2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection

Arbok - Pikachu (#25) - Raichu

Pichu - Pikachu (#22) - Raichu

Pichu - Pikachu (#156) - Raichu

Pichu - Pikachu (#104) - Raichu
Japanese name Pikachu
Stage Basic
Evolves from Pichu (from Pokémon Gold and Silver onwards)
Evolves to Raichu
Generation First
Species Electric Mouse Pokémon
Type Electric
Height 1 ft 4 in (0.4  m)
Weight 13.0 lb (6.0 kg)
Ability Static

Pikachu (ピカチュウ Pikachuu ?) are one of the 493 fictional species of Pokémon creatures from the multi-billion-dollar Pokémon media franchise—a collection of video games, anime, manga, books, trading cards, and other media created by Satoshi Tajiri. Pikachu is also the name of an individual character that belongs to this species and is the Pokémon companion of Ash Ketchum. The purpose of Pikachu in the games, anime, and manga, as with all other Pokémon, is to battle both wild Pokémon—untamed creatures encountered while the player passes through various environments—and tamed Pokémon owned by Pokémon trainers. Pikachu is among the most recognizable of Pokémon, considering a Pikachu is one of the main characters in the Pokémon anime series.

In the Pokémon universe Pikachu are mammal-like creatures that have short, yellow fur with brown stripes on their backs, black-tipped ears, and an unusually shaped tail, resembling a lightning bolt. They are often found in forests, plains, and occasionally near electrical sources (such as power plants), on most continents throughout the world. Pikachu often travel in packs, and are rarely territorial; however, when threatened, a group can generate an intense electrical offensive, and the electro-magnetic forces exerted by the resulting field can even produce a short lived, localized thunderstorm.

Biological characteristics

Pikachu are often found foraging for berries. Instead of climbing trees, they use small electrical jolts to release the berries from the tree, roasting them at the same time. It can also roast marshmallows on the tongue with electricity to make them dance. Pikachu have the ability to release electric discharges of varying intensity, at will, through glandular pouches residing in its cheeks. These glands allow it to store and release bolts or balls of lightning to defend itself from attackers, to be used in battle, at the command from its trainer, or in self-defense in the wild. An inability to discharge electricity in this last way, as in the presence of strong magnetic field, causes an illness with flu-like symptoms. Pikachu gather in areas with high amounts of thunderstorm activity.

For defense against predators, Pikachu uses both its speed and electricity to stay alive, however, some predators are immune to Pikachu's electric shocks, in this case Pikachu retreats if possible, unfortunatly since Pikachus are rather fat, they make easy targets, some Pokemon, Like Ariados, make webs to catch wild Pikachu, in this case, the Pikachu is virtually helpless and easily wrapped up and eaten. Pikachu is a rather common pokemon and has several predators however.

Pikachu is yellow with brown stripes on its back, black-tipped ears, red electrical pouches on its cheeks, and has a lightning-bolt-shaped tail. It evolves into Raichu via use of a Thunder Stone. Pikachu is so popular, however, that in the television anime series and various Pokémon-related manga publications, most trainers choose to keep it from evolving. For example, in Pokémon Yellow, Pikachu refuses to evolve as attempting to use a Thunderstone on it makes it cry and refuse. It is numbered as #25 in the National Pokédex. Also, from the second generation of the Pokémon games onward, Pikachu has an evolutionary predecessor, Pichu. Pichu, which is a baby Pikachu, evolves into Pikachu after establishing a friendship with its trainer.

Importance and role

In the Pokémon video games

In the video games, Pikachu is a typical low-level Pokémon, usually found around levels 3-6 in Viridian Forest, and around 25 in the Power Plant or in the Ruby,Sapphire and Emerald Safari Zone. Players playing Pokémon Yellow will have Pikachu as their first Pokémon, and in the other games those who find one (typically it's a rather rare find) often use it as an early-to-mid-level Electric Pokémon.

Few players use Pikachu in competitive head-to-head play, however, because of its relatively low defense stats. It does see occasional play after Pokémon Gold and Silver, which added an item called the Light Ball. This item, when given to Pikachu to hold, doubles the special attack stat that determines the power of its Electric attacks, making it useful in competitive play.

