Many strange occurrences have been the focal point of Ash’s adventures in the Pokémon series over the years. From battles with ancient Legendary beasts, to attempting to thwart Team Rocket at their newest stint to create mayhem, the plot often laces in odd hijinks to break up what could easily become a dry repetition of the same “catch ’em all” adventures. One of the more bizarre occurrences to happen in the story involves a situation where Ash was turned into a Pokémon himself, and the funny way it has impacted game events like in Pokémon GO!
Ash has indeed been turned into a Pokémon, and it is only fitting that when it happened, he became a strange fusion of himself and Pikachu. ‘Ashachu,’ as this creation was dubbed, looks like a normal Pikachu for the most part, but sports the hero’s hair, eye shape, and signature hat. Of all the characters in Pokémon, and situations set up in both the games and the TV show, this could be up there with the strangest plot choices made by writers. Ashachu’s design seems to be something out of a Pokémon-inspired anxiety dream.
Ash was turned into Ashachu in the Pokémon episode 241, “Hocus Pokémon.” In the episode, Ash and his friends Brock and Misty encounter a witch named Lily. During the course of the episode’s story, Ash begs Lily to pick him as a target for her spell so he can see what it does and if it actually works, but the spell backfires. Instead of connecting the Pikachu’s mind, Ash is entirely transformed and is stuck as Ashachu until the magic wears off. Along with other strange things in the TV show and Manga, like the confirmation that Pokémon can kill each other, Ash’s transformation into a Pikachu is up there with some of the stranger things fans have seen happen in the course of Pokémon’s storyline.
Another interesting effect of this transformation actually comes in the form of the Ash Hat Pikachu events seen in games like Pokémon GO! and Pokémon Sword and Shield. While Pikachu isn’t sporting Ash’s hair and eyes for these adorable special versions, the inspiration for these normal Pikachu in hats has made for an adorable variant on the much-loved electric mouse Pokémon. Ash’s magical mishap in the old episode from the Pokémon show may be strange, but the outcome of Pikachu in hats seems to be well-received by fans, who might be eager to collect each region variant for these event specials.
Ash Ketchum was the first trainer in the series to become a Pokémon, and it seems only fitting that the spell transformed him into a version of his own signature companion. The Pokémon series is known for making some strange choices both with characters and story ideas. However, these twists and turns are part of what keep fans interested in the series, as they never know what might befall Ash and his companions in the next episode, or how it might influence the entire Pokémon universe. While Ashachu might be a strange sight to encounter, turning into a Pokémon is just another hazard of what it takes to become a Pokémon Master for the story’s young hero.