Pikachu (Japanese: ピカチュウ?) are a fictional species of Pokémon. Pokémon are fictional creatures that appear in an assortment of comic books, animated movies and television shows, video games, and trading card games licensed by The Pokémon Company, a Japanese corporation. The Pikachu design was conceived by Ken Sugimori and first appeared in the 1996 video games Pokémon Red and Blue for the original Game Boy.
Like other species of Pokémon, Pikachu are often captured and groomed by humans to fight other Pokémon for sport. Pikachu are one of the most well-known varieties of Pokémon, largely because a Pikachu is a central character in the Pokémon anime series. Pikachu is regarded as a major character of the Pokémon franchise and has become an icon of Japanese culture in recent years.