Pokémon (ポケモン, Pokemon), abbreviated from Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター, Poketto Monsutā), is a Japanese animated series, which has since been adapted for the North and South American, Australian and European television markets. It is based on the Pokémon video game series and is a significant part of the Pokémon franchise.
Originally a single series, Pokémon, it has since been made into five series, including Pokémon: Advanced Generation and subsequently Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, which sequentially continue the story of Pokémon, while its spin-off Pokémon Sunday (formerly Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station) has broadcast a series of stories revolving around some of the recurring characters, Pokémon Chronicles or, as it is known in Japan, Pokémon Side Story.
After he turns ten years old, Ash Ketchum (Satoshi in Japan), is allowed to start his journey in the world of Pokémon and dreams of becoming a Pokémon master. On the day he is to receive his first Pokémon, Ash wakes in a panic having overslept. Professor Oak, the local Pokémon researcher, has already given away the three Pokémon (Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle) he entrusts to new Pokémon Trainers when Ash finally reaches Oak's Lab. The only Pokémon that he has left is a Pikachu, that he gives to Ash. Determined to make it on his journey, Ash does his best to befriend Pikachu, but it does not trust him and will not even return to its PokéBall, even attacking Ash with its unique electric powers. It is only after Ash protects Pikachu from a group of angry Spearow that Pikachu realizes how much Ash cares, leading it to save Ash. Afterward, they both see a mysterious and unidentifiable Pokémon that spurs both of them to work towards Ash's goal.
Along the way, Ash makes many human and Pokémon friends as he works his way through the ranks of the world's many Pokémon Leagues. Through the Kanto Region, Ash befriends Water Pokémon trainer and erstwhile Cerulean City Gym Leader Misty (Kasumi) and Pewter City Gym Leader and Pokémon Breeder Brock (Takeshi), and all the while thwarting the plans of the Team Rocket trio Jessie, James, and Meowth, who want to steal Ash's Pikachu and any other rare Pokémon they come across. When Ash and Misty travel to the Orange Islands (without Brock), they meet and travel with Pokémon Watcher and artist Tracey Sketchit (Kenji), before Brock rejoins the group as they travel to the Johto region.
When Ash heads for the Hoenn Region in the Advanced Generation series, Misty stays behind to become the full-time Cerulean City Gym Leader. However he gains new companions in Pokémon Coordinator May (Haruka) and her younger brother Max (Masato), and together they face off against the rival Teams Magma and Aqua. After returning to Kanto to participate in the Battle Frontier challenge, Ash later travels with Brock to the Sinnoh Region in the Diamond & Pearl series, with May and Max going on their own paths. Ash and Brock meet Dawn (Hikari), another Pokémon Coordinator, who travels with them as they go through Sinnoh where they must defeat Cyrus and his Team Galactic.
In the Best Wishes! series, Ash, his mother and Professor Oak take a holiday to the far-off Unova Region, where he meets and travels with would-be Dragon Master Iris and Striaton City Gym Leader, Pokémon Connoisseur, and sometimes detective Cilan (Dent). During their journey, they discover the evil plans of Team Plasma, a criminal organization that wants to free Pokémon from people's ownership so that they can rule the world unopposed. After winning all eight Unova badges, Ash, Iris, and Cilan travel throughout the eastern side of Unova to prepare for the Unova Pokémon League Tournament, after which they meet N who is instrumental in defeating Team Plasma. After this, Ash, Iris, and Cilan travel through the Decolore Islands before Ash makes his way back to Pallet Town and the meet the investigative reporter Alexa (Pansy) who is from the distant Kalos Region. Having arrived back in Kanto, Iris and Cilan travel to Johto whilst Ash and Alexa head to Kalos soon after Ash reunites with his mother and receiving a new outfit from her.
In the XY series, Ash and Alexa arrive in the Kalos region and Ash is itching to get started in earning his Gym badges. But after Alexa informs Ash that her sister, a Gym Leader, is currently absent, Ash travels to Lumiose City where he meets boy-genius Clemont (Citron) and his younger sister Bonnie (Eureka), unaware that Clemont is in fact Lumiose City's Gym Leader - a fact he tries his best to hide. Ash also reunites with Serena, a girl from Vaniville Town whom Ash had met in his childhood at Professor Oak's Summer Camp in Pallet Town and he helped her after she hurt her leg from falling owing to being shocked by a wild Poliwag.