Why does ash release his pokemon?
First, keep in mind Ash has only released three--count them--THREE pokemon. A Butterfree, Pidgeot, and a Lapras. Lapras was just a mode of transportation for Ash. Remember that when he met it, it was a young Lapras separated from its family, and Ash promised to help return it to its family. Until then, Lapras would help Ash any way it could, mainly by helping him across the Orange islands. Considering Lapras' fear of humans after being abused by trainers wanting it only for fighting, it is still close to ash for helping it recover. It was only actually used in roughly three battles. It does come back in the
episode "Lapras of Luxury." [http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/EP257] Lapras was
mainly a mode of Transportation, so there weren't a lot of situations in which it could be
used well, Similar to Misty's Goldeen. He left Butterfree to go on with its own kind
because he thought it would be happier that way. Pidgeot was in an awkward place since
Charizard already provided a flying ability, not to mention that Noctowl, Swellow,
Staraptor and Tranquill all fill in the exact same role, so there wasn't much of a point
in keeping him. The writers knew this and didn't really know how to handle this, so they
released him under the situation that it became the leader and guardian of a bunch of
Pidgey. Ash thought their safety was more important that Pidgeot being called upon for
battles. Ash has gone back to Pallet several times, but hasn't come back to see it. Does
that mean we'll never see it again? We don't know. In some final fanservice season, we'll
probably see it, but that's still just a guess.
Why didn't ash take Larvitar or Haunter?
They don't want to give Ash an overly powerful pokemon like Gengar or Tyranitar. That
would not only eliminate a pokemon for him to be challenged by, but also takes out the
balance aspect. Larvitar was left with its family. Would it have been right to take a it
with him right after it was reunited with its mother (mind you it had been kidnapped by
poachers) Haunter was left with Sabrina to keep her cheered up, as her constant training
stripped her of her happiness and was what drove her into her psychological problem.
Why doesn't Ash evolve his pokemon?
Let's take this one by region.
Unova: Only three of his pokemon are in their base form: Snivy, Oshawott, and Scraggy. When the majority of his team has already evolved, some of them twice, not to mention the fact that the arc is not over and still open for evolution, it's not fair to say he's not doing anything.
Gible didn't evovle, but remember that Dragon types take a very long time to evolve, and
Ash caught gible Fairly late in the show, so it didn't have much time to evolve fully.
Besides, Ash with a Garchomp in the pokemon league would have been extremely
uninteresting. If it was overpowered, there wouldn't be any challenge. If it was an even
match or even lost, people would think it's weak and he's a pathetic trainer for losing
with a dragon. It's a lose lose situation.
Buizel-didn't evolve; can't say much on this.
Corphish was Ash's only unevolved pokemon. It didn't see as much use as say Sceptile, and was one of Ash's overlooked pokemon. so far, we're at three pokemon he hasn't evolved.
Totodile-there's not much to explain why this one happened. But a happy jumping totodile is far more appealing to children then an awkward croc thing that still has the same moves.
bayleef/quilava-Both of these have evolved, but not completely. Bayleef evolved rather
quickly, but hasn't seen use lately. Quilava on the other hand didn't evolve until he was
brought to sinnoh briefly. Does that mean Ash just now got him at level 14? No. There
aren't levels in the anime. Both of them were still very strong despite not being Meganium and Typhlosion. He didn't even use Bayleef as a wall/supporter like it's "supposed to be" in the games.
bulbasaur-He had the choice to evolve in the episode "Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden," but bulbasaur chose not to. This was his choice, not Ash's. It wanted to prove itself to the Ivysaur and Venusaur present that it wasn't weak, and didn't need to evolve to become strong. It's still taken out several pokemon that would be next to impossible to do in the video games. This proves that pokemon are able prevent their own evolution. The ones that don't want to evolve simply don't.
Squirtle-Remember that squirtle was part of the squirtle squad. It wouldn't have worked to have a wartortle or a Blastoise as part of the gang. He still held his own as one of Ash's
strongest water types without evolution.
Pikachu-Ash will not Evolve pikachu. Simple as that. Pikachu is the mascot of the whole
franchise. To do away with Pikachu is to do away with that. Pikachu, like bulbasaur,
chooses not to evolve for itself, not having anything to do with Ash. It lost to a Raichu
in "Electric Shock Showdown," and was given a chance to evolve into a Raichu. Ash didn't
force it to, and ultimately gave pikachu the choice. It saw the thunderstone and refused
to evolve, and later defeated raichu. it's still one of Ash's strongest pokemon, and since
this is the anime, it doesn't have to evolve to fit that spot.
buizel, Gible, Totodile, bulbasaur, squirtle, and pikachu are the only pokemon that didn't
evolve at all. quilava and Bayleef both evolved, but aren't fully evolved. 6-8 pokemon is
hardly a majority, especially considering that these are all very strong pokemon in their
own rights. Most of them choose not to evolve. Remember that unless it is something like
Pikachu's case, Ash cannot choose when his pokemon evolve. They do so whenever they're ready. It's marketing. Cooler/cuter pokemon= more money from more people getting drawn into the show.
"Pokémon are individuals; a
combination of trust, friendship and
hard work are needed to overcome
adversity. He is willing to work with
any Pokémon that comes into his care.
Ash's battle style is generally
spontaneous and fairly unorthoox, and
his Pokémon often reflect these
-Ash's philosiphy from bulbapedia
Why doesn't Ash catch a lot of pokemon?
"Gotta catch em all" was not Ash's goal. Ash's Goal was to become a pokemon master. The
slogan was mainly put there as a ploy for people in the games, but Ash had no intention of
catching a ton of pokemon. If he caught every pokemon he saw, then we'd have tons of
pokemon we'd see for about one battle with no personality. Then people would complain that [pokemon] doesn't get enough screen time and how the pokemon are so bland. It's another lose lose situation for Ash.
Why isn't Ash any older?
Ash is still about 10 years old because Cartoon characters don't age unless the writers
want them to. Shows like the Simpsons also do the same. The show has been around for
years, but remember that Ash isn't living, and isn't affected by time the way we are. Even
if he did, the episodes aren't constantly happening, they usually came out once a week,
meaning that 1 week=20-30 minutes for Ash. That wouldn't make any sense. He's as old as the writers make him. It's a very common literary ploy.
Why doesn't ash catch any legendary pokemon he sees?
Many of the legendary pokemon serve a purpose like protecting areas and keeping peace. If Ash were to catch them, that would disrupt the ecosystem. The show would also be very boring with Ash carrying around a legendary everywhere. There would be no challenge, and there would be no reason to watch it. Also, if Ash had a legendary pokemon, what's to stop Team rocket/plasma/etc from ganging up on him and stealing it? You really think giovanni is gonna overlook that? Even if they fail, they're just gonna keep trying, making for an even more bland show.