Ash Ketchum's 25-year arc in "Pokemon" is coming to an end ... and while it seems like a shock, maybe it's something we all should've seen coming -- at least according to Veronica Taylor, who originally provided the voice for the titular trainer.
Veronica tells TMZ ... she was hit pretty hard by the recent news that the popular anime was leaving Ash and Pikachu behind, but after the character was finally named top trainer in the world on the show, the exit kinda tracks.
She says an ending for Ash seemed so distant, but points out how "Pokemon" has taught us so many lessons, one of which is letting go ... and a departure like this would be another great example of that.
For those unaware, Taylor voiced Ash for the first 8 seasons of the show ... and it was announced this month that the new season will introduce 2 new main characters -- but not before 11 special episodes in 2023 to wrap up Ash and Pikachu's journey.
Taylor thinks a cameo in the future is possible, though ... and hopes longtime fans will be just as attached to this new generation.
It’s been an extraordinary privilege to have been the English voice of Ash Ketchum for what will be 17 years. No matter what lies beyond his final chapter, he’ll live forever in the hearts of many generations to come. I'll keep him present for all of us in every way I can. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/UZxPO4xD6E