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| Ash's Pikachu
サトシのピカチュウ Satoshi's Pikachu
Ash and Pikachu
|| Male (confirmed in dub only)
| This Pokémon has not evolved.
Ash's Pikachu (Japanese: サトシのピカチュウ Satoshi's Pikachu) was the first Pokémon obtained by Ash on his journey as a Pokémon Trainer. Its universal voice actress is Ikue Ohtani. However, in some episodes during the first season of the English dub, Rachael Lillis provided its voice when the original Japanese track couldn't be saved.
In the anime
In the first episode of the Pokémon anime, Pokémon - I Choose You!, Ash woke up late the day he was supposed to go to Professor Oak's laboratory to obtain his first Pokémon. When he arrived at the lab, the three available starter Pokémon, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, had already been taken by other Trainers who arrived earlier. Seeing that Ash was disappointed, Professor Oak gave him Pikachu, which did not take a liking to its new Trainer. It refused to go into a Poké Ball, and when Ash failed to catch a wild Pokémon, it laughed at him. However, by the end of the episode, Ash gained Pikachu's trust by protecting it from an attack by a flock of Spearow and rushing it to the Pokémon Center. Pikachu and Ash soon became inseparable. In Pikachu's Goodbye, Ash gave Pikachu his consent to remain in a forest filled with Pikachu, but Pikachu returned to Ash's side.
In general, Pikachu as a species are not particularly powerful, but Ash's Pikachu is an anomaly, overcoming odds in battle numerous times. In Showdown in Pewter City, it defeated Brock's Onix with an Template:Type2 attack that triggered the sprinkler system causing Onix to be drenched in water, one of its weaknesses. In Electric Shock Showdown, Pikachu fought Lt. Surge's Raichu and lost. During a resulting hospital stay, it refused to become Raichu's equal by evolving via a Thunderstone, and in the second battle, Pikachu overcame Raichu by using its superior speed. In Pokémon Emergency!, Meowth remarked that Pikachu's power "far exceeds its evolutionary level." Ash's Pikachu has also defeated very powerful Pokémon that Ash's other Pokémon were unable to, such as Dragonite and Metagross. It has helped Ash win innumerable battles and Gym and League matches.
However, at times, Pikachu has lived up to its species' frail and brittle strengths, particularly in Gym battles where it was defeated with relative ease by its opponent; for example, it was overpowered very easily by Lt. Surge's Raichu, Sabrina's Kadabra, Blaine's Magmar, Falkner's Pidgeot, Bugsy's Scyther, Whitney's Miltank, Clair's Dragonair, Roark's Rampardos and Fantina's Drifblim. It also drew against Winona's Pelipper, and struggled against Crasher Wake's Floatzel.
Pikachu is extremely loyal to Ash, and while it is not always immediately trusting of strangers, it is generally friendly to humans and Pokémon alike. It acted as a guardian and big sibling to Misty's Togepi, and has been seen mediating and even breaking up fights among other Pokémon, such as in Pikachu's Vacation. In Mewtwo Strikes Back, Pikachu, Meowth, and Meowth's clone were the only Pokémon not to participate in the giant battle; Pikachu stood motionless as its clone repeatedly slapped its face.
However, even Pikachu has had exceptions to this rule. During the Hoenn Saga, Pikachu developed amnesia at one point and sided with Team Rocket for a while. Later within the same series, Pikachu was possessed by the Red Orb and controlled by Groudon, nearly causing a disaster. On several occasions, Pikachu has developed an "electric flu" causing it to become overcharged, and extremely powerful. During these instances, Pikachu will sometimes attack its friends and Ash. In all of these cases, Pikachu did not intentionally mean harm upon anyone.
Since Ash's first encounter with Team Rocket in Pokémon Emergency!, Pikachu has been pursued by the trio of Jessie, James, and Meowth. Throughout the series, it has been Jessie, James and Meowth's desire to steal this Pokémon from Ash and present it to their boss. To do this, they have come up with many schemes. Though they try, try, and try some more, every last one of their plots fail, usually with the help of Ash, his friends, other Trainers, an Officer Jenny, or even themselves (such as in the first episode of the Diamond & Pearl series).
As shown in a handful of episodes, the first being Showdown at Dark City, Pikachu has a special fondness for ketchup, but it will eat and enjoy almost any other human or Pokémon food. A running joke in the anime also seems to be the destruction of a female character's bike with one of Pikachu's Thunderbolts at the beginning of each series, which then causes her to follow Ash for the remainder of the series. This has happened to Misty, May, and Dawn so far.
Pikachu is the primary mascot of the Pokémon franchise, mostly due to Ash's ownership of it. It appears on nearly all merchandise and promotional material for the series, and became, due to the anime, the version mascot of and only starter Pokémon in Pokémon Yellow.
