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What Happened to Ash Ketchum? How the Original Pokemon Anime Ended

What Happened to Ash Ketchum? How the Original Pokemon Anime Ended

The original Pokemon animated series started in 1997, and for 26 years and more than 1,200 episodes, we got to watch Ash and Pikachu travel to different regions, battle and befriend trainers, and catch all sorts of Pokemon.

We even witnessed Ash finally win a tournament!

However, all good things come to an end, and despite Ash’s age being perpetual, his journey can’t go on forever with us.

His final episode aired on March 24, 2023 in Japan and September 8, 2023 in the US and since then, we haven’t seen him in the new Pokemon anime.

But what happened to Ash anyway? Did he become a true-blue Pokemon Master and learn who his dad is? Did Ash marry someone? Is he even coming back to Pokemon? What about Team Rocket?

Let’s embark on our own Pokemon journey and find the answers to these questions!

What Happened to Ash in Pokemon? Is Ash’s Story Over?

Ash in a new journey
Source: Pokemon Company / Bulbapedia

After Ash won the World Tournament in Sun and Moon and toured different regions in Journeys, Ash met up with some of his old companions (Misty and Brock) and went back home to Pallet Town.

He thought about what being a Pokemon Master meant to him, which he realized was to befriend all Pokemon in the world.

He then heads out with Pikachu to go on another journey. This is currently the last scene we see of Ash.

Will Ash Still Be in Pokemon? Who Is Replacing Ash?

The new Pokemon anime
Source: Pokemon Company / Bulbapedia

The new Pokemon anime is called Pokemon Horizons and it has a new story and a new set of protagonists. The characters replacing Ash are Liko and Roy.

Currently, there is no news on whether Ash will show up in the new anime. It’s a completely separate series.

What Happened to Ash Ketchum’s Dad?

The mystery of Ash's dad
Source: Pokemon Company / Bulbapedia

Ash’s dad is alive and is hinted to be a Pokemon trainer himself, although the series has never shown him and has only mentioned him in passing.

Throughout the show, the characters have only mentioned his dad only four times!

In the second episode and the 20th movie (I Choose You), Ash’s mom mentions how it took Ash’s dad four days to reach Viridian City from Pallet Town. In the 23rd movie (Secrets of the Jungle), Ash remembers how his dad cheered for his dream.

Finally, in one of Ash’s last episodes (Distant Blue Sky), his mom tells him that she’ll be in Tonari Town to meet up with his dad. Ash gets excited to see him too, since it’s been a while. Unfortunately, his dad had to leave early for an emergency.

What Happened to Team Rocket?

Team Rocket trio breaks up
Source: Pokemon Company / Bulbapedia

During the final moments of the show, the Team Rocket trio broke up and decided to go their separate ways for a while.

This was after the trio failed to capture Pikachu for the millionth time and a wild Latias sent them flying in the air.

They returned to the Team Rocket HQ and vowed to make it big on their own. But after being stuck in cafeteria duty, the trio realized they worked better as a team in the wild and made up.

In the end, they decided to reunite and resume what they do best: chasing Ash’s Pikachu. The last we see of them is the trio pursuing Ash and Pikachu.

If you’re a Rocket Shipper and are wondering if Jessie and James married each other, you better read The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga. It doesn’t happen in the anime, but that manga delves more about Jessie and James’ relationship.

Who Did Ash Marry?

Ash with Misty and Serena
Source: Pokemon Company / Bulbapedia

Speaking of marriage, you’re also probably wondering if the anime showed Ash all grown up and married to someone.

So, did Ash marry Misty? Or is it Serena? Surprisingly, Misty does show up again! But by the end of the series, Ash hasn’t grown up and hasn’t married anyone yet. Sorry to burst your bubble, PokeShippers!

But if you’re a fan of Ash and Misty, she does have a bigger part in Ash’s final episodes. Along with Brock, the original trio travel together again for a short bit.

In the end, they go their separate ways again and go back to their hometowns.

How Old Is Ash Ketchum by the End?

10-year-old Ash with his Pikachu
Source: Pokemon Company / Bulbapedia

Ash is still 10 years old by the end of the series.

The show confirms that Ash starts his journey at the age of ten. His official profile for Pokemon Journeys also lists him as ten. However, there is no info on whether he aged by the end of the show.

What was Ash’s final episode number?

Ash in his final episode
Source: Pokemon Company / Bulbapedia

Technically, Ash’s final episode is Pokemon Ultimate Journeys’s last episode: JN147 or EP1232, with the title The Rainbow and the Pokemon Master. This aired as his final episode in the original Japanese airing.

But the English dub rearranged things a bit and aired Pokemon Journeys’s fifth special episode (JNS05) as Ash’s final episode, titled Distant Blue Sky.

What happened to Ash in his last episode(s) in Pokemon?

Ash with Misty and Brock again
Source: Pokemon Company / Bulbapedia

If you haven’t seen the last episode of Ash or don’t have time to watch it, here’s our summary of what happened to Ash in Pokemon!

In The Rainbow and the Pokemon Master, the episode starts with Ash saying goodbye to Misty and Brock again.

The original trio met up for a short trip in the previous episodes and have now parted ways again to return to their hometowns.

Back in Pallet Town, Ash is greeted by his mom Delia and he regales her with his travel stories over dinner.

He then visits Professor Oak’s lab the next day and runs into Tracey and Gary Oak. After a short catch-up, Gary asks if Ash is now closer to his dream of becoming a Pokemon Master.

Ash goes back home to Pallet Town
Source: Pokemon Company / Bulbapedia

This question stumps Ash and he spends quite some time thinking about it.

While mulling over it, he runs into Team Rocket, who previously were not on speaking terms with each other but made up in this episode to continue their comical villainy ways.

In a fight with Team Rocket, Ash reunites with his Pidgeot, whom he released way back in EP081 to help protect the Pidgey flock in the area. Pidgeot is more than happy to join Ash once again.

Ash reunites with his Pidgeot
Source: Pokemon Company / Bulbapedia

Ash eventually realizes that, to him, being a Pokemon Master means befriending all the Pokemon in the world. He knows he has a long way to go but is eager to continue his journey.

The next day, he wears the new shoes his mom bought for him and heads out with Pikachu. The Team Rocket trio follows him close by. This is the last we see of Ash, Pikachu, and Team Rocket—for now.

Source: Pokemon Company / Bulbapedia

Whew, we can’t believe Ash’s story has finally ended. Maybe it’s time to marathon the series, including the unaired and banned Pokemon episodes. I’ll grab the popcorn and jelly-filled donuts!