Posted by Nicholas Montegriffo @NicholasM
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Nicholas Montegriffo

A new Pokémon anime series has been announced, and it's set to showcase a fresh aspect of life for our hero, Ash. Pokémon Sun and Moon, a tie-in to the upcoming 3DS title of the same name, was featured in a Japanese TV magazine and reveals that our little boy Ash is growing up and taking time away from his busy schedule of catching ALL the Pokemon to... *gasp* ...go to school.

Here's a scan of the magazine in question that's been making waves on twitter. The scan has not been confirmed but declares the beginning of student life for Ash and teases the introductions of new characters:

Wait, isn't Ash, like, 10 years old?

That's right, according to the original series, Ash Ketchum embarked on his career as a Pokémon trainer at the earliest possible age, right on his tenth birthday. He's been free to work on his ambitions ever since, although given how ineffective he is most of the time, maybe a longer stay in school would've left him better off.

Obviously the Poké-verse has a much more lax attitude towards education and child autonomy than our own world. Ash does however, seem to have had a basic education, since he's been to Professor Oak's summer camp prior to becoming a Pokémon trainer. The scanned magazine wonders if Ash is aiming for graduation.

Given that Ash has actually been 10 years old throughout the (19 year old) series, this theme could actually hint at a meaningful time progression in the anime for the first time. If Ash can graduate, maybe he could even get another birthday sometime in the year. Pokémon chronology and canon for both the games and the anime and where they intersect have been notoriously screwy, leading fan theory to fill in the gaps.

Official artwork for the Alola Region
Official artwork for the Alola Region

Is that School...on the Beach?

Just like in the 3DS game, the Pokémon Sun and Moon anime series looks to be set in a tropical island landscape. It looks likely that Ash will be studying somewhere in Alola, the game's take on Hawaii. Pokémon abound in the promo image and naturally feature strongly in the game's plot. Fans following the game's development are already speculating about the mysterious Ultra Beasts, and how they might even be humans in disguise as Pokémon, a concept that has previously inspired the fandom. However sincere Ash's newfound academic interests are, I have a feeling that we're going to see a lot more Pokémon battles than study groups.

What are you most looking forward to see about Ash's school days? Teachers? Bullies? Crushes? And let's face it, who thinks he won't even last one semester before dropping out?