Ash Ketchum Will No Longer Be The Face Of Pokemon

Credit: Pokemon Ultimate Journeys: The Series

Well folks, it seems that Mr. Ketchum has indeed caught them all.

Back in November, the media went into an uproar when the Pokemon mascot finally became the world’s greatest Pokemon trainer. Mr. Ketchum – who really should be close to his 40’s now – achieved such a feat in the episode of Pokemon Ultimate Journeys: The Series; he won the Masters Eight Tournament of the Pokemon World Coronation Series that made him the top Pokemon trainer.

This comes after 25 years of consistent fails when it comes to championship leagues. Ash has won some notable events throughout his time on the show, with his victory over Drake in the Orange Islands, the Battle Frontier, or becoming the first Champion of the Alola region being some. However, this was the big one, and after constant losses that have always seen the plucky hero end up in the top four, he’s finally the Pokemon Master he set out to be.

So, when this finally happened, it wasn’t much of a surprise when it was announced that Ash’s time as the face of the series will be coming to an end. The new series will focus on two protagonists: Liko and Roy (that’s their names in the Japanese version) and the featured Pokemon will be Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly. As for Mr. Ketchum, the series will be saying goodbye with eleven final episodes documenting the final moments of Ash, Pikachu, and his future going forward. Classic characters Brock, Misty, and Gary are in the new trailer, so they’ll be making a welcomed appearance in the final adventures of Pikachu and Ash.

Credit: Pokemon Ultimate Journeys: The Series

In truth, the adventures of Ash and Pikachu should’ve ended long ago as the duo became incredibly stale due to too little character development. It’s great that the series finally gave him that big tournament win, cementing his status as a Pokemon Master, but it all feels too late, though at the end of the day, Pokemon is a show for kids, so it was never meant to be something incredibly serious that properly documents Ash’s trials and tribulations of becoming a Pokemon trainer.

The good news is that it’s a much-needed fresh start for the anime, and having two protagonists is an interesting idea; however, this is still geared toward kids, so it would be shocking if Pokemon got any deeper than the typical Team Rocket version of the latest region is. Of course, the gym battles and typical fluff that pads out the anime’s runtime. This is just pure speculation as I haven’t seen the show yet, but the characters don’t look too much different than Ash personality-wise, so I don’t know if the storytelling will change much either. Ash will likely be a guest at some point, and it would be cool to see him as an older trainer who battles one (or both) of the characters who must beat him in order to win the final championship.

Credit: Pokemon Ultimate Journeys: The Series

That should come much later in the multiple seasons with these characters. Nevertheless, despite my clear skepticism, hopefully, the creators deviate from the old formula to bring some genuine life into the series. As for Ash, it’s great that he’ll be able to ride off into the sunshine on a huge high. Pokemon has been a huge staple in anime, and Ash is one of the big reasons because of it. It was a rewarding outcome to see him finally take home the big trophy and become the very best Pokemon trainer in the world. The final chapter of Ash and Pikachu’s story is set to be released in Japan on January 13, 2023. A North American release date has yet to be confirmed.

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