Ash’s relationships with his Pokémon are quite diverse. Throughout the anime, we have seen true friendships that are everlasting, like with Pikachu or Greninja, some comical relationships, like with Snorlax and Muk, but also some quite difficult ones, the best example of which is Ash’s relationship with his Charizard. Although Ash initially saved Charmander’s life, as it evolved, the Pokémon became a true maverick and Ash had real problems before they eventually reached a normal trainer-Pokémon relationship. Although it never really was like that, most people do wonder why Ash’s Charizard hated him and we are going to answer that question in today’s article!
Charizard never really hated Ash. While he was still a Charmander, Ash saved its life, but as it evolved, it became more stubborn and disobedient. Charmeleon, and especially Charizard, considered itself very powerful while, on the other hand, considering Ash and his abilities as a trainer at the time, too weak. This is why Charizard was so disobedient, but it never really hated Ash at any point.
In today’s article, we are going to tell you the story of Ash’s relationship with his Charizard and then answer the question from the title. You’re going to find out why Charizard was so problematic and why Ash eventually left him with his kin. You’re also going to find out whether they reconciled if they were ever reunited as a team. We have prepared a lot of interesting information for you today so keep reading until the very end!
Charizard is a dual Fire/Flying-type Pokémon first introduced in Generation I. He is the final evolution of Charmander, evolving from Charmeleon starting at level 36. Since Charmander is a Starter Pokémon, Charizard is actually the final evolution form of one of the first three Starter Pokémon in the whole franchise.
Although he looks like a dragon, Charizard is actually not a Dragon-type Pokémon. One of his Mega Evolutions, Mega Charizard X, is a dual Fire/Dragon-type Pokémon, but the main Pokémon is not one. The Pokémon can only be obtained once in the game, by selecting Charmander as your starter Pokémon and evolving it to its highest level. Charizard is a very powerful Pokémon and is one of the strongest Fire-type Pokémon in the whole series. If you add his Mega Evolutions and his Gigantamax Form, he is stronger than most Legendary Fire-type Pokémon, which is pretty impressive. In the original Japanese games and anime, he is called Lizardon (Japanese: リザードン).
Let us see Charizard’s evolution line:
With his additional forms being:
|Mega Charizard X |
(w/ Charizardite X)
|Mega Charizard Y|
(w/ Charizardite Y)
(w/ Dynamax Band)
Like most final evolutions of Starter Pokémon, Charizard is very strong and can be a good pick for a starting Pokémon in the video games. He has the ability to learn Fire-, Flying- and Dragon-based moves, along with a lot of other types of moves via TM’s and HM’s. His base stat total is very high for a Pokémon that doesn’t belong to any special group, with the numbers additionally increasing through Mega Evolution. Let us see the numbers for Charizard and his Mega Evolutions:
|Stat||Charizard||Mega Charizard X||Mega Charizard Y|
Now that you know everything there is to know about Charizard in general, let us talk a bit about Ash’s Charizard.
Ash caught his Charmander in the episode “Charmander – The Stray Pokémon”. It was his fifth Pokémon overall and the fourth Pokémon he caught in the Kanto region. In the episode, Ash and his friends met a Charmander on a rock next to the road they were taking. The Charmander was very weak, but it still managed to resist Ash’s Poké Ball twice, later explaining to Pikachu that it was waiting for its trainer, Damian. Damian was a boastful trainer who grew tired of Charmander and abandoned it because it was weak, telling it to wait for him on the rock until he comes back; later, when Ash met Damian, he found out that it was all a lie, so Ash and his friends rushed to save Charmander from the rain (namely, had its tail flame gone out, Charmander would’ve died). Charmander was healed in the Pokémon Center, but it returned to the rock, waiting for Damian. He later helped Ash and Pikachu fight Team Rocket, after which Damian came and wanted to take it back, lying again that he had left it there to toughen it up. Charmander refused and sent Damian away, after which it joined Ash’s team.
Charmander and Ash quickly became good friends and Ash often used Charmander in battle, increasing its experience. This culminated in the episode “March of the Exeggutor Squad”, when Charmander evolved to Charmeleon. But at that moment – their relationship changed!
Charmeleon stopped being loyal to Ash and was often a disobedient maverick who would ignore and annoy Ash on purpose. In the episode “The Problem with Paras”, Cassandra’s grandmother explained that by evolving, Charmeleon’s experience exceeded Ash’s, which resulted in Charmeleon not wanting to obey a weak trainer. Their relationship developed in the shadow of this fact, with Ash’s opting not to use Charmeleon due to its disobedience.
Charmeleon reappeared in the episode “Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon”, when Ash called it out to fight the wild Fossil Pokémon. Charmeleon was knocked over by an Aerodactyl, which made it upset. Hurt and embarrassed, Charmeleon wanted to fight and evolved into Charizard in the process. Although Charizard saved Ash on that occasion, it continued itss disobedience.
