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Pokemon Ash farewell pikachu Sarah Natochenny

Pokémon: Ash's English Voice Actor Thanks Japanese Voice Actor For 17 Years Of Inspiration

by Wesley LeBlanc on Mar 24, 2023 at 08:30 AM

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In December, The Pokémon Company revealed that after 25 years, Ash's time as the main protagonist in the long-running Pokémon anime was coming to an end. He had finally achieved his dream of becoming the Pokémon World Champion and now, it was time for new characters – Loki, Roy, Professor Friede, and Captain Pikachu – to take over. 

Today, Ash's journey came to an end in Japan (the dubbed version is coming at a later date) and the English voice actor for him, Sarah Natochenny, released a statement congratulating Ash's Japanese voice actor, Rica Matsumoto, and thanking her for 17 years of inspiration. 

"As I continue recording the final episodes of Ash and Pikachu’s journey on Pokémon, I’d like to thank and congratulate the incredible woman who has inspired my performance as the English voice of Ash Ketchum for the last 17 years, Rica Matsumoto.
I would also like to acknowledge everyone who has worked on Pokémon in Japan, especially Ikue Ôtani (v/o Pikachu), Shin’ichirô Miki (v/o James), Megumi Hayashibara (v/o Jesse), Inuko Inuyama (v/o Meowth), & the current director Kunihiko Yuyama. Bravo, thank you, congratulations!"

Ash has been the protagonist of the mainline Pokémon anime for 25 years and Matsumoto has been the Japanese voice for him the entire time. For the English dub, Veronica Taylor voiced him for the first eight seasons. Natochenny took over the role starting in Season 9 and has remained Ash's English voice since. 

With Ash's journey coming to an end today, The Pokémon Company also revealed the title of its new Pokémon anime – Pokémon Horizons: The Series.

You can check out the first official trailer for Pokémon Horizons: The Series below

"Set sail for a new journey in Pokémon Horizons: The Series," the trailer's description reads. "Follow Liko and Roy as they unravel the mysteries that surround them and encounter Friede, Captain Pikachu, Amethio, and others during their exciting adventures." 

For more about Pokémon, read Game Informer's Pokémon Scarlet and Violet review and then read about the game's upcoming DLC, The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero. After that, check out the coolest cards we pulled from the new Scarlet and Violet expansion for Pokémon: The Trading Card Game.

Are you going to tune in for Ash's farewell? Let us know in the comments below!

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