If the Coro Coro leak is to be believed, The Pokemon Anime series is going to undergo its biggest shift since the Sinnoh League. Those old enough to remember will recall that was the first time Ash journeyed to a new region on his own and with just Pikachu (he had all of his prior Pokemon when he went to Johto). He met up with May but was later joined by Ash. According to the Coro Coro leak, Ash is going to school and is “going graduate like never before”.
This could mean one of several things, the two strongest being:
- This will the anime series’ final season with Ash as the main protagonist (strong arguement for that so far).
- Ash is being rebranded for a new generation of viewers (most likely).
Ash looks completely different compared to his previous iterations, all of which simply changed his clothes. The artwork is clearly different and judging from his and Pikachu’s poses and the Z-Ring on his wrist, he will have access to Z-Moves off the bat. The Kalos Saga is in its final few episodes so we will likely be clued in there. Ash lost in the final match of the Kalos League two episodes back. Right afterward, Team Flare launched its attack on Luminose City.
Ash and Alain–the trainer he lost to and a powerful Mega Evolution Trainer whose story was built during the course of the Kalos Saga–personally confront Lysandre, the leader of Team Flare.. I’m speculating here but something happens during their exchange with Lysandre that leads Ash to decide to table his dream of becoming a Pokemon Master and instead focusing on educating himself. The “something” is the big mystery…for now.
As you can see from the screenshot we know Team Rocket follows Ash to the Alola Region. The Charizard in that picture is likely Alain’s but if it isn’t, it’s probably Ash’s. Ash is also shown wearing the Z-Ring, which when combined with Z-Crystals will allow a Pokemon to use a powered up version of one of their moves. Ash has two of the so far revealed Pokemon who can use a Z-Move: Pikachu and Snorlax. This is a relief as instead of using Ash, Alain was used to showcase Mega Evolution. I always found that a strange since Ash has three Pokemon that can Mega Evolve: Sceptile, Heracross and Charizard. Fortunately Alain appears to be featured in the Alola region, too.
The Pokemon Sun & Moon series premieres in Japan sometime in November. It will likely start airing in the U.S. in January 2017. The Sun and Moon video games will be released on November 18 worldwide.