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 the Pokémon anime. He is also the main character of The Electric Tale of Pikachu, Ash & Pikachu and Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl manga based on the anime.
He shares his Japanese name—which can be taken to mean "wisdom" or "reason" (智)—with the creator of the Pokémon franchise, Satoshi Tajiri. His English surname is a pun of the English motto, "Gotta catch 'em all!."
In the anime
At some point in his early life, Ash went on a field trip in a rainy forest and got lost. Scared to the point of tears, he was forced to hide in a hollow tree trunk. Eventually, a group of local Pokémon joined him and cheered him up, which was partially what motivated him to become a Pokémon Trainer.
Ash also enrolled in Professor Oak's Pokémon Summer Camp when he was young. One day, another camper named Serena got lost in the forest and wounded her leg after getting startled by a Poliwag. Ash, who was looking for the Poliwag, came to her rescue and wrapped a handkerchief around the wounded knee to brace it. He then helped her up and guided her out of the forest.
At some point before starting their journeys, Ash was friends with Gary Oak until they both fished out a Poké Ball on both their lines. After arguing about who keeps it, they broke it in two, each keeping one half as a reminder of that day.
Ash trying to keep Pikachu safe
Years later, Ash began his Pokémon journey at the age of 10 as a warm-hearted and well-intentioned but stubborn, rash, and amateur Pokémon Trainer. He was forced to accept a stubborn Pikachu from Professor Oak as his starter Pokémon because he woke up late on the day he was set to get his first Pokémon. He was determined to achieve his goal and when Pikachu saw that he was willing to compromise his own safety to keep it safe, the two of them formed an extremely strong bond that has been noticed and remarked upon by many characters in the anime. This unbreakable friendship would set his course for the future.
From that point, Ash still had a lot to learn about becoming a Trainer. The first Pokémon he caught was caught by luck, as he knew absolutely nothing about battling, and he was hesitant to admit when he was wrong. His journey was made even more complicated due to the presence of Jessie, James and Meowth of Team Rocket, who, after witnessing Pikachu's power, made it their primary objective to steal Pikachu for their boss, Giovanni.
Ash did not go on this journey alone; as soon after he left Pallet Town, he met Misty, who followed him on the pretense that he owed her a bike (which Ash 'borrowed' to save Pikachu, and which the Electric Mouse destroyed whilst protecting Ash). Ash then met Brock, the Pewter Gym Leader, whom he fought and lost to. In his rematch, Ash nearly defeated Brock, but refused to give the final blow due to the intervention of Brock's younger siblings. Touched by Ash's kindness to Pokémon and with the return of his estranged father, Flint, Brock decided to go with Ash and pursue his dream of being the world's best Pokémon Breeder. Shortly afterwards, Ash reached the Cerulean Gym and was shocked to learn that Misty was one of its Gym Leaders. After Ash earned his Cascade Badge, he continued his journey with Misty, who dreamt to be the world's greatest Water Pokémon Master.
Many of Ash's first Gym Badges were given to him merely out of gratitude for his assistance, rather than claiming an actual 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. Gary always reminded Ash that he was always a step behind. By the time Ash had caught his seventh Pokémon, Gary had caught more than forty. Ash's troubles were not made any easier when his Charizard grew too powerful and refused to listen to him until Ash could prove himself to him.
Over time, Ash's dedication to his goal paid off. After earning his first eight Badges, Ash went on to compete in the Indigo Plateau Conference, advancing to the fifth round - one further than Gary - and ending up in the Top 16.
Following Ash's defeat in the Indigo League, Professor Oak asked him to travel to Valencia Island in the Orange Archipelago to retrieve the GS Ball from a Pokémon Professor named Ivy. While in the Orange Archipelago, Ash learned of the Orange Crew, an elite group of Trainers not unlike Gym Leaders, that provided challenges for Trainers to overcome in the Orange League. After Brock decided to stay with Professor Ivy and help her with her work, Ash and Misty were joined by an enthusiastic Pokémon watcher named Tracey Sketchit. Ash, Misty, and Tracey traversed the Orange Islands on the back of a lost Lapras. Ash caught the Lapras during this time. He eventually defeated the four members of the Orange Crew and finally won the Orange League by triumphing over the Orange Crew Supreme Gym Leader, Drake. Before leaving the Orange Archipelago, Ash managed to find his Lapras's pod and released it back into the wild. Upon returning to Pallet Town, Ash discovered that Brock had returned due to some unknown incident that left the aspiring Pokémon Breeder in dread of even hearing Professor Ivy's name. Meanwhile, Tracey stayed at Professor Oak's laboratory as Professor Oak's assistant, and Brock rejoined Ash and Misty. After his victory in the Orange League, Ash encountered Gary again, and after being defeated in a one-on-one battle, he learned that his rival had been training hard in order to participate in the Silver Conference in Johto.
Excited at the prospect of meeting new Pokémon and facing Gary again, Ash and friends left for the Johto region to collect eight Badges from the Gym Leaders in the Johto region and compete in the Johto Pokémon League. Much like his travels through Kanto, Ash, Misty, and Brock impacted the many people and Pokémon they met along the way (one of them being Kurt, to whom Ash delivered the GS Ball). In the middle of his travels, they visited the Whirl Islands, and, along with Ritchie, helped save Silver, a child Lugia, and its parent, from the evil machinations of Team Rocket. Ash, along with Misty, competed in the Whirl Cup, with Ash placing in the Top 8. He was defeated by Misty in a 3-on-3; Misty ended up losing in the next round.
Ash encountered Gary occasionally in Johto, and, while they were still rivals, Gary seemed to view Ash with slightly more respect than before. Ash's growth of character was evident throughout this story arc as he continued to think more and more about his Pokémon and less and less about himself. After earning eight Johto Gym Badges, Ash entered the Silver Conference with Gary. Finally, the two rivals battled in the tournament in a Full Battle. Although it was a close battle, Ash emerged victorious against his rival for the first time in his career as a Pokémon Trainer, marking one of the biggest turning points in said career. After the battle, Gary and Ash departed on good terms with each other, finally overcoming their boyhood animosity and recognizing each other as equals. Ash's journey through Kanto and Johto came to an end when he was forced to split up with Brock and Misty when the two of them received messages to return home.
