The Pokémon anime is wrapping up Ash and Pikachu’s 25-year-long story with a collection of farewell episodes, and in every of them, the duo has been revisiting outdated associates from throughout the Pokémon world. Nevertheless, it feels like the ultimate episode earlier than the present arms off the torch to new protagonists Liko and Roy received’t give attention to Ash’s relationship with a good friend, however a rival. That’s proper: Gary, who began his personal journey the identical day Ash and Pikachu did within the present’s pilot again in 1998, is making a comeback.
What’s Ash and Pikachu’s last episode about?
The finale is titled “Rainbow and the Pokémon Grasp!” and a synopsis was shared via a Japanese TV information (thanks ComicBook), which incorporates descriptions of latest episodes within the upcoming month. It says that Ash will reunite with Gary after returning to his house in Pallet City, and the 2 will focus on his journey and if he seems like he’s a Pokémon Grasp after his championship win earlier within the season.
“When Ash and Pikachu return to Pallet City, they reunite with Gary who asks Ash the query: How a lot nearer to changing into the Pokémon Grasp are you now that you simply’ve turn out to be the Champion? Changing into a Pokémon Grasp has been Ash’s dream ever since he set off on his journey with Pikachu. Will Ash be capable to discover the reply to this query?”
Over the course of the Pokémon anime’s 25 years, Ash has had a number of rivals that he and Pikachu have confronted throughout completely different seasons, reminiscent of Paul from the Diamond and Pearl seasons and Leon in the latest Journeys seasons, however Gary is the OG. He’s based mostly off Blue within the authentic Pokémon Crimson and Blue video games, and he’s the little shit each Pokémon fan likes to hate. A few of you might need actually nicknamed him shit within the video games. It’s been a minute since he was a outstanding character within the anime, plenty of older viewers little question nonetheless view him as Ash’s major rival. Gary being so closely featured within the finale seems like an acknowledgement of that. Ash has gone on to battle new rivals and face different threats, however anybody who’s seen his journey from the start is aware of all roads lead again to the rival he left behind at house.
All that being said, Gary and Ash’s rivalry has been in a state of mutual respect for a while now. Ash did actually beat Gary in a Pokémon battle 20 years ago in the episode “Can’t Beat the Heat!” Since then, Gary has appeared a few times throughout the series as a cameo, and while he and Ash still bicker, there’s less outright hostility. So it feels right to know Ash is going to reflect on his 25-year journey with the same person he started it alongside.
When will the final Ash and Pikachu episode air in America?
The episode is set to air in Japan on March 24, though there’s no concrete date for the English dub just yet. The Pokémon anime’s English dub is currently tied to a cope with Netflix within the US that rolls out episodes in chunks all year long, with the most recent batch having simply been added to the streaming service on February 24. As of this writing, Netflix is 25 episodes behind what’s aired in Japan, which means that if the episodes proceed to roll out on the round a dozen episodes each batch they’ve been up thus far, we are going to possible see Ash and Pikachu’s last episode come to Netflix someday within the latter half of 2023.
Gary isn’t the one character from the early seasons returning in Ash and Pikachu’s farewell episodes. Misty and Brock, who have been the pair’s touring companions within the first seasons (Brock returned as a principal solid member throughout the Hoenn and Sinnoh seasons), have each been staples of those episodes and touring with Ash as he visits different outdated associates. So though our heroes’ story has spanned a number of areas, it appears the anime is basically leaning into the Gen I nostalgia.
Whereas Ash’s Pikachu will lastly retire, The Pokémon Firm isn’t about to kick the mascot out of the present fully, and is introducing Captain Pikachu, who will accompany new protagonists Liko and Roy on their adventures.