The Pokémon anime was a huge hit partially due to the games becoming so popular with kids, but also due to the relationships, Ash Ketchum built with his pokémon along his journey.
He's owned numerous creatures and obtained them in almost every way imaginable. Simply focusing on the first 10 pokémon he ever caught would also showcase the diversity in which these amazing creatures join his side in battle. Let's take a look at those first 10 pokémon Ash had and rank them from worst to first.
Most people don't remember Ash having a Raticate, and he probably doesn't either since it was a very temporary ownership. A
fter battling an older gentleman on the St. Anne, the man was impressed by Ash's Butterfree and asked if he'd like to trade. After some thinking, Ash made the trade, but viewers knew it was a mistake as the one time he used Raticate he mistakenly thought he was sending out his Butterfree.
Instant regret set in and thankfully the gentleman was nice enough to reverse the trade they had made.
Ash's Krabby played a huge role in the story for several reasons. First, the only reason Ash caught it was to prove Misty wrong after she said he only caught pokémon in fluke circumstances. Secondly, since Ash already had six pokémon in his party when he caught Krabby he learned that it was sent to Professor Oak's lab to reside.
Though it was rarely used, Ash took Krabby with him to the Pokémon League where it evolved into a Kingler as it single-handedly took down the first champion, Mandi.
Primeape is one of Ash's pokémon that fans of the anime get hung up on the most wondering what could have been if Ash kept him by his side. Unlike all of the other pokémon that Ash has let go of, Primeape was never seen again on the show despite being hinted at.
Ash left his aggressive, but beloved Primeape in the hands of a fighting-type pokémon trainer who wanted to help it become the champion of the famous P1 Grand Prix. Hopefully, it forgot about Ash or understood he was never returning.
Calling the Haunter that accompanied Ash in Saffron City his doesn't seem accurate, but he did use him in battle so it seemingly qualifies.
Not only did Haunter's joking personality help ease the tension with ghost-type pokémon, but it helped heal Sabrina and save her from herself. Unfortunately for Ash, before they were finally able to defeat Sabrina, Haunter decided to take a break and play hide and seek with Ash. Thankfully it returned at the last moment saving Pikachu from a guaranteed defeat.
Pidgeotto is one of the few examples early in the series of Ash not catching a pokémon at its base form. After failing to catch either a Pidgey or a Spearow, Ash figured he'd try his hand at capturing Pidgey's evolution.
Despite sending his Caterpie out to fail due to a terrible type disadvantage Ash managed to catch the ferocious bird thanks to a thundershock attack by Pikachu. Ash's Pidgeotto has the honor of being used in Ash's first-ever battle encounter with Team Rocket.
Despite often being picked on for supposedly being the least desired Kanto region starter pokémon, Bulbasaur has managed to be by Ash's side for most of his journey.
Ash came across Bulbasaur when his crew came in contact with a hidden village where Misty tried catching a wild Oddish. At the last moment, an angry Bulbasaur came out of nowhere to rescue the Oddish.
After Team Rocket attacked the village, the resident healer Melanie told Bulbasaur it was best for him to join Ash as his growth was being stunted guarding the village.
Many people forget that Ash's Squirtle used to be the leader of a notorious trouble-making group of Squirtles known as the Squirtle Squad. Ash and friends ran into the crew and had to navigate threats and their ongoing problem of Team Rocket while trying to heal Ash's Pikachu who was badly injured in a battle with a Goldeen.
Ash sacrificed himself to save the leader of the Squirtle Squad from Team Rocket and in return pledged itself to joining Ash on his journey to become the greatest trainer of all-time.
The Caterpie that happens to be the first wild pokémon Ash ever catches endured quite a life alongside Ash. On top of being hated by Misty and picked on for being weak, it also managed to get destroyed in battle when Ash was trying to catch Pidgeotto.
Before Ash released Butterfree into the wild to live a life alongside its newly found mate, it went through numerous adventures alongside Ash. At one point Ash even traded his supposedly beloved Butterfree for a Raticate, but quickly regretted it and traded for it back.
The Pokémon anime was mostly light-hearted and goofy, but boy did it manage to include some truly heartbreaking storytelling. The episode in which Ash gets a Charmander is set up by him coming to the rescue of an abandoned Charmander who stays in the rain waiting for his trainer.
Despite the weather being dangerous due to the chance of its tail going out and it dying as a result, it stays committed to waiting for its trainer. Thankfully Ash steps up and takes Charmander in as one of his own.
Of course, Ash's Pikachu was going to come in at the #1 spot on this list. Pikachu not only was his first pokémon but has stuck by his side through every journey across all regions.
Their relationship didn't start in the best of places as Pikachu was resistant and difficult, but as their trust grew their bond became unbreakable. They've seen each other at their highest and lowest of points and fought it out to come out on the other side smiling. Look for them to be tied to one another for the rest of time.