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Delia Ketchum (Japanese: ハナコ Hanako), also known as Mrs. Ketchum (Japanese: ママさん Mama-san) is a recurring character in the Pokémon anime. She is the mother of Ash.
In the main anime
According to Takeshi Shudō's novelization, she runs Pallet Town's only restaurant, Pallet House, which she inherited from her mother. When she was younger, she dreamed of becoming both a model and a Pokémon Trainer, but abandoned those dreams to run the restaurant after Ash was born. Pocket Monsters: The Animation also elaborates that the reason why she raised Ash by herself is that his father married her fast and then left just as fast due to him being a Pokémon Trainer. It is also implied that the reason he and Ash's grandfather didn't return is because they achieved nothing in their goal.
Delia made her debut in Pokémon - I Choose You!, telling Ash that he should get to bed for his big day tomorrow. She was then seen in front of Professor Oak's Laboratory with a small group of people from Pallet Town, cheering Ash on as he walked out with his first Pokémon. She was shown to be very sad that her little boy was growing up, but quickly put it aside to tell him everything that she had packed in his backpack for his journey. When she unintentionally insulted Pikachu, who was already upset at getting Ash for a Trainer, he used his Thunder Shock and shocked the entire group.
She was seen again in the the next episode when Ash decided to call her while waiting for his Pikachu to be healed by Nurse Joy. She seemed to be surprised that he was already in Viridian. She also mentioned his father, saying it took him four days to get there when he began his Pokémon journey. Mentioning that his father would be proud of him, she commented that he was the apple of his eye. When he continued to shoot down her words of encouragement, she became angry and scolded him by telling him that he can do anything he set his mind to.
She made an appearance in Beauty and the Beach, where she, along with Professor Oak and Gary, visited Porta Vista. She sat in the stands during the beauty and costume contest, and held the winner's trophy at the end of the episode, telling Professor Oak that she is proud of Ash.
She appeared again in It's Mr. Mime Time, watching a performance of the Pokémon Circus. She watched what appeared to be a Mr. Mime, but was actually Ash in costume. This was only revealed to her when Ash fought Team Rocket, later stealing their balloon. Later, she invited Brock and Misty over to her house for lunch. A wild Mr. Mime that Ash, Brock, and Misty saw at the beginning of the episode tapped on the window, and Delia thought it was Ash. When letting "Ash" in for a snack, the real Ash appeared, revealing to Delia that the Mr. Mime wasn't fake. Ash asked Mr. Mime to help him, and Delia encouraged it, offering it a big dessert. Later, when Team Rocket stole the circus's Pokémon with a tank, she had the wild Mr. Mime help stop Team Rocket. Stella's Mr. Mime and the wild one built a solid tower around the tank, causing Team Rocket's missile to rebound and send them blasting off again. At the end of the episode, the wild Mr. Mime, whom Delia had nicknamed Mimey, decided to stay with her.
Delia next appeared in Showdown at the Po-ké Corral. Ash greeted his mother in the kitchen and told her that Mimey had vacuumed his face to wake him up, to which she responded that Mimey generally cleaned dirty things. She also told him that Mimey only listens to her. Later in the episode, Team Rocket appeared as a news crew at her house, claiming that they wanted to have an interview with Ash, but Delia told them that Ash was at Oak's laboratory.
In The Evolution Solution, Delia went to the Seafoam Islands with Ash and his friends.
In Make Room for Gloom, she told her son to help out in the garden, but Ash says that he had to do some "serious training" in the mountains. She told him and his friends to get three to four hundred pounds of fertilizer from the Xanadu Nursery.
In Go West Young Meowth, she went to Hollywood with Ash and his friends. They were the only ones to watch the premiere of Cleavon Schpielbunk's new movie, Pokémon in Love, which was filmed in the previous episode.
Three episodes later, she wished Ash good luck as he headed off to the Indigo Plateau for the Indigo Plateau Conference.
She reappeared in A Friend In Deed, standing outside a restaurant in the Indigo Plateau with Prof. Oak, where she met up with Ash and his friends. She acted as a cook in the restaurant, much to the confusion of the cooks. When she had cooked for them, they sat down to eat and talk. Later, she ended up stuck in an elevator with Ash, his friends, Prof. Oak, and Ritchie, before when Ritchie and Pikachu saved them.
