Quote Originally Posted by Geodude
Doesn't matter. Fact was, Pikachu didn't want to do it. Ash couldn't exactly physically force it to battle, and if he did somehow intimidate Pikachu into doing so, it would have probably either lost respect for him or not put its all into the battle. No doubt Ash felt better battling with a fully willing Pidgeotto and Butterfree than a very hesitant Pikachu. I don't know what's so hard to understand about a trainer abiding by his Pokemon's wishes, even when said trainer is still a rookie, which shows that he already has his priorities straight in that respect.
I'm just saying that Ash should have made it clear to Pikachu that he was the leader. He bowed to the will of his subordinate. I'm not saying he should have physically forced Pikachu (like he could, zap), however, he is supposed to be the team leader.