The anime has been going on for 13 years now and has over 650 episodes. Since the BW saga was announced, its bound to go on for another 200 or so episodes. Will Ash's story ever reach a conclusion at this point? The show has gone on far longer than anyone ever thought possible. The writers have already abandoned most of Ash's travel companions from the series, yet Ash himself remains. Why do you think Ash is kept while Misty/Brock, May and Dawn, etc. are all removed from the show at various points? I always figured they could have a female Pikachu owned by a new character, if they're so worried about Pikachu being gone from the series. Are we so sure he'll never be removed? There was a time when people never believed Misty or Brock would leave the series, and both wound up happening. If Misty/Brock can be axed, why can't Ash? I've wanted a new hero forever.