The first teaser for Pokémon’s next feature film premiered in Japan this weekend, and it shows a version of Ash Ketchum that we’ve never seen before. As the anime-equivalent of Peter Pan, Ash hasn’t changed all that much since the show’s premiere 20 years ago — but the upcoming 2018 movie may mark his most dramatic transformation ever.
Wit Studio, best known for producing the hit anime Attack on Titan, is on board for the 21st Pokémon film. Attack on Titan’s got a notable style of its own, and maybe that’s to what we can attribute the aesthetic change. Ash has gone from a bright-eyed preteen to a boy with a slight mature, romantic air. It doesn’t help that the only other human figure in the video is similarly drawn as if she’s several years older than Ash’s 11 years.
The whole film just looks decidedly different from the traditional Pokémon animation style, which has changed in some key ways over the years. For the anime adaptation of Pokémon Sun and Moon, Ash and Pikachu have more cherubic, elastic faces. It took fans awhile to get used to that makeover, so it’s nice to know we have until July 13, 2018 to get over how weird Ash’s new face is in the next Pokémon movie.