- 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.
Art from the Best Wishes series
|Age||10 (as of BW001)|
|Relatives||Delia, Unknown father (EP002), Unknown grandfather (EP002) (Japanese only) (anime)|
|Anime debut||Pokémon - I Choose You!|
|English voice actor||Veronica Taylor (4Kids)|
Sarah Natochenny (TPCI)
|Japanese voice actor||Rica Matsumoto|
Ash Ketchum (Japanese: サトシ Satoshi) is the main character of both the Pokémon anime and the Electric Tale of Pikachu manga, and is believed to be based on the protagonist of the first generation Pokémon games.
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 original English motto, "Gotta Catch 'em All!."
In the anime
Ash's main goal in life, as described in the first episode, is to be the world's greatest Pokémon Master. Ash began his journey at the age of 10 as a warm-hearted and well-intentioned but stubborn, rash and amateurish Pokémon Trainer. He was forced to accept the cheeky Pikachu from Professor Oak as his starter Pokémon because he carelessly broke his alarm clock in his sleep and woke up late on the day he was set to get his first Pokémon. He was determined to achieve his goal, however, and when Pikachu saw that he was willing to compromise his own safety to keep it safe he formed a strong bond of friendship with Pikachu. This would set his course for the future.
However, 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 was hesitant to admit it whenever he was wrong. Many of his first Gym badges were given to him merely out of gratitude for his assistance rather than claiming 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. He always reminded Ash that he was always a step or seven behind, with Gary catching around forty-five Pokémon by the time Ash had only caught his seventh. This hampered matters further when, owing to his inexperience, his Charizard, his most powerful Pokémon, refused to listen to him until Ash could prove himself to the powerful Fire-type.
Over time, Ash's dedication to his goal paid off. After earning his first eight badges he went on to compete in the Indigo League, advancing to the fifth round - one further than Gary, and ending up in the top 16. After recovering from his defeat, he continued on to improve his skills; take on new challenges; and compete in more Pokémon League competitions - triumphing in the Orange League and the Battle Frontier.
Ash has changed a great deal over the course of the series, particularly in regards to his skill at Pokémon training, but his earnestness, rashness, and determination have remained. Never straying from his goal, he has remained loyal to his friends, his family, and his supporters, but most of all his Pokémon. Ash became a great Trainer by learning to find and use the inner strength of each of his Pokémon by bonding with them. 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.
Early on, Ash originally trained not to further himself but instead to catch more Pokémon than Gary. He later slowed his pace which allowed him to focus on the individual traits of each Pokémon. At the Johto League Silver Conference, with great humility and maturity, Ash finally won a battle against his old rival, signifying a great milestone in his history. His maturity has also increased in his dealings with Pokémon. This is shown when a Mankey stole his hat in Primeape Goes Bananas, he screamed and yelled at it, even climbing trees just to get his hat back, but when an Aipom did the same in Slaking Kong, he stated merely that he would feel strange without a hat. When Aipom stole his hat again in Setting the World on its Buneary, however, while it was under his ownership, he chased after it in the same manner as before.
In most episodes of the anime, especially those during the Johto League saga, Ash befriends someone who will influence him and cause him to strive to become a better Trainer. Although he is not a dependent individual, he is still young and has learned to make his way relying on his friends, particularly the maternal skills of Brock. The honor of "best friend" is usually reserved for Pikachu but Ash has come to see his closest human friends in the same light over time; using the term for Misty and Brock in Gotta Catch Ya Later as well as May and Max in Battling the Enemy Within.
Ash has gained a close connection with many legendary Pokémon, including Mewtwo, Ho-Oh, Lugia, Latias, Azelf, Shaymin, Giratina, Arceus, Victini, Reshiram and Zekrom. In the English dub of the second movie, he was revealed to be "The Chosen One" - the one who would bring balance back to the world 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.
Ash has also participated in contests. He has a Contest Pass for the Sinnoh region, as well as one for the Hoenn region as it was required to watch one of the contests held there. Ash carries half of a broken Poké Ball with him everywhere, 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 in a contest against May before she left the group to compete in Johto. Ash also participated in the Wallace Cup on the suggestion of Wallace but he lost in the third round.
Ash soon obtained all of the Sinnoh Gym badges. During his battles in the Lily of the Valley Conference, he managed to advance to the Top 4, during which time he defeated his long-time Sinnoh rival Paul for the first time, and fought against Tobias, becoming the only known Trainer to defeat his Darkrai. Though he lost later on in the battle, he seems to be okay with losing, as he has become closer to his Pokémon than ever before. Ash, Dawn, and Brock then set off on their own paths to follow their respective dreams, with Brock saying he will no longer be joining Ash on his next journey.
