Pikachu is the most popular and notable Pokémon, and is generally regarded as the mascot of the Pokémon franchise, in the same way Link is the mascot of the Legend of Zelda series. It is obtainable in all of the Pokémon RPGs on Game Boy systems to date, with a prominent role in Pokémon Yellow. The protagonists of the Pokémon anime, the Pokémon manga series Electric Tale of Pikachu, and the Ash & Pikachu manga all own a Pikachu.
Pikachu is voiced by Ikue Otani in all versions of the anime, except in the first episode, entitled "Pokémon, I Choose You!", in which Rachael Lillis provided the voice in cases where another character's voice overlaps Pikachu's.
The phrase "Pika-pika" is often considered funny, particularly to Japanese speakers' ears. The Japanese expression "pika-pika hikaru" means stroke of lightning; it is also used to denote a small bald spot on the very top of the head still surrounded by hair. "Pika-pika" can also mean "shining" or "shimmering" and denotes the electric element of Pikachu.