Pokemon, the TV series, formed an important part of my childhood. Every morning at 7:00am before school, I had a permanent appointment in front of the TV where I watched Ash Ketchum and Pikachu battling some gym leader while Team Rocket got up to their usual array of shenanigans.
I still look upon those early Pokemon years very fondly, not only because it was a simpler time back then but because it could’ve all come crashing down dramatically had the head writer of the show managed to implement his original plan.
The late Takeshi Shudo was Pokemon‘s head writer during the first five or so years of the show and was instrumental in its initial success before he left. But for all the greatness he brought to the show, Shudo also wanted to end the show at its peak and had a ridiculously depressing ending in mind.
A year prior to his death in 2010, Shudo wrote a blog post detailing his original plan for Ash Ketchum, Pikachu and the show. Thanks to the translating work of Redditor NAveryW, we know that Shudo planned to end Pokemon with elderly Ash reminiscing on the good ol’ days.
However, it is then revealed that all his adventures with Pikachu, the gym battles, the Pokemon he caught and the skirmishes with Team Rocket were just figments of his imagination.
That’s right, the original plan was to end Pokemon using the old “it was just a dream” cliché. In the (translated) words of Shudo:
“It is an embellished memory of childhood. A fantasy…The imaginary creatures, Pokémon, and their adventure. Friendship. Coexistence. That is, in the real human world, something [Ash] could not possibly encounter.“
Talk about an uncharacteristically dark and lame ending for a light-hearted children’s show. Still, this idea isn’t actually too surprising when you consider Shudo wanted one of the Pokemon movies to have Pikachu become a revolutionary (via Comicbook.com) who frees his fellow creatures out of captivity before clashing with Ash at the end.
Thankfully, Shudo never got to implement his end game for Pokemon as the show proved to be so wildly popular that it made no business sense to end it just yet. With the show still currently running (and is likely to do so until the end of time), who knows if Shudo’s ending idea will ultimately rear its ugly head again at some point. But hey, stranger things have happened.
Ultimately, having the show continue on was the best move. Not did this save millions of children’s childhoods from going up in flames, it also helped save every English/writing teacher around the world from having a stroke upon realising that Pokemon, one of the biggest shows ever, ended on such a lame ending as “it was all just a dream”.