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Ash Ketchum

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Revision as of 18:08, 12 October 2011 by AshKetchumRocks!! (Talk | contribs) (Trivia)

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Ash redirects here. For the item attached to Ho-Oh, see Sacred Ash. For the ash found at the foot of Mt. Chimney, see volcanic ash.

Ash Ketchum
サトシ Satoshi
Ash BW.png
Art from the Best Wishes series
Age 10 (as of BW001)
Gender Male
Eye color Brown
Hair color Black
Hometown Pallet Town
Region Kanto
Relatives Delia, Unknown father (EP002), Unknown grandfather (EP002) (Japanese only) (anime)
Mom (manga)
Trainer class Trainer
Game counterpart Red
Anime debut Pokémon - I Choose You!
English voice actor Veronica Taylor (4Kids)
Sarah Natochenny (TPCI)
Japanese voice actor Rica Matsumoto

Ash Ketchum (Japanese: サトシ Satoshi) is the main character of both the Pokémon anime and the Electric Tale of Pikachu manga, and is believed to be based on the protagonist of the first generation Pokémon games.

He shares his Japanese name—which can be taken to mean "wisdom" or "reason" (智)—with the creator of the Pokémon franchise, Satoshi Tajiri. His English surname is a pun of the original English motto, "Gotta Catch 'em All!."

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201

In the anime


Ash Ketchum in the original series

Ash's main goal in life, as described in the first episode, is to be the world's greatest Pokémon Master. Ash began his journey at the age of 10 as a warm-hearted and well-intentioned but stubborn, rash and amateurish Pokémon Trainer. He was forced to accept the cheeky Pikachu from Professor Oak as his starter Pokémon because he carelessly broke his alarm clock in his sleep and woke up late on the day he was set to get his first Pokémon. He was determined to achieve his goal, however, and when Pikachu saw that he was willing to compromise his own safety to keep it safe he formed a strong bond of friendship with Pikachu. This would set his course for the future.

File:Ash fleeing spearow.png
Ash trying to keep Pikachu safe

However, from that point, Ash still had a lot to learn about becoming a Trainer. The first Pokémon he caught, was caught by luck, as he knew absolutely nothing about battling, and was hesitant to admit it whenever he was wrong. Many of his first Gym badges were given to him merely out of gratitude for his assistance rather than claiming an actual victory in battle over the Gym Leaders; of his first five Gym battles, only his victory over Lt. Surge was an actual victory. Every time he thought he was doing well, he would somehow cross paths with his childhood rival, Gary Oak. He always reminded Ash that he was always a step or seven behind, with Gary catching around forty-five Pokémon by the time Ash had only caught his seventh. This hampered matters further when, owing to his inexperience, his Charizard, his most powerful Pokémon, refused to listen to him until Ash could prove himself to the powerful Fire-type.

Over time, Ash's dedication to his goal paid off. After earning his first eight badges he went on to compete in the Indigo League, advancing to the fifth round - one further than Gary, and ending up in the top 16. After recovering from his defeat, he continued on to improve his skills; take on new challenges; and compete in more Pokémon League competitions - triumphing in the Orange League and the Battle Frontier.

Ash has changed a great deal over the course of the series, particularly in regards to his skill at Pokémon training, but his earnestness, rashness, and determination have remained. Never straying from his goal, he has remained loyal to his friends, his family, and his supporters, but most of all his Pokémon. Ash became a great Trainer by learning to find and use the inner strength of each of his Pokémon by bonding with them. For example, when he received a banner filled with prints from his Pokémon in The Unbeatable Lightness of Seeing!, he knew which Pokémon placed specific prints, showing his close bond with them. He also learns where their hidden abilities lie, as well as resorting to unorthodox strategies when fighting particularly challenging opponents. For example, he uses his Pikachu's speed to outmaneuver larger foes and attack. In another instance, his Charizard defeated Gary's Blastoise by causing the field to overheat before mounting a close-quarters attack while Blastoise was blinded by the steam. He also prefers to train a Pokémon to be the best it can without forcing it to evolve, as evidenced by his treatment of Gligar in Fighting Fear With Fear!. He is happy when his Pokémon evolve but lets them choose whether or not they want to evolve instead of forcing them.

