Ash's Pikachu

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Ash's Pikachu
サトシのピカチュウ Satoshi's Pikachu
Poké Ball
Ash and Pikachu
Debuts in Pokémon - I Choose You!
Caught at Pallet Town
Gender Male (confirmed in dub only)
Ability Static
Current location With Ash
This Pokémon has not evolved.
Voice actor Japanese English
As Pikachu Ikue Ohtani

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.

File:Ashs 1st pokeball.JPG
Pikachu's Poké Ball, which has a special lightning bolt mark. Ash carries it around but it hasn't been used since the very first episode.

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 high level 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. (A similar incident occured with Dawn's Pachirisu.) During these instances, Pikachu will sometimes attack its friends and Ash. In all of these cases, Pikachu did not intentionally mean harm upon anyone and Pikachu is always extremely sorry for what happened.

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 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 a moment to recover. In A Shield with a Twist Pikachu lost to Fantina's Drifblim after a fierce battle.

Moves used

Using Thunderbolt Move First Used In
ThunderShock Pokémon - I Choose You!
Tackle x Unknown
Tail Whip Unknown
Thunderbolt Showdown in Pewter City
Thunder Showdown at Dark City
Quick Attack Electric Shock Showdown
Agility Electric Shock Showdown
Iron Tail All Things Bright and Beautifly!
Volt Tackle May's Egg-Cellent Adventure
Slam Unknown
Double-Edge Unknown
Leer x Hour of the Houndour
An x shows that the move cannot be legitimately learned by this Pokémon in the games.
  Moves used recently are in bold unless all moves all fit this case.
Pikachu using Volt Tackle

Moves improvised

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.

In the games

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.


  • 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 ground types 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".
  • 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.
    • Dawn, likewise, does the same with her Piplup.
  • 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.

Pikachu's language

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)
File:Pikachu as ash.png
Pikachu Imitating Ash
  • PiPiPi: Togepi (Togepi)
  • PikakaPika: Fushigidane (Bulbasaur)
  • PikaPika: Zenigame (Squirtle) or Mukubird (Staravia) or Hikozaru (Chimchar)
  • PiPikachu: Rocket-dan (Team Rocket). It also 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 will occasionally use pantomime to specify what it is talking about. In particular, it has a face to represent Turtwig. Pikachu can also mime many other Pokémon which it demonstrated during a cosplay competition.
  • Pikachu has also used his face to tell when a character is in trouble by imitating people.

Gender debate

Pikachu is the most seen Pokémon in the anime and fans have often wondered what gender Pikachu is. While this debate has existed since gender was introduced, it recently flared up due to gender differences being introduced in recent games. For the sake of neutrality, this article will assume Pikachu's gender is male in the dub only, but unknown until explicitly stated.

  • Because there is no indent on Pikachu's tail, many cite this as proof that it is indeed male. Others disagree, noting Pikachu is from Kanto (which has not yet been shown to have Pikachu with indented tails in the games besides by transferring a Pikachu from Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen to Generation IV through Pal Park), and was introduced during the time of the Generation I games, before gender itself was even known for any Pokémon.
    • In a recap of the first episode in Pokemon Emergency!, the narrator states that Pikachu "left his fate in Ash's hands. However this happens only in the dub.
    • Some also cite a crush that Dawn's Buneary, who is female, has on Pikachu as proof.
    • Also, Ash has, on several occasions, referred to his Pikachu as his "buddy".
    • In the song Pikachu (I Choose You), Pikachu is referred to as Ash's brother.
    • In Team Shocker!, Pachirisu, Piplup and Buneary are cheering for Dawn in cheerleader outfit, while Pikachu is wearing a male kimono. This may suggest Pachirisu, Piplup and Buneary are female, while Pikachu is male.
    • In Tanks for the Memories!, it, Turtwig, and Piplup also look embarrassed being in maid outfits, much like Ash himself is, which may indicate that Pikachu, Turtwig, and Piplup are male.
    • In the episode Princess vs. Princess Pikachu is carrying the shopping packages with Ash and Brock due to the Princess Festival rules, it may symbolize that he is a male too.
    • In Latin America, the pronoun used to refer to Pikachu is 'he'.
    • In the episode Steamboat Willies!, Pikachu isn't in a dress along with the confirmed female Pokémon, but in the band with the confirmed male Ash's Buizel and the unconfirmed Pokémon.
    • In the movie Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, after Pikachu dressed up in a clown suit, May asks to the rest of the gang "Doesn't he look cute?" This is only confirmed in the dub at this point.
    • In Showdown at Pewter City, Brock explicitly calls Pikachu "He".
    • In the Dutch and German dubs Ash calls Pikachu a boy.

