The Most Recent Episode Of Pokemon Proves That Goh Is Just Better Than Ash
Two weeks ago, Goh managed to snag himself a Suicune in the Pokemon anime. Yes, that Suicune. This makes Goh the first protagonist in history to have officially caught a Legendary Pokemon.
I don’t mean to take too much away from Ash. Strictly speaking, he’s owned a Legendary Pokemon as well, although he didn’t necessarily catch it. While Ash was on his way to Pokemon School in Alola, Tapu Koko appeared and escorted him to where a tiny Cosmoem was sleeping. Ash picked up the baby Pokemon and brought it with him, gradually growing close to it and nicknaming it Nebby (well, Lillie called it that). After several adventures involving space, wormholes, and light-devouring Pokemon who literally want to consume the little ‘mon, Nebby – now a Solgaleo – eventually says “smell ya later!” to Ash.
Goh, on the other hand, actually catches Suicune, a non-evolving Legendary Pokemon who isn’t just a tiny baby having a little nap when he encounters it. In fact, Ash actually tried – and failed – to catch Suicune 22 years ago. Since then, several other people have had similarly unsuccessful attempts to catch the Legendary Beast, but it appears to have seen something special in Goh, even shrugging off his attempts to release it. “Nah, you’re alright,” Suicune would say if it could talk. “I’m going to stick around anyway so stop wasting time – let’s get a move on.”
I think the fact that Suicune clearly respects Goh is enough to prove that he’s a great trainer on its own. Ash has had a few run-ins with Legendaries, mind, primarily in the movies. Admittedly, he usually leaves a pretty good impression on them – after he gets resurrected in the first movie, Mewtwo even feels bad for killing him! But the only one who comes close to treating Ash the way Suicune treats Goh is Nebby, who is literally a screaming baby at the time. As in, it emits an immensely high-pitched scream whenever it cries, which is all the time, and decides to teleport Ash and his friends to very precarious places whenever it gets cranky. It’s like telling a kid, “OK, that’s enough chocolate,” but instead of them having a little sulk like an ordinary child, they teleport you to the top of the Eiffel Tower – and I mean the pointy bit at the very top, not the fancy viewing deck people go to on their honeymoons.
Actually, come to think of it, Ash literally tells Nebby to stop eating sugar in one episode, at which point Nebby – you guessed it – teleports itself away to steal more sugar where Ash can’t tell it what to do. It’s like being a regular person but your seven-year-old child is God.
Anyway, aside from the circumstances differing between how Ash meets Nebby and how Goh catches Suicune, another key factor in Goh being better has to do with the most recent episode: he’s already gone and caught another Pokemon, the legend.
The most recent episode of the anime, titled, “The Tale of You and Me in Luminous Maze Forest,” sees Ash, Goh, and Chloe encounter Opal for the first time. If you’ve played Pokemon Sword & Shield, you’ll likely recognize Opal as Ballonlea’s Gym Leader. You’ll also probably remember that you need to pass through Glimwood Tangle – the best designed area in any Pokemon game to date, don’t @ me – to reach the strange fairy town, at which point you encounter several of Galar’s indigenous Fairy-types in the wild for the first time.
In today’s episode, which aired in Japan just a few hours ago, Goh catches a Morelull. To be completely honest, I expected him to catch an Impidimp or a Morgrem – with Suicune on his team, I reckoned Goh was definitely going to nab himself a Grimmsnarl. Instead, he decides to send his Cinderace after a wild Morelull, who he then catches, for a reason I sort of understand but also… why, Goh? (If you like Pearl Jam, please read that in Eddie Vedder’s voice)
Morelull isn’t awful. It evolves into Shiinotic, but to be honest, even Shiinotic isn’t great. Still, the fact Goh is catching Pokemon left and right says a lot. Remember, these trainers are supposed to be filling their Pokedex up as well. I mean, Ash hasn’t even managed to catch 100 out of the 898 Pokemon currently known to exist, and that’s including the full herd of 30 Tauros he has in Professor Oak’s lab. He’s absolute crap.
My point is that Goh is catching Legendary Pokemon for his team, but also remembering to pick up a few painstakingly average Pokemon to fill out his Pokedex. That’s a pretty good way to balance being a trainer – it’s almost as if there’s a reason Suicune acknowledges him and not Ash!
Also, the description for next week’s episode lists Goh’s Scyther on the character sheet, so you can expect to see that returning for one reason or another. Given Goh’s track record recently, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw his Scyther become a Scizor soon enough. Before we know it, Goh is going to be even more OP than Tobias.
So yeah – recognized and approved of by a Legendary? Actually catching Pokemon? Taking Pokemon out of storage to keep them trained up instead of sealing them away for 20 years? Goh is miles better than Ash, and it seems as if this entire season is devoted to proving that. So far, it’s doing a pretty good job.
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Cian Maher is the Lead Features Editor at TheGamer. He’s also had work published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Verge, Vice, Wired, and more. You can find him on Twitter @cianmaher0.
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