After years of waiting following Lucario's addition to the Pokemon roster, the newest episode of the Pokemon anime has finally added Lucario to Ash's team. When Riolu became an official part of Ash Ketchum's team in Pokemon Journeys: The Series, fans knew it was only a matter of time before it would evolve into Lucario. As new promotional materials continued to not only promote the Sword and Shield arc of the anime and the next major battle to come, fans knew the time was drawing ever closer as Lucario was prominently featured in many of these teases.
As it turns out, these fans were correct as Pokemon Journeys' newest episode officially made Lucario a part of Ash's team for the season when Riolu evolves during a battle against Chariman Rose's Ferrothorn and Copperjah. With Riolu refusing to give up under their pressure, energy rises in its body until it fully evolves.
Episode 45 of Pokemon Journeys: The Series featured the final moments of the anime's take on Pokemon Sword and Shield's Darkest Day arc. With Lucario being such a prominent figure in the promotional materials for this arc fans had been waiting to see when Riolu would officially evolve, and it comes right down to the wire as Ash and Goh face off against their respective final opponents for the arc.
Right before taking on the Legendary Pokemon Eternatus, Ash's Riolu evolved to Lucario and automatically unlocked the Aura Sphere attack and used it to defeat Chairman Rose once and for all. Now Ash has a major heavy hitter in his team for the season, and it's going to really come in handy when Ash and Goh head from this Legendary arc to face off against another fan favorite Legendary Pokemon in an upcoming episode of the anime.
But what do you think? Are you glad to finally see Lucario as a part of Ash Ketchum's team in Pokemon Journeys: The Series? Are you sad to see Riolu go from the episodes? What kind of battles are you hoping to see Ash's Lucario get into next? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!