Man, Ash and Pikachu are really leaving the Pokémon anime pretty soon, huh? With every farewell episode that airs in Japan and every new piece of information on the new animated series that comes out, the departure of the show’s long-time protagonists feels more and more real. If you were having a hard time visualizing that, The Pokémon Company has released some early footage of the new season, which will star new protagonists Liko and Roy.
Much of the new trailer is made up of character art for Liko, Roy, Friede, and Captain Pikachu, but there is a bit of footage of Liko choosing her Sprigatito partner, making friends at her school, and getting ready to battle a Ceruledge. There’s also a sick shot of Friede descending onto the scene on the back of a Charizard. As sad as it is to say goodbye to Ash and Pikachu, I’m feeling optimistic about this new cast. The first episode, which will be an hour-long special, is set to air in Japan on April 14.
Right now, the anime is wrapping up a series of farewell episodes dedicated to Ash and Pikachu’s 25-year journey, with the duo visiting old friends from throughout their adventures. The final episode will air in Japan on March 24, and will feature a heart-to-heart between Ash and his original rival Gary.
Unfortunately, it may be some time before American fans get to see this episode in English, as Pokémon is wrapped up in a licensing deal with Netflix that releases episodes in waves, rather than as they’re airing in Japan.
As such, it’s unlikely we will see the English dub of Liko and Roy’s debut any time soon, as the Netflix rollout will still be several episodes behind the Japanese broadcast by the time it airs next month. It does mean you have plenty of time to watch Ash and Pikachu’s previous adventures, if you can deal with the fact that the series’ 25-year run is divided between multiple streaming apps.