There is also some evidence supporting the theory that Pikachu might be female.

  • Gender differences don't seem to apply consistently to Pokémon caught outside Sinnoh.
    • Misty has on at least one occasion pictured Pikachu in dresses.
    • Dawn's Buneary's relation with Pikachu is one sided, meaning the Buneary might not know Pikachu's gender.
    • Ash's Bayleef's extreme rivalry with Pikachu for Ash might point to Pikachu being female too.

Related articles

For more information on this Pokémon's species, see Pikachu.

External links

Anime characters
Protagonists Ash KetchumPikachuMistyTogeticBrockTracey SketchitMayMaxDawnPiplupIrisAxewCilanSerenaClemontBonnieDedenneLanaKiaweLillieSophoclesMallowRotom Pokédex
Rivals GaryRitchieHarrisonDrewHarleyMorrisonTysonSolidadPaulNandoZoeyKennyConwayBarryUrsulaTobiasTripBiancaBurgundyStephanGeorgiaCameronVirgilAriaAlainMietteTiernoShaunaTrevorNiniSawyerGladionHoracio
Antagonists JessieJamesMeowthWobbuffetGiovanniButchCassidyDr. NambaMatoriPierceDr. ZagerGozuTabithaMaxieShellyArchieHunter JSaturnCyrusMarsJupiterCharonColressAldithGhetsisBarretMalamarLysandreMableCelosiaAlianaXerosicBryonyTuppZippRappPlumeriaGuzmaViren
Professors Professor OakProfessor IvyProfessor ElmProfessor BirchProfessor RowanProfessor CarolinaProfessor JuniperDr. FennelCedric JuniperProfessor SycamoreProfessor KukuiProfessor Burnet
Relatives Delia KetchumDaisyVioletLilyJames's parentsNanny and Pop-PopFlintLolaForrestBrock's siblingsNormanCarolineJohannaChiliCressGraceMeyerLana's fatherLana's motherHarper and SarahRangoSimaMimoKiawe's grandfatherMohnLusamineGladionSophocles's parentsMolayneAbeMallow's motherUlu
Supporting Ho-OhOfficer JennyNurse JoyMagikarp salesmanJigglypuffTodd SnapCharles GoodshowCaseyGranbullLizaSakuraLanceLarvitarRaoul ContestaMr. SukizoStevenVivian MeridianRobertScottLilian MeridianSolanaMarianLake guardiansYuzoRhondaCynthiaReggieAngieLookerIzzy and CaraLyraKhouryDon GeorgeAlderLukeFreddy O'MartianIngoEmmetMeloettaJervisNAnthea and ConcordiaPorterAlexaSophieCosetteClembotSanpeiMairinAstridDianthaGurkinnMonsieur PierrePalermoKeananMalvaSquishyZ2Guardian deitiesBewearSamson OakAnelaStoutlandHobbesNinaAnnaLakiOranguruDanaYansuLight trioWickeFabaUltra BeastsGrandpa ForestIlimaAcerolaDiaGym LeadersElite FourCoordinatorsFrontier BrainsPerformersIsland KahunasRecurring wild PokémonMany temporary characters
pt:Pikachu de Ash