It appears the next season of the Pokémon anime will delve into the unexplored origin of Ash's Pikachu. Pokémon has been enjoying massive worldwide popularity as of late, and the anime made headlines two months ago when Ash won his very first Pokémon championship.
It's hard to go too long without Pokémon news, with the longtime video game franchise arguably at its peak. In just two weeks, Pokémon Sword & Shield will arrive on Nintendo Switch. Though the game has received pre-release controversy, it is nonetheless one of the most anticipated releases coming up. Meanwhile, Pokémon GO is still doing big business, grossing more than $3 billion since 2016. Of course, this year saw the release of Detective Pikachu, a film some might say broke the video game movie curse. Simply put, Pokémon isn't going away anytime soon. The next Pokémon anime premieres in about two weeks in Japan, and the first episode is something fans may want to keep a close eye on.
Today, the Pokémon Company premiered a new trailer for the upcoming anime. The footage puts a large emphasis on the premiere episode, titled "Birth of Pikachu." Apparently, this opening episode will explore the origin of Ash's Pikachu, the most iconic Pokémon in the franchise. Below is the translated episode description (via Crunchyroll) and the trailer.
"In a forest somewhere in Kanto, there once was a lonely Pichu. This Pichu – who was still quite young – had a certain encounter and farewell. This took place shortly before Ash and his partner Pikachu started travelling together. This is the beginning of the anime 'Pocket Monster'."
Along with the trailer, a poster was released showcasing the protagonists and various regions and their Pokémon:
The most exciting thing about the footage is that it appears fans will learn about Pikachu's life as a Pichu before he met Ash. Surprisingly, this backstory has not been delved into before. It also seems Ash's first meeting with Pikachu will be recreated, perhaps in flashbacks. Aside from Pikachu, the trailer puts a large emphasis on Ash's new traveling companion for the story.
Interestingly, The Pokémon Company is not calling this season 23, but simply "Pocket Monster." It sounds like something of a soft reboot of sorts, or at least an attempt to do something interesting to entice newcomers. A complete reboot would certainly be interesting, though that doesn't seem likely since the recent film, Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! did something similar. Either way, fans should have something to look forward to when "Birth of Pikachu" airs on November 17.