Ash Ketchum is the main protagonist of the Pokémon anime series who has always dreamed of becoming a Pokémon Master. As soon as he turned ten years old, he rushed to Professor Oak's Laboratory to get his first Pokémon. He is the first human character to be introduced in the series. Originally wanting to choose Squirtle, Ash ended up receiving the Pokémon Pikachu, as he arrived late leaving him with no other starters to choose from. He sets onto his adventure later in the day. He is currently also the only character shown to have been to all of the regions.
At first, Pikachu did not obey Ash and kept running away, so Ash had to tie him up. After getting chased by a flock of Spearow, Ash attempted to save Pikachu from them; seeing Ash so determined to help him, Pikachu protected Ash from the Spearow by electrocuting the entire flock, thanks to being struck by lightning at that exact moment, supercharging his Electric-type move. From then on, Pikachu and Ash became best friends forever. As an unskilled trainer, Ash started his adventure while meeting his friends Misty, Brock, and capturing new Pokémon.
Ash eventually defeated all the Gym Leaders in Kanto, allowing him to enter in the Pokémon League. Since then, he has continued to travel, journeying through the various regions, making new friends such as Tracey, May, Max, Dawn, Iris, Cilan, Clemont, Bonnie, and meeting his childhood friend Serena, challenging all the Gym Leaders, entering each region's Pokémon League and catching new Pokémon while still following his goal of becoming a Pokémon Master. Since this goal is so close to his heart, he sometimes acts a bit rash and rushes to the next battle he can as fast as possible without thinking. Ash is currently attending Pokémon School in the Alola region, with his new friends Lillie, Mallow, Lana, Sophocles and Kiawe. Ash's name in the Japanese version of the anime is Satoshi, likely after Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon.
Ash wears a few outfits, as seen in the Pokémon anime, he also has black hair and brown eyes, and always wears a cap. Over the past regions, he had different caps.
Ash has two lighting bolts like - markings underneath each eye.
Ash has a narrow, triangular, edgy, tuft of hair in the middle of his forehead, that come to point on the right side. Without the cap, Ash has a cowlick.
In the original series, Ash wears a white and blue short-sleeved jacket with gold trim, white collar and sleeves, a dark teal T-shirt, blue jeans with light blue cuffs, black and white sneakers with red dots, green fingerless gloves with light green borders and a red and white cap with a green stylized "L".
In the Advanced Generations series, Ash appeared with new clothing - a black and red cap with a green Poké Ball on it and wears a blue sleeveless hoodie with gold trim and a white hood, a black short sleeve undershirt with a red stripe, black fingerless gloves with light green borders, light blue jeans with knee stitchings, and blue sneakers.
Diamond & Pearl
In the Diamond & Pearl series, Ash appeared with another new outfit, consisting of a black vest with a white collar and yellow stripe, a white short sleeve undershirt, blue cargo jeans, black and red sneakers, and his hat's Poké Ball is blue.
In the Best Wishes series, Ash appeared with a new outfit, new hat and new sneakers, wears a red and white hat with a blue Poké Ball, wears a blue and white hooded jacket with a golden zipper, black baggy jeans, black fingerless gloves with red borders and his red high top sneakers.
Pokémon the Series: XY
In the XY series, Ash wears yet another new outfit, consisting of a blue collared shirt with short sleeves and white trim, black undershirt, darker blue jeans, a red and white hat, and red high top sneakers.
Sun & Moon
In the Sun & Moon series, Ash wears a new outfit different from his previous outfits. He wears a white and blue striped short sleeved loose shirt, brown capris with red outlines with baggy pockets and red folded sleeves at the edge of his capris and shades of blue sneakers. His hat is red, dark blue and gray and the Poké Ball design is white. Ash wears a Z-Ring on his left wrist which was later changed into a black Z-Power Ring. Unlike the other region clothes, he doesn't wear any fingerless gloves.