Ash using Aura inside the Tree of Beginning

Early on, Ash originally trained not to further himself but instead to catch more Pokémon than Gary. He later slowed his pace which allowed him to focus on the individual traits of each Pokémon. At the Johto League Silver Conference, with great humility and maturity, Ash finally won a battle against his old rival, signifying a great milestone in his history. His maturity has also increased in his dealings with Pokémon. This is shown when a Mankey stole his hat in Primeape Goes Bananas, he screamed and yelled at it, even climbing trees just to get his hat back, but when an Aipom did the same in Slaking Kong, he stated merely that he would feel strange without a hat. When Aipom stole his hat again in Setting the World on its Buneary, however, while it was under his ownership, he chased after it in the same manner as before.

In most episodes of the anime, especially those during the Johto League saga, Ash befriends someone who will influence him and cause him to strive to become a better Trainer. Although he is not a dependent individual, he is still young and has learned to make his way relying on his friends, particularly the maternal skills of Brock. The honor of "best friend" is usually reserved for Pikachu but Ash has come to see his closest human friends in the same light over time; using the term for Misty and Brock in Gotta Catch Ya Later as well as May and Max in Battling the Enemy Within.

He has traversed much of the Pokémon world and has thus far participated in four Pokémon League regional competitions, but he is still learning new things about Pokémon all the time.

Ash has gained a close connection with many legendary Pokémon, including Mewtwo, Ho-Oh, Lugia, Latias, Azelf, Shaymin, Giratina, Arceus, Victini, Reshiram and Zekrom. In the English dub of the second movie, he was revealed to be "The Chosen One" - the one who would bring balance back to the world when it was disrupted. Although viewed as a normal human, Ash does have some special abilities, as he is said to have the same aura as Sir Aaron, a legendary hero, and is theoretically able to manipulate it in much the same way. Therefore, he made a connection with Sir Aaron's Lucario. However, he has not received any training in this field, opting to continue his Pokémon journey instead. He has also been likened to an ancient aura guardian in The Keystone Pops!, who also had a partner Pikachu. Later, in Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu! Parts 1 and 2, Ash uses aura again to locate a lost Riolu and read Riolu's mind as well.

Ash has also participated in contests. He has a Contest Pass for the Sinnoh region, as well as one for the Hoenn region as it was required to watch one of the contests held there. Ash carries half of a broken Poké Ball with him everywhere, while Gary has the other half, as a symbol of their ongoing, but now friendly, rivalry; Misty's special lure, which she sent to him as a gift; and half of a ribbon he received in a contest against May before she left the group to compete in Johto. Ash also participated in the Wallace Cup on the suggestion of Wallace but he lost in the third round.

Ash soon obtained all of the Sinnoh Gym badges. During his battles in the Lily of the Valley Conference, he managed to advance to the Top 4, during which time he defeated his long-time Sinnoh rival Paul for the first time, and fought against Tobias, becoming the only known Trainer to defeat his Darkrai. Though he lost later on in the battle, he seems to be okay with losing, as he has become closer to his Pokémon than ever before. Ash, Dawn, and Brock then set off on their own paths to follow their respective dreams, with Brock saying he will no longer be joining Ash on his next journey.

In the Best Wishes series, Ash came with Professor Oak and his mom on a trip to the Unova region. After losing in a battle to Trip and seeing the power of the legendary Zekrom, Ash became interested in traveling Unova to meet new Pokémon, as well as new friends. He is now currently in journey in Unova, first bringing along only his Pikachu as he did in Hoenn.

