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Games, animated series, cosplayers, merchandise, and good (and bad) movie remakes, nothing seems to be able to stop Pokémania — not even the fact that the franchise has been around for more than two decades. Launched in 1995, Pokémon can be credited with raising a generation of anime fans and putting Japan on a whole lot of people’s travel bucket list.

Fast-forward to 2019 and yesterday’s Pokémon card-trading children are all grown up. But here’s the real catch ’em all, after 20 years of being on air and more than 1000 episodes, our eponymous hero of the animated series, Ash Ketchum, has yet to achieve his childhood ambition.

It’s about the journey, not the destination

That’s right. In case you didn’t know, Ash is still training to become a Pokémon Master at the ripe age of 30 years old.

It’s a reminder that in this world — and its animated Poké-equivalent — time is relative. Sometimes, the journey matters more than the destination, right?

At least that’s what Twitter user @AccSempai is telling themselves.

ぼくはドクターとるのに6 ねんかかってるけど、20年かけてマスターとれてないサトシくんが元気 げんきにやってる姿 すがたると すこ気持 きもちが らくになるね。

Getting a Ph.D. is taking me six years, but watching Satoshi [Ash] being all smiles even after 20 years of trying to master the game is making me feel slightly better about myself.

How to say what you want to become in the future in Japanese

In Japanese, the verb “to become” as in “to become a doctor,” is translated with the expression combining the particle and the verb なる.

To use になる with nouns simply put it afterward:

  • 医者 いしゃになる = to become a doctor
  • 政治家 せいじかになる = to become a politician

You can also use になる with adjectives:

  • たかくになる= to become expensive
  • 綺麗 きれいになる = to become beautiful

When you want to express your desire to become a doctor or a politician (why not both!), you’ll need to add the ~たい form to the stem of the verb, a conjugation that indicates that you want to do something.

  • 医者になりたい = I want to become a doctor
  • 政治家になりたい = I want to become a politician


Japanese Romaji English
ぼく boku I (used by men)
ドクター dokutaa doctorate/P.h.d.
とる toru to take
ドクターをとる dokutaa o toru to get a doctorate degree
ねん nen years
かかる kakaru to take (time)
けど kedo but
マスター masutaa master (as in Pokémon Master)
元気 げんき genki ni with energy
姿 すがた sugata one’s physique, state of existence, being, the way someone is
miru to see
すこ sukoshi a little bit
気持 きも kimochi feeling
らく raku relaxed, comfortable
気持ちが楽になる kimochi ga raku ni naru to feel at ease, to feel better

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