Five ways the Pokemon anime could end

Ash and Pikachu, walking away into the sunset together for the last time.
Credit: Youtube - The Official Pokemon YouTube Channel

After decades of adventures, Ash and Pikachu are finally bowing of out the Pokemon anime in 2023. And until they do, we can have some fun thinking about how the Pokemon anime could end alongside them. From unanswered questions to our hero nurturing the next generation, here's what we think could happen. And the best part about this list? He could easily make them all happen!

Having been crowned World Champion after defeating Leon in the Master's Eight Tournament, Ash finally realized his dream of becoming a Pokemon Master, making it a fitting curtain call for the world-traveling pre-teen. The new year will begin an 11-episode send-off for the dynamic duo. It's not the end of the Pokemon anime full-stop, but certainly the end of an era that's spanned a quarter of a century.

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Five ways the Pokemon anime could end

Ash is holding the World Championship trophy, surrounded by his Pokemon team.
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Credit: Bulbapedia
The fact that he won it with a Lucario still breaks my heart

5. Ash reigns as World Champion

The most obvious ending to the anime would be for Ash to return as the Monarch World Champion after defeating Leon, defending his title against those training to be in his shoes.

He’s currently on a journey to revisit all of the people and places most important to him, as well as hopefully some of the Pokemon he travelled with - we've already seen Butterfree in the trailer for his send-off show!

Once this is over, what would be more fitting for him to return, and take his place as the World Champion for future trainers to test their might against? The student becomes the master, after all.

This could even lead to the introduction of the two new protagonists, Liko and Roy. Perhaps inspired by his story, they'll both set out on their own journey, eventually going up against who one who sent them down their path.

4. Ash's father comes back from the store

There has been one notable character missing throughout the entire Pokemon franchise, and that is Ash’s father.

There isn’t much known about him, other than he left to start his own Pokemon journey just after Ash was born. This meant that Ash’s mother had to raise him as a single parent, and caused an endless tide of conspiracy theories around him.

What could be a more fitting end to Ash’s journey than to finally be able to meet his father? He would be able to ask him why he abandoned Ash at a young age, and why he never tried to reach out to him once he got older.

His father would have to have a seriously good reason to justify this kind of behaviour, but clearing up lingering questions is an easy way to wrap the whole thing up.

A line-up of all the Pokemon Professors so far.
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Credit: Reddit
He just needs to get the white lab coat, and he'll fit right in

3. Professor Ketchum?

There is the distinct possibility that Ash might not want to reign as Pokemon Champion. In fact, he may want to return to a quieter life, directly mentoring trainers on their own Pokemon Journeys. It would suit Ash and Pikachu quite nicely to become either a teacher or a Professor. Who wouldn't want to be mentored by the globe-trotting wunderkind?

It would be inspirational to see Ash finishing his journey by settling into this new role, which could be yet another way that the two new protagonists are introduced. The series could really come full circle, with Professor Ketchum offering three starters to Liko and Roy, instigating their own adventure.

Ash surrounded by some of his favourite Pokemon throughout his journey.
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Seeing them all together like this makes me emotional

2. Ash reunites with his Pokemon

There have been a lot of emotional scenes in the Pokemon series during the past 25 years, but some of the most special ones are between Ash and his Pokemon.

While he understandably won’t be able to meet every creature he's caught, benched, released, or traded over the decades, there are a few that fans would love to see him reunited with.

There’s the abandoned Charizard he adopted that eventually refused to listen to him, botching his first attempt at stardom during the Indigo League. And there’s also the Butterfree that asked to leave Ash after it fell in love with another of its kind.

Ash also promised to return to Pigeotto, and of course, all of the others that he sent back to wait for him at Professor Oak's Laboratory. They've shown up over the years during fleeting visits and video calls, but Ash surely has to go back home now to celebrate his victory.

Maybe he'll find a way to live with the complicated ecosystem he's created back in his hometown.

Serena, a childhood friend of Ash, and a travel companion, accepting a gift from him.
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1. Ash starts a family

Ash Ketchum began his adventure in Pallet Town as a stereotypically naïve and immature 10-year-old. His audience resonated with him and the mistakes he made, as they were of a similar age. This has been one of the main talking points of the series since the years have gone on: each generation grows up with Ash, with him staying the same age in subsequent series to give a new generation a chance to adventure with him as well.

There have been a lot of ways in which the character has matured, but the series could end with showing up Ash finally growing into a young adult (or even a more present father than his own).

It would be wholesome to see him finish his journey with a family, even perhaps sending off his own children on quests inspired by their father and his numerous travel companions.

To see him retiring from his journey, or even taking steps to take them along with him, would be a great way to resonate with the original audience; many of whom are now introducing Pokemon to their own children. The question is: who does he end up with? Serena has quite a history with him.

The final series for Ash will begin on the 23rd of January, with many old fans of the franchise pledging to return to see him off. The trailer shows that he’ll reunite with Misty and Brock for his last episodes, creating a full-circle effect as he meets up with his first two of many traveling partners.

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