Japanese Title: The Endless Zero! Until the Day We Meet Again!!
Original Airdate: October 27, 2016
US Airdate: January 21, 2017
The time has come, as Serena heads to Hoenn, and Ash returns to Kanto. How will the friends made in Kalos say their goodbyes?
This episode contains examples of the following tropes:
- Badass Adorable: The episode opens with the badass that is Pikachu...smushed happily against a computer screen, making happy noises as he coos at Oak and Delia.
- Bait-and-Switch: Several times in the episode showed Bonnie looking upset about her friends leaving. However, as the previews already indicated beforehand, it was actually Dedenne who took issue.
- Big Damn Kiss: Though it's not seen on-screen, Serena finally kisses Ash before she leaves. It is given romantic music, dreamy atmosphere and a stunned audience to emphasize its impact. Why else would a good chunk of these tropes be dedicated to that one scene?
- Bilingual Bonus: The flight that Serena is taking is called H71 Latias. note H71 in the ORAS Pokédex is Mawile and its Japanese name Kucheet (クチート) is a corruption of 口と, meaning "with the mouth." As a result, it can be read as "Latias, but with the mouth", suggesting that Serena kissed Ash directly on the lips.
- The faces of Ash and Serena in their very first meeting are reversed when they bid farewell (specifically, after the kiss) to each other.
- The last battle of XY is Ash and Clemont with Pikachu and Bunnelby, the very first matchup of the XY series.
- Brought Down to Normal: Although Alain has been seen without his Mega Ring since the end of the Flare climax, this is the first episode where this little detail is acknowledged. Alain explains he gave it and the Charizardite X up to the police as it's technically property of Team Flare, and that he wants to have a Mega Stone that he earned rather than be given to him in order to continue his dream.
- Credits Montage: Near the end of the episode, a flashback clip montage is featured highlighting the various moments of the XY series, from the action-driven battles to the comedic antics of the Kalos gang to the story-driven drama of Ash-Greninja and the Team Flare finale.
- Crush Blush: Serena's face after she kisses Ash.
- Dénouement Episode: This episode resolves nearly all the plot points established in the XY series; the most surprising point resolved is Serena's feelings for Ash.
- Did They or Didn't They?: Serena runs up an escalator for one last moment with Ash. It's heavily implied, but not shown, that she kissed him. Word of God eventually confirms that was the case.
- Distant Reaction Shot: There is a quick transition to the outside of Prism Tower erupting on its side when Clemont's invention blows up as usual, before returning to the three of them inside.
- Easter Egg: The souvenirs that Team Rocket dropped when they are dashing for their flight departure are Solrock and Lunatone, a subtle Foreshadowing to the upcoming Sun and Moon series. Surprisingly, this is the only hint to the Alola region.
- End of an Age: This marks the end of the traditional Gym Badge Quest format that the Pokémon anime had for over 19 years, with the next series format being a Slice of Life school-based show. Notably, the XY series does not end with "Next Time... A New Beginning!" like the other series and finishes with a more conclusive note.
- The Fellowship Has Ended: Ash, Clemont, Bonnie, and Serena all part ways.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Chespin and Pancham part on good terms. Chespin is even sad to see Pancham go. Pancham gives him a leaf as a parting gift.
- First Kiss: Serena gives her first one to Ash and it might just be Ash's first one on the lips.
- Foot Popping: Very slightly from Serena when she kisses Ash.
- Inelegant Blubbering: Clemont's Chespin is in tears for most of the episode. Most acutely when saying goodbye to Chespie.
- Kissing Discretion Shot: Serena's Sacred First Kiss with Ash is never actually seen, since the scene cuts to their feet when the deed is done. According to Word of God, this was the only way to get around the censors as kissing is considered to be an extraordinarily intimate act in Japan and doing it in public (such as an airport) is highly frowned upon.
- Love Confession: Before they finally part, Serena tells Ash that he is her ultimate goal, and she hopes to meet him again. His response to that is typical Ash.
- Maybe Ever After: Ash and Serena; Serena confesses her feelings and kisses him before leaving for Hoenn, saying that she'll work on improving herself for when they meet again. Ash certainly didn't seem to mind the kiss, but given that it's Ash, nothing is certain.
