Arbok - Pikachu (#025) - Raichu
Lightning Rod (Hidden)
|First appearance||Pokémon Red and Blue|
|Created by||Game Freak|
|Designed by||Atsuko Nishida|
|Voiced by (English)|| Ikue Ohtani|
Rachael Lillis (on occasion in Season 1)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Ikue Ohtani|
Pikachu (JP) is one of the 802 species of Pokémon in the series of the same name. It is a Electric Pokémon that made its first appearance in the first generation games Red and Blue. Created by Satoshi Tajiri and his team at GameFreak, Pikachu quickly became the most popular of the 151 species introduced in the first generation, mostly because of its prominent role in the Pokémon anime. Pikachu is the mascot of the franchise, appearing in nearly every Pokémon game. It has appeared in every movie and is a regular in the Super Smash Bros. franchise.
Pikachu is number 25 in the National Pokédex and Kanto regional Pokédex. When given a Thunderstone, it will evolve into Raichu regardless of its level. Pichu evolves into Pikachu when it reaches its utmost happiness level.
Physiology and Behaviour
Pikachu are one foot tall yellow rodents. They have long ears with black tips and a lightning shaped tail (appropriate for their Pokémon type). Female Pikachu have two little bumps at the end of their tail, making it resemble a heart (this is the only gender difference of a Pikachu). Pikachu have two red cheeks in which they store their electricity, and if angered they absolve the energy and release it at their target. Pikachu most often recharge their electricity at night, and will accidentally discharge it when they wake up. With their electricity they are capable of healing their ally Pikachu. They are notably similar in appearance not only to Pichu and Raichu, but also to Plusle and Minun.
Pikachu live in the wild but are also known as great pets, though precautions are needed if one wishes to keep one. In the wild one will typically find them in packs, though they aren't particularly territorial and will only attack when threatened. Despite being good house pets, they can also be a nuisance due to their habit of destroying human made electrical appliances. Pulling on a Pikachu's tail will automatically send an electric shock to the one who pulled it and subsequently cause the Pikachu to bite the foe. In the wild, a group of Pikachu's have the ability to cause a lightning storm, though only do so when needed. Even when they do this, the lightning storm doesn't last long.
While Pikachu are commonly found in forests, plains, and around mountains, they may also be found in cities in towns due to the electrical allure of these areas, which will occasionally cause a Pikachu to even enter a building. In the wild, they have an appetite for berries which, if too hard, they will roast with their electricity to make them tender enough to eat. When in the wild, Pikachu will raise their tails to investigate their surroundings, though doing so may sporadically cause lightning to strike the creature.
Main Pokémon games
Pikachu has appeared in every main entry in the series, except for Pokémon Black and White, where it has to be transferred from Generation IV games. In Pokémon Red and Blue players can find the rare rodent in either Viridian Forest or the Power Plant, though in the game's remake Pokémon Yellow Pikachu was the only available starter Pokémon, and would follow the player around as it did in the Pokémon anime. In the second generation of games Pikachu could be found on Route 2, while in the GBA third generation titles he was only available in the Safari Zone (excluding the original game's remakes, where they were once again in Viridian Forest and the Power Plant). Most recently in the fourth generation of games for the Nintendo DS Pikachu and Pichu can both be found in the Trophy Garden.
There have been various games in which Pikachu is the central character. The previously mentioned Pokémon Yellow features Pikachu as the starter Pokémon, and, like its anime counterpart, is not comfortable inside a Poké Ball and thus remains outside of it, following its trainer around like a loyal pet. In the game the trainer has the ability to interact with it, but this option is very limited. While Yellow is the only game in the main series that contains Pikachu as a starter, some entries in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series also have it as a starter as well, though unlike Yellow being a Pikachu is a choice among many. In the Nintendo 64 game Hey You, Pikachu!, players could interact with an onscreen Pikachu using a microphone that came with the game.
