A beloved Pokemon character could be returning for the next Pokemon anime movie. Preorder tickets for Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You are now available in Japan. These tickets come with a special booklet featuring character bios and promotional stills from the new movie...including one featuring Ash and Pikachu squaring off a trainer with a Lycanroc and Incineroar. However, Ash and Pikachu aren't alone, as they're joined by a Charizard.
Here's a look at the image from the booklet:
While it's no guarantee that it's Ash's Charizard who appears in the movie, the last trailer hinted that some of Ash's older Pokemon could return. The latest trailer showed Butterfree and Charmander for a split second, both of whom were Pokemon from Ash's earliest days in the Kanto region. Since Ash is sporting his original outfit, this could mean that we could see some Ash's oldest friends once again.
Besides Pikachu, Ash's Charizard is probably Ash's most popular Pokemon among longtime anime fans. Ash originally met and befriended the Pokemon as a Charmander, where it quickly became one of Ash's most loyal companions. When it evolved into Charmeleon, it developed a disobedient streak, refusing to listen to Ash during most battles. That behavior grew worse when it evolved into Charizard, although Ash realized that he could still use it to defeat any Fire-Type Pokemon. Ultimately, Ash and Charizard re-bonded after Charizard nearly died in battle in the Orange Islands and Ash nursed it back to health.
Although Ash sent Charizard away for training while journeying through the Johto region, Ash has frequently relied on the Pokemon for some of its biggest battles. Ash used Charizard to ultimately defeat Gary's Blastoise in a critical Silver Conference battle, which led to Ash and Gary finally settling their longstanding grudge. Charizard also was the first of Ash's Pokemon to defeat a Legendary Pokemon, as it felled an Articuno during Ash's Battle Frontier adventure.
Charizard returned to Ash's side permanently during Ash's final days in the Unova region and now resides with Ash's other Pokemon at Professor Oak's lab. Sadly, we haven't seen Charizard in over three years, as Ash's last trip back to Pallet Town was only briefly touched upon at the start of Pokemon Sun and Moon: The Series.
If Charizard is coming back for the new anime, could this mean that we'll see Bulbasaur, Squirtle, or Pidgeot too? We'll have to wait until July, when the movie finally comes out in Japan.