Pikachu took a liking to Misty very early in the series, and it has retained this liking of Misty throughout the series, such as when it was very happy to see her in The Scheme Team.
Pikachu became the second non-legendary Pokémon to defeat a legendary Pokémon in the anime after Charizard, beating Brandon's Regice in Pace - The Final Frontier, giving Ash his final Frontier Symbol.
Pikachu was also the only Pokémon to come with Ash to Hoenn, and just the same one of only two Pokémon to join Ash on his journey to Sinnoh. It is worth noting that Ash tried to bring only Pikachu again but Aipom snuck on board the ship. Up until the capture of Dawn's Pachirisu, Pikachu was the only Template:Type2 Pokémon in the anime owned by a main character.
In Hoenn, Pikachu learned how to surf. It also learned how to box from Ash in The Punchy Pokémon. In Sinnoh, Ash used it during the Pokémon Ping Pong Tournament.
In Sinnoh, it defeated Roark's Onix in the Oreburgh Gym rematch. Pikachu battled again the Pastoria Gym battle, where it battled Crasher Wake's Gyarados and defeated it with a Volt Tackle to the face. It also battled Crasher Wake's Floatzel for a moment, allowing Ash's Buizel time to recover. In A Shield with a Twist Pikachu lost to Fantina's Drifblim after a fierce battle.
Pikachu's next major battle after Fantina was when it was used against Paul in DP132. First it went up against Magmortar; however, when it attacked with Quick Attack, it was burned by Magmortar's Flame Body and Magmortar was recalled before Pikachu could defeat it. Later it went up against Paul's very powerful Ursaring and paralyzed it with Pikachu's Static. This actually made things worse for Pikachu as being paralyzed activated Ursaring's Guts ability, and Pikachu found itself completely outmatched by Ursaring's massive power and was defeated and thrown into Lake Acuity, taking it out of the match as well as injuring it.
An attack where Pikachu stored electricity in its tail similar to Tail Whip (although Tail Whip doesn't do any damage) was used to defeat Lt. Surge's Raichu in Electric Shock Showdown
Thunder Armor was a one-time technique in the episode Solid as a Solrock, Pikachu is seen using Thunder on itself while riding Ash's Swellow. This increased their attack power greatly, and they easily overpowered their opponents.
Volt Tail, a combination of Volt Tackle and Iron Tail, was used in Pika and Goliath! against Sho's Raichu.
"Rocket Punch" was a move that Pikachu used while "boxing" a Hitmonchan. Pikachu glowed red and shot off its boxing gloves, leaving off a trail of smoke. Once the smoke disappears, Pikachu still has its boxing gloves on and flies towards Hitmonchan at high speed.
In the games
- Main article: Red's Pikachu (game)
Pikachu was one of Ash's three Pokémon in Pokémon Puzzle League. Red's Pikachu in Pokémon Yellow and the Generation II games also seems to be based off of it. The Pikachu in the Super Smash Bros. series may be based on Ash's Pikachu.
In the manga
Pikachu has appeared in two mangas based on the anime, namely Ash & Pikachu and Electric Tale of Pikachu. In both, it was Ash's starter Pokémon, much like the first anime episode, though in Electric Tale, it was found in Ash's house, not given to him by Oak.
In the TCG
Ash's Pikachu is featured in the TCG as Pokémon . The following is a list of cards named Pikachu .
- Ash's Pikachu is the subject of many 'gamebreaking' abilities that normally do not fit in the general stasis of the games. This includes Pikachu's ability to sometimes hurt Template:Type2 Pokémon with Electric moves (sparking the meme "Aim for the Horn!"), and using moves that do not exist, or moves in a way that do not work in the games, such as the infamous "Thunder Armor".
- In spite of the fact that Volt Tackle (the signature move of its evolutionary line) is in fact an egg move, Ash's Pikachu learned the move "by accident," when using quick attack. In the games, it would have been legally impossible to acquire the move in that way. However, it's an anime, so game rules don't tend to apply.
- Pikachu is Ash's only Template:Type2 Pokémon and was the only Electric-type owned by a main character in the anime until the capture of Pachirisu by Dawn. However, Pikachu is the only Electric-type Pokémon owned by a main character which can evolve.
- For A Staravia is Born, Professor Oak's lecture is about Ash's Pikachu. He writes this Pokémon senryū about it: パートナー サトシとピカチュウ いいかんじ Partners Satoshi and Pikachu: a pleasant feeling.
