Raichu, the Mouse Pokemon. This Pokémon exudes a weak electrical charge from all over its body that makes it take on a slight glow in darkness. Its electric charges can reach over 100,000 volts, enough to render even a Dragonite unconscious (Raichu > Multiscale). Its long tail serves as a ground to protect itself from its own high voltage power. If its electric pouches run empty, it can raise its tail to gather electricity from the atmosphere. When the electrical sacs in its cheeks become excessively charged, its muscles are stimulated and it becomes more aggressive than usual. To alleviate this, Raichu will plant its tail in the ground and discharge. As a result, scorched patches of earth can be found near this Pokémon's nest. Raichu also plants its tail in the ground to search for electricity.
RNG sure is kind t' me this week.
As I'm sure most'a y'all know, I'm quite the Raichu fan. 'Til Gen 4 introduced me to good ol' Lucario, t'was my favorite Poke. Needless to say, I definitely like it's design. It perfectly differentiates itself from previous forms in both a slight change in body shape/size and a thorough reconfiguration of it's color scheme, which is almost always a good thing. While orange isn't a huge departure from yellow, it's certainly nice for an Electric-type t' not have a generic palette. While it's design isn't terribly complicated, it's somewhat unique in appearance and is assuredly well executed, so I find it's aesthetics rather pleasing.
'Course, as a genwunkid, I'm definitely biased for the Poke. The first Raichu seen in the anime was essentially Pokemon's first badass monster, both in personality and on the battlefield. Note that this particular Raichu was the very first Poke t' utterly annihilate Ash's Pikachu without a type advantage: good ol' Lt. Surge's Raichu. This Poke gave Pikachu a dirt nap without breakin' a sweat, loosing the rematch merely 'cause of