Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Next Pokémon Series Will Replace Ash And Pikachu As Protagonists

Ask the average person to name two characters from the "Pokémon" franchise, and the most likely answers are probably trainer Ash Ketchum and the electric yellow Pikachu, the human and Pokémon protagonists of every major "Pokémon" anime series of the last 25 years. Both characters are firmly linked with the franchise in the mind of the public, but now The Pokémon Company has revealed that the next animated "Pokémon" series will not feature the inseparable pair as its heroes.

The as-yet-untitled "Pokémon" series, which will act as a follow-up to "Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series," the franchise's current televised animated adaptation, is set to hit screens sometime next year. But, believe it or not, when it does so, it will be without Ash and Pikachu — at least in their traditional roles of main protagonists. Instead, the series will follow two brand new characters to carry on the "Pokémon" saga on their own.

It's a fitting development following Ash's finally becoming the very best (like no one ever was) after 25 years of striving towards that goal.

The upcoming series will feature new heroes Liko and Roy

IGN has the bittersweet news that the upcoming next "Pokémon" anime storyline will not feature Ash Ketchum or Pikachu as its main characters, something that has remained constant for the last 25 years of the show's animated mythology. Instead, "dual protagonists" Liko and Roy (whether their names will remain the same in the English translation of the show remains to be seen) will carry on the torch, while the upcoming final episodes of "Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series" will not only conclude the rich history of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu but "offer a glimpse at what the future may hold" for the world's most famous Pokémon trainer, per an official press release.

That being said, the episodes are also billed in that same press release as the "final chapter" for Ash and Pikachu, so it appears that the characters are going into a kind of retirement, at least for the time being.

Fans have the remaining episodes of "Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series," many of which are still to be released in North America, to say goodbye to Ash and Pikachu, as well as "a collection of special episodes commemorating Ash and Pikachu's 25 years of adventures," according to IGN. Hopefully, Mr. Ketchum will head into the next phase of his life having, at long last, caught 'em all.