Ash is very determined to be a good Pokémon trainer as seen in every episode. He shows a lot of sympathy towards Pokémon, usually helping and befriending Pokémon he meets on his long journey. He doesn't like trainers who mistreat Pokémon such as Damian and Shamus. He is a role model to many people such as May, Dawn, N, and Serena. Ash never changes his strategy of all-out attacking and using various Moves to defeat other Pokémon. Ash is generally kind, compassionate, and brave, but can be stubborn, hot-headed, short-tempered, impatient, cocky, reckless, and impulsive at times.
Ash does fear losing anyone he's really close to, his friends and family, but fears losing his Pokémon family even more, due to the many times Team Rocket try to steal his Pokémon, also he fears of putting everyone he cares about endanger. Ash also fears that his Pokémon would leave him the way Pikachu almost did to him, after Team Rocket tried turning Pikachu against him when he had amnesia in the Advanced Generation series but didn't hold any grudge against his best friend due to knowing that it wasn't his fault, but the other reason why Ash fear his Pokémon would leave him is that he didn't meet their expectation or wasn't strong enough for them. Because of his fears, Ash sometimes doubts his Pokémon potential which also effects his faith and trust in them as well, especially when some of them display a unique kind of power in their strengths, shown in the Diamond and Pearl series with his Infernape Blaze ability, in the XYZ series with his Greninja Ash-Greninja form and in the Sun and Moon series when his Lycanroc goes into a red eye state. Ash at one point really let his fear of losing his Pokémon or having them leave him get the better of him which caused him to almost lose himself in the process, shown in the XYZ series. However, Ash does put fear aside to help his Pokémon become stronger which helps him get over his fears also because of it he was able to help the ones with a rare ability perfect their true power.
Since entering the Kalos region, Ash has demonstrated much greater maturity and level-headiness; both in and out of battles as he continues his journey to be a Pokémon Master. So far, the only Pokémon League he has won is the Orange League in the Orange Archipelago. Since entering the Alola region, Ash is shown to be far more enthusiastic than he did in the Kalos region, while at the same time kept his determination and his love for Pokémon.
Ash has a strong sense of justice to assist Officer Jenny, the Pokémon Rangers and the Police for their mission. He hated all source of evil organizations, such as Team Rocket, Team Aqua, Team Magma, Team Galactic, Team Plasma, Team Flare and Team Skull, and Pokémon Poachers such as Captain Crook, Iron-Masked Marauder, Rico, J, and other poachers, because they steal Pokémon from people or the wild and doing bad stuff to them. He would risk his own life to protect Pokémon and defeat criminals to put an end to their schemes.
Ash is interested to have Gym battles against Gym Leaders to earn Gym Badges to participate the Pokémon League. Ash also shown interest to Battle Frontier to battle Frontier Brains to Symbols. In Alola, Ash decided to participate the Trials to earn Z-Crystals to use a Z-Move.
Ash has shown be quite athletic, he can run, swing on vines, carry some heavy stuff, swim and is very good climber, shown in the show many times also it was shown in Pokémon 4Ever and in Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. Ash can take on a Pokémon attacks for a long period's of time without taking too much damage depending on the attack. Ash has grown to be an amazing battler also he has some performing skills, due to competing in some Pokémon contests also from watching May and Dawn. Ash does have good fishing skills and some cooking skills, due to spending a lot of time around friends who can cook.
Ash has the ability to sense and control aura, as it was shown in Lucario and the Mystery of Mew and once again in the Diamond and Pearl episodes, "Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu! Part 1" and "Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu! Part 2". Aaron's Lucario has stated that Ash's aura is the same as Aaron's, and Ash was able to use his aura to find and save Riolu. Ash only used his aura abilities when it has something to do with either Riolu or Lucario.
He also has the ability to use Bond Phenomenon, shown in the XYZ series, with one of his Pokémon, Greninja.
