|Name:||Ash Ketchum (Satoshi)|
|Location:||Pallet Town, Kanto|
|Relationships:||Delia Ketchum (mother)|
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Ash Ketchum, or Satoshi in Japan, is the main character of the Pokémon anime. He begins the series when he is 10 years old and, fourteen seasons later, has not aged.
Ash's English surname is a pun on the the original English motto for the anime, "Gotta Catch 'em All!" His given name may have been derived from his Japanese name, Satoshi. "Satoshi" is also the given name of Pokémon's creator, Satoshi Tajiri, and means "wisdom" or "reason."
Ash crossdresses twice more in subsequent seasons (episodes Love at First Flight and Tanks for the Memories!), but he does not go by "Ashley." However, fans have adopted the name to refer to any instance of crossdressing!Ash, and some even use the name for a genderswapped!Ash.
"Ashachu" (or Satochu) is a fannish term used to describe Ash as a Pikachu, which happened once in canon during the episode Hocus Pokémon. Though this was a minor occurrence in the anime, "Ashachu" has generated significant fan attention.
Ashachu appears in numerous fanworks (including those in the DeviantArt group dedicated to him), and has been shipped with various Pokemon, including Pikachu. The Ash/Pikachu ship, known alternately as "AshachuShipping" or "SatochuShipping," has since accumulated moderate support.
As the main character, Ash has been shipped with nearly every other character in the series. The most infamous shipping debates have been between fans who pair him with one of his female traveling companions: Misty (PokéShipping), May (AdvanceShipping), Dawn (PearlShipping), or, as of the most recent season, Iris (NegaiShipping). Palletshippers, who pair Ash with his hometown rival Gary Oak also tend to make their voices heard.Many fans are frustrated by the amount of shipping in the fandom and believe that Ash will never be paired with anyone in the anime because its intended audience is young children. One fan artist says:
Nonetheless, Ash has been paired with everyone from Professor Oak to Jynx.
There's a whole lot of conflicting schools of thought out there regarding which girl Ash should be dating by now - Misty, May, or Dawn. These conflicts are basically fueled by the people who don't realize that the anime doesn't create serious romantic relationships for its main characters (which renders their arguments completely moot anyway), but it's always entertaining to watch the three competing groups bicker amongst each other.
- genderswap : Ash Ketchum by Y-Mangaka - girl!Ash fanart
- The Many Loves of Ash Ketchum by jbwarner86 - comic poking fun at Ash pairings
- The Pride of Pallet Town by Laura-Satoko - Ash fanart