Why Ash's Pikachu will never evolve in the Pokemon anime - Dexerto

Why Ash’s Pikachu will never evolve in the Pokemon anime

Published: 12/Sep/2020 18:10

by Paul Cot


Ash and Pikachu are synonymous with the Pokemon anime. For years now though, fans of the franchise have wondered if Pikachu will ever evolve into Raichu. Here’s why that’s unlikely.

As certain as Jessie and James will blast off again, Pikachu will always be by Ash’s side. It would be unthinkable to watch a Pokemon episode and that not be the case.

We’ll never know whether the Pokemon Company has seriously considered the evolution, but more than 23 years since its inception, it hasn’t happened.

Pikachu is the face of Pokemon

Many believe there is a very simple explanation as to why we won’t ever see Ash and Raichu as a partnership. That is because Pikachu is the face of Pokemon.


If Ash’s Pikachu did ever evolve, there would certainly be no going back. This isn’t Mega Evolution after all. Fans love Raichu, at least the more die-hard ones do, but there’s no getting away from the fact that it isn’t Pikachu.

Ash's Gigantamax Pikachu
Ash’s Gigantamax Pikachu debuted in February 2020…

The real reason there won’t be Ash and Raichu

As pointed out by Majesticman713, Ash’s Pikachu is actually a G-Max Pikachu. This was discovered in the 1,098th episode of the Pokemon anime – better known as Episode 13 of Pokemon Journeys: The Series (JN013).

This occurred in a battle with Gigantamax Drednaw where initially Ash and Pikachu had decided to run. However, they came across glowing cracks in the ground which turned out to be Dynamax energy. This made Pikachu change into its Gigantamax form.


This is significant because, as we have learned in Pokemon Sword and Shield, species capable of Gigantamaxing cannot evolve. That means, of course, Pikachu can’t evolve into Raichu even if it wanted to.

Long time fans of the Pokemon franchise and specifically the anime, will remember Pikachu refusing to evolve following a defeat to Lt. Surge’s Raichu. Realistically the Gigantamax phenomenon was created long after that, but for the sake of story-line consistency, Pikachu wouldn’t have been able to evolve anyway. It did look like it was struggling not to, though!