should still keep the maturity in Satoshi, the developments in battling, and how characters are handled while adding their new animation, story arcs, and franchise.
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I don't support character replacements, but it seems the writers can only bring disgrace to him these days (and I'm not ONLY talking about BW), so yes, he should. Even if the new character turns out to be nothing more than Ash 2.0, at least it's not disgracing Ash anymore, right? Sadly, he's nothing more than a marketing tool now, so it's not happening :(
Maybe they could end his story but what will they do if they decide to continue the Anime.
I think it's time. They are having him re-pokedex things like Sunflora, and Team Rocket don't recognize a major partner of theirs from last season. Continuity sort of died at some point. Pikachu vs Latios was kind of the peak of Ash's journey in a way. Now there is nothing that is really making him "Ash". There are certain things that are just missing now, like Delia, his quirky relationship with TR, and honestly, people like Brock that tie him to the beginning of his journey. Now he is just some traveling mannequin that gets transplanted in new regions with nothing tying him down to anything.