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I was recently having a discussion about Pokémon, and it came up that none of us were sure whether Ash's Pikachu in the series was male or female. Some (myself included) always thought it was male, whereas others could've sworn it was female.

Was there ever any canon evidence to point in one direction or another?

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Also, if someone with 150 rep could create the pokemon tag and re-tag this, that'd be great –  Robotnik Jul 6 '13 at 2:29
    
Thankyou @ChristianRau –  Robotnik Jul 6 '13 at 7:22
    
I don't know if any of those creatures have a reasonable gender at all (though, I'm far from a Pokemon-expert)? –  Napoleon Wilson Jul 6 '13 at 7:22
    
@ChristianRau In the games, there's a few with very distinct genders (and are counted as separate pokemon, like the Nidorans (Boy & Girl). Genders for the rest were added in the second generation of games (though with no noticable differences between male and female, and still counted as the same pokemon). I'm just wondering whether the series adapted to the changes made, and made mention as to Ash's Pikachu's gender. –  Robotnik Jul 6 '13 at 7:28
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@Alenanno Well, without taking any party in favor of this question in general, animes can very well be movies and TV shows, no? Just because it fits to a different site, too doesn't mean it is off-topic here. There are millions of questions that would fit on Science Fiction & Fantasy while being perfectly on-topic here, too. –  Napoleon Wilson Jul 6 '13 at 21:57
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3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

According to Wikipedia, there are male and female Pikachu:

Standing 1.04 ft (0.4m) tall, Pikachu are mouse-like creatures, and were the first "Electric-type" Pokémon created, their design intended to revolve around the concept of electricity. They appear as mouse-like creatures that have short, yellow fur with brown markings covering their backs and parts of their lightning bolt shaped tails. They have black-tipped, pointed ears and red circular pouches on their cheeks, which can spark with electricity. In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, gender differences were introduced; a female Pikachu now has an indent at the end of its tail, giving it a heart-shaped appearance.

This evidence comes from the game. I cannot find evidence of a female Pikachu in the television series, but presumably since they are from the same franchise, it would hold that Ash's Pikachu is male.

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Good digging, Mary Jo! –  Nobby Jul 6 '13 at 19:35
    
Good answer! Also I suppose that - being a kids show - they would have no problem with retconning Pikachus tail to look like a female with no explanation. The fact that they didn't means its male :). –  Robotnik Jul 6 '13 at 23:27
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It is officially male!

After reading through the entirety of the Bulbapedia Article on Ash's Pikachu, specifically the Trivia section, it is confirmed that Ash's Pikachu is in fact male:

In Where No Togepi Has Gone Before! it was confirmed that Pikachu is male. His physical appearance could not be used as proof, since gender differences were not implemented until after he had debuted in the anime.

Further to Mary Jo Finch's answer, there is another recent episode (Beauties Battling for Pride and Prestige!) where Pikachu disguises himself as a female, seen here: Pikachu and Pansage

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Ash's Pikachu is female because in one episode of Pokemon Black and White a female Pokemon used attract on Pikachu, but it doesn't work.

In the game, when Pokemon A uses the move Attract on Pokemon B, if Pokemon B is the opposite gender of Pokemon A, Pokemon B gains the status effect Infatuate, which causes their attacks to miss 50% of the time until the status effect is removed (the simplest method being to simply switch Pokemon B with another Pokemon from the trainer's roster).

The only qualifier for Attract to work or fail is the gender of the Pokemon the attack is used on. Both Pokemon do not need to be the same species.

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I'm not sure failed attraction is a definite proof for the gender, though. I (being male) am not attracted to each and every woman around either, only to some. –  Napoleon Wilson Apr 23 at 12:48
    
@NapoleonWilson well said. –  Ankit Sharma Apr 23 at 14:20
    
I want to say they may be referring to in-game mechanics, where if your Pokemon uses the move Attract against another Pokemon of the same gender, the move fails, but if the Pokemon is the opposite gender, they become infatuated, which means their attack will fail 50% of the time until the effect is removed. bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Attract_(move) –  MattD Apr 23 at 18:39
    
@MattD Ah Ok, then it was just my complete lack of Pokemon knowledge paired with the answer's lack of clarity. Fortunately I didn't downvote it yet, anyway. But maybe you could improve the answer's writing then to clarify the matter? –  Napoleon Wilson Apr 23 at 23:53
    
@NapoleonWilson I did what I can, but it feels like I basically hijacked their answer. –  MattD Apr 24 at 14:28
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