Veronica Taylor reflects on role as Ash Ketchum in original Pokemon series: “Honor of my life”

Veronica Taylor PokemonThe Pokemon Company

Veronica Taylor, best known for her work as Ash Ketchum from the first eight seasons of the Pokemon anime series, spoke with Dexerto about what it was like playing the role, how fans still come up to her and chat to her about it all these years later, and how she reacted when finding out that the iconic show would finally be coming to an end.

In the year 2023, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single person in the world who hasn’t at least heard of Pokemon.

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Between the hit anime series, beloved video game releases, and more, the Nintendo behemoth has become one of the most recognizable and beloved franchises of all time.

During an exclusive interview with Dexerto at Melbourne Supanova, voice actor Veronica Taylor detailed what it was like playing main character Ash during the initial run of the series and how even 20 years later she is still recognized for the role.

Veronica Taylor on voicing Ash during the early seasons of the Pokemon anime

Like all great things, Pokemon started from humble beginnings. While it is now one of the biggest anime franchises of all time, Pokemon started off as a much smaller project. To see it grow into a global phenomenon is something that Taylor never takes for granted.

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“It’s amazing,” Taylor began with a smile. “I have had the luxury, I have seen people from 2002 through the years and even today. Last week a girl brought in a picture of herself and she was four.” Meeting again all these years later, while still cherishing that memory, is what Taylor described as the “great honor of [her] life.”

Adding to this, Taylor discussed how when she first started working on Pokemon, she had no idea the kind of reach or longevity it would have, nor the universal love the whole world would come to develop for Ash and company.

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“It’s a testament to how you never know where or how far your work can reach, your actions can reach. It’s the reason to give your all in everything you do because who would have known all these years later we’d still be talking about the first ever episode of Pokemon?”

Why Veronica Taylor thinks Pokemon is so beloved around the globe

When asked what it is about Pokemon that she thinks has been able to connect with so many people, Taylor beautifully answered how Ash and his journey in the series is something that we can all relate to in some aspect of our lives.

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“This journey is our journey. We are Ash and we are journeying together and we will end up somewhere else together. To hear people’s stories and to hear their experiences with Pokemon, it’s the coolest thing.”

Sadly, Taylor was replaced as Ash after the eighth season of Pokemon ended back in 2006.

Pokemon Anime Team RocketThe Pokemon Company
The Pokemon anime has become a cult classic across the world

Getting replaced after season 8 and finding out the anime would be ending for good

Now in 2023, the actor is proud to see how the series has continued and was just as shocked as everyone else when she found out that, after over 20 years, Ash’s journey would finally be coming to an end.

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Bulbasaur in the Pokemon animeThe Pokemon Company
Over 20 years, new generations of fans have fallen in love with Pokemon

“In 2006 when we were finishing the eighth season we were told by Pokemon US that they didn’t need us anymore and they were replacing us. So that was incredibly depressing to just lose a job and see it go on without you. So now I’m kinda getting PTSD hearing about the ending.

“I think it’s so great that Ash and Pikachu have gotten to a point where they can do whatever they want and I’m happy for them but wow, it’s weird to think of a world without new episodes of Pokemon as we know it.”

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Does Veronica Taylor have a Pokemon dream team?

And of course, there was no way we could chat with the original Ash voice actor without asking who her dream Pokemon team would be.

“People ask me this all the time. I can only say no. Because Ash set out for something very specific and he didn’t get it. You have to be flexible enough to open your mind and take it and the world comes to you.”

For all the latest gaming news and updates, be sure to check out Dexerto’s full coverage here.

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