End of an Era: Ash and Pikachu End 26-Year Pokémon Run

Picture of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu celebrating their success with a trophy held high in victory.
The Pokémon Company

The Pokémon anime series aired its final episode in Japan on Friday, marking the end of an era that spanned 26 years, 1232 episodes, and 23 movies. The series bid farewell to Ash Ketchum and Pikachu, two of the most beloved protagonists in anime history. While saying goodbye to its beloved characters, Pokémon is ready to take us into an exciting new world with new protagonists that will bring us further into its fantastic universe. Fans can still look forward to new adventures with Liko and Roy, the two new trainers who will now take center stage in the Pokémon universe.

The final episode of the Pokémon anime series, titled “Rainbow and the Pokémon Master!,” doesn’t deliver a conclusive ending, but rather serves as a nostalgic send-off for Ash Ketchum and Pikachu. In this episode, Ash reunites with his original companions Misty and Brock as they embark on a journey to Pewter City and Cerulean City. The episode also features Ash returning to his hometown of Pallet Town and reconnecting with Professor Oak, his former rival Gary, and Team Rocket’s Jesse, James, and Meowth. The final episode pays homage to the series’ roots and sets the stage for new adventures to come.

To avoid giving away significant plot points, here’s only a brief official synopsis.

“When Ash and Pikachu return to Pallet Town, they reunite with Gary who asks Ash the question: How much closer to becoming the Pokémon Master are you now that you’ve become the Champion? Becoming a Pokémon Master has been Ash’s dream ever since he set off on his journey with Pikachu. Will Ash be able to find the answer to this question?”

Fans of the English dubbed version of the series will have to hold their breath a little longer, as the final episode’s release is tied to a Netflix deal and expected to debut in the latter half of this year. While bidding farewell to Ash and Pikachu, Pokémon Horizons, the next season of the anime series with new protagonists, is set to premiere in Japan on April 14th, and a trailer for the upcoming season is now available for fans to view.

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