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'Pokemon' anime series to say goodbye to Ash, introduce new characters

Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The Pokémon anime series will say goodbye to longtime protagonist Ash Ketchum.

Ash's story in Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series will conclude with 11 special episodes in 2023, the first of which will be released Jan. 13 in Japan.

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The final episodes will feature fan-favorite characters and give a glimpse of what the future holds for Ash and Pikachu. Ash achieved his goal of becoming the Pokémon World Champion on the show in November.

Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series is the 25th and final season of the Pokémon anime series, which first premiered in 1997. The show streams on Netflix in the United States.

"Ash Ketchum's determination and perseverance to achieve his goal of becoming the world's top Pokémon Trainer over the course of 25 seasons represents the very best of what it means to be a trainer," The Pokémon Company International vice president of marketing Taito Okiura said. "We cannot wait to celebrate this moment with Pokémon fans when the newest season of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series and this adventure-defining episode air around the world in the coming year. This is a season fans won't want to miss!"

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Following Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series' end, a new series featuring two new characters and three Paldea starter Pokémon will be introduced. A trailer for the show gives a glimpse of the new characters.

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