“It’s not the end if we continue to travel together.”
Ash Ketchum’s quarter-century of being a 10-year-old Pokemon trainer may be coming to an end, but the original actor who provided his English-language voice wants fans of the newly crowned world champion to keep looking towards the future. Veronica Taylor, who provided the plucky young boy’s voice for the anime series’ first 417 episodes, took to Twitter on Friday night to raise the spirits of fans who may be feeling crestfallen over the news that the next season of the Pokemon anime will be replacing see Ash replaced by new protagonists.
The Twitter message contains a static image of what appears to be an Ash statuette, with only its mouth and eyebrows animated, as Taylor speaks in character. “I mean, being a Pokemon master is great, but I still have so much to learn and to teach others,” her Ash says. “So, to all you Pokemon trainers out there, don’t worry. There will be many adventures ahead. It’s not the end if we continue to travel together. Remember, I choose you!”
In addition to playing Ash for the series’ first eight seasons, Taylor has portrayed the preteen in several Pokemon movies, from 1997’s Pokemon the Fist Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back to 2005’s Pokemon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. She is also credited with provided the voices of Diglett and Ash’s mother, Delia, to whom Taylor gives an aside of “thanks, Mom,” for all the clean underwear Ash has had on his long journey. Although her last credit in the series was in 2005, and she has more than 110 roles listed on IMDB since then, her Twitter feed continues to be packed with Pokemon-related content
Leading up to her heartfelt message, Taylor also drops some tongue-in-cheek jokes at the long-running series’ expense, from pointing out that Ash won “almost all of my battles” to poking fun at his constant status as a 10-year-old despite the show’s 25-year run. “What a journey this has been,” she says. “It’s almost like no time has passed, right?”
The end of Ash’s journey in Pokemon is slated to hit the airwaves in a final 11-episode story arc that will air in January.
NEXT: Sasuke Retsuden Manga Rumored To Receive Anime Adaptation In Boruto