The following contains spoilers for the final episode of the Pokémon Journeys anime.
Ash and Pikachu’s final episode, “Rainbow and the Pokémon Master!”, has already aired in Japan. Still, many Pokémon fans bemoan the conclusion of their favourite duo's era, with many questions from previous storylines still left unanswered.
After all, the adventures of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu began 25 years ago, way back in April 1997. The anime lasted 25 seasons and followed the dynamic duo as they explored different regions and met various Pokémon.
Since the anime is tied to a Netflix deal that releases episodes in batches at irregular intervals, the episode won't air in English for some time.
But if you’ve seen the episode anyway or want to find out what happened to everyone’s favourite Pokémon duo, you might want to read on.
What happened in Ash and Pikachu’s final episode?
In the final episode, Ash parts ways with Misty and Brock, then returns home to Pallet Town, where he visits Professor Oak and reunites with his old rival Gary.
Ash ponders what it means to be a Pokémon master, ultimately realising it's about being friends with all Pokémon, not just winning championships or filling up a Pokédex.
Still can't quite believe that not only did Pidgeot reunite with Ash but also rejoined his team. Two decades in the making this reunion.
Someone at OLM really said let's go out with a massive bang! #Anipoke pic.twitter.com/AP80OE457r
— Anipoke Fandom (@AnipokeFandom) March 24, 2023
Many fans had tears in their eyes after Ash reunited with his favourite Pidgeot many episodes later, after he left the said Pokémon in the Viridian Forest to protect other Pidgeottos and Pidgeys. Ash promised to return for Pidgeot, and after 25 seasons, Ash finally fulfilled his promise.
Others praised the appearance of Team Rocket, getting back together, and even making one final attempt at catching Ash’s Pikachu.
It's a fitting end to Ash's journey, highlighting the importance of friendship and the joy of discovering new Pokémon and making new friends.
But the conclusion of Ash and Pikachu’s journey left many wanting more answers to questions that the final episode could not address. What did the anime leave hanging?
Here are some questions we still have after the episode:
How did the Giant Dragonite come to be, and what happened to it?
Many storylines from previous seasons of the Pokémon series have been left or abandoned.
The Giant Dragonite appeared in "Mystery at the Lighthouse," leaving viewers to wonder how such a large sea creature could go unseen for so long and how it grew to be so enormous.
As the episode progressed, Team Rocket fired at it to capture it, but the Dragonite instead attacked the lighthouse, knocked the rockets out of the sky with its tail, and then dove back into the ocean.
After that, no further reference was made to the mysterious Dragonite.
What’s inside the GS Ball?
The GS Ball has been the subject of much speculation throughout the Pokémon anime.
And after building up an entire storyline of Ash being sent to the Orange Islands and Johto to retrieve it and attempt to open it, Ash picks up the GS Ball but delays solving its mysteries to catch Pokémon and challenge local gyms on the islands.
After the Orange Islands arc, Ash hands the GS Ball to Professor Oak, who asks him to take it to a Poké Ball expert named Kurt in Johto.
Ash eventually reaches Kurt and delivers the GS Ball, but after informing Oak, it is never mentioned again.
This is one missed opportunity that the anime left out and did not resolve, leaving players wondering what was inside the ball.
Where is the Ho-Oh?
Ho-Oh is one of the legendary Pokémon we rarely ever see in the anime, and its story has always been filled with mystery and wonder.
In fact, Ho-Oh was only sighted by Ash thrice, and both Professor Oak and Eusine did not believe him when he shared sightings with them.
Ho-oh, so the tales go, once resided in the Tin Tower. But war broke out, and after the Brass Tower was destroyed, Ho-Oh made Raikou, Entei, and Suicune before disappearing. Although a new Tin Tower was built, Ho-Oh never showed up.
However, in the movie, “I choose you”, a storyline separate from the main series, Ash and Pikachu were able to battle Ho-Oh but its outcome is unknown.
At the final episode, however, some Redditors like KeyanFarlander pointed out that a Ho-Oh rainbow was spotted earlier in the episode, and that might just be the only chance we ever have a glimpse or a hint of the legendary bird again, at least in the series that followed Ash and Pikachu’s journey.
Who is Ash’s Father?
Since the beginning of the series, many viewers have speculated about who Ash's real father might be based on the anime's hints and clues.
Many people guessed that it was either Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket, or Professor Oak, among others.
Although Ash's mother, Delia, has been introduced, no mention of Ash's father has ever been made by The Pokémon Company.
Will Ash and Pikachu make an appearance in the future?
The episode was advertised as Ash and Pikachu’s final one, but many wonder: will we ever see them again?
In fact, the ending seems entirely open-ended. A user named ALVARO39YT on the Pokémon subreddit uploaded a clip of the series' final scene featuring Ash and Pikachu.
In the clip, the protagonists make their way to a crossroads while Team Rocket follows closely behind. The background music was a song from the Kanto anime.
Ash throws a Y-shape in the air (a typical Japanese way of throwing the dice or spinning the bottle) to choose which way to go.
Reddit user IAMDEAD_6_9 pointed out that Ash and Pikachu weren’t retiring but won’t be the main characters anymore.
Many agreed to this notion, with some guessing that a cameo, an appearance, or a comeback might be possible.
Either way, it’s the end of an era, and many will miss the adventures of Ash Ketchum, Pikachu, and their entire Pokémon team.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.