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Anime / Pokémon Journeys: The Series

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Pokémon Journeys: The Series (ポケットモンスター Pocket Monsters) is the seventh Pokémon anime series, and the final series to feature Ash Ketchum as the main protagonist. The series started airing in Japan in 2019 and airing in America, exclusively on Netflix, in 2020 with both versions concluding in 2023. Rather than just taking place in the region of Galar, Ash travels across all eight regions to compete in the World Coronation Series. Along the way, he's accompanied by his new friend and co-protagonist Goh, whose dream is to catch all the Pokémon in the world, especially the elusive Mythical Pokémon Mew.

English dub:

  • Season 23: Pokémon Journeys: The Series (Episodes 1-48)
  • Season 24: Pokémon Master Journeys: The Series (Episodes 49-90)
  • Season 25: Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series (Episodes 91-136)
  • Season 25b: Pokémon: To Be a Pokémon Master (Episodes 137-147)note 

Japanese version:

  • Pocket Monsters (Episodes 1-136)
  • Pocket Monsters: Aim to Be a Pokémon Master (Episodes 137-147)

Unlike previous eras, this series has no subtitle in Japan and has had episodes involve travel between all existing regions — although locations, Pokémon, and aspects of Pokémon Sword and Shield have been prominently featured.

This show is followed by Pokémon Horizons: The Series.

Contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A to C 
  • Actor Allusion: Ash being possessed by Spiritomb is not the first time a character voiced by Rica Matsumoto has had to deal with an evil spirit possessing them.
  • Adaptational Late Appearance:
  • Breaking Old Trends: There are a LOT of changes in this series. This is the first series:
    • To be set in more than two game-original regions, and not to be totally focused on the region from the newest games.
    • In which the first Pokémon Ash caught was fully-evolved, was not introduced in the current generation, and was a pseudo-legendary Pokémon, rather than a starter or regional bird.
    • In which Ash catches a Ghost-type, baby, and Fossil Pokémon.
    • In which Ash only has one traveling companion, who is not just a traveling companion, but a secondary protagonist.
    • In which Ash does not have a consistent female traveling companion. Although Chloe moves up from being a recurring character to a supporting companion 49 episodes into the series, she is still absent from most of Ash and Goh's adventures.
    • In which Ash's traveling companions/supporting cast do not include any characters from the games.
    • In which one of Ash's male traveling companions owns a Pokédex.
    • In which a main character other than Ash catches all starter Pokémon of the current generation.
      • Additionally, this is also the series where Ash does not own the region's starter Pokédex.
    • In which Team Rocket owns a Pokédex and only uses borrowed Pokémon instead of their own.
    • To feature an episode where Ash and Pikachu are completely absent.
    • To feature a movie that was released outside of July, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • In which a main character catches a Legendary Pokémon.
    • In which two protagonists catch the same Pokémon, with Ash and Goh each catching a Farfetch'd, though Goh catches the Kantonian form, while Ash catches the Galarian form.
    • In which Ash catches a regional form.
    • To conclude a main game villain story arc less than halfway through the corresponding journey.
    • To just have four different versions of the same opening, versus having entirely different songs.
    • In which a main character, besides Ash, catches a shiny.
    • In which Team Rocket catches an Electric-Type.
    • To have Ash reunite with former main cast companions from 2 or more different series. note 
    • To have previous main rivals to Ash (besides Gary) make appearances outside of the series they were introduced in. note 
    • To have the English dub be mainly recorded in California, allowing for a more varied cast, while still retaining New York-based voice actors.
    • To have Ash finally beat regional Champions and Elite Four members, with Ash defeating Iris, Drasna, former Champion Wallace, Steven, Cynthia, and ultimately Leon.
  • Brick Joke: A cartoonish picture of Chloe drawn by her mother in "Best Friend...Worst Nightmare" is later used in an advertisement in "There's A New Kid in Town", something the former is not happy about.
  • The Bus Came Back: With Journeys featuring all the known regions shown in the franchise at the time of the show's debut, there have been appearances of characters from all the previous series.
    • "Flash of the Titans!" brought back Lance, last seen in the Ruby and Sapphire series.
    • "A Festival Reunion" sees the return of the Fighting-type Gym Leader Korrina from the Kalos region. She would return for three more episodes centered around Ash gaining access to Mega Evolution and his second rematch against Bea.
    • "That New Old Gang of Mine" features the entire Alola cast save Lillie and her family due to them still being on the search for Mohn. Even then, they still appear by means of a cut-away whilst a letter from her is being read out. Sophocles would make another appearance in episode 96, and the whole cast plus Lillie would appear in "Lighting the Way Home!".
    • In "Octo-Gridlock at the Gym!", Ash and Goh head to Johto for Ash's rematch against Bea where Chuck makes his return training alongside her.
    • In "Getting More Than You Battled For," Ash and Goh meet up with Mewtwo from the original series and do battle with it.
    • "Thrash of the Titans!" sees the heroes go to Unova and sees the return of Iris, now the Champion of the region. Drayden makes his return alongside her.
    • "Advice to Goh!" returns to Oak's Lab, where a rather large bus comes back containing most of Ash's benched Pokémon, as well as Gary, whose previous appearance was during the Diamond and Pearl. Gary would appear a few more times as part of the Project Mew storyline.
    • "Nightfall? Nightmares!" and "A Midsummer Night's Light!" sees the return of Dawn. During In the former episode, she only bumps into Chloe and only encounters Ash and Goh in the following episode. Dawn reappeared again in "The Gates of Warp!", "Showdown at the Gates of Warp!", and "The Arceus Chronicles" special, all as tie-in to the releases of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and Pokémon Legends: Arceus. She appears again during the finals of the Masters Eight Tournament, where both she and Chloe travel to Galar to cheer for Ash in person.
    • "Ultra Exciting from the Shocking Start!" sees the return of Volkner who serves as his first Ultra Class challenger in the Coronation Series. On top of that, it also reveals the return of Cynthia who is revealed to be a member of the Masters Eight. Ash would later re-encounter Cynthia in "Star Night, Star Flight!", along with a few more appearances prior to the Masters Tournament.
    • "Looking Out for Number Two!" has Ash and Goh go to Hoenn for one of Goh's Trial Missions, where they run into Elite Four Drake, last seen in the Ruby and Sapphire series.
    • "Suffering the Flings and Arrows!" has the return of Erika after her last appearance in Episode 26 of the original series who teaches Ash, Goh and Chloe about flower arranging.
    • "The Good, The Bad, and The Lucky!" has Butch and Cassidy return after a nearly 14-year absence. And Meowzie from the Original Series appears in a flashback.
