From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
- 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 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), his Brazilian voice actor is Fábio Lucindo, his Italian voice actor is Davide Garbolino, and his Spanish voice actors are Adolfo Moreno (Spain) and Gabriel Ramos (Latin America). 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 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.
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 (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 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 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, particularly the maternal skills of Brock. The honour 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 in Gotta Catch Ya Later as well as Brock, 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 demonstrates his maturity in the earlier seasons.
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 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 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, and also half of a ribbon he received in a contest against May before she left to 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.
With Professor Oak
Arbok (Used during a Pokémon League exam)
Weezing (Used during a Pokémon League exam)
Meowth (Used during a Pokémon League exam)
Seaking (Released as part of Contest Rules)
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 50 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 10.14% of the current number of Pokémon. This line was eventually dropped in 2003.
- Ash has caught or received 63 different individual Pokémon, 30 of which are his Tauros.
- Other than Krabby and his Tauros, Ash has never caught a Pokémon when his party had six members.
- 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 Battle Frontier, which, ironically, were both "filler seasons" before the start of even-numbered generations.
- 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).
- 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 obtained by May and Brock. However, it is possible that the trend will be reestablished in the Diamond & Pearl 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.
- Ash has captured a form of each Template:Type2 Pokémon 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 and Blaine, 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.
- 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 a confirmed interest is named Giselle whom appeared in The School of Hard Knocks.
- The only Template:Type2 starter Ash has not owned is Torchic.
- Ash is the only main character that has caught a shiny 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 had 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.
- Ash has crossdressed once in each anime series: Pokémon Scent-sation was the first time, in the original series, Love at First Flight was the second, in the Advanced Generation series, and DP062 was the third, in the Diamond & Pearl series.
- Ash has owned four Pokémon that have also been owned by Gym Leaders. Falkner (Pidgeot), Flannery (Torkoal), Winona (Swellow), and Gardenia (Turtwig). Coincidently, all of them either have bird or turtle-like Pokémon. Other Gym Leaders have owned Pokémon that happened to be either the evolved form or pre-evolved form of one of Ash's Pokémon. Lt. Surge's Raichu (Pikachu), Cissy's Blastoise (Squirtle), Falkner's Hoothoot (Noctowl), and Bugsy's Metapod (Butterfree). Another coincidence is that three of the four female Gym Leaders own a turtle/tortoise-like Pokémon.
- Ash last released a Pokémon during the original series. Since its end, he has been leaving his Pokémon at Professor Oak's lab often.
- All of Ash's primate-based Pokémon have been owned by two Trainers - Paul previously owned Chimchar, Anthony currently owns Primeape, and Dawn currently owns Aipom which later evolved into Ambipom.
- All of Ash's Pokémon that have evolved twice (Butterfree, Charizard, and Sceptile) have evidence that they are male.
- Ash has the most Pokémon that know moves that they can't learn in the games: Caterpie with Counter, Bulbasaur with Tickle, Dig, and Whirlwind, Raticate with Hi Jump Kick, Staravia with Gust, Charizard with Tackle, and Larvitar with Harden.
- Although Ash is the main character of the Pokémon anime, he has never been featured on an English TCG card.
- Ash has three turtle-like, Basic-Stage Pokémon: Squirtle, Torkoal and Turtwig. Each corresponds to one of the three elemental types of the starter Pokémon, though Torkoal isn't a starter itself.
- Both of Ash's primate-based Pokémon that evolved did not evolve under his ownership: Primeape evolved from Mankey in the wild, and Aipom evolved into Ambipom under Dawn's ownership. Chimchar has not yet evolved. Interestingly, both of these Pokémon have also annoyed Ash by stealing his hat.
- Despite having 2 Soothe Bells, Ash has yet to capture any Pokémon that evolve through happiness, while both Brock and Dawn have one on their team (Buneary and Happiny). If Ash's Soothe Bells are intended for a different purpose, it has yet to be revealed.
|| サトシ Satoshi
|| Can be taken to mean 智 (wisdom; reason).
|| Ash Ketchum
|| Ketchum sounds similar to catch 'em.
|| Same as English name
|| 한지우 Han Jiu
|| 지 is from 智 satoshi.
|| 小智 Xiǎo Zhì
|| 智 is from 智 satoshi.
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 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.
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