As one of the most successful anime series ever, Pokémon has over a thousand episodes. The franchise also has several TV specials and animated films. Watching the Pokémon series in order is certainly no easy feat. However, it doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems.
Keep on reading to know how to watch the Pokémon series in order.
What is Pokémon?
Pokémon is a successful media franchise under The Pokémon Company. It began as a video game for Nintendo’s handheld console, Game Boy, and the story follows Pokémon trainers who catch, train, and battle fictional creatures called “Pocket Monsters” or “Pokémon”, for short.
These unique creatures have captured the hearts of fans all over the world. Soon enough, The Pokémon Company released more games, and their success led to film adaptations, merchandise, and even card games.
Today, the Pokémon video games have sold over 440 million copies worldwide, and it is the highest-grossing media franchise of all time. Its anime television series is also the most successful video game adaptation of all time, with 25 seasons and over 1,000 episodes.
Where can I watch the Pokémon series in order?
You can find some of Pokémon’s most recent seasons on Netflix. However, if you’re interested in watching the Pokémon series in order, then you’ll have to look at other platforms as well. The Pokémon TV app is a free-download mobile app that has most of the Pokémon series.
You can also watch some episodes on the Pokémon website. Unfortunately, not all seasons are available on these platforms yet. Pokémon’s large fanbase is clamoring for all seasons to be available soon, but it might take some time. After all, the Pokémon series first started airing in 1997, and its latest season is currently ongoing. It’s no easy feat to release over 1,000 episodes of Pokémon.
While waiting for streaming platforms to catch up, you can also try watching the old-school way. You’ll find plenty of Pokémon DVDs for sale online on Amazon or eBay.
How do I watch the Pokémon series in order?
This watch guide focuses on the 25 seasons of the Pokémon anime series. Each season has a different number of episodes, but each episode lasts for around 22 minutes.
You’ll also find movie recommendations for Pokémon animated films that fit into the storyline of the TV show. This list, however, does not include Pokémon stand-alone films and live-action movies in the franchise.
Pokémon: Indigo League
Original run: April 1, 1997 – January 21, 1999
Number of episodes: 82
When watching the Pokémon series in order, there’s only one place to start. Pokémon: Indigo League is the first ever season of the Pokémon animated TV series. The story follows Ash Ketchum, a 10-year-old boy who wants to be the best Pokémon trainer ever. Throughout his Pokémon journey, he meets all types of Pokémon, including Pikachu.
With 82 episodes in one season, it can be quite the marathon. Consider watching Pokémon: The First Movie (1998) if you need a break in between the episodes. It’s an animated film that features the same characters and setting. According to fans, it’s best to watch this film between episodes 69 and 70. That way, the storyline flows seamlessly.
Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands
Original run: January 28, 1999 – October 7, 1999
Number of episodes: 36
Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands is the second Pokémon series in order. Like the first season, it follows the story of Ash and his friends. This time, however, Ash travels across the Orange Islands with Misty and Tracey, a new character.
Throughout the show, Ash collects new Pokémon and Gym Badges. A Gym Badge is a small pin that a Pokémon trainer receives after defeating a Gym Leader. Because Ash wants to compete in the Orange League competition, he has to collect eight Gym Badges.
Pokémon: The Movie 2000 (1999) is a two-part film that takes place between episodes 24 and 25. In the film, Ash, Misty, and Tracey find three legendary bird Pokémon at Shamouti Island.
Pokémon: The Johto Journeys
Original run: October 14, 1999 – July 27, 2000
Number of episodes: 41
Next on this list is Pokémon: The Johto Journeys or Pocket Monsters: Episode Gold & Silver. It premiered in the United States in 2000, and its popularity continued to grow. The show also ranked as the number one program among young boys aged 2 to 11 years old.
Ash and Misty return alongside Brock, their companion from season one. This time, they travel across the Pokémon universe’s best region, the Johto region. Many fans believe Johto is the best because of its traditional Japanese design.