Advanced Generation series
After hearing about a distant region called Hoenn from Harrison, the opponent he lost to in the Silver Conference, Ash decided to journey there and take only Pikachu with him this time. In Hoenn, Ash met a girl named May and her brother, Max, who he later learned were Norman's (the Petalburg City Gym Leader) children, and both of whom decided to join Ash on his travels. Shortly after the three companions left Petalburg City, Brock rejoined the group when he saved them from a flock of angry Taillow and their leader. From that point onward, Ash journeyed through Hoenn with one old friend and two new friends, collecting Gym Badges in much the same fashion as before. Once May set her sights on becoming a Top Coordinator, Ash supported her whenever he could while maintaining his focus on winning Badges. During these journeys, Ash and his friends ended up being entwined in the plots of the region's two rivaling villainous teams, Team Aqua and Team Magma, with Pikachu actually getting possessed by Groudon in the summit of their conflict. Thanks to Team Rocket's (unintentional) help, they helped save the entire Hoenn region.
While Ash had no major recurring rival in Hoenn, he did encounter certain Trainers multiple times and formed friendly rivalries with them. One such friend was Morrison, who was very similar to and just as competitive as Ash and was first introduced close to the end of the group's travels in Hoenn. Just like the Indigo Plateau and Silver Conferences, Ash did not win the Ever Grande Conference, but he came very close before losing to Tyson, who went on to win the tournament. After parting ways with May, Max, and Brock, Ash returned to Pallet Town. As he passed through Viridian City on his way back home, he met Scott and Agatha and learned about the Battle Frontier in Kanto. He decided to take on the Battle Frontier and was surprised but happy to learn that Brock, May, and Max would join him on this adventure as well. Eventually, Ash conquered the seven Frontier Brains and was offered the opportunity to become a Frontier Brain himself, but declined in favor of continuing his Pokémon journey.
Diamond & Pearl series
Following Ash's victory over the Battle Frontier, May set her sights on Pokémon Contests in the Johto region and traveled there while Max returned home to Petalburg City in Hoenn. After encountering and battling his old rival, Gary (who has now become a Pokémon researcher), and learning of a new region with new Pokémon, Ash decided to leave for the Sinnoh region to earn the Gym Badges available there. Like before, he took only Pikachu with him at first, but brought his Aipom along when she snuck onto the ship Ash was leaving on. While Brock did not accompany Ash to Sinnoh, he did travel with him through Sinnoh like he had for Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn. This time, they were accompanied by another aspiring Pokémon Coordinator named Dawn. Like he did for May, Ash enthusiastically supported Dawn in her endeavors to become a Top Coordinator just as she supported him in his Gym battles.
While traveling through Sinnoh, Ash formed a heated rivalry with a Trainer named Paul. Throughout Ash's journey, Paul would constantly put him down and the two often argued over their nearly opposite training styles. While Paul was harsh, distant, and sometimes plain cruel to his Pokémon, Ash insisted that the best way to raise Pokémon was through patience, caring, and friendship. Their rivalry came to a head after they competed in a Tag Battle Tournament together, when Paul released his Chimchar after it failed to meet his expectations. Ash then decided to take in the Chimp Pokémon and promised to make it strong using his own philosophy. Although Ash always considered himself on par with him Paul often bested him in battles as his own Pokémon were very powerful (He only kept Pokémon that were naturally very strong). Ash's Pokémon, while strong in their own right, were not yet equals. This came to a devastating defeat at Lake Acuity for Ash, losing a Full Battle while only knocking out two of Paul's Pokémon. Ash recognised that he had to take Paul more seriously and cautiously in future.
Ash in the Hearthome Collection
While in Sinnoh, Ash competed in two Pokémon Contests - once in Jubilife City and a second time in the Wallace Cup upon Wallace's recommendation. He also competed against several Pokémon Stylists in the Hearthome Collection fashion show in Arriving in Style!, where he ended up in third place, winning the Unique Award for his original performance.
As Ash and his friends journeyed through Sinnoh, they ended up becoming heavily involved with legends of Sinnoh, with Ash being personally chosen by Azelf of the Lake guardians. Along with Cynthia, Looker and Team Rocket, they faced off against Pokémon Hunter J as well as the evil Team Galactic. Thanks to their efforts, the Sinnoh region was spared from Cyrus's insane scheme.
Ash eventually obtained all of the Sinnoh Gym Badges he needed to enter Sinnoh's Pokémon League Conference. During his battles in the Lily of the Valley Conference, he managed to advance to the Top 4. For the second time since meeting Paul (the first being in a PokéRinger tournament during which Ash's Staravia evolved into a Staraptor and defeated Paul's Honchkrow), Ash managed to defeat his bitter rival, using Infernape (who had evolved from the Chimchar Paul abandoned) to deal the finishing blow. This confirmed Ash's beliefs in how to raise Pokémon, showing that though he took his time and raised his Pokémon with care and friendship they achieved the same results as Paul's methods. This caused Paul to finally acknowledge Ash as a Trainer of some merit, thus ending their arguments. Ash later fought against Tobias, becoming the only known Trainer to defeat his Darkrai. Although Ash ultimately lost the battle, he was not overly upset as he was closer to his Pokémon than ever before. At the conclusion of the Diamond & Pearl series, Ash, Dawn, and Brock split up and went their separate ways, with Brock confirming that he would not be joining Ash on his travels to Unova as he decided to pursue his new dream of being a Pokémon doctor.
Best Wishes series
In the Best Wishes series, Ash traveled with Professor Oak and Delia Ketchum on a trip to the Unova region. After losing in a battle to Trip and seeing the power of the Legendary Pokémon Zekrom, Ash became interested in traveling Unova to meet new Pokémon, as well as new friends. In Unova, he brought along only his Pikachu as he did in Hoenn.
