Pokemon Exec Finally Explains Why Ash Began His Journey With a Pikachu

The Pokemon series is setting the stage for Ash Ketchum's final episode in the anime after 25 long years, and one of the executives behind it all has finally explained why Ash began his journey with a Pikachu all those years ago. Pokemon: Aim to Be a Pokemon Master is a special series now airing in Japan meant to say goodbye to Ash after a final slate of anime episodes, and over the years fans have seen Ash and Pikachu grow much closer as a duo than when the series first began their very prickly relationship. It turns out that this was a very deliberate choice. 

With Pokemon: Aim to Be a Pokemon Master now in its final couple of episodes before the Pokemon anime comes to an end, director behind the Pokemon anime franchise, Kunihiko Yuyama, explained in a recent interview with Animedia magazine (recently translated by notable fan and reporter, Dephender) that Pikachu was chosen as Ash's partner because Yuyama knew that Ash wouldn't get one of the three original Kanto Starters and it would have made fans sad as a result. 

(Photo: The Pokemon Company)

Pokemon: Why Ash Started Out With Pikachu

"I think of Pikachu as a combination of cuteness, strength and the ability to bring a few laughs," Yuyama began. "By the way, I decided from the very get-go that the Pokemon that would become [Ash's] partner would not be one of the three you choose between at the start of the video game, since I figured that might make some of the viewers sad. That's why he ended up with a Pikachu, a decision I'm really glad I made." Speaking to Ash and Pikachu's early antagonistic partnership, Yuyama explained it was meant to further flesh out this Pokemon world as a whole. 

"Pokemon aren't always what humans expect them to be like," Yuyama continued. "They're unique individuals that each have their own individual reasons for how they interact with humans. That's the kind of themes, or relationships, the Pokémon anime shows; How someone can eventually get along despite being unable to communicate at all when they first meet. Communication is one of the main themes of the show, and Satoshi's first Pokemon, Pikachu, puts it into practice. There are so many different kinds of Pokemon in this world, so when we depict them, we try to start by imagining what would happen if these Pokémon actually did exist in a given place, and what those Pokémon would be doing in that case, then let the story develop from there."

After all these years, it's safe to say Ash and Pikachu's relationship has been one of the best things to see develop over Pokemon's anime run! How do you feel about the duo after all these years of Pokemon's anime? Let us know all of your thoughts about it in the comments! You can even reach out to me directly about all things animation and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!