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What Is Pikachu's Real Name?

Pika, pika! It's the adorable little squeak you'll hear out of Pikachu, undoubtedly the most famous Pokemon there is. Many believe that Pikachu is repeating part of its name when it lets out that "pika," but believe it not, Ash's Pikachu — the one from the hit cartoon series — actually has a different name.


And wow, is it a weird one. It's so weird, in fact, that everyone has basically gone on pretending it never happened.

Ladies and gentlemen, we'd like you to meet Jean Luc Pikachu. Yes, seriously.

It sounds totally made up, right? Like a name someone might hastily land upon when they're joking about knowing Pikachu's real name. The entire flavor of the Pokemon franchise is Japanese. The name Jean Luc, however, is decidedly French. But not only that, there's already a fairly well-known Jean Luc whose ground Pikachu is encroaching on with that name: Picard of Star Trek fame.

We can assure you, though, that the name Jean Luc Pikachu is no joke. It was actually given to Pikachu by Ash in the Pokemon manga, but both the artists and the fans must have known it was ridiculous, because it was quickly dropped and never seen again. And to be perfectly honest, we're okay with that. Can you imagine Ash's Pikachu going by any other name? Can you picture watching the Pokemon cartoon series only to see Ash toss out a Pokeball and yell, "Go get 'em, Jean Luc!"


The Pokemon people did the right thing by letting the Jean Luc name go.

And while we're on the subject of Pokemon, there are new games coming out in the series: Pokemon Sword and Shield. Both introduce players to the new Galar region, and also add a number of new Pokemon and new ways to battle. Both games come out on Nov. 15, 2019 for Nintendo Switch, so be sure to put that date in your calendars.