Ash competed in the Don Battle in Reunion Battles In Nimbasa!-BW042. He battled against Burgundy and her Stoutland in the first round and won using his Palpitoad. He then battled Georgia and her Pawniard in BW040. Ash used his Snivy. Although she struggled at first, Snivy managed to defeat Pawniard and advance Ash to the next round. Next, in BW042, Ash battled Dino and his Darumaka with his Palpitoad again and won easily. In the final round, Ash went up against Iris and her Excadrill. Ash used Pikachu, but lost the match and became runner-up in the tournament. He didn't feel bad, though, and was happy to see Iris win the tournament.


A young Ash

Ash is an only child that lived with his mother, Delia Ketchum, until he left for his Pokémon journey at the age of ten.

His father was never introduced. The anime suggests that his father was once a Pokémon Trainer who began his journey in Pallet Town, and that he is still living. An interview with the series' storyboarder confirmed Ash's father is a Trainer on his own journey. According to the same storyboarder, Ash's father may or may not be introduced in the series, depending on its necessity to Ash's further maturity and development as a Trainer.


As a Trainer, Ash has captured and befriended a sizable number of Pokémon over the course of the anime. His philosophy on training is that Pokémon are individuals and that a combination of trust, friendship and hard work are needed to overcome adversity. He seems to battle best with Pokémon that are similar to Pikachu: ones that are speedy and maneuverable, yet able to perform high-powered attacks; however, he is willing to work with any Pokémon that comes into his care. Ash's battle style is generally spontaneous and fairly unorthodox, and his Pokémon often reflect these traits.

Currently in rotation

In the Unova region, Ash does not keep the same party at all times like he had done previously. Instead, he swaps his on hand Pokémon with ones that are being stored at Professor Juniper's lab.

Ash Pikachu.png
Ash Tranquill.png
Pidove → Tranquill
Ash Oshawott.png
Ash Tepig.png
Ash Snivy.png
Ash Scraggy.png
Egg → Scraggy
Ash Swadloon.png
Sewaddle → Swadloon
Ash Palpitoad.png
Ash Roggenrola.png

With Professor Oak

This section shows the Pokémon that Ash keeps at Professor Oak's laboratory.

Ash Bulbasaur.png
Ash Kingler.png
Krabby → Kingler
Ash Muk.png
Ash Tauros.png
Tauros (×30)
Ash Snorlax.png
Ash Heracross.png
Ash Bayleef.png
Chikorita → Bayleef
Ash Quilava.png
Cyndaquil → Quilava
Ash Totodile.png
Ash Noctowl.png
Noctowl File:ShinyBWStar.png
Ash Donphan.png
Egg → Phanpy → Donphan
Ash Swellow.png
Taillow → Swellow
Ash Sceptile.png
Treecko → Grovyle → Sceptile
Ash Corphish.png
Ash Torkoal.png
Ash Glalie.png
Snorunt → Glalie
Ash Staraptor.png
Starly → Staravia → Staraptor
Ash Torterra.png
Turtwig → Grotle → Torterra
Ash Infernape.png
Chimchar → Monferno → Infernape
Ash Buizel.png
Ash Gible.png

In training

This section is for the Pokémon that Ash still owns but are in the care of another Trainer. Some can be called upon at any time if needed.

Ash Primeape.png
Ash Charizard.png
Charmander → Charmeleon → Charizard
Ash Squirtle.png

Status unknown

This section is for Ash's Pokémon whose current whereabouts are unknown.

Ash Gliscor.png
Gligar → Gliscor


This section is for the Pokémon that Ash formally released back into the wild.

Ash Butterfree.png
Caterpie → Metapod → Butterfree
Ash Pidgeot.png
Pidgeotto → Pidgeot
Ash Lapras.png

Traded away

This section is for the Pokémon that Ash traded away.

Ash Raticate.png

Given away

This section is for the Pokémon that Ash gave to another Trainer to keep for themselves.

Casey Beedrill.png


This section is for the Pokémon that Ash had bonded with over the course of several episodes but never officially caught.

Sabrina Haunter.png
Egg → Larvitar


This section is for the Pokémon that Ash temporarily used. Many of which were rented and belong to another Trainer.

