It's a tough day for Pokémon fans. After more than two decades of adventures, laughter, and tears, the anime series ‘Pokémon’ says goodbye to Ash Ketchum and Pikachu.
The Pokemon Company made the announcement on Friday, December 16. Ash's last chapter will end with an 11-episode arc called Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series, which will begin airing on January 13, 2023.
It was revealed after Ash achieved his goal of "be the very best, like no one ever was" and rose to become the top trainer in the world. It arrived following years of setbacks and disappointment for the perpetually 10-year-old during the anime series, which has over 900 animal-like characters called Pokemon that can be captured, trained, and used in combat.
After the trainer was reunited with his Butterfree in the most recent episode of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series on Friday, the newswas even more emotional for the fans.
After Butterfree left in "Bye Bye Butterfree," which debuted in 1997, Ash was reunited with the Pokémon for the first time.
To achieve his objective of mastering Pokémon, Ash embarked on a journey with his sidekick Pikachu. They traveled to many locales and overcame trainers from all over the world.
After winning the Alola League and surpassing Leon in the Masters Eight Tournament final of the Pokémon World Coronation Series, his adventure came to a successful conclusion.
Since 2006, Sarah Natochenny has voiced the English versions of Ketchum and other characters, calling it "an extraordinary privilege."
"No matter what lies beyond his final chapter," she wrote in a tweet, "he'll live forever in the hearts of many generations to come. I'll keep him present for all of us in every way I can"
Beginning on January 13, "Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series" will conclude with 11 special episodes that honor Ash's arduous ascent to the position of top Pokémon trainer.
The forthcoming episodes will include beloved characters and reveal Ash and Pikachu's future to the audience. Brock, Misty, Gary, Team Rocket, and some of Ash's most well-known Pokémon are a few of the returning, well-known characters previewed in a new trailer.
In the US, only Netflix is currently streaming "Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series." Ash and Pikachu achieved a milestone that has been teased ever since the pair's trip to the Kanto region in 1997's "Pokémon: Indigo League" series when they triumphed in the Masters Eight Tournament of the Pokémon World Coronation Series.
According to Taito Okiura, vice president of marketing for The Pokémon Company International:
Ash Ketchum’s determination and perseverance to achieve his goal of becoming the world’s top Pokémon Trainer over the course of 25 seasons represents the very best of what it means to be a Trainer. We cannot wait to celebrate this moment with Pokémon fans when the newest season of ‘Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series’ and this adventure-defining episode air around the world in the coming year. This is a season fans won’t want to miss!- Taito Okiura
Ash will be replaced by dual protagonists Liko and Roy, while the Paldea region's beginning Pokémon Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly from "Pokémon Scarlet" and "Violet" will be featured in a 2023 release. Other details have not yet been disclosed.