As a character, Pikachu is one of the greatest successes in anime and gaming history. Game Freak and Nintendo scored big when they brought this creation to our world from Japan. The red-cheeked primary face of Pokemon has captured our hearts and imaginations for over a decade. Its sweet, soft spoken voice has serenaded us through countless Pokemon anime and games, and it has taught us that it's important to think for ourselves, and to love and care for our friends. Pika has fought for what is right and true, and stood its ground when it feels it must. Pikachu has even been known to don a cap or wear cosplay now and then!
Above all, Pikachu is an admirable little animal that we'd all love to catch and snuggle if we had the chance. Or would we? There are some darker aspects to Pikachu that can be easily overlooked due to the cute overload. Don't let the furry, innocent visage deceive you. It is so easy to get lost in those big, soul wrenching eyes, and really, what could possibly be disturbing about Pikachu? Actually, quite a lot! From electric exposure, to mind control, forced biological manipulation, to multiple personality disorders, CBR shares some shocking finds!
15 FRIENDLY FIRE
Ash and his Pikachu have a special bond that is as solid as a frozen Pokeball from that bug in Pokemon GO. It seems that nothing can stand in the way of their deep connection to each other -- that is, until Pikachu is brainwashed. In the episode "Ash and N: A Clash of Ideals," Colress blasts Pika with his Pokemon Controlling Machine, turning the adorable mouse thing into an uncontrollable ball of fiery rage.
Ash steps directly in the path of Pika's attacks to try and stop him, but it isn't enough to override the mind control, and Ash takes the full force of a Thunderbolt. Pikachu comes to, the mind control machine having been turned off, only to see his best human friend lying at his feet due to his own hands (um, paws). Thankfully, Ash recovers and lives on to catch another day.
14 GOTTA KETCHUP ALL
Ketchup is one of the most beloved condiments in America. Ever since the scientist and horticulturist James Mease debuted his tomato-based recipe in 1812, it seems we can't get enough of it. However, Pikachu tops the list of all ketchup lovers. We enjoy ketchup as much as the next human, but Pika's obsession is pretty extreme. Pikachu has been seen many a time licking ketchup straight from the bottle. We've consumed a lot of things straight up, but never ketchup!
It may have something to do with its owner's last name "Ketchum" being so close to the word "ketchup." Pika's ketchup habit may also be a tongue-in-cheek reference to the supposed origins of the condiment deriving from Britain's first encountering Asian fish sauce. Whatever the reasons, we still can't wrap our heads around the concept of ketchup straight from the bottle, but that's the way Pikachu likes it!
13 LOVE POTIONS AND POWDERS
It's no small secret that Team Rocket is as obsessed with claiming Ash's Pikachu for themselves as much as Pika is obsessed with ketchup. In "A Better Pill to Swallow," Team Rocket gets about as close as we've seen to fulfilling their wish. On a hot day they catch a thirst, with only undiluted Shuckle juice on hand. After drinking the juice, Team Rocket unwittingly became the carriers of very powerful pheromones -- chemicals produced by animals and plants that can affect behavior.
In this case, Pokemon find humans chugging Shuckle juice to suddenly be very attractive. Things get twisted when Pikachu falls in love with Jesse -- a mortal enemy who wants nothing more than to enslave it. The Pokemon are pulled out of the hormone induced spell by a friendly scientist with lots of powders on hand, and Pikachu Thunderbolts Team Rocket back into submission.
12 A TROUBLED PAST
Many fans of Pokemon don't stop to consider that Ash's Pikachu had a previous owner. Who that person was and what happened between them remains a mystery. What is known for certain is that a Pikachu is an evolved Pichu. This means that Pikachu was owned by someone else to have evolved into its second form -- the form Professor Oak finds Pika in.
Since Pichus need happiness to evolve, Pikachu was getting this from someone before. This could help explain why Ash's Pikachu was so resistant to his care when they first met, until Ash proved his love to Pika by saving it from an onslaught of Spearows. It could also help explain why Pika is so resistant to going into its Pokeball. If we went into one, only to come out and find our beloved owner gone, we wouldn't want to go back in either.
