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Pokémon reveals Captain Pikachu, star of the new post-Ash Ketchum TV show

Gotta hat 'em all.

What is Pokémon without Pikachu? It's a question fans have been asking ever since it was confirmed that TV series stars Ash Ketchum and his faithful Pikachu sidekick were departing the show after 25 years.

Now, we have an answer. And it comes in the shape of Captain Pikachu, a new character set to star in the Pokémon franchise's all-new animated series set to debut later this year.

Who is Captain Pikachu? This Pikachu wears what appears to be pilot's hat, and is the partner Pokémon of another new character, a silver-haired chap named Friede.

Ash and Pikachu's story is wrapping up in a series of 11 special episodes.Watch on YouTube

Captain Pikachu and Friede will accompany the series' new dual protagonists on their adventures. But let's be real here for a moment - Captain Pikachu is going to be the star.

"Across the world... a brand-new dream and adventure is about to begin," a teaser for the new Pokémon TV series previously stated, showing a girl wearing a blue coat and a red-haired boy in a hat, alongside Scarlet and Violet's trio of starter Pokémon: Sprigatito, Fuecoco and Quaxly.

Ash's replacements.
Ash and Pikachu's replacements.

Today, we've heard confirmation these two characters are named Liko, who hails from Scarlet and Violet's Paldea region, and Roy from the series' original Kanto.

The new series will air this year, following the conclusion of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu's story in a special 11-episode arc.

This story has already begun airing in Japan, and has seen Ash reconnect with classic sidekicks Brock and Misty, as well as many previous Pokémon.

"As the Pokémon world expands and evolves, fans will be able to embark on a new journey of action, adventure and friendship through the eyes of unique characters like Friede and Captain Pikachu when the next animated series begins premiering later this year," The Pokémon Company's marketing boss Taito Okiura said today.

"For 27 years, Pikachu has been synonymous with the Pokémon franchise, and we look forward to seeing this beloved Pokémon continue to have a significant presence in the animated series and remain an icon for the brand."

Stay tuned for lots more Pokémon news to come next week, as part of the franchise's Pokémon Presents livestream set for 27th February.

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