New Pokemon Anime Preview Stills Highlight Ash and Gou's Early Childhood

When Pokemon's next anime was first announced, there were many theories suggesting that the next era of the series would be a reboot. Given the title of "Pocket Monster," and the fact that the series will not only be focusing on the Galar region introduced in Pokemon Sword and Shield, there was a wonder as to whether or not the series would be moving on from Ash. That's not entirely true for the new series, but the introduction of a second protagonist has certainly opened things up for a soft-reboot going forward.

As part of this soft reboot, the first episode of the new Pokemon series will be exploring Ash's and Pikachu's life before their first meeting, and this new batch of images from the episode teases that Gou will be a part of their early lives somehow too.

Pokemon: The Series will be officially making its debut November 17th in Japan, and the first episode of the new series is titled "Birth of Pikachu," and the synopsis for it reads as such, "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.'”

The preview images further emphasize the synopsis that we'll be getting a fresh take on the first episode of the original anime series. It's teased that new protagonist Gou will be a young kid in Kanto around the same time as Ash, and even has his own moments exploring the Pokemon world with Professor Oak. Gou is clearly a rambunctious kid, with a bit more of a cocky spin than Ash, and somehow his origins will tie into Ash's.

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We'll also be getting a new take on the first episode of the anime as Ash and Pikachu's first meeting, so rather than a soft-reboot it seems the anime will be having a retcon more than anything. But we'll see how it all shakes out as the series makes its way to Japan.

Staff confirmed for the new series include Daiki Tomiyasu serving as chief director for OLM, Maki Odaira as series director, Kunihiko Yuyama as creative supervisor, Shoji Yonemura overseeing series construction, Shuhei Yasuda serving as character designer, Masafumi Mima as sound director, Yuki Hayashi as series composer. Voice cast members include Daiki Yamashita as Gou, Yuichi Nakamura as Professor Sakuragi, Kana Hanazawa as Koharu, Megumi Hayashibara as Jessie, Shinichiro Miki as James, and Inuko Inuyama as Meowth.