In Friend and Foe Alike, she watched Ash's round five battle against Ritchie with Brock, Misty, and Prof. Oak, and wondered why Ash was not there for the start, unaware that he had been kidnapped by Team Rocket. She was very relieved when he eventually showed up.
In Friends to the End, Delia was shown worrying about Ash when he would not get out of bed.
Delia was seen again in A Tent Situation, when she arrived at her house and found Ash, Misty, Brock, and Tracey there. She told Ash, Misty, and Tracey that she found Brock on the ground in a field of grass. She let him stay at her house, and he had been doing chores for her while they were away. They discussed this over dinner, and when Ash showed her his Orange League trophy, she mentioned that she could use it as a dumbbell. Later in the episode, she and Mimey packed things into Ash's backpack in preparation of him going to Johto for the Johto League the next day.
Delia appeared in Saved by the Beldum, watching Ash light the Pokémon League torch. Later, in The Scheme Team, she was seen welcoming Ash home.
In The Right Place and the Right Mime, she was shown wondering what to cook for dinner, before May and her Bulbasaur, Combusken, and Munchlax appeared at the door. Later, May and Delia went to Professor Oak's laboratory and had tea as Ash explained the Battle Frontier to everyone. After hearing this, Delia said that there are Contest Halls in Kanto, which excited May. As Ash said that he would be leaving the next day, Professor Oak asked Delia if she was worried about Ash leaving on another journey, however, she said that she wasn't. When Team Rocket tried to steal Ash's Pokémon again, Delia and Professors Oak and Birch ran out of the lab. Delia stopped Professor Birch from helping Ash and his friends from getting their Pokémon back, saying that it was their fight. When Team Rocket blasted off, Delia said that she knew they could do it. Later in the episode, Delia said her goodbyes to Ash as he set off again.
In Home is Where the Start Is!, neither Delia nor Mimey were in Ash's house when he came back from his Battle Frontier journey. He went to Professor Oak's laboratory, where the Professor and Tracey were also missed. Delia was found in the sitting room alongside Mimey, Tracey, Gary, and the Professor to welcome Ash home. Delia was presented with all seven of her son's Frontier Symbols. Soon, Delia watched Ash and Pikachu's battle against Gary and his Electivire. After Gary won and left for Sinnoh, Ash announced that he will go to Sinnoh as well. Delia was seen sewing Ash's new clothes for him that night.
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Ash eventually received his new clothes that Delia made for him in When Pokémon Worlds Collide!.
Delia appeared briefly in Strategy Begins at Home!. She was delivering some herbs to Professor Oak when she noticed he was talking to Ash over the videophone. She interrupted their conversation and then started talking to Dawn's mother, Johanna. As Ash was staying at Johanna's house for the duration of the Twinleaf Festival, she told her to feel free to scold Ash if needed, much to Ash's embarrassment.
Delia also made a cameo appearance in the ending credits of Giratina and the Sky Warrior, where it was shown that Ash sent her a bouquet of Gracidea flowers.
Delia appeared in In the Shadow of Zekrom!. She went on a trip to the Unova region with Professor Oak and her son by plane. Delia was separated from her son after Team Rocket tried to capture Pikachu, but they failed when their machine was destroyed by lightning. Ash and Pikachu were pulled into the storm, and they woke up on the ground with Delia and Professor Oak by their side. Professor Juniper eventually drove up and got them to Nuvema Town.
In the next episode, Ash departed on his Unova journey and Delia returned home to Kanto.
Her next appearance was in The Dream Continues!. In her house, she welcomed her son home and took his laundry. She said that by the look of Ash's backpack, he certainly did his best. While Ash was at Professor Oak's laboratory, she sewed some new clothes again. Later, during dinner at home with her son, Alexa, and Professor Oak, Ash decided to travel to the Kalos region. Delia suddenly left, and everyone worried that she was upset. However, she returned soon with a smile and new clothes for Ash, wishing him good luck. The next day, after Ash's plane left Delia said at the airport that Ash is always ready for adventures, and that's how boys should be. At the end of the episode, she was shown with a picture of Ash and all of his Pokémon.