Other Pokémon games
Pikachu has appeared on the cover of a variety of video games, including Pokémon Yellow, Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, Pokémon Puzzle League, Pokémon Pinball, Pokémon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire, Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Trozei, Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness, Pokémon Battle Revolution, Pokémon Channel, Pokémon Dash, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky, and all five Super Smash Bros. games.
There have been multiple consoles that were redesigned to have Pikachu placed on it. A special orange Nintendo 64 and blue Nintendo 64 were released with Pikachu on the right side of it. A bundle was made available that included both the console, a pocket watch and Hey You, Pikachu! for the Nintendo 64. When Pokémon Yellow was released Nintendo released a Game Boy Color with Pikachu decorated on the front. Released exclusively in the PokéCenters in Japan was a Game Boy Advance SP that had the facial features of Pikachu on the flap of the hardware. This special edition GBA SP was titled the Pokémon Pikachu Edition. In November of 2005 a special Game Boy Micro was released that featured Pikachu above the face buttons. Similar to the Pikachu themed GBA SP, Nintendo released a yellow DS Lite with Pikachu on the front cover. Four Pikachu faces were also present on the cover of the Pokémon DAISUKI Club edition DS Lite.
Super Smash Bros. seriesIn Super Smash Bros., several of Nintendo's Super Stars fight against each other. And since Pikachu is the mascot of the popular Pokémon series and Pokémon is Nintendo, Pikachu was one of the original 8 starter characters. There are also two sequels, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl in which Pikachu is playable in all of them. In this series, Pikachu can use Thunder, Quick Attack, Thunder Jolt, and Skull Bash (Skull Bash was introduced in Melee). In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Pikachu can use a move called Volt Tackle as his "Final Smash". Pikachu can use this move after it breaks a Smash Ball and
Pikachu will turn into a giant electric ball that the player can control, but when Pikachu controls the ball the player has to be careful because the ball goes really fast and you won't have enough control
- "It's safe to say that Pikachu is the most famous and popular of all Pokémon. It has electric pouches in both cheeks; when in danger, it shoots electricity at its enemies. Although Pikachu can evolve into Raichu by exposure to a Thunderstone, many trainers like Pikachu so much that they don't let it evolve."
Pikachu (Adventure) (Melee)
- "While its electrical attacks, such as Thunder and Thunder Jolt, are powerful, Pikachu is at its best speeding around the fray and waiting for its chance to strike. You can control the path of Pikachu's two-directional Quick Attack, allowing you to jump twice. Hold down the B Button to charge up Skull Bash."
Pikachu (All-Star) (Melee)
- "The angle of the Control Stick controls the direction of Pikachu's Quick Attack. Pikachu will move blindingly fast, and it will also cause damage to any character it runs into. Move the Control Stick during Quick Attack and Pikachu will move in up to two directions. Be sure to check out the ceilings on the level when you use Thunder."
- "A Mouse Pokémon. Its lightning-bolt tail and round cheeks are its trademarks. When danger draws near, it uses tiny electric pouches within its cheeks to discharge electricity. When it's really fired up, it unleashes thunderbolts on its rivals. It's said to recharge when it's sleeping. It evolves into Raichu."
Volt Tackle (Brawl)
- "Pikachu, transformed into a ball of light that can slam into foes. It can also fly to chase down those who try to jump out of range. Sparks get stronger when you press the attack button. However, its increased inertia makes midair movement tough. If you get carried away flying, the effect will end, and you'll destroy yourself. Be careful it doesn't happen to you."
In the anime
Pikachu is among the main characters of the anime, which consists of both the extremely long running television series and the film franchise which spans over ten movies. It is the Pokémon of trainer Ash Ketchum, and was his first Pokémon. Pikachu detests the idea of being kept inside a Poké Ball, whereas most Pokémon don't seem to matter. Because of this, Ash allows Pikachu to roam around free, though nonetheless Pikachu is loyal and stays by Ash's side.
