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Ash Ketchum has caught a fairly large number of Pokémon during his journeys. Being a trainer that doesn’t focus on specific types, he has caught a variety of different Pokémon from all generations. Some of them are just regular Pokémon, but some are par of some specific groups, such as Starter Pokémon or Pseudo-legendary Pokémon. Yet, we cannot but ask ourselves – has Ash ever caught any Legendary or Mythical Pokémon, the rarest Pokémon in existence? We’ll soon see!
Ash Ketchum has caught one Mythical Pokémon, Meltan, but he hasn’t caught any Legendary ones, despite forming a close bond and friendship with Nebby, who would later evolve into Solgaleo.
Pokémon, which is short for Pocket Monsters, is a media franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori back in 1995. It is a fantasy franchise set in a world where humans live together with creatures called Pokémon, who take on different shapes and sizes. It started off as a series of video games for the Game Boy console, but soon expanded to other media. The video games and the anime (including the connected films) are the most popular brands today, although the franchise has expanded to even live-action movies like Pokémon Detective Pikachu.
Now that we’ve given you a short introduction, let us discuss the topic in more detail.
Who is Ash Ketchum?
Ash Ketchum, known in Japan as Satoshi (Japanese: サトシ), is the main character and protagonist of the Pokémon anime. He lives in Pallet Town with his mother and on the first day of his adventure, he sleeps in and arrives late to Professor Oak’s laboratory so he does not receive his starter Pokémon. Seeing how desperate he was, Oak offered him a wild and untamed Pikachu he had in his lab and Ash gladly accepted.
Although Pikachu did not like Ash in the beginning and hurt him intentionally after Ash risked his own life to save Pikachu’s they became the best of friends and started their journey together through the different regions of the world of Pokémon.
Although he has seemingly not aged a day since his first day, Ash has changed a lot while travelling with Pikachu and his other friends; his companions changed as the seasons went by. He caught a lot of different Pokémon, he fought a lot of hard battles, he helped save the world on several occasions and he has appeared in all episodes of the anime and all the related anime movies.
He can be described as a brave and sincere, sometimes gullible, and high-spirited boy. He knows the meaning of true friendship and is willing to sacrifice himself for the well-being of his friends and his Pokémon. He has proven this on several occasions as the anime developed and there is no doubt that our interpretation of the character is correct.
What are Legendary and Mythical Pokémon?
Before we answer the main question, we though it’d be good to explain to you what Legendary and Mythical Pokémon actually are and what constitutes a Legendary or Mythical Pokémon.
Unlike some groups (e.g. Pseudo-legendary Pokémon), Legendary and Mythical Pokémon are official groups within the Pokémon universe. They are both groups of exceptionally rare and usually very powerful Pokémon that exist in the universe. Although the two groups are related, they are separate from each other. The group of Mythical Pokémon has been introduced to the franchise during Generation V (except in Korea, where the group existed before), after which Legendary Pokémon were divided into “real” Legendary Pokémon and Mythical Pokémon.
What is the difference between these groups? Well, there is actually no official criteria for classifying a Pokémon as Legendary or Mythical, so there is also no official criteria for distinguishing them one from another. The only reliable source is the official information provided by The Pokémon Company, whose world is final on this issue. Legendary Pokémon are exceptionally rare and are prominently featured in various legends and myths about the creation and evolution of the world of Pokémon. They might be rare, but their existence is generally not disputed.
On the other hand, Mythical Pokémon are so rare that their very existence is doubted by many, which is why they are usually perceived as mythological beings, rather than actual Pokémon.
In the games, Legendary Pokémon were usually mascots of the different versions of generation-specific games, with each of them being obtainable only in the game whose mascot it was. Sometimes, more than one Legendary Pokémon could be obtainable in a game, but some of them were version-exclusive. What is important to note is that they were regularly obtainable in the game.
Mythical Pokémon, on the other hand, were never obtainable in the games and could be caught only via special events (usually ticketed events) that would make them available for catching legally. In the anime, both Legendary and Mythical Pokémon rarely appeared in the TV series (although they have had some appearances), but were heavily featured in the movies, usually being the central Pokémon in them.
Has Ash ever caught a Legendary or Mythical Pokémon?
This section is going to be divided into two sections, one dealing with Legendary Pokémon, and the other with Mythical Pokémon.
When it comes to Legendary Pokémon, Ash hasn’t really caught one, neither in the anime series, nor in the movies. He has befriended practically all of them, as he aided the Legendary Pokémon in the movies and protected them from harm, but he hasn’t actually caught one. The closest he came to “owning” a Legendary Pokémon was when he was travelling with the Cosmog named Nebby, who later evolved into Solgaleo. Ash never actually caught Nebby, but he travelled with it for a while and the two of them became so close that they were practically partners. But no, Ash never caught it so his Legendary Pokémon tally remains at zero.
Mythical Pokémon are even more difficult to catch and based on what we know of the in-anime universe, most of them might even be impossible to catch. Still, Ash has indeed caught one Mythical Pokémon – Meltan! The new Pokémon was actually a Generation VII Pokémon introduced to the general public in the Pokémon Go mobile game, and it soon appeared in the anime as a newly-discovered species. Interestingly enough, Meltan doesn’t actually “work” as a regular Mythical Pokémon – it can evolve, it is not unique, it can be caught, etc. – which accounts for why Ash had caught it.
Ash offered the Meltan he encountered to join his team, and it did. Later, it would evolve into Melmetal, thus becoming the first and so far only Mythical Pokémon caught by Ash. Ash’s Melmetal currently resided with Professors Kukui and Burnet.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!