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.
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Ash Ketchum
サトシ Satoshi
Art from Diamond/Pearl anime
Age 10 (as of debut)
Gender Male
Eye color Brown
Hair color Black
Hometown Pallet Town
Region Kanto
Relatives Delia, Unknown father (EP002), Unknown grandfather (EP002) (Japanese only) (anime)
Mom (manga)
Trainer class Trainer
Game counterpart Red
Anime debut Pokémon - I Choose You!
English voice actor Veronica Taylor (4Kids)
Sarah Natochenny (TPCi)
Japanese voice actor 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. 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). His English last name is a pun on the original English Pokémon motto, "Gotta Catch 'em All!".

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

In the anime


Ash's main goal in life, as described in the first episode, 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. This 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 was reluctant 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 a 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 his Charizard, his most powerful Pokémon, refused to listen to him due to his inexperience until he had proven himself to the powerful Fire-type.

Ash's dedication to his goal paid off over time, and after earning his first eight badges, he competed in the Indigo League. He advanced further in the rounds than Gary, making it to Round Five while Gary lost his fourth round. After recovering from his defeat, he continued on to improve his skill, 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 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. In another instance, his Charizard defeated Gary's Blastoise 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, as evidenced by his treatment of Gligar in Fighting Fear With Fear!. At first, he was hesitant to let his Pokémon evolve to get stronger, but, as shown in the Advanced Generation series and Diamond & Pearl series, he has no problem at all in allowing his team members to reach their evolved forms, except for Pikachu.

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. This would later be contradicted in Setting the World on its Buneary; however, when he starts chasing and shouting at Aipom for his hat being stolen in a manner similar to Mankey.

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, Latias, Shaymin and Giratina. 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.

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 was never introduced. The anime suggests that his father was once a Pokémon Trainer that began his journey in Pallet Town, 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.

An interview with the series' storyboarder confirmed Ash's father is a Trainer on his own journey. According the same storyboarder, Ash's father may or may not be introduced at the series, depending on its necessity to Ash's further maturity and development as a Trainer.

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.


File:Ash party DP133.png
Ash and his current party

As a Trainer, Ash has captured and befriended a sizable number of Pokémon over the course of the anime's run. His philosophy on training is that Pokémon are individuals and that a combination of trust, friendship and hard work are needed to overcome the toughest of challenges. 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, but he is willing to work with any Pokémon that comes into his care. Ash tends to battle in a fairly unorthodox manner as well, and his Pokémon often reflect this.

On hand

Starly → Staravia → Staraptor
Turtwig → Grotle
Chimchar → Monferno
Gligar → Gliscor

With Professor Oak

Krabby → Kingler



Chikorita → Bayleef
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; subsequently sent it back again.
  • Aipom: Traded to Dawn for Buizel.

Given away

  • Beedrill: Caught Beedrill in the Bug-Catching Contest, but subsequently gave it to Casey due to his knowledge of her fondness for black-and-yellow-striped Pokémon.


File:Ash's Larvitar Egg.png246.png
  • Haunter: Never officially caught Haunter, but it accompanied him back to Saffron City to aid in his Gym battle against Sabrina before it decided to remain with her
  • Larvitar: Cared for Larvitar as an egg and took it home to its mother; he never caught it in a ball, but he did use it in battle on at least one occasion.



Badges obtained

Indigo League

Ash's four Orange League badges.

Orange League

Ash's eight badges from Johto.

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:

Voice actors

In the manga

Template:Mangastub The manga version of Ash Ketchum is based on the anime version, but there are many differences between the two. For example, while the anime version of Ash is indifferent to love, romance, or members of the opposite gender (or same gender, some may argue), the manga version of Ash has a huge crush on Gary's sister, May Oak. He's also prone to quickly falling in love just like Brock, but to a much more subtle/less extreme degree.


Caterpie → Metapod → Butterfree
Charmander → Charmeleon → Charizard

Traded away


Slowpoke (giant)
  • Mankey: Given away for a map, which turned out to be fake.
  • Giant Slowpoke: 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) 009/019
Ash's Grovyle Grass - - 8th Movie Half Deck (no English release) 001/020
Ash's Phanpy Fighting - - 8th Movie Half Deck (no English release) 004/020
Ash's Swellow Colorless - - 8th Movie Half Deck (no English release) 007/020
Ash's Aipom Colorless - - 9th Movie Half Deck (no English release) 010/019
Ash's Treecko Grass - - ADV-P Promotional cards (no English release) 036/ADV-P
Pikachu M Lightning 45 - Movie Commemoration Random Pack (no English release) 012/022
Staraptor M Colorless 41 - Movie Commemoration Random Pack (no English release) 018/022
Pikachu M LV.X Lightning X - DPt-P Promotional cards (no English release) 043/DPt-P



  • Ash has captured each generation's Template:Type2 starter Pokémon: Bulbasaur, Chikorita, Treecko, and 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.
  • The last Pokémon that Ash has captured in every region are a part of one-evolution families, namely Phanpy in Johto, Snorunt in Hoenn, Aipom in Kanto and Gligar in Sinnoh.
  • All together, Ash has seen at least twenty-seven different species of legendary Pokémon, and at least ten of them multiple times.
  • All of Ash's primate-based Pokémon have been under the control of someone other than Ash at any point (Primeape is currently under Anthony's command, Ambipom was under Dawn's ownership and is currently being trained in Vermilion City, and his Monferno was formerly owned by Paul.
    • All three of these primate-based Pokémon were also shown evolving on-screen, and none of them evolved in the care of their original trainer (Primeape evolved in the wild just prior to Ash capturing it, Ambipom evolved under Dawn's care, and Monferno evolved under Ash's ownership.)
  • The three Template:Type2 starter Pokémon Ash owns are each at a different evolutionary stage. Cyndaquil is in its first, Monferno its second, and Charizard its third.