- Luminescent Blush: Everyone else's reaction (except Ash)◊ after Serena's big kiss.
- Opening Shout-Out: The very first scene of the episode is Pikachu hogging the entire screen, just like the opening scene of Volt!. It was actually Pikachu hogging the videophone feed when Ash contacts his mother in Pallet Town.
- Pet the Dog: Giovanni clearly does not believe Team Rocket's doctored footage of defeating Team Flare and saving Kalos, but decides to humor them anyway because he's still pleased with the results of their work all the same.
- Please Don't Leave Me: Much like Piplup at the end of Sinnoh, Dedenne didn't want the group to split up, and ran off and hid in the airport until the group spoke to him.
- Post-Kiss Catatonia: Ash's reaction after Serena kissed him. He is left speechless initially with his eyes twinkling before he smiles and waves goodbye to Serena.
- Put on a Bus: Serena, Clemont, Bonnie, Professor Sycamore, Alain, Mairin, and all their Pokémon. While we don't see it in this episode, Sun & Moon also reveals that Ash left Talonflame, Hawlucha, and Noivern with Professor Oak before going to Alola, with Team Rocket leaving Inkay and Gorgueist at headquarters as well.
- Sacred First Kiss: There's a lot of context involving Serena's First Kiss with Ash. Before the kiss, Serena confesses that Ash is her aspiration. Romantic music and a golden atmosphere fill the scene, but the kiss itself is never shown due its daring implications. As the escalator forces them apart, Serena thanks Ash for this moment note while Ash is left in awe before smiling back. And when Ash reflects back on his Kalos journey during his flight back to Kanto, a good amount of his memories is dedicated to his time with Serena (such as him giving her the blue ribbon and being under her care when he got sick).
- Sequel Hook: A notable aversion; very little evidence of the next series is given, and unlike previous era-ending episodes, the ending text is "And To Our Own Way" rather than the usual "Next Time...A New Beginning". The only clue is Team Rocket dropping Solrock and Lunatone trinkets from their souvenir stash as they run through the airport (which no-one who didn't know about Sun and Moon would even recognize as a clue), while the episode ends with Ash entering his home in Pallet Town instead of setting off for the next region.
- Series Fauxnale: This is the last episode of XY and XYZ series and while the overall series continues on in Sun and Moon, this episode gives a sense of finality and completion unlike previous Pokémon series. Notably, it ends with the tagline "And to Our Own Way" rather than the usual "Next Time... A New Beginning!"
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Team Rocket for once, avoid antagonising the twerps and use their (somewhat exaggerated, heavily doctored) footage of their Team Flare face-off to get Giovanni's approval. Especially so for Inkay and Gourgeist, who end their tenure under Team Rocket happily waltzing out of Kalos with their team mates.
- Trying Not to Cry: A good amount of this among the Pokémon before Serena leaves. Most notable is Hawlucha.
- Wham Shot: Serena kissing Ash. For a long-running series infamous for having previous female co-stars come and go without any real hints towards a romantic relationship (let alone a resolution) as well as the No Hugging, No Kissing rule, this caught every fan off-guard. Even Clemont, Bonnie and Pikachu are left speechless after this moment.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: After Ash departs from Kalos, a montage is shown showcasing what every major character of XY is doing as the series comes to a close.
- Serena is seen arriving in the Hoenn region, determined more than ever before thanks to her previous adventure.
- Clemont and Bonnie are seen working on a new invention with Clembot, reminiscing their adventures with Ash, before the invention explodes in their face.
- Professor Sycamore is busy giving a choice of Kalos starters to a new trainer before his assistant comes in to tell him about Alain and Mairin's call.
- Alain, Mairin and their Pokémon have discovered an ore of Mega Stones in a cavern.
- Steven and Sawyer are busy excavating and studying the site of the destroyed Lysandre Labs.
- Shauna, Tierno and Trevor are exploring a forest meadow filled with Pokémon.
- Goodra is still at the wetlands, settling down disputes between the wild Pokémon.
- Greninja continues his mission to destroy the Megalith remnants as Squishy and Z-2 watch over him.
- Ash and Pikachu are on the plane to Pallet Town, reflecting on their adventures in the Kalos region. The episode—and the XY era as a whole—ends with him entering his house.