Pokémon as a franchise has been a fixture of our lives since 1996. Routinely reinventing and rejuvenating themselves to appeal to a fresh audience with each passing generation of kids, Pokémon has become a juggernaut in the media industry, in fact establishing itself as the world”s largest media franchise in 2018 from it”s exhausting library of games, movies, manga, anime and more.
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Although you will find a bulk of the Pokémon games” fanbase being fully-grown adults – having grown up with the games – the franchise is and always has been geared towards kids. Good triumphing over evil, the powers of friendship, relatively simple gameplay puzzles, Pokémon fainting instead of dying, it is, at its core, a kid-friendly world, though there are times Game Freak really try to push the boundaries.
Beyond the backstories of certain Pokémon such as Yamask, Parasect, and Team Rocket”s Meowth, EP035 of the anime, and where swimmers hide their Pokéballs, today we”re going to be seeing how they”ve skirted around the “Pokémon don”t die” argument and their dealings with the Pokéreaper since the first game”s release all those years ago.
Hey, Lavender Town exists for a reason.
Although this list focuses on Pokémon that have met their doom, special shoutouts must go out to Pokémon Hunter J, Sir Aaron, Aila, and Ash for adding a human tally to the death count, particularly the 413 or so efforts by Ash.
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12. Ash And Pikachu (EP023: The Tower Of Terror)
In EP023 of the anime, following a crushing defeat at the hands of Saffron City Gym Leader Sabrina, Ash and his pals travel to known Pokémon burial ground, the Pokémon Tower in Lavender Town in the hopes of finding and capturing a ghost Pokémon to take on the psychic Pokémon expert in a rematch.
Upon entry, they activate a prank set by a resident Gastly, Haunter and Gengar, causing them to flee back outside. Misty and Brock refuse to reenter the building, so Ash goes at it alone armed only with his Pikachu and Charmander in an attempt to capture one of the ghost Pokémon.
In the battle though, it becomes apparent that the ghostly pairing of Haunter and Gengar simply want to have fun and play, and when they realise Ash is unamused by their japery, they become despondent and sink into the floor. In an obvious reaction to seeing this, Ash and Pikachu dive at the Pokémon, crashing into the floor, eventually causing the chandelier above them to drop and crush them.
How not-dead were they? Well, the Haunter physically pulls their spirits from their motionless bodies and they all go for a little fly. They return to the bodies (and consciousness) after seeing Brock and Misty huddle over their lifeless forms.