- Out of all five regions that Ash visited, Kanto and Hoenn are the only ones that Ash started out with just Pikachu. He did try to go to Sinnoh with Pikachu alone but Aipom followed him. At the beginning of each, Pikachu was also, in some way, injured, and ended up destroying the bike of a particular girl who would later travel with Ash.
- Pikachu was the first of Ash's Pokémon to disobey him. Other Pokémon that would do so, and be better remembered for their disobedience than Pikachu, are Primeape and Charizard.
- Although Pikachu has battled all the members of the Electabuzz evolutionary family at one time or another, (Rudy's Electabuzz, Gary's Electivire and Paul's Elekid) it has not won even once. However Pikachu has defeated an Electabuzz (Dr. Namba's) with the help of Sparky. On every other occasion, Pikachu fought one-on-one and either tied or lost.
- Ash's act of keeping Pikachu outside its Poké Ball on a permanent basis has been mimicked by several other characters in the anime.
- Ritchie, when he first meets Ash, keeps Sparky inside of its ball, but later is shown to carry it on his shoulder much like Ash does.
- Misty, when she gets to keep Togepi, has never placed Togepi inside a Poké Ball and is always shown carrying it in her arms.
- Dawn, likewise, does the same with her Piplup.
- Out of Ash's Pokémon, Pikachu was the first one to defeat a pseudo-legendary Pokémon during battle in the anime, defeating Drake's Dragonite in Enter the Dragonite and Tyson's Metagross during the Ever Grande Conference of the Hoenn League in At the End of the Fray. However, in both occasions, the two pseudo-legendary Pokémon had been weakened by other Pokémon in Ash's team at the time, Squirtle, Charizard and Tauros had weakened Dragonite and, Swellow and Grovyle had weakened Tyson's Metagross.
- Pikachu is the second Pokémon in the entire anime series to have managed to defeat a legendary Pokémon, which it did by defeating Brandon's Regice in Pace - The Final Frontier!. Ash's Charizard was the first Pokémon to have achieved this feat, against Articuno. Dawn's Buneary has also managed to defeat a Phione.
- Most of the moves Pikachu used in the original series were first used in an episode with the word showdown in its title.
- In Sparks Fly for Magnemite, it was revealed that Pikachu has a fear of Ash leaving it.
- In a lot of new episodes, Pikachu's tail has been seen to spark instead of its cheeks when using Thunderbolt.
Some of Pikachu's speech is consistent enough that it seems that some phrases actually mean something. For instance, Pikachu always uses "Pikapi" when referring to Ash (notice that it sounds somewhat similar to "Satoshi"). Other speech includes:
- PikaPikachu: My name is Pikachu. When Ash and his friends are introducing themselves to the characters of the day, it says this.
- Pi-Kachu: It says this during the sponsor spots in the original Japanese.
- Pikachu-Pi: Kasumi-chan (Misty)
- Pika-Chu: Takeshi (Brock)
- PiPiPi: Togepi (Togepi)
- PikakaPika: Fushigidane (Bulbasaur)
- PikaPika: Zenigame (Squirtle) or Mukubird (Staravia) or Hikozaru (Chimchar)
- PiPi-kachu: Rocket-dan (Team Rocket).
- Pi-Pikachu: It says this after Ash wins a badge, catches a new Pokémon or anything similar.
- Pi-ka: Used for multiple things such as "eiga" (movie) as seen during trailers for each upcoming Pokémon movie. Can also be used for "yes".
- Pi-ka-chu?: Are you alright?: When a character or Pokémon is injured, Pikachu says this.
- Specific names for Tracey, May, Max, and Dawn have not been heard.
- Chuuu-Pika: Iron Tail. It says this when using Iron Tail.
- Pika-Chuuuuuuuu: Thunderbolt. It says this when using Thunderbolt, "Pika" when charging up and "Chuuuuu" when discharging.
- PikaPikaPika...Pi-ka: Volt Tackle. It says this when using Volt Tackle.
- ChuChuChu...: Quick Attack. It may also say this when using Agility.
- PiPiPiPiPi...: Quick Attack. It may also say this when using Agility.
- Pikachu seems to have a talent for miming Pokémon, as seen from its performance during a cosplay competition. It will occasionally use pantomime to specify what it is talking about. In particular, it has a face to represent Turtwig.
- Pikachu has also used its face to tell when a character is in trouble by imitating people and Pokémon.
As Pikachu is the most seen Pokémon in the anime, fans have often wondered what gender Pikachu is. While this debate has existed since gender was introduced, it was brought up again because of gender differences being introduced in the games. In the English dub—and many international dubs as well—it has been explicitly stated that Pikachu is a male, however this is not true in the original Japanese. Despite this, there remain many more hints for Pikachu's masculinity than its femininity.
For more information on this Pokémon's species, see Pikachu.