Ash Ketchum

From Academic Kids

Ash Ketchum wearing the outfit worn in Kanto, Johto, and the Orange Islands

Ash Ketchum is a fictional character in the Pokémon line of game products.

The trainer Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town, known as Satoshi (サトシ) in the original Japanese and Red in most of the games (see Non-Anime Info) is the main character of the Pokémon anime, the Pokémon manga series (Electric Tale of Pikachu), and the Ash & Pikachu manga.

At the start of the series Ash's personality is largely that of the fairly stereotypical shounen hero: very excitable, empathic, sometimes focused to the point of distraction, and clever in regards to his interests but often little else.

Ash is described as a Pokémon trainer. Like many Pokémon Trainers, Ash aspires to be the greatest Pokémon Master, and to do this, he travels through regions battling Gym Leaders and entering in Pokémon League competitions, similar to the protagonists of the Pokémon video games. He is first accompanied by Gym Leaders Misty and Brock, and later on by Tracey Sketchit in Pocket Monsters, and May and Max in Advanced Generation.

His lifelong rival is Gary Oak. When he became 10 years old, he was to receive his first Pokémon. He overslept and by the time he arrived at Professor Oak's Laboratory, all the starter Pokémon (Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle) had been taken and he had to start with a Pikachu instead. His Pikachu has the particular characteristic of hating Pokéballs so it always tags along with Ash. Because of Pikachu's powerful electric attacks, Ash is the frequent target of Team Rocket's plans of stealing Pokémon for their own interests.

The given names Ash and Satoshi were one of the default choices for names in Pokémon Red (and similarly, Gary and Shigeru for Pokémon Blue). The surname Ketchum is believed to be a pun on the phrase "catch'em". It is possible that he was given this surname to match the number of mouthflaps in the anime (Satoshi has 2 more syllabes then Ash)

In the English anime, Delia Ketchum, Ash's mother, oftentimes pesters him to change his underwear every day; the gag runs throughout the Kanto episodes. In the original Japanese, his mother's name is Hanako. The identity of Ash's father is unknown, as his parents are separated. For some time, it had been widely speculated that Ash's father may in fact be Giovanni, the head of Team Rocket. However, these are merely speculations based on the non-canonical musical Pokémon Live, in which it was revealed that Delia had a relationship with Giovanni while they were younger.

Satoshi is voiced by Rika Matsumoto in the original, while Ash is voiced by Veronica Taylor in the English version.


Kanto and the Indigo League


Main anime characters

Ash Ketchum

Gary Oak
Tracey Sketchit


Team Rocket

Ash's Road to the Indigo League:

  • Pewter Gym
    • 2 vs 2 Elimination—Brock (Onix) d. Ash (Pikachu). Match aborted by Ash.
    • 2 vs 2 Elimination—Ash (Pidgeotto, Pikachu) NC Brock (Geodude/Onix). Match aborted by Ash (because Brock's siblings grabbed him), but Brock concedes defeat.
  • Cerulean Gym
    • 2 vs 2 Elimination—Ash (Butterfree, Pidgeotto) NC Misty (Staryu/Starmie). Match interrupted by Team Rocket, Misty's sisters concede defeat, citing that Ash would have won if Pikachu was used.
  • Vermilion Gym
    • 1 vs 1—Lt. Surge (Raichu) d. Ash (Pikachu).
    • 1 vs 1—Ash (Pikachu) d. Lt. Surge (Raichu). This was the very first gym badge that Ash really earned, by defeating the Gym Leader.
  • Saffron Gym
    • 1 vs 1—Sabrina (Kadabra) d. Ash (Pikachu). Ash forfeits.
    • 1 vs 1—Ash (Pikachu) d. Sabrina (Kadabra). Sabrina was unable to continue due to the antics of Haunter, giving the match to Ash.
  • Celadon Gym
  • Fuchsia Gym
    • 2 vs 2 Elimination—Ash (Pidgeotto, Charmander) NC Koga (Venomoth). Match interrupted by Team Rocket.
    • 1 vs 1—Ash (Charmander) d. Koga (Golbat).
  • Cinnabar Gym
  • Viridian Gym
  • Indigo Plateau
    • Qualifying Round (Water Field), 3 vs 3 Elimination—Ash (Kingler) d. Mandy (Exeggutor, Seadra, Golbat).
    • Qualifying Round (Rock Field), 3 vs 3 Elimination—Ash (Squirtle) d. an unnamed trainer (Nidorino). Ash wins as the episode begins.
    • Qualifying Round (Ice Field), 3 vs 3 Elimination—Ash (Kingler, Pikachu) d. an unnamed trainer (Cloyster, Arcanine).
    • Qualifying Round (Grass Field), 3 vs 3 Elimination—Ash (Bulbasaur, Pikachu, Muk) d. Jeanette Fisher (Beedrill, Scyther, Bellsprout).
    • Round of 16, 3 vs 3 Elimination—Richie (Butterfree, Charmander, Pikachu) d. Ash (Squirtle, Pikachu, Charizard). Charizard refuses to battle, making Ash forfeit the match.

