The new Pokemon anime series is titled Pokemon: Horizons and will not feature longtime franchise protagonist Ash.
In the coming Pokémon Horizons: The Series, Ash Ketchum is replaced by two new coaches. After 25 years as the central human character of the beloved and enduring Japanese franchise, Ash Ketchum will bring his story into the present Pokemon Ultimate Journeys: The Series. So, as Variety reports, similar to the upcoming Netflix series, Pokémon Horizons: The Series will expand beyond Ash and focus on two new main characters, Liko and Roy, as they delve into new discoveries in the world of Pokemon.
As the trailer suggests, Pokémon Horizons: The Series will see its protagonists, including Liko’s Pokémon partner Sprigatito, who will explore new mysteries and unlock secrets connected to Liko’s strange and powerful amulet. You’ll also meet a host of new characters, including culinary expert Murdock, tech genius Orla with her Pokémon Metagross, healer Molly, and the Rising Volt Trackers led by Captain Pikachu and Friede. This coincides with the release of the franchise’s latest video games, Pokemon Scarlet And Violet.
Prior to the departure of Ash Ketchum Pokémon Horizons: The Series has been teased for some time, preparing fans for the departure of arguably one of the most iconic heroes of the past quarter century. After finally winning a Pokémon World Championship and becoming a Pokémon Master late last year, it seems fitting that the sun should set on Ash’s story. Still, those who’ve followed the series since its inception — not to mention the generations that have followed them — will surely be saddened to say goodbye to the beloved coach.
But Pokémon Horizons: The Series will be filled with many new adventures that will surely keep this worldwide phenomenon going, and Liko and Roy are also likely to become popular heroes. Interestingly, however, Liko and Roy may not be the names by which English-speaking audiences will know them. Ash’s name is Satoshi in the Japanese language version of Pokémon, meaning Liko and Roy may have changed their names as well. The series is already running in Japan and while we know that it will be released in the US later this year, changes like these have not yet been announced, although the international press ahead of the series, along with the simplicity of the names, could do so means the characters keep their existing monikers.
Whatever the names of the heroes of Pokémon Horizons: The Series They’re already famous worldwide, as Pokemon remains one of the most robust franchises out there, boasting multiple video games, series, and films, not to mention a seemingly endless cavalcade of merchandise. And this is hardly the first time Ash hasn’t been the center of attention, as it has been in 2019 Detective Pikachu, although his legendary presence was certainly felt in this film. But the character’s official retirement, bittersweet as it is, marks a major milestone in Pokemon history and might even mark something of a fresh start for fans old and new.