Pokémon: Friede and Captain Pikachu

Meet Pokémon’s New Anime Characters: Professor Friede and Captain Pikachu!

Is Captain Pikachu the origin story of Lt. Surge's Riachu?

As beloved Pokémon protagonist Ash Ketchum’s journey comes to a close, fans have a whole new anime to look forward to. The next Pokémon series will follow new protagonists Liko and Roy as they choose their teams and train them for battle in the Paldea region. The Paldea setting means the new series will also feature Pokémon: Scarlet and Violet starters Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly. It’s slated to debut in 2023.

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Now, the Pokémon Company has introduced two additional characters for the new anime: Professor Friede and Captain Pikachu. Here’s what we know about them so far.

Who are Professor Friede and Captain Pikachu?

Professor Friede and his partner, Captain Pikachu—who looks a lot like the Pikachu we’ve adored for nearly three decades, but with a nifty hat—will follow in the footsteps of past Pokémon professors and their partners. Together, they’ll battle alongside Liko and Roy (whose English names have yet to be revealed) and assist the new trainers on their journey through Paldea.

A news release from the Pokémon Company revealed that Professor Friede and Captain Pikachu will help solve “the mysteries of Liko’s pendant and Roy’s Poké Ball.” Given how little we know about the series so far, this statement raises a lot of intrigue. What’s so special about these objects? How will they affect Liko and Roy?

Similarly, why does a Pikachu suddenly have a military rank?

The Pokémon Company International vice president of marketing, Taito Okiura, hasn’t elaborated on this Pikachu’s stint in the army. But Okiura did say in a statement, “For 27 years, Pikachu has been synonymous with the Pokémon franchise, and we look forward to seeing this beloved Pokémon continue to have a significant presence in the animated series and remain an icon for the brand.”

When will the new Pokémon anime debut?

The title for the new Pokémon anime appears to be, simply, Pokémon. We know that it will premiere in Japan on April 14, but a Western release date has yet to be announced. The Pokémon Company has said that details are forthcoming.

In the meantime, English dubs of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series are currently streaming on Netflix. So you can catch up with Ash and Pikachu’s 25-year journey to becoming World Champions.

(featured image: The Pokémon Company / The Mary Sue)

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Samantha Puc
Samantha Puc (she/they) is a fat, disabled, lesbian writer and editor who has been working in digital and print media since 2010. Their work focuses primarily on LGBTQ+ and fat representation in pop culture and their writing has been featured on Refinery29, Bitch Media, them., and elsewhere. Samantha is the co-creator of Fatventure Mag and she contributed to the award-winning Fat and Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives. They are an original cast member of Death2Divinity, and they are currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction at The New School. When Samantha is not working or writing, she loves spending time with her cats, reading, and perfecting her grilled cheese recipe.