Pokemon Announces All-New Anime Series Without Ash

Ash's story is finally coming to a close after 25 years, but Pokemon isn't done telling stories. It has just announced a brand-new anime with an all-new lead.

In a teaser clip shared by the official Pokemon YouTube channel, it was revealed that "The final chapter in Ash and Pikachu's story" will be starting on January 23, 2023, spanning 11 episodes. After that, "a brand-new dream adventure [will] begin" starring new trainers Riko and Roy with new-gen 'mons. We can see Fuecoco, Sprigatito, and Quaxly in the final shot.

The description reads, "Join two new characters and three Paldea starter Pokemon as they adventure through the exciting world of Pokemon!" It's unclear who these two are, but we'll get to meet them soon enough. Features Editor Eric Switzer predicted the end of the Pokemon anime back in November, as Ash finally cinched the victory he'd been fighting for over the course of nearly three decades, despite still being a kid. And it is ending, or at least, Ash's run. We're getting a new start with some new characters, and we'll have to wait and see what they're like.

Given that, at the very start of the anime's run, Ash was based on Red from the titular Red, and Gary Oak was based on Blue from the titular Blue, its possible that elements of Scarlet & Violet's protagonist and rivals will be repurposed into this new anime. But with no details to go off of, all we can do is speculate.

In the clip, we do see our new lead picking her starter Pokemon, as there's a quick shot of her holding a Pokeball with a row of three behind her. Then, on the table, we see her looking shocked at Sprigatito, now sitting there, while she has a Pokeball still in her hand. That appears to be her pick, which may mean that Sprigatito will take the role of Pikachu going forward. No matter how many 'mons Ash released, he always kept Pikachu close. Now it's (maybe) Sprigatito's turn.

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