Ash sometimes displays the ability to understand the feelings of Pokémon due to spending a lot of time around them also some of the Mythical or Legendary Pokémon connect to him out of caring for them also for his strong will power to protect them, shown when Azelf chose to connect with him in the Diamond and Pearl Battle Dimension/Galactic Battles series and when Victini linked up with him in the movie Black/White Victini and Zekrom/Reshiram. When he’s connected to those kinds of Pokémon he can feel the pain they are in, sense they have been captured, see their thoughts and memories along with contacting him or appearing to him in his dreams as a way of asking for his help or to show him the danger they're all gonna be in also as a way of asking him to do something for them shown with Azelf, Victini, Solgaleo and Lunala.
When Ash Ketchum was a little boy, Ash went on a field trip. However, during the trip, it started to rain, and Ash got separated from his group. Ash was forced to take shelter under a hollow tree. However, he noticed a group of Pokémon who were also seeking shelter from the rain. He invited them inside the tree and the Pokémon kept him safe and warm. This experience is what inspired Ash into becoming a Pokémon trainer.
He then enrolled in Professor Oak's Pokémon Summer Camp where he would learn the basics of Pokémon and being a trainer when he gets older. While looking for a Poliwag, Ash happened upon a young girl and fellow camper named Serena who got lost in the forest while looking for her group. She'd fallen and injured her knee after Poliwag startled her. He wrapped a clean, blue handkerchief with a Poké Ball on each corner around her wounded knee to brace it. But she couldn't get herself up due to the pain, so Ash lent her his hand and helped her stand up. While doing so, he even hugged her. Then he guided her out of the forest and took her back to the campsite.
At some point before starting their journeys, Ash was friends with Gary Oak, Professor Oak's grandson, 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.
- Main article: Ash Ketchum/Original series (Kanto and Orange Islands)
- Main article: Ash Ketchum/Original series (Johto)
- Main article: Ash Ketchum/Advanced Generation
Diamond & Pearl
- Main article: Ash Ketchum/Diamond & Pearl
- Main article: Ash Ketchum/Best Wishes!
Pokémon the Series: XY
- Main article: Ash Ketchum/XY
Sun & Moon
- Main article: Ash Ketchum/Sun & Moon
Pokémon Movie 20: I Choose You!
- Main article: Ash Ketchum (MS020)
The Electric Tale of Pikachu
- Main article: Ash Ketchum (ETP)
Ash & Pikachu
- Main article: Ash Ketchum (A&P)
Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl
- Main article: Ash Ketchum (D&P)
Magical Pokémon Journey
- Main article: Ash Ketchum (MPJ)
With Professor Oak
Tauros (30) ♂
With someone else
Genesect (Douse Drive)
- Boulder Badge
- Cascade Badge
- Thunder Badge
- Marsh Badge
- Rainbow Badge
- Soul Badge
- Volcano Badge
- Earth Badge
- Bug Badge
- Cliff Badge
- Rumble Badge
- Plant Badge
- Voltage Badge
- Fairy Badge
- Psychic Badge
- Iceberg Badge
Kanto Battle Frontier
Alola Island Challenges
- Verdant Cavern Trial (Normalium Z)
- Melemele Island Grand Trial (Electrium Z)
- Brooklet Hill Trial (assisted Lana; did not receive Z-Crystal)
- Lush Jungle Trial (Grassium Z)
- Akala Island Grand Trial (Rockium Z)
- Thrifty Megamart Trial (did not receive Z-Crystal)
- Ula'ula Island Grand Trial (Lycanium Z)
Pokémon League Status
- Indigo Plateau Conference (Indigo League) Loses to Ritchie: Top 16
- Silver Conference (Johto League) Loses to Harrison: Top 8
- Ever Grande Conference (Hoenn League) Loses to Tyson: Top 8
- Lily of the Valley Conference (Sinnoh League) Loses to Tobias: Top 4
- Vertress Conference (Unova League) Loses to Cameron: Top 8
- Lumiose Conference (Kalos League) Loses to Alain: Runner-Up
