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After 25 years, Ash Ketchum has finally become a 'Pokémon' Trainer World Champion

For close to three decades, Ash has traveled across the land, hoping to become the greatest Trainer of all time.

By Josh Weiss

For close to three decades, Ash Ketchum has traveled across the land, a loyal Pikachu at his side, hoping to become the greatest Pokémon Trainer of all time. In 2019, the ambitious young man from Pallet Town finally achieved the mantle of Pokémon Master after winning at the Manalo Conference in the Aloa region, but that wasn't the end of his quest to be the "very best" (as per the instructions of the iconic theme song).

The latest iteration of the anime television show — Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series — has officially crowned Ash as World Champion following the character's victory in the Masters Eight Tournament of the Pokémon World Coronation Series. This momentous triumph unfolded in the latest episode of Ultimate Journeys, which aired in Japan today.

“Ash Ketchum’s determination and perseverance to achieve his goal of becoming the world’s top Pokémon Trainer over the course of 25 seasons represents the very best of what it means to be a Trainer,” Taito Okiura, Vice President of Marketing for The Pokémon Company International, said in a statement Friday. “We cannot wait to celebrate this moment with Pokémon fans when the newest season of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series and this adventure-defining episode air around the world in the coming year. This is a season fans won’t want to miss!"

Parts 1-3 of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series are currently streaming on Netflix, which nabbed exclusive rights to new episodes of the anime back in 2020. Last summer, news broke that Netflix had entered early development on a live-action Pokémon series from Lucifer co-showrunner, producer and executive producer, Joe Henderson. There have been no updates on the project since then.

The next generation of Pokémon video games (titled Scarlet and Violet) go on sale Tuesday, Nov. 22 for the Nintendo Switch. Both open-world titles are set in the Paldea region, "a land of vast open spaces dotted with lakes, towering peaks, wastelands, and mountain ranges," reads the official synopsis.

“Trainers will once again embark on an epic journey of discovery and exploration,” Tsunekazu  Ishihara, President and CEO of The Pokémon Company said earlier this year. “Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet will be an adventure unlike any other, and I cannot wait to share this incredible experience with all of you.”

Looking for more anime action? Naruto, Death Note, and One-Punch Man are all streaming on Peacock.