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‘Pokemon: Ultimate Journeys’ finale closes Ash Ketchum’s 25-year quest

Screenshot from ‘Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series Part 4’ trailer | The Pokémon Company

Over 20 years ago, audiences worldwide met Ash Ketchum, a boy from Pallet Town determined to become a Pokémon Master. The “Pokémon: Ultimate Journeys: The Series’” protagonist achieves his dream in the anime’s 25th season .

The most recent season has taken fans on an unforgettable adventure through the ever-changing world of Pokémon with its character development, new settings and exciting battles.

The final 12 episodes are focused on Ash, Misty and Brock, the original trio, as they take one last journey together through the Pokémon world.

Fast forward to 2023, the “not so rookie anymore” trainer has achieved his goals and beyond, becoming Pokémon champion of the Alola region and later ranking as the number one trainer in the world.

The episode “A Squad’s Worth of Passion,” is arguably the most memorable as it reunites Ash’s first Pokémon team in nearly 15 years.

The series’ final episodes would not have a proper ending if Ash’s iconic Pokémon did not make special appearances, as they were the reason for his crowning achievements.

Each of his Pokémon has its quirks, characteristics and unique traits that make them memorable and endearing to fans. Their evolving personalities and the relationships they built with Ash and each other are central to the storytelling in the long-running anime.

In the episode, Ash and his friends arrive in a port town, where a large crowd has come to watch a show hosted by the Squirtle Squad, a troublemaking group of Squirtles led by one of Ash’s former Pokémon. Ash and his friends enjoy the show but discover that the antagonistic Team Rocket has become the squad’s business manager and is causing trouble.

Season 25’s sub-season theme song takes nostalgia to a whole new level. The introduction is an amalgam of the “Pokemon” theme songs, showing clips from Ash’s past adventures.

The animation quality in this season is overall outstanding. The battles are breathtaking and memorable, with fluid movements and stunning visual effects that make every Pokémon battle a joy to watch. The most memorable ones are Ash battling Sinnoh region champion Cynthia in a six-on-six Pokémon battle spanning over three episodes, and opposing Galar Region Champion Leon.

The attention to detail in capturing the unique personalities and characteristics of each Pokémon shown in this season is commendable. Ash’s Pokémon personality was on full display in heartwarming moments throughout the season, as shown in the episode “Getting to the Heart of it All!” where Ash’s Gengar helps a fellow Pokémon abandoned by its trainer. This moment highlights the empathy that Ash has instilled in his partners, an emotion that positively plagues the franchise, teaching younger viewers to help others in need.

The world of Pokémon feels alive and vibrant, making it easy to immerse oneself in the journey alongside Ash and his friends.

The 25th season is a triumphant addition to the “Pokémon” franchise. With its compelling storylines, character development between Ash and his friends, stunning animation and a solid connection to its roots, it’s a season that caters to fans of all ages. This season has proven that “Pokémon” continues to evolve and captivate, making it a must-watch for newcomers and long-time trainers. “Pokémon Ultimate Journeys” is a celebration of the enduring spirit of Pokémon, and it leaves us eagerly anticipating the adventures ahead.

“Pokémon: Ultimate Journeys” final 12 episodes accumulate a 25-year journey in 12 nostalgic episodes, bringing Pokémon fans closure for Ash’s story.

“Ultimate Journeys’” successor, “Pokémon Horizons: The Series” will not feature Ash and will instead focus on a new generation of rising Pokémon trainers. An English dub was announced, but it is unclear when it will be released.

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Jahlil Rush
Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant
Jahlil Rush is a Production Assistant for The Ticker.
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