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Pokémon anime series marks Ash’s last episodes in the best way

Ash Ketchum's final Pokémon episodes hit home and gives the anime character the best possible send off as he and Pikachu head into retirement

Pokémon anime series marks Ash's last episodes in the best way

Pokémon is one of the most popular anime series of all time, and its leading stars, the anime characters Ash Ketchum and Pikachu, have been steady figures in our lives for decades. However, a new era is kicking off in the Pokémon world, with Ash now officially retiring. And to mark the occasion of Ash’s final episodes in the beloved TV series, we’ve been taken down memory lane.

In Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series, we saw Ash complete his long-time goal of becoming the world’s greatest Pokémon trainer after defeating all his opponents at the Pokémon World Coronation Series Masters Eight Tournament. Following the conclusion of the show, 11 episodes of Pokémon: Aim to Be a Pokémon Master are now being released to give Ash a proper send-off after his 25 years-plud of training and trying to catch them all.

But, while the new episodes revisit old friends such as Brock, Misty and the Squirtle Squad, what really pulls at our heartstrings and hits us with nostalgia is Pokémon: Aim to Be a Pokémon Master’s intro.

The song and sequence for the intro of Ash’s last episodes, which was released in Japan in January 2023, brings back the iconic shot of Ash and his badges from the show’s first intro in 1997.

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Both the intro from the ’90s TV show and the new intro end with a shot of Ash in front of the badges, with Misty, Brock and Pikachu in the background.

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However, since Ash has now gained all those badges and has completed his quest, which he first began in 1997, the moment hits home and feels like a triumph.

The Easter egg is a stark reminder that Ash has finally fulfilled his lifelong dream (I’m not crying, you are!). Currently, Ash’s final episodes are only available to watch in Japan. A UK and US release date is yet to be confirmed, but, we suspect that Pokémon: Aim to Be a Pokémon Master will be available in late 2023.

While we wait on more updates, here is the list of the best Pokémon movies that you can watch right now. Or, if you are after some more classic shows, here are our lists of the best One Piece characters and the best Netflix anime.