The upcoming release of Pokémon Sun and Moon brings with it a treasure trove of new additions to the Pokémon world—a new (tropical!) world to explore, new Pokémon to catch, new makeovers and some of our favorite Pokémon of old, and, of course, a whole new anime series so we can fall in love with Ash and Pikachu all over again! ...or can we?
A recently launched trailer for the series set to hit TV screens this November has revealed a lot—Ash's decision to finally attend school and get an education, a new trio of baddies no doubt intent on capturing Pikachu, Z-moves in all their fully animated glory, and, perhaps most importantly, this guy here:
One thing, however, that already has netizens in a kerfluffle is Ash himself. It seems his new makeover hasn't been well-received, with many Pokémon fans questioning why he's aged backwards, why he's animated so poorly, and why he's not hot anymore. The trailer already has 2,717 down votes with angry Japanese commenters ranting and making jokes about this new direction the series is heading.
"I see! This must be Ash's Alola form!"
"You mean Ash's form changes by region, too? lol"
"So that's what happened! Thank for the explanation. I understand much better now."
"He's got a mustache..."
"Welp, time to go rewatch all the old Pokémon."
"The style is so ugly."
"Did the animation team die?"
"Horrible animation quality is all the rage these days, don'tcha know?"
"Yeah, but the art for the XY series was good. They all must've died."
"They must have been... worked to death! Dammit! The animation was just too good!"
"Was this made in China..."
"Right? It's like if the Pokémon anime was produced in China!"
"I'm not buying the game anymore."
"You've gotta buy it! If only for the sake of the anime!"
"Give us back our Ash!"
"How am I supposed to believe you can be the very best that no one ever was now...? 。・゜・(ノД`)・゜・。"
In the end, though, I have only one question to ask amidst all this Poké-hubbub...
...WHERE IS THE REAL PIKACHU?!
Because as far as I can tell, this is Sparky, the shaggy-haired companion of Ash's Pokémon-naming rival and friend Ritchie:
Is this the most epic Pika-swap in Pokémon's animated history? Or just another example of animation rules being broken? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, check out the full 28-second trailer for yourself: