Those who have grown up with the Pokémon animated series, prepare to feel old. Today marks 25 years since the show’s pilot was first broadcast in North America. Yes, twenty. Five. Years.
On 8th September 1998, the US was first treated to episode one, ‘Pokémon – I Choose You!’, which would go on to introduce us all to Ash Ketchum, Pikachu and a number of other familiar faces that we have grown accustomed to over the ensuing two and a half decades.
Strangely, thanks to the joys of regional release times, the series’ 15th episode, ‘Battle Aboard the St. Anne’ was actually the first to be broadcast in the States (premiering a day earlier on the 7th September 1998), though today marks the official beginning of the journey, which is surely more worthy of acknowledgement, right?
The anniversary this year is all the more bittersweet given the fact that we now know Ash Ketchum’s journey has come to an end. The face of the franchise was announced to be stepping down late last year and his final episodes have since gone on to air in Japan as the follow-up series, Pokémon Horizons, gets underway.
Fittingly, Ash’s final episodes of the latest series, Pokémon: To Be A Pokémon Master, are available to watch on Netflix in the US as of today — seems like the best way to celebrate the anniversary, if you ask us.
So, let’s raise a glass of Pecha Berry juice to 25 years of the Pokémon anime out West — here’s to 25 more (albeit with some different faces at the helm).