Soon after he started his journey, Ash met Iris, a wild girl who is (as he later learns) a possible successor of the Opelucid City Gym and wishes to be a Dragon Master, and Cilan, one of the Striaton Gym Leaders, who aspires to be the world's greatest Pokémon Connoisseur. After Ash earns their interest by telling Iris of his encounter with Zekrom, and battling Cilan for the Trio Badge, the three decide to travel together. During his time in Unova, along with his quest for the Badges, the three friends also competed in the local competitions Club Battle, Clubsplosion, and Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup. Despite battling quite well, Ash failed to win any of the tournaments and managed to be the runner-up of two of the three. Despite these mishaps, he was not upset to see his friends win the competitions instead of him.
As they journeyed, Ash and friends ended up again being caught up in Team Rocket's new plot, which was personally being supervised by Giovanni. This time, Team Rocket planned to take over the world using a Meloetta that Ash befriended to unleash the power of the Forces of Nature. Thanks to Cynthia and Ridley, Ash and his friends managed to thwart Team Rocket's evil plot.
After managing to obtain eight Unova Gym Badges, Ash was allowed to participate in the Vertress Conference along with his current and some new rivals. In the preliminary round, Ash battled Trip one-on-one, defeating him for the first time and ending their rivalry. Ash also defeated his friend and rival, Stephan, in the tournament. He then battled one of his newer rivals, Cameron, where he lost in A Unova League Evolution!, ending in the Top 8 of the Vertress Conference.
After the Conference, the three friends decided to check out some ruins that Professor Juniper's father, Cedric Juniper discovered, and on the way, they met with a strange young man named N. They soon became entwined in the plots of Ghetsis, Colress, and Team Plasma as they sought to take over the world using Reshiram's power. Ash and his friends, along with Looker, the Team Rocket trio, Professor Cedric, as well as N, Anthea and Concordia, managed to foil Plasma's evil scheme.
As their adventures started coming to a close, Ash and his friends decided to take the long way back to Kanto by sailing on a series of luxury liners through a chain of islands called the Decolore Islands. On the way, Ash met Alexa, a Pokémon Journalist, from whom he learnt of the Kalos region. Soon after they reach Kanto, Ash split up with Iris and Cilan, who wished to go in separate directions to follow their own dreams.
Ash as a Baron at the Battle Chateau
In the XY series, Ash traveled to the Kalos region with Alexa, first visiting Lumiose City in Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin!, where he parted ways with the journalist and tried to challenge the Lumiose Gym at Prism Tower. He was forcibly ejected from the tower when the computerized security system, later revealed to be the Clembot, found out that he didn't have any Kalos Badges. He was rescued by Clemont and Bonnie, who started to travel with him after he calmed down a rampaging Garchomp at the top of Prism Tower with the assistance of a brave Froakie. After the incident was resolved, the Froakie allowed itself to be captured by Ash. In Battling on Thin Ice!, Ash won his first Kalos Badge, the Bug Badge, after defeating the Santalune Gym Leader, Viola.
The group was joined by Serena, who still remembered Ash rescuing her in her childhood and decided to start her own journey to reunite with him, although he initially did not remember the two of them meeting. Ash and Serena learn that Clemont was actually the Lumiose Gym Leader, who was exiled from his own Gym by his own invention. They help Clemont face Clembot, and after the issue was resolved, the two boys promised to battle after Ash fulfilled the original conditions set by Clembot (even if it was no longer necessary), to earn four Badges. With that, the group set off on their journey again. During their travels, they occasionally met the ninja boy Sanpei, whose presence always led to a progress in Froakie's (and later Frogadier's and Greninja's) strength. The four Trainers later attended Professor Sycamore's Pokémon Summer Camp, where they met the party of Shauna, Tierno, and Trevor, with whom the group started a friendly rivalry with.
As they traveled, the group started to learn the secrets of Mega Evolution after meeting Professor Sycamore, Diantha, and Gurkinn, as well as briefly travelling with Korrina. During their journey, Ash caught a lost and traumatized Goomy, which he raised into a Sliggoo, and later, a powerful Goodra. After earning his fourth Gym Badge, Ash eventually faced Clemont in their promised Gym Battle, and won with Goodra's help, gaining his fifth Badge. Later, Ash and friends come across Goodra's old home, where they discovered it was taken over by a Florges and her companions. After saving Goodra's swamp from Team Rocket while simultaneously solving the issue concerning Florges, Ash left Goodra in the wetlands so it could act as the protector of its swamp and the Pokémon living in it. Sometime afterwards, when Ash reached Laverre City to challenge the Gym, he made a new rival in Sawyer, a novice trainer hailing from Hoenn. Along the way, Ash would also support Serena in her quest to become Kalos Queen, and gave her some helpful advice when she eventually lost, telling her that losing is simply another step towards victory.
Later in their journeys, Ash and friends reached Anistar City and, together with Professor Sycamore, they met the Psychic Gym Leader, Olympia. She revealed his Frogadier's past as a Froakie from before meeting Ash and a glimpse of Frogadier's, his friend's, Sycamore's, Team Rocket's, and his own fate, indicating that they will all play a vital role in Kalos's future. Ash challenged her to a Double Battle, which he won using Frogadier and Talonflame.
Shortly after, the group came across a mysterious Pokémon, dubbed Squishy by Bonnie, who was being pursued relentlessly by the villainous organization, Team Flare, prompting the group to put it under their own protective custody. Some time afterwards, Ash and his friends got involved in a conflict in Sanpei's home town, which led to Frogadier evolving into Greninja, as well as unlocking a hidden Forme.
Later on, Ash met up with Alain, who became intrigued by Greninja's unique Forme and requested to battle Ash. Ash put up a decent fight, but eventually lost. Afterwards, Clemont vowed to help Ash master Greninja's new form, creating a device for that sole purpose. When Ash later on had a rematch with Alain, he and Greninja did significantly better and even gained the edge after Greninja transformed, but Ash eventually passed out from exhaustion from using the form. Having a dream in which Greninja leaves him, he woke up and resolves to fully master the forme.
