Ash Ketchum and Pikachu’s adventures come to an end.

The Pokémon characters will leave the anime series after 25 years, the producers reported when announcing a new season that will begin in April 2023.

The Japanese show, from which several movies have also been made, has followed Ketchum on his journey to become a master Pokémon trainer since 1997, when the character met Pikachu on his 10th birthday.

And last month, he finally fulfilled his goal by winning the Pokémon World Championships.

Now the series will introduce two new protagonists next spring: a girl named Liko and a boy named Roy, who will be accompanied by three Pokémon.

“It will represent everything [fans] love about Pokémon animation, including action, adventure, friendship, and Pokémon,” the producers said.

Before that, on January 13, an 11-episode epilogue series to the current series, titled Pokemon Journeys in the West, will tell the final chapter of Ash and Pikachu’s story.

Actress Sarah Natochenny, the English voice of Ketchum and other characters since 2006, said it had been “an extraordinary privilege”.

“No matter what lies beyond his final chapter, he will live forever in the hearts of many generations to come.”

The Pokémon franchise was also very successful off the screen.

The Pokémon Go mobile game became a sensation a few years ago for its use of online maps and augmented reality to place characters in real-world locations.

The latest Pokémon video games for Nintendo Switch have already sold more than 10 million copies since their release late last month.

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