By Cameron Smith, Arts and Entertainment Staff Writer
Hello, fellow Grizzlies! Is it surprising to know that Ash Ketchum, the longtime protagonist of the Pokemon anime series has said goodbye to us longtime viewers? When the series made its debut in 1997, Ash Ketchum began his Pokemon journey after getting a stubborn Pikachu as his first partner, and after a disastrous start, Ash and Pikachu’s friendship had solidified as Ash began his quest to become a Pokemon Master!
Ash and his Pokemon Journeys party celebrating their victory at the Masters Eight Tournament award ceremony in episode 132, Partners in Time!
Since that day, Ash has traveled far and wide, meeting and influencing new people and catching a variety of Pokemon. The finale of Pokemon Journeys: The Series’ Pokemon World Coronation Series Masters Eight Tournament arc ended in a shocking victory as Ash and Pikachu defeated the reigning champion in the finals, leading to Ash becoming the World Champion! In December 2022, The Pokemon Company announced a brand-new series debuting in April, but this time, Ash won’t be the hero!
Ash reunited with his Pidgeot, who (spoiler alert) soon rejoined him in Ash’s final episode appearance
To finish off Ash and Pikachu’s story, the series started an 11-episode mini arc titled Aim To Be a Pokemon Master, where Ash aimlessly travels the world, helping people and Pokemon with his big heart and brave soul.
In the eleventh and final episode, Ash returns home to Pallet Town and resumes a happy life with his mother and Pikachu. Soon, Ash shows us viewers his own meaning of being a Pokemon Master: to help and befriend every Pokemon he meets. Donning new shoes and a new resolve, Ash and Pikahcu leave Pallet Town once again on a never-ending journey! From there, we see our beloved 10-year-old one last time as the episode ends and the Journeys series comes to a close.
New character Liko and Pokemon Scarlet and Violet starter Pokemon Sprigatito in the upcoming series, Pokemon Horizons: The Series
Ash’s heartfelt departure from the series also brings forward new heroes in the upcoming series, Pokemon Horizons, where new characters Liko and Roy will follow in Ash’s footsteps and travel the world of Pokemon, now including the Paldea region! Though the series has ended in Japan, the anime’s English dub is still airing in Canada and streaming via Netflix in the U.S. It may be a while before we see Liko and Roy in the new series, but this next adventure is sure to bring us as much joy as the last 25 seasons of the series!
Watch the trailer for Pokemon Horizons: The Series here.