The day has finally come for Ash and Pikachu to say goodbye to the Pokemon anime, and fans have been busy saying their emotional farewells.
On March 24, the final episode of the current season of the Pokemon anime aired -signalling the end of Ash and Pikachu's 26-year-long reign as the series' main protagonists. To commemorate the occasion, Pokemon fans have gathered on Twitter to get the hashtag #ThankYouAshAndPikachu trending to highlight their memories and love for the characters.
"After almost 26 years, 1,232 episodes, 23 movies, many adventures, meetings and partings, the Pokemon anime about Ash and Pikachu has come to an end," one emotional tweet reads, "but their journey continues and always will. Thank you for changing our lives, Ash and Pikachu." oh no, I'm tearing up already.
Other fans have taken part in the trend with images instead of words, including Twitter user @toki_pokelun, who shared an illustration of a child watching Pokemon - presumably back when it started in 1997- besides an adult version of themselves watching the finale in 2023, with the caption (translated via Twitter): "I have memories of my life with each series, and I have grown up with [Ash]. Anipoke is filled with countless memories!"
ついに明日！それぞれのシリーズと共に人生の思い出があって、サトシと一緒に成長してきた自分がいて。数えきれない思い出が、アニポケには詰まってます大好きサトシ、大好きピカチュウ#めざポケ最終話 #アニポケ pic.twitter.com/PdLq4hT9vSMarch 23, 2023
Even Ash's English voice actor Sarah Natochenny joined in with the hashtag, taking the time to thank Ash's Japanese voice actor Rica Matsumoto writing: "As I continue recording the final episodes of Ash and Pikachu's journey on Pokémon, I'd like to thank and congratulate the incredible woman who has inspired my performance as the English voice of Ash Ketchum for the last 17 years."
Natochenny shared an image alongside this tweet which featured Matsumoto and reads: "For 25 years, Rica Matsumoto has inspired and entertained millions of people around the world as the voice of Satoshi (Ash Ketchum)", it continues, "I will miss hearing her voice in my headphones as Satoshi takes his final bow in Japan today."
As I continue recording the final episodes of Ash and Pikachu’s journey on Pokémon, I’d like to thank and congratulate the incredible woman who has inspired my performance as the English voice of Ash Ketchum for the last 17 years, @rica_matsumoto3. 👏👏👏#ThankYouAshandPikachu pic.twitter.com/3gzhLjc5fmMarch 24, 2023
Ash and Pikachu's final season is yet to be released outside of Japan, however since Natochenny has said that they're in the process of recording their last few episodes as the character, we probably won't have to wait too long for the episode to reach overseas. Even more good news, we won't have to go long without seeing at least Pikachu on our screens as the Pokemon anime replaces Pikachu with another Pikachu in a hat.
Find out how we're dealing with Ash and Pikachu's departure: Pokemon is retiring Ash and Pikachu, and I'm a little heartbroken.