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Ash Ketchum Just Got The Reunion We've Waited Decades For

Ash Ketchum will soon be given his goodbye after being the central character of the "Pokémon" animated series for over two decades. But before he leaves, the show will be gifting its viewers with a heart-warming reunion they've been waiting for.

Throughout his journey, Ash Ketchum has had many "Pokémon" companions. The most popular of these is obviously Pikachu, his adorable best friend who can often be found on his shoulder, ready for battle. However, long-time fans of the "Pokémon" animated series might remember another one of Ash's pals from the series' early episodes. In the case that you've forgotten, Ash once had a Caterpie that eventually evolved into a Butterfree. Following his Pokémon's transformation in the episode "Bye, Bye, Butterfree," Ash released it into the wild where it remained out of sight (but not out of mind) for the remainder of the show.

While Butterfree has been roaming freely for years at this point, the creature made a brief return during a recent "Pokémon" episode, creating a reunion decades in the making.

Ash's old Butterfree returns

On December 15, the final episode of "Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series" aired in Japan. According to IGN, the season finale was filled to the brim with fan service and call-backs, such as Ho-Oh flying through the air and leaving a rainbow in its wake — a scene reminiscent of one of the series' early episodes. It's a heartwarming scene that reminds fans of how far Ash and his companions have come in their journey and is sure to have a profound emotional effect on any long-time viewer. The episode's post-credits scene, however, is where things got heavy.

In the scene, Butterfree returns to Ash, giving him a warm embrace. Coupled with his best friend Pikachu being predictably perched on his shoulder, Ash's reunion with Butterfree is sure to cause some fans of the franchise to become misty-eyed. Out of everything that's happened during what many have dubbed "Ash's farewell tour," this brief reunion may be the most impactful and poignant of them all.

Though his tenure as the central character in the "Pokémon" animated series is over, Ash will be getting at least more hurrah in the epilogue miniseries "Aim to Be a Pokémon Master," which will focus on Ash becoming the greatest Pokémon trainer in the world. It is set to begin airing in Japan beginning on January 13.