Later on Ash and his friends were informed by Diantha that Team Flare had been experimenting on a remote island, and they were told about the Legendary Pokémon Zygarde. When Bonnie told Diantha about Greninja's unique forme, the Champion requested another match with Ash. In a stark contrast to his past battles against Elite Four members and Champions, Ash and Greninja put up a great fight, with Greninja eventually reaching it's final transformation but not perfecting it. However, before the battle could be finished, Ash passed out again.
Ash later on had another rematch with Sawyer, but he lost when he and Greninja failed to transform. This seemed to leave Ash doubtful of his ability to master the transformation. Ash's confidence was shaken further after brutally losing to Wulfric, the Snowbelle Gym Leader, who told Ash he didn't fully trust his Pokémon, which meant that he would be destined for failure. After seeing how badly Greninja got hurt during their battle and blaming himself for the loss, a depressed Ash left the Pokémon Center, into the cold night. The next day Serena met up with him and confronted him with how different from before he was, but Ash yelled at her out of depression. Before Serena left, she angrily threw snowballs in his face and told him that the way he was acting was the exact opposite of the Ash she had grown to care for. This caused Ash to realize that he was going about his depression the wrong way. Trying to get back on his feet, he then left further into the forest until a snowstorm forced him to hide in a cave, while a group of wild Pokémon watched on. This reminded Ash of one of his early field trips, when he was forced to hide in a tree trunk in a rainy forest. Ash then let the Pokémon join him in the cave, but left whan he saw a group of Spewpa, were almost falling off a tree over a cliff due to the storm. Ash nearly fell off the cliff helping them, but was saved by Greninja. When one Spewpa fell off anyway, Ash and Greninja fully synchronised their feelings and used the Ash-Greninja forme to save it. Ash then made amends with Greninja. Afterwards Ash returned to his friends and thanked Serena, telling her that without her he wouldn't have been able to get out of his depression and apologized for yelling at her. Greninja then gave its Pokéball to Ash, just as it had done back when it was a Froakie, and Ash and Greninja then vowed to start all over again. He then defeated Wulfric in a rematch, even after Wulfric Mega Evolved his Abomasnow. He then thanked his Pokémon and friends for helping him get this far, but reminded them that their greatest challenge was still to come, but that they would face it together.
Ash managed to earn eight Kalos Gym Badges, therefore qualifying for participation in the Lumiose Conference. Following several notable victories including a narrow victory in the semi-finals against Sawyer, Ash managed to reach the finals of the Conference, marking his first appearance in the finals of a Pokémon League. His opponent would be his rival Alain. On the night before the final battle, he and his friends learned more about the Ash-Greninja form. The Finals of the Lumiose Conference began with a courageous battle between Ash's Ash's Pikachu and Alain's Alain's Tyranitar, in which the former emerged victorious. Although Ash gained an early advantage in the battle, retaining three of his Pokémon to Alain's two, Alain eventually managed to defeat Ash using arguably his most powerful Pokémon, his Charizard, in a fierce battle with Ash's Greninja (in its Ash-Greninja form). This battle ultimately concluded the Lumiose Conference. Ash showed great sincerity and principle following the battle, shaking Alain's hand regardless of the result.
Ash is an only child that lived with his mother, Delia, until he left for his Pokémon journey at the age of ten. His main goal in life, as described in the first episode, is to be the world's greatest Pokémon Master. One particular characteristic about Ash that has not changed over the course of the series, aside from his determination and his passion for raising and training Pokémon, is that he is incredibly selfless. He will often go to extraordinary lengths to earn a Pokémon's trust and respect, and to better understand a Pokémon that he sees as troubled. He is also very fair-minded and trusting, a true testament to his good-natured character.
Ash is shown to have a strong sense of justice, especially when it comes to Pokémon. If a Pokémon is in trouble, he will make every effort to help them, even if he has no prior connection to them. If they are the cause of trouble, he will stop them, and then try to understand them, with almost all such occasions being a case of the Pokémon, or their Trainers or friends, having a problem which can't be resolved normally. In those cases, he will selflessly volunteer to help them. Should the problem be caused by humans, such as Team Rocket, Pokémon thieves, hunters, or poachers, Ash resolves to do anything in his power to stop them.
Despite this, and previous dealings with evil organizations, Ash has retained a remarkably optimistic and naive outlook, a trait his companions seem to share. He is quick to praise and has an unshakable trust in both his Pokémon and his friends. Also, Ash is determined to see the best in everybody unless he has a very good reason not to. An example would be Team Rocket's frequent 'sudden appearances' that coincide with their needs at that time, and Ash never questioning it until it is too late. Another example would be how he always praises Clemont for his inventions, no matter their high failure rate, and the near inevitable explosion, or Cilan for his various hobbies. Furthermore, even though almost all of his friends have large dreams, Ash fully supports them and has never doubted their ability to accomplish them, possibly due to his own highly ambitious goal. He also encourages Pokémon to do the best they can, even if they aren't his own, and has even helped train wild Pokémon.
In the original series, though Ash actively took part in battles, he was rarely seen independently training his Pokémon. However, since the Advanced Generation series, Ash is shown to train more noticeably, having practice battles with his friends and focusing on moves, techniques, and strategies with his Pokémon. A noticeable trait of Ash's is his willingness to learn from both his victories and defeats. For example, after winning in a Gym battle against Winona in Sky High Gym Battle! and witnessing her Pokémon's powerful Aerial Ace, Ash was motivated to have his Swellow learn it. Even his losses can inspire him, such as when he lost to Clayton in Short and To the Punch! and decided to teach his Buizel one of the moves Clayton's Mr. Mime had used during their battle. He believes nothing he and his Pokémon do on their journey is a waste of time.
