Pikachu's always been a little different from the other Pokémon: He doesn't hang out in his Poké Ball, and before he and Ash became best buds, he was quite the little troublemaker. So, what exactly contributes to Pikachu's uniqueness? Reddit user Oufour has come up with one possible theory that seems to make a whole lot of sense:
Ash's Pikachu had a previous trainer.
What? you say? But Professor Oak was only giving out starter Pokémon, he wouldn't have assigned Ash a Pokémon that had trained before! Would he? Ash was late on the first episode, and Pikachu was the only one left, and Professor Oak acknowledged he was markedly special compared to the other started Pokémon.
In addition, Pikachu is already an evolved form. He would have been born as Pichu, and the only way Pichus evolve is through happiness. That doesn't make Pikachu a super advanced Pokémon, or too much for a young trainer to handle (necessarily), but it would mean he's had a little more life experience than the other, more docile Pokémon. He's likely bonded with another trainer long enough to evolve to his current state, and probably resents the change.
Still not convinced? Rewatch the clips and see what you think.
Ash And Pikachu First Meet
...and they don't exactly hit it off. Is that because Pikachu had bonded with a previous trainer and is having difficulty accepting Ash? Why don't you watch the clip again and see if you can tell.
That does not look like the first time he's pulled that Poké Ball bouncing trick.
Ash Defends Pikachu
Ash finally proves his loyalty to Pikachu, and from then on the two are fast friends.
So Where Did Ash's Pikachu Come From In The First Place?
Remember that lightening bolt seal on Pikachu's Poké Ball? Oufour delves into the possible reason behind it:
Well, the lightning bolt looks an awful lot like a seal. The seals were accessories that changed the opening animations of the poké balls, one of which added lightning bolts. The seals were only in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, the 4th games in the series, and aren't usable in any other set of games. With this, we can guess Pikachu may have originally been from Sinnoh (Sinnoh is also one of the regions Piakchus can be found in, although there's fewer exceptions than examples of that).
'But why would a Pokémon from Sinnoh be in the care of Professor Oak?' Well, in the second episode of 'Pokémon,' we see a generator powered by Pikachu, showing [that] Pokémon have some utility when it comes to power. As Oak is no doubt preforming some important research, the threat of a power outage is daunting, so Oak may have a pika-generator of his own.
Of course, does it really matter if Pikachu belonged to another trainer first? He and Ash are the ultimate friendship goals.
Pokémon is currently available to stream on Hulu, go catch 'em all right now.
Do you think Pikachu had another trainer before Ash?
Source: Reddit user Oufar