From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
- Ash redirects here. For the item attached to Ho-Oh, see Sacred Ash. For the ash at the foot of Mt. Chimney, see volcanic ash.
Ash Ketchum (Japanese: サトシ Satoshi) is the main character of both the Pokémon anime and the manga The Electric Tale of Pikachu. His Japanese voice actress is 松本梨香 Rica Matsumoto, his English voice actresses are Veronica Taylor (4Kids Entertainment dub) and Sarah Natochenny (Pokémon USA/TAJ Productions dub) and his Brazilian voice actor is Fabio Lucindo. In the first dub of The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon he was voiced by Jamie Peacock.
Ash is apparently based on the main character of Pokémon Red and Blue, Red. He shares his name with the creator of the Pokémon franchise, Satoshi Tajiri. His Japanese name can be taken to mean "wisdom" or "reason" (智), and his English name has many meanings. His English last name is a pun on the original English Pokémon motto, "Gotta Catch 'em All!" As for his first name, some note that "Ash" has the same letters found in Satoshi.
In the anime
Ash's goal, as described in the first episode, Pokémon! I Choose You!, 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 and unskilled Pokémon trainer. He was forced to accept the irreverent Pikachu from Professor Oak as his starter Pokémon because he carelessly broke his alarm clock 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 he showed his willingness to give up his own safety to keep Pikachu safe, he formed a strong bond of friendship with his Pokémon which would set his course for the future.
However, from that point, Ash still had a lot to learn about becoming a trainer. He caught his first Pokémon by luck, knew nothing about battling, and showed a reluctance to admit when he was wrong. Many of his first Gym badges were given to him out of pity or gratitude rather than claiming a victory in battle over the Gym Leaders. Every time he thought he was doing well, he would somehow cross paths with his childhood rival, Gary Oak, who always reminded Ash that he was always a step or seven behind.
Ash's dedication to his goal paid off over time, and after earning his first eight badges, he competed in the Indigo League, and advanced further in the rounds than Gary. After recovering from his defeat, he continued on to improve his skill, take on new challenges, and compete in more Pokémon League competitions.
Ash has changed a great deal over the course of the series, particularly in regards to his skill at Pokémon training, but his earnestness 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 and learning where their hidden abilities lie. For example, he uses his Pikachu's speed to outmaneuver larger foes and attack. Additionally, during the first season of the series, while Ash trained not to further himself, but instead to catch more Pokémon than his rival, Gary, he later slowed his pace which allowed him (as well as the writers of the anime) 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, as when a Mankey stole his hat in EP025, he screamed and yelled at it, but when an Aipom did the same in AG178, he stated merely that he would feel strange without a hat.
In nearly every episode of the anime, 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. His closest friends have joined him on his Pokémon journey through the years: Misty, Brock, Tracey, May, Max, and Dawn.
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 apparently has a close connection with Legendary Pokémon, especially Ho-Oh and Lugia. 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.
He has a Contest Pass for the Sinnoh region, though he has stated that the contest he got it for was the only one he intends on entering. He also has one for the Hoenn region as it was required to watch one of the contests held there. Ash also carries around a broken Poké Ball, of which the other half belongs to Gary and is a symbol of their rivalry, as well as Misty's special lure, which she sent to him as a gift.
Ash lived with his mother, Delia Ketchum, until he left for his Pokémon journey at the age of ten.
His father is never introduced. The anime suggests that his father was once a Pokémon trainer, but it is unclear whether he is still living. There has been much discussion in the fandom as to the identity of Ash's father, though the writers have chosen to not focus on this aspect of Ash's life. Common characters put forward by fans for the role are Giovanni, Professor Oak and Silver.
Ash is an only child, breaking from the tradition of several other main characters, with the exception of Dawn and possibly Tracey, whose siblings are often a foil or focal point in their lives.