    • Episode 2 of "The Arceus Chronicles" special has the return of Brock, as well as Commanders Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
    • "Meeting Up with the Monarch!" has the return of Flint, who is shown battling Leon in a Coronation Match, revealing he's part of the Masters Eight.
    • "The Future is Now, Thanks to Strategy!" and "Taking Two For The Team!" has the return of Clemont and Bonnie who help Ash prepare for his battle against Dransa.
    • "Reuniting for the First Time!" features the return of Wallace alongside his niece Lisia making her debut. Serena also returns with her Sylveon.
    • "Catching the Aura of Fate!" has the return of Ash's Greninja who helps train Lucario and strengthen their bond before he has his match against Raihan.
    • "Aim For The Eight!" reveals the presence of Steven, Diantha, and Alain, all last seen in XY, in the final Masters Eight lineup.
    • "The Homecoming Crown!" has the return of Lillie, Gladion and Lusamine, as their search for Mohn is finally resolved.
    • "Helping the Hometown Hero!" has Hau, Guzma and Plumeria make a cameo return amongst the audience watching the Alolan Battle Royale. Hala, Wicke and Faba would also make a return to the series. Kukui temporary brings back his persona as The Masked Royale for a while but says he'll be participating in the Royale as himself.
    • "Friends, Rivals, Lend Me Your Spirit!" has return of Paul, who trains with Ash before the Masters Tournament and has received an offer to become a Gym Leader.
    • "Curtain Up! Fight the Fights!" has the official return of Alain, Steven and Diantha within the stadium with the rest of the Masters Eight. Professor Sycamore and Mairin also make a brief return to watch the match against Leon and Alain.
    • "Pride of a Champion!" has cameos of Ritchie, Jimmy, Marina, and Vincent/Jackson from The Legend of Thunder, and Tierno, Trevor, Shauna, and Sawyer from XY, all watching the Lance vs. Diantha match on television. Iris's Excadrill also makes a return when she and Cynthia begin their battle next afterwards.
    • "The Fiery Road to Mastership!" has cameos of Bianca, Stephan, Trip, Georgia, Alder and Reggie who appear to watch the Cynthia vs Iris Battle.
    • "Battling as Hard as Stone!" has cameos of Tracey, Tyson, Morrison, Katie, Janet, Vito Winston, Kain, Jimmy, Kelly, Drew, Harley, and Professor Birch who appear to watch the Ash vs Steven battle.
    • "Partners in Time!" has cameos of Misty, Cilan, May, Max and Alexa, who appear to watch the Ash vs Leon battle. Several of the Pokemon that Ash either befriended, traded or released including Butterfree, Primeape, Lapras, Larvitar, Ambipom, and Goodra make a cameo when Pikachu faints, encouraging him to get up and keep battling. Misty and Butterfree make a return in "This Could be the Start of Something Big!" with Ash reuniting with Butterfree and Misty meeting Goh.
    • Several buses all come back in the "Aim to be a Pokémon Master" epilogue, including more prominent returns for Misty and Brock throughout:
      • "Must Be Our Heroes and the Witch!" has a more prominent return of Cilan.
      • "A Squad's Worth of Passion!" reunites Ash with his Squirtle.
      • "Ride, Lapras, Ride!" reunites Ash with his Lapras.
      • "Rocket Revengers!" reunites Team Rocket with all of their Pokémon that were left at Team Rocket HQ - Seviper, Carnivine, Mime Jr, Woobat, Frillish, Yamask, Amoonguss, Gourgeist and Inkay.
      • Finally, "The Rainbow and the Pokémon Master!" reunites Ash with his Pidgeot, who unlike all of the other cameos in this series rejoins Ash on a permanent basis for his future adventures.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: A segment of the third episode involves Giovanni talking to Jessie and James about Team Rocket and it's evil.
  • Catchphrase: Ash and Goh tend to shout "Let's Go!" before the start of every adventure.
    • The start of JN105 has Chloe use this catchphrase for the first time.
  • Climax Boss: Notably, many battles that have been teased or hinted to throughout the entire series finally get proper resolution here. Most notably, the Ash VS Cynthia battle that has been teased multiple times since her introduction in Diamond and Pearl finally happens proper in the Masters 8 tournament, with Ash being the one to finally give her the first on screen loss she's ever suffered in the entirety of the anime's history. There are many people who see it as the true resolution/pay off to the anime, as Cynthia had been built up for far longer than Leon had been.
  • Comic-Book Time: As if it wasn't already evident enough in the past twenty years or so, this series features Kukui and Burnet's cute little baby... after Sun & Moon ended with Burnet's being in the early stages of pregnancy. This implies that at least 9 months have passed in-between Sun & Moon and Journeys ...and Ash is still ten years old. Even worse is that the baby looks to be about a few months old, meaning that the Time Skip could have lasted an entire year.
  • Continuity Porn: As The Bus Came Back is one of this series' signature tropes, this trope is naturally in play. By the second half of the series, it's pretty safe to expect references to previous series at least once every couple of episodes.
  • Crying a River: In the episode "There's a New Kid in Town!", they are 10 Pokémon (Butterfree, three Dustox, Muk, Scyther, Galarian Farfetch'd, Dragonite and Golurk), and they cry a huge puddle of tears.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Calling it a "battle" would be generous. Episode 102 sees Ash, Goh, Gary and Horace in a Raid Battle against Articuno, who easily defeats ALL TWELVE of the Pokémon sent out against it - and that includes heavy-hitters like Darmanitan, Tyranitar, Lucario, Cinderace, Sirfetch'd, and Pikachu! Articuno, on the other hand, is barely even hurt despite the barrage of super-effective attacks it took.
    • Another one happens when Hop challenges Ash before the Master's 8 tournament. Ash is so far above Hop by this point that a single Iron Tail from Pikachu knocks his Wooloo out instantly.

