The Pokemon Sun and Moon anime is preparing to enter the Alola League and there’s no doubt that Ash Ketchum and his team are gunning for that Alola League title.
Winning the Alola League crown isn’t the only motivation for the Pokemon trainer from Pallet Town. In a clip from the anime, Ash explained that Professor Kukui’s dedication in creating the Alola League is inspiring him to compete hard – and that he would be doing a disservice to Kukui if he didn’t give it his best shot.
Ash’s motivation is a good one, especially given how Kukui has been his mentor and something of a friend during his stay in Alola. The professors Ash met previously on his journey were great allies and resources, but his relationship with Kukui goes deeper. He lived in Kukui’s house and was even a guest at his wedding.
Ash will certainly face some – if not all of his Sun and Moon companions during the Alola League, and if he wins those battles, then his final opponent should be Professor Kukui.
Having Professor Kukui as Ash’s final opponent makes sense from a video game stance. In Pokemon Sun and Moon, the player faces Professor Kukui in the final battle to become Alola Champion.
In the anime, Ash has faced Kukui on a few occasions. The first was in a battle royal when the professor was disguised as Masked Royal and included Kiawe and Sophocles.
Ash also battled a young Kukui after being thrown back in time courtesy of Celebi. After defeating the five-year-old Kukui, Ash told him there was no shame in losing. It will be interesting if the writers have Kukui remember their battle and the advice he received from Ash.
As for Pokemon, fans only know of two of Kukui’s Pokemon – his Incineroar and Braviary. There’s a chance the anime could have him use Snorlax and Magnezone like his video game counterpart.
I doubt we’ll see him use Lycanroc because Ash will have his in the tournament, or his Ninetails since Lillie has an Alola Vulpix.
Kukui has also befriended many Pokemon and could call in a favor from an ally.
Ash may face Kukui in his Masked Royal persona, but his final match should be against Professor Kukui, the man he has befriended and spent some much time with during his stay in Alola. It would be a great way to bookend Ash’s Alola journey.
The league tournament episodes of the Pokemon anime bring out some amazing battles. There’s no doubt that Ash will have some tough challenges in the tournament, which will make for a fun viewing.