Pikachu is featured in Hey You, Pikachu!, Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon Channel, and the Pokémon Pikachu digital pet. It also makes several appearances in Pokémon Snap, famously portraying the Surfing Pikachu sidequest in Pokémon Yellow.

Pikachu has also appeared in Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee as a very agile and mobile playable character, equipped with Quick Attack, Thundershock, and Thunder. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Pikachu's Skull Bash move was introduced, and its Quick Attack ability was upgraded so that it did a small amount of damage to opponents. Pikachu is also set to appear in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

There has also been a special edition Game Boy Colour handheld specifically created for Pokémon Yellow, sporting a yellow colour with Pikachu featured on the handheld. In addition, a special-edition Nintendo 64 game console was released, featuring Pikachu as well as saying "Pikachu!" when Pokémon video games were started. This was released along with the game Hey You, Pikachu!, in which you use a microphone to converse with the Pokémon.

Pikachu has also made cameo appearances in Pokémon Pinball, Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire, Pokémon Trozei, Pokémon Colosseum, Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, Pokémon Dash and Pokémon Ranger. It has also played a role in various games for the Pokémon mini handheld games console. Pikachu is also one of the sixteen starters in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. Pikachu has also appeared in a video of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl. It has also been shown in a pre-release image that Pikachu will appear in Pokémon Battle Revolution for Nintendo's upcoming Wii console.

In the Pokémon anime

The Pokémon anime series and films are a meta-series of adventures separate from the canon that most of the Pokémon video games follow (with the exception of Pokémon Yellow, a game based on the anime storyline). The anime follows the quest of the main character, Ash Ketchum—an in-training Pokémon Master—as he, May and Hikari (as well as several other companions) travel around the fictitious world of Pokémon along with their Pokémon partners, Pikachu, Blaziken, and Pochama.

In the Pokémon anime, beginning trainers from the Kanto region traditionally choose from Charmander, Bulbasaur or Squirtle as a 'starter' Pokémon. However, the series protagonist Ash Ketchum, an inhabitant of Pallet Town, arrived late at Professor Oak's lab (having slept in from a late night of Pokémon trainer fantasizing). The traditional three starting Pokémon had already been taken by other new trainers, and Ash was given a Pikachu instead. At first, Pikachu largely ignored Ash's requests, shocking him frequently and refusing to be confined to the conventional method of Pokémon transportation, a Poké Ball. However, in the first episode, Ash put himself in danger to defend Pikachu from a flock of wild Spearow, then rushed the electric mouse to a Pokémon Centre (notably stealing Misty's bike to do so). Through this demonstration of a deeply-rooted, unconditional commitment to Pokémon, Pikachu warmed up to Ash, and their friendship was formed.

The bond between Ash and Pikachu is a prominent motif in the series and inviolable in terms of the series ethos. Pikachu is the only Pokémon in Ash's party that has been with him in every episode, movie, and TV special. It is implied that Ash's Pikachu is male, but it is rarely addressed with a gendered pronoun. Also, many times Ash and Pikachu have been separated by cave-ins and explosions. Most of these times, Meowth is also separated from Team Rocket, and they usually end up working together to find their trainers.

It is explicitly shown that there is something 'unique' about Ash's Pikachu, setting it apart from others of its kind; Team Rocket's Meowth quips early on in the first series that Ash's Pikachu's powers greatly exceed that of even its evolution (which was shown in the battle with Lt. Surge's Raichu). For this reason, Team Rocket's attempts to capture Pikachu become a significant theme throughout much of the first series. It is shown in some episodes that they intend to present it to their boss, Giovanni, in order to win favour.

Early in the series, Pikachu was given an operation to increase the strength of the electric sacs in his cheeks in order to beat the first gym leader, Brock. In another first season episode (in Vermilion City), Pikachu, who is often rather independently minded, believed that it was strong enough without evolving and refused to evolve into a Raichu. In fact, in Ash's third gym battle in Vermillion City, Pikachu was successful in defeating a Raichu, and to this day, Ash's Pikachu has participated in more gym battles than any of his other Pokémon.

