Pokemon anime protagonist Ash Ketchum (otherwise known as Satoshi in Japan) from Pallet Town is exiting the beloved franchise, ending a long 25-year journey of becoming the world's greatest Pokemon master. The final chapter of Ash and Pikachu's Pokemon adventures will end with 11 episodes, starting on 13 January 2023 in Japan (and presumably later, globally).
But don't worry; this isn't the end of the Pokemon anime series. Instead, this latest news of Ash Ketchum's departure traces the announcement of an "all-new Pokemon series," marked by the introduction of two new characters (Liko and Roy) and three Generation IX starter pocket monsters (Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly) from Paldea, where Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are based.
The official announcement communicated via the official Pokemon Twitter account can be found below.
Following this shocking news, many Pokemon fans have seemingly taken to Google to search, "Does Ash die in Pokemon." While we highly doubt this will be the case, we look forward to discovering how the series will wrap up the iconic character's journey. That said, Ash eventually reached his ultimate goal of becoming the World Champion after defeating Leon in the World Coronation Series.
Ash was first introduced on 1 April 1997 with "Pokemon, I Choose You," the very first episode of the Pokemon anime. Since then, Ash has been featured in a little over 1200 episodes, each voiced by the same iconic Japanese voice actor: Rika Matsumoto. As a result, Ash has widely been regarded as the face of the Pokemon franchise, given his global recognition.
On that note, it is surreal to think that Ash is effectively being killed off (not literally, hopefully), considering that he's been a mainstay for the better part of my entire life. Still, I believe Ash's departure from the Pokemon anime series is a much-needed change in what has otherwise become a somewhat stale storyline (yes, that is a tough pill to swallow).