Rumours rumbled through social media like… rumours usually do but Pokémon confirmed that Ash and Pikachu will leave the Pokémon anime after 25 years. I still can’t believe we’ve been following their journeys through 9(?) regions for a quarter century (although don’t tell Ash as he might be confused, what with remaining 10 years old for that time). Apart from watching most of the Black/White series and all of the Sun/Moon arc, I haven’t watched the anime properly since the start of his Johto journey.
I blame a lack of syndication but even so, I’d lost that connection with it. Thanks to my son’s interest in Pokémon, we watched all but 2 of the Pokémon movies during the pandemic (I’d not watched anything past the third one) and that renewed my connection to Ash, Pikachu, and the rest of the gang. It’s fitting that this era ends with an 11-episode series, followed by a new Scarlet/Violet arc in Paldea featuring a lead female protagonist???
Thanks for the memories, Ash. I will always claim your Orange Islands victory as canon and your first championship.