With over 20 years and 1000 episodes under its belt, the Pokemon anime series has been full of unbelievable adventures. Ash Ketchum & Pikachu have met a ridiculous amount of friends and enemies from all over the Pokemon world, forging bonds and eventually parting ways.
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Through every adventure, though, there is one person (other than Ash) who’s seen every adventure, and that’s the narrator. Serving as the guide for the audience, the narrator usually sets the scene at the start of each episode and rounds everything off with a nice moral message at the end. A voice as synonymous with the show as the main characters, the narrator occasionally gets a fine chance to shine on their own.
10 “This Is Just The Beginning” – The End Of Episode 1
Full Quote: “This is just the beginning of the amazing adventures of Ash and Pikachu. Their journey is destined to be packed with non-stop action, millions of laughs, heart-pounding perils, and endless excitement. Together they will encounter fantastic friends, evil enemies and meet creatures beyond their wildest imagination and as their story unfolds, we’ll unlock the magic and mystery of the most wondrous place: the incredible world of Pokemon!”
The first episode of the Pokemon anime is an iconic moment in the childhoods of many Pokemon fans. It introduced us to Ash Ketchum for the very first time and established his unbreakable bond with Pikachu right out of the gate in a very emotional moment.
Sure enough, the narrator is right there alongside them to round the episode out and set the stage for the grand, never-ending journey the pair would venture on throughout the series. He talks about the action, the danger, the places, the friends, the enemies, and of course the Pokemon! There’s no better way to get started.
9 “That’s Right James” – Cheering For The Good Guys
Full Quote: “James: Drats! We just wasted this entire episode cheering for the good guys!Narrator: That’s right James.”
One of the more memorable episodes from the first series, Electric Shock Showdown, saw Ash’s Pikachu face off against the powerful Raichu owned by Lt. Surge. As well as being a heartwarming story of overcoming a stronger opponent, it marks the only time in the anime where audiences could’ve believed that Pikachu would evolve.
The choice and subsequent battle are so exciting and tense that even Team Rocket gets behind Ash & Pikachu. Admittedly, it’s only because they want Ash’s Pikachu to be worth stealing, but still. When the action is all over, the narrator signs off the episode, only for James to suddenly realize they’ve been cheering the good guys the whole time. The narrator then signs off nonchalantly, confirming James’ epiphany in a funny moment.
8 “Can’t Anyone Get My Name Right?!” – Steffen? Steven? Stuven?
Full Quote: “Narrator: …and celebrating the thrilling victory of the clubsplosion winner, Steffen.Steffen: Can’t anyone get my name right?!”
One of the several rival characters during the Black & White arch of the anime, Stephan’s strength as a trainer saw him come out victorious over Ash on several occasions. One of his quirks as a character was the inability of anyone to pronounce his name correctly.
One would think “Stephan” wasn’t a hard name to pronounce, especially with the man himself correcting them every time they got it wrong, but still, it persisted. No character was safe from falling foul to this, not even the beloved narrator, who was chided by Stephan for mispronouncing his name while signing off Commanding The Clubspolsion Crown.
7 “Life” – Life’s Greatest Mystery
Full Quote: “Narrator: Life. The great miracle, and the great mystery.Mewtwo: Who am I?Narrator: Since the beginning, humans and Pokemon alike have searched for its meaning.Mewtwo: What am I?”
The first Pokemon movie was a big event when it was released. The Pokemon franchise was growing faster than ever before, and the anime had become a hit in Eastern & Western markets alike. On top of this, it promised to reveal the secrets behind Generation 1’s most powerful Pokemon, Mewtwo.
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The narrator was able to shine for this occasion too. After giving a grand intro about the world of Pokemon (like in every movie), they ponder over the meaning of life while Mewtwo’s life begins. Calling it a great miracle and a great mystery, it set the stage for one of Pokemon’s most emotional stories.
