Ash and Pikachu
Image: The Pokémon Company

Earlier today, The Pokémon Company confirmed that long-time anime protagonist Ash Ketchum would be stepping back from the series after 25 years. In January 2023, one final run of episodes - called Pokémon - Aim to be a Pokémon Master - will mark the final chapter for Ash and his companion Pikachu.

In the wake of the news, Sarah Natochenny - who has provided the English voiceover for Ash since 2006 - has taken to Twitter to share a message reflecting on her time with the franchise and what the character means to her.

A quick glance at Natochenny's IMDb page shows that she's previously voiced other characters besides Ash during her time with the series, so it's unclear whether Ash's departure means she will also be leaving. Nevertheless, her work has proven invaluable to the franchise and its fans, and we at Nintendo Life sincerely thank her for her contributions.

In other news, it's been announced that a new Pokémon series will debut in Japan in April 2023, introducing two new protagonists to the franchise alongside the anime debut of the Paldean starters from Scarlet and Violet.

What do you make of Natochenny's message? Are you sad to see Ash leave the anime? Share your thoughts in the comments below!