The third season’s accompanying film is Pokémon 3: The Movie or Spell of the Unown (2000). The story follows Ash, Misty, and Brock in the town of Greenfield. You can watch the film between episodes 38 and 39.
Pokémon: Johto League Champions
Original run: August 3, 2000 – August 2, 2001
Number of episodes: 52
To watch the Pokémon series in order, Pokémon: Johto League Champions should be fourth. Like the third season, Pokémon: Johto League Champions is set in the Johto region. However, Ash and his friends travel the region to collect Gym Badges for the Johto League competition.
During his journey, Ash also competes in the Pokémon Sumo Conference. The Sumo Conference is unlike other Pokémon battles. Instead of using skills, Pokémon can only use physical moves like sumo wrestlers.
Pokémon 4Ever – Celebi: Voice of the Forest (2001) is the fourth Pokémon film. It follows Ash, Misty, and Brock as they meet a Pokémon that can time travel. According to fans, it’s best to watch the film between episodes 48 and 49.
Pokémon: Master Quest
Original run: August 9, 2001 – November 14, 2002
Number of episodes: 65
Pokémon: Master Quest is the fifth and final season of Pokémon: The Original Series. The story follows Ash and his friends as he finally competes in the Johto League. There, he faces the most formidable Pokémon trainers, including his rival, Gary Oak.
When watching the Pokémon series in order, you don’t always have to include the films. In fact, some fans advise against watching Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias (2002). It received negative reviews, and it is the lowest-grossing Pokémon movie in the US. However, this didn’t deter other fans. They even recommend watching the film between episodes 47 and 48.
Original run: November 21, 2002 – August 28, 2003
Number of episodes: 40
Pokémon: Advanced is the sixth Pokémon series in order. The story follows Ash as he once again collects Gym Badges for the chance to compete in the Hoenn League.
Unfortunately, Misty doesn’t join Ash and Brock this season. Instead, Ash travels with new companions, namely May and Max. Like Ash, May also catches and trains Pokémon. However, she is a Pokémon Coordinator. Instead of teaching them how to fight, she trains her Pokémon to look good and perform moves. She competes in Pokémon Contests to earn Ribbons for the Hoenn Grand Festival. Her younger brother, Max, also joins them.
You can watch Pokémon: Jirachi–Wish Maker (2003) between episodes 35 and 36. The film follows the same characters as they celebrate the Millennium Comet’s appearance. The story takes place in “Forina”. Forina is a fictional place based on Wulingyuan, a historical site in China’s Hunan Province.
Pokémon: Advanced Challenge
Original run: September 4, 2003 – September 2, 2004
Number of episodes: 52
The next Pokémon series in order is Pokémon: Advanced Challenge. It is a direct continuation of the last season’s story. Ash and his friends are back to collect more Gym Badges for the Hoenn League. However, this time, they face more enemies as they go up against Team Aqua and Team Magma.
Team Aqua and Team Magma are two rival gangs in the Hoenn region. Aside from Team Rocket, they are the main villains of this season. Each team has its own selfish motives, and Ash encounters them on his journey.
Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys is the film that accompanies this season. It follows Ash, May, Brock, and Max after arriving at LaRousse City. Fans recommend watching the film between episodes 45 and 46.
Pokémon: Advanced Battle
Original run: September 9, 2004 – September 29, 2005
Number of episodes: 54
The events of this season directly follow the last season. Because of this, it’s important to watch the Pokémon series in order. Otherwise, it might be hard to follow what happens in Pokémon: Advanced Battle.
In Pokémon: Advanced Battle, Ash finally collects the last two Gym Badges he needs. After securing his spot, he also competes in the Hoenn League. Meanwhile, May tries to win her last ribbon for a spot in the Hoenn Grand Festival.