11 PIKACHU THE BUTCHER
Say "Pikachu" and you'll probably conjur images of a cute, yellow creature that you could snuggle for hours while feeding it ketchup. "Bloody murder" is generally the furthest thing from one's mind when thinking of this sweet, innocent face of the Pokemon. In the Roblox game Twisted Murderer, all those concepts get torn asunder! CBR cannot confirm nor deny if it's still valid, but there's a code players can enter to upgrade their weapons.
If you entered the right code, your huge butcher knife transforms from standard kitchen cutlery into a Pikachu blade! Complete with blood/cheek red knife handle, and a very angry looking Pikachu carved into the golden metal, this blade is the perfectly adorable way to virtually decimate your Twisted Murderer foes! The concept of a Pikachu-themed murder weapon is just too delicious and we cannot stop laughing at the idea!
10 POKEMON APPETIT
The Pokemon and their trainers have a special bond with each other. Even the villains on the show have a vested interest in keeping their Pokemon alive and well. Not all is as it seems in Pokemon Land, however. Living things must consume the energy of others to stay alive, and our favorite creature-toting heroes are no exception. There is one major catch in the story line though that is often overlooked -- there are only Pokemon creatures in this world.
What that means is that if you want to eat something other than rice, you're eating a Pokemon! Even if you're a vegetarian, you'll have a hard time not consuming a Pokemon of some sort, since there are plant and fungi Pokemon too! This disturbing reality puts a whole new spin on the need to "catch em all!" It may not be Pikachu-specific, but it certainly does flavor his world. Pun intended.
9 PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
In real life, ghosts remain a contended mystery. Scientists, spiritualists, critics and amateurs have studied the potential phenomena and come up with a myriad of theories as to why they may or may not exist. In the Pokemon World, however, ghosts are a very real phenomena. Dozens of ghost Pokemon have been documented and captured in Pokeballs. One of the most infamous and creepiest of Ghost Pokemon is the Mimikyu -- a Pokemon made of pure darkness.
Its true form cannot be viewed, so it wears a Pikachu disguise to blend in more easily. Mimikyu says horrible things that even Meowth is disturbed by and it sounds like it's choking as it speaks. Pikachu may be one of the cutest cartoon creatures ever conjured, but we'd be scared stiff if we encountered this ghostly version of it!
8 BODY IMAGE ISSUES
Ever since Game Freak and Nintendo brought us Pokemon back in 1996, Pikachu's plump, red cheeked face and crooked tail have been a household icon. Like Winnie the Pooh, we've been swept into a world of imagination, where children run the show and animals are our friends and mentors. Unlike that English bear obsessed with honey, however, Pikachu's frame has shrunken over time.
Ash must have cut back on Pikachu's sugar consumption or something, maybe another reason Pika is so obsessed with ketchup -- it's the only cheat food it is allowed! Either way, Pikachu has definietly gotten thinner over the years. We're not sure why, as Pika was fine the way it was originally drawn. Kids have enough body issues these days; no need to add to that by putting one of their favorite characters on an unnecessary diet!
7 STING THE BODY ELECTRIC
Let's say your child is looking for a pet. A pretty common request and not a bad one if situation is right. Owning a pet teaches kids life skills like responsibility, compassion, and planning. Dogs, cats, birds, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, there is no end to the amount of fuzzy creatures to choose from for your child. What's that you say? The common animal just won't do? How about this adorable yellow androgynous mouse thingie? It is super exotic and thrives off love and happiness.
Oh, it also shoots out bolts of electricity that are at least 100,000 volts strong! Hey, sounds like the perfect household pet! Oh god, just kidding! Pikachu may be one of the cutest creatures ever created, but it would make one of the worst pets ever, especially when you consider that it has enough electricity to kill you if the amperage is high enough!
6 FORCED EVOLUTION
Animal cruelty is generally frowned upon, but in the world of Pokemon, the opposite is true. We don't stop to think about it as we are absorbed in the Pokemon games, anime and plusheez, but these creatures have their own biological changes forced upon them. Ash's Pikachu is unique among the other Pokemon for many reasons, the major one being that it refuses to evolve to its next form.
