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Ash Ketchum

No change in size, 13 March
New series
Sometime after his return to Kanto, Ash joined Professor Oak in attending the opening of the new [[Sakuragi Institute]] in [[Vermilion City]]. During the opening ceremony, the head of the institute, [[Professor Sakuragi]], informed the attendees that a rare Pokémon would be appearing at the local port shortly. Ash eagerly rushed over there and found out the rare Pokémon was a Lugia. During this encounter, he also met a boy named {{an|Go}}, and the two shared a ride with Lugia throughout Kanto. When they later returned to the Sakuragi Institute, Professor Sakuragi was amazed by the information they had gathered about Lugia, and he asked them to become his [[Professors' aides|research assistants]]. They accepted the offer and were provided with their own room to stay in. Delia also left Mimey at the institute to take care of Ash while he stayed there.
Later, Ash and Go traveled to the [[Galar]] region to watch the finals of the [[World Championships|Pokémon World Championships]]. The match ended in the victory of Galar's undefeated Champion [[Leon]], thus making him the World Champion. Inspired by this, Ash decided he wanted to battle Leon himself. However, before he could challenge him, a [[Gigantamax]] {{DL|Recurring wild Pokémon in the anime|Drednaw}} went on a rampage and started causing havoc. While Ash and Go battled it, Pikachu ended up Gigantamaxing as well, therefore giving him enough power to defeat Drednaw. Leon, impressed by Ash's performance, accepted his challenge to a battle. After heAsh lost, Ashhe decided to take part in the Pokémon World Championships as well and climb through its ranks to one day challenge Leon again.

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