Pokémon Championship Battles
- Bug-Catching Contest: Champion
- Extreme Pokémon race: Champion
- Big P Pokémon race: Champion
- P1 Grand Prix: Champion
- Pokémon balloon race: Champion with Misty and Brock
- Pokémon Contests
- Hearthome City Tag Battle Competition: Champion with Paul
- Hearthome Collection Contest: Runner-up
- Pokémon Summer Academy Triathlon: Winner
- Pokémon Swap Meet Tauros-Battling competition: Champion
- Fire and Rescue Grand Prix: Unknown
- Grass tournament: Runner-up
- Pokémon Orienteering: Unknown
- Pokémon Dress-Up contest: Runner-up
- Tour de Alto Mare: Unknown
- Whirl Cup: Top 16
- Seaking Catching Day: Unknown
- Hoenn PokéRinger - Crossgate Town: Champion
- Sinnoh PokéRinger - Squallville: Champion
- Rota tournament: Champion
- Sumo conference: Champion
- Twinleaf Festival Battle tournament: Champion
- Sinnoh Pokéathlon Tournament: Runner-Up
- Pokémon ping-pong tournament: Top 32
- Club Battle: Runner-up
- Wishing Bell Festival Contest: Runner-up
- Clubsplosion: Top 4
- Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup: Runner-up
- Marine Cup tournament: Winner
- Scalchop King competition: Disqualified due to Oshawott's shell being broken
- Grand Harvest Festival Pokémon Sumo tournament: Winner
- Rhyhorn Race: No Winner
- Pokémon Summer Camp: Winner with Clemont, Bonnie, and Serena
- Pokémon Sky Relay: Runner-up
- Pokémon Pancake Race: Runner-up
- Charjabug Race: Winner with Sophocles and Kiawe
- Pokémon Sled Jump Games: Unknown
- Honor of Kalos medal
Voice actors and actresses
- English: Veronica Taylor (Seasons 1 - 8, Movies 1 - 8, A Sneak Peek at Pokémon, Mewtwo Returns) (4Kids)
- Japanese: Rica Matsumoto
- German: Caroline Combrinck (1st-3rd Season & 12th- ), Veronika Neugebauer (4th-11th Season, dec.)
- Italian: Davide Garbolino
- Icelandic: Grímur Gíslason
- Greek: Voula Kosta
- Dutch: Christa Lips (Season 1 - present)
- Arabic: Bouthayna Shaya (Season 1 & 2)
- Filipino: Klariz Magboo (All Seasons)
- Brazilian Portuguese: Fábio Lucindo (Season 1-18) Charles Emmanuel (Season 19-present)
- Latin America: Gabriel Ramos (EP001-DP090) Irwin Daayán (DP091-DP104) Gabriel Ramos (DP105-DP157) Rommy Mendoza (young, DP138), Miguel Ángel Leal (DP158-present), Pablo Gandolfo (movies 6 and 7), Alan Fernando Velázquez (movie 12)
- Danish: Mathias Klenske
- European Spanish: Adolfo Moreno (all seasons), Rafael Alonso Naranjo Jr. (Pokémon 3 and Mewtwo Returns)
- French: Aurelien-Ringelheim and Sebastien Redin
- Hindi: Prasad Barve (Cartoon Network dub) and Nachiket Dighe (Hungama dub)
Ash's Japanese name, Satoshi, comes from Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon. Ash comes from the middle option of default sample names from the in-game player file configuration screens at the start of the journey (which is the option where Satoshi was listed in the original Japanese game) and his last name, Ketchum, comes from the phrase "Gotta catch 'em all".
- In the 20th Pokémon movie as well as previously in the anime, Ash's birthdate is confirmed to be the same day he began his journey.
- On a related note, Ash is still considered 10 years old in promotional materials as well as the first episode of Best Wishes despite the episode "Best Wishes Until We Meet Again!" strongly implying that at least a full year had passed since his time in Johto. Also, in the "Pikachu & Pichu" short (which aired at least two full series before Best Wishes) it is stated a full year has passed since Ash and Pikachu first met then, as well. Though he is still officially "10", this would make Ash chronologically around 12 (or, around 12-13, also if including his age in Takeshi Shudo's novelization. Takeshi Shudo also wrote the screenplay for the movie "The Spell of the Unown", which the Pikachu & Pichu short was originally shown with).
