Pokémon Anime Set To Move On From Ash Ketchum And Pikachu


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A young trainer posing playfully with a Pokémon Poké Ball.

Ozair Hussain

After 26 years, Ash Ketchum and Pikachu finally became legends of the Pokémon franchise.

On Dec. 16, Pokémon’s official Twitter account announced Ash and Pikachu’s story will end with an 11-episode special titled “Pokémon Aim To Be A Pokémon Master” which premiered Jan. 13.

The special will also include Misty and Brock returning as Ash’s traveling companions. The two were Ash’s very first traveling companions in the first season of the anime.

The announcement came after Ash became the new Monarch of the Pokémon World Coronation Series in the latest season of the anime, “Pokémon Journeys: The Series.”

Prior to the release of “Pokémon Journeys: The Series,” there was speculation Ash was not returning as the protagonist after becoming the first Champion of the Alola region’s “Pokémon League in Pokémon: The Series Sun & Moon.”

The reason for the speculation was that Ash’s reiterated goal throughout the series was to become a Pokémon Master, and it was believed becoming a Champion was him accomplishing that goal. However, the meaning of becoming a Pokémon Master has never been explained in depth in the anime.

“Pokémon XY” Episode 67: Moment of Lumiose Truth, the 866th episode (Flickr)

The announcement has led to an outpouring of tributes from fans of the anime and games alike, including tributes from voice actresses Veronica Taylor and Sarah Natochenny. Taylor is best known for being Ash’s English voice actor for the first eight seasons of the anime, and Natochenny is best known as his current English voice actor.

Taylor tweeted a 59-second video on Twitter saying, “To all you Pokemon trainers out there … I am so happy to be traveling on this spectacular journey with you, through all the highs and lows, we are truly in this together.”

Via her official Twitter account, Taylor also said, “This announcement has really surprised me. I am filled with so much emotion…I guess I’d never considered Ash’s journey ending.”

Natochenny said via her official Twitter account, “It’s been an extraordinary privilege to have been the English voice of Ash Ketchum for what will be 17 years. No matter what lies beyond his final chapter, 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.”

She also posted a reel on her official Instagram account talking about her “Pokémon journey” in which she highlighted her 17 years being Ash’s voice actor and how much the fans mean to her.

Words cannot describe the impact Ash Ketchum and Pikachu had on fans who grew up with either the anime or games. They were the one constant in an anime that spanned 26 years and counting and included 8 regions, 26 movies, and 1,236 episodes. However, at the end of the day, their legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of trainers.