Charizard’s behaviour caused Ash some serious problems in some very important battles, since Charizard generally refused to fight against what he perceived to be weaker opponents. On the other hand, he enjoyed a fight against a strong opponent, which is why Ash – despite its behaviour – still kept it in his main roster.
Charizard was with Ash during his Orange Islands adventures, although Ash tended not to use it if not necessary. It helped during some of the challenges and eventually fought with Ash against Drake. It defeated Drake’s Electabuzz and had a spectacular fight against his Dragonite; although Dragonite won, the fight wore him down so much that Ash’s Pikachu was able to beat it. Charizard was later inducted in the Orange League Hall of Fame, along with Ash’s other Pokémon.
Ash continued using Charizard during his Johto adventures when the two actually bonded a bit and their relationship improved. Yet, Ash kept using Charizard – his then-strongest Pokémon – constantly in battles against weak(er) trainers, which is why Misty accused him of not battling fairly. Things ultimately changed when they reached Charicific Valley.
Did Charizard leave Ash? In what episode does Charizard leave Ash?
In the Johto saga episode “Charizard’s Burning Ambitions”, Ash and the group meet a female trainer called Liza, who teaches Ash how to fly together with his Charizard. The two of them soon hear about Charicific Valley, a natural sanctuary for wild Charizard, so they decide to visit it. There, Ash’s Charizard is humiliated by Liza and tries to show its worth by battling, but is easily defeated by the wild Charizard in the Valley. After constantly fighting and losing, Ash and Charizard are ultimately kicked out of the Valley by Liza, who also forbade them to come back. When Charizard later helped defeat Team Rocket, Liza acknowledged his power and let it join her group. At that moment, Ash was faced with an emotional decision – he would either have to leave his Charizard with his friends and let it become stronger, or take it with him and make it unhappy. Remembering everything they experienced together, Ash decided that it was for the best that Charizard stayed in the Valley. He could not face his friend, so he just lied that the doesn’t want to train weak Pokémon and ran away crying, knowing that he would not be able to let his friend go had he actually faced it. You can check out the scene for yourselves:
So no, Charizard never technically left Ash, it wasn’t even overjoyed with the idea of parting ways, but the two ultimately did it. Ash left Charizard in the Charicific Valley so it could become stronger and better, but – unlike with some other Pokémon – he never relinquished control over it. Charizard, therefore, remained Ash’s Pokémon, but it was just not with him all the time; you can look at this like it’s the same as Ash leaving his Pokémon with Professor Oak, only it was not Oak, but Liza. The direct result of this is that Ash frequently used Charizard in his later battles and Charizard would come to Ash’s help when necessary.
Does Ash ever get Charizard back?
As explained, he never really relinquished control of the Pokémon, so yes – they eventually reunite, both temporarily and permanently at one point. Charizard was left in Liza’s care, but he actually remained a part of Ash’s team, which was proven on several occasions during the anime, when Charizard appeared to help Ash in his battles, stronger than he ever was.
During the adventures in Johto, Charizard helped Ash win his final Johto League badge by defeating Clair’s Dragonair. He was also present during the Silver Conference championship, where he single-handedly defeated three of Gary’s Pokémon and had an amazing battle against Harrison’s Blaziken, losing because he was too exhausted to continue fighting, while Blaziken managed to stand up. Charizard continued making sporadic appearances during Ash’s adventures in Hoenn and Unova, usually by helping Ash out in some battles.
After fighting Brandon in Hoenn, Charizard returned to Charicific Valley, but at an unknown point in the series he would return to Professor Oak’s laboratory, as was shown in the Unova-episode “The Fires of a Red-Hot Reunion!”, when Ash sent his Unfezant to Oak in exchange for Charizard; it remains unclear when and why Charizard quit training in the Valley and returned to Oak.
In the end, does Charizard even hate Ash?
So, now that we’ve presented the whole story to you, you might wonder – did Charizard really hate Ash, as the title suggests? Well, if you haven’t figured it out yourselves by now, we’ll say it loud and clear – he did not. As Charmander, the Pokémon loved Ash and was grateful for being saved. Still, as it evolved, it grew stronger and it disrespected Ash because it thought he was too weak to train it; this was especially emphasized after the evolution into Charizard, which happened rather quickly. Ash did not have enough time to train Charizard, nor to boost his experience in order to fully earn the Pokémon’s respect. If you add the fact that Charizard was stubborn on its own and that it only ever wanted strong(er) opponents, you have a rather tricky personality to deal with.
This is why it seemed that Charizard hated Ash, but it didn’t, not really. It just thought itself far superior to Ash to be trained by him. Of course, this was remedied as both Ash grew and Charizard matured, so it’s no surprise that the two of them became the best of friends at one point, despite all their initial differences.
Before we finish, we’d like to show you an AMV inspired by their relationship that chronicles both the best and the worst aspects of their friendship:
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!