Join Me in Crying Over Ash Ketchum Reuniting With All His Pokemon

You're my best friend in a world we must defend.

I have mostly checked out of the Pokemon anime, but I’m still invested enough in the games that new developments from the show manage to make their way into my field of view. And one shot from a new trailer for the Pokemon Journeys series made my heart grow ten sizes larger this morning.

The trailer in question is a montage of scenes in upcoming episodes, several of which are part of the series’ arc based on Pokemon Sword and Shield’s “The Crown Tundra” DLC. Among them are some hints toward protagonist Ash Ketchum battling Galar Champion Leon, and his companion for the season Goh is still looking to capture Mew. But there’s one shot that got me, even as a person who mostly only catches up with Ash’s adventures through cultural osmosis: the one of him reuniting with a huge group of his old Pokemon from over the years.

By design, the Pokemon games encourage a kind of frivolous disposability to its magical creatures while also making the attachment and camaraderie you feel with them a core pillar of the whole deal. Catch them, collect them, but you can only have six of them with you at any given time. The rest of them are left with a professor who seemingly has an endless space in their lab for whatever pocket monster you send their way. It’s a pill I’ve found difficult to swallow, even in my younger days where my attachment to different Pokemon I caught in the games was probably unhealthy. Eventually I came to respect what it meant to head to a new region and create a new party. Sometimes, not everyone can go where you’re going, and moving forward means sometimes leaving friends behind.

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But Ash Ketchum has been to several regions and caught dozens of Pokemon over the years, and other than his starting partner Pikachu, the other five slots in his party are a rotating group of whoever he feels like having with him in the moment. While the Pokemon anime’s sense of time is a whole mess we won’t get into here, it stands to reason some of these friends haven’t seen Ash in years. Gosh, the Pokemon making an appearance here go back so long, too. Snorlax, Heracross, Bayleef, Totodile, some of these Pokemon Ash caught in episodes that aired well over a decade ago. So while I’m probably not going to be tuning into Pokemon Journeys anytime soon, it does make me a little misty-eyed seeing this big happy reunion.

Check out the full trailer below:

In other Pokemon news, New Pokemon Snap is coming to the Nintendo Switch on April 30, and Nintendo has partnered with Fujifilm to make a Pokemon-branded printer to print screenshots from.