In the first episode, titled "Pokémon, I Choose You!", Ash was going to go to Professor Oak's and receive his very first Pokémon, which in his region (Kanto) was typically either a Bulbasaur, Squirtle, or Charmander. However, by the time he got there, all of those Pokémon had been given out so he was given a Pikachu instead. Pikachu, however, would have nothing to do with Ash, and would consistently ignore him and his requests. When attacked by a group of Spearows, however, Ash saved the Pikachu and brought it to medic where they were able to heal it. Following this, Pikachu gradually came to accept Ash and the two became the best of friends.
There are many different members of this species in the Pokémon manga, of which there are many series. Pikachu have appeared in the mangas known as Pokémon Adventure, Electric Tale of Pikachu, Pokémon PiPIPi Adventure, Pocket Monsters, Pokémon Zensho (where it evolves into a Raichu), Pokémon Get da ze!, Akari and Pikachu's Birthday, Golden Boys, and the Pokémon newspaper strip. Pikachu's most common appearance is that in Pokémon Adventure, where it was owned by Red until he went missing. After this, Pikachu teamed up with Yellow for a couple years to find Red.
Trading Card and Figure Game
Pikachu has very many different Pokémon Trading Cards, with an estimated thirty of them being known. In some trainer cards, Pikachu can be seen. The first set that contained Pikachu was the Base Set, which was after its release available at E3. In the Trading Card Game there are three moves that Pikachu can perform that it can't in the video games, including Spark, Scratch, and Tackle. So far one figure of Pikachu has been made in the Trading Figure Game, that figure being Next Quest: Pikachu.
The Keaton Mask from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is speculated to be based on Pikachu. One of the guards in the game explains that it's really popular with children, which is the case with Pokémon. In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, a species was created based on the mask and was called a Keaton. In Picross NP Vol. 1, Pikachu is one of the images you can create in the game. In the Game Boy Camera, there is a stamp and a frame based on Pikachu.
Origin and inspiration
Ken Sugimori, who befriended the series creator years prior to the creation of Pokémon, designed the species. Pikachu first appeared in the Japanese Game Boy game Pokémon Red and Green, and in America they appeared in Pokémon Red and Blue. Due to Pikachu's increase in popularity, GameFreak made Pikachu the mascot of Pokémon Yellow and soon later Pikachu became the official mascot of the series, appearing in nearly every Pokémon game to date. In the main Pokémon games Pikachu is represented by sprites, and its overall in-game design has become slimmer as the series progressed. It has no speaking roles in the games, though rather the species is known to simply repeat their name, or the various syllables of it (Pi, Ka, and Chu). Pikachu is noted as the first electric type Pokémon created, and its name was decided upon because it would greatly appeal to both Eastern and Western audiences.
Pikachu's name originates from the Japanese word "Pika" (ぴかぴか), which means to sparkle or electrify, and "chūchū", which is a Japanese term for squeaking. In English, Pika means any of several small, furry mammals, of which Pikachu is, while in Finnish Pika means "quick".
|First Pokémon generation|
|Pokémon Red and Blue||When several of these Pokémon gather, their electricity could build and cause lightning storms.|
|Pokémon Yellow||It keeps its tail raised to monitor its surroundings. If you yank its tail, it will try to bite you.|
|Pokémon Stadium||Lives in forests away from people. It stores electricity in its cheeks for zapping an enemy if it is attacked.|
|Second Pokémon generation|
|Pokémon Gold||This intelligent Pokémon roasts hard berries with electricity to make them tender enough to eat.|
|Pokémon Crystal||When it is angered, it immediately discharges the energy stored in the pouches in its cheeks.|
|Third Pokémon generation|
|Pokémon Ruby||Whenever Pikachu comes across something new, it blasts it with a jolt of electricity. If you come across a blackened berry, it's evidence that this Pokémon mistook the intensity of its charge.|
|Pokémon Sapphire||This Pokémon has electricity-storing pouches on its cheeks. These appear to become electrically charged during the night while Pikachu sleeps. It occasionally discharges electricity when it is dozy after waking up.|
