Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Name (Japanese), Number||Pikachu, 25|
|Stage||Basic³ or Stage 1²|
|Evolves from||(none)³ or Pichu²|
|Height||1'4" (0.41 m)|
|Weight||13.0 lb (5.85 kg)|
|Shiny Color||The part of its body that's usually yellow turns orange|
|Gender distribution||50.0% male, 50.0% female|
| ¹ Stats for trading card versions may vary.|
² Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal
³ Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow
Pikachu is the most popular and notable Pokémon. It is obtainable in all eight of the Pokémon RPGs and is the species of one of the main characters in the Pokémon anime, the Pokémon manga series (Electric Tale of Pikachu), and the Ash & Pikachu manga.
Pikachu are yellow with brown stripes on their back, black-tipped ears, red cheeks, and lightning bolt-shaped tails. It lacks a typical 'natural' evolution but can be evolved via Thunderstone into Raichu. It is numbered as #25 in the National Pokédex. Also, in the second and third generations of the Pokémon games, Pikachu has an evolutionary predecessor, Pichu. Pichu will evolve into Pikachu through happiness.
Pikachu has also appeared in Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee as a very agile and mobile playable character. 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.
There is also a Pikachu virtual pet.
Ash Ketchum's Pikachu
In the Pokémon anime, Pikachu was Ash Ketchum's first Pokémon. Though Pikachu didn't like Ash at first, Ash demonstrated his willingness to sacrifice himself for Pikachu, and they became fast friends. Pikachu, who is rather independent minded in general, believes that it is strong enough without evolving and refuses to evolve into a Raichu. Pikachu is implied to be male, but is rarely addressed with a gendered pronoun.
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. Despite this, Pikachu can also get a cold and go out of control when it cannot release its electricity. Most notably, exposure to a magnetic field will cause Pikachu to get a cold. This has been done 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, such subsequently overloaded and exploded.
Many of the Pokémon animated shorts with all-Pokémon dialogue have featured Pikachu as the main character, and as the main voice of reason. As such, Pikachu is often a leader, helping to break up conflicts among other Pokémon.
Like many 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", and it refers to Togepi as "Pipipi", probably because in Japanese, "pii" means "little".
The phrase "Pika-pika" is often considered funny, particularly to Japanese speakers' ears. 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.
Pikachu is voiced by Ikue Ootani in all versions of the anime, except in early episodes of the English dubbed series, in which Rachael Lillis provided the voice in cases where another character's voice overlaps Pikachu's.
"Pikachu" is probably a portmanteau, derived from "pika", meaning "spark" or "sparkle" of lightning in the Japanese language, and "chū", an onomatopoeia in the Japanese language for the squeak made by a mouse. Coincidentally, there is a mouse-like lagomorph that makes its habitat in North America, known as a pika (IPA: , as opposed to /pika/ in "Pikachu"), but the relation between the animal and the Pokémon is purely coincidental.
- Red/Blue/Leaf Green: When several of these Pokémon gather, their electricity could build and cause lightning storms.
- Yellow: It keeps its tail raised to monitor its surroundings. If you yank its tail, it will try to bite you.
- Gold/Pokémon Stadium 2: This intelligent Pokémon roasts hard berries with electricity to make them tender enough to eat.
- Silver: It raises its tail to check its surroundings. The tail is sometimes struck by lightning in this pose.
- Crystal: When it is angered, it immediately discharges the energy stored in the pouches in its cheeks.
- Pokémon Stadium: Lives in forests away from people. It stores electricity in its cheeks for zapping an enemy if it is attacked.
- Ruby: Whenever a 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.
- 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.
- Fire Red: It has small electric sacs on both its cheeks. If threatened, it looses electric charges from the sacs.
In the Pokemon anime, many other Pikachu have also appeared. The most notable among these is Hiroshi's (Richie's) Pikachu, with mussed hair on its forehead. This one is nicknamed Leon in the original and Sparky in the English version. Although Sparky, unlike Ash's Pikachu, is indifferent about being inside its Poké Ball, it is almost always shown outside, similar to Ash's Pikachu.
Many episodes of the anime have also featured other unnamed Pikachu. Among them is "Pikachu's Goodbye" (English title), in which a large group of wild Pikachu appeared.
There's also an episode in which Ash gets magically transformed into a Pikachu for the last few minutes. Pikachu tickles Ash, and the episode ends. In the following episode, Ash is still a Pikachu, but reverts to human form before the episode's actual plot starts. This form of Ash is nicknamed by some as "Satochu", a portmanteau of "Satoshi" and "Pikachu".
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