In between episodes 43 and 44, you can watch Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew (2005). The film follows Ash as he travels to the Cameron Palace. It is the eighth Pokémon film and a popular fan favorite. In fact, it even received a nomination for “Best Anime Feature” at the American Anime Awards.
Pokémon: Battle Frontier
Original run: October 6, 2005 – September 24, 2006
Number of episodes: 47
The ninth Pokémon season is Pokémon: Battle Frontier. May, Max, and Brock return once more to accompany Ash on his journey. This time, Ash must collect Frontier Symbols to compete in the Battle Frontier.
The Battle Frontier is a special area filled with arenas where Pokémon Trainers can battle with each other. There are seven “Frontier Brains”, and they are in charge of a specific arena. Throughout the show, Ash battles each one.
As you watch the Pokémon series in order, try watching the ninth Pokémon film too! Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea (2006) takes place between episodes 38 and 39. The story follows Ash and his friends as they meet the Pokémon Ranger Jack Walker.
Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl
Original run: September 28, 2006 – October 25, 2007
Number of episodes: 52
Some Pokémon seasons have the same name as the Pokémon games. Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl is one example. This season follows Ash, Brock, and their new friend Dawn.
Like May, Dawn is an aspiring Pokémon Coordinator. She is still a beginner, but she travels with Ash and Brock to learn more about Pokémon. Throughout the show, she struggles to win Ribbons from Pokémon Contests.
Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai (2007) is the tenth Pokémon film. The story takes place between episodes 39 and 40. Ash and his friends travel to Alamos Town for Dawn’s Pokémon Contest.
Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension
Original run: November 8, 2007 – December 4, 2008
Number of episodes: 52
Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension follows as the eleventh season. Like the last season, Ash travels the Sinnoh region with Brock and Dawn. This time, Ash also tries to compete in a Pokémon Contest. He joins the Wallace Cup, a traveling Pokémon contest, with Dawn.
They also enroll in Pokémon Summer Academy. It is a week-long education where students learn more about Pokémon. The students split into three teams, and they do activities together like training and studying.
Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior (2008) is this season’s partner film. The film is a direct sequel to Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai (2007). According to fans, it’s best to watch this film between episodes 34 and 35.
Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles
Original run: December 4, 2008 – December 24, 2009
Number of episodes: 53
The twelfth season features Ash, Dawn, and Brock traveling the Sinnoh region once again. Both Ash and Dawn meet new rivals as they compete with other trainers. This time, they also face off with the Sinnoh region’s evil gang, Team Galactic.
Unlike other seasons, the twelfth season immediately followed the eleventh season. There was no break, and this made it easier for viewers to watch the Pokémon series in order.
Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life (2009) takes place after episode 31. The film is about Arceus, a powerful Pokémon who wakes up after thousands of years. Ash and his friends travel back in time to stop Arceus from exacting revenge on the human race.
Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors
Original run: January 7, 2010 – September 9, 2010
Number of episodes: 34
Watching all the Pokémon series in order can be taxing. However, the thirteenth season will at least give you some breathing room. Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors is the shortest Pokémon season ever.
This season, Ash continues on his journey to the Sinnoh Pokémon League. Dawn and Brock accompany him, and they run into Team Rocket several times.
Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions premiered in 2010. The story takes place between episodes 21 and 22. In the film, Ash and his friends must stop Grings Kodai from destroying Crown City’s greenery.
Pokémon: Black and White
Original run: September 23, 2010 – September 15, 2011
Number of episodes: 50
After the Diamond and Pearl series is Pokémon: Black and White. Ash Ketchum returns once again as the protagonist. This time, he journeys across Unova with new companions.
Iris is a young girl who loves to swing on vines. She is wild and carefree, but she is a talented and serious Pokémon trainer. On the other hand, Cilan is a young Gym Leader from Striaton City. He is also a “Pokémon Connoisseur”, which refers to a person who can test the bond between a trainer and a Pokémon. Together, Iris and Cilan accompany Ash on his travels.
