Pokémon Evolutions has officially premiered, with the first episode now available for free streaming.
While the next season of the original Pokémon anime will air exclusively on Netflix, Pokémon fans who don't want to sign up for subscription will be able to watch the new Pokémon Evolutions anime for free on either the official Pokémon YouTube channel, or via the Pokémon TV app for iOS, Android and Nintendo Switch. Each episode of the new series will revisit key story moments, characters and Pokémon from one of the past eight generations of the video game series.
The premiere episode recounts the climax of the most recent games in the main Pokémon series, Sword and Shield. The episode centers on the Galar region's reigning champion Leon, as he remembers his battle with the dangerous Poison/Dragon-type Pokémon Eternatus. A momentary slip-up causes Leon and his Charizard to lose their fight against the legendary beast, which forces his little brother Hop and Sword and Shield's male protagonist character, Victor, to step up and battle the creature with their own duo of legendary Pokémon. The episode also features cameo appearances from many other characters from the game, including the popular Marnie, the gym challenger Bede, and most importantly of all, Galar's Ball Guy.
While Evolutions is being released for free, the next season of the long-running Pokémon anime and the next movie in the series, Pokémon: The Secret of the Jungle, will both require a Netflix subscription to see. Similar to Evolutions, the next season of the anime will see series protagonist Ash Ketchum revisiting old friends and regions from past Pokémon generations. The new season will premiere this fall, and will be released in two batches exclusively on Netflix.
Pokémon Evolutions is being released as part of The Pokémon Company's celebration of the 25th anniversary of the franchise's debut. The series began with the release of Pocket Monsters: Red and Green Versions for the original brick Game Boy in 1996. Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, and original developer Game Freak are marking the occasion with the release of multiple new games: the long-awaited sequel New Pokémon Snap and the competitive online multi-player game Pokémon Unite were both released earlier in 2021, while the DS remakes Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are scheduled to be released on the Nintendo Switch in November. While it will just miss the franchise's big anniversary year, the next major game in the franchise, Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be released next January. The game represents the next major evolution for the series, and features new battle mechanics and a brand new, open-world for players to explore.