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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 (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!."
In the anime
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Ash's main goal in life, as described in the first episode, is to be the world's greatest Pokémon Master.
One particular characteristic about Ash that has not changed over the course of the series aside from his determination and his passion for raising and training Pokémon is that he is incredibly selfless. He will often (and this has happened for just about every one of his Pokémon) go to extraordinary lengths to earn a Pokémon's trust and respect; and he will often go out of his way to better understand a Pokémon that he sees as troubled. He is also very fair-minded and trusting, a true testament to his good-natured character.
Ash enrolled in Professor Oak's Pokémon Summer Camp when he was young. One day, another camper named Serena got lost in the forest and wounded her leg after getting startled by a Poliwag. Ash, who was looking for the Poliwag, came to her rescue and wrapped a handkerchief wounded knee to brace it. He then helped her up and guided her out of the forest.
Years later, Ash began his journey at the age of 10 as a warm-hearted and well-intentioned but stubborn, rash and amateur 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.
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, one of 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.
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 she was under his ownership, he chased after her 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 five 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, Celebi, Latias, Azelf, Shaymin, Giratina, Arceus, Victini, Reshiram*, Zekrom* and Meloetta. In the English dub 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. This time, however, he merely senses the aura, rather than manipulating it.
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 second stage of the Battle 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. In Unova, he brought along only his Pikachu as he did in Hoenn.
During his time in Unova, along with his quest for the Badges, Ash also competed in the local competitions Club Battle, Clubsplosion and Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup. Despite battling quite well, he failed to win any of the tournaments and managed to be the runner-up of two of the three. Despite these mishaps, he didn't feel bad for seeing his friends winning the awards. After managing to obtain the Unova Badges he was allowed to participate in the Vertress Conference along with his current and some new rivals. In the preliminary round, he battled Trip one-on-one, defeating him for the first time and ending their rivalry. Ash also defeated his friend and rival Stephan. He then battled one of his recent rivals, Cameron, where he lost in A Unova League Evolution!, making it to the top 8 of the Vertress Conference.
In the XY series, Ash traveled to the Kalos region with Alexa, whom he met while traveling in the Decolore Islands. He first visited Lumiose City in Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin!, where he parted ways with Alexa and tried to challenge the Lumiose Gym at Prism Tower, only to be forcibly ejected from the tower when the computerized security system, later revealed to be the Clembot, found out that he didn't have any badges. He was rescued by Clemont and Bonnie, who started to travel with him after he calmed down a rampaging Garchomp at the top of Prism Tower. In Battling on Thin Ice!, Ash won his first Kalos Badge, the Bug Badge, after defeating the Santalune Gym Leader Viola. The group was also joined by Serena, who still remembered Ash rescuing her in her childhood and decided to start her own journey to reunite with him, although he initially did not remember the two of them meeting. In Clemont's Got a Secret!, Ash learned that Clemont is the Lumiose City Gym Leader. Although initially angry that his friend would keep such a secret from him, he quickly forgave Clemont and encouraged him to take back the Gym from the Clembot, the robot that had taken over the Gym and ejected him when he tried to challenge it. Even though the badge requirement ceased to be an issue after this, he still decided not to challenge the Gym until he had four badges and decided that his opponent would be Clemont rather than the Clembot.
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 has not been 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. In the original, he is also confirmed to have a grandfather, and his son (Ash's father) followed his footsteps.
An interview with the series' storyboarder Masamitsu Hidaka
confirmed Ash's father is a Trainer on his own journey. According to Hidaka, Ash's father may or may not be introduced in the series, depending on its necessity to further Ash's maturity and development as a Trainer. On the other hand, according to Takeshi Shudō
's novelization, Ash's father left home to go on a journey right after Ash was born, and never returned since. As he did never register his name in the Pokémon Trainer's list, his whereabouts are unknown.
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.
With Professor Oak
This section shows the Pokémon that Ash keeps at Professor Oak's laboratory.
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.
This section is for the Pokémon that Ash formally released back into the wild.
This section is for the Pokémon that Ash traded away.