    Tropes D to K 
  • Deadline News: During the Sword & Shield arc, a live news report is cut off by a beam from Eternatus fired in the camera's general direction. This is not commented on at all.
  • Demoted to Extra: Hop and Marnie, two trainers that serve as the player character's rivals in Pokémon Sword and Shield, barely feature in Journeys.
    • Hop originally was only given a brief mention by Sonia in JN100 without being directly named, and Goh essentially takes his place during its adaptation of the Darkest Day plot. His admiration of Leon and goal of defeating him were also given to Ash. Hop finally appeared in JN115 to watch Leon participate in the Masters Tournament that caps the World Coronation Series season.
    • As for Marnie, she was merely a One-Shot Character that served as one of Ash's Ultra-Class ranked opponents in the World Coronation Series. The episode featuring her would also be the only episode so far to feature Team Yell.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The fourth version of the Japanese theme is performed by Rica Matsumoto and Daiki Yamashita (the Japanese voice actors for Ash and Goh respectively).
  • Evolving Credits: Every new Opening Credits scene features or gives certain characters more spotlight as the series progresses.
    • Chloe becomes more active each Opening Title as she goes from being a mere background character to the series tritagonist as she becomes a Pokémon trainer.
    • From Opening two onwards, Leon makes an appearance in the opening credits, serving as Ash's key rival as he's participating in the World coronation series.
    • Multiple of Ash's former travelling companions and rivals make appearances in the opening credits with Dawn making appearances among the rest of the group to show she's becoming the most recurring.
    • Ash and Goh's Pokémon making appearances before the opening sequence changes gradually (staring with just Pikachu and Scorbunny then it evolves into Raboot. Sobble and Grookey are also added in with Sobble evolving as well as all the Pokémon ash caught. The current one has a group photo with Ash and his Pokémon and Goh with Cinderace, Inteleon and Grookey).
    • The 4th opening is able to feature all of the Pokémon that Goh has captured in place of them making little to no appearances.
    • Danika and Quillon appear in the 4th opening (alongside Gary and Horace) to showcase more of Goh's journey in Project Mew.
    • Chloe appearing in a cute contest attire and the inclusion of Lisia appearing in the credits showcase the start of her potential goal as a Coordinator.
    • Morpeko appears alongside Team Rocket in the 4th opening, showing it's officially James's Pokémon.
    • After Ash enters the Masters Eight, some shots are updated to show the other members of the circle as well as Mega Lucario having a Beam-O-War against Leon's Gigantamax Charizard. This is an event that never actually happens during Ash's battle with Leon, as by the time Charizard is sent out Lucario has already been eliminated.
  • Feud Episode: Several of them throughout the series.
    • "Panic in the Park!" is the most well known one where hunger causes conflict between all of Goh's Pokémon.
    • "Betrayed, Bothered and Beleaguered!" features one between Ash and Pikachu when Pikachu gets jealous of Ash giving Riolu more attention.
    • "Errand Endurance!" features one between Goh and Chloe when their Pokémon causing mischief together and Chloe blames Goh's Grookey.
  • Flat Character: Other than Grookey, no Pokémon from the Gatcha Machine ever get their own distinct personalities, only being used as a Pokémon for Jessie and James to use against the main characters.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: An In-Universe example; Ash, a Kanto native, became a celebrity in Alola after becoming their first League Champion.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: After years of being downplayed, this aspect of the Pokémon series comes back full force in the form of Goh. Unlike Ash, who quietly gave up on catching all the Pokémon in the world in favor of building a team to win battle tournaments, Goh truly wants to catch 'em all and does his best to do so, catching nearly every Pokémon he comes across. His ultimate goal is to catch the Mythical Pokémon Mew, whom he first saw when he was merely six years old.
  • Grand Finale: This series marks the end of Ash's tenure as the main protagonist of the anime after over 25 real-life years, culminating in him becoming the World Champion after defeating the previous title holder Leon in the finals of the Masters Eight Tournament, with the Aim to Be a Pokémon Master miniseries depicting Ash's final chapter into becoming a Pokémon Master. After that, the next series will follow a pair of completely new protagonists.
  • Hero of Another Story: Going by their shared cameo in episode 132, May and Serena have become friends and are competing in contests together.
  • Hope Spot: During the match against Pikachu vs Cynthia's Spiritomb, you see Pikachu able to successfully block off its hypnosis and then trap and defeat it in an Electro Web. Just as we thought he's won and Ash has caught up, Destiny Bond takes effect and defeats Pikachu, putting more pressure on Ash.
  • It Only Works Once: Normally played straight as each special ability can only be used once per fight, but it is averted at the very end when Eternatus appears and stabilizes the Galar Particles attracted by Leon's Charizard's G-Max Wildfire and Ash's Pikachu's 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt clashing, causing both Leon and Ash's Dynamax Bands to reactivate and allowing both competitors to Dynamax one final time.