In the beginning, Ash had a bit of an inferiority complex, as well as some form of personal pride, most likely stemming from his rivalry with Gary. As a result, he had some bad habits, such as shamelessly boasting of his own skill if he were ever on a winning streak, and becoming angered easily if he were personally insulted, as seen in The Path to the Pokémon League. Ash used to complain about things that were perfectly legal, like Giselle's Cubone using a bone in The School of Hard Knocks, or Blaine's use of the lava in Volcanic Panic. He even locked himself up in his room and sulked after losing to Ritchie, although this anger was not entirely unfounded as Team Rocket had worn out his Pokémon before the match began. He overcame his disappointment after seeing and listening to how Ritchie took his loss as a way to better himself as a Trainer in Friends to the End. Fortunately, during his journey, Ash has gotten over this particular character trait and is now more accepting of criticism to his own skill, though he still gets upset if his Pokémon are insulted or degraded. This was the primary catalyst for Ash's bitter rivalry with Paul in the Diamond & Pearl series.
Ash after catching a Pokémon
In most episodes of the anime, especially those during the Johto League arc, 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.
Ash has changed a great deal over the course of the series, particularly in regards to his skill at Pokémon training, but his earnestness, rashness, and determination have remained. Never straying from his goal, he has remained loyal to his friends, family, and 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. For example, when he received a banner filled with prints from his Pokémon in The Unbeatable Lightness of Seeing!, he knew which Pokémon placed specific prints, showing his close bond with them. He also learns 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 before mounting a close-quarters attack while Blastoise was blinded by the steam. He also prefers to train a Pokémon to be the best it can without forcing it to evolve, as evidenced by his treatment of Gligar in Fighting Fear With Fear!. He is happy when his Pokémon evolve but lets them choose whether or not they want to evolve instead of forcing them.
Physically Ash is in very good shape, especially for someone 10 years of age. He has constantly been shown to have a lot of stamina, walking miles upon miles through all kinds of environments, while journeying between towns on his journey. He also has huge endurance, as seen when he took powerful attacks from various Pokémon head on and then recovering quite quickly. Furthermore, Ash has demonstrated himself to be a bit acrobatic, occasionally being able to keep up with Iris, who virtually grew up swinging and jumping through treetops. Ash has occasionally displayed great reflexes, being able to dodge attacks or catch falling objects out of the blue, and even being able to save himself, or others, in the last second during perilous situations. What's more, Ash has exhibited tremendous will power, as seen when he took attacks for long periods of time and keeps advancing, which also drives his "never give up" attitude when it comes to Pokémon battles.
Ash is also quite dense when it comes to matters of the opposite sex, more specifically in the field of romance. Throughout the series, Ash has only displayed open interest in a female only once, and nothing came out of it. Though some girls in the series have actually shown obvious (and subtle) affection towards him, Ash meets it with nearly unfailing obtuseness, which some characters have also noticed. Even when it involves other peoples romance Ash is usually oblivious until someone points it out to him. A few times when it came to a matter of Pokémon love, with a male who's experiencing difficulty in gaining the attention of a female, while his friends will mainly give advice in improving the male's looks or charm, Ash's advice is simply to be stronger.
Early on, Ash originally trained not to further himself but instead to catch more Pokémon than Gary, a feat that he never accomplished. Ash later slowed his pace, which allowed him to focus on the individual traits of each Pokémon. At the Silver Conference, with great humility and maturity, Ash finally won a battle against his old rival, signifying a great milestone in his history as a Trainer. His maturity has also increased in his dealings with Pokémon. This was 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. When Aipom stole his hat again in Setting the World on its Buneary!, however, while she was under his ownership, he chased after her in the same manner as before.
Ash has traversed much of the Pokémon world and has thus far participated in various Pokémon League Conferences, but he is still learning new things about Pokémon all the time. He has also gained a close connection with many Legendary and Mythical Pokémon, such as the ones who played major roles in the movies. In the English dub second movie, he was revealed to be "The Chosen One" - the one who would bring balance back to the world when it was disrupted.
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. Therefore, he made a connection with Sir Aaron's Lucario. 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. This time, however, he merely senses the Aura, rather than manipulating it.
Though his passion remains in battling, Ash is always eager to try new things, especially if he can do them together with his Pokémon, having participated in other events like Pokémon Contests, PokéRinger tournaments, and even a fashion show and a cosplay convention as well as various other Pokémon competitions. He has Contest Passes for Sinnoh and Hoenn. Ash carries with him half of a broken Poké Ball, while Gary has the other half, as a symbol of their ongoing, but now friendly, rivalry; Misty's special lure, which she sent to him as a gift; and half of a Ribbon he received after his Contest Battle with May in the unofficial Terracotta Contest ended in a tie.
His father has not been introduced. The anime suggests that his father was once a Pokémon Trainer who began his journey in Pallet Town, and that he is still living. In the original, he is also confirmed to have a grandfather, whose son followed his footsteps. An interview with the series' storyboarder Masamitsu Hidaka confirmed Ash's father is a Trainer on his own journey. According to Hidaka, Ash's father may or may not be introduced in the series, depending on its necessity to further Ash's maturity and development as a Trainer. On the other hand, according to Takeshi Shudō's novelization, Ash's father left home to go on a journey right after Ash was born, and never returned since. As he never registered his name in the Pokémon Trainer's list, his whereabouts are unknown.
As a Trainer, Ash has caught and befriended a sizable number of Pokémon over the course of the anime. His philosophy on training is that Pokémon are individuals and that a combination of trust, friendship and hard work are needed to overcome adversity. In fact, several of Ash's Pokémon were caught because they allowed him to, after he befriended them. 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; however, he is willing to work with any Pokémon that comes into his care.
Ash's battle style is generally spontaneous and fairly unorthodox, and his Pokémon often reflect these traits. He has been shown to use unusual strategies. For instance, during the Diamond & Pearl series, he incorporated a twisting-spinning type maneuver in his Pokémon's offensive and defensive techniques, which eventually lead to him creating the original technique, Counter Shield. Also, sometimes he would use someone else's battle strategies as shown with Paul and Tierno, though when using the latter, Ash stated that his own unique strategy is the one he can truly count on, instead of simply mimicking others.
