Ash Ketchum

Ash Ketchum is a anime/manga character in the Pokémon franchise
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The main protagonist of the Pokémon Anime. Ash has a dream of becoming the greatest Pokémon Master ever. To accomplish this he has set out on a journey throughout most of the regions known in the series to challenge the Gym Leaders and enter the region tournaments.


Ash Ketchum was born in Pallet Town in the Kanto region. Ash has dreams of becoming the greatest Pokémon Master, and catch all the Pokémon. When he turns 10 years old, he goes to see Professor Oak to receive his starter Pokémon. The night before, Ask stays up way past his intended bedtime (11:00), watching Pokémon fights on television. On the morning of, he wakes up late. After rushing to Professor Oak's laboratory to receive Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle he is horrified to see that all were taken. All that was left was an unruly Pikachu, who refused to enter it's pokeball.

Professor Oak then gives Ash a Pokedex and six pokeballs in order to assist him in his journey. When Ash then leaves the laboratory, he is greeted by his mother, Delia Ketchum and a small party of family friends. It is there where Ash receives a backpack from his mother, with clothes, snacks, drinks, and specifically a pair of rubber gloves, intended for the dishes, but later used to deal with Pikachu. Ash continues to declare that he will become the number one Pokémon trainer with Pikachu's help. Ash proceeds to summon Pikachu back to his pokeball, but the unruly Pokémon refuses.


Ash Ketchum's original name in the Japanese release of the Pokémon anime series is Satoshi (サトシ), named after the original Pokémon game designer Satoshi Tajiri. He was originally designed by Ken Sugimori and Atsuko Nishida for the video game series. His design was based upon the nameless male character from the original Pokémon Red & Blue games for the Nintendo Game Boy. Though the lead male has been different in all the Pokémon games, Ash Ketchum has remained the main protagonist throughout the Pokémon anime, excluding spin-off series like Pokémon Chronicles.

Ash first anime appearance was in Pokémon - Episode 1 "I Choose You!", and his first manga appearance was in Pokémon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu #1. He has been voiced by Rica Matsumoto in Japan throughout the run of the anime, but has had several voice actresses for the release in the United States. He was voiced by Veronica Taylor until the eighth season. She was then replaced by Sarah Natochenny. The actress of the Dutch version is Christa Lips.

When the anime series was licensed for the U.S. by 4Kids Entertainment. The whole show 's cast names were changed in a process called localization. The original name of Satoshi was changed to Ash Ketchum. The name Ketchum is a plan on words of the catch phrase "Catch 'em".

Character Evolution


Ash Ketchum's original appearance
Ash Ketchum's original appearance

The design work for Ash in the anime was done by Sayuri Ichishi for the purpose of being the main protagonist for the anime and manga series. He handled the design work through anime season 1-8. Toshiya Yamada took over the design work in season 10 through the present. Throughout the numerous seasons of the Pokémon anime, Ash has only had subtle changes to his appearance and nothing drastic has been done since the beginning. The only real changes in Ash's live has been in this traveling companions and the Pokémon he uses in his quest to become a Pokémon Master.

In the following seasons, the only changes made to Ash's appearance has been in his clothing designs. Each session has followed with a new outfit with the logo of a pokeball incorporated. The basic design has remained the same. Often wearing a dark shirt, jacket, long pants, and baseball cap.


Ash is a very driven and hard working young boy. Instead of training his Pokémon to exhaustion he actually cares, and creates friendships with the creatures. Ash seems to be always cheerful, until disaster strikes and one of his Pokémon or friends is in danger. When Ash battles he is still joyful, but gets serious becoming a surprisingly formidable opponent. Although Ash can get jealous of Gary, or annoyed with Team Rocket, he tends not to hold a grudge and is fairly reasonable when need be. Ash rarely shows true anger, but is very passionate about his goals, friends, and Pokémon.


Iris, one of Ash's current companions
Iris, one of Ash's current companions

Ash was raised by his mother Delia Ketchum. His father is yet to be seen, although it is suggested that his father is a Pokémon trainer still on his journey. Ash is an only child, unlike most of the other characters. Ash's life long rival is Gary Oak, Professor Oak's grandson. Gary often has a troop of cheerleaders follow him, and thinks himself to be superior to Ash. Ash vows to surpass his rival. Team Rocket, namely Jessie and James chase down Ash in order to capture Pikachu, thus creating their long standing conflict. Ash also meets Misty, after she saves him from drowning. The two become close friends through out the first series and travel together. Ash also meets Brock, a gym leader from Pewter City. He joins Ash on his journey after Ash challenges him and beats him. In later seasons, Ash also meets May from the Hoenn region, Dawn from the Sinnoh region, and Iris & Cilan from the Unova region.

Major Story Arcs

I Choose You!

Ash meets Pikachu
Ash meets Pikachu

On the day Ash Ketchum turned 10 years old, he was finally old enough to head out on his quest to fulfill his dream to become a Pokémon Master, but didn't have a Pokémon of his own, He woke up late, and by the time he reached the lab of Professor Oak to select one of the three starter Pokémon. All the available Pokémon had been taken. The only Pokémon Professor Oak had left was a wild Pikachu. When Ash first received Pikachu, the two did not get along well. Pikachu constantly electrocuted Ash, to the point where Ash gets extremely frustrated. Pikachu refuses to follow Ash, and had to use rubber gloves, he was given to from his mother; and tied Pikachu by a rope. Eventually, Ash tried to catch a wild Spearow on his own by throwing a rock, but this only caused a swarm of Spearow to become angered. In the attack, Pikachu was injured and Ash tried to shield him from attack as they ran.

