After 25 years of catching pocket monsters, Ash Ketchum has defied all odds and finally become the world’s greatest trainer following his long-overdue victory in the Pokémon World Coronation Series. But the good news didn’t last long, as it was announced Ash and his best buddy Pikachu will not be appearing in the upcoming new Pokémon anime, with new protagonists replacing the iconic duo. While the change will allow for more stories in the long-running animated series, the announcement has understandably saddened fans. The Pokémon Company, fortunately, had some good news: while Ash will be gone for good, Pikachu will be replaced by…another Pikachu. And the resemblance is uncanny.
New characters, namely Liko and Roy—and their Pokémon companions Quaxly, Sprigatito, and Fuecoco from the latest Scarlet and Violet games—will replace Ash and Pikachu at the front of the series. The silver-haired Pokémon professor, Friede (who is wearing an aviator jacket), will be assisting them along the way with the help of a new Pikachu. While it’s definitely a different Pikachu than the one we grew to love, Captain Pikachu will be reporting for duty to help the two protagonists. And just like the OG Pikachu, Captain Pikachu is shaping up to be the series’ star. In a statement, the Pokémon Company Vice President said:
“For 27 years, Pikachu has been synonymous with the Pokémon franchise, and we look forward to seeing this beloved Pokémon continue to have a significant presence in the animated series and remain an icon for the brand.”
It makes sense that the company would keep Pikachu in the upcoming animated series, given that the pocket monster has been the face of the franchise for decades. And while it’s sad without Ash in the upcoming show, another story will open, considering the sheer number of Pokémon that have yet to receive a proper introduction.
Ash Ketchum first appeared in 1997 as a 10-year-old kid from Pallet Town, with Pikachu as his greatest companion. For so many years, fans have joined Ash and his team on their journey and even grew to love his antagonists Team Rocket along the way. So, obviously, the new characters, along with the new villains, will have big shoes to fill. And although we are still unsure of the new Pikachu’s characteristics, generations of Pokémon fans are certainly hoping that Captain Pikachu will still utter the unforgettable and definitely the cutest “Pika-Pika” in a menacing tone, perhaps. Regardless of what type of Pikachu fans will be receiving, the fact that Pikachu is still connected with the new series (whether the OG or the captain) is still good news for them and will definitely deliver a nostalgic television experience.
The adventures of Ash and the OG Pikachu has officially come to a close. By all means, let the kid rest and allow the new characters from the Paldea region take their place. The new Pokémon series is set to debut later this year. While it’s too soon to make assumptions about the new characters, let Captain Pikachu tell you what to expect by checking the images below.