From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Jump to navigationJump to search

A.J. (Japanese: アキラ Akira) is a Trainer who lives between Cerulean City and Vermilion City. His dream is to become a Pokémon Master with the help of his favorite Pokémon, Sandshrew. He ran an unofficial Gym which was not sponsored by the Pokémon League and therefore did not give out any Badges.

In the anime

A.J. in the anime

A.J. was the character of the day in The Path to the Pokémon League.

In this episode, Ash, Misty, and Brock were on their way to Vermilion City, when they heard about a local Trainer who was undefeated. Ash, eager to challenge this Trainer, went to A.J.'s Gym and saw a sign above it announcing that A.J. had been undefeated through 98 matches. A.J. returned to the Gym after catching some wild Pokémon. Ash challenged him to battle number 99.

Ash began to say how he thought low about a person with 98 victories but without a Gym Badge. A.J. responded by saying that he wasn't planning on challenging a Gym Leader until he had 100 wins in a row. Ash bragged about the two Badges he had at the time just with ten victories, and A.J. insulted him and said he must have gotten them from weak Gym Leaders, which angered both Brock and Misty. A.J. defeated Ash with his Sandshrew without much effort, causing Ash to complain and accuse A.J. of cheating.

As the group was about to leave, they looked inside the Gym, and they saw A.J. using a whip to send his Sandshrew diving into a pool. Ash attacked A.J., thinking that he was abusing his Pokémon. A.J. explained that he was strengthening his Sandshrew's resistance against water. Sandshrew and all of A.J.'s other Pokémon were wearing "strength intensifiers". He also had all of his Pokémon exercise in rigorous routines. Ash complained about A.J. treating his Pokémon too harshly and asked Brock and Misty to back him up. However, Brock instead complimented A.J. on the specialized food he prepares for his Pokémon.

Jessie, James, and Meowth tried to steal Ash's Pikachu, but ended up accidentally taking Sandshrew instead. Not knowing what had happened, Ash guessed that Sandshrew had run away, and offered A.J.'s other Pokémon spots on his team, but they ignored him. Sandshrew escaped from Team Rocket by using Dig, accidentally bringing Meowth along with him. After A.J.'s Sandshrew came back, he challenged Team Rocket to a battle, and his Sandshrew defeated Team Rocket, winning A.J. the final victory needed to set off and collect Gym Badges.

After A.J. and Sandshrew had been happily reunited, Ash realized that A.J. cared deeply for his Pokémon, despite being tough on them during training.

A.J. made another appearance in a flashback sequence of the original series' second Japanese opening theme, The Rivals, and its English dub equivalent, Pokémon World. He and his Sandshrew appear with a group of other Trainers Ash encountered during his first trip through Kanto.


This article is missing information on this character's English voice actor and Japanese voice actor.
You can help by adding this information.

This listing is of A.J.'s Pokémon in the anime.

A.J.'s Sandshrew
Sandshrew first appeared in The Path to the Pokémon League, during Ash's battle with A.J. During the battle, his Pidgeotto was easily defeated by Sandshrew. Next, Ash called out his Butterfree and went for a Stun Spore. A.J. whipped Sandshrew and told it to use Dig, allowing it to avoid the Stun Spore. It jumped out and defeated Butterfree. Ash wanted Pikachu to battle, but it refused, giving A.J. the win.

It was seen training in A.J.'s Gym, wearing what A.J. called a "strength intensifier" and using the pool. It was accidentally captured by Team Rocket, but it was able to make its way back using Dig. It had a battle against James's Koffing and Jessie's Ekans. It was able to dodge Koffing and entangle Ekans, then finished them off by using Fissure.

Sandshrew made a cameo with A.J. in the original series' second Japanese opening theme, The Rivals, and its English dub equivalent, Pokémon World.

Sandshrew's known moves are Dig, Defense Curl*, and Fissure.

Debut The Path to the Pokémon League
A.J.'s Butterfree
Butterfree appeared in The Path to the Pokémon League, where it was first seen carrying A.J.'s bag into the Gym. It was seen in A.J.'s Gym training with his Beedrill.

None of Butterfree's moves are known.

Debut The Path to the Pokémon League
Voice actors
Japanese Rikako Aikawa
English Rikako Aikawa
A.J.'s Beedrill
Beedrill appeared in The Path to the Pokémon League, where it was first seen in A.J.'s Gym, training with his Butterfree.

None of Beedrill's moves are known.

Debut The Path to the Pokémon League
A.J.'s Rattata (×3)
Rattata (×3)
These three Rattata appeared in The Path to the Pokémon League, where they were seen in A.J.'s Gym training with his Sandshrew.

None of Rattata's moves are known.

Debut The Path to the Pokémon League
Voice actors
English Michael Haigney

Voice actors

Language Voice actor
Japanese 檜山修之 Nobuyuki Hiyama
English Maddie Blaustein[note 1]
Arabic زياد الرفاعي Zeyad Errafae'ie
Czech Radovan Vaculík
Finnish Arto Nieminen
European French Frédéric Meaux
Hebrew לירון לב Liron Lev
Italian Patrizio Prata (Mediaset dub)
Davide Albano (K2 dub)
Norwegian Erik Skøld
Polish Mikołaj Klimek
Brazilian Portuguese Vágner Fagundes
Spanish Latin America Benjamin Rivera
Spain Juan Logar Jr.

  1. Credited as "Adam Blaustein"

In the manga

The Electric Tale of Pikachu

A.J. made a cameo appearance in Pikachu's Excellent Adventure. He, along with Samurai, Ash, and Brock, was making plans to find the Hidden Village, where powerful wild Pokémon supposedly live. A.J. is particularly interested in high-leveled Pokémon such as Charizard and Venusaur. He and Samurai were separated from Ash and Brock when Pikachu went missing.

A.J. appears to be a little older in the manga compared to his anime appearance.

In the games

In Pokémon Yellow, a game based on the anime, there is a Youngster on Route 9. This Trainer solely uses a level 24 Sandshrew that has the move Fissure, much like A.J.'s Sandshrew in the anime. After the player wins the battle, he says, "I'll restart my 100-win streak with Sandshrew," a reference to the fact that A.J. won 100 battles. This Trainer may be A.J., or a reference to him. In Pokémon Red and Blue, this Trainer is originally a Jr. Trainer♂, has a Growlithe and a Charmander, and says, "Keep walking!" after being defeated.



  • Before battle
"I aim to be the ultimate trainer!"
  • Being defeated
"My Sandshrew lost?"
  • After being defeated
"I'll restart my 100-win streak with Sandshrew."


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

Project COD logo.png This article is part of Project COD, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each one-time character of the Pokémon anime.