With Professor Oak
Traded or temporarily owned
- Haunter (befriended but never formally caught)
- Raticate (Traded for his Butterfree, but decided to trade back and keep his Butterfree)
- Egg → Larvitar (again, never formally caught)
- Arbok (Used during a Pokémon League exam)
- Weezing (Used during a Pokémon League exam)
- Meowth (Used during a Pokémon League exam)
Pokémon League ranking
Ash placed in the following Pokémon League competitions:
Pokémon Championship battles
Ash challenged the following Pokémon championships as well:
Ash has participated in the following competitions:
- Ash has caught 44 different kinds of Pokémon, including evolutions and counting Larvitar, Haunter, and Raticate, even though Larvitar and Haunter were not officially his. The original tagline for the dub was "Gotta Catch 'Em All!", but Ash has only caught 8.92% of the current number of Pokémon. This line was eventually dropped in 2003.
- Ash has caught or received 60 different individual Pokémon, 30 of which are his Tauros. These would amount to three full boxes in the Generation I and II games, or two full boxes in the Generation III and IV games.
- So far, every time Ash becomes the champion of something, he then battles and gets defeated by Gary a few episodes later, before heading off to a new region. This has happened after his championing of the Orange League and the Battle Frontier.
- At one time, Ash was transformed into a Pikachu. This transformed state is sometimes referred to as Ashachu.
- Ash has captured each generation's Template:Type2 starter Pokémon (Bulbasaur, Chikorita, Treecko, Turtwig).
- Starting with the Advanced story arc and onward, the trend of Ash having all three starter Pokémon has been reduced to him only having one, while his other companions have the other Pokémon. However, in Diamond and Pearl, Paul's starter Pokémon is revealed to have been Turtwig, though he also has a Chimchar.
- Ash has captured a form of each Flying-type Pokémon that players can encounter early in different games: Pidgeot, Noctowl, Swellow, and Staravia.
- In each region (except for the Orange Islands), Ash always loses against at least one of the gym leaders before challenging them to a rematch.
- With the exception of Koga, Ash had to either do some sort of heroic deed or re-challenge all of the Kanto Gym Leaders to earn his badge. This, however never applied to his Earth Badge, as he never battled against Giovanni himself, instead challenging the Team Rocket trio that had constantly followed him.
- So far, Ash always befriends someone shortly before the regional tournament. That person will beat Ash later on in the semifinals.
- In the entire series, Ash has dressed up as a girl at least twice.
- Though not as touched on anymore, a running gag in the English version of the series involved his mother making sure that Ash changed his underwear every single day.
- A pattern has developed among Ash's Grass starters: Bulbasaur never evolved, Chikorita evolved once and Treecko evolved twice. Many believe Ash's Turtwig won't evolve so the pattern continues.
- Ash's room, seen at the start of the first episode, contains a lot of merchandise based off various Pokémon, including a bedspread with a Poké Ball pattern, a trash can with a Staryu on it, a big Snorlax doll, a Poliwag pencil sharpener, a Clefairy bank, a Zubat mobile, a poster with Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Charmander, and a Voltorb alarm clock with a Pidgey inside it which he breaks in his sleep. He also has many books, a globe, a boombox, a television and a Bug Catcher's net. Based on the slanting of the ceiling of his room, it is probably in the attic of his house.
- During his adventures in Kanto, Johto and the Orange Islands, Ash pinned his badges to the inside of his jacket. From Hoenn onwards, they have been kept in some form of case. It is unknown where the badges of Ash's previous journeys are, though it is assumed that they are kept somewhere in his house. Delia placed Ash's trophy from the Orange Islands on top of the television, though this was missing when Ash looked in his living room in Home is Where the Start Is. Interestingly, the scene following it showed an identical trophy placed in Professor Oak's lab.
- Each time Ash successfully wins his eighth badge, all eight are stolen, though soon after returned. It is unknown if this will happen again in Diamond & Pearl.
- The most badges Ash has ever gotten in the first thirty-five episodes were five badges in Kanto, which makes sense considering that Kanto was significantly shorter than any other saga (aside from the Orange Island saga and the Battle Frontier saga). In every other region thus far, he has only won two badges in the first thirty-five episodes.
- The only girl Ash has even shown interest is named Giselle whom appeared in The School of Hard Knocks.
In the manga
The manga version of Ash Ketchum is based on the anime version, but there are many differences after both versions took different directions. For example, while anime Ash is indifferent to romance or members of the opposite (or same, some may argue) sex, manga Ash has a big crush on Gary's sister, May Oak.
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