This section is for the Pokémon that Ash gave to another Trainer to keep for themselves.
This section is for the Pokémon that Ash had bonded with over the course of several episodes but never officially caught.
This section is for the Pokémon that Ash temporarily used, many of which were rented and belong to another Trainer.
| Ponyta → 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. Thanks to the speed gained through the evolution, Ash and Rapidash were able to win the race.
Rapidash's only known move is Stomp.
|| The Flame Pokémon-athon!
| 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.
|| The Ultimate Test
| Voice actors
|| Chiyako Shibahara
|| Adam Blaustein
|| Sudowoodo ♂
- Main article: Brock's Sudowoodo
Ash encountered Brock's Sudowoodo when the group was separated by Graveler and Golem. After stopping a fight, Ash went with Sudowoodo to get out of the maze and find Dawn and Brock. When they were found, Ash had Sudowoodo Mimic Pachirisu's Discharge to break a hole in the maze wall after finding them from the other side.
|| A Maze-ing Race!
| Voice actors
|| Daisuke Sakaguchi
|| Bill Rogers
| 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, digging into the ground when Ash first talked to it.
Raichu's known moves are Dig, Thunderbolt, Focus Punch and Double Team.
|| Camping It Up!
| Caterpie → Metapod → Butterfree
| This Butterfree was found on Wayfarer Island as a Caterpie, where its lazy tendencies caused it to not evolve and be left behind by its swarm. To help it, Ash temporarily trained the wild Caterpie in order to help it evolve all the way to Butterfree so it wouldn't be left behind. Caterpie evolved into Metapod after it and Pikachu fended off a wild Ursaring. To save Pikachu from Team Rocket, it evolved into a Butterfree and teamed up with Pikachu to blast the trio away. Afterward, it had a tearful goodbye with Ash as it returned to its swarm.
Butterfree's known moves are String Shot, Tackle, Confusion, and Psybeam.
|| Butterfree and Me!
| Voice actors
|| Rikako Aikawa
|| Rikako Aikawa (as Caterpie and Butterfree)
| Ash temporarily commanded a borrowed Rhyhorn, in order to participate at the Rhyhorn race held at Odyssey Village. In the beginning it was hard for Ash to handle it, but gradually it teamed up with Ash.
None of Rhyhorn's moves are known.
|| Giving Chase at the Rhyhorn Race!
Ash's eight Badges from Johto
Ash's eight Badges from Hoenn
Ash's eight Badges from Sinnoh
Ash's eight Badges from Unova
Ash's current Badges from Kalos
Pokémon League ranking
Ash placed in the Pokémon League competitions listed below.
Pokémon championship battles
Ash challenged the following Pokémon championships as well:
Ash has also participated in the following competitions:
|| Voice actor
|| 松本梨香 Rica Matsumoto
|| Veronica Taylor (EP001-AG145, M01-M08) |
Sarah Natochenny (AG146-present, M09-present, The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon re-dub)
Kayzie Rogers (The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon first dub only)
|| بثينة شيا Buthaina Shia
|| Enric Puig
| Mandarin Chinese
|| 賀世芳 Hè Shìfāng (EP001-EP081, EP117-EP274)|
李明幸 Li Míngxìng (EP082-EP116)
汪世瑋 Wāng Shìwěi (AG001-present)
|| Saša Buneta|
|| Radek Škvor
|| Mathias Klenske
|| Christa Lips|
Unknown voice actor (M05-M07)
|| Klariz Magboo
|| Sari Moilanen (EP001-EP142) (M01-M04)|
Jami Kantola (M05-M07)
Hanna Leino (EP158-present) (M10-present)
|| Sébastien Reding
|| Aurélien Ringelheim|
Charles Pestel (M04, M07)
|| Caroline Combrinck (EP001-EP157, DP105-present)|
Veronika Neugebauer (EP158-DP104)
|| יהונתן מגון Yonatan Magon|
דניאל מגון Daniel Magon
|| Rahul Sharma
|| Szvetlov Balázs|
Ungvári Gergely (AG)
Szalay Csongor (DP)
|| Ahmad Zulkifli Lubis (EP001-AG192, DP004-present)|
Kamal Nasuti (DP001-DP003)
|| Davide Garbolino
|| 최덕희 Choi Deok-Hyi|
이선호 Lee Seon-Ho
안현서 An Hyeon-Seo
|| Nils-Martin Crawfurd
|| Hanna Kinder-Kiss (EP001-AG040, DP053-present, M01-present)|
Grzegorz Drojewski (DP001-DP052)
|| Fábio Lucindo
|| Maria João Luís (EP001-EP031, EP033, M01-M02)|
Sandra Faleiro (EP032, EP034-EP094)
Sandra de Castro (EP095-EP128, EP158-EP209, AG093-AG177, DP001-DP052, Pokémon Live!)