The Orange Islands

After ending up among the 16 best in the Indigo Pokémon League, Ash ventured towards the Orange Islands to get a GS ball for Professor Oak. There, he discovered that there were Pokémon Gyms there as well and took the challenge enthusiastically. A Pokémon Watcher named Tracey traveled with them while they were in the Orange Islands.

Ash's road to the Orange League:

  • Mikan Island Gym
    • Water Gun Challenge—Ash (Squirtle) draws Sissy (Seadra). A Water Gun Shooting Challenge, both with stationary and moving targets.
    • Pokémon Wave Ride—Ash (Lapras) d. Sissy (Blastoise). A race where trainers must stand atop their surfing Pokémon.
  • Navel Island Gym
    • Geyser Challenge—Danny (Nidoqueen) d. Ash (Lapras). First Pokémon to freeze hot water from a Geyser wins.
    • Sled Carving—Ash (Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charizard) d. Danny (Nidoqueen, Scyther, Machoke). First team to carve a sled from the resulting ice pillar wins.
    • Sled Race—Ash (Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Squirtle) d. Danny (Geodude, Scyther, Electrode). A race down a mountain using the sled.
  • Trouvita Island Gym
    • Target Challenge—Ash passes the challenge (knocking down targets while on a moving boat) with Pikachu, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Charizard.
    • 3 vs 3 Type Battle—Ash (Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Squirtle) d. Rudy (Electabuzz, Exeggutor, Starmie). Best two out of three matches, with opposing Pokémon being of the same type.
  • Kumquat Island Gym
    • 2 vs 2 Double Battle—Ash (Pikachu, Charizard) d. Luana (Alakazam, Marowak). The first Pokémon to faint loses the battle for the trainer (this differs from a Hoenn Double Battle where both Pokémon have to faint).
  • Pummelo Island


Missing image
Ash & Chikorita

When he finally returned to Professor Oak, the professor told Ash to venture off into Johto to give the GS ball to Kurt, a famed pokéball expert, and he did so (Tracey stayed with Oak). Upon arriving there, he found out about the Johto League, signed up and started facing the gym leaders from Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal.

Ash's Road to the Johto League:

  • Violet Gym
  • Azalea Gym
  • Goldenrod Gym
    • 3 vs 3 Elimination—Whitney (Nidorina, Clefairy, Miltank) d. Ash (Cyandaquil, Totodile, Pikachu).
    • 3 vs 1 Elimination—Ash (Cyandaquil, Totodile, Pikachu) d. Whitney (Miltank).
  • Ecruteak Gym
  • Cianwood Gym
  • Olivine Gym
    • 2 vs 2 Elimination—Ash (Pikachu, Cyandaquil) d. Jasmine (Magnemite, Steelix).
  • Mahogany Gym
    • 2 vs 2 Elimination—Pryce (Dewgong) d. Ash (Phanpy). Ash forfeits the match.
    • 2 vs 2 Elimination—Ash (Cyandaquil, Pikachu) d. Pryce (Dewgong, Piloswine). Pryce forfeits the match.
  • Blackthorn Gym
    • 2 vs 2 Elimination—Ash (Pikachu, Noctowl) NC Clair (Kingdra). Match interrupted by Team Rocket stealing the Dragon Fang.
    • 3 vs 3 Elimination—Ash (Snorlax, Pikachu, Charizard) d. Clair (Kingra, Gyarados, Dragonair).
  • Silver Town
    • Group Stage, 3 vs 3 Elimination—Ash (Totodile, Phanpy, Squirtle) d. Macy (Slugma, Electabuzz, Quilava).
    • Group Stage, 3 vs 3 Elimination—Ash (Pikachu, Cyandaquil, Bulbasaur) ties Jackson (Azumarill, Magneton, Meganium).
    • Round of 16, 6 vs 6 Elimination—Ash (Tauros, Heracross, Muk, Bayleef, Snorlax, Charizard) d. Gary (Nidoqueen, Magmar, Blastoise, Arcanine, Scizor, Golem).
    • Quarterfinals, 6 vs 6 Elimination—Harrison (Kecleon, Sneasel, Hypno, Steelix, Houndoom, Blaziken) d. Ash (Pikachu, Totodile, Snorlax, Noctowl, Bayleef, Charizard).


A group image of Ash, May, Brock, Max (and some of their Pokémon) in Hoenn

Once he finally made it to the Johto League Silver Conference, he beats Gary Oak, but is defeated by Harrison (Hazuki) from Hoenn. Excited, Ash makes his way to Hoenn, but Misty has to leave to take care of the gym and Brock needs to take care of something so he travels alone. After deciding to start his journey over again, Ash leaves all his Pokémon behind except Pikachu.

In Hoenn, he meets up with a trainer called May (Haruka) who travels with him and when they pass through Petalburg City, May's little know-it-all brother Max (Masato) joins them too. They find Brock in Petalburg Forest and continue exploring Hoenn following closely the path players took when playing Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. This is where the anime episodes currently are.

Ash's Road to the Hoenn League (in progress, includes Gym Battles only seen in Japan):

Ash's Pokémon

As a Pokémon trainer, Ash carries six Pokémon with him that forms his team's active roster. However, due to the anime being not strictly conforming to the video games, there are Pokémon that are on Ash's team that have not been formally caught by Ash. This often allowed Ash to be accompanied by more than six Pokémon. An even looser definition of Ash's team allows for Pokémon that are caught by other regular characters. However, only the first is discussed.

Ash has carried many Pokémon on his active roster. Outside of Pikachu, the Pokémon have many regular appearances, and they can often be grouped into major categories. These have included:

The following is a list of Pokémon who have been caught by Ash, in order of appearance:

