In 1996, Nintendo published Game Freak's Pokémon Red and Blue. At that point, no one realized what a monster they'd actually created. Pokémon has since left its mark on more than just the gaming world - there's been anime, toys, several more video games, not to mention the phone app that made grown people walk blindly into the middle of the road to catch a pokémon.
While Pokémon in some ways changed the real world, there's been very little change in the world of Pokémon - the anime has perfected the art of stagnation! It's been more than two decades, yet Ash is still a cap wearing kid and his Pikachu keeps resetting to level one at the beginning of a new season. However, in this article, we'll finally get to see what the trainers would look like as adults.
Throughout the years, everything from Ash's clothes to the people he travels with has changed. Pretty much the only thing that has remained a constant is his age - he's been stuck in the body of a 10-year-old for more than 20 years already. Finally, we get to see him as an adult.
There's not much of a chance we'll see Rosa appearing in the anime anytime soon. The best Pokémon Black 2 and White 2's Rosa can hope for is a brief cameo in an animated trailer. Along with being both expressive and dynamic, this version of Rosa seems reminiscent of humorous comics in the vein of Archie. A delightful change of pace.
In 1997, Ash crashed into Misty's bike, and from that moment on the world changed for a lot of young Pokémon fans. Misty set a new standard for Ash's travel companions, with each one of her replacements facing the arduous task of justifying their place in Pokémon's universe, yet to this day she remains more memorable than any of those who took her place.
May seems somewhat jaded in this fan drawing... Which makes sense, life as an adult isn't just all fun and games. We all remember how May entered the anime, with Ash asking her to travel with him to the next city as she doesn't want to go alone. There is also a bike involved as with Misty in the first series.
Tracey Sketchit technically isn't a trainer, but he is a Pokémon watcher and a former traveling companion of Ash. We remember him working as an assistant at Professor Oak's Laboratory - and judging by the outfit, he's a scientist himself now. Good to see everything worked out for him as an adult.
In 2016, Pokémon Go! rolled out an update allowing users to pledge allegiance to one of three teams and their respective leaders. Dressed in red and backed by a Moltres, Candela represents Team Valor. Even if the moment was fleeting, Pokémon Go! convinced adults to relive their childhoods and catch a thousand Pidgey.
Damon is a descendant of the People of the Vale and wishes to restore his people's kingdom to its former glory. We have no idea if he's achieved that goal as an adult. Depending upon the version of the film being viewed, aspects of Damon change, so it's no surprise if he's changed as an adult as well.
13 Misty And Brock
Even though Misty boasts a slightly more mature design during the later seasons, she's still the same age as Ash. Compared to some other anime, Pokémon's cast is generally drawn to fit their ages. Western cartoons tend to opt for a more realistic depiction of children, at least in terms of their designs. Stephens' Misty and Brock spend their free time traveling across the country to solve crimes.
Lucas was the male player character of Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. He was living in Twinleaf Town with his mother and used to dream big, so he and his best friend - and later rival - had high hopes of catching the Legendary Pokémon of their nearby lake. Hopefully, adulthood hasn't stopped him dreaming big.
11 N, Hilda, And Hilbert
Ok, so Hilda and Hilbert had about as much personality as a pair of dishrags, but N must be said to have one of the coolest background stories of anyone in the Pokémon universe. When he was young, he was orphaned and left in the woods, where he was raised by Pokémon. Ghetsis claimed to be his father and raised him to be king of Team Plasma.
Marina was a trainer and one of the main characters of the direct-to-TV film The Legend of Thunder!, along with Jimmy and Vincent. Her goal was to become a Pokémon Idol - which entails putting on a show while battling. That's probably why she performed synchronized movements and practiced singing and dance moves with her Pokémon whenever she called them out of their Poké Balls.
Kamon Rocket, aka Silver, is the son of Giovanni Rocket - the owner of Team Rocket. When we were first introduced to Kamon, or Silver, he was an aggressive young man, pushing others around - literally... hopefully, he's a bit more mellow as an adult. When training, he was pushing his Pokemon to their limits and even releasing ones he deems as "too weak".
8 Ash And Serena
Brock's persistent proposals to Nurse Joy notwithstanding, romance and Pokémon seldom mesh in any meaningful way. Anime's oldest 10-year-old protagonist is too young to view his companions as anything more than friends, and that is perfectly fine. A sequel centering around adult characters sounds fantastic, but we do not recommend holding your breath.
When we first met Max he was an aspiring Pokémon trainer and managed to annoy Ash, but would later become his traveling companion. He is also the younger brother of May. Seeing as Max was only 7 when we were first introduced to him, he must've had a ton of experiences by now, seeing how much trouble he managed to get into as a kid.
Mother nature sure did a good job when creating the adorable penguins. Pokémon improved on nature. Dawn's Pokémon is literally wearing a crown! How is that not perfect? Permitting we have access to Pokémon Diamond or any one of the several games featuring a Prinplup, penguins can stay in the South hemisphere for all we care.
Jimmy's starter Pokémon was Cyndaquil, which he received from Professor Elm of New Bark Town at the same time as Vincent and Marina. Despite being close friends, the trio did not travel together and went their separate ways. However, they crossed paths occasionally in their journeys. In one of his meetings with Marina, he caught a Weedle, which eventually evolved into a Beedrill.
Richie, occasionally spelled Ritchie, is a recurring character who appeared in the Pokémon anime. He is a Pokémon Trainer from Frodomar City and a rival of Ash. He first appeared in A Friend In Deed. He quickly befriended his fellow Pokémon League competitor, Ash Ketchum, Their friendship led to problems in the next episode, Friend or Foe Alike, since the two were matched up to battle against each other.
3 Team Rocket
Team Rocket's human members are supposed to be around the same age as the playable character, to be honest, we thought they were a bit older. This interpretation of Team Rocket is opting for a slightly more realistic style than the classic anime, and the drawing is nothing short of fantastic.
Gary has been a neighbor of Ash Ketchum since they were both young. At one time they seemed to be friends and went to see movies together. Shortly after the both of them started on their journeys, Gary and Ash found an old Poké Ball while fishing, which they broke in half when fighting over it.
Drew is a recurring character who appeared in the Pokémon anime. He is a Pokémon Coordinator from LaRousse City and May's main rival. He is portrayed as being confident, critical, and popular among his supporters, though he is generally not overly insulting - like Gary was. Drew was very prone to nervousness when he started his Pokémon journey.
Sources: Bulbapedia, Deviant Art