Liko and Roy with Sprigatito, Fuecoco and Quaxly

Pokémon Is Evolving With ‘Pokémon Horizons’

Goodbye, Ash Ketchum and Pikachu! To quote the famous Pokémon theme song that got my 11-year-old self’s blood pumping every time: you really were the very best, like no-one ever was. But that era is at an end now, and new Pokémon protagonists are coming to lead a new series.

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The franchise is evolving! Soon, Pokémon fans the world over will get to follow the adventures of two different heroes and their pocket monsters in Pokémon Horizons. Here’s everything you need to know about the new series.

Meet Liko and Roy

Our new main characters are Liko, who has an adorable grass kitty Spigatito as a companion Pokémon, and Roy, who is accompanied by one of my personal favorites, Fuecoco! But these two have something Ash didn’t have, which is a pair of magical artifacts. Liko is in possession of a mysterious pendant, while Roy has an equally mysterious Pokéball. They’ll learn more about these things as they travel the region of Paldea.

An official announcement from The Pokémon Company teases some details about the characters Liko and Roy will meet during their journey:

In “Pokémon Horizons: The Series,” dual protagonists Liko, whose partner Pokémon is Sprigatito, and Roy will encounter many characters during their journey, including a group led by Friede and Captain Pikachu called the Rising Volt Tacklers. Traveling across the Pokémon world on an airship, the Rising Volt Tacklers include Orla, who enjoys mechanical and electrical work and is accompanied by her partner Pokémon, Metagross; Murdock, who is skilled at cooking, and his partner Pokémon, Rockruff; Mollie, who specializes in healing treatments, and her partner Pokémon, Chansey; and Ludlow. Liko and Roy will also come across Amethio, who is joined by his partner Pokémon, Ceruledge, and belongs to an organization called the Explorers, as well as a popular video streamer known as Nidothing.

If you’re wondering about that reference to a “Captain Pikachu,” this isn’t the same one as Ash’s Pikachu. He’s a brand new character! He has a hat and a cute little smile and I want 100 plushies of him, stat.

Captain Pikachu gives a thumbs-up (The Pokemon Company)
(The Pokémon Company)

What does the Pokémon Horizons trailer reveal?

The official Pokémon YouTube channel dropped the trailer on March 24 along with the caption, “Follow Liko and Roy as they unravel the mysteries that surround them and encounter Friede, Captain Pikachu, Amethio, and others during their exciting adventures!”

Some of the franchise’s most beloved Pokémon are featured—look out for Charizard, Rayquaza, and Quaxly, among others.

The trailer also shows us some exciting action-packed snippets, and teases, “The mysterious pendant is the key.” But what will it unlock?! We’ll just have to wait to find out.

Related: The Top 10 best Legendary Pokémon of All Time, Ranked on Gamepur

What do we know about the show’s premiere?

The Japanese Pokémon Twitter has dropped a sneak peek at the first ever episode of Horizons. In it, we see some adorable Pokémon, including all three of the original Kanto starters, going about their day before Liko makes her first appearance!

The first part of Liko’s story (Roy may not join her just yet?) is split into two episodes and titled “The Pendant of Beginnings.” And the official synopsis for the premiere reads, in English, “Liko is delighted to receive her first Pokémon, Sprigatito, but she struggles to deepen her bond with the Pokémon, who doesn’t listen to her at all.” Hmmm, does that remind you of anyone else and the problems they had with their Pikachu?

Will we ever see Ash Ketchum again?

Well, you can’t blame people for wanting to hang on to the past, and fans are really hoping Ash might make a grand return in Horizons. There was even speculation for a while that Liko was Ash’s daughter, because her little green hair clip looks like the symbol Ash had on his hat. There’s no evidence (yet) that that’s the case, though.

But you know what, Ash fans? There is hope! Pokémon director Kunihiko Yuyama said in the pages of Japanese magazine Otomedia, according to a fan translation, that Ash may be back one day, although he expects the character to remain “forever 10 years old.” So you never know.

When will Pokémon Horizons be released?

Pokémon Horizons will drop on April 14, 2023 in Japan! International viewers might have to wait a bit longer, however. Based on past Pokémon seasons, it usually takes around five months for an official dub to air in the United States. (There probably will be unofficial subtitled versions floating around before then, though.)

And then we can all watch Liko and Roy hopefully become just as beloved as Ash.

(featured image: The Pokémon Company)

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Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.