After 25 years in the spotlight, Pikachu and trainer Ash Ketchum will no longer be the protagonists of the “Pokémon” TV series.
On Friday, the Pokémon Company shared a teaser trailer to announce a new TV series and signal the end of Ash and Pikachu’s time as the franchise’s main characters.
“Ash and Pikachu have had many encounters, many battles, and many exciting and memorable times,” the trailer declares. “Every adventure is another step on the long path to becoming a Pokémon Master, a dream that never ends.”
The trailer announces that Ash and Pikachu’s final chapter will unfold in the remaining 11 episodes of “Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series.” The episodes will be broadcast in Japan on Jan. 13, 2023.
From the looks of the recently uploaded video, the 11 episodes will feature reunions with Ash’s friends — including Misty and Pokémon such as Butterfree — and represent a look back at his journey that has spanned over two decades.
Taking Ash’s place are boy and girl duo Roy and Liko. These new characters are shown with the three starter Pokémon of the Paldea region – Sprigatito, Fuecoco and Quaxly – based on the ‘Pokémon: Scarlet and Violet’ games.
Some fans are speculating that Liko could be Ash’s daughter because her green hair clip appears similar to the logo on Ash’s iconic original hat. However, the Pokémon Company have yet to confirm this.
Ash Ketchum’s current voice actor for the English dub, Sarah Natochenny, tweeted her own farewell for the character, calling it “an extraordinary privilege” to have played the character for 17 years.