Along the way they came across a young orange-haired girl named Misty who was fishing at the river. In an attempt to get away and get Pikachu help, Ash took her bike without asking but told her it was to get Pikachu aid. The rain started pouring down as the Spearow horde was getting closer. He crashed the bike after losing traction in the mud. Still, Ash stood to guard Pikachu. Seeing what Ash was trying to do for him, Pikachu lept forward and let out a powerful lightening attack that scared away the swarm and charred the bike he borrowed. The rain had stopped and flying in the sky was a huge-golden Pokémon he had never seen. It was then that Ash noticed the shockwave had further weakened Pikachu and was now in worse shape than before. Without the bike Ash ran into the nearest town of Viridian City when he was stopped by Officer Jenny. She suspected he was stealing that Pokémon. Once she checked his pokedex for his identification, she rushed him to the city's PokeCenter. Once there, Pikachu was taken into intensive care, but Ash didn't escape a lecture on caring properly for Pokémon by the local Nurse Joy.

A mural of Four Legendary Pokémon
A mural of Four Legendary Pokémon

As Ash waited, he used the local phone to call his mother, Delia Ketchum. He was feeling discouraged but she refused to let him be so down on himself. It was there he saw a mural of the four Pokémon. One of which looked very similar to the one he saw flying in the sky. Seconds later, a call was made to the PokeCenter for Ash by Professor Oak. Seems he had made a large bet with his nephew Gary Oak, Ash's bitter rival, that by the time Ash made it to Viridian that he wouldn't have a single new Pokémon. So, it was Ash that had to tell the professor that he had lost. He did tell Professor Oak about the Pokémon he saw fly over the rainbow, but he told him that it was impossible. Pokemon researchers had been hunting for that Pokémon forever.

Misty wont let Ash get away
Misty wont let Ash get away

The trouble Ash was having didn't stop as Misty had caught up with him, carrying the charred remains of her bike. She was enraged and demanded Ash replace her bike immediately. She only calmed down when she learned that Pikachu was in serious condition. Moments later, Pukachu came out of intensive care. He was doing better, but would need rest. Misty was glad Pikachu would be fine, but wasn't going to let off so easily. It was then that an alert went through the town about a suspicious aircraft had been spotted that belonged to a gang of Pokémon thieves. They were attacking the PokeCenter to steal the Pokémon , and introduced themselves as Jessie and James, members of Team Rocket. With them was a strange talking Pokémon named Meowth. They claimed to only be after rare and valuable Pokémon.

Ash, Misty, and Nurse Joy escaped attack with Pikachu into a resting room for Pokémon. The power had gone out, but the Pikachu-powered generator was initiated. As Nurse Joy worked to transport all the Pokémon to the Pewter City PokeCenter. Ash used the other pokeballs to fight off Team Rocket's Koffing to buy time, but each ball was filled with weak Pokémon that would run off in freight of Team Rocket's Ekans. Misty then stepped forward to battle with her Goldeen, but since it was a water based Pokémon it couldn't do much on land. Ash took this opening to take Pikachu on his stretcher and run. Pikachu woke up and called out. The other Pikachus in the center rushed to him and used their electric powers to give him the energy boost he needed to recover. Ash then jumped on what was left of the girl's bike and peddled as hard as he could. Though the bike was ruined, the generator powering the light on the bike still worked. Pikachu used that energy as the base for a massive attack the blew away Team Rocket, but also destroyed much of the PokeCenter with it.

Ash was now on his way to Pewter City through the Viridian Forest. Pikachu now trusted Ash, and has spent the remainder of all their travels riding on Ash's head or shoulders. Misty also decided to come along and refused to let Ash go until he replaced her bike.

Ash's Pokémon

Ash has many various Pokémon. Some are traded, stored, and even released back into the wild. These are the following Pokémon that Ash own with each their stats and whereabouts:


Orange Islands


  • Pikachu (on hand)
  • Heracross (at Oak's Lab)
  • Bayleef (at Oak's Lab)
  • Quilava (at Oak's Lab)
  • Totodile (at Oak's Lab)
  • Noctowl (at Oak's Lab)
  • Donphan ( at Oak's Lab)
  • Beedrill (gave it to Casey as a gift)


  • Pikachu (on hand)
  • Sceptile (at Oak's lab)
  • Swellow (at Oak's lab)
  • Corphish (at Oak's lab)
  • Torkoal (at Oak's lab)
  • Glalie (at Oak's Lab)
  • Donphan (at Oak's lab)



Voiced by
Name Movies TV Shows
Rica Matsumoto
Christa Lips
Veronica Taylor
Sarah Natochenny
Rank Game #766 in Power Rank
General Information Edit
Name: Ash Ketchum
Name: サトシ
Romanji: Satoshi
Gender: Male
1st manga book: Pokémon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu #1
1st anime episode: Pokémon #1
1st anime movie: Pokémon: The First Movie
Aliases Ashley Ketchum
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