    Tropes L to W 
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: Journeys has much less to do with its corresponding games, though it does introduce elements, characters, and Pokémon from the Pokémon Sword and Shield games somewhat with a decent degree of frequency. The focus is put much more on what Pokémon is about, with episodes focusing on things like evolution and shiny hunting, and leans towards Pokémon GO more than anything. That said, shiny hunting has been a part of the mainline games for quite some time.
  • Lucky Rabbit's Foot: In one episode, Goh's Rotom Phone Pokédex explains that the soles of Scorbunny, a Fire-type rabbit Pokémon, are believed to bring good luck.
  • Mechanical Abomination: The giant ball of Magnemite from JN93 fits this role, cue the Nightmare Fuel-inducing eye it forms.
  • Mutually Exclusive Power-Ups: In the World Coronation Series, a Trainer is only allowed to use either Mega Evolution, a Z-Move, or Dynamaxing. If a Trainer uses one of them, they can't use the other two for the rest of the match. Justified as it would make the battle too unfair for anyone who has access to all three while their opponent has one or none at all. However, this rule is removed at Leon's request in his battle with Ash, allowing Ash to use all three against him.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The fourth Japanese opening contains a scene of Ash's Mega Lucario facing off against Leon's Gigantamax Charizard. In the series itself, however, Mega Lucario only goes up against Mr. Rime and Dragapult, defeating the former and losing to the latter.
  • Recap Episode: JN119 recaps Chloe's character arc, JN121 recaps Ash's journey to the Masters Eight Tournament, JN126 recaps Goh's character arc, and JN128 recaps Ash's interactions with Leon as well as the semifinals of the Masters Eight Tournament. Notably, these are the first in-line recap episodes since Diamond and Pearl in 2009, and much like the past recaps, they're skipped over in the dub.
  • Recycled Title: Within the anime segment of the Pokémon franchise, the Japanese title for this series is the same one used for the original series.
  • Retool: Journeys has an even bigger shakeup compared to the previous series. Instead of being purely focused on the region and its native Pokémon from the new games, it features all the known regions and Pokémon so far, as the plot now involves Ash and his new friend Goh traveling around the world on behalf of Professor Cerise. Ash still does competitive battling, but instead of the Galar League, Ash participates in the anime-original World Coronation Series, facing Trainers from all around the world, with the goal of challenging Leon, who is not only the Champion for the Galar region, but the number one Trainer in the world.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Significant Name Shift: Bea generally doesn't bother to remember the names of those she's battled until they've fully proven themselves to be a Worthy Opponent.
  • Status Quo Is God: On her return appearances, Dawn's Pokémon team is exactly the same as when she was last seen during Best Wishes. This is averted for Brock, Iris, Serena and Clemont, who have all had Pokémon evolve since their last appearances.
  • Stealth Mentor: All three of the main characters have at least one for them and their Pokémon.
    • Ash had Rinto and his Gallade who served as mentors for his Farfetch'd.
    • Goh had Jacqueline and her Inteleon who served as mentors for his Sobble.
    • Chloe had Kairi and his Vaporeon who served as mentors for her Eevee.
  • Stunned Silence: Ash briefly has this reaction when it becomes apparent that he managed to beat Cynthia in a full 6-on-6 battle.
  • Superpower Lottery: In this entry, Team Rocket makes use of Rental Pokémon. They summon a Pelipper who delivers a machine called the Secret Rocket Prize Master, operated by a coin (or in this case, Meowth's Charm). Each episode with this has them use a pair of completely random Pokémon from any region. They can obtain anything from cute to vicious Pokémon to do their bidding, but are unable to keep them, especially whenever they blast off again.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Even if Leon is alright with allowing Ash to use all 3 battle gimmicks, it still goes against the official rules of the World Coronation Series. Thus, the referee has to contact management for clearance to allow it, even if both trainers accept the conditions.
