Ash will be exploring the entire Pokemon world in his next adventure, but is it time for some of his oldest Pokemon to re-join his team? Earlier today, Netflix announced that they would begin airing Pokemon Journeys: The Series, with new episodes coming out every few months. The newest Pokemon anime series follows Ash and his new companion Goh as they work under Professor Cerise as research fellows. Ash and Goh's journey will take them to just about every corner of the Pokemon world, including every region that Ash has visited so far. On the most recent episode of A Wild Podcast Has Appeared, ComicBook.com's official Pokemon podcast, hosts Jim Viscardi, Megan Peters and Christian Hoffer asked one of the major questions of the series - should Ash's old Pokemon return to his team?
Unlike many other Pokemon series, Pokemon Journeys fully acknowledges Ash's past, including his earliest days as a trainer. Not only does the series reference Ash's recent win in the Alola series, it also features flashbacks to his days traveling the Kanto region with Brock and Misty earning his first badges. Ash is also depicted as a much more serious and experienced trainer, capturing strong Pokemon like Dragonite and Gengar from the outset instead of more common Pokemon that grow with him during his training. While some fans (like our own Megan Peters) wants to see the more experienced Ash and his new Pokemon take the spotlight, there's a large contingent of fans who want to see Ash catch up with his older Pokemon.
There is a careful balancing act that the entire Pokemon franchise, including the anime series, keeps in mind when it comes to revisiting the past. While nostalgia is a strong drug, the franchise's popularity is built equally on the allure of the past and the excitement of the new. With Pokemon Journeys, the anime series has a prime chance to both revisit Ash's past while showing a whole new side to Ash that we've never seen before. While it might be fun to see Ash catch up with old companions and old Pokemon, the series also needs to stay relevant for the many, many fans who became Pokemon fans long after Ash said bye bye to Butterfree for the first time.
Fans will have to wait and see just how many old friends Ash runs into during his journeys around the Pokemon world. The first episodes of Pokemon Journeys: The Series airs on Netflix in the US in June.