Ash and Pikachu

Ash vs Cynthia showdown in Pokemon Journeys has fans abuzz

By Steven Rondina


Jul 22, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

The Pokemon Journeys anime is set to host possibly the biggest battle in its history with Ash vs Cynthia in the World Coronation Series’ Masters Tournament.

Pokemon Journeys introduces a novel, but long-needed concept to the Pokemon anime. While Ash has long sought to become a Pokemon Master, it’s never actually explicitly stated what that accomplishment means. With the Pokemon anime going on 25 years, the complete lack of a defined goal has long left the cast spinning its wheels.

That changes in Pokemon Journeys. The 23rd season of the show introduces the World Coronation Series, a global ranking system for trainers around the world that includes past rivals, gym leaders, and even regional champions. The top dog of the World Coronation Series at the start of the series is Galarian champion Leon.

In Journeys, Ash focuses on climbing the ranks in the World Coronation Series while new partner Goh looks to capture as many Pokemon as possible. Ash eventually reaches eighth place in the rankings, which puts him into the Masters Tournament opposite league champions and major characters including Cynthia.

Ash vs Cynthia set to happen in Pokemon Journeys

Ash vs Cynthia is set to happen in the Masters Tournament. The tournament includes a total of six regional champions, Ash, and Alain. Alain was a major character in the Pokemon XY anime whose signature Pokemon is a Mega Charizard X.

The lineup of matches in opening round of the Masters Tournament includes:

  • Leon vs Alain
  • Lance vs Diantha
  • Cynthia vs Iris
  • Ash vs Steven
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Ash and Cynthia both advance out of the quarterfinals and are set to face off in the semifinals for a spot in the grand finals. The match has enormous stakes in the overall Pokemon mythos, with Cynthia basically being defined as an unstoppable champion and Ash generally being defined by his inability to complete his vague mission.

Ash may not be main character after Pokemon Journeys’ Masters Tournament

Pokemon fans have discussed removing Ash as the main character of the anime for some time now, with many growing tired of the eternal tween. Despite that, he keeps coming back in each series with a new sidekick in tow. 

That goal of becoming a Pokemon Master has apparently eluded him despite previously winning a major championship, winning the Alola League during the Sun and Moon anime. Though the qualifications of a Pokemon Master remain nebulous, potentially defeating three in a row to win a tournament dubbed the “Masters Tournament” would surely qualify.

Finally becoming a Pokemon Master would essentially end Ash’s character journey and leave him with nowhere to go. Pokemon has rolled out a number of animations on its YouTube channel that don’t follow Ash. That could be a taste of things to come.