Ash Ketchum and Pikachu will lead their last Pokémon feature in early 2023.
The Pokémon Scarlet and Violet era alludes to the new Protagonists of the series, Riko and Roy.
An all-new Pokémon series has been announced!
Join 2 new characters and 3 Paldea starter Pokémon as they adventure through the Pokémon world! Plus, commemorate Ash’s journey with special episodes concluding Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series.
Coming soon in 2023 and beyond! pic.twitter.com/2lrM6W1dgW
— Pokémon (@Pokemon) December 16, 2022
Ash has stood as an icon in anime and media for a quart of a century now. There is just about no chance that Ash Ketchum will be gone from the Pokémon anime forever. While the announcement has been made that he will no longer be the main protagonist of the series, he will likely make a return some day just like so many characters did in this most recent arc. For now though, the focus of the Pokémon anime shifts toward two young trainers.
Pokémon Anime 2023 and Beyond
With a fresh reset for the Pokémon anime, there are many possibilities for what can come! Judging by the three Paldean starter Pokémon being featured in the promotional material, the anime will move onto the next generation's region as usual. The female protagonist Riko, and either the other main protagonist, or main supporting character Roy are front and center on this new era of Pokémon. What their main Pokémon are we have yet to see, and whether the Paldean starters are part of the main roster, or just advertising usage, will be known pretty soon after the show airs.
The Pokémon fanbase quite simply will not let anything slide. We all see it. Let's not pretend it isn't there. Riko's hairclip is fashioned in the exact pattern of the symbol Ash wore on his hat for five years in the original Pokémon series. A nod? Maybe. A sign? Most likely. We will see in the upcoming final chapter of Ash and Pikachu's journey where they end up. Ash and Serena's child is a popular idea for who Riko could be. Others go more vague as to say she may be a family member of Ash's or that the symbol will gain meaning that connects them.
Evolution of the series is also possible. For twenty five years Pokémon has used a similar formula in each arc to progress the story with new characters and sub-stories. With anime becoming an increasingly popular international media, Pokémon may be wanting to become more competitive as an anime for all ages, rather than being advertised internationally as a children's show.
No matter what theories are true or what these characters will do, the world is on their toes ready to dive into what is next in store for the Pokémon world.