The Pokémon community was rocked in 2023 when it was announced that the long-running Pokémon anime was going to end as we knew it. While the animated series was going to get a complete reboot with fresh characters and adventures, our time with Ash and all of his pals was coming to a close.

Pokémon Horizons: The Series is the brand-new Pokémon anime, and it finally started airing in North America last week. We’ve been introduced to a whole new cast, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten Ash and all he encountered. With the new series set for years to come, many are wondering if there’s any room left for Ash to return. While nothing is concrete, it does seem there is a very slim chance.

Variety had the chance to speak with Pokémon Company International executives Andy Gose and Taito Okiura, and while both seemed to take the stance of Ash’s time being wrapped up, there’s a bit of wiggle room as the franchise rolls on.

Gose: We’ve said farewell. Ash is still in the world. Anything is possible, I suppose. In the world of Pokémon, there’s so many possibilities.

Okiura: We hope Ash and Pikachu continue in their journey. Their journey is ongoing somewhere in the Pokémon world. It’s totally up to our fans’ imagination. For the time being, we would love to focus on the new story of the Liko and Roy. “Horizons” invites a new beginning.

[Pokémon Company International executives Andy Gose and Taito Okiura]

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Comments (4)


1M ago

Ash will come back, and he'll mention that he aged 25 years in a single day for some unknown reason. No one will mind.


1M ago

In a media landscape where nothing is allowed to simply end it’s a small miracle that Ash’s story got closure.


1M ago


I think this point is VERY true. Never did I imagine anything like this would happen, and it's certainly a rarity.


1M ago

Ash and Pikachu will return thanks to me. Cause I’m going to make Pokemon the Series: Sword and Shield when I work at Disney. Cause it will start with the real Season 23. Ash will have an adventure in the Galar Region with Serena and their childhood friends, Goh and Chloe, by his side. Ash and Serena will have new Pokemon by their side and new rivals to compete against. Ash will be participating in the Galar League and Serena will be participating in both the Pokemon Contest and the Pokemon Showcase. Cause she now realized what her true goal is and it’s similar to Ash’s goal of becoming a Pokemon Master. Serena’s true goal is to become the Queen of the Pokemon World.

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