The Pokemon anime franchise will be undergoing a huge shift with the next era of the series because rather than simply adapt the Sword and Shield games and have Ash venture through the new Galar region, the next phase of the series will see Ash and new protagonist Gou travel through every region of the franchise thus far. Meaning that Ash (or Gou) will be heading to the fan-favorite Kanto region, and the official Twitter account for the anime series revealed that the new journey will actually begin here albeit with a few new surroundings.
The official Pokemon account debuted not only a new lab in the Kanto region, but a new professor as well. Professor Sakuragi (official English name is currently unknown at the moment) will be supporting Ash and Gou from a new lab in Vermillion City.
👍新 #アニポケ 速報👍
新シリーズのキャラクターを紹介✨#サクラギOctober 11, 2019
👍新 #アニポケ 速報👍
ここからサトシとゴウは— 新アニメ「ポケットモンスター」公式＠11/17（日）放送スタート！ (@anipoke_PR) October 11, 2019
Professor Sakuragi will be voiced by Yuichi Nakamura, who had previously provided the voice for N during Pokemon Best Wishes. Sakuragi's daughter will be playing a role in the new series as well, presumably as the female companion of the series, but this definitely feels like a proper rebooted take on the series now. With a return to Kanto, it's not confirmed whether or not past Kanto favorites will make an appearance but Sakuragi taking the lead here certainly begs the question of how involved the new Professor introduced in Sword and Shield will be in the anime.
Pokemon: The Series is currently scheduled to premiere November 17th in Japan. This groundbreaking shake-up for the series will not only feature the Galar region from Pokemon Sword and Shield, but will see Ash journey through previous regions in the franchise once more.
But for those who might have wanted this new series to move beyond Ash, they'll sort of get their wish as the next series will be featuring dual protagonists. The new series will introduce Gou, designed by Pokemon character designer Ken Sugimori, who has a Scorbunny as his partner Pokemon and is also out to catch 'em all.
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, and Daiki Yamashita has been confirmed as the voice of Gou.