Pokémon Evolutions trailer shows new anime is all about the past, starting with the present

The Pokémon franchise is turning 25 this year, and Nintendo’s continuing their celebration with a new anime. Announced earlier today, Pokémon Evolutions is an anthology anime meant to hit at everyone’s nostalgia and look back at how far the series has come. And the trailer wants you to know that it’s bringing some flashy animated sequences along for the ride. 

Fond retrospectives are nothing new for big properties, but Evolutions’ gimmick is that it’ll actually be starting from the present day and working its way backwards, through the eyes of a wandering Pikachu. The first episode of the 8-part miniseries, “The Champion,” will focus on Leon and Hop, the brotherly duo from 2019’s Pokémon Sword and Shield, and their home: the U.K.-inspired Galar region. From there, the series will go to the Alola region of 2016’s Sun and Moon, Kalos from 2013’s X and Y, and… you get the idea. It all ends in the final episode, “The Quest,” which will be set in the Kanto region of the original games.

Eagle-eyed fans have already noted how the trailer features supporting characters from each respective game, like Sun’s Lillie or your Diamond and Pearl rival, Barry.

Check out the trailer below:

The Pokémon franchise’s relationship with anime has grown over the years outside of the adventures of the eternally youthful Ash Ketchum. In 2016, we saw the release of the Generations webseries, which pulled from the series’ whole history up to X and Y; and last year we got the Sword-inspired Twilight Wings. To celebrate last year’s Crown Tundra DLC for Sword, Nintendo also released an anime music video for the alt-rock group, Bump of Chicken. (And it’s still pretty great.)

In case you’ve somehow managed to forget, remakes of Diamond and Pearl are coming to the Switch on Nov. 19. Following those will be Pokémon Legends: Arceus on Jan. 28, 2022, a new open world game set in the early days of the Hisui region, which eventually becomes the modern Sinnoh region we see in Diamond. It’s been described as an action-RPG; that means that wild Pokémon will be able to fight you, the human trainer, in real time as you work to build the region’s first Pokédex.

Pokémon Evoutions begins its 8-episode run on the franchise’s official YouTube channel starting Sept. 9.

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