Ash Ketchum and Pikachu have been traveling the world for 25 years, an adventure that spans a whole bunch of series. But their journey ends with Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Serieswhere Ash beat Leon in the Pokémon Coronation Series – a championship with trainers from around the world of the franchise – and Ash was eventually named the #1 ranked trainer in the world.
Ash and Pikachu finally reached their lifetime goal and now it’s time to move on. The Pokémon Company announced on Friday that as Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series comes to an end, a new series will take its place – a story with the two main characters Liko and Roy together Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet starters Sprigatito, Fuecoco and Quaxly and shiny legendary Pokémon Rayquaza.
There isn’t much information about the series, not even a name, but The Pokémon Company said the group will “unravel the mysteries of the Pokémon world — from trainer battles to fun Pokémon encounters.” It will debut worldwide in 2023, and The Pokémon Company promised that more details will come “in the future.”
However, before the new series kicks off, The Pokémon Company said it will air “a collection of special episodes” to close out Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series. It is expected to feature series favorites such as Misty and Brock, who also appeared in the show when Ash won the Pokémon World Coronation. There are five episodes of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series after Ash’s big win, three of which have already debuted in Japan. English versions of the show have not aired on Netflix yet. No release date for the episodes was announced.
Following the announcement, Pokemon fans have been sending out Ash and Pikachu paying tribute to their historic adventures. Japanese voice actor Rica Matsumoto tweeted about playing Ash (called Satoshi in the Japanese version of the show) for two decades – promising that Ash will always be close to fans’ hearts, just like when he first left Pallet Town.
Still to be continued…
— ✨松本梨香✨ (@rica_matsumoto3) 16 December 2022
Ash Ketchum’s English voice actor, who has played the iconic character for nearly 17 years, posted a tribute to Ash and the franchise on Twitter on Friday. “Whatever lies beyond his final chapter, he will live forever in the hearts of many generations to come,” Natochenny wrote. I want to keep him there for all of us in any way I can.” Natochenny took over the role from Veronica Taylor in 2006, when Natochenny was 19.
It has been an extraordinary privilege to have been the English voice of Ash Ketchum for what will be 17 years. Whatever lies beyond his final chapter, he will live forever in the hearts of many generations to come. I will keep him there for all of us in any way I can. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/UZxPO4xD6E
— Sarah Natochenny (@sarahnatochenny) 16 December 2022
Fans have been speculating for a while that the anime series would end after Ash and Pikachu achieved their dreams, and it turned out to be true. It’s the end of an era for Ash – which has been 10 years for the past 25 years – and Pikachu. But it’s also exciting to welcome a new era for the franchise, to follow new stories and meet new people.
Now that Ash and Pikachu are the best in the world, it seems likely that Liko and Roy might bump into the duo somewhere on their own journey.