After 25 years of being the very best that no one ever was, Ash and Pikachu are finally leaving the Pokémon anime. While it was always a running joke that everyone's favourite Pokémon trainer needed to age up or leave, it's bizarre to see it actually happen.
Many felt that Ash had reached his limits as a character recently, winning the Alolan League in Sun and Moon before winning the World Championship last month. After finally achieving their 25-year dream, Ash and his Pikachu are now scheduled to leave the series in 2023.
Not having Ash in the Pokémon anime is going to feel weird for older and newer fans. There’s a good chance that we’ll see more Pikachu, but we doubt any of the After all, the scrawny infinitely-ten-years-old trainer is the face of the franchise, alongside his Pikachu.
The announcement was made via the official Pokémon Twitter account. Ash’s journey will be commemorated with the final 13 episodes of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series, starting January 13, 2023. No details were given as to how his journey will end, though older rival Gary did ask him if he’s one step closer to being a Pokémon Master.
Prior to this, Pokémon Ultimate Journeys did have a sense of finality to it. During the finals of the World Championship, Pikachu had a vision where he saw all of Ash’s other Pokémon. A recent episode also saw the return of Ash’s Butterfree, complete with his Shiny girlfriend.
Replacing Ash will be two unnamed kids, a girl and a boy respectively. It seems that these two will be joined by all three starters from Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, keeping those Switch titles relevant. Obviously, it’s too soon to say if these two can hold a candle to Ash but they have decent designs, at the very least.
Fans can watch some of Ash’s classic adventures via Pokémon TV or the Pokémon YouTube Channel. Switch owners can play Pokémon Scarlet and Violet right now.