And that's really the Pokemon TV series in a nutshell -- it's a cartoon that set out to adapt a successful video game, then became so successful itself that it settled into a strict formula of doing things and now seems afraid to make anything more than minor changes to its own status quo. It can be frustrating, for longtime fans who'd love to see something more drastic happen in the long-running series.
Or it could just be comforting, as Ash and Pikachu are admittedly reliable and trustworthy characters who are always going to keep pursuing their original dream. And what dream is that? Well, you've read this far, so here you go:
I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was! To catch them is my real test, to train them is my cause! I will travel across the land, searching far and wide. Teach Pokemon to understand the power that's inside!
Pokemon! (Gotta catch 'em all!)
It's you and me! I know it's my destiny!
Oh, you're my best friend, in a world we must...