"Yes. I am Ash. And now that I'm 10, I can finally get my Pokemon license. I will journey to gain the wisdom of Pokemon training. And I declare to the Pokemon of the world: I will be a Pokemon master."
These were the first words of Ash Ketchum: the protagonist of the Pokemon anime. Ever since this young boy has finally been old enough to train Pokemon, he has had a true passion for the creatures and becoming a trainer. As a matter of fact, he's been journeying throughout the world for around two decades now and still hasn't won a Pokemon League. That's what I call dedication.
Because of how far he's journeyed, Ash has encountered a lot of Pokemon over the years. While he catches only a small number of them in each series, he has amassed quite the impressive roster in that time. From starter Pokemon to rare shinies, Ash has just about anything you could think of (save for a legendary or two).
Now he's traveling in the Alola Region to complete the Island Trials. Due to this new adventure, it can be hard to remember the Pokemon that he keeps at Oak's Lab as well as the Pokemon he let go a long time ago. Do you remember them? Did Ash Ketchum have these Pokemon?
The Johto Region was full of interesting Pokemon that were very different to the fairly standard designs of the Kanto Region. One of these Pokemon was Pineco- a creature that was, quite literally, a sentient pine cone. However, this Pokemon has a lot of potential if you give it enough time. When trained properly, it will evolve into a Forretress: a Steel/Bug type that has amazing defensive capabilities. Learning moves like Explosion and Protect, Forretress is sure to keep people on their toes.
Chimchar is one of the three starters that new trainers receive in the Sinnoh Region. It also happens to be one of the most powerful Pokemon of its time as well. Very quickly it gains brutal Fire attacks that carry over when it evolves into Monferno, such as Flame Wheel. Then the stakes are raised even higher if it evolves again into Infernape. Boasting the Fire/Fighting type, there is little reason to not get a fiery Chimchar. Did Ash have this same mindset?
The beaches of the Kanto Region are swarming with all kinds of different Pokemon. The one you'll see most often is called Krabby. This little Water type crab seems harmless but packs a powerful pinch if you get close to its claws. Ash and his friends came across a few Krabby while they traveled Kanto, and needless to say, it garnered some painful results at times. But did we ever see Krabby get a bigger role in the Pokemon anime?
No matter which Region you're in, you're bound to know what a Zubat is and hate it. When you're in a cave, these little buggers will appear just about anywhere you can think of. If you can get past that, they can be useful in combat if you catch one and train it. Ash and his friends throughout many seasons encountered several Zubat in what felt like a regular basis. Because of this, Ash had plenty of opportunities to snag one.
Ash has a legacy of getting at least one starter Pokemon from each generation. Sometimes he acquires all three. Blaziken is the final evolution of one of the starters in the Hoenn Region. Having the Fire/Fighting type like Infernape, Blaziken is designed to hit hard and hit fast. Blaziken played a big part in both the Advanced and X and Y series whether it be plot-wise or battle-wise. There was even one with Ash and his friends, but was it his?
When traveling by sea, there's no better way to get around than by hopping on the back of a Lapras. While there isn't much room for many people, it's more than enough for a few friends. Because of this utility, Lapras has been a mainstay of the Pokemon anime for a long time, appearing in many different series but serving the same purpose. Ash has encountered many of these Pokemon during his travels and finds them quite pleasant and handy.
The Unova Region has a few Pokemon you'll be seeing as often as a Zubat, and Roggenrola is one of them. This little rocky version of Mike Wazowski doesn't do much in combat, but can at least take a hit (from anything other than a Water attack). When evolved, it starts to have more capabilities in battle as Boldore. It can hit harder and protect itself from most incoming attacks. If you're lucky enough to trade it with someone, you'll be rewarded with a Gigalith.
Ice Pokemon are fairly difficult to find in just about any Region you can think of. They don't typically appear until later in the game and you'll likely never find any evolved forms in the wild. This is the case with Glalie. Don't expect to come across one of these powerhouses in tall grass. You might find a Snorunt, and if you do, that's the only way to get a Glalie. However, these ice balls look fearsome but tend to be affectionate to their trainers.
Many people who grew up playing Pokemon reached a lot of milestones when they found and caught a Caterpie. Caterpie is often a trainer's first Pokemon to evolve twice and gain dual typing. The final evolution is Butterfree. This adorable Bug/Flying type not only learns many useful status-affecting attacks but also uses moves like Confusion to deal a decent amount of damage to its foes. Ash has come across several Butterfree in his travels, from his first days to his trek through the Kalos Region.
One of the best episodes of the Indigo League was when Ash and his friends come to a town covered in grime and smog. Nobody is out on the streets because the town itself was infested with Pokemon called Grimer (the only safe place was a Pokemon center). These sentient sludge balls caused a lot of problems for our favorite trio and it took some quick thinking in order to dispatch them. But did Ash dispatch them by keeping one for himself?
Perhaps one of the most mischievous Pokemon in existence, Aipom embodies a monkey in every sense of the word. They love climbing everything, but if there is food lying around, you bet that they'll do everything they can to get their grubby little hands on it. Aipom was first created in the Johto Region but has since appeared in other Regions, like Sinnoh, to cause more nuisances for travelers and trainers. At least he got an evolution to make him more useful.
