The latest Pokémon Journeys: The Series episode just aired in Japan this Friday, and it has fans panicking. The anime is in its final season, and fans hoped that the most recent episode would satisfyingly wrap up Team Rocket’s story—but it was quite the opposite. Even Team Rocket’s haters feel that the villainous team deserved better.
After 25 years, Ash and Pikachu’s journey is finally ending. This is the last season featuring the infamous duo, and they recently, finally, became champions after beating the Galar champion Leon.There are only 11 episodes left to wrap up all their loose ends, which is why people are upset that Team Rocket appears to have split up for good. The sudden decision was a huge shock to fans who had watched the trio bond over 1,000 episodes. But it happened.
In the ninth episode of the final Aim To Be A Pokémon Master arc, the villainous Team Rocket trio are reunited with their old Pokémon from previous seasons. They decide to launch their best effort to capture Pikachu, which they’ve failed to do since their first appearance in 1997. They put up a decent fight. but unfortunately, their opponent was the literal Pokémon champion of the entire world.
Look, I know that they should have set their sights lower. Pikachu isn’t even that good of a Pokémon. But you have to give Team Rocket some credit for being the most persistent characters in the entire series. They held onto their goal for over a thousand episodes. If anyone deserved to steal Pikachu, it was this trio. Unfortunately, they fail even with the combined powers of their old partners. The legendary Pokémon Latias intervenes, and they’re sent “blasting off” elsewhere. The three argue, and they decide to end the team.
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Fans aren’t thrilled about it. Though Jessie, James, and Meowth are the villains of the anime, their popularity helped make it so successful. “This is the supposed final [Team Rocket] episode,” wrote one fan. “It’s like if a band disbands amidst a concert and on bad terms out of nowhere.” If Team Rocket had split in the middle of a long season, then fans might expect that they could get back together. But with the plot focused on the legendary Pokémon Latias and Team Rocket’s last mission ending on a catastrophic failure, it might be a lot to ask for a reunion with only two episodes remaining. Still, fans are coping hard about whether or not the three will make up with one another by the time the series ends.
Others aren’t optimistic, but feel that Team Rocket deserves better after their years of service. Over the course of several years, it was apparent that the three were like an awkward found family. Each of them came from complicated backgrounds, but they found a common goal in kidnapping Pikachu, so many fans felt that their bond extended beyond their membership in Team Rocket. “Team Rocket not only broke up as a group, but left all of their Pokémon behind?,” exclaimed one fan. “That’s so fucked?”
The last episodes of Aim To Be A Pokémon Master will air in Japan on March 17 and 24 respectively.