Ash Ketchum’s journey officially ends for good on Dec. 23, and many Pokémon fans aren’t ready to say goodbye. While this is the end of his long adventure, it’s far from the end of Pokémon. A new animated series will begin in 2023 focusing on two new protagonists in the Paldea Region.
Ash has served as the main protagonist for most of the primary series in the various Pokémon anime. However, his series are not the only ones, and there are other great Pokémon anime that tell different tales of the Pokémon world, often giving an even closer adaptation to the video games.
Pokémon Evolutions serves as a spiritual successor to Pokémon Generations and animates specific scenes or concepts directly from the video games. There are eight episodes in all, each one dedicating itself to one of the Pokémon regions at the time.
Many of these episodes, like the Champion, give unique character perspectives which help intensify and amplify significant moments in the franchise. The beautiful animation complimented by its unique storytelling for Pokémon also helps propel it as one of the best Pokémon series.
Twilight Wings (2020)
Pokémon Twilight Wings is the perfect anime series for any fans of the Sword & Shield video games to watch. The first seven, of the eight episodes, serve as a prequel to the story of the Sword & Shield games.
The final episode itself takes place after the main story and shows what Leon is up to after he loses his position as the champion. These episodes add a deeper layer to the Galar region and help better show various characters like Leon, Chairman Rose, and Oleana.
Pokémon XY saw a resurgence of fans for the anime series and while many Pokémon fans weren’t in love with the Pokémon X & Y video games they did find the anime series far more compelling. Especially the amazing and well-loved Mega Evolution.
In each Pokémon series, Ash generally has a new major rival. One of his new rivals has been a fan-favorite trainer named Alain, one of the strongest Pokémon trainers in the anime, whose ace Pokémon features a Charizard that can mega evolve. Alain held a significant impact on the series and was the only anime original character alongside Ash to later appear in the Masters Eight Tournament.
Advanced Generation (2002-2006)
Pokémon Advanced Generation was a great next step for the next Pokémon series as it pushes Ash’s journey forward into the Hoenn region. This series was one of the most compelling for Ash’s character development, and he grew far less arrogant and more into a humble Pokémon trainer.
The fights Ash undergoes are some of his most memorable, especially at the Battle Frontier like Ash’s rematch against Brandon at the Battle Pyramid. The important lessons that Ash learned in this series flowed very well into the next series too.
Pokémon Journeys gave way to one of the most exciting events that the anime franchise has ever seen–the Masters Eight Tournament at the end of the World Coronation Series. This tournament saw a champion from every region as they fought off to win and become the Monarch.
Fans of only the video games even jumped in to watch as they are familiar with most of the champions competing in the tournament. This tournament was a perfect way to wrap up Ash’s journey and become the strongest trainer in the world after his fight against Leon in the best match in Pokémon Journeys.
Hisuian Snow (2022)
Pokémon Hisuian Snow is a 3-episode series focusing on the Hisuian region featured in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. This vibrant and colorful anime series is one of the best that’s been made for Pokémon and does an excellent job of adding lore and story to the world players are familiar with in Legends: Arceus like the Alpha Pokémon.
The show does a great job of showing the struggle between Pokémon and humans with how difficult it is for the two of them to coexist, something that is portrayed throughout the game as well. It’s also the only chance for fans to see some of the best Hisuian Pokémon forms from Legends: Arceus in animation.
The Original Series (1997-2002)
It’s difficult to top the original Pokémon series, and it’s still one of the best Pokémon series ever. It contains all the seasons located in the Kanto and Johto regions. There is nothing quite like experiencing the Indigo League for the first time.
Whether a fan is new or not, the Indigo League is a perfect starting point for any Pokémon fan. It introduces the world of Pokémon well and is one of the most passionate and loyal projects made for the franchise. Many fans will be rewatching the series beginning here as Ash Ketchum makes his exit as the protagonist.
Diamond & Pearl (2006-210)
The Pokémon Diamond & Pearl animated series has long been held as arguably the best of Ash’s series. This era in general has always been largely popular with Pokémon Platinum, one of the best Pokémon games, being a big fan-favorite alongside Diamond & Pearl.
The battles of Diamond & Pearl were some of the most interesting the series has had with far more tactics and strategy in play. The story is one of the best laid out and has plenty of foreshadowing and details throughout the series that build up to significant moments later in the series.
Pokémon Generations is an 18-episode series that covers various major events throughout the Pokémon video game series. While it isn’t as narrative-driven as a regular anime series it is a nice tribute to the Pokémon video games.
The animation is gorgeous and has a higher quality than even many of the official Pokémon films. Fans of the video game and franchise need to check it out to watch characters like some of the coolest Pokémon rivals such as Blue, N, and Barry as well as other characters in action in new ways they’ve never seen before like Lance in an infiltration mission.
Pokémon Origins had been the anime series that fans had been asking for years to have. This anime has a total of four episodes and covers the events of the Kanto video games. It’s a trip down nostalgia lane for video game fans and has excellent battles and great characterization of Red and Blue.
While the anime was able to showcase iconic moments from the original video games, it was also able to show new concepts like the beloved mega evolution where Red’s Charizard mega evolves for the first time against its battle against Mewtwo. This is the best anime series in the Pokémon franchise and more series like this need to happen.