The first starter Pokemon that Ash ever caught was a Bulbasaur. This fierce grass Pokemon was known to protect many other creatures of the forest and grew to like Ash as a result. It eventually challenged him to a battle and the ten-year-old beat and captured it for his own team. Bulbasaur then joined Ash for a large portion of his journey. Because it was with him for so long, did Ash ever decide to evolve Bulbasaur into an Ivysaur?
There were several Johto Pokemon introduced very early on in the anime, and Togepi was one of them. When Ash and his friends were given a mysterious egg, they all argued as to who would keep the Pokemon when it hatched. In order to settle the score for certain, they decided to have a battle amongst each other (including Team Rocket for some reason). After beating everyone he faced, Ash actually won the tournament and was given the egg as a prize.
If you ever come across a Primeape throughout your travels, it's probably best to turn around and walk the other direction. These Fighting type Pokemon are some of the fiercest creatures to ever exist in the universe. Not only do they have brutal tempers, but they've been known to chase people for miles because of how angry they tend to get. Primeape can be quite excellent in combat, but training it is the part that will challenge even the most skilled trainers.
There are only three Ghost type Pokemon in the Kanto Region: Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar. The reason that they were put into the game was so that Psychic types had some kind of counter other than the mostly weak Bug type. These Ghost Pokemon resided in Lavender Town, which was right next to the Psychic Gym Leader, which was fortunate for most trainers at the time. Haunter is the middle-evolution in this trio and gets even more powerful when evolving into Gengar.
Gligar was and still is a very unique Pokemon. Being a Ground/Flying type, it was almost contradictory in how it was created. However, it's hard to deny that a flying scorpion Pokemon is extremely cool to look at. When Generation Four came out, Gligar was given an evolution in the form of Gliscor. This enhanced version of Gligar had better stats, better moves, and an overall better design. It quickly became one of the most beloved evolutions introduced in the Sinnoh series.
The Johto saga was one series where Ash caught all three starters: Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile. The former of this group, Chikorita, is the grass starter and was a fairly popular pick for many trainers. It's sauropod design brought in many fans. It can also learn many useful moves like Solar Beam and Synthesis. Ash's Chikorita loved him very much and was known to tackle hug him and smother him with affection. This is something that would continue as Ash trained it.
Dragon Pokemon are all the rage among players of the games and fans of the series. Somehow, despite all of the Dragon types that have been created, Game Freak seems to not run out of ideas when creating more. Proof of this is when they created the Sinnoh Region's Dragon types based off of sand sharks. The first Pokemon in the evolution line is Gible. This temperamental Pokemon has a lot of potential in the power department, but it takes some special training to access it.
Ash was given a second chance at raising an egg in the Johto Region. After winning a riding contest, he was rewarded with an adorable blue egg. After carrying it for several episodes, the egg eventually hatched into the elephant Pokemon known as Phanpy. Phanpy helped Ash out in the Johto League but was left at Oak's Lab when he traveled to the Hoenn Region. However, during the Battle Frontier series, Ash took it out again into his team to fight once more.
While Ash didn't get all of the starters in the Kalos Region, he arguably got the coolest one of them all: Froakie. This Froakie wasn't just any Froakie though: it was incredibly strong in combat. As a matter of fact, the Pokemon rarely lost a fight and took it very hard when it did. Nonetheless, it's bond with Ash caused it to persevere and improve its abilities throughout the Kalos Region, and it became a heavy hitter when Ash entered the Kalos League.
When trainers come across a bush, they always have to check twice to make sure that it's not a mess of vines instead. If so, it's probably a wild Tangela. These critters are composed entirely of vines and use many whip-based attacks as a result. They're not the best in combat, but they're interesting to look at. Game Freak made them more useful in Generation Four when they were given an evolution in the form of Tangrowth. Both Pokemon have appeared in the anime several times.
Beedrill are some of the most feared Pokemon that fictional world. They behave very similarly to bees in real life (so don't go messing with their hives) and tend to be extremely territorial. The only difference is that Beedrill are much larger and have giant stingers for front legs. As you might expect, they've appeared in many episodes of the Pokemon anime to provide our heroes with something to run away from. Yet there were a few times when Beedrill were used in battle.
The tradition of Ash getting all of the starter Pokemon began in the Kanto region when he managed to capture Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. Ash found his Charmander abandoned on a stormy night. It was extremely sick and was waiting for its trainer (a jerk who told it to stay there). Thankfully, Ash and his friends found the Charmander and nursed it back to health. From then on, Charmander became a pivotal part of Ash's team. It even evolved into Charmeleon.
Some Pokemon were given long overdue evolutions in later generations, and others were simply given more options (looking at you, Eevee). One Pokemon that this happened to was Poliwag. Originally, it could only evolve into a Poliwhirl and then a Poliwrath via a Water Stone. However, Game Freak gave it another evolution in Generation Two called Politoed. If it's given a King's Rock, it then changes form into Politoed- a Pokemon that is fairly decent in battle and has appeared several times in the anime.
Early on in the Unova series, Ash and his friends were harassed by a particular Sandile that had a love for sunglasses. It appeared in many episodes and even evolved to become stronger. It quickly became one of the biggest contenders in that series and was a force to be reckoned with. It later reappeared in the Unova League under the guise of a particular trainer (snazzy shades and all). The question is: was Ash the one who trained it?