In the sequel to the 20th Pokémon movie, Ash has the opportunity to challenge Ho-Oh after receiving an invitation from the legendary Pokémon. However, the battle between Ash and Ho-Oh was disappointingly cut short and the outcome remained ambiguous, leading to widespread disappointment among fans. The main continuity version of Ash never had a chance to challenge Ho-Oh, and the series ended without acknowledging Ho-Oh’s role in Ash’s story, making this one of the few opportunities Pokémon anime’s biggest misses.
First episode of Pokémon ends mysteriously, with Ash encountering the Pokémon known as Ho-Oh. The sighting of Ho-Oh was a good thing, as Ho-Oh would continue to appear to Ash throughout his adventures, and even though Ash and Ho-Oh in the anime never faced each other in a climactic battle, but at least one version of Ash received that opportunity.
In the main series, Ash never actually challenges Ho-Oh, only seeing it fly away from afar. However, in the 20th Pokémon movie, I Choose You!, which rebooted the series into a new sequel for its 20th anniversary, Ho-Oh didn’t just fly by; it drops a feather known as the Rainbow Wing, which is said to be an extremely rare item and is functionally an invitation for those wielding the Rainbow Wing to challenge Ho-Oh with all of their Legendary power. It.
This takes Ash’s journey in a very different direction, meeting new companions and making his way to the summit of Mt. Tensei, where Ho-Oh is waiting.
Ash’s in-movie battle with Ho-Oh is anticlimactic
While the movie builds on this alternate continuity, Ash’s battle with Ho-Oh, the actual battle, is disappointingly cut short. The only known consequence of the battle is that Ash must then take Pikachu to the Pokémon Center, something that would be true whether he won or lost. There’s certainly no indication that Ash can capture Ho-Oh or anything like that, but the situation is still completely ambiguous as to whether Ash can overcome Ho-Oh’s challenge and fight or not.
It’s a shame that the next main version of Ash never got the chance to challenge Ho-Oh. That’s what some fans were hoping would happen in the “Become a Pokémon Master” mini-series, which was supposed to be the final episode of the main season, but those episodes passed without much mention of Ho -Oh, a Pokémon seems to be very interested in Ash as it keeps appearing. If Ash had intended to get more involved with Ho-Oh, that plan would have been abandoned long ago.
So even though some versions of Ash challenged Ho-Oh, Ash fans weren’t used to watching in the anime, and even then the battle wasn’t actually shown to audiences, leading to the Disappointment spread. The film continues to end without even acknowledging Ho-Oh’s role in Ash’s story, whatever that role may be. My replacement chooses you! The continuity would continue for two more films and a television special, but it also never returned to Ho-Oh.
Ash’s lack of resolve towards Ho-Oh may be one of the reasons Pokémon anime’s biggest missed opportunity, and it’s a shame this match will never be seen by fans.
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Created by Satoshi Taijiri, Ken Sugimori, Junichi Masuda
First movie Pokemon: The First Movie
Latest movie Movie Pokémon: Secrets of the Jungle
First TV show chapter Pokemon
Airing date of the first episode April 1, 1997
Current line Pokemon
TV program) Pokemon