When Pikachu cannot release its electricity, it develops flu-like symptoms and can sometimes lose control of itself. Most notably, exposure to a magnetic field will cause Pikachu to get this illness. This has happened to Pikachu twice in the series, both times by Team Rocket: the first time, Pikachu was cured when the extra electricity was used in attacks against a group of Grimer and Muk, and in the second time, Pikachu was inadvertently cured by one of Team Rocket's battery robots (that uses Pikachu's power to charge itself), which subsequently overloaded and exploded. During the Hoenn arc, Ash trained Pikachu to use Iron Tail, which greatly improved its ability to fight Pokémon with resistance to Electric attacks.

In Pokémon: The First Movie, Pikachu is the only "original" Pokémon, besides Meowth, that refused to fight its clone. Pikachu also attempts to revive a downed Ash (who had been turned to stone, and thus, killed) with repeated thundershocks, to no avail; a grief-stricken Pikachu bursts into tears, which (along with the tears of all other Pokémon present) return Ash to life.

Many of the Pokémon animated shorts with all-Pokémon dialogue have featured Pikachu as the main character. As such, Pikachu is often a leader, helping to break up conflicts among other Pokémon.

Pikachu typically eats a specially formulated pellet made by Brock. It also likes fresh fruit, especially apples. Sometimes it is shown eating the same meal that his human companions are eating, in smaller portions. As seen in the episode, Showdown in Dark City, Pikachu's favorite "food" is ketchup. In this case Ash's Pikachu kept the bottle and became slightly obsessed with it. This caused problems because a Scyther and an Electabuzz that were enraged at the colour red were nearby. Scyther accidentally cut the bottle, spilling the ketchup, causing Pikachu to cry.

Like most other Pokémon, Pikachu communicates only by saying syllables that are in its own name. Its most common sentence is "Pika-pika". When it wants to talk to Ash it says "Pika-pi," which sounds similar to " Satoshi" (the name of his trainer in the Japanese version). It also calls Misty "Pi-ka-chu-pi" similar to her Japanese name of "Kasumi",and calls Takeshi Pika pi pi. Pikachu is voiced by Ikue Otani in all versions of the anime, except in the English language episode Pokémon, I Choose You, in which Rachael Lillis, the regular voice of Misty and Jessie of Team Rocket, provided the voice in cases when another character's voice overlapped Pikachu's. In one episode, it is stated that Pikachu feels that Ash makes rash choices sometimes. This statement is made by Anabel, after talking to Pikachu.

Throughout the series, there's a running gag involving Pikachu zapping the bike of the female protagonist. It first destroyed Misty's bike, which she used as an excuse to travel with Ash, then when Ash went to Hoenn, Pikachu destroyed May's bike. Most recently Pikachu destroyed Hikari's bike while defending itself from her Pochama. While the first actually had worked as part of the plot in order to add Misty to the main group, the laters were more of a reference to the original and served exclusively for comedy purposes, having no real influence in the story, other than forcing the female protagonist to walk instead of ride her bike.

Many other Pikachu have appeared in the Pokémon anime. The most notable among these is Richie's Pikachu, with mussed hair on its forehead. This one is nicknamed Sparky (Leon in the Japanese original). Sparky, unlike Ash's Pikachu, is indifferent to being inside its Poké Ball, but save for the first season, it is always shown outside, similar to Ash's Pikachu. In fact, every captured Pikachu in the anime has been shown spending most or all of its time outside of a Poké Ball, even though this is not noted by any characters to be typical of the species.

Another notable Pikachu is Puka (Michael in the Japanese version), a surfing Pikachu owned by a surfer named Victor. Puka has blue eyes instead of the usual black and also seems to have a harmony with the sea - it glows a bright blue when it feels a powerful wave. It is claimed that Puka is over 20 years old (it is unknown whether such longevity is unusual for a Pikachu), and is noticeably larger than Ash's Pikachu (though still smaller than a Raichu). It also has somewhat frazzled hair on around the tips of its ears.

Many episodes of the anime have also featured other unnamed Pikachu. Among them is "Pikachu's Goodbye", in which a large group of wild Pikachu appeared, and in "Pokémon Emergency", a group of Pikachu are always hidden in the Viridian City Pokémon Centre as their backup electrical generator, which was used when Team Rocket cut the power to the centre. The footage of these Pikachu is later reused for a group of Pikachu aboard the SS Anne.