Delia appeared in Till We Compete Again!, where she and Professor Oak spoke to Ash and his friends via a video call and told Serena, Clemont, and Bonnie that they are welcome to stop by.
Delia appeared in Alola to New Adventure!, in which she was shown to have traveled to Alola along with Ash after Mimey won a trip to the region in the lottery. By the end of the episode, she had already returned to Pallet Town and was seen talking to Ash over a video call.
Delia traveled to Alola again in Alolan Open House!, in which she reunited with Ash at Professor Kukui's house. She met her son's Pokémon and gave them nicknames: Rocky (Japanese イちゃん I-chan) for Rockruff, Rowlie (Japanese モクちゃん Mok-chan) for Rowlet, Littie (Japanese ニャビーちゃん Nyabby-chan) for Litten, and Dexy Wexy (Japanese ズカンちゃん Zukan-chan) for the Rotom Pokédex. Later, she went to the Pokémon School, which was welcoming students' relatives as part of the Visiting Day. She watched Ash's presentation and was seen chatting with Sophocles's parents. She took a liking for Litten and even used it in battle against Tupp, Zipp, and Rapp from Team Skull. She left Ash and returned to Kanto by the end of the episode.
She appeared again in Alola, Kanto!, welcoming her son home, along with his classmates, Professor Kukui, and Samson Oak.
Delia's first movie appearance was in The Power of One, in which she played a supporting role. She accompanied Professor Oak to the Orange Islands when the freak weather storms caused by the legendary birds began, during which she continued to worry about her son. She and Oak eventually made it to Shamouti Island towards the end of the film, after Lugia had calmed the legendary birds and brought the storms to an end, where she scolded Ash for risking his life in undergoing his role as "the chosen one".
She appeared again in Spell of the Unown: Entei, where she played a key role. She arrived in Greenfield upon hearing about what happened to Spencer Hale, as well as the subsequent crisis in Greenfield. Soon after, she was kidnapped by the illusionary Entei created by the Unown and taken to the crystal tower, where she was forced to act as a "mother" to Molly Hale. Ash and his friends made their way into the former Hale mansion to rescue her. In the process, they had to battle Entei and the Unown, who were feeding upon the emotions of the grieving Molly, in the process.
Delia made a cameo appearance in the credits of Giratina and the Sky Warrior, where she was seen receiving a bouquet of Gracidea sent by Ash and Pikachu from the Sinnoh region.
A younger Delia with Professor Oak and Spencer Hale
Delia Ketchum is a relatively reserved woman. She is usually quiet and cheerful, but when angered, she makes it known. In fact, she once shouted at an illusionary Entei and said he should be ashamed of himself in Spell of the Unown: Entei. It was also revealed during the film that she was once a student of Professor Oak, along with Spencer Hale.
Delia lives in Pallet Town with Mimey, a Mr. Mime that she befriended in It's Mr. Mime Time. She is shown to care for Ash deeply, as he is her only child. She does reprimand him sometimes, as in the first episode, when she told him to go to bed so he would be ready for his first day as a Pokémon Trainer. Throughout Ash's journey, Delia has mainly stayed at home, but she traveled with Ash to the Unova region in In The Shadow of Zekrom!. She flew home once Ash left on his quest to collect the Unova League Gym Badges.
Brock once commented that she would make a great Pokémon Trainer because of her perseverance. Her husband was mentioned in Pokémon Emergency! as a Trainer still on his journey. However, he has yet to appear onscreen.
This listing is of Delia's known Pokémon in the anime:
Delia appeared in I Choose You!, which is set in a different continuity from the main series. On the day Ash was supposed to get his first Pokémon, Delia woke him up, as he had accidentally broken his alarm clock and slept late. When her son asked her why she had not awakened him, she reminded him that he had told her he could wake up himself on such an important day. After Professor Oak gave Ash his first Pokémon, Pikachu, Delia showed up at Professor Oak's Laboratory to give her son new clothes and a backpack for his journey. She remarked Ash had already become friends with Pikachu, after which Pikachu shocked Ash, Delia, and Professor Oak.
