Pokémon Isn't Just Losing Ash, It's Losing Team Rocket, Too

Much like Ash, his longtime baddies Jesse and James are leaving the Pokémon franchise to make way for new characters.

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Screenshot of Team Rocket from the Pokémon anime.
Image: Netflix/Nintendo

Ash Ketchum has been such an important part of the Pokémon franchise that the news of his retiring from the popular anime felt like a sucker punch. But if there’s been one constant in Ash’s journey (other than Pikachu, obviously), it’s Team Rocket: Jesse, James, and Meowth have been around since the start harassing Ash and his companions at every and any point possible. But with Ash heading out, it seems that Team Rocket will also be departing the series as well.

Last week, the newest episode of Pokémon: The Journeys aired, wherein Ash defeated the Rocket trio for the last time as they try to capture his Pikachu. The fight itself features all of the past Pokémon from Rocket history, and Ash naturally wipes the floor with them. After they blast off into the sky, the three call it and truly go their separate ways. If you click the tweet below and check the replies, Twitter users are mourning the iconically goofy villain team.


Next month, the Pokémon anime will be rebooted with a new pair of characters, Liko and Roy. The hour-long special will introduce the new duo to audiences, and presumably we’ll also meet whoever their own set of antagonists will be as they strive to be the very best and learn about the legendary Pokémon of the world. Whoever steps into the new bad guy role, they’ve got some mighty big shoes to fill, and it’s a further reminder of how much Nintendo is gradually having the franchise step into a wholly new era.

The Pokémon reboot will air in Japan on April 14, with the English-dubbed version set for sometime later in the year.

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