The kiss heard around the world! …or around Kalos, anyway.

There are two questions that have plagued Pokémon fans since the dawn of the anime: why is Ash eternally 10 years old, and why has he never shown the least bit of interest in any of his female traveling companions?

The first question about Ash’s eternal youth is fairly easy to explain away. Sure, there are crazy theories about time-loops and such, but the honest answer is that the Pokémon anime is targeted at the elementary/middle school audience, so having Ash grow up into a thirty-something with a mortgage and desk job is just not going to appeal to them.

But the second question about Ash’s romantic reluctance is a bit stranger. There are kids’ shows with hints of romance and crushes, but nothing in Pokémon’s history has even come close to that. Of course, theories abound: Ash never had a father-figure to teach him how to interact with woman, not being interested in the opposite sex is a side effect of being an eternal 10 year old…

▼ …or maybe there’s another reason.

But it seems like a recent episode of Pokémon XY is putting an end to both of those questions with one scene that has had the internet fanning itself to stop from getting the vapors: Serena kissing Ash.

Yup, you heard right. Watch the short scene here with English subtitles:

For fans of the series, this is huge news. This isn’t just a blushing giggle or a squeak of “I like you,” this is an all-out kiss… which we have to say is something that most 10 years olds don’t usually do. Sure they don’t actually show the kiss itself, but for a series that has had as much romance as a doorknob for 20 years, the music and blushing alone is positively scandalous.

Is this a sign of a changing tone in the series, or was it just a one-off piece of fan service? Only time will tell, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on the upcoming episodes of Pokémon Sun and Moon.

In the meantime, the kiss scene has set off a frenzy of approval from Japanese netizens online. Here’s just a few reactions:

“I’ve been waiting 20 years for this….”
“Maybe it’s just me but Ash’s reaction is like ‘enh, whatever.'”
“Clemont and Bonnie’s reactions are priceless.”
“Man, Serena must’ve really wanted that kiss to run back up the escalator!”

Just for fun, Japanese Twitter user @tanakakouta731 reenacted the kiss scene to see just how hard it would be to run back up the escalator given the timings in the episode. You can see it here (reenactment starts at 0:30):

Geez, he really had to hustle to get back up in time! That’s the power of love in action. Or, maybe, Serena is just has superhumanly-strong legs like Ash has horrifyingly-strong arms.

Source: Twitter/@tanakakouta731 via My Game News Flash
Featured image: Twitter/@tanakakouta731