The End of an Era: Pokémon to Continue Without Ash Ketchum, New Series Announced

The journey of Ash Ketchum has an end in sight.

The Pokémon Company recently announced that a new animated series with an original story and characters is slated to air. This new series, which will feature a girl and a boy duo, will debut once the current season of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series ends.

The new series also marks the end of a 25-year running storyline that included Ash and his longtime partner Pikachu. This comes on the heels of Ash winning the Masters Eight Tournament of the Pokémon World Coronation Series, making him the top trainer in the world.

The new series will center on the Pokémon from the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet games. The Pokémon Company states the new character’s journey will see them “unravel the mysteries of the Pokémon world.” There are no official dates at this time.

New characters announced for a new Pokémon series slated to start after Ash Ketchum's story wraps up.
The new protagonists for the upcoming Pokémon series. (Image Credit: The Pokémon Company via Comic Book)

As far as Ash, his rise to Pokémon World Champion serves as the culminating achievement after 25 years of journeying. The final episodes will celebrate this feat and provide insight into what the future will hold for Ash and Pikachu. 

The Pokémon Company said the final episodes will “serve as an expression of gratitude from Pokémon to all fans who have joined Ash and Pikachu along the way.”

Many took to social media to share their admiration and nostalgia surrounding the announcement of Ash’s retirement. 

Ash Ketchum debuted in the Pokémon TV series on April 1, 1997 in Japan. The show made its way to the U.S. on Sept. 8, 1998 and to other regions after that. 

The show saw Ash and his companions travel to various regions that coincide with the video games of the same name, catching Pokémon along the way. Ash and Pikachu remained consistent, but his companions have changed over the years, including his Pokémon.

The most recent season debuted on Dec. 17, 2021 in Japan and is ongoing. The English additions began earlier this year with the first 12 episodes airing on Netflix. The episodes with Ash winning the world championship have yet to arrive in English. 

Ash’s adventures have covered 25 seasons, 23 movies, and numerous spinoffs. 

As a younger millennial, this news has struck me right in the childhood. I remember the Saturday morning cartoons and Pokémon was always one of the shows I would watch.

He represented a lasting piece of childhood that I had returned to over the years and have shared with my children. Ash and Pikachu will be missed.

The real question is what is going to happen to the true MVPs of the series: Team Rocket.

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Source: The Pokémon Company

Featured Image: The Pokémon Company (via Screen Rant)

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