  • Tastes Better Than It Looks: In "Restore and Renew," paleontologist Bray Zenn decides to steal whipped cream meant for dessert to add to a curry (much to the group's shock), though they end up finding it incredible.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Of all the seasons, this one is probably the one where Ash's Pokémon hang out outside of their Pokeballs the least. Not only do Ash's Pokémon rarely spend any time with each other, but even Ash rarely interacts with most of them, as most his battles are usually either using Pikachu solo, or Pikachu and 1 other Pokémon. Though this does start to lessen at least a bit later on in the series when less focus is put on solving the problems of the Character of the Day and more focus is put on Ash training for the Masters Tournament.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The very last stretch of Ash's battle with Leon has Mezase Pokémon Master playing in the Japanese version, and the first theme of the dub playing in English.
  • Too Hungry to Be Polite: When all of Goh's Pokémon go crazy due to their food going missing, they start to attack each other and almost put his three Cascoon at risk. Only averted with his Farfetch'd, Skwovet, Pidgey, and Cubone, who manage to stay calm and help get everyone back to normal.
  • Victory Is Boring: A central theme in Journeys is that being victorious all the time is detrimental to a trainer's growth.
    • Leon and Cynthia, two of the most powerful trainers in the world, have found Pokémon battles to become boring and predictable. Most of their battles tend to end quickly with one Pokémon curb-stomping their opponent's entire team, and they have never been seriously pushed to brink of defeat. Cynthia actually plans to retire after she battles Leon, while Leon worries that he has reached his limit. It took Ash beating them both by the skin of his teeth to reinvigorate their love for battles once more.
    • While Ash Ketchum does have a long win streak in the World Coronation Tournament, he doesn't immediately suffers this trope because he knows each victory is another step to face the toughest and greatest trainers in the Master 8, especially the unbeatable Leon. It's only after he defeats Leon and becomes the new World Monarch that Ash starts to feel the downsides of being the unbeatable champion. Only when he's unable to befriend Latios in To be a Master that Ash found a new goal to strive for.
  • Wham Line:
    • In the climax of Ash vs Iris, Ash's latest Indy Ploy involves Dragonite using Hurricane on itself to swallow up Haxorus' Dragon Pulse and then sending it skyward, changing the weather and making a storm in the process. And then Ash reveals what he's going to do with the energy of said Dragon Pulse...
      Ash: Go! Draco Meteor!
  • Wham Shot:
    • Iris revealing herself in her Black 2/White 2 Champion outfit (confirmed by Drayden seconds later), and later sending out her ace...Axew, but fully evolved into a Haxorus!
    • When Chloe runs into the strong Sylveon trainer she heard about, she turns around — it's Serena.
    • When Ash enters the Masters Eight, we get the reveal of the other members at the time. In particular, Alain has climbed his way to #6.
    • The Penultimate Episode ends with a shocking momentary return to Alto Mare, Bianca, and that film's Latias the first and only time a movie-exclusive location, and its associated characters have made a direct appearance in an episode of the main anime, outside of the episodes that were specifically designed to tie into an upcoming film. Keep in mind this episode debuted in 2023, Pokémon Heroes came out in 2002!

Alternative Title(s): Pokemon Journeys


Ash vs. Hop

You KNOW it's a curb-stomp battle when even the victors are shocked by how easily they won.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (21 votes)

Example of:

Main / CurbStompBattle

Media sources: