The Pokémon anime will end the 25-year storyline of Ash and Pikachu’s journey next year.
The Pokémon Company said on Friday that it will air 11 final episodes of Ash and Pikachu’s journey before beginning a new chapter in the long-running series. The final arc of the anime will begin on January 13.
The new show, which will take place in the Paldea region from Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, will feature protagonists Riko and Roy. It is currently unknown when these episodes will air outside of Japan.
Short clips from the final episodes, which are viewable in the trailer above, appear to confirm that classic characters from early in the anime, such as Misty and Brock, will be returning for the eleven-episode arc, as well as some classic Pokémon.
The Pokémon anime first debuted in 1997 in Japan and in 1998 in the US. As of 2022, Ash and Pikachu have appeared in almost 1,300 episodes.
While other protagonists have been featured in spin-offs, this marks the end of a continuous storyline that will be over 25 years old when it concludes.
It was suspected that Ash’s story would come to an end when he finally achieved his goal of becoming the Pokémon League Champion earlier this year. This goal is also the end goal of all the Pokémon video games.
The Pokémon Company has said Ash’s long wait to reach his goal was intentional as it wanted to show young fans that it’s OK to lose and that the journey is the important part.