Ash is very attached to his Pokémon, and prefers to fight and train with them personally. Furthermore, he cares for their opinion, even giving them the option of whether they should evolve or not. As such, the majority of his Pokémon also share Ash's stubborn and reckless nature, persistently attempting to rise and continue the battle, even after receiving great amount of damage and being at the end of their rope. However, if it is by their own wish, or if he believes it is best for them, Ash will (if sometimes reluctantly) trade or release them, and in some cases, leave them with experienced individuals so that they could get stronger.
Though Ash normally catches five or more Pokémon per region (not including when he traveled through the Orange Archipelago and challenged the Battle Frontier in his second tour of Kanto), he rarely ever switches the Pokémon in his current party with those in storage at Professor Oak's Laboratory. He usually only did so when he participated against powerful opponents (such as trainers in the Pokémon Leagues, and Battle Frontier Brains), or when attending certain events that requires a specific Pokémon (like Tauros at the Pokémon Swap Meet or Snorlax at the Sumo Conference). However, during the Best Wishes series, Ash actively cycled through the nine Pokémon he managed to catch in Unova, although these Pokémon, when not in his party, were instead kept in storage at Professor Juniper's lab in Nuvema Town. Near the end of his journey in Unova, Professor Juniper transferred all of Ash's Pokémon to Professor Oak's lab. Ash has not yet used this system of training in the following series.
Ash currently has ownership of 68 Pokémon, including all 30 of his Tauros. Including pre-evolutions, traded, released and given away Pokémon (and not including the additional Tauros), in total, Ash has currently officially owned a total of 80 different Pokémon species.
With Professor Oak
This section shows the Pokémon that Ash keeps at Professor Oak's laboratory.
This section is for the Pokémon that Ash still owns but are in the care of another Trainer. Some can be called upon at any time if needed.
This section is for the Pokémon that Ash formally released back into the wild.
This section is for the Pokémon that Ash traded away.
This section is for the Pokémon that Ash gave to another Trainer to keep for themselves.
This section is for the Pokémon that Ash had bonded with over the course of several episodes but never officially caught.
This article is missing information on this character's English voice actor and Japanese voice actor.
You can help by adding this information.
This section is for the Pokémon that Ash temporarily used, many of which were rented and belong to another Trainer.
| When Team Rocket attacked the Viridian City Pokémon Center, Ash, in an attempt to defend the Pokémon from Team Rocket's Ekans and Koffing, utilized a Pidgey, but their Ekans managed to intimidate it and force it to flee.
Because Pidgey fled before Ash could even attack, none of its moves are known.
|| Pokémon Emergency!
| When Team Rocket attacked the Viridian City Pokémon Center, Ash, in an attempt to defend the Pokémon from Team Rocket's Ekans and Koffing, utilized a Rattata, but their Ekans managed to intimidate it and force it to flee.
Because Rattata fled before Ash could even attack, none of its moves are known.
|| Pokémon Emergency!
| Voice actors
|| Jimmy Zoppi
| Ponyta → Rapidash
| Ash borrowed Rapidash from Lara Laramie when it was a Ponyta after Lara was injured and could not ride it in the race. It evolved into Rapidash while racing against Dario's Dodrio. Thanks to the speed gained through the evolution, Ash and Rapidash were able to win the race.
Rapidash's only known move is Stomp.
|| The Flame Pokémon-athon!
| Meowth was the final Pokémon used by Ash during the Pokémon League exam. It was up against the Instructor's Vaporeon in which Vaporeon froze the Meowth causing Team Rocket's Meowth to interfere with the battle by kicking the frozen one free. It was accidentally blasted off along with Team Rocket, but the temporary switch was fixed in the next episode.
Meowth's only known move is Fury Swipes.
|| The Ultimate Test
| Voice actors
|| Chiyako Shibahara
|| Adam Blaustein
|| Sudowoodo ♂
- Main article: Brock's Sudowoodo
Ash encountered Brock's Sudowoodo when the group was separated by Graveler and Golem. After stopping a fight, Ash went with Sudowoodo to get out of the maze and find Dawn and Brock. When they were found, Ash had Sudowoodo Mimic Pachirisu's Discharge to break a hole in the maze wall after finding them from the other side.
|| A Maze-ing Race!
| Voice actors
|| Daisuke Sakaguchi
|| Bill Rogers
|| Raichu ♂
| During the first day of the summer school academy, Ash was given a Raichu to train. It was called to battle Angie's Monferno and was able to put up a great fight. It had a very timid personality, digging into the ground when Ash first talked to it.
Raichu's known moves are Dig, Thunderbolt, Focus Punch, and Double Team.
|| Camping It Up!
| Caterpie → Metapod → Butterfree
| This Butterfree was found on Wayfarer Island as a Caterpie, where its lazy tendencies caused it to not evolve and be left behind by its swarm. To help it, Ash temporarily trained the wild Caterpie in order to help it evolve all the way to Butterfree so it wouldn't be left behind. Caterpie evolved into Metapod after it and Pikachu fended off a wild Ursaring. To save Pikachu from Team Rocket, it evolved into a Butterfree and teamed up with Pikachu to blast the trio away. Afterward, it shared a tearful goodbye with Ash as it returned to its swarm.
Butterfree's known moves are String Shot, Tackle, Confusion, and Psybeam.
|| Butterfree and Me!
| Voice actors
|| Rikako Aikawa
|| Rikako Aikawa (as Caterpie and Butterfree)
| Ash temporarily commanded a borrowed Rhyhorn, in order to participate at the Rhyhorn race held at Odyssey Village. In the beginning, it was difficult for Ash to handle Rhyhorn, but the two gradually learned to work together.
