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Top 10 Amazing Facts About Pikachu

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Written by Garrett Alden Everyone’s favorite electric mouse has some shocking facts surrounding it. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 amazing facts about Pikachu. For this list, we’ll be looking at 10 of the most interesting bits of trivia surrounding the mascot for the “Pokémon” franchise, Pikachu.

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Top 10 Amazing Facts About Pikachu

Everyone’s favorite electric mouse has some shocking facts surrounding it. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 amazing facts about Pikachu.

For this list, we’ll be looking at 10 of the most interesting bits of trivia surrounding the mascot for the “Pokémon” franchise, Pikachu.

#10: Ash's Pikachu is Named Jean-Luc in the Manga

Despite it being a major feature of the games, Ash never names his own Pokémon in the “Pokémon” anime, perhaps to keep the names of the Pokémon species fresh in viewers’ minds. One of the manga versions, however, takes a slightly different approach. The manga, which is called “The Electric Tale of Pikachu,” features a Pikachu that Ash has nicknamed Jean-Luc Pikachu, in a reference to Jean-Luc Picard of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Although Ash still generally refers to it and his other Pokémon by their species names, this is still an “engaging” fun fact.

#9: A City in Kansas Was Renamed Topikachu

In 1998, the first Pokémon video games were launched in the United States. The location of their launch point was in the city of Topeka in the state of Kansas. To help promote the event, the town was renamed to Topikachu for one day. Special Volkswagen Bugs altered to look like Pikachu also departed from Topikachu to tour the country to promote the newly released games. Topeka is still a hotbed for Pokémon themed activities and they’ve even continued their trend of renaming themselves for a stunt, such as when they were “Google, Kansas” for a day in 2010.

#8: Pikachurin Was Named After Pikachu

Originally discovered by Japanese scientists in 2008, pikachurin is one of the proteins that helps convert the light taken in by the eyes of humans, as well as other animals, into electrical energy that the brain can then interpret as images. The scientists responsible for the original findings were fans of Pokémon and the fact that pikachurin was originally discovered in a mouse, and its connection to electrical impulses, probably had something to do with the protein being named after the electric mouse Pokémon mascot. So, in some ways, Pikachu helps us see.

#7: Pikachu is a Combination of 2 Japanese Words

Non-Japanese speakers probably don’t give a lot of Pokémon names much thought, as they’re often given new names for each country that fit them better, or else the names are catchy enough that they stick no matter what the language. One such case is Pikachu. But Pikachu actually means something in Japanese, being a combination of two Japanese onomatopoeia words: pikapika, which is the sound of sparking, and chuchu, which is the verbalization of squeaking. Given that Pikachu is a lightning mouse, its name certainly makes much more sense, doesn’t it?

#6: Male and Female Pikachu are Different

One Pokemon looks just like another right? Wrong! Some Pokemon have gender differences, which range from the obvious to the subtle. Pikachu falls into the latter camp. Male Pikachu have a straight line on the end of their signature lightning bolt tail, while females feature a small notch on the end; making their tails have a sort of heart shape. Given that it’s the franchise’s mascot, one might think more people would be aware of this difference, but the male version was the first one created and Ash’s iconic Pikachu is a male, so it’s a bit understandable. Also, the gender differences weren’t implemented until later on in the franchise.

#5: Pikachu Was On a Specialty Niue Dollar Coin

Niue is an island and an associated state of New Zealand and therefore uses the same currency. They also issue their own coins though, which frequently feature characters from pop culture, like Disney characters. In 2001, Niue issued a set of 5 coins bearing the likenesses of 5 different Pokémon, including Pikachu. These coins are highly collectible among Pokémon fans who want to see their “Pocket Monsters” turned into pocket money. Unlike pocket money though, they’re quite expensive, often being sold for hundreds of dollars in online auctions.

#4: Pikachu Has Been on Over 100 Different Pokémon Cards

It’s only fitting that the Pokemon mascot would feature on a lot of Pokémon cards. Pikachu has appeared on over 100 separate cards in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. The cards have a huge number of varied attacks and attributes, with some being stronger than others. In addition, the manner in which Pikachu is depicted can vary wildly, with some cards showing Pikachu alongside other Pokémon, doing activities like surfing, or even cosplaying as other Pokémon species. Some of them can be highly sought after too and speaking of which…

#3: Pikachu Has the Most Valuable Pokémon Card

The most valuable and rare Pokemon card is generally considered to be the Pikachu Illustrator card. Created in 1998 as a prize for several drawing contests for Japanese magazine CoroCoro, the Pikachu Illustrator card was awarded to the winners of the contests, as well as several runners up. The card is designed like the Trainer type of Pokemon cards, but says Illustrator instead of Trainer at the top, hence the name. Although 39 copies were issued, it is unknown how many still exist. A near mint one sold on Ebay for 100 thousand dollars though, so even a less than perfect one would probably still fetch a pretty penny.

#2: Pikachu Wasn’t the Original Mascot

Pikachu is recognized the world over as the face of Pokémon and its official mascot. However, he almost wasn’t! That role was originally intended for the Fairy-type, and former Normal-type, Clefairy. With its adorable appearance it’s understandable why it was in the running. It even appeared as the hero’s starter Pokémon in the first Pokémon manga. However, Pikachu was eventually selected, in large part due to its bright yellow color scheme, which made it more recognizable and distinct, as there were few major mascots who were yellow at the time. And the rest was Poké-history.

#1: Being the Voice of Pikachu is a Full-Time Gig

Pikachu has been voiced for 20 years and across most dubs by the same voice actress, Ikue Otani, who is also known for roles such as Chopper from “One Piece.” Contrary to popular belief, the audio of Pikachu’s voice is not reused at all, and Otani records new lines for each new episode, even providing input as to the characters’ inflection and what Pikachu is “saying” when it speaks. Whether it all sounds the same to you or not, it’s fair to say that Pikachu wouldn’t be quite as memorable without Otani’s distinctive voice.

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