[Ash Wednesday] 20 things you didn't know about Ash Ketchum
Ash Wednesday is upon us, and Pokemon is celebrating 20 long years of catching, trading, and battling this month. We're celebrating these two occasions at once with a little Pokemon trivia about everyone's favorite trainer -- the enigmatic Ash Ketchum.
We all know that Ash Ketchum is a pretty miraculous kid -- and not just because he seems to stumble into greatness over and over again. I often wonder how he keeps going after everything he's been through, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Some of Ash's achievements throughout his training career are almost beyond belief -- and so are a lot of these facts.
1. Ash's Japanese name, Satoshi, means "wisdom, reason".
Dedicated fans of the series may already know that Ash's Japanese name is Satoshi Katsumoto, but I was surprised to learn it can be taken to mean wisdom or reason. These traits don't exactly reflect upon his character or personality — except maybe when interacting with Pokemon.
He was also named after Pokemon series creator, Satoshi Tajiri.
2. Ash is just a nickname -- his full name is Ashton Ketchum.
It's true, Ash wasn't just named after the bi-product of fire. In an episode titled "Best Wishes - Rival Destinies", his name was revealed to be Ashton Ketchum.
3. He starred in 897 Episodes, 50 specials, and 18 movies.
Ash Ketchum and his trusty partner Pikachu have starred together in over 960 features. This is one of the busiest kids in all of animated show-biz. I hope he takes time off every now and then to visit his mother back in Pallet.
4. Ash has died 3 times.
And he's returned from the grave every time. Ash has died twice in movies and and once in an early episode.
5. He was the pitcher on his little league baseball team.
It's little wonder why Ash is so good at chucking Pokeballs. He probably has that curve-ball down by now.
6. Ash and Gary Oak were tight friends once.
That's right, Ash and Gary weren't always heated rivals. However, while fishing one day, they reeled in a Pokeball at the same time. In an argument over who would keep it, they broke the Pokeball in two and have been rivals ever since.
7. Ash's mom owns the only restaurant in Pallet Town.
Ash's mom, Delia, once had aspirations of becoming a Pokemon trainer. However, when she found herself pregnant with little Ash Ketchum, she hung up her dreams and took up the family restaurant, Masara House. It's a wonder how she manages to retain her good sense of humor. Though that may explain why she's willing to let a child wander the wildnerness in search of Pokemon...
8. Ash's father and grandfather were also Pokemon trainers.
Ash comes from a long line of Pokemon trainers. If only his father were around to instruct him when he came of age. Ash could have used a few pointers from the old man.
9. Ash would have started with Squirtle if he didn't oversleep
Pikachu was the only Pokemon left in Professor Oak's lab after Ash finally arrived. He never technically got his Squirtle either, but seeing as Ash has the Squirtle Squad of legends backing him up, he has no reason to complain.
10. Ash only has 79 Pokedex entries recorded
As of the "X and Y" season, Ash's Pokedex has only cataloged 79 of 721 Pokemon across the world. He may not be trying to "catch them all" anymore, but that's still only around 11% complete.
11. He declined a position as a Frontier Brain.
That's right, after completing the Battle Frontier with a victory at the Battle Pyramid, Ash was offered a position as a Frontier Brain, but ultimately ended up declining. He would have been the youngest Frontier Brain to date.
12. Ash was born May 22nd, not April 1st.
The first episode of Pokemon that aired in Japan made a mistake in saying that the day he received his first Pokemon was his 10th birthday. Rather, he was clarified to be 10 years, 10 months, and 10 days old when he first met Pikachu.
13. His favorite Pokemon type is Grass.
Ash and Pikachu have an inseparable bond, there's no doubt about that. However, that doesn't stop him from favoring Grass-type Pokemon — even though you rarely see them on his team.
14. Ash's favorite color is dark green.
I know what you're thinking, but it actually has no (confirmed) correlation with Ash's favorite type of Pokemon. He's just a dark green kind of kid.
15. He didn't really earn most of his Kanto Gym Badges.
Brock and Misty practically gave Ash his first two Gym Badges. He didn't have to overcome a full gym battle until Lt. Surge and his infamous Raichu — and we all remember how well that went.
16. Ash is the top Pokemon trainer from Pallet Town.
He may not seem like much, but Ash is by far the best Pokemon trainer to ever come out of Pallet Town. Before Ash, Pallet Town trainers barely grazed the top 1,000 trainers in the world.
17. He has superhuman strength.
The feats of strength Ash has performed in the series is astounding. He is consistently seen carrying around Pokemon upwards of 100 pounds and testing his strength against impossible odds -- such as changing the direction of a runaway truck simply by pulling on it.
18. Ash has defeated 4 Legendary Pokemon.
That's right -- more than one legendary Pokemon has fallen to Ash's expert use of Charizard, Sceptile, and trusty Pikachu in battle.
19. He destroyed a black hole.
I'm not even kidding. He used his bond with Azelf, the Willpower Pokemon, to destroy a black hole. How many people can claim to have destroyed a black hole?
20. Ash has only been in one video game to date
The only video game Ash ever appeared in was Pokemon Puzzle League, which never got produced in Japan. This Nintendo 64 game is far from the most faithful experience around — it was really just a puzzle game with a Pokemon skin. You won't discover any of Ash's many mysterious quirks while playing through Pokemon Puzzle League.
Ash Ketchum is a Pokemon Legend
Ash Ketchum, a now renown Pokemon trainer, is one of the series' most easily recognized figures, alongside his partner Pikachu. He's often awkward with people, but is in his element when interacting with Pokemon. His passion for becoming a Pokemon master is novel, but he can never stay focused on this proclaimed goal. But at least we know there's more to him than meets the eye.
How many of these facts did you know about Ash Ketchum? Let us know in the comments below.