Known as the Raichu, Pikachu evolve into this higher form through exposure to a Thunder Stone. It is easy to assume that all life would want to evolve to as high a state as possible, but we forget that life is also sentient. It can think for itself, like our beloved Pika. And Pika refuses to participate in this forced manipulation, and is lucky enough to have a trainer who respects the Pokemon and their right to exercise free will.
5 JUST ANOTHER POKEMON
One of the most ironic considerations about Pokemon is comparing Pikachu's philosophy to its status in our culture. If Pikachu were really alive, it would be very sad about its fame. It is hard not to be drawn to the Pokemon. They are so cute it almost hurts, the anime and movies are excellent, and the games have captivated us for over a decade. Our obsession with Pikachu has made it exactly what it doesn't want to be -- a cookie cutter Pokemon, forced to reveal itself and unleash power on demand.
These are themes that are touched on repeatedly in the show and games, yet despite that, we've still done it anyway. Screw you, Pikachu, I choose you, and there's nothing you can do about it! Now go attack my enemies with your Thunderbolt and get back inside your Pokeball!
4 EXPERIMENTAL CLONING
In the first Pokemon movie, creatively titled, Pokemon: The First Movie, the main plot revolves around the idea of cloning Pokemon. Not only are kids subjected to the concept of animal cloning in this film, Ash's Pikachu and Clone Pikachu are forced to battle one another. Ash's Pikachu refuses to fight, so the other slaps it in an effort to enrage Pika. Pika stands its ground, refusing to participate in the senseless violence, only to be slapped some more.
Clone Pikachu continues slapping Ash's Pikachu until it tires out and collapses in Pika's arms, and they both dissolve into tears. So do we, as this is one of the saddest scenes in Pokemon, which is quite a statement. There is something about Pikachu slapping itself that just really tugs on your heart strings!
3 POKEMON SHOCK
The 38th episode of the first Pokemon series "Electric Soldier Porygon" has been dubbed one of the most controversial. It aired only once -- in Japan, on December 16th, 1997 -- and then was banned. The episode wasn't banned because of inappropriate or lewd content. It was banned because it contained strobing effects flashing against red and blue backgrounds from a Pikachu Thunderbolt attack.
These rapidly flashing, bright lights and colors caused severe symptoms related to "photosensitive epileptic seizures" in over 650 people, causing a few to be hospitalized for over two weeks! The Japanese press called it the "Pokemon Shock", and P.R. was so poor that episodes were cancelled for four months. Thankfully, things rebounded, the show goes on, and no one else has suffered the dreaded "Pikachu Shock" since. Pikachu's powers are so strong they even work through the screen!
2 CREEPY DOLLS
Dolls can be fun playthings for children or captivating works of art. Sometimes, dolls can be very creepy, like the doll from Annabelle: Creation. In Pikachu's world, there's Sabrina and her creepy doll, which is at the top of the creep scale due to its backstory. Born with psychic powers, Sabrina was obsessed with increasing them, but as she did so, Sabrina grew more destructive and emotionally cold.
It got so bad that she developed a form of multiple personality disorder, splitting off the aspect of her younger, childlike self into a doll that was able to think and move for itself. Sabrina even turned her mother, Misty, and Brock into dolls and put them into a dollhouse! There is a happy ending in this anime, though -- a character causes Sabrina to laugh, which forces her split personalities to merge and transform the afflicted people from dolls back to humans.
1 RADIOACTIVE PIKACHU
Snuggling a real life Pikachu would be totally worth the occasional electric shock. They're adorable, they can protect you, and they don't need to be picked up after -- we don't see Ash ever having to deal with it. With all these things considered, Pikachu seems like it would make a pretty awesome pet. The only problem with owning a Pikachu is that electricity can be dangerous, and not just for electrical shocks.
Electricity creates magnetic fields, which can cause cancer! This is one of the darker aspects to Pikachu that is rarely noted. Those public safety signs around power stations and electric poles aren't there for no reason -- maybe they should have little Pikachus on them -- they'd match the colors, and be far more eye catching. Then again, maybe that's a bad thing!