She later spoke with Ash via a video conversation, worried and upset that Ash had not called her earlier.
|| Voice actor
|| 豊島まさみ Masami Toyoshima
|| Veronica Taylor (EP001-AG133, movies 2-3)|
Sarah Natochenny (AG192-present)
|| Marta Aparicio
|| Ann Hjort |
|| Beatrijs Sluyter
|| Klariz Magboo
|| Elise Langenoja (EP001-EP002, EP266-EP273, DP003)|
Jenni Sivonen (EP064-EP079)
Minna Tasanto (movies 2 and 3)
Hanna-Maija Nikander (AG132-AG133)
Henna Haverinen (AG192, BW001-BW002)
Ella Pyhältö (DP138)
Susa Saukko (BW142)
|| Nathalie Coupal
|| Catherine Conet
|| Marion Hartmann
|| לירז ברגמן Liraz Bergman|
טליה ברקאי Talya Barkai
|| दिनाज फरहान Dinaaz Farhan (Hungama Dub)
|| Þrúður Vilhjálmsdóttir (M03)
|| Diah Sekartadji Wulandari (BW001-present)
|| Cinzia Massironi
|| Lena Meieran|
Christin Borge (movie 2)
|| Anna Bielańska (EP001-EP116, movie 3)|
Krystyna Kozanecka (movie 2)
Agata Rzeszewska (EP225-EP273)
Joanna Węgrzynowska (DP003)
Katarzyna Pysiak (DP138)
Anna Sroka (BW001-BW002)
Anna Gajewska (BW142, XY140)
|| Vanessa Alves (Seasons 1-6, 16)|
Lene Bastos (Pokémon Chronicles, DP003)
Luísa Viegas (AG132-AG133)
Elisa Villon (AG192, DP138)
Denise Reis (BW001)
Angélica Borges (SM001-present)
|| Teresa Madruga (EP001-EP041)|
Sandra de Castro (EP042-EP118, EP160-AG145)
Helena Montez (EP119-EP159)
Paula Pais (mid-Johto)
Isabel Ribas (AG146-AG192)
Rita Fernandes (DP003)
Isabel Queirós (DP138)
Ângela Marques (BW001-present)
|| Latin America
|| Ana Patricia Anides (EP001-EP273, DP138-BW142, SM001-present)|
Rebeca Manríquez (SS004, SS014)
Kerygma Flores (AG132)
Elena Rámirez (AG192, DP003)
Mildred Barrera (XY140)
|| Cecilia Santiago (EP001-EP002)|
Marisa Marco (EP064-BW142)
Ana Richart (XY140-present)
Ana Jiménez (movie 2)
Marta García (movie 3)
|| Pernilla Wahlgren
In the manga
Delia in The Electric Tale of Pikachu
In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga
Delia appears briefly in the manga series, The Electric Tale of Pikachu, which is based on the anime.
In Pikachu, I See You!, she and Ash discover Pikachu under the floorboards of their house, chewing on the wiring to eat the electricity. Later, she gives Ash a tearful farewell as he leaves on his Pokémon Trainer's journey.
In the movie adaptations
Delia appeared in Emperor of the Crystal Tower: Entei and Satoshi and Pikachu's Beginning.
- In Pokémon Live!, it is stated that Delia dated Giovanni and was in his gang, but took a better route in life when she met Ash's father, though this might not be the case in the anime.
- In the English dub, Delia and Ash have always shared the same voice actress, even after The Pokémon Company International changed all of the character's voice actors. Originally, both mother and son were voiced by Veronica Taylor. Since the voice actor switch, both have been voiced by Sarah Natochenny.
|| ハナコ Hanako
|| From 花子. Means flower child. Also often used as an example female name, similar to Jane Doe in English.
|| Delia Ketchum
|| May be a reference to Dahlia, a flower. Ketchum is a pun on "Gotta Catch 'em all" the original slogan of the franchise.
|| 영자 Yeongja
|| From 英子 Hanako.
|| 花子 Huāzǐ
|| From 花子 Hanako.
|| Делия Кетчум Deliya Ketchum
|| Transliteration of her English name.
|| ฮานาโกะ Hanako
|| Transliteration of her Japanese name