The Pokémon anime is drawing to a close, marking the end of Ash and Pikachu's 25-year-long journey with a series of farewell episodes. Throughout these episodes, the pair have been reconnecting with old acquaintances from the world of Pokémon. However, it seems that the ultimate episode before the show passes the baton to new protagonists Liko and Roy will highlight Ash's rivalry with Gary. The return of Gary, who embarked on his own journey on the same day as Ash and Pikachu in the show's pilot episode in 1998, is definitely something to look forward to.
Regarding the final episode of Ash and Pikachu, what is it about?
The Japanese TV guide shared a synopsis of the final episode of the Pokémon anime titled "Rainbow and the Pokémon Master!". Ash and Pikachu return to Pallet Town, where they reunite with Gary, Ash's longtime rival. Gary asks Ash about his journey and if he feels closer to becoming a Pokémon Master after winning the championship earlier in the season. This question has been Ash's dream since he first started his journey with Pikachu. Can Ash find the answer to this question with Gary's help?
Throughout its 25-year run, the Pokémon anime has introduced several rivals for Ash and Pikachu to face, including Paul from the Diamond and Pearl seasons and Leon from the most recent Journeys seasons. However, Gary, based on Blue from the original Pokémon Red and Blue games, remains the original and most memorable. Despite not being a prominent character in the anime for some time, Gary's heavy involvement in the finale acknowledges his importance as Ash's primary rival, which older viewers especially recognize. Although Gary and Ash used to have a hostile rivalry, they now have a relationship of mutual respect. This change was evident when Ash defeated Gary in a Pokémon battle 20 years ago in the episode "Can't Beat the Heat!" Since then, Gary has made a few cameo appearances, and while he and Ash still argue, their relationship is less contentious. Thus, it is fitting that Ash will reflect on his 25-year journey with Gary, his original companion.
When is the final episode of Ash and Pikachu airing in the US?
The Japanese airing date for the final Ash and Pikachu episode is March 24, but there is currently no confirmed date for its English dub release. In the US, the Pokémon anime's English dub is tied to a Netflix deal that releases episodes in batches throughout the year, with the latest batch being added on February 24. Netflix is currently 25 episodes behind Japan, so if they continue to release episodes in batches of around a dozen, the final episode will likely be available in the latter half of 2023.
In addition to Gary, other characters from the early seasons are making a comeback in the final episodes featuring Ash and Pikachu. Misty and Brock, who were the pair's companions in the first seasons, have been traveling with Ash and visiting old friends. Although the story has taken our heroes through various regions, the anime is heavily leaning into the nostalgia of the first generation of Pokémon. While Ash's Pikachu is retiring, The Pokémon Company is introducing Captain Pikachu to accompany new protagonists Liko and Roy on their own adventures.
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