Starting all the way back in 1996, Pokemon remains as one of the largest video game franchises in the world, producing a remarkable famous card game, tons of merchandise, and an entire host of sequels stretching over from the Game Boy to the Nintendo Switch. Of course, it also spawned a largely famous anime that still exists to this day, detailing the adventures of Ash Ketchum, his Pokemon partner Pikachu, and a variety of companions.
The anime’s latest iteration, Pokemon Journeys, features Ash and his friend Goh traveling across several of the series’ most iconic locations in search of new challenges to overcome and trainers to beat. It appears one of these trainers will be a familiar face to fans of the franchise, with the anime’s new opening sequence revealing Ash’s iconic and former rival, Gary Oak, will be making a comeback during the new storyline.
— アニメ「ポケットモンスター」公式 (@anipoke_PR) January 8, 2021
For those who aren’t familiar with Gary, the character was a critical part of Ash’s origin story as well as the main opponent for players during the Gen 1 Pokemon games as well as in Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen.
In the animated adaptation, he stands as the main rival of Ash for the first few seasons following the two starting their Pokemon adventure simultaneously. His grandfather is Professor Oak, one of the most iconic characters in the games and the man who gives Ash his Pikachu. The last time Gary showed up in the anime was Pokemon The Series: Diamond and Pearl, with that edition of the famous show concluding in 2010.
Officially revealing the comeback of the character in the show, the official Twitter account of Pokemon announced that Gary will indeed be returning to the show, even teasing that he may fill the slot of a rival once again.
With Ash now a Pokemon League Champion and Gary likely having gathered some experience of his own in the time the two have been apart, it could be exciting to witness another battle between the rivals to look back to their long-running history. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how the character is utilized during his appearance in Pokemon Journeys.
It appears now is the best time for the character to come back to the screens considering the recent surge in the fame of Pokemon cards, with the latest trend of seeing famous celebrities buy limited edition packs and collect rare cards.
Witnessing as Pokemon Journeys appears to be going back to perhaps the most infamous of Ash’s rivalries it’s certain to find an audience with nostalgic fans of the series.