  • Pikachu - Pikachu was the first Pokémon that Ash obtains, and the only one that has always been with Ash in every adventure. Preferring not to stay in its Pokéball, the two found friendship together.
  • Caterpie - The first Pokémon that Ash catches, Caterpie is the first Pokémon that Ash has caught without effort.
  • Pidgeotto - Ash's second Pokemon, caught shortly (after an embarrassing start) after Caterpie. Pidgeotto proves most useful to Ash outside of battle, often attacking the hot-air balloons Team Rocket often attacks or escapes in.
  • Metapod - Evolved from Caterpie after a victory against Team Rocket, Metapod was involved in a Pokémon Battle against another Metapod where the only attack that either could use was Harden.
  • Butterfree - Butterfree was evolved from Metapod very early on in the series. However, Ash was forced to let it go during the Butterfree mating season.
  • Bulbasaur - Bulbasaur is one of the most senior Pokémon on Ash's team. It is a leader and mediator, preferring peaceful resolutions to conflicts over fighting. Bulbasaur has spent equal time alongside Ash as well as in Pallet Town, where its mediation skills keeps the peace between the many Pokémon that reside there.
  • Charmander - Ash finds this Charmander sitting on a rock in the wilderness. Initially belonging to another trainer who abandoned it, Ash took it to a Pokemon Center to recover from prolonged exposure to the elements and ill-tempered Spearow. After recovering, Charmander eventually rejected his old trainer for Ash.
  • Squirtle - Having been abandoned by another trainer, Squirtle was the leader of a group called the "Squirtle Squad". When the Squirtle Squad saves a nearby town from a forest fire, Squirtle joined Ash on his adventures while its fellow squad members formed the town's fire department. Having to return to the Squirtle Squad after seeing his squad members in bad shape due to the lack of leadership, Squirtle has occasionally returned to Ash's side in some of Ash's more critical battles.
  • Krabby - The second Pokémon that Ash caught without effort, Krabby was instantly transported to Pallet Town as Ash was carrying six Pokémon with him. Krabby remained in Pallet Town until the first match of the Indigo League championships, where it evolved in its first battle.
  • Raticate - Having traded Butterfree for this Pokémon, Ash discovers that he missed Butterfree. He quickly returned Raticate for it.
  • Haunter - Originally following Ash as part of a plan to defeat Sabrina, the Saffron City Gym Leader, Haunter mysteriously disappears when Ash demands rematch after rematch. It is Haunter, ironically, that leads to Ash winning the badge by default. After the battle, Haunter stayed with Sabrina, ending its short tenure with Ash.
  • Primeape - As a wild Mankey, it had once stolen Ash's hat, upon Ash capturing it, it had already evolved. Primeape's short tenure with Ash ended when it was given to another trainer so that Primeape could take part in the P-1 competitions.
  • Muk - Muk is one of Ash's Pokémon that spends time back home with Professor Oak. It is very affectionate towards both Ash and Professor Oak, as Muk is often seen smothering Professor Oak.
  • Tauros - Unintentionally caught while attempting to catch other Pokémon in the Safari Zone, Ash has thirty of such Pokémon, although only one or two have been seen alongside Ash.
  • Charmeleon - Ash's Charmander evolved in a Charmeleon after a fight against a large group of Exeggutor. For some reason, Charmeleon underwent a severe attitude change, only wanting to fight strong opponents, and dismissing Ash completely.
  • Charizard - Charmeleon evolved into a Charizard soon after becoming Charmeleon in order to fight an Aerodactyl. If anything, its defiant attitude got even worse, eventually causing Ash to lose in the Indigo Leage. When Charizard was critically injured in a battle against a powerful Poliwrath, Ash stayed up all night to care for him, finally earning his respect. Charizard served faithfully as one of Ash's most powerful Pokemon, until Ash let him train himself among other strong Charizards. Charizard has a habit of finding his way back to Ash in time to help out with some of his toughest and most memorable battles.
  • Kingler - Ash used the Krabby he caught for the first time in his initial battle in the Indigo tournament. After a rough battle against an Exeggcutor, Krabby evolved into a Kingler, and Ash used it to sweep the rest of that round. Kinger isn't used much by Ash, but has always served faithfully when called upon.
  • Pidgeot - Evolving from Pidgeotto shortly after Ash returns to Pallet Town from his loss at the Indigo League, Pidgeot left Ash's team to defend a group of Pidgey and Pidgeotto from a group of Spearow that was terrorizing them.
