The animated Pokémon television series has been going strong for 25 years. And for an entire quarter century, the hero of the show has been Ash Ketchum — which, you have to admit, is sort of a convenient name for a Pokémon trainer, like a guy named Jeeves actually becoming a butler, or a race car driver named Chevy Malibu or something — and his journey to become a Pokémon master, along with his loyal Pokémon, Pikachu.
Well, it seems as if after 25 years and well over 1,200 episodes, Ash’s journey is over. The official Pokémon Twitter account revealed today that the next batch of new episodes will conclude Ash’s (and Pikachu’s!) quest. And it teases a new series of episodes without Ash that will follow.
Make sure you have a handkerchief ready before you watch the new teaser.
Obviously, Pokémon is not ending; the franchise is still going strong all these years later. No, it’s Ash’s story that is winding down. The trailer makes it very clear that a new hero will take over the show in the future. And obviously there are other aspects of Pokémon — card games, video games, comics — that will continue as well. But what even is Pokémon without Ash and (gulp) Pikachu? We‘re about to find out. But all good things must come to an end — and really if you can’t become a Pokémon Master after 25 years of trying, maybe it’s time to try another career?
Pokémon is now in its 25th season on the air; the current run of shows is titled Pokémon: Ultimate Journeys. Ash’s final 11 episodes begin airing in Japan on Friday, January 13, 2023.
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