- Ash is the only human character to appear in every episode and season.
- Ash has a total of 49 Pokémon including different evolutionary forms (78 if all Tauros are included).
- Ash has caught at least one of the Starter Pokémon in every region.
- With the exception of the Orange Islands League and the Battle Frontier, Ash has never won a league tournament.
- Ash is the only known trainer to have ever defeated Tobias' Darkrai.
- In the Kanto region, Ash often turned his cap backwards when preparing for a battle or to capture a Pokémon. This habit wore off as time went on. However, he was shown turning his cap backwards when he was battling Tobias, presumably because Tobias was arguably the strongest trainer he'd ever faced, being the only one who was capable of beating all six of his Pokémon using only two of his own. Although in the Best Wishes series, Ash is seen turning his cap backwards more often. He recently turned his hat around in A Battle of Aerial Mobility! when he used Froakie to help defeat and capture Fletching.
- Ash has seen every legendary Pokémon from Kanto to Kalos.
- In Tekken 6, there is a female character named Eleonore "Leo" Kliesen, who can be customized to look like Ash Ketchum. Coincidentally, both characters were voiced by Veronica Taylor and sounded very similar. However, in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and onwards, Leo's voice grunts are used in later games where it was performed by Veronica Taylor and Leo is now voiced by a German voice actor to speak in her native German language.
- Almost every character in the Pokémon anime are featured in the games, such as Misty (who even appeared as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee), Brock (who appeared in Pokémon Red/Blue version), and Lyra (from Diamond & Pearl), as a Trainer♀ in Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver version and Gary, who appeared as main rival in Pokémon Red/Blue version default named as Blue. However, the only game Ash has ever appeared was in Pokémon Puzzle League for the Nintendo 64.
- According to Climbing the Walls!, Ash's favorite move is Thunderbolt, mostly since this is his Pikachu's most notable move throughout the entire series.
- Out of all the Pokémon Ash has ever had, his Pikachu is currently the only Electric-type that he's ever had.
- Ash was Veronica Taylor's favorite role to voice in her career.
- In the French dub, his name was changed to Sacha for unknown reasons.
- Aside from the Orange Islands, Johto, the second tour through Kanto and Sinnoh in the beginning, Ash sends all his Pokémon to Professor Oak when he goes to a new region.
- Ash's name is based on one of the three options for one's name in Red/Blue/Yellow.
- So far, Ash has not officially caught a Pokémon of the Steel, Psychic, Ghost, or Fairy-types, a Legendary or Mythical Pokémon.
- Ash has, as of yet, not Mega Evolved any of his Pokémon that are capable of doing so.
- Similar to Veronica Taylor and Sarah Natochenny, Klariz Magboo, Ash's Filipino voice actress, voices both Ash and his mom.
- Ash has been held captive and use as a hostage for almost every villainous organizations in each Region he's been to.
- Team Rocket have taken Ash captive in almost every Region he's been to so he wouldn't get in their way. Sometimes, he was captured with his own Pokémon or others that weren't his so he wouldn't get in their way. Team Rocket only used Ash as a hostage for a Pokémon one time so far.
- Team Magma had Ash held captive because Pikachu had something they wanted while making sure he wouldn't get in their way.
- Team Galactic has hold Ash captive so he wouldn't get in their way and as a hostage for a Pokémon.
- Team Flare did take Ash captive as they wanted to use one of the abilities he poses for their plans, Bond Phenomenon. Also, they are the first villainous organization to do so.
- Team Aqua and Team Plasma are the only villainous organizations by far not to have Ash held captive or as a hostage for any reason.
- Ash has some features similarities with "Max Taylor" from "Dinosaur King" like wearing on the head, having gloves, looks sporty, and pairing with an electrical partner.