  • Lapras - Ash finds a lost baby Lapras when he travels to the Orange Islands. Having missed the ferry to the next island, and with the Lapras' pod already far away, Ash takes the Lapras with him, using it as the group's primary transportation around the islands, as well as helping him in the contests and battles against the Orange Crew. Shortly after Ash wins the Orange League Championship, Ash finds the Lapras' pod, and returns it to its family. Lapras returned once since its departure, when it gained the leadership of the pod thanks to its bravery.
  • Snorlax - During his travels in the Orange Islands, Ash comes across a large orchard that comes under attack by a Snorlax with a ravenous appetite, stripping several islands bare of plant life in less than a day. Ash, with the help of Jigglypuff, eventually manages to stop the monster and catch it. After his travels in the Orange Islands are over Ash decides to leave Snorlax with Professor Oak because he could not afford to keep feeding it.
  • Heracross - Heracross was the first Pokémon caught by Ash in Johto. Because of its nature to try and suck the sap out of nearby trees, often, when both it and Bulbasaur are called upon, Heracross would try unsuccessfully to suck the sap out of the bulb on Bulbasaur's back. Later on at Prof. Oaks request, Heracross is sent to his lab.
  • Chikorita - Chikorita was a stubborn Pokémon that Ash protects from a sudden snowstorm. Chikorita would join Ash soon after. Chikorita sees Pikachu as a rival for Ash's attention.
  • Cyndaquil - When Ash and a rival trainer are trying to capture a Cyndaquil, Ash is forced to protect a young Cyndaquil, and did so with a Pokéball.
  • Totodile - When Ash and Misty attempt to catch a Totodile that appears out of the water, Ash and Misty throw their Lure Balls at it. Unsure of which Lure Ball had caught Totodile, Ash and Misty battled each other for it, and Ash had won (Misty's ball was used later to catch Corsola). Totodile is a carefree and relaxed Pokémon, often dancing whenever summoned. It also likes to entertain other Pokémon with its water tricks. However, Totodile's antics have annoyed several other Pokémon, leading to fights.
  • Noctowl - Ash's Noctowl is one of a different color. It is also unique among the team as it is the only Pokémon able to effectively battle against Ghost Pokémon and use Psychic-type attacks. Smart and cunning, Noctowl had since grown to be one of the senior members of the team.
  • Beedrill - Ash catches Beedrill as part of a bug-catching competition in Johto. With Ash winning the competition, he received Beedrill to keep, and promptly gave it away to Casey, who had an affection for yellow striped Pokémon.
  • Bayleef - Evolved from Chikorita, Bayleef had initial troubles adjusting to its larger size. However, Bayleef remained an integral part of Ash's team. Bayleef uses several unconventional attacks, such as using Vine Whip to jump into the air.
  • Phanpy—The youngest Pokémon on Ash's team, Phanpy's power makes up for his lack of experience.
  • Taillow - Taillow is the first Pokémon that Ash catches in Hoenn.
  • Treecko - Treecko is one of the elder Pokémon in Ash's Hoenn team. Always carrying a twig that it puts in its mouth, Treecko is a tough fighter, and often puts its integrity on the line in every battle. It also tends to be a loner, preferring its moments of solitude up atop a tree over the company of the rest of its team.
  • Corphish—Corphish is a Pokémon caught on Dewford Island while Ash was training for his rematch with Brawly. Corphish is a Pokémon unaware of its own strength, and often unintentionally hurts people as a sign of affection. Corphish is also short-tempered, trying to instigate a fight when peaceful solutions exist.
  • Torkoal - Torkoal is a Pokémon who first appears as if it has a problem in its self-esteem. It often cries or blows smoke in a show of affection. Somtimes it cries for no reason whatsoever.
  • Grovyle - Evolved from Treecko, Grovyle is the warrior Pokémon on Ash's Hoenn team. It is often seen carrying a larger twig than when it was a Treecko. Always stands to the side enjoying soltitude when all the other Pokemon are out. Self-dependent.
  • Swellow - Evolved from Taillow during the Pokémon Ringer contest against James and Dustox. Shortly after Ashs Sixth Gym battle it learns how to use Aerial Ace after much practice.
  • Snorunt- Has a mischevious nature, freezes objects for no reason. Snorunt's Ice Beam attack usually fails in battles.
  • Glalie - Evolved from Snorunt, Glalie perfects it Ice Beam attack.

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