Earlier today, a copy of the Japanese manga magazine CoroCoro leaked online, revealing new information about the upcoming Pokemon Sun and Moon game. The magazine also revealed some basic information about Pokemon Sun & Moon: The Series, the upcoming anime tie-in to the game. As with the previous Pokemon anime series, the new television series will continue the adventures of Ash and his partner Pokemon Pikachu, but this series will have some big differences.
It's very likely Pokemon Sun & Moon won't have the traditional gym battles that have been part of the core Pokemon gameplay for 20 years. While the new "Island Trials" system seems like a pretty cool way to switch things up, it presents a problem for the Pokemon anime. For the last 20 years, Ash has traveled from region to region to earn gym badges and qualify for the regional Pokemon League tournament. If there's no gyms for Ash to conquer in the new Alola region, what reason would Ash have to go to the remote island chain?
Well, according to CoroCoro, Ash will be attending a school in the Alola region. Outside of the occasional Pokemon class, Ash hasn't attended school in over 20 years, choosing instead to spend his endless youth exploring and catching Pokemon. It appears that his mother and Professor Oak will finally ship him off to the Alola region to get a middle school degree.
We don't know much about the upcoming season, but the first promo image is notably missing his Kalos companions Serena, Clemont, and Bonnie. Clemont is a Kalos gym leader whose gym was recently destroyed during Team Flare's attack on Kalos, so he wasn't expected to follow Ash to Kalos. Although fans were hopeful that Serena (who is the first companion to have an in-canon crush on Ash) would appear in the next anime, it appears she'll take up an offer to pursue more training in her journey to become a Pokemon Performing master.
Rowlet, Litten, Popplio, Rockruff, and Tapu Koko all appear in the first promo image, so it's likely Ash will wind up with one (or all) of those Pokemon on his team. Pokemon XY: The Series marked on the second time Ash had only one of the region's three starter Pokemon on his team. Ash has had all three starters in three of the regions (Kanto, Johto, and Unova) and had two starters in the Sinnoh region. Charizard and Lapras also appear in the promo image, so it could mean that Ash will be joined by some of his other previous Pokemon friends.
Here's the full promo image fpr referemce:
If Ash's massive summer vacation is finally coming to an end, it could mean that Ash will finally start aging in the Pokemon anime. Maybe a future season will see him finally get a job and settle down with one of the many paramours he's flirted with over his world travels.
Pokemon Sun & Moon: The Series will debut in December in Japan and will likely come out in early 2017 in the United States.