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25 years after it all started, Ash Ketchum and his iconic Pikachu are finally leaving the Pokémon anime, and your childhood is officially over.

The “Journeys” arc of anime was a non-traditional one for the series. Instead of focusing solely on the Galar region, Ash and Goh traveled the entire Pokémon world, meeting friends old and new, pumping in as much nostalgia as they could. The whole series felt like a trip down memory lane, and it turns out that was for a good reason.

Just a few weeks ago, Ash finally achieved his goal of becoming the very best, like no one ever was when he defeated Leon in the finals of the Pokémon world tournament. After achieving his goal set out in the very first episode, speculation began to run rampant that Ash’s story was over, and it turns out that speculation was correct.

Pokémon anime new series Riko, Roy, Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly

The new series will see protagonists Riko and Roy take the helm of the Pokémon anime.

Following today’s episode of the anime, which concluded Ash and Goh’s story for this arc, we saw two major announcements. First is that the next major arc of the anime – set in the Paldea region – will feature two brand new protagonists named Riko and Roy. This series will begin in April 2023.

In the meantime, we have a mini-series starting on January 13, 2023. This 11-episode series, titled Aim To Be A Pokémon Master, has been explicitly marketed as “the final chapter in Ash and Pikachu’s story”. The short trailer released with this announcement suggests that it’ll be one last hit of nostalgia for fans who have stuck with the anime over the years.

What the future holds for the anime is still a bit unclear. Depending on the response to Riko and Roy in this new series, they may become full-time protagonists, journeying from region to region like Ash. Alternatively, this could start an era where every region sees a new hero take the reigns.

Either way, we still have one last chance to say goodbye to Ash and Pikachu before they’re gone from our screens forever…or at least until flagging ratings cause them to pop up in a special.