None of Rhyhorn's moves are known.
|| Giving Chase at the Rhyhorn Race!
|| Florges ♀
- Main article: Recurring wild Pokémon in the anime → Florges
This Florges is the leader of a Bug-type and Poison-type Pokémon army, and was responsible for the invasion of Goodra's homeland, due to her wanting the spring water for her Floette, as the water had healing properties. She battled Goodra, but lost after Goodra learned Ice Beam. She then cooperated with Team Rocket to kidnap Pikachu, Dedenne and a Wooper, believing the lie that Team Rocket would help heal Floette. However, after Team Rocket betrayed Florges and stole all the water from the wetlands, along with the three kidnapped Pokémon, Florges and her army switched allegiances and worked with Ash and Goodra to set them free. She then worked with Goodra to restore the wetland, using Grassy Terrain in conjunction with Goodra's Rain Dance to restore all of the water and vegetation.
|| Beyond the Rainbow!
| Voice actors
|| Megumi Hayashibara (XY069-XY070)|
Hitomi Nabatame (XY123)
|| Aurora Bea
|| Pancham ♂
- Main article: Serena's Pancham
After a group of Pangoro caused Ash, his friends, their Pokémon, and Team Rocket to scatter, Ash found himself alone with Serena's Pancham. The two set out to find Fletchinder, who was bound to be looking for them. After reuniting with Fletchinder, Hawlucha, and Luxray, Ash and the four Pokémon soon found Serena, Chespin, and Frogadier, reuniting Pancham with its Trainer.
|| So You're Having a Bad Day!
| Voice actors
|| Noriko Shitaya (XY047-XY109, XY124-present)|
Yuka Terasaki (XY114)
|| Erica Schroeder
|| Luxray ♂
- Main article: Clemont's Luxray
After a group of Pangoro caused Ash, his friends, their Pokémon, and Team Rocket to scatter, Luxray found himself with Hawlucha and Fletchinder. Luxray and Hawlucha followed Fletchinder, who evenutally found Ash and Pancham. Ash and the four Pokémon soon found Serena, who was with Chespin, and Frogadier, and later, Clemont, Pikachu, Braixen, and Bunnelby, reuniting Luxray with his Trainer.
|| So You're Having a Bad Day!
| Voice actors
|| Kensuke Satō
|| Billy Bob Thompson
Ash's Orange Archipelago Badges
This listing is of the Badges Ash has obtained in the Kanto region:
Orange Archipelago Badges
This listing is of the Badges Ash has obtained in the Orange Archipelago:
This listing is of the Badges Ash has obtained in the Johto region:
This listing is of the Badges Ash has obtained in the Hoenn region:
This listing is of the Symbols Ash has obtained in the Battle Frontier:
This listing is of the Badges Ash has obtained in the Sinnoh region:
This listing is of the Badges Ash has obtained in the Unova region:
This listing is of the Badges Ash has obtained in the Kalos region:
Pokémon League ranking
Ash has competed in the following Pokémon League Conferences:
Ash challenged the following Pokémon championships as well:
Ash has also participated in the following Pokémon competitions:
|| Voice actor
|| 松本梨香 Rica Matsumoto
|| Veronica Taylor (EP001-AG145, M01-M08, A Sneak Peek at Pokémon, Mewtwo Returns) |
Sarah Natochenny (AG146-present, M09-present, The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon re-dub)
Kayzie Rogers (The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon first dub only)
|| بثينة شيا Buthaina Shia
|| Enric Puig
| Mandarin Chinese
|| 賀世芳 Hè Shìfāng (EP001-EP081, EP117-EP274)|
李明幸 Li Míngxìng (EP082-EP116)
汪世瑋 Wāng Shìwěi (AG001-present)
|| Saša Buneta|
|| Radek Škvor
|| Mathias Klenske
|| Christa Lips|
Unknown voice actor (M05-M07)
|| Klariz Magboo
|| Sari Moilanen (EP001-EP142, M01-M04, PK01-PK07, Mewtwo Returns)|
Jami Kantola (M05-M07)
Hanna Leino (EP158-present, M10-present, The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon)
|| Aurélien Ringelheim|
Charles Pestel (M04, M07)
|| Caroline Combrinck (EP001-EP157, DP105-present)|
Veronika Neugebauer (EP158-DP104)
|| Βούλα Κώστα Voula Kosta
|| יהונתן מגון Yonatan Magon|
דניאל מגון Daniel Magon
|| प्रसाद बर्वे Prasad Barve (Cartoon Network dub)|
नचिकेट दिघे Nachiket Dighe (Hungama dub)
|| Szvetlov Balázs|
Ungvári Gergely (AG)
Szalay Csongor (DP)
|| Grímur Gíslason (M03)|
Guðjón Davíð Karlsson (M05)
|| Ahmad Zulkifli Lubis (EP001-AG192, DP004-present)|
Kamal Nasuti (DP001-DP003)
|| Davide Garbolino
|| 최덕희 Choi Deok-Hyi|
이선호 Lee Seon-Ho
안현서 An Hyeon-Seo
|| Nils-Martin Crawfurd
|| Hanna Kinder-Kiss (EP001-AG040, DP053-present, M01-present)|
Grzegorz Drojewski (DP001-DP052)
|| Fábio Lucindo (S01-S18, M01-M18, Pokémon Chronicles, MoMP)|
Gustavo Nader (M06; original recordings)
Charles Emmanuel (S19-present, M19-present)
|| Maria João Luís (EP001-EP031, EP033, M01-M02)|
Sandra Faleiro (EP032, EP034-EP094)
Sandra de Castro (EP095-EP128, EP158-EP209, AG093-AG177, DP001-DP052, Pokémon Live!)