In the Best Wishes series, Ash came with Professor Oak and his mom on a trip to the Unova region. After losing in a battle to Trip and seeing the power of the legendary Zekrom, Ash became interested in traveling Unova to meet new Pokémon, as well as new friends. He is now currently in journey in Unova, first bringing along only his Pikachu as he did in Hoenn.
Ash competed in the Don Battle in Reunion Battles In Nimbasa!-BW042. He battled against Burgundy and her Stoutland in the first round and won using his Palpitoad. He then battled Georgia and her Pawniard in BW040. Ash used his Snivy. Although she struggled at first, Snivy managed to defeat Pawniard and advance Ash to the next round. Next, in BW042, Ash battled Dino and his Darumaka with his Palpitoad again and won easily. In the final round, Ash went up against Iris and her Excadrill. Ash used Pikachu, but lost the match and became runner-up in the tournament. He didn't feel bad, though, and was happy to see Iris win the tournament.
Ash is an only child that lived with his mother, Delia Ketchum, until he left for his Pokémon journey at the age of ten.
His father was never introduced. The anime suggests that his father was once a Pokémon Trainer who began his journey in Pallet Town, and that he is still living. An interview with the series' storyboarder confirmed Ash's father is a Trainer on his own journey. According to the same storyboarder, Ash's father may or may not be introduced in the series, depending on its necessity to Ash's further maturity and development as a Trainer.
As a Trainer, Ash has captured 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. 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.
Currently in rotation
Pidove → Tranquill ♀
Egg → Scraggy ♂
Sewaddle → Swadloon ♂
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.
Charmander → Charmeleon → Charizard
This section is for Ash's Pokémon whose current whereabouts are unknown.
Gligar → Gliscor
Caterpie → Metapod → Butterfree ♂
Pidgeotto → Pidgeot
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.
Egg → Larvitar
This section is for the Pokémon that Ash temporarily used. Many of which were rented and belong to another Trainer.
|Ash borrowed Rapidash from Lara Laramie when it was a Ponyta after she was injured and could not ride it in the race. It evolved into Rapidash when it was racing against Dario's Dodrio. Ash was able to win the race.|
|Debut||The Flame Pokémon-athon!|
|Porygon was lent to Ash by Dr. Akihabara to help stop Team Rocket from stealing Pokémon from the Pokémon Center's PC system. After they got out of the computer world, it was returned to Akihabara.|
|The Pokémon League entrance exam instructor gave Ash an Arbok by having him choose his own set of Poké Balls provided by the instructor. It was used during a Pokémon League exam by battling the Instructor's Jolteon and lost.|
|Debut||The Ultimate Test|
|The Pokémon League entrance exam instructor gave Ash a Weezing by having him choose his own set of Poké Balls provided by the instructor. It was used during the Pokémon League exam by battling the Instructor's Flareon and won.|
|Debut||The Ultimate Test|
|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. The temporary switch was fixed in the next episode.
Meowth's only known move is Fury Swipes.
|Debut||The Ultimate Test|
|Ash, Brock and Misty borrowed Hoothoot from Hagatha in order to navigate the haunted forest. It was returned to her sister, Nagatha after they were able to get to the exit.|
|Debut||The Fire-ring Squad|
|Debut||The Fire-ing Squad|
|Ash caught a Seaking during a Seaking fishing contest. It was released under park rules.|
|Debut||Hook, Line, and Stinker|
|Ash borrowed Hitmonlee from Master Hamm to battle May with Hitmonchan after Master Hamm was having problems.|
|Debut||Pasta La Vista!|
|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.|
|Debut||Camping It Up!|
|Ash was given a Spoink in the first leg of the Pokémon triathlon. He returned it after he was done with the first part of the race.|
|Debut||One Team, Two Team, Red Team, Blue Team!|
|Ash was given a Mantyke for the second leg of the Pokémon Triathlon to ride across the lake. It was returned after the event was done.|
|Debut||One Team, Two Team, Red Team, Blue Team!|
|Ash temporarily commanded a wild Cottonee in order to help it win over a love interest. With Ash's assistance, he was able to learn to dodge attacks and aim his own attacks better.|
|Debut||Cottonee in Love!|
- Boulder Badge (Showdown in Pewter City)
- Cascade Badge (The Water Flowers of Cerulean City)
- Thunder Badge (Electric Shock Showdown)
- Marsh Badge (Haunter versus Kadabra)
- Rainbow Badge (Pokémon Scent-sation!)