Lara Laramie's Rapidash
Ash borrowed Rapidash from Lara Laramie when it was a Ponyta after she was injured and could not ride it in the race. It evolved into Rapidash when it was racing against Dario's Dodrio. Ash was able to win the race.
Debut The Flame Pokémon-athon!
Dr. Akihabara's Porygon
Porygon was lent to Ash by Dr. Akihabara to help stop Team Rocket from stealing Pokémon from the Pokémon Center's PC system. After they got out of the computer world, it was returned to Akihabara.

Porygon's known moves are Conversion, Tackle and Sharpen.

Debut EP038
Pokémon League entrance exam instructor's Arbok
The Pokémon League entrance exam instructor gave Ash an Arbok by having him choose his own set of Poké Balls provided by the instructor. It was used during a Pokémon League exam by battling the Instructor's Jolteon and lost.

Arbok's known moves are Glare and Wrap.

Debut The Ultimate Test
Voice actors
Japanese Unshō Ishizuka
Pokémon League entrance exam instructor's Weezing
The Pokémon League entrance exam instructor gave Ash a Weezing by having him choose his own set of Poké Balls provided by the instructor. It was used during the Pokémon League exam by battling the Instructor's Flareon and won.

Weezing's known moves are Smog, SmokeScreen, Tackle and Explosion.

Debut The Ultimate Test
Voice actors
Japanese Shin'ichirō Miki
English Eric Stuart
Pokémon League entrance exam instructor's Meowth
Meowth was the final Pokémon used by Ash during the Pokémon League exam. It was up against the Instructor's Vaporeon in which Vaporeon froze the Meowth causing Team Rocket's Meowth to interfere with the battle by kicking the frozen one free. It was accidentally blasted off along with Team Rocket. The temporary switch was fixed in the next episode.

Meowth's only known move is Fury Swipes.

Debut The Ultimate Test
Voice actors
Japanese Chiyako Shibahara
English Chiyako Shibahara
Hagatha's Hoothoot
Ash, Brock and Misty borrowed Hoothoot from Hagatha in order to navigate the haunted forest. It was returned to her sister, Nagatha after they were able to get to the exit.

Hoothoot's known moves are Foresight and Peck.

Debut Illusion Confusion!
Misty's Staryu
Main article: Misty's Staryu

Ash borrowed Staryu from Misty for the Fire and Rescue Grand Prix in The Fire-ing Squad. However, he did not win the contest and returned Staryu to her around the end of the episode.

Debut The Fire-ring Squad
Voice actors
Japanese Shin'ichirō Miki
English Shin'ichirō Miki
Misty's Psyduck
Main article: Misty's Psyduck

Ash borrowed Psyduck from Misty for the Fire and Rescue Grand Prix in The Fire-ing Squad. However, he did not win the contest and returned Psyduck to her around the end of the episode.

Debut The Fire-ing Squad
Voice actors
Japanese Rikako Aikawa
English Eric Stuart
Ash's Seaking
Ash caught a Seaking during a Seaking fishing contest. It was released under park rules.
Debut Hook, Line, and Stinker
Voice actors
Japanese Katsuyuki Konishi
English Eric Stuart
Master Hamm's Hitmonlee
Ash borrowed Hitmonlee from Master Hamm to battle May with Hitmonchan after Master Hamm was having problems.

Hitmonlee's known moves are Rolling Kick, Hi Jump Kick, Jump Kick and Focus Punch.

Debut Pasta La Vista!
Voice actors
Japanese Unshō Ishizuka
English Eric Stuart
The Pokémon Summer Academy's Raichu
During the first day of the summer school academy, Ash was given a Raichu to train. It was called to battle Angie's Monferno and was able to put up a great fight. It had a very timid personality.

Raichu's known moves are Dig, Thunderbolt, Focus Punch and Double Team.