Challenges/Gym related

  • 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.
  • During his adventures in Kanto, the Orange Islands, and Johto, Ash pinned his badges to the inside of his jacket. From Hoenn onwards, they have been kept in a case.
  • Discounting Koga, who was a Gym Leader at the time of Ash's battle against him, Ash has so far battled three Elite Four members, namely Prima, Drake and Agatha, losing to all three.
  • The longest time between episodes that Ash has gone without obtaining a badge was the 31-episode gap between The Grass Menagerie! and A Triple Fighting Chance!.


File:Ash maid.jpg
Ash crossdressing for the third time.
  • Ash has crossdressed once in each anime series: The first time he did this was in Pokémon Scent-sation!, in the original series. He crossdressed a second time in Love at First Flight, in the Advanced Generation series. Tanks for the Memories! marked the third time he crossdressed, in the Diamond & Pearl series. Each time Ash has crossdressed, he was never willing to do so and was coerced or forced into it in some way.
    • In addition to dressing as a girl, Ash has dressed up as fruit on at least two occasions. The first time, he dressed as an apple in Pokémon Food Fight! while the second he dressed as an aubergine in Claydol Big and Tall. On both occasions he was used to lure a large Pokémon.
  • Several of the variety of ash trees, from which his name could be derived, are related to Kanto in some way: not only are there trees known as the "red ash", "green ash", and "blue ash", for the first three games, but also the "indigo ash", for the Indigo Plateau.


Language Name Origin
Japanese サトシ Satoshi Can be taken to mean 智 (wisdom; reason); named after Satoshi Tajiri.
English, German 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. Also, Ash is a default name for Red in Pokémon Red and Blue. Ash trees are suggested as another explanation as well.
French Sacha Ketchum Similar to Ash.
Korean 한지우 Han Jiu 지 is from 智 satoshi.
Chinese 小智 Xiǎo Zhì 智 is from 智 satoshi.

Related articles

External links

On Bulbagarden forums

Games: BlueLanceRedStevenWallace
CynthiaAlderIrisDianthaAll player characters
Anime: CaptainDrakeAsh KetchumLanceCynthia
Origins: BlueRed
Generations: BlueCynthiaDianthaCalem
Adventures: Professor OakRedSidney
EToP: DrakeAsh Ketchum
Zensho: ShigeruSatoshi
Other: Ronald*Rald*

Indigo Plateau Conference: MandiPeteGaryJeanetteMelissaAshRitchieAssunta
Silver Conference: DarrenSalvadorJacksonMacyGaryAshHarrisonJon
Ever Grande Conference: JumpVivicaGilbertGavinDominickClark
Lily of the Valley Conference: JeffreyNandoBarryConwayPaulAshTobias
Vertress Conference: RadleyMikaelUltimoKendrickTripBiancaEmmanuel
Lumiose Conference: TrevorTitusAstridTiernoRemoSawyerAshAlain

Anime characters
Protagonists Ash KetchumPikachuMistyTogeticBrockTracey SketchitMayMaxDawnPiplupIrisAxewCilanSerenaClemontBonnieDedenneLanaKiaweLillieSophoclesMallowRotom Pokédex
Rivals GaryRitchieHarrisonDrewHarleyMorrisonTysonSolidadPaulZoeyNandoKennyConwayBarryUrsulaTobiasTripBiancaBurgundyStephanGeorgiaCameronVirgilAlainAriaMietteTiernoShaunaTrevorNiniSawyerGladion
Antagonists JessieJamesMeowthWobbuffetGiovanniButchCassidyDr. NambaMatoriPierceDr. ZagerShellyArchieTabithaMaxieHunter JSaturnMarsJupiterCyrusCharonColressAldithGhetsisBarretLysandreXerosicCelosiaBryonyMableAlianaTuppZippRappFaba
Professors Professor OakProfessor IvyProfessor ElmProfessor BirchProfessor RowanProfessor CarolinaProfessor JuniperCedric JuniperDr. FennelProfessor SycamoreProfessor KukuiProfessor Burnet
Relatives Delia KetchumFlintLolaForrestBrock's siblingsDaisyVioletLilyJames's parentsNanny and Pop-PopNormanCarolineJohannaChiliCressGraceMeyerLana's motherHarper and SarahLusamineGladionRangoSimaMimoKiawe's grandfatherAbeMallow's brotherSophocles's parents
Supporting Officer JennyNurse JoyMagikarp salesmanTodd SnapCharles GoodshowCaseyLizaSakuraLanceStevenMr. SukizoRaoul ContestaVivian MeridianRobertScottLilian MeridianMarianRhondaCynthiaReggieAngieLookerLyraKhouryDon GeorgeAlderLukeFreddy O'MartianIngoEmmetJervisNAnthea and ConcordiaPorterAlexaSophieCosetteClembotSanpeiMairinDianthaGurkinnMonsieur PierrePalermoKeananMalvaSquishyZ2Samson OakHobbesNebbyWickeGym LeadersElite FourFrontier BrainsIsland KahunasMany temporary characters

Main characters
Ash KetchumPikachuGary OakRitchieMay OakProfessor OakDelia KetchumJessieJamesMeowth
Gym Leaders
A.J.AyaBillDamianDarioDuplicaEevee brothersGiselleJeanette FisherOfficer JennyJoeNurse Joy
Lara LaramieMahriMelanieMikeyMimiProfessor OrvillePotterFlorinda ShowersRubySamuraiTommy