- Soul Badge (The Ninja Poké-Showdown)
- Volcano Badge (Volcanic Panic)
- Earth Badge (The Battle of the Badge)
- Coral-Eye Badge (Fit to be Tide)
- Sea Ruby Badge (Navel Maneuvers)
- Spike Shell Badge (Misty Meets Her Match)
- Jade Star Badge (Pokémon Double Trouble)
- Zephyr Badge (Fighting Flyer with Fire)
- Hive Badge (Gettin' The Bugs Out)
- Plain Badge (A Dairy Tale Ending)
- Fog Badge (From Ghost to Ghost)
- Storm Badge (Machoke, Machoke Man!)
- Mineral Badge (Nerves of Steelix!)
- Glacier Badge (Nice Pryce, Baby!)
- Rising Badge (Better Eight Than Never)
- Stone Badge (The Winner By a Nosepass!)
- Knuckle Badge (Just One of the Geysers)
- Dynamo Badge (Watt's with Wattson?)
- Heat Badge (Going, Going, Yawn!)
- Balance Badge (Balance of Power)
- Feather Badge (Sky High Gym Battle!)
- Mind Badge (Solid as a Solrock)
- Rain Badge (Eight Ain't Enough!)
- Knowledge Symbol (The Symbol Life)
- Guts Symbol (Wheel... of Frontier!)
- Tactics Symbol (Tactics Theatrics!!)
- Luck Symbol (Queen of the Serpentine!)
- Spirits Symbol (Ka Boom with a View!)
- Ability Symbol (Second Time's the Charm!)
- Brave Symbol (Pace - The Final Frontier!)
- Coal Badge (O'er the Rampardos we Watched!)
- Forest Badge (The Grass Menagerie!)
- Cobble Badge (A Triple Fighting Chance!)
- Fen Badge (A Crasher Course in Power!)
- Relic Badge (Shield with a Twist!)
- Mine Badge (Dealing With Defensive Types!)
- Icicle Badge (Sliding Into Seventh!)
- Beacon Badge (The Eighth Wonder of the Sinnoh World!)
- Trio Badge (Dreams by the Yard Full!)
- Basic Badge (Rematch at the Nacrene Gym!)
- Insect Badge (Battling For The Love of Bug-Types!)
- Bolt Badge (BW050)
Pokémon League ranking
|List of competitions (heavy spoiler)|
Pokémon championship battles
Ash challenged the following Pokémon championships as well:
|List of battles (heavy spoiler)|
Ash has also participated in the following competitions:
|List of competitions (heavy spoiler)|
In the manga
In the Ash and Pikachu manga
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 co. 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 TCG
This listing is of cards mentioning or featuring Ash or his Pokémon in the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
|Ash's Torkoal||-||-||7th Movie Half Deck (no English release)||009/019|
|Ash's Grovyle||-||-||8th Movie Half Deck (no English release)||001/020|
|Ash's Phanpy||-||-||8th Movie Half Deck (no English release)||004/020|
|Ash's Swellow||-||-||8th Movie Half Deck (no English release)||007/020|
|Ash's Aipom||-||-||9th Movie Half Deck (no English release)||010/019|
|Ash's Treecko||-||-||ADV-P Promotional cards (no English release)||036/ADV-P|
|Pikachu M||45||-||Movie Commemoration Random Pack (no English release)||012/022|
|Staraptor M||41||-||Movie Commemoration Random Pack (no English release)||018/022|
|Pikachu M LV.X||X||-||DPt-P Promotional cards (no English release)||043/DPt-P|
- Ash has never officially caught a Pokémon of the Steel, Psychic, or Ghost types.
- 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.
- 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 has shown to possess some drawing abilities which were shown in Up Close and Personable! where he drew a Dewgong.
|Japanese||サトシ Satoshi||Can be taken to mean 智 (wisdom; reason); named after Satoshi Tajiri.|
|English, German, Spanish||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.|
|French||Sacha Ketchum||Similar to Ash.|
|지 is from 智 satoshi. Alternatively, 지우 (知友) can mean "close friend".|
|Named after 田尻智, Satoshi Tajiri. Can mean "young wisdom" or "little knowledge".|
|Same as Mandarin name.|
|Indonesian||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.
|Same as his Japanese name.|
On Bulbagarden forums
|This article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|