Debut Camping It Up!
The Pokémon Summer Academy's Spoink
Ash was given a Spoink in the first leg of the Pokémon triathlon. He returned it after he was done with the first part of the race.
Debut One Team, Two Team, Red Team, Blue Team!
Voice actors
Japanese Chie Satō
The Pokémon Summer Academy's Mantyke
Ash was given a Mantyke for the second leg of the Pokémon Triathlon to ride across the lake. It was returned after the event was done.
Debut One Team, Two Team, Red Team, Blue Team!
Ash's Cottonee
Ash temporarily commanded a wild Cottonee in order to help it win over a love interest. With Ash's assistance, he was able to learn to dodge attacks and aim his own attacks better.

Cottonee's known moves are Cotton Spore, Cotton Guard, Razor Leaf, and Energy Ball.

Debut Cottonee in Love!
Voice actors
English Kayzie Rogers

Badges obtained

Ash's eight badges from Kanto

Indigo League

Ash's four Orange League badges

Orange League

Ash's eight badges from Johto

Johto League

Ash's eight badges from Hoenn

Hoenn League

Ash's seven Frontier Symbols

Battle Frontier

Ash's eight badges from Sinnoh

Sinnoh League

Unova League

Pokémon competitions

Pokémon League ranking

Ash placed in the Pokémon League competitions listed below.

Pokémon championship battles

Ash challenged the following Pokémon championships as well:

Miscellaneous competitions

Ash has also participated in the following competitions:

Voice actors

Language Voice actor
Japanese 松本梨香 Rica Matsumoto
English Veronica Taylor (4Kids dub)
Sarah Natochenny (TPCI dub)
Jamie Peacock (Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon only)
Arabic بثينة شيا Buthaina Shia
Catalan Enric Puig
Mandarin Chinese 賀世芳 Hè Shìfāng (Indigo League saga, Johto League saga)
李明幸 Li Míngxìng (Orange League saga)
汪世瑋 Wāng Shìwěi (AG, DP, BW series)
Croatian Saša Buneta
Marko Torjanac
Czech Radek Škvor
Danish Mathias Klenske
Dutch Christa Lips
Unknown voice actor (movies 5-7)
Filipino Klariz Magboo
Finnish Sari Moilanen (EP001-EP142) (movies 1, 2, 3, and 4)
Jami Kantola (movies 5, 6, and 7)
Hanna Leino (EP158-present) (movies 10-present)
French Canada Sébastien Reding
Europe Aurélien Ringelheim
German Caroline Combrinck (EP001-EP157, DP105-present)
Veronika Neugebauer (EP158-DP104)
Hebrew יהונתן מגון Yonatan Magon
דניאל מגון Daniel Magon
Hungarian Szvetlov Balázs
Ungvári Gergely
Indonesian Ahmad Zulkifli Lubis
Kamal Nasuti (temporary from DP001-DP003)
Italian Davide Garbolino
Korean 최덕희 Choi Deok-Hyi
이선호 Lee Seon-Ho
안현서 An Hyeon-Seo
Norwegian Nils-Martin Crawfurd
Polish Hanna Kinder-Kiss (EP001-AG040, DP053-present, all movies)
Grzegorz Drojewski (DP001-DP052)
Portuguese Brazil Fábio Lucindo
Portugal Maria João Luís (EP001-EP031), movies 1 and 2
Sandra Faleiro (EP032-EP094)
Sandra de Castro (EP095-EP128, EP158-EP209, AG093-AG177, DP001-DP052, Pokémon Live)
Alexandra Sedas (EP129-EP157)
Cristina Carvalhal (movies 3 and 4)
Bárbara Lourenço (EP210-AG040)
Raquel Ferreira (AG041-AG092)
Ana Madureira (AG178-AG192)
Raquel Rosmaninho (DP053-present, movies 10-present)
Russian Анна Левченко Anna Levchenko (EP001-EP105)
Spanish Latin America Gabriel Ramos (EP001-DP090, DP105-DP157)
Irwin Daayán (DP091-DP104)
Rommy Mendoza (young, DP138)
Miguel Ángel Leal (DP158-present)
Pablo Gandolfo (movies 6 and 7)
Alan Fernando Velázquez (movie 12)
Spain Adolfo Moreno
Rafael Alonso Naranjo Jr. (movie 3 and Mewtwo Returns)
Swedish Dick Eriksson
Thai ฉันทนา ธาราจันทร์ Chanthana Tharachan
Turkish Ahmet Taşar

In the manga

In the Ash and Pikachu manga

Ash is a starring character in Ash and Pikachu, a manga series based on the Johto saga of the Pokémon anime.

