Many fans of the Pokemon anime would say that the show simply wouldn't be as popular had Ash Ketchum not received Pikachu as his very first Pocket Monster.
However, it is certainly interesting to imagine a Pokemon anime where the main character chooses a different mon than the Electric-type. When one examines the circumstances of how Ash received Pikachu, it's really not that farfetched to entertain the idea of him starting with a different Pokemon.
After all, Ash more-so ended up with Pikachu rather than picking the Pocket Monster. In fact, he asked for three different mons before learning that they'd already been taken by trainers who didn't oversleep on the first day of their Pokemon journey.
Here are the top five Pokemon that Ash Ketchum should have started with instead of Pikachu.
Note: This article reflects the personal opinion of the writer.
Top 5 Pokemon Ash Ketchum should have started with instead of Pikachu
#5 - Charmander
Charmander would have made for an excellent starter Pokemon for Ash Ketchum in the anime.
Of course, Ash does end up receiving a Charmander shortly after beginning his Pokemon journey, though this is all the more reason why the two were meant to be from the very beginning.
Had Ash been able to get Charmander as his starter, perhaps he wouldn't have had as hard of a time training the Fire-type Pokemon. Better yet, he could have had two Charmanders, evolved them into powerful Charizards, and had an incredible Flying/Fire-type duo on his team.
#4 - Bulbasaur
Similar to Charmander in the fact that Ash ended up adding one to his team, Bulbasaur would have made a solid starter Pokemon for the young trainer.
Perhaps if Ash had woken up early, he would have been able to get his hands on the Grass/Poison-type. Bulbasaur, who ends up adding to his team later on, decides that it isn't interested in evolving.
Had Ash Ketchum gotten a Bulbasaur from Professor Oak as his starter, maybe that one would have felt differently about undergoing evolution to become more powerful.
#3 - Squirtle
Squirtle is a captivating Pokemon to imagine Ash having received as his starter in the anime.
That's primarily because it was his first choice when he showed up late to Professor Oak's research laboratory. What's even worse is that Ash's rival, Gary Oak, is the one who took Squirtle before Ash had a chance to.
The fact that both these skilled trainers wanted to select Squirtle as their first Pokemon means that it likely would have been one of best options available.
#2 - Eevee
Eevee is a very exciting prospective starter Pokemon to think about Ash Ketchum having received.
For one, Eevee was a Pokemon used frequently by Gary in the anime, meaning that the two rivals could have had some awesome Eevee vs. Eevee battles in the show.
Secondly, it would have been a thrill for viewers to watch the episode where Ash's Eevee evolved into one of its many potential Eeveelutions. It likely wouldn't have transformed into Umbreon, considering that's what Gary's evolved into in the show.
#1 - Gastly
Several Pokemon could potentially take the #1 spot for which mon Ash should have started out with if he hadn't gotten Pikachu. However, there is a very strong case to be made for the Ghost/Poison-type Gastly.
Ghost Pokemon seem to be quite rare, at least in the Kanto region where Ash began his journey as a trainer. Gastly has a really solid base stat total of 310, and also wields some decent Type advantages in battle.
Had Ash Ketchum managed to start out with Gastly as his first Pokemon he likely would have had an easier time earning several gym badges in the Indigo League. Especially if he managed to evolve Gastly into Haunter and ultimately Gengar.
Also Read: Top 3 times Ash Ketchum died in Pokemon