At the end of the episode "Hocus Pokémon!", a witch-in-training accidentally transforms Ash into a Pikachu. (he keeps his hair and his hat) He then plays with Pikachu. At the beginning of the next episode, "As Clear as Crystal!" he is still a Pikachu, but the spell wears off and Ash goes back to being a human.

There is a special episode of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Team Go-Getters Out Of The Gate! in which one Pikachu (not Ash's Pikachu) got captured by Skarmory leaving his little brother Pichu alone. After Skarmory captures Pichu, Pikachu apologized to Pichu for getting Pichu in the middle of getting captured. When the Go-Getters arrived, Pikachu told Pichu to open the treasure bag and the seed fell out. Pikachu kicked the seed to Squirtle. When Squirtle swallowed the seed, he got super speed. After defeating Skarmory, the Go-Getters saved Pikachu and Pichu.

In Pokémon manga

A Pikachu has appeared in every Pokémon manga series as of 2005. In Pokémon Adventures, Red, the "first protagonist" of the Pokémon Adventures series, captures a mischievous Pikachu causing trouble for the people of Pewter City which became one of his main Pokémon from there on. After Red goes missing two years later, his Pikachu teams up with Yellow, the "fourth protagonist" of the series, to find him. Yellow is accompanied by Pikachu throughout the Johto saga, as well as her own Pikachu, Chu Chu.

In the Magical Pokémon Journey manga, Hazel, the main character of the series, obtained a Pikachu as her first Pokémon. Although Hazel's task is to capture Pokémon for a scientist, her and Pikachu often fall into trouble because of their joint scatterbrained personalities. This Pikachu, along with Hazel's other main Pokémon, Clefairy, re-appears in the spin-off series, Pokémon Chamo-Chamo Pretty.

In the Electric Tale of Pikachu series, often referred to as the series (known in Japan as "Dengeki! Pikachu"), Ash's Pikachu was originally a feral Pokémon he caught chewing on wires in his walls. This manga follows the storyline of the Pokémon anime, featuring Ash, Misty and Brock alongside Pikachu battling Team Rocket. This series was released in four volumes called The Electric Tale of Pikachu, Pikachu Shocks Back, Electric Pikachu Boogaloo and Surf's Up Pikachu.

In the Getto Da Ze manga, the main character Shuu owns a Pikachu, whom he communicates with because of a device called an In-Com. This Pikachu is very feisty and a little sarcastic.

Pikachu also stars in the Ash & Pikachu manga series, another to closely follow the Pokémon anime. Unlike in the Electric Tale of Pikachu, Professor Oak gave Pikachu to Ash as his first Pokémon, rather than Ash finding him in the former. Another difference between the two is that Ash and Pikachu continued to follow the anime storyline, leading Ash and Pikachu to Hoenn, being accompanied by Haruka and Masato, May and Max in the English version.

In the Pokémon Trading Card Game

The Pokémon Trading Card Game is a collectable card game first published by Wizards of the Coast in North America, in 1999. The concept is similar to that of a Pokémon battle in the video games in that each player takes turns to hit the opponent’s Pokémon. Most Pikachu cards are typical, Basic Pokémon cards, primarily used to play stronger cards, such as Stage-1 Pokémon, Poliwhirl, and Stage-2 Pokémon, Charizard. Some Pikachu cards are similar in attack and defense (see picture) to other Basic Electric-types, such as Mareep, and Electrike, but often have stronger promo cards, giving them an advantage, because of their popularity.

Pikachu has been seen in at least thirteen incarnations in Pokémon Trading Card Game sets released in North America, and that number increases to twenty when limited edition promotional cards are included, these limited edition cards were won in prizes, and copied, fake cards were made by places such as cinemas to encourage people to buy their tickets. The expansion sets Pikachu cards are found in are the Base Set (as well as Base Set 2 and Legendary Collections reprints), Jungle, Gym Heroes (As Lt.Surge's Pikachu), Gym Challenge (As Lt. Surge's Pikachu), Neo Genesis, Expedition, Skyridge, EX Sandstorm, EX Team Magma VS. Team Aqua, EX Firered & LeafGreen, EX Emerald, EX Legend Maker (as a secret card), and EX Holon Phantoms (appears twice).

