Ash Ketchum's age explainedstyLIShT So I've been doing some thinking about Ash and his supposed agelessness, a running gag seeing as in the 16 years since the show premiered Ash doesn't seem to have aged. But after looking at some numbers and doing a little research, I think Ash is actually just the right age. Just bare with me for a moment because this could get pretty long. The first thing to point out is that Ash actually does appear a little taller in the new X/Y series and looks more childish in the Alola series, which is what sparked my curiosity, but let's put that aside.
The important thing to pay attention to though is that most of the episodes all take place over the course of a single day, sometimes two, with no indication of time passing between episodes. In fact there are a quite a few cases where multiple episodes all occur with the same day (namely league battles, gym battles, arcs dealing with legendaries, etc.), but most of these may be cancelled out from the few time skips we do have (The three months before the Indigo League perhaps) so it's safe to assume that roughly 800-850 days have passed in the world of the anime since the time it began, which translates to about 2 years, add the possibility of unseen time and we could be looking at 3 years tops.
Now Ash began his journey at exactly 10 years, 10 months, and 10 days old as confirmed in the novelization of the show, making him almost 11 at that time (Also fun fact I found that since it's said trainers get their Pokemon in April of their 10th year, assuming that Ash began on April 1st, that would make his birthday November 21.) This would mean that in the the Black and White anime series, Ash would be no older than 13 going on 14, a prime age for many young men to experience there growth spurts, hence his new height in X/Y, and it would also explain why he is so short in comparison to N, as an Article in the magazine PASH! estimates N to be about 20 years old and is 5'11". Naturally a still developing 13 year old would appear dwarfed next to a fully grown man of 20.
Let's also take note of the voice actor change a few years ago, I know it may be trivial seeing as it was more of a production thing, but is does help my conspiracy theory a bit. Looking at the age time line again, when the special Mastermind of Mirage Pokemon first aired (In America first no less), and Ash's voice actor changed becoming slightly deeper, he would have been traveling for about one year at this point making him about 12, the perfect age for someone's voice to crack. Now as a bit of a side thing, I wanted to defend Ash's forgetfulness of Pokemon he already knows and his reliance on the Pokedex. Pokemon knowledge is Ash's world would be similar to math or science in ours, constantly present and taught in school. So given how natural a Bulbasaur is in his world, Ash naturally would not know everything about it just because he's used one. I own a cat but that doesn't mean I know about its digestive track. Ash is still young and has been taking in a lot of new information at a break neck speed through his travels, so it makes perfect sense that he would on occasion need a refresher on how things work even if he's used it in the past. Besides Dexter already told us he wasn't the brightest back in episode one. So that's that, adding all this together and looking at Ash's new height in X/Y, his ignorance around all his female companions, his voice changing, facial changes the idea of Ash not aging is not true in the least, the problem was people were attributing his age to our time progression and not the time of his world.
This doesn't explain how he became more childish during the Sun and moon series, I'll try to think about it later - styLIShT
Amazing post - visitor
Interesting analysis. But still, even if multiple episodes happened in one day, Pokemon as of now has around 3884934839473949384809383 episodes and Ash should be in his twenties or thirties by now. - TwilightKitsune
You mean around 900 episodes? Again, you are attributing his aging to our world's time progression - styLIShT