Pokémon Animated Series Says Goodbye to Ash Ketchum and Pikachu After 25 Years


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After 25 years of following Ash Ketchum and his electric sidekick Pikachu, Pokémon has announced that their adventure will come to an end in 2023. Following an 11-episode story arc centered on the couple, the popular animated franchise will continue with an emphasis on new characters, following a video announcement.

The first of the last 11 episodes of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series, focusing on Ash and Pikachu’s journey, will air in Japan on January 13, 2023. As the legendary duo’s journey finds its final chapter, fans will have new characters and Pokémon to follow.

The show’s Twitter account teased an “all new” series, seemingly showing off two new characters and three “starter Pokémon.”

The announcement came as a surprise to fans around the world.

Sarah Natochenny, who has been the English voice actress who plays Ash for the past 17 years, wrote a farewell message which read in part: “No matter what lies behind his final chapter, he will live forever in the hearts of many generations to come. I will, in any way I can, keep him alive for all of us.”

Veronica Taylor, who provided the original English voices for Ash and several other characters until 2006, wrote that she was “surprised” by the announcement and that it marked the end of a “joyful era”.

“An incredible 25 year journey like no other! This is truly the end of a very joyful era. Ash and Pikachu are the heart of Pokémon. Ash may not age, but we all grew up with their friendship and their adventures,” she said wrote.

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