Pikachu cards are often sought after because of their wide appeal and often unavailability. Although most Pikachu cards are Common variety (see picture), meaning that they can be found very often in booster packs of cards, promo cards were only available by purchasing tickets for the Pokémon movies. An often overlooked error in the original Base Set Pikachu design (see picture) was known as the "Red-Cheeked Pikachu." The name came from the mouse's mis-coloured cheeks that were supposed to glow yellow from the protruding electric sparks. This error was later fixed in the Base Set 2 version.

Cultural impact


Pikachu is arguably the most well-known Pokémon, and is regarded as the unofficial mascot of the Pokémon franchise. Pikachu are obtainable in all of the Pokémon video games to date, with a prominent role in Pokémon Yellow. The leading characters of many of the anime and manga series have all captured Pikachu, including Pokémon Adventures, and Magical Pokémon Journey.

The name Pikachu is a portmanteau of the words, pika, an onomatopoeia in the Japanese language for a spark or a sparkle of lightning, and chuu, a Japanese onomatopoeia for the squeak made by a mouse. The "Advanced Generation" drawing and sprite design of Pikachu was created by Ken Sugimori's team for its 2003 release on the Nintendo Game Boy Advance.

Popular culture

Pikachu, being the mascot of Pokémon, has often been shown in popular culture. Pikachu appeared in a " got milk?" ad in 1999. Additionally, since 2001, a Pikachu character balloon has been featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Its appearance on May 22, 2006 during the morning rush hour was as part of a test examining parade balloon handling procedures. The original balloon (shown in the picture) was retired following an appearance at the Pokémon Tenth Anniversary "Party of the Decade" on August 8th in Bryant Park in New York City, and a new Pikachu Balloon that chases a Poké Ball and has light-up cheeks debuted at the 2006 Parade.

The phrase "Pika-pika" is often considered funny: the Japanese expression "pika-pika hikaru" means stroke of lightning; it is also used to denote a small bald spot on the very top of the head still surrounded by hair. "Pika-pika" can also mean "shining" or "shimmering" and denotes the electric element of Pikachu.

The Simpsons has made references to Pikachu as well. In the episode Bart vs. Lisa vs. the Third Grade, after watching too much TV, Bart Simpson has strange visions of television characters surrounding him, one being Pikachu. Maggie Simpson was also dressed as a Pikachu in the openings of episodes 320 and 335 that were parodying anime.

A picture of Pikachu has also been featured on the ANA Boeing 747-400 (JA8962), landing at London Heathrow Airport. ( see image). In 2002, Ash's Pikachu received fifteenth place in TV Guide's 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time.

A Pikachu was also seen in Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me as Austin arrives in Tokyo.


Pikachu, as one of the most popular Pokémon, is often parodied. In the comic Hsu and Chan by Jeremy "Norm" Scott that appears in the magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly features a character named Chernobyl, a radioactive chipmunk that is a parody of Pikachu. Pikachu is also parodied in the Topps trading card series, Garbage Pail Kids.

The character The Cheat from Homestar Runner is also sometimes considered to be a Pikachu parody, although he was created before Pokémon was imported to America. The Brothers Chaps modified his design to give him more resemblance to a Pikachu after the Pokémon anime made its debut. Also, in The Cheat's Theme Song video, when the singer says "who's the guy that looks like The Cheat", a Pikachu flys by onscreen. In the anime universe, "Stinko Man K: 20x6", The Cheat is turned into "Cheatball", a Pikachu parody, and only says his own name like a Pokémon. Cheatball debuted in the e-mail "trading cards".

In the American clay animated series Robot Chicken, which spoofs on many TV shows and celebrities, made a spoof of what really happens in Pikachu's Pokéball and what he is really saying to Ash. Not only that, but another episode of Robot Chicken showed a Pikachu and a Squirtle conversing, with the Squirtle getting fed up of saying his own name.

In the American animated series Drawn Together the character Ling-Ling is a direct parody of Pikachu. In the series Ling-Ling's job is "Battle Master" which is a mock of the way trainers use Pokémon to battle each other. In flashbacks he is shown disembowelling his old "best friend", who resembles Ash Ketchum, and being kept in a triangular Poké Ball-like device.

In the popular cartoon comedy South Park, Pikachu as well as the entire Pokémon franchise was spoofed as Chinpokomon.

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