The Pokémon Company has announced the newest arc in the Pokémon anime series – Pokémon Masters 8, where Ash will face off as part of the top 8 trainers in the entire Pokémon franchise.
In this upcoming story arc, Ash will face the top trainers from each region after his recent victory against Raihan during the Master Class battle in Wyndon Stadium. The Masters’ Eight will feature characters that will make a return to the anime series, such as Iris, previously seen in Pokémon Black & White.
The top 8 trainers competing in the Masters’ Eight are:
- Leon (Galar Region)
- Cynthia: (Sinnoh Region)
- Steven Stone (Hoenn Region)
- Lance: Rank 4 (Johto Region)
- Diantha: (Kalos Region)
- Alain (Kalos Region)
- Iris (Unova Region)
- Ash Ketchum (Kanto Region)
Fans have speculated that this will be the final arc in the anime if Ash wins, as it will make him a Pokémon Master. But with Pokémon Scarlet and Violet games coming out later this year, it also seems plausible that Ash will be visiting the upcoming Pokémon region.
The Pokémon video games had a similar type of battle championship during the post-game for Pokémon Black & White 2. The Pokémon World Tournament was an optional post-game feature that allowed players to compete against past gym leaders and champions from Kanto to Unova.
The Pokémon anime has been ongoing since 1997, following Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town and his partner Pikachu on their journey to become a Pokémon Master. The latest series, titled Pokémon Journeys, follows Ash in the Galar region with Goh and Chloe.
Pokémon Masters 8 will air on TokyoTV on Friday, May 13 at 6:55 PM JST.