Ash Ketchum and Pikachu, the beloved duo who have captured the hearts of Pokémon fans for over two decades, have officially retired from their roles as the protagonists of the series. The final episode of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series, titled “The Rainbow and the Pokemon Master!”, aired on 24 March 2023, in Japan, marking the end of an era.
While the final episode was relatively low-key, it was filled with nods to the series’ early episodes and reflected on what it means to be a Pokémon Master. The story took Ash and Pikachu back to where their journey began in Pallet Town and showcased their growth as trainers throughout the years.
Ash’s journey has spanned multiple shows and movies, and in November, he won the Pokémon World Coronation Series, cementing his status as one of the best trainers in the world of Pokémon. However, in December, it was announced that Ash and Pikachu would be passing the torch to two new trainers named Liko and Roy, who would take on the role of the series’ stars.
Before bidding farewell, Ash and Pikachu were given a series of special episodes that reunited them with old friends and Pokémon. The final episode was particularly poignant, as it explored Ash’s feelings about what it means to be a Pokémon Master. When asked by his long-time rival Gary if he had become a Pokémon Master, Ash hesitated to answer, prompting him to reflect on his journey and wonder if it had come to an end.
However, a chance encounter with a rainbow, a reference to the first episode where he saw the legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh, inspired Ash and Pikachu to embark on a new adventure and run towards the horizon.
The end of Ash and Pikachu’s journey marks the end of an era, but it’s also the start of a new chapter for the Pokémon franchise. We will miss Ash and Pikachu, but we’re excited to see what adventures await Liko and Roy in the future. Thank you, Ash and Pikachu, for many wonderful episodes and memories.