Death is a heavy subject in the Pokémon franchise, and although it is not mentioned often, there are cases of Pokémon dying, such as the clones in “Pokémon: The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back.” Latios’s death in “Pokémon Heroes” was one of the first in the anime to not be reversed at the end of the series, highlighting the seriousness of the event. Several episodes in the Pokémon anime explore the theme of death, including the deaths of Lucario, Hunter J’s team, Jan’s Talonflame, Stoutland, Elder the Trevenant, Sorrel’s Luxray, and Harriet’s Snubbull, showing how the series deals with death. Theme and teach children about loss and mourning.
The Pokémon The anime has been running for nearly 25 years, and in that time, several Pokémon have died throughout its run. Although Pokémon is generally a light-hearted series, it does have heavy themes and ideas at times. Death is one of the heavy topics and ideas, and there have been many times when Pokémon has suffered from it.
For the most part, death is not something that appears in the Pokémon series. It is thought that Pokémon only faint when they are defeated in battle, and while Pokédex entries sometimes mention death, the logic and legality of such entries is unclear at best. The Pokémon Adventures manga generally avoids this, but this is also a darker story than other entries in the series, so it makes sense that it would do things differently.
However, death still happens in the Pokémon series, even in the Pokémon anime, and some Pokémon have died in them over the years. In addition to the main anime show, there are also examples of dead Pokémon in other animated projects that will be discussed in this list. Note that this list only concerns Pokémon that were not revived in some way and remained dead after the end of their story.
Bulbasaurtwo, Charmandertwo and Squirtletwo
In the opening of Pokémon: The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back, “The Uncut Story of Mewtwo’s Origin”, Mewtwo befriends a clone girl named Ambertwo and clones of Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle respectively named are Bulbasaurtwo, Charmandertwo and Squirtletwo. Out of the five of them, Mewtwo was the only one who could be successfully cloned, and all other clones gradually degraded during the special process until they died completely. Memories of Mewtwo are erased, but the lingering feeling of what happened to his friends remains and plays an important role in his character’s personality.
The fifth Pokémon movie, Pokémon Heroes, revolves around Latios and Latias protecting Soul Dew, a mystical item with the power to control the tides of the town of Alto Mare. When the Soul Dew was destroyed in the climax, a giant tidal wave was formed and to save Alto Mare, Latios sacrificed himself to stop the tidal wave and create a new Soul Dew. Latios’s death is notable for being one of the first deaths in an anime that is not reversed at the end of the story.
In Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, Lucario officially joins Ash on his mission to rescue Pikachu after it was accidentally sent to the Starting Tree by Mew. The Beginning Tree, being sentient, attacked Ash and his friends because it thought they were a virus, so Mew used his powers to stop it, but that resulted in Mew was placed on the brink of death and created the Tree of Beginnings. , which has a symbiotic relationship with Mew, get mad. Lucario uses his Aura to heal Mew and pacify the Tree of Beginning, but doing so drains him of his life force and causes him to die.
Hunter J’s team
The Diamond and Pearl series of the Pokémon anime introduced Hunter J, a villain who regularly hunts Pokémon and sells them on the black market. Near the end of the Team Galactic arc of the anime, J is hired by Team Galactic to capture Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf as part of their plan to summon Dialga and Palkia. J captured the Pokémon, but before she did, her ship was hit by the Future Vision attack they had set up beforehand, crashing into the lake and exploding. J’s fate remains uncertain, but it is likely that she and her group of Salamence, Ariados, and Drapion were all killed.
Jan’s Talon Flame
The final episode of the XYZ series of the Pokémon anime, “The Legend of X, Y and Z!”, tells the story of Jan, a man from Kalos’s ancient past who sought to defeat The destruction Pokémon, Yveltal, to prevent a prophecy about Yveltal destroying his home. When Jan encountered Yveltal, he used his Talonflame to fight it, but Yveltal used Oblivion Wing to turn it to stone. The Talonflame fell to the ground from the air and was never seen again, so it’s safe to assume that the fall shattered it, effectively killing it.
Before being captured by Ash, Ash’s Litten was raised in the wild by an elderly Stoutland man. In the 21st episode of Sun & Moon, Stoutland begins to struggle with old age. Knowing that he only had very little time left, he left Litten so he wouldn’t have to watch him die. Later in the series, Stoutland’s ghost will appear before Litten, now evolved into Torracat, to try to teach him how to use Fire Blast.
In the Sun & Moon episode “A Timeless Encounter!”, Ash is accidentally brought back to the past by Celebi. In the past, Ash met a Totem Trevenant named Elder who, after a series of circumstances, gave him a Firium Z-Crystal for his Torracat. Upon returning to the present, Ash discovered that the Elder had passed away, and there was nothing there but a tree trunk covered with weeds.
Luxray of sorrel
In the movie Pokémon Pokémon: I Choose You!, one of the main characters, Sorrel, used to keep Luxray as a family pet. One day, when he was a child, he and Luxray were lost in a blizzard, and Luxray used his body to protect Sorrel from the cold and keep him warm. The next morning, Sorrel discovered Luxray had frozen to death, and this incident made him skeptical of the idea of befriending Pokémon until he captured his Lucario.
In Pokémon: The Power of Us, one of the main characters is Harriet, an older woman who absolutely hates Pokémon. Finally, it is revealed that 50 years ago, her Snubbull died in a fire and that she grew to dislike Pokémon because she blamed herself for Snubbull’s death. By the end of the Pokémon movie, Harriet learns to overcome her trauma and begins to love Pokémon again.
Humans are also dead in Pokémon
Of course, Pokémon aren’t the only species that occasionally die. Very few people have died in the story of the Pokémon anime, and those who have died are mostly villains, such as the above mentioned Hunter J. Ash himself once “died” and had an out-of-body experience as a ghost. However, people who died before the story sometimes play a role; in Sun & Moon, Hapu’s grandfather and Kiawe’s grandfather have both passed away, and their spirits appear in “Run, Heroes, Run!” Other one-off episodes, such as “Find Shelter from the Storm!” of XY, features plots revolving around a dead human and the Pokémon they left behind.
The first episode, “The Ghost of Maiden’s Peak,” follows the ghost of a woman who dies while waiting for her lover to return and is helped by the talking Gasly. The special episode Distant Blue Sky, considered the final episode in the English dub, also featured a young boy named Sonny, who was later revealed to be a ghost, perpetuating the idea of a child ghost. who exists in the Pokémon world from beginning to end. Episodes revolving around ghosts and the dead tend to be about survivors accepting loss and moving on, providing a profound message to children watching the episode who may one day lose their loved ones. somehow.
While Pokémon is generally a lighter series, these episodes exploring death can often be some of the most profound and memorable. They have to face an unpleasant part of life that everyone will experience one day, and even the peaceful and idyllic world of Pokémon is not immune to it. By introducing these concepts to children early, they will be better prepared when that day finally comes. IN Pokémon, just like in real life, death and loss are issues to be faced; these episodes teach kids that it’s okay to be sad and cry, and that loss is something that all must eventually accept.