6 “Announcers Never Get To Have Any Fun!” – Same Old, Same Old
Full Quote: “Well this is getting to be a familiar scene. Sunny skies, balmy breezes, and our heroes drifting towards some tropical adventure. Announcers never get to have any fun!”
In over 1000 episodes, it’s unlikely that every single one will begin in a unique way. As such, the narrator can often find themselves repeating similar introductions over and over again, and it clearly gets tiring after a while.
During Ash’s adventures around the Orange Islands, the process of traveling from one island to another was very simple, riding on a Lapras. This meant that many episodes during this period started that exact way. The narrator eventually gets bored of this and laments at the familiar site before moaning that they never get to have any fun.
5 Getting Interrupted – No Respect For The Art
Full Quote: “Narrator: …as their Celestic Town journey conti-Ash: We forgot Gliscor!”
Being a narrator isn’t easy. They have to set the scene for the audience and begin and end episodes on a nice note. This is difficult at the best of times, so it’s not helpful when the characters in the very show get involved.
Be it a raucous argument, some riveting action, or a silly punchline, characters in the show are constantly interrupting the narrator while they’re talking to the audience. These interruptions usually involve some form of 4th wall break too, so at least the narrator gets a chance to scold them.
4 “Strength, Stamina And A Will Of Steel” – Ash Is Hungry
Full Quote: “Narrator: As always, Ash is determined to become a Pokemon master. And, as always, he’s ready to endure any hardship, bear any burden with strength, stamina, and a will of steel.Ash: Hungry…Need food”
At the start of the first Pokemon movie, the narrator introduced the audience to the world of Pokemon, sets the stage for Mewtwo, and then takes them to meet their heroes. The narrator sells them strong too. He talks about how Ash is ready to endure any hardship and bear any burden in as strong a way as possible.
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This would be a great introduction if Ash didn’t immediately undercut it by complaining about being hungry. Sometimes the characters just don’t appreciate the work the narrator does for them.
3 “The Circumstances Of One’s Birth Are Irrelevant” – As Relevant Now As Then
Full Quote: “I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.”
After the tear-jerking climax of the first Pokemon movie, Mewtwo – who serves as a secondary narrator for the story – ponders the meaning of life, as posed in the opening scene. In a story about Pokemon superiority and fighting amongst themselves, it was important to bring things together with a meaningful conclusion.
Mewtwo does just this, uttering words that ring as true in the modern-day as they ever did. He posits that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant and that what you do with the gift of life that’s important. A weighty message that was important for children to hear when this movie was first released and is still important for people to hear now.
2 “Ash Will Be Staying At Home Alone” – The Narrator Knows Ash Too Well
Full Quote: “…but today, it seems, Ash will be staying at home alone. This can only lead to trouble…”
Ash Ketchum may be the hero of the Pokemon anime, but he’s still very much a child. To say he was a chaotic individual would be a bit of an understatement, as Ash has a less than firm grasp on any tasks that don’t involve battling Pokemon.
Having followed his journey through seven regions, the narrator is all too aware of this fact. They note as much during the Sun & Moon series episode A Shocking Grocery Run saying that Ash being home alone can only lead to trouble. The narrator is, of course, spot-on as Ash proceeds to make a mess of the laundry, fails to cook for himself, and vomits in the house causing Pikachu to shoot off a Thunderbolt and wreck the place.
1 “…As The Journey Continues!” – A Never-Ending Adventure
One of the most iconic lines from the Pokemon anime, this phrase (or a variation on it) is said by the narrator at the end of almost every episode. This simple quote ties every episode together in a warm-feeling bow that also gets the audience anticipating the next episode.
The Pokemon anime is all about adventure and discovery, and it’s unlikely to end any time soon. This quote serves as a warm reminder that Pokemon will always be around for fans to find comfort or excitement in, and the next exciting adventure is always just around the corner.
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About The Author
(19 Articles Published)
Ryan Woodrow is a writer based in London, England. A graduate in Game Studies at Staffordshire University, he’s currently a list writer for Game Rant. In his spare time he plays video games & board games, as well as watching pro-wrestling.
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