Note: This post contains spoilers for the Manalo Conference arc of the current Pokemon anime.
The Sun and Moon portion of the Pokemon anime is drawing to a close as the semi-finals of the Manalo conference. In the most recent episode, Gladion defeated Kiawe to advance to the finals and Ash is in this middle of his semi-final battle with Team Skull Leader Guzma. If the rumors are true, Ash will advance to the finals and face Gladion. If he wins, he will face Professor Kukui.
Yet fans may not have to wait for the conference finals to learn what is in store for the plucky young trainer from Pallet Town and his Pikachu after they finish their Alola journey.
A report from Serebii notes that there will be a “major world announcement,” during the Sept. 1 episode “Guzma the Undefeated!”
The report does not contain any specific information about what is included in the report, yet it may likely point to a sneak peak at the next anime, which will be based on the Sword and Shield games – in might be titled Pokemon: Sword and Shield.
If that is the case, this means that fans may get a glimpse at the renders of Ash and Pikachu as they journey into the Galar region, as well as images of the land, the Galar starters and Team Rocket. There were many questions leading up to the release of Sun and Moon, such as which starters would Ash have on his team and his companions, which were not answered until the show began.
This was similar to when creators announced Pokemon Sun and Moon before the end of XYZ. Images of Ash in his Alola gear, Pikachu and the Alola starters flooded the Internet, and were met with mixed reception. As the Sun and Moon series aired, folks seemed to warm up to the new style and noted how it complimented the battles.
I think it’s likely trainers will see a different style for the Galar region, which might draw some inspiration from the art style seen in XY. Although there is no map to confirm where Galar lies in the Pokemon world, it is based on Great Britain, making it the second European country developers have used a model – the first being Kalos.
Of course, fans could see a new art style entirely, which would not be bad at all. Likewise, this may be an announcement that shows everything fans can look forward to in the upcoming anime.
It’s hard to believe that the Pokemon anime has lasted over 20 years and writers find new challenges for Ash. If writers follow Sword and Shield’s story, Ash will likely travel with rivals or gym leaders to obtain sponsorships in order to compete in the Galar League.