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Pokémon Introduces Potential New Villains In Post-Ash Ketchum Anime

It's the end of an era for the "Pokémon" community. After 25 years of serving as the anime's protagonist, Ash Ketchum and his electric rat Pikachu are finally stepping aside from the series after finally earning the rank of Pokémon master. While Ash has achieved his dreams at the ripe old age of 10, the saga will continue with a new cavalcade of characters to carry on the franchise's legacy. 

We've known for a while the next chapter will introduce Liko and Roy as the new trainers in action. And while Ash's particular Pikachu won't be around, another one wearing a hat called Captain Pikachu will take its place, alongside its trainer Friede. Of course, any good protagonist needs their antagonist, and it seems as though Jessie, James, and Meowth of Team Rocket will be blasting off for the last time.

While there hasn't been official confirmation that these will be the new villains, a new video on the Japanese Pokémon Company YouTube channel heavily hints that Amethyo, Conia, and Zir will be the new bad guys in the anime going forward.

We don't like the tone of that music

Jessie, James, and Meowth were iconic despite the fact they failed hundreds of times to kidnap a single Pikachu, no doubt wasting millions of dollars of Team Rocket's money in the process. It wouldn't take much for the next antagonist to be effective, and we may have just gotten our first glimpse of what they'll look like.

While nothing's confirmed, the introduction of Amethyo in the video is accompanied by fairly menacing music. Additionally, Amethyo's partner Pokémon is the equally menacing Ceruledge, introduced in the tenth generation of "Pokémon" games — "Scarlet" and "Violet." In a trailer released for the new series, Amethyo and Ceruledge can be seen battling Liko and her Sprigatito. There are two other characters introduced, named Conia and Zir, who have a Golduck and Rhydon, respectively. They're all part of an organization called The Explorers, but no further details about this group are known at this time.

A much more easygoing character is also introduced, a streamer named Gurumin who wears a Nidoran outfit. It may take some adjustment, but fans will get to know all of these characters very well when "Pokémon Horizons: The Series" debuts in Japan on April 14. No western release date has been announced yet, but they'll likely be available later this year.