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Ash Ketchum

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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.
Tough Ribbon Master Sinnoh.png This article is a featured article candidate. There may be ongoing discussion on the talk page.

{{CharacterInfobox| name=Ash Ketchum| jname=サトシ | tmname=Satoshi | slogan=no | image=150px | caption=Art from Diamond/Pearl anime | age=yes | years=10 (as of Pokemon Original, 11 as of Generation III and [[Diamond_&_Pearl) | colors=yes| eyes=Brown | hair=Black | gender=Male | hometown=Pallet Town | region=Kanto | relatives=Delia, Unknown father (EP002), Unknown grandfather (EP002) (Japanese only) (anime)
Mom (manga) |trainer=yes | trainerclass=Trainer | game=counterpart| counterpart=Red| leader=no | team=no | brain=no | anime=yes | epnum=EP001 | epname=Pokémon - I Choose You! | enva=Veronica Taylor (Template:4Kids)
Sarah Natochenny (TPCi) | java=Rica Matsumoto | }}

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 dub). Internationally, he is played by Fábio Lucindo in Brazilian, Davide Garbolino in Italian, and Adolfo Moreno (Spain) and Gabriel Ramos (Latin America) in Spanish. 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 Versions, 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.

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

In the anime


File:Anime Ash.png
Ash Ketchum in the original series

Ash's main goal in life, 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 Butterfree as Caterpie by luck, knew nothing about Pokémon battle, and showed a reluctance to admit when he was wrong. Many of his first Gym badges were given to him merely out of gratitude for his assistance 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, 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, and defeated Gary's Blastoise with his Charizard by causing the field to overheat and have Charizard mount a close-range attack while Blastoise was blinded by the steam. He also prefers to train a Pokémon to be the best it can without making it evolve, and he is hesitant to let his Pokémon evolve to get stronger, as evidenced by his treatment of Gligar in DP085.

Ash in the Advanced Generation series

Additionally, during the first season of the series, while Ash originally trained not to further himself but instead to catch more Pokémon than his rival, 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, as 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.

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 using Aura inside the Tree of Beginning

Ash apparently has a close connection with Legendary Pokémon, especially Ho-Oh, Lugia, and Shaymin. 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. 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. 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. However, these were one time deals, as Riolu had an unnaturally powerful aura.

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 ongoing, but now friendly, rivalry, as well as Misty's special lure, which she sent to him as a gift, and also half of a ribbon he received in a contest against May before she left the group to compete in Johto.


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. In Pokémon Live!, Delia told Ash that Giovanni had once been her boyfriend, and that he was Ash's father. However, this has never been officially acknowledged.

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.


On hand

Starly → Staravia
Turtwig → Grotle
Gligar → Gliscor

With Professor Oak

Krabby → Kingler
Chikorita → Bayleef
Spr 4p 164 s.png
File:Ash's Phanpy Egg.png231.png232.png
Egg → Phanpy → Donphan
File:Ash's Treecko.pngFile:Ash's Grovyle.pngFile:Ash's Sceptile2.png
Treecko → Grovyle → Sceptile
Taillow → Swellow
Snorunt → Glalie

In training

File:Ash's Squirtle2.png
Charmander → Charmeleon → Charizard


010.png011.pngFile:Ash's Butterfree.png
Caterpie → Metapod → Butterfree
Pidgeotto → Pidgeot

Traded away

190 f.png
  • Raticate: Received from Gentleman for Butterfree and back again.
  • Aipom: Traded to Dawn for Buizel



Given away

File:Misty's Togetic Egg.png
Egg (hatched in Misty's arms)
Beedrill (given to Casey)


(given to Sabrina)
File:Ash's Larvitar Egg.png246.png

Badges obtained

Indigo League

Orange League

Johto League

Hoenn League

File:Ashs hoenn badges.jpg
Ash's eight badges from Hoenn.

Battle Frontier

Sinnoh 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:

In the manga

Template:Mangastub 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 gender (or same gender, some may argue), manga Ash has a big crush on Gary's sister, May Oak. He's also prone to quickly falling in love like Brock, but to a much less extreme degree.


Caterpie → Metapod → Butterfree
Charmander → Charmeleon → Charizard

Traded away

Mankey (Given away for a map, which turns out to be fake)
Slowpoke (Giant)
(Given away to Gary for May Oak's photo)

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) 9/19
Ash's Grovyle Grass - - 8th Movie Half Deck (no English release) 1/20
Ash's Phanpy Fighting - - 8th Movie Half Deck (no English release) 4/20
Ash's Swellow Colorless - - 8th Movie Half Deck (no English release) 7/20
Ash's Aipom Colorless - - 9th Movie Half Deck (no English release) 10/19
Ash's Treecko Grass - - "ADV-P" Promotional cards (no English release) 36/"ADV-P"


