As far as the strength issue goes, remember that Red in the games uses an unevolved Pikachu at both Mt. Silver and the PWT, and that little bugger can be just as much a pain in the ass (at least it was for me) as his fully evolved starters.
But yes the writers will never take such a risk. They won't even evolve oshawott.
Talking about the weight difference between Pikachu and Raichu. Remember that running gag that Pikachu got A LOT skinner than it was back in the early series. Most people assume that it is because Pikachu is outside its Pokeball walking around when not on Ash's shoulder or backpack.
Not to mention Quick Attack probably burns so many calories xD
So, I'm assuming that Raichu would be in the same case in terms of possibly losing weight by walking rather than being inside its ball as well.
I have been saying since DP Pika seemed to reach the limit of his ability, which makes his refusal back then a lot more frustrating. I know that Pika has to stay because of merchandising, and it would be a great risk to change that, but there is another aspect I've considered. Also since DP, another starter has been allowed to almost be as prominent as Pika, representing that gen until it is over. True, Osha has not been as prominent in this role, but there is no question he has followed in Piplup's footsteps. Pika is still all over everything, but he often shares the space with the starters now. With stuff like this, one questions why they keep Pika at all since along with the ever-renewing vigor that comes with new pokemon, they can keep featuring the starters and renew their marketing as well. Conversely, having one thing that remains constant, to remind people that pokemon is still the same as it always was, is important. This is why Pika remains where he is. Even if they started with a new trainer, they would probably still have to give them a Pikachu, and that would seem like cheating when Ash and Pikachu have been so ingrained. Storywise, though, this stagnation no longer makes sense. (But there's a lot else that doesn't make sense either) He should've become a Raichu long ago, but as we all know, the anime was meant as a promotional thing more than being a cohesive narrative. For those worried about him remaining a shoulder pet, I don't find Rai to be that much bigger. I do realize that he's big enough that having him hop on you would weigh you down significantly, especially for a kid. It's kind of the same issue I have on the Axew evolving debate, though. What does it matter if it can't ride on him anymore? I think Raichu is still cute enough to be all around appealing. That kind of stuff should've been thought out to begin with, though, and there's nothing that can be done now. He's certainly earned it, and that is the ultimate pity to the situation.
Step into the Fairy circle
Just a stupid question I thought of, but if Pikapi=Satoshi, but what would Raichu say? Raichurai?
It would shake up the status quo and Raichu would be able to learn attacks that Pikachu can't. However, from a marketing standpoint, it would be pretty bad to evolve the mascot of the franchise. I actually like the episodes that explain why Pikachu doesn't want to evolve, so I'd miss seeing another one of those in a future series.
I have to say I was very skeptical about making this thread because I was certain that it would be 100% pull for NOT evolving Pikachu. But I'm glad I did make this because I've heard valid points from BOTH those who want Pikachu to evolve and those who do not.
Seems to be the main reason for not evolving Pikachu is due to merchandising and the Pokemon Company as a whole.
Its just a shame that some of you have agreed with my point that Pikachu has pretty much already unlocked its potential and the only ways of bringing new things to the table is through innovate techniques like Counter Shield or making its level fluxed from defeating legendaries to losing to starter Pokemon.
I guess it all boils down to the company making sure that Pikachu can stay their mascot no matter what. Even if its level is OVER 9000!!!!! (Sorry couldn't resist the DBZ reference), it has to be shown to be frail or lose (which makes no sense in some respects...). No idea why though...
Guess the reasons Pikachu won't evolve out of love or respect or whatever is the "nice way" of covering up its all about money for the franchise as a whole.
I guess since Ash won't "evolve" and grow older the makers are thinking why should Pikachu change as well?
Raichu looks a lot more mature/powerful then a Pikachu, possibly giving Ash a cooler and stronger look (?)
Raichu would be stronger then a Pikachu.
Pikachu is a world wide known icon and a lot of people like him due to his cuteness, so I'm sure a lot of people could get upset by this or what not and have a backlash. Not really sure, but you get what I mean.
I should thank you. I probably should've realized long ago that to expect the plot to make sense from something that is little more than an overgrown commercial is folly. They seemed to make the best out of DP, though, so I don't know what to say.
Step into the Fairy circle
Minccino, but if we put her with an Emboar we get a different impression. She looks so much stronger with her Emboar. Of course, it all depends on how the trainers raise their pokemons, but if pokemons LOOK strong, the trainers LOOK strong as well. If we look at Ash's rivals, everyone of them had a powerful-looking pokemon as their ace. Gary with Blastoise/Arcanine/Electivire, Paul with Electivire, Trip with Serperior... you get the idea. The rivals, of course, are powerful trainers with good skill - but add those intimidating beasts and you get the impression that those rivals aren't there for show, but they mean serious business. For another example, imagine Barry with a Piplup, and then imagine him with an Empoleon - which one gives a 'stronger' look?
If we put Ash with a Raichu - Ash would actually look more stronger. Instead of the small mouse, we'd have a large electric rodent that's bigger and gives a stronger vibe. Ash would look more impressive.
This is all hypothetically speaking, but if you still don't get the idea, it's like the effects of Ash looking different when he has Charizard roaring in front of him, ready to take down the opponent any time. It's drastically different from Ash having Oshawott swinging his small scallop in front of him, no matter how tough he really is.
I could agree with you more! Its the fact that the writers just want to keep him as an immortal child and its very disappointing for both Ash AND Pikachu because he gives away, releases or leaves his best Pokemon behind at the Lab or at a training spot.
I'd rather go with the whole replace Ash at the start of each series instead of sticking him with weak Pokemon (in their first form) just for the sake of merchandising.