"Hey, Dawn! No need to worry...!" - Ash Ketchum, Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl Episode 191 - Memories are Pearls; Friendships are Diamonds/Memories are Made of Bliss!
Name: Ash Ketchum
Age: 10 years old...should really be about 15, 16 years old by now.
Personality: Ash is caring and valiant as a trainer and a friend, but his confidence at times borders close to arrogance; he's also stubborn and has quite the reckless streak. However, when he's in a Pokémon battle he's highly focused, believes in his Pokémon no matter what, and occasionally manages to take advantage of the surrounding field/situation in favor of his Pokémon.
He's matured greatly and improved his abilities as a trainer, but his earnestness and determination to reach his goal remains the same as it's been since the beginning of his journey. However, he's still a little bit naïve regarding certain issues - be it a Pokémon's gender, or the fact that a girl might have feelings for him like the 6th Frontier Brain Anabel back during the Battle Frontier saga, or Angie during his Sinnoh journey.
Rarely does Ash ever show that he has a sensitive side, or shed tears, but when he has to decide on letting one of his Pokémon go free into the wild, or leaving them behind at a remote location to pursue their own dreams, he tries to do what's right for the Pokémon that have become like a part of his family; Pikachu was the one exception, since he chose to remain with Ash rather than stay with a herd of wild Pikachu. He's also cried when it comes to the 11th Pokémon movie, when he had to say goodbye to Shaymin and in the recent movie when Zoroark nearly died protecting her child Zorua.
Speaking of showing sides to one's self, Ash does and can get angry. He's argued with Misty so many times, whenever it happened it was always funny! He even argued quite a number of times with May in the Hoenn region, as well as a few times with her brother Max. Not to mention, he's even argued with Dawn during his journey through Sinnoh! And recently he's argued quite a few times with Iris in the Unova/Isshu region. However, no matter who Ash seems to be quarreling with, be it Misty, May or Dawn, Brock ends up being the mediator for their spats more often than not. (When it comes to Iris however, Cilan has somewhat managed to get the two to calm down.) He's also been quite jealous and competitive against his rivals Gary, Paul and Shooti.
History: At the age of 10, Ash Ketchum started his journey from his hometown of Pallet as a Pokémon trainer with a Pikachu instead of one of the standard 3 - those being Charmander, Bulbasaur and Squirtle; he would instead capture these Pokémon at key moments on his journey. On the first day of his journey, Ash would meet Misty, a Water Pokémon trainer from Cerulean City who, along with Brock from Pewter City, would each become his close friends. His desire is to one day become a Pokémon Master.
Misty and Brock weren't the only ones Ash had known since the beginning of his journey. He also knew Gary Oak, grandson of the famous Professor Oak, since they were younger; both were friends but that friendship turned into a rivalry on the day both had tied when it came to pulling apart a tiny Pokéball lure while they were fishing. Their rivalry continued until the day Ash had finally defeated Gary in the Johto League Championship, his Charizard taking down Gary's Blastoise with Seismic Toss.
When it comes to Ash's mother Delia Ketchum, she's always there to greet her son when he comes home after a long, arduous journey from one of the regions beyond Kanto; when he's ready to leave again, she'll either give him some motherly advice about being safe, not forgetting to change his underwear or - recently - some new clothes. (When Delia met Johanna, Dawn's mother, she informed her that it would be okay if she had to scold Ash while he was in Twinleaf Town.)
Ash also has his share of mentors or people that he looks up to, Professor Oak being at the top of the list. (He was the one who gave him Pikachu, after all.) And since his journey began he's taken care of all the Pokémon that have arrived at his laboratory, Ash's Pokémon being a humongous part of that job. Another person that Ash looks up to is Pokémon Ranger Jackie, who looked after the Pokémon known as Manaphy.
Ash's close friends include more than Misty, Brock and Gary; when Ash and Misty were in the Orange Islands they met Tracey, a Pokémon Watcher who sketches Pokemon in their natural habitat. He's currently Professor Oak's assistant and helps him in his lab.
When starting his journey in the Hoenn region, Ash met aspiring Pokémon Coordinator May and her brother Max - specifically, Ash met Max at the Petalburg Gym where their father is the Gym Leader. The three of them - and Brock - remained together until they all parted ways: Ash going to the Sinnoh region, May heading to the Johto region, Max returning to Petalburg to receive his first Pokemon and Brock heading back home to Pewter City.
Once Ash arrived to the Sinnoh region he was eventually reunited with Brock and they met Dawn, another Pokémon Coordinator who aspires to be just as good as her mother was. The three of them have since remained together on their journey throughout Sinnoh, meeting various trainers and encountering dangerous obstacles until they parted ways following the Sinnoh League - Dawn remained in Sinnoh for a time until she went to the Hoenn region to compete in Contests, Ash and Brock returning to Kanto and parting ways once arriving; Brock to start studying to become a Pokémon Doctor, and Ash to eventually go on vacation to the Isshu/Unova region before deciding to conquer the League Championship. After having an electrifying first day in the newly unexplored region, Ash and Pikachu met Iris - with Ash accidentally mistaking her for a Pokémon named Kibago/Axew since said Pokémon was hiding in her hair! Once the pair arrived at the first Gym, Ash barely managed to win against the 3 Gym Leaders - one of them being a Pokémon Sommelier named Cilan - and he joined with Ash and Iris on their journey.
Ash has had more than just one rival in Gary. Ritchie, who Ash considers a very good friend, has the same ambition that he has and the last time they faced each other was in the Indigo Pokémon League. The battle was very close, but Ritchie was able to win because Charizard went to sleep, deciding it wasn't worth his while to face Ritchie's Pikachu Sparky. They've since met up once more, while Ash was in the Hoenn region. Ash didn't have a rival at all during his journey through Hoenn but in Sinnoh, Paul was one of Ash's most fiercest rivals yet - both treat their Pokémon very differently. Whereas Ash cares for and treats his Pokémon like family inside and outside of battle Paul takes a more direct approach to his Pokémon's training, not caring for their well-being and insisting they continue battling despite their eventual injuries. Ash finally defeated Paul during the Quarterfinals of the Lily of the Valley Conference, where Infernape-formerly owned by Paul until he let him go; Ash immediately accepted the Fire-type as part of his team-defeated Electivire. Paul finally acknowledged Ash as a good trainer following that battle and only stayed long enough to watch Ash compete in the Semifinals. (He also had to contend with Barry, another resident of Twinleaf Town like Dawn and had a battle with Coordinator Kenny after the Grand Festival that he lost, Conway and Coordinator/Trainer Nando. While he was able to defeat his opponents, they weren't all easy battles by any means.)
Recently, Ash's latest rival in the Unova/Isshu region is a beginning Pokémon trainer named Trip; he considers Ash a 'country bumpkin' since he's from the Kanto region and defeated Pikachu in Ash's first-ever battle in the aforementioned region! They've only faced off once more since, with Trip coming out the winner once again. Yet Ash's determination hasn't wavered since.
These teardrops may be salty, but only by shedding many will I be strong...
I'll eventually forget my wounds and pain, but precious memories will never vanish...
Burn hotter and hotter; I'm a challenger...!
Gotta go, gotta do it; I can't lose, won't stop, no matter when I want to support you, protect you, and when you're hurt...!
I won't turn around, I won't look down, I won't lose heart or give up; I believe in you...!
I won't hurry, and I won't get lost, because I always aim for that faraway dream...!
Lyrics are from the Pokémon Advanced Generation 2nd Opening; song is called Challenger!, sung by Matsumoto Rica, voice actor to Pikachu's best friend Ash Ketchum; known as Satoshi in Japan!