One of the world’s most beloved duo of characters is finally getting ready to hang up the cap. The current season of the Pokémon animated series, Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series, approached its conclusion and with it, so did Ash. Ash (or Satoshi in the Japanese version) has been a mainstay in the Pokémon animation for the past 25 seasons. His initial appearance was all the way back in 1997, just after his 10th birthday. In that initial episode, Ash received his trusty partner Pikachu and set off on an incredible journey.
Over the years, he’s captured, trained, and grown stronger alongside Pokémon from all of the series’ main regions and challenged countless gyms and elite trainers. Despite that, Ash frequently lost at the height of a region’s challenges, either getting knocked out by a member of the elite four or the champion of a region. This season of Pokémon featured an incredible win by Ash as the Pokémon World Champion. Understandably, that win was a massive achievement for him and the perfect cap on years of adventures and work alongside Pikachu. Even more, for people like myself who grew up with Ash, that win felt like it belonged to the fans who watched for years until Ash finally got the shine he deserved.
Ash and Pikachu’s story will end with a few special episodes of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series. These episodes will likely involve plenty of cameos and conversations with the people Ash has met over the years. It is also set to give the audience some hints as to exactly what is next for the new Pokémon world champion. One of these episodes, titled The Distant Blue Sky, tells the story of Ash meeting a new character and is set to air on December 23rd, 2022 in Japan.
The Next Generation Is Coming in April 2023
A new Pokémon saga was revealed at the same time as Ash and Pikachu’s departure. This new animated series will feature an entirely original story and characters and is set to premiere in April 2023. For now, all we know about the new protagonists is that they are named Riko and Roy. Alongside them are the starters from Pokémon’s newest region, Paldea. These starters and other features introduced in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will be highlighted during this new series.
You can check out a video teaser for the series here and follow along with the official Pokémon website for future updates. The final 11 episodes concluding Ash and Pikachu’s story are set to air starting Friday, January 13, 2023 in Japan.
Images from the Official Pokémon Website
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