Alexandra Sedas (EP129-EP157)
Cristina Carvalhal (M03-M04)
Bárbara Lourenço (EP210-AG040, Pokémon Chronicles)
Raquel Ferreira (AG041-AG092)
Unknown actress (M07)
Ana Madureira (AG178-AG192)
Raquel Rosmaninho (DP053-present, M10-present)
|| Cristina Serac (original series)|
Cristian Niculescu (Diamond & Pearl series)
|| Анна Левченко Anna Levchenko (EP001-EP105)|
Лариса Некипелова Larisa Nekipelova (DP105-present)
|| Latin America
|| Gabriel Ramos (EP001-DP090, DP105-DP157, M01-M11)|
Irwin Daayán (DP091-DP104)
Rommy Mendoza (young, DP138)
Miguel Ángel Leal (DP158-present, M13-present, EP007*)
Pablo Gandolfo (M06-M07)
Alan Fernando Velázquez (M12)
|| Adolfo Moreno|
Rafael Alonso Naranjo Jr. (M03 and Mewtwo Returns)
|| Dick Eriksson
|| ฉันทนา ธาราจันทร์ Chanthana Tharachan|
ศันสนีย์ ติณห์กีรดิศ Sansanee Tinkeeradit (DP054 - Present)
|| Ahmet Taşar
|| Đặng Hoàng Khuyết
In the manga
In the Ash & Pikachu manga
Ash in his Hoenn attire in Ash & Pikachu
Ash is a starring character in Ash & Pikachu, a manga series based on the Johto, Hoenn, and Battle Frontier sagas of the Pokémon anime.
In The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga
- Main article: Ash Ketchum (EToP)
Ash Ketchum is a starring character in The Electric Tale of Pikachu, a manga series based on the anime. Ash's journey in The Electric Tale of Pikachu follows roughly the same plot as in the anime: first traveling the Kanto region to participate in the Pokémon League, before embarking on a journey around the Orange Archipelago.
In the Magical Pokémon Journey manga
Ash, along with Misty and Brock, made cameo appearances in bonus chapters of the Magical Pokémon Journey manga. In the bonus chapters, Ash and his friends have mistakenly wandered into the world Magical Pokémon Journey is set in. The bonus chapters chronicle their attempts to return to their own world (of the anime) and their encounters with various aspects of the Magical Pokémon Journey canon which differ from the anime's canon (such as the use of Poké Balls).
In the Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl manga
Ash and Pikachu appear as main characters alongside Dawn and her Piplup in the manga series Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl, an adaptation of the anime set in the timeline of the Diamond & Pearl series.
In the movie adaptations
Ash with his friends in the movie 10 manga adaptation
Since Ash and his Pikachu have appeared in every Pokémon movie to date, likewise, Ash is a main character in every Pokémon movie manga adaptation. The same applies with Ash's team as they made similar appearances.
In the TCG
This listing is of cards mentioning or featuring Ash or his Pokémon in the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
- Main article: Pikachu (05-01)
In Pokémon Tretta, Ash and his Pikachu appear as a Master-class Tretta in the Invasion! Mega Rayquaza expansion. When Pikachu is in play, he appears wearing Ash's hat from the XY series.
Concept art of original series Ash's hat
- Ash's hat in the original series was actually similar to Red's hat in his original design from Pokémon Red and Green before undergoing several changes until the final design.
- Ash has never officially caught a Pokémon of the Steel, Psychic, Ghost, or Fairy types, nor a genderless Pokémon.
- Ash has captured at least one of the Starter Pokémon in every region.
- The date of Ash's birth, according to Takeshi Shudo's anime novelizations, is 10 years, 10 months, and 10 days exactly prior to the day he began his Pokémon journey. Being that the same novelization declares that Pokémon Trainers obtain their first Pokémon in April of the year following their 10th birthday, and the anime itself began broadcast on the first of that month in 1997 in Japan, Ash's birthday, if April 1 was the first day of his journey, would be May 22.
- On a related note, Ash is still considered 10 years old in promotional materials as well as the first episode of Best Wishes despite Best Wishes Until We Meet Again! strongly implying that at least a full year had passed since his time in Johto.
- When Veronica Taylor was interviewed in the documentary "Adventures in Voice Acting", she stated that during her audition for the role of Ash, he was known as Casey at the time. This name would later be given to a recurring character from Johto.
Ash's drawing of a Dewgong
- Ash can draw, as shown in Up Close and Personable! when he drew a Dewgong. However, this drawing was insulted by Angie.
- Ash has been shown to be a good climber, as mentioned in Celebi: Voice of the Forest (when Misty and Brock say "He climbs like a Mankey!") and Lucario and the Mystery of Mew (when Brock calls him a "human Aipom"). Ash's climbing ability has also been shown in several episodes throughout the series, such as Enter Iris and Axew!, when he climbs up a tree to try to save Pikachu and Axew, and in Climbing the Walls!, in which he climbed up the rock-climbing wall up to Grant to face him and win the Cliff Badge.
- Ash has lost a match against every Normal-type Gym Leader he has faced: Whitney in A Goldenrod Opportunity, Norman in There's no Place Like Hoenn, Lenora in The Battle According to Lenora, and Cheren in There's a New Gym Leader in Town!.
- Ash has lost at least one official Gym battle in every region. He lost to Brock, Lt. Surge, Sabrina and Blaine in Kanto, Whitney in Johto, Brawly in Hoenn, Roark in Sinnoh, Lenora in Unova, and Viola and Wulfric in Kalos.
- Ever since facing Wattson in Watt's with Wattson?, Ash has not won a Gym Badge in the same episode in which he meets the Gym Leader.
|| サトシ Satoshi
|| Can be taken to mean 智 akira (wisdom; reason); named after Satoshi Tajiri.
| Ash Ketchum
|| Ketchum sounds similar to catch 'em. First name can be found in Japanese name, Satoshi. Also, Ash is a default name for Red in Pokémon Red and Blue. Ash trees are suggested as another explanation as well.
|| Sacha Ketchum
|| Similar to Ash.
|| 한지우 Han Jiu
|| 지 ji is from 智 Satoshi. Alternatively, 지우 (知友) jiu can mean "close friend".
|| 小智 Xiǎo Zhì
||Diminutive nickname derived from 田尻智, Satoshi Tajiri.
|| 小智 Síu Ji
|| Same as Mandarin name.
|| Ali (Kanto saga)
Satoshi (Johto saga - present)
| Originally from Arabic names that mean "high" or "exalted". Slightly similar to Ash.|
Same as his Japanese name.
|| Ešas Kečiumas
|| From English name
| Same as his Japanese name.
Ash Ketchum (in early promotions)
| Same as his Japanese name.|
Same as his English name.