These two films follow the same plot and characters. However, the former features a new character called Damon finding the Pokémon Zekrom. Meanwhile, the latter features Damon finding the Pokémon Reshiram. You can watch them after episode 39.
Pokémon: Black and White: Rival Destinies
Original run: September 22, 2011 – October 4, 2012
Number of episodes: 49
The next season when watching the Pokémon series in order is Pokémon: Black and White: Rival Destinies. In Japan, the title is called Pocket Monsters: Best Wishes!
Iris and Cilan return to accompany Ash as he travels through Unova. This time, they face Team Rocket, a Champion Master, and three Legendary Pokémon.
This season’s partner film is Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem VS The Sword of Justice (2012). The story follows Ash, Iris, and Cilan as they help the Pokémon Keldeo join the Swords of Justice. Unlike previous films that take place between episodes, you can watch this one after the season finale.
Pokémon: Black and White: Adventures in Unova and Beyond
Original run: October 11, 2012 – April 18, 2013; April 25, 2013 – March 27, 2014
Number of episodes: 45
The sixteenth season is split into two parts. Pokémon: Black and White: Adventures in Unova is the first half of the sixteenth season. This season, Ash finally makes it to the Unova League. He competes against new enemies as well as reunites with old rivals.
The second half of the sixteenth season is Pokémon: Black and White: Adventures in Unova and Beyond. It aired a week after the first half, and it directly follows where the last episode left off. Ash, Iris, and Cilan travel back to Kanto after the Unova League. On the way there, they pass by the Decolore Islands.
You can watch the partner film after the second half’s 11th episode. Pokémon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened (2013) features Ash and his friends once more. They visit a nature park called Pokémon Hills, where they meet a lost Pokémon.
Pokémon the Series: XY
Original run: October 17, 2013 – October 30, 2014
Number of episodes: 48
The next Pokémon series in order is Pokémon the Series: XY. This season begins a new era of Pokémon, with new species, a new region, and new companions for Ash. This time, Ash journeys across the Kalos region with Clemont, Bonnie, and Serena.
Clemont is a young boy with blonde hair and glasses. He is a Gym Leader, and he joins Ash together with his younger sister Bonnie. On the other hand, Serena is Ash’s childhood friend. She is a “Pokémon Performer”, which refers to those who compete in Pokémon Showcases. A Pokémon Showcase is like a beauty pageant for Pokémon.
After episode 37, you can watch Pokémon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction (2014). The film features Ash and his new friends as they meet a Pokémon princess.
Pokémon the Series: XY Kalos Quest
Original run: November 13, 2014 – October 22, 2015
Number of episodes: 45
The eighteenth Pokémon series in order is Pokémon the Series: XY Kalos Quest. The show continues with Ash, Clemont, Bonnie, and Serena in the Kalos region. As Ash collects Gym Badges for the Kalos League, he learns more about a Pokémon’s Mega Evolution.
In the Pokémon universe, each creature can “evolve” into a different and stronger form. The concept is much like metamorphosis, and each Pokémon can usually evolve one to two times. “Mega Evolution” refers to a Pokémon evolving into its ultimate form.
Pokémon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages (2015) is this season’s partner film. The story follows Ash and his friends as they meet a powerful Pokémon named Hoopa. You can watch this film between episodes 33 and 34.
Pokémon the Series: XYZ
Original run: October 29, 2015 – October 27, 2016
Number of episodes: 47
Pokémon the Series: XYZ continues the story of Ash and his friends in the Kalos region. Clemont, Bonnie, and Serena all return to accompany Ash as he meets and catches new Pokémon from the area.
In the United States, all Pokémon series aired on Cartoon Network. However, this is the last Pokémon season to air on the channel. All Pokémon shows that followed moved to Disney XD in late 2016.
Pokémon the Movie: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel (2016) takes place after episode 47. In the film, Ash and his friends help a mythical Pokémon retrieve the “Soul-Heart” back.
