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Pokémon > by Character > Ash (Satoshi)

About Ash (Satoshi)

Ash Ketchum - The original Pokemon Trainer

Ash Ketchum, known as Satoshi in Japan, is a fictional character in the Pokemon franchise owned by Nintendo. He is the main protagonist of the Pokemon anime and manga series as well as on various merchandise related to the franchise. Ash's dream is to become a Pokemon Master. He is loosely based on Red, the player character from the Generation I games Pokemon Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow as well as the Generation III games Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen versions. The character's first official appearance in a game was in Pokemon Puzzle League. As the protagonist of the Pokemon anime, Ash has appeared in all episodes of the anime, all the films and several of the television specials.


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Due to the huge popularity, success, and longevity of the Pokemon anime series around the world, Ash has become one of the most well-known and recognizable animated characters of all time. Even so, he is often overshadowed in representation by the almost universally identifiable franchise mascot, Pikachu. He is now widely considered a figurehead character of the late 90s anime craze, alongside the likes of Dragon Ball Z's Goku and Sailor Moon's Usagi Tsukino.

During localization for North American audiences, the character's name was changed in the anime from Satoshi Taijiri to Ash Ketchum, the first name taken from one of the possible default names players could select for the player character in Pokemon Red and Blue, and the surname tying into the former tagline (and revived as of Pokemon XY) for the series, "Gotta catch 'em all!" The character was given a rival named Gary who is loosely based on Red's rival, Blue.

Ash began his Pokemon journey at the age of 10 as a warm-hearted and well-intentioned but stubborn, rash, and amateur Pokemon Trainer. He was forced to accept a stubborn Pikachu from Professor Oak as his starter Pokemon because he woke up late on the day he was set to get his first Pokemon. 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 the course for the future.