After announcement in December that it would come that Pokemon Anime has finally aired its final episode of Ash and Pikachu in Japan. The episode will not air in English for some time as the anime is tied to a Netflix deal that will release episodes regularly. So if you’re curious how her journey ends after all these years, read on.
Spoilers for the final episode of the Pokémon Journeys follow anime:
As it turns out, much of Ash and Pikachu’s final episode, “Rainbow and the Pokémon Master!” doesn’t feel particularly cohesive about the wrapping of their story. Rather, it is more of a confirmation that the two will continue on their own path, which we cannot follow.
Continue reading: everything big Pokemon games, From worst to best
The episode begins with Ash saying goodbye to Misty and Brock, who accompanied him during the special farewell episodes Pokemon used to send the character. Though Ash has had many traveling companions over the years, spending these final episodes with the original cast felt right. However, since this final episode is all about him, he breaks up with them when they return to Pewter City and Cerulean City.
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Arriving back in Pallet Town, Ash spends some time at his mother’s house before heading into town to see Professor Oak, although the episode also gives us one more cameo: Tracey Sketchit. While his time on the show was short, Tracey was also a fan favorite in the early days, so it was nice to see him again, even if it was brief.
Once in Professor Oak’s lab, Ash visits some of his old Pokemon and then meets up with Gary, as we knew he would the original summary. As Ash and his old rival chat, he asks if winning the championship has brought him closer to becoming a Pokémon Master, and that question is at the heart of the episode. For many people in the Pokemon Community, there are various reasons people come to the series and what leads to success in this world is in the eye of the beholder. But Ash has long vaguely gestured at the idea of being a Pokémon Master, so the episode asks: what does that mean for him? He doesn’t have an answer yet.
We also circle back to Jesse, James and Meowth, who broke fans’ hearts earlier this month seems to dissolve. However, they are still together and do Team Rocket’s dirty work because they work in the kitchen for the group instead of trying to steal Ash’s Pikachu. But because old habits are hard to break, they make one last attempt at catching Pikachu before taking off one last time, though they seem a little more determined than it’s their passion.
The final major cameo of the episode is one of Ash’s earliest Pokémon: Pidgeot. It’s been a while since the two parted ways; Actually 24 years. The shitty thing is that when it was released in 1999, Ash promised to come back to protect a group of wild pidgeys, and that just never happened. But in this final episode, the two got back together and Pidgeot rejoined Ash’s team.
Then Ash thinks about what Gary asked. What does it mean to be a Pokémon Master? Ultimately, he comes to the conclusion that it’s all about being friends with all Pokémon. It doesn’t matter how many championships you win, how many badges you earn, or how much you fill up your Pokédex. The true strength of a Pokémon Master is being someone who takes care of all 1000+ of these creatures. Honestly, I know the “power of friendship” trope might be boring for some at this point, but that has always been the underlying theme of the Pokemon
The episode ends with Ash and several Pokémon taking shelter from a storm under a tree. Once the clouds clear and the sun comes out, he and Pikachu head down a new path with Team Rocket hovering just behind them in their hot air balloon.
So nothing is real in this last episode completed as for Ash’s story. He and Pikachu will continue to travel the Pokémon world and meet new friends, but we won’t follow him on the path that calls us. Instead, we’ll be hanging out with Liko and Roy, telling new characters with new stories. The next season that will be called Pokemon Horizonsgot a new trailer ahead of its April 14 premiere in Japan.
For more information on the ending of Ash and Pikachu’s story, see Kotakus Interview with English voice actress Sarah Natochenny.
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