‘Pokemon’ Series Retiring Ash as Protagonist

After 25 years, the animated series is moving onto new leads.

After 25 years, the animated series is moving onto new leads.

Since it began airing in the 90s, the Pokemon animated series has followed the adventures of Ash Ketchum and his partner Pikachu. Ash has remained a major face of the series through its various changes and iterations (despite remaining inexplicably 10 years old the entire time), with his major accomplishments even headlining news and social media feeds. With Ash finally becoming a Pokemon League Champion this year, it seems that his time as protagonsit is coming to an end.

The Pokemon Company announced today that, after an upcoming series of 11 special episodes closing out his and Pikachu’s story, Ash will be officially retired as the Pokemon series protagonist. Following this, in April of 2023, a new Pokemon series will begin in the Paldea region, setting of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, which will follow new protagonist characters and their Pokemon.

“To conclude Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series, fans can enjoy a collection of special episodes commemorating Ash and his Pikachu’s 25-season journey to becoming Pokémon World Champion,” The Pokemon Company said in a press release. “The episodes offer a glimpse at what the future may hold for the world’s strongest trainer in this final chapter for Ash and his Pikachu.”

“It’s been an extraordinary privilege to have been the English voice of Ash Ketchum for what will be 17 years,” Ash’s English voice actor, Sarah Natochenny, said on Twitter. “No matter what lies beyond his final chapter, he’ll live forever in the hearts of many generations to come. I’ll keep him present for all of us in every way I can.”

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