#Pokemon, the Japanese series of games, anime, card games and merchandise, is a global giant. Last year's success of Pokemon Go saw the franchise go from strength to strength. And now, the long-running #Pokemon Anime has reached its 1000 episode. This monumental episode was aired in Japan on 13th April 2018 and it shows how far (or not so far) Ash Ketchum has come in his journey through the world of Pokemon. With that in mind, let's compare where Ash is now and what things were like at the start of his adventure.

Companions

It a standard of the anime for Ash Ketchum to travel the land with companions in tow. He is a bit like a monster catching Doctor Who in that regard.

Back in the original 1999 series, Ash started his travels alone with only #Pikachu to keep him company. However, as the show progressed he was accompanied by two Gym Leaders - Brock and Misty. Once he had bested them in battle alongside Pikachu, they each decided to travel with him and join in his adventures.

These days, Ash is at school in Pokemon Sun and Moon Ultra Adventures. Rather than Brock and Misty, Ash spends his time with fellow classmates - Lana, Kiawe, Lillie, Sophocles, and Mallow. Each of classmate has their own Pokemon and style of training. It is a long jump from the days of Brock and Misty, although it is probably about time Ash went to school.

Pokemon

Pokemon has come a long way since its original conception. Back in the day, there were 151 Pokemon. Whereas now, there are 802 without including things like Mega Evolutions and Alola Forms.

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That is a lot of new monsters for Ash to capture and train. However, there is one constant - Pikachu. No matter where Ash goes Pikachu is sure to follow. During Ash's original Kanto journey he caught the starter Pokemon from the video games, and now it is no different. Ash's team consists of the starter Pokemon Rowlet (a grass owl), and Litten (a fire cat). He also befriends and captures a few other Pokemon along the way. If you have only ever seen the original series, then you might not recognise many of the new Pokemon, but you will understand the how the different monster's elements affect their foes in battle. There might be a few new types, but the water still beats fire and fire still beats grass.

A Long Journey With Similar Sights

It might have been nearly 20 years since Ash first left Pallet Town, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at him. As he moves through the land of Pokemon he finds new friends and leaves behind old ones. There will always be new Pokemon and adventures for Ash as he continues towards his goal of being the very best.