Pokemon Ash Ketchum's Voice Actor retires - Here's why - 1

Fans of the anime for Pokemon have been on a wild ride since the series’ protagonist finally became the very best that no one ever was. With Ash departing from the series, a lot of fans were shocked to hear the news of a certain voice actor leaving the series as well. Here’s everything you need to know about Ash Ketchum’s voice actor retiring from the Pokemon anime series. Stay with us!

Who is Ash Ketchum’s voice actor in the Pokemon anime?

The iconic voice behind Ash Ketchum in the Pokemon anime is Sarah Natochenny. She has been the voice of Pikachu’s Trainer for the English dub since 2006, but with Ash finally winning the highest championship, it seems we’ve seen the end of the road for this character.

Pokemon Ash Ketchum's Voice Actor retires - Here's why - 2
Image Courtesy of The Pokemon Company
  • Before we had Sarah Natochenny, the original English dub of Ash was voiced by Veronica Taylor. However, the entire English voice cast for the anime was replaced in 2006 and that was when Natochenny appeared in the picture. Although a lot of fans loved Taylor’s performance, it was Natochenny who really stuck with them.
Pokemon Ash Ketchum's Voice Actor retires - Here's why - 1
Image Courtesy of Sarah Natochenny
  • She was only 19 years old when she started being the voice actor for Ash. Because of her young age, she was truly able to embody Ash’s journey as he bloomed into the Pokemon master he is now.
  • After 16 years, all good things must come to an end. However, the fans aren’t ready to see Natochenny, Ash, and Pikachu depart from the series. It may have been a running gag that Ash is eternally 10 years old, but Ash’s departure from the series was bittersweet for the entire Pokemon community.

Why Sarah Natochenny retires as the voice behind Ash

Although there is no direct confirmation from Pokemon or Natochenny, it looks like her journey with Ash has come to an end. He finally did it. Now that Ash is the Pokemon master, there really isn’t anything else left for him to do. Speaking with The Daily Beast, she shared that she has no idea whether she will appear in future Pokemon projects.

“I’ve got no idea, obviously, [of whether I’ll be back for the next iteration of the show]. But you know, I’m very open to that. I don’t know if it’s realistic.”

In Natochenny’s response to the announcement of a new Pokemon series coming, she’s enthusiastic to see what’s coming next for fans of the series. “Cheers to new beginnings!” Natochenny says in her tweet. She also goes on to express how honored she was for being the voice of Ash Ketchum for almost 17 years.

Now that a new series has been announced, it seems Ash’s journey has come to an end. Despite this, Ash will “live forever in the hearts of many generations to come.” It’s unclear whether she’s finally retiring, but this is definitely a bittersweet goodbye for everyone who grew up with the Ash-and-Pikachu tandem.

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SOURCES: The Pokemon Company, Sarah Natochenny IMDb Page
Kath is just a small-time gamer with dreams of getting a simulator game that's like Sims 4, Stardew Valley, and Animal Crossing all rolled into one. In their spare time, Kath hosts streams with friends while playing online multiplayer games like Valorant and Call of Duty. There isn't any type of game Kath shies away from... except if it's a horror game. Make Kath choose between eating a ghost pepper or playing Outlast and they'll endure the pain that comes with eating a ghost pepper. At the moment, Kath is getting lost in the world of Teyvat with Raiden Shogun, Zhongli, and Venti on their current team. Instead of going for the meta, Kath's main goal in Genshin Impact is to have all the Archons on her roster. Ask Kath what Genshin Impact is and prepare yourself for a very lengthy and detailed conversation about the open-world RPG. Aside from gaming, Kath also likes to dabble in playing music and some creative writing. With all of these hobbies and interests, it's a surprise Kath still gets bored from time to time.