  • In the ninth episode Ash mentioned that he had been a Pokémon trainer for 2 months. This time frame is further reinforced when Ash learns that the Pokémon League will begin in two months when he returns to Pallet Town after earning his eighth badge - he arrives at Indigo Stadium nine episodes later. If time continued at this rate, he would be at least 20 years old in the latest Japanese episode, something that's implied strongly by Meowth in Two Degrees of Separation!. However, given that some episodes take place directly after each other, this time frame is clearly not consistent. There is at least one point in each adventure that it is stated that it is another year since the beginning of the current adventure. So therefore if Ash ages 1 year after each adventure, then he would be 15 now.
  • Ash has been mistaken to be the son of two women from Kanto and the Orange Islands. The first time was in Hypno's Naptime where he was mistaken for a boy named Arnold, while the second was in Pokémon Double Trouble when Luana mistook him for her son Travis.
  • Ash has caught 49 different kinds of Pokémon, including evolutions and counting Larvitar, Seaking, Beedrill, Haunter, and Raticate, even though Larvitar and Haunter were not officially his, Beedrill was given away nearly immediately, and Seaking was released as part of contest rules. The original tagline for the dub was "Gotta Catch 'em All!", but Ash has only caught 9.74% of the current number of Pokémon. This line was eventually dropped in 2003, when he only had 8.03% of the then total of 386.
  • Ash has caught or received 64 different individual Pokémon, 30 of which are his Tauros.
  • Ash's first choice of a starter was Squirtle. Later, it is revealed that Gary was the one who, in fact, chose Squirtle. Ash's second choice was Bulbasaur, while his third was Charmander.
  • 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 Hoenn Battle Frontier, which were both "filler seasons" before the start of even-numbered generations.
  • In Hocus Pokémon, 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).
  • In both the Kanto and Johto story arcs, Ash managed to capture all three of the starter Pokémon for both regions. This trend was broken in the Advanced Generation series, where he only captured Treecko, while the other two were May's and Brock's. However, it is possible that the trend will be reestablished in the Diamond & Pearl series story arc, as Ash has already managed to capture both a Turtwig and Chimchar, two of the Sinnoh region's starter Pokémon. This is unlikely, however, as Dawn already has the third, Piplup.
    • However, he did command Piplup during A-Maze-ing Race!, and Chimchar during its last few minutes on Paul's team.
  • Ash has captured one Template:Type2 Pokémon from each series region that players can encounter early in different games: Pidgeotto, Noctowl, Taillow, and Starly.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 the Diamond & Pearl series.
  • The most badges Ash has ever gotten in the first thirty-five episodes were six 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 a confirmed interest is named Giselle whom appeared in The School of Hard Knocks.
  • Ash is the only main character that has caught a Template:Shiny2 Pokémon, which is his Noctowl.
  • Ash has two rivals that started off with turtle-like Pokémon. Gary started with Squirtle and Paul started off with Turtwig.
  • Ash also has two female friends that started off with bird-like Pokémon. May started off with Torchic and Dawn started off with Piplup.
  • The characters of the anime that share Ash's voice actress, both in English and in Japanese, are usually female or Pokémon.
  • In the case of Ash's Fire-type Pokémon, he always somehow saves them before capturing them, either from an abusive trainer or from other Pokémon.
  • Because Ash began wearing his AG clothes before leaving for Hoenn and did not change into his DP clothes until after he arrived in Sinnoh, Ash wore the AG clothes during episodes from all three series.
File:Ash maid.jpg
Ash crossdressed for a third time.


Language Name Origin
Japanese サトシ Satoshi Can be taken to mean 智 (wisdom; reason); named after Satoshi Tajiri.
English Ash Ketchum Ketchum sounds similar to catch 'em. First name can be found in Japanese name, Satoshi. The Satoshi in the Japanese name also sounds like Ash.
French Sacha Contains the English name: S-Ash-A
German Ash Same as English name
Korean 한지우 Han Jiu 지 is from 智 satoshi.
Chinese 小智 Xiǎo Zhì 智 is from 智 satoshi.

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External links

On Bulbagarden forums

Games: BlueLanceRedStevenWallace
CynthiaAlderIrisDianthaAll player characters
Anime: CaptainDrakeAsh KetchumLanceJon DicksonTyson
Origins: BlueRed
Adventures: Professor OakRedSteven
EToP: DrakeAsh Ketchum
Zensho: ShigeruSatoshi
Other: Ronald*Rald*
Indigo Plateau Conference: MandiPeteGaryJeanetteMelissaAshRitchieAssunta
Silver Conference: SalvadorJacksonMacyGaryAshHarrisonJon
Ever Grande Conference: JumpVivicaGilbertGavinDominickClark
Lily of the Valley Conference: JeffreyNandoBarryConwayPaulAshTobias
Vertress Conference: RadleyMikaelUltimoKendrickTripBiancaEmmanuel
Anime characters
Protagonists Ash KetchumPikachuMistyTogeticBrockTracey SketchitMayMaxDawnPiplupIrisAxewCilanSerenaClemontBonnieDedenne
Rivals GaryRitchieHarrisonDrewHarleyMorrisonTysonSolidadPaulZoeyNandoKennyConwayBarryUrsulaTobiasTripBiancaBurgundyStephanGeorgiaCameronVirgilMietteTiernoShaunaTrevorNiniSawyer
Antagonists JessieJamesMeowthGiovanniButchCassidyDr. NambaMatoriPierceDr. ZagerShellyArchieTabithaMaxieHunter JSaturnMarsJupiterCyrusCharonColressAldithGhetsisBarretLysandreXerosicCelosiaBryonyMableAliana
Professors Professor OakProfessor IvyProfessor ElmProfessor BirchProfessor RowanProfessor CarolinaProfessor JuniperCedric JuniperDr. FennelProfessor Sycamore
Relatives Delia KetchumFlintLolaForrestBrock's siblingsDaisyVioletLilyJames's parentsNormanCarolineNanny and Pop-PopJohannaChiliCressGraceMeyer
Supporting Officer JennyNurse JoyTodd SnapCharles GoodshowCaseyLizaSakuraLanceStevenMr. SukizoRaoul ContestaVivian MeridianRobertScottLilian MeridianMarianRhondaCynthiaReggieAngieLookerLyraKhouryDon GeorgeAlderLukeFreddy O'MartianIngoEmmetMontgomeryJervisNAnthea and ConcordiaPorterAlexaClembotSanpeiAlainMairinAriaDianthaGurkinnMonsieur PierreGym LeadersElite FourFrontier BrainsMany temporary characters