Alexandra Sedas (EP129-EP157)
Cristina Carvalhal (M03-M04)
Bárbara Lourenço (EP210-AG040, Pokémon Chronicles)
Raquel Ferreira (AG041-AG092)
Unknown actress (M07)
Ana Madureira (AG178-AG192)
Raquel Rosmaninho (DP053-present, M10-present)
|| Анна Левченко Anna Levchenko (EP001-EP105)|
Лариса Некипелова Larisa Nekipelova (DP105-present)
|| Latin America
|| Gabriel Ramos (EP001-DP090, DP105-DP157, M01-M11)|
Irwin Daayán (DP091-DP104)
Rommy Mendoza (young, DP138)
Miguel Ángel Leal (DP158-present, M13-present)
Pablo Gandolfo (M06-M07)
Alan Fernando Velázquez (M12)
|| Adolfo Moreno|
Rafael Alonso Naranjo Jr. (M03 and Mewtwo Returns)
|| Dick Eriksson
|| ฉันทนา ธาราจันทร์ Chanthana Tharachan
|| 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, along with Misty and Brock, made cameo appearances in bonus chapters of the Magical Pokémon Journey manga. In the bonus chapters, Ash and his friends 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 Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl manga
Ash and Pikachu appear as main characters alongside Dawn and her Piplup in the manga series Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl, an adaptation of the anime set in the timeline of the Diamond & Pearl series.
In the movie adaptations
Ash with his friends in the movie 10 manga adaptation
Since Ash and his Pikachu have appeared in every Pokémon movie to date, likewise, Ash is a main character in every Pokémon movie manga adaptations. The same applies with Ash's team as they made similar appearances.
In the TCG
This listing is of cards mentioning or featuring Ash or his Pokémon in the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
Ash after catching a Pokémon
Ash's drawing of a Dewgong
- Ash has never officially caught a Pokémon of the Steel, Psychic, Ghost, or Fairy 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.
- When Veronica Taylor was interviewed in the documentary "Adventures in Voice Acting", she stated that during her audition for the role of Ash, he was known as Casey at the time. This name would later be given to a recurring character from Johto.
- Ash can draw, as shown in Up Close and Personable! when he drew a Dewgong.
- Ash has been shown to be a good climber, as mentioned in Celebi: Voice of the Forest (when Misty and Brock say "He climbs like a Mankey!") and Lucario and the Mystery of Mew (when Brock calls him a "human Aipom"). Ash's climbing ability has also been shown in several episodes throughout the series, such as Enter Iris and Axew!, when he climbs up a tree to try to save Pikachu and Axew.
- Ash has lost a match against every Normal-type Gym Leader he has faced: Whitney in A Goldenrod Opportunity, Norman in There's no Place Like Hoenn, Lenora in The Battle According to Lenora, and Cheren in There's a New Gym Leader in Town!.
|| サトシ Satoshi
|| Can be taken to mean 智 akira (wisdom; reason); named after Satoshi Tajiri.
|English, German, Italian, Spanish, Canadian French
|| 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.
|| Sacha Ketchum
|| Similar to Ash.
| 지 ji is from 智 Satoshi. Alternatively, 지우 (知友) jiu can mean "close friend".
|Diminutive nickname derived from 田尻智, Satoshi Tajiri.
| Same as Mandarin name.
|| 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.
| Same as his Japanese name.
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