Pokémon the Series: Sun and Moon
Original run: November 17, 2016 – September 21, 2017
Number of episodes: 43
Pokémon the Series: Sun and Moon is the twentieth Pokémon series in order. This season, Ash travels to the Alola region with his mother. With every new region, there are new Pokémon, friends, and enemies. In Alola, Ash also enrolls in a Pokémon school. He befriends his new classmates as they learn together about the secrets of the island.
This season has a pleasant surprise for fans of the earlier seasons. Misty and Brock, who were Ash’s companions in the original series, appear once again for two episodes.
Unlike most Pokémon shows, Pokémon the Series: Sun and Moon doesn’t have a partner film. Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! (2017) premiered while this season was airing, but it doesn’t follow the same plot. It is actually a loose adaptation of the anime’s pilot episode.
Pokémon the Series: Sun and Moon: Ultra Adventures
Original run: October 5, 2017 – October 14, 2018
Number of episodes: 49
The next Pokémon series in order is Pokémon the Series: Sun and Moon – Ultra Adventures. This season, Ash’s classmates from Pokémon School return. Lillie, Lana, Mallow, Kiawe, and Sophocles all join Ash on his adventures in the Alola region. This time, they discover the secrets behind the Aether Foundation.
Based in the Alola region, the Aether Foundation is an organization that helps Pokémon and protects them from the evil gang called Team Skull.
This season features the 1,000th episode of the Pokémon series that aired in the US. The episode is called “The Professors’ New Adventure”, and it aired on April 28, 2018.
Pokémon the Series: Sun and Moon: Ultra Legends
Original run: October 21, 2018 – November 3, 2019
Number of episodes: 54
This is the second installment of the Sun and Moon series. The story still follows Ash and his classmates from Pokémon School in the Alola region. Together with his classmates, Ash continues to complete the island’s trials.
The class also becomes “Ultra Guardians”. Ultra Guardians are a group under the Aether Foundation, and they are tasked with capturing the Ultra Beasts.
This is the last season of Pokémon to air on U.S. television. After this, all succeeding Pokémon series aired on Netflix.
Pokémon Journeys: The Series
Original run: November 17, 2019 – December 4, 2020
Number of episodes: 48
Unlike past seasons, Pokémon Journeys: The Series features Ash traveling through different regions. This time, he travels with a new character named Goh.
Goh is a ten-year-old boy from Vermilion City. He becomes a research assistant at the Cerise Laboratory, where Ash also works. Together, Ash and Goh journey across different regions while studying and catching different Pokémon.
In the US, this season only aired on Netflix. However, this is not the case for other countries. The show continued to air on TV in Japan and the United Kingdom. Pokémon Journeys: The Series also premiered on YouTube in India.
Pokémon Master Journeys: The Series
Original run: December 11, 2020 – December 10, 2021
Number of episodes: 42
Ash and Goh team up once more to travel to different regions in Pokémon Master Journeys: The Series. This time, Chloe, Professor Cerise’s daughter, joins Ash and Goh.
This season introduces a new region called the Galar region. Along the way, Ash also reunites with old friends, such as Dawn, Iris, and Cilan.
As the series aired, another Pokémon film also premiered. Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle (2020) is an anime film in the traditional 2D art style. It also premiered on Netflix, so fans can watch this alongside the other Pokémon series in order.
Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series
Original run: December 17, 2021 – Present
Number of episodes: 38 and counting
This is the last stop for watching the Pokémon series in order. Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series is the 25th and latest Pokémon season. Ash, Goh, and Chloe are back as they continue to travel the eight Pokémon regions.
In this season, Ash rises in the ranks of the World Coronation Series. The World Coronation Series is unlike past Pokémon Leagues. This championship uses a ranking system of 4-tiers. These are the Normal Class, Great Class, Ultra Class, and Master Class. Only the strongest trainers reach the Master Class, and that is Ash’s goal.