Since Ash Ketchum and the Pokémon franchise are synonymous, one would think saying goodbye to the protagonist would severely affect the series. Therefore, when Pokémon Horizons was recently released, it would make sense for the show to have started off terribly. However, that was not the case, with the new female-led reboot winning the hearts of many fans with its first episode. Specifically, the new protagonist has been a welcome change to the series, starkly contrasting the overly enthusiastic, extroverted young man that was Ash Ketchum. While many parallels can be drawn between the two series, quite a lot has been changed, including the introduction of some new Pokémon types.
With only the one-hour-long special episode out so far, and a third episode inching closer, Pokémon Horizons is already proving to be a game-changer. Many fans of the previous series have reacted positively to the reboot premiere, with our new protagonist, Liko, already gaining a large fan base. In addition, the introduction of a villain has already seen much action for the main characters and a look at the abilities of the new Pokémon, Sprigatito. Although starting out similarly to Pokémon Journeys, this series reboot has the potential to far surpass any other in the franchise.
Liko And Sprigatito May Be the Best Protagonists Yet
With absolutely no hate for Ash at all, Liko has proven to be a much more relatable main character. While a considerable part of anime is enjoying our main characters’ positive, enthusiastic nature, it is difficult for many to relate to this trope. However, Liko is a nervous overthinker who keeps to herself and avoids certain situations out of fear. For example, while on her way to Sekiei Academy, some of her classmates on the school bus are watching a funny video that she also enjoys. She tries to figure out how to approach them but eventually gives up out of fear. Haven’t we all been in a similar situation before?
Liko’s introverted nature is further challenged by her outspoken roommate, Anne. It is not long before we meet Liko’s first Pokémon, which introduces one not seen before in the universe. Upon first selecting Sprigatito, the cute, green Pokémon runs away from her despite her efforts to bond with it. This is where we see our first significant difference between her and Ash’s characters. Eventually, she just accepts the Pokémon wanting to keep its distance and rather observes its hiding spaces. By the time the episode’s villains show up, Sprigatito is the one nudging a not-so-confident Liko on to stand their ground and battle.
The most prominent theme in the series is how much more mature it is than its predecessors. This is explored through Liko’s inner thoughts, doubts, and aspects, such as her living alone for the first time. There is also the fact that we see more action between Amethio and Friede than we do between Ash and Leon in Pokémon Journeys. And keep in mind the latter has 48 episodes, while Pokémon Horizons only has one episode out this far. How crazy is that?
Furthermore, the bond between Sprigatito and Liko seems to be heading in a very endearing direction. The next episode in the series is titled “As Long as I’m With Sprigatito, I’m Sure!” suggesting that Liko and her Pokémon will have a very close bond. This could possibly mean they will find encouragement in each other, especially for a character such as Liko, who is always unsure of herself. Sprigatito giving her a much-needed confidence boost can really help to solidify their bond for audiences everywhere.
Finally, the most impressive thing about this new series is the way the first episodes all tie in with one another. Instead of being episodic and seeing a new adventure in each episode, Pokémon Horizons looks to tell a more promising story. While some filler episodes are to be expected at some point, it is already off to a strong start for making such a great change. Picking up a narrative and rolling with it is always smarter than giving fans an ‘adventure of the week’ sort of premise.