All good things come to an end, as the mainline Pokémon anime series won’t feature Ash Ketchum and Pikachu for the first time in 25 years. After finally becoming the very best that no one ever was, the perpetual 10-year-old is handing down the torch to two new protagonists in a brand-new show.
The title, which premieres in 2023, will star Liko and Roy along with the three Paldea starters from Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: Sprigatito (Grass-Type), Fuecoco (Fire-Type), and Quaxly (Water-Type). Not much else has been revealed, but fans can also expect a collection of special episodes that celebrate Ash and Pikachu’s 25 years of adventures.
According to the official release, these episodes will “offer a glimpse at what the future may hold for Ash”, confirming that this is indeed the “final chapter” for him and Pikachu. Accompanying the announcement was a new poster for the special series, which eagle-eyed enthusiasts have noticed is a direct parallel to one of the original anime posters.
The trailer seems to suggest cameos from Brock and Misty as well, with a quick glimpse of Liko at the end. There’s no official word on how Liko and Ash are related, but some have pointed that the former’s hair clip bears a striking resemblance to the logo on a familiar cap:
It’s truly the end of an era. For those who grew up with Ash and Pikachu, this will surely be an emotional goodbye, especially with the planned Pokémon farewell. Thank you for all the memories — you’ll both be dearly missed!