|Pokémon Emerald||It stores electricity in the electric sacs on its cheeks. When it releases pent-up energy in a burst, the electric power is equal to a lightning bolt.|
|Pokémon FireRed||It has small electric sacs on both its cheeks. If threatened, it looses electric charges from the sacs.|
|Pokémon LeafGreen||When several of these Pokémon gather, their electricity could build and cause lightning storms.|
|Fourth Pokémon generation|
|Pokémon Diamond||It lives in forests with others. It stores electricity in the pouches on its cheeks.|
|Pokémon Pearl||If it looses crackling power from the electrical pouches on its cheeks, it is being wary.|
|Pokémon Platinum||It occasionally uses an electric shock to recharge a fellow Pikachu that is in a weakened state.|
|Pokémon HeartGold||This intelligent Pokémon roasts hard berries with electricity to make them tender enough to eat.|
|Pokémon SoulSilver||It raises its tail to check its surroundings. The tail is sometimes struck by lightning in this pose.|
|Fifth Pokémon generation|
|Pokémon Black||It occasionally uses an electric shock to recharge a fellow Pikachu that is in a weakened state.|
|Pokémon White||It occasionally uses an electric shock to recharge a fellow Pikachu that is in a weakened state.|
|Pokémon Black 2||It occasionally uses an electric shock to recharge a fellow Pikachu that is in a weakened state.|
|Pokémon White 2||It occasionally uses an electric shock to recharge a fellow Pikachu that is in a weakened state.|
|Sixth Pokémon generation|
|Pokémon X||It raises its tail to check its surroundings. The tail is sometimes struck by lightning in this pose.|
|Pokémon Y||It has small electric sacs on both its cheeks. If threatened, it looses electric charges from the sacs.|
|Pokémon Omega Ruby||Whenever Pikachu comes across something new, it blasts it with a jolt of electricity. If you come across a blackened berry, it's evidence that this Pokémon mistook the intensity of its charge.|
|Pokémon Alpha Sapphire||This Pokémon has electricity-storing pouches on its cheeks. These appear to become electrically charged during the night while Pikachu sleeps. It occasionally discharges electricity when it is dozy after waking up.|
|Seventh Pokémon generation|
|Pokémon Sun||A plan was recently announced to gather many Pikachu and make an electric power plant.|
|Pokémon Moon||It's in its nature to store electricity. It feels stressed now and then if it's unable to fully discharge the electricity.|
Game Freak created 151 Pokémon species for the first game in the series, which initially released in 1996 in Japan. When creating each Pokémon, none of them were created with the intention of becoming the series' mascot, but rather GameFreak would observe fan's reactions towards each individual Pokémon and determine the mascot accordingly. Pikachu ultimately became the most popular of the first batch of creatures, and thus became the official mascot of the Pokémon franchise. Because of its prevail appearance as one of the main characters in the anime fueled its popularity among fans even further. To date, Pikachu can be obtained in every single Pokémon video game and is a playable character in every Super Smash Bros. title.
Outside of Pokémon media
Pikachu has been featured on airplanes, automobiles, and even a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon (it introduced the 2006 show and was the first balloon to have built in electricity to light up the Pokémon's cheeks). Pikachu was present in a "got milk?" commercial (Mario was also present in one), and TV Guide regarded Pikachu as the fifteenth best cartoon character on television, beating out characters such as Mickey Mouse, Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry, Superman, and Batman. Pikachu has been mentioned in movies such as Top Gear and television shows such as Heroes. The character Ling-Ling from Drawn Together is based on Pikachu. Pikachu has appeared in a skit in Robot Chicken that shows what goes on in a Poké Ball. Pikachu was present in The Simpsons episode Bart vs. Lisa vs. The Third Grade, while Maggie Simpson was dressed as Pikachu in the episode 'Tis the Fifteenth Season. In the movie Austin Powers in Goldmember, a character dressed as Pikachu is seen running down a street.
Pikachu (or at least, Pikachu's tail) was to have a cameo appearance in Rare's controversial Nintendo 64 game, Conker's Bad Fur Day. While it had to be scrapped before release at Nintendo's request, footage from an unfinished cutscene surfaced that the Pokémon was to be beaten up by Don Weaso, but his attacks missed leaving Pikachu to flee.