The Pokémon Anime Series to Bid Goodbye to Ash Ketchum and Pikachu!

Pokemon anime 2023 Liko and Roy
Liko and Roy are the leads of the upcoming Pokemon anime series (Image: Pokemon.com)

It finally happened. The Pokémon anime series has decided to allow long-running protagonists Ash Ketchum and Pikachu to walk off into the sunset as the upcoming anime season prepares to introduce a new set of leads.

Speculation about the Pokémon anime series ending Ash and Pikachu’s story started swirling when it became clear that the anime might finally allow Ash to attain his lifelong goal (even though he’s supposed to be like 10 years old) of becoming the strongest Pokémon Trainer during the Masters Eight Tournament in the currently airing Pokémon: Ultimate Journeys anime series. And it turns out that the rumors were indeed true.

Ash/Satoshi faced and won against Leon/Dande to become the new World Champion during episode 42 which aired in Japan on November 11, 2022. And now the Pokémon Company has announced that the anime will be saying goodbye to Ash to focus on a girl and boy duo named Liko and Roy (in the Japanese version). Accompanying the original leads will be the three Starter Pokémon from the Paldea region that was featured in the recently released Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet video games. The Starter Pokémon are Sprigatito (Grass Type), Fuecoco (Fire Type), and Quaggot… I mean, Quaxly (Water Type).

As someone who basically grew up watching the Pokémon anime, I’m okay with the anime allowing Ash and Pikachu to rest. They have been running around the fictional world of Pokémon for 25 seasons, beginning all the way back in 1997. They deserve a break. Also, the Pokémon games have moved on from solely focusing on tournament-like Pokémon Battles. There’s still a lot to explore and I’m okay with the two new leads choosing a different path than Ash.

Take note: Liko’s hairclip does resemble the iconic design on Ash’s cap. So, maybe they are related? Anyway, due to the Pokémon anime having a bunch of cameos over the seasons, there’s a chance Ash and Pikachu might guest-star in the new installment for a couple of episodes.

Until then, the good news is that the anime will air a bunch of special episodes to properly conclude Ash and Pikachu’s journey. There will be 11 special episodes in total, with the arc being titled Pocket Monsters: Aim to Be a Pokémon Master. The first one will air in Japan on January 13, 2023.

Having watched the promo, I’m so excited to see that the special episodes will be bringing back Misty (the best female companion!) and Brock (the best overall), Ash’s original travel buddies. He began his journey with them and it’s great to see that his “final chapter” will be with them, too.

However, having said that, I have my fingers crossed that Ash’s other companions also show up. I really want a proper reunion between Ash and (basically his love interest) Serena. There’s already a fan theory that the new anime series will feature a time jump with Liko being Ash and Serena’s daughter.

I do wonder what will happen to Jessie, James, and Meowth, though. Will Team Rocket continue to be a thing in the new anime? I wonder because the most recent anime episodes have shown the trio traveling in the Paldea region to catch new Pokémon.

Here’s the official promo talking about the special episodes and the upcoming anime series!

How do you feel about Ash and Pikachu bidding goodbye to the Pokémon anime series after decades? Will you be watching the anime series set in the Paldea region?

Let us know.

Sarah Natochenny Pokemon Ash voice tweet new anime
Twitter image via @sarahnatochenny

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.


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2 thoughts on “The Pokémon Anime Series to Bid Goodbye to Ash Ketchum and Pikachu!

    1. With Pikachu basically being the face of the Pokemon company… I’m actually surprised they let him go finally. But hey, if the anime views tend to decrease drastically, they can always bring Pikachu and Ash back, I guess. Lol.

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