Pokémon is one of the most popular anime of all time and has played a vital role along with Dragon Ball Z and Death Note in bringing Japanese anime to the west. Being the main protagonist of the show, Ash Ketchum with his all-time companion Pikachu has also gained immense popularity throughout his journey; and not just in America, but in the entire world.
As good as you think you may know about your favourite character, here are some juicy facts that I am sure not everyone knows about our popular Pokémon trainer Ash Ketchum −
10) 20 years and 1000+ episodes to finally become the Pokémon champion
In the 139th episode of the series Pokémon Sun and Moon, Ash finally became a Pokémon League champion that he had been trying to be for somewhat 22 years now. Ash won his coveted title after defeating Gladion as his final opponent in Alola region Pokémon league.
9) Only two voice actors- Veronica Taylor (1998 to 2006), Sarah Natochenny from 2006 onwards
Despite being one of the longest-running anime of television history, Pokémon has only had two voice actors for over 22 years. Both of them are women namely Veronica Taylor who had voiced Ash Ketchum in English dub version from 1998 till 2006 when she was replaced by Sarah Natochenny who has been voicing ash till today. Veronica Taylor also voiced Ash’s mother Delia for her stint on the show.
8) 7 different regions, 52 badges
Over the years when Ash has been enjoying his adventures in the Pokémon world with his different teammates and companions, he has been to seven distinct Pokémon regions where he has battled several Pokémon trainers in thrilling Pokémon fights in exciting stadiums winning 52 badges in all.
7) Ash featured in only one game of the franchise and not even featured in the only movie
Ash Ketchum, although, being the main protagonist of the Pokémon series throughout the 22 years journey, hasn’t been rewarded highly when it comes to international games of the hit anime series. Ash has just featured in Pokémon Puzzles game which released exclusively for Nintendo Switch in 2000 and wasn’t really a big commercial success. Apart from games, there has just been a single major Hollywood movie based on Pokémon which features Pikachu along with some other popular Pokémons but doesn’t have Ash appeared in it for even a small role on screen.
6) Inheritance of becoming a Pokémon trainer
Ash didn’t just wake up one morning wanting to be a Pokémon trainer. He always had it in his veins. Ash’s father and grandfather both were Pokémon trainers of their time. Show makers have never leaked anything about Ash’s father as to how he looks or his whereabouts. Although at one point in the anime, Ash’s mother told him about his father and grandfather; that they are somewhere in their hopes of becoming a Pokémon master. This tells us that Ash has always had the inheritance of becoming a Pokémon master.
5) When is Ash’s Birthday?
Even some of the die-hard fans of Pokémon series and the admirers of our popular Ash Ketchum don’t know when his birthday is. For a while, a popular theory of Ash being born on April 01st roamed around among fans, but later it turned out, Ash was born on May 22nd 1986. Interestingly though, all the events that have yet occurred in the show for over the span of 1000 episodes don’t even comprise for a single year. So, little Ash is still 10 years old in the show.
4) Gotta catch ‘em all… or just 80?
When the show started the fans and viewers were given the idea of Ash catching all the Pokémon out there as the tagline suggested, gotta catch ‘em all. Bust as of now, Ash has managed to capture around just 80 Pokémons in last 20 years, including his Pikachu. Fans are waiting for him to keep capturing as many Pokémons as there are in the Pokémon world. Go Ash, you gotta catch ‘em all.
3) Goodra or Pikachu, who is the best Pokémon for Ash?
Back when Pokémon started, there used to be no doubt about which Pokémon is Ash’s favourite and most loyal to him. It was without a doubt – Pikachu. Gradually though, debates over that question have formulated and are still going on. The debate over Goodra and Pikachu, which of them is the favourite Pokémon of Ash? Throughout the years, Goodra has shown his unconditional love and blind faith in his trainer and has stood by Ash whenever he needed him. So it presents us with a question of which being the best Pokémon Ash has had long his Journey?
2) Clefairy in the place of Pikachu?
This is most likely the most interesting bit featured in this article which, I’m sure, even most of the hardcore fans wouldn’t be aware of.
Not many people know, everybody’s favourite Pikachu was not the first choice of the show creators to be featured as the major Pokémon character, neither the mascot to the franchise that has lasted for more than 20 years now. It was Clefairy instead. Clefairy was supposed to be Ash’s first Pokémon and his series-long companion. This idea was later discarded though. And Pikachu was chosen in place of Cleafairy. The reason behind this was stated as, “Yellow is more noticeable colour and is most likely to appeal more to children, for whom we are designing the entire show in the first place.” Whatever may be the reason, the results turned out just fine for both the audience and the creators.
1) What was Ash’s real name again?
This could be another testing fact to test the devotion of the hardcore fans of the show once again. Some shows are known by the names of their characters only. How would you feel if you’re told the name of your favourite character isn’t the real name of it? Well, similar is the case with Pokémon. The real name of Ash was never supposed to be Ash, but Satoshi. Satoshi Tajiri is the name of the original creator of Pokémon, and he was the supposed to be named after him only. Satoshi also told how Ash was also loosely based on his childhood self, as little Satoshi was also an adventure-loving child who used to wander outside in search of some exciting events to enjoy for himself. Ash is still popularly known as Satoshi in Japan.