In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga

Main article: Ash Ketchum (EToP)

Ash Ketchum is a starring character in The Electric Tale of Pikachu, a manga series based on the anime. Ash's journey in The Electric Tale of Pikachu follows roughly the same plot as in the anime: first traveling the Kanto region to participate in the Pokémon League, before embarking on a journey around the Orange Archipelago.

In the Magical Pokémon Journey manga

Ash and Brock in Magical Pokémon Journey

Ash, along with Misty and Brock, made cameo appearances in bonus chapters of the Magical Pokémon Journey manga. In the bonus chapters, Ash and co. have mistakenly wandered into the world Magical Pokémon Journey is set in. The bonus chapters chronicle their attempts to return to their own world (of the anime) and their encounters with various aspects of the Magical Pokémon Journey canon which differ from the anime's canon (such as the use of Poké Balls).

In the TCG

This listing is of cards mentioning or featuring Ash or his Pokémon in the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

Name Type Level Rarity Set Set no.
Ash's Torkoal Fighting - - 7th Movie Half Deck (no English release) 009/019
Ash's Grovyle Grass - - 8th Movie Half Deck (no English release) 001/020
Ash's Phanpy Fighting - - 8th Movie Half Deck (no English release) 004/020
Ash's Swellow Colorless - - 8th Movie Half Deck (no English release) 007/020
Ash's Aipom Colorless - - 9th Movie Half Deck (no English release) 010/019
Ash's Treecko Grass - - ADV-P Promotional cards (no English release) 036/ADV-P
Pikachu M Lightning 45 - Movie Commemoration Random Pack (no English release) 012/022
Staraptor M Colorless 41 - Movie Commemoration Random Pack (no English release) 018/022
Pikachu M LV.X Lightning X - DPt-P Promotional cards (no English release) 043/DPt-P


Ash after catching a Pokémon.
  • Ash has never officially caught a Pokémon of the Steel, Psychic, or Ghost types.
  • The date of Ash's birth, according to Takeshi Shudo's anime novelizations, is 10 years, 10 months, and 10 days exactly prior to the day he began his Pokémon journey. Being that the same novelization declares that Pokémon Trainers obtain their first Pokémon in April of the year following their 10th birthday, and the anime itself began broadcast on the first of that month in 1997 in Japan, Ash's birthday, if April 1 was the first day of his journey, would be May 22.
Ash's drawing of a Dewgong

  • Ash never had a rival during most of Hoenn saga.


Language Name Origin
Japanese サトシ Satoshi Can be taken to mean 智 (wisdom; reason); named after Satoshi Tajiri.
English, German, Spanish Ash Ketchum Ketchum sounds similar to catch 'em. First name can be found in Japanese name, Satoshi. Also, Ash is a default name for Red in Pokémon Red and Blue. Ash trees are suggested as another explanation as well.
French Sacha Ketchum Similar to Ash.
Korean 한지우
Han Jiu
지 is from 智 satoshi. Alternatively, 지우 (知友) can mean "close friend".
Chinese (Mandarin) 小智
Xiǎo Zhì
Named after 田尻智, Satoshi Tajiri. Can mean "young wisdom" or "little knowledge".
Chinese (Cantonese) 小智
Síu Ji
Same as Mandarin name.
Indonesian Ali (Kanto saga)
Satoshi (Johto saga - present)
Originally from Arabic names that mean "high" or "exalted". Slightly similar to Ash.
Same as his Japanese name.
Thai ซาโตชิ
Same as his Japanese name.

Related articles

External links

On Bulbagarden forums


Project Anime logo.png This article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.