I THOUGHT I WAS PREPARED FOR THAT BUT I WAS WRONG
Say what you want about Ash. Call him a shitty trainer and compare him negatively to characters like Red because he hasn’t completed his pokedex or won a league. But this boy fucking loves his Pikachu (and all of his pokemon). He jumped off a tower to try and save his pokemon’s life—even if it meant sacrificing his own. He loves pokemon so much that he’s willing to die for them. He treats them like family, friends and partners. He’ll do anything to make them happy—even if it means letting them go and never seeing them again. He was even willing to do this for Pikachu when he thought it would be happier in the wild. Ash cares more about his pokemon than he cares about himself. He cares more about the health and happiness of his partners than winning some league title. He’ll let a pokemon go even if it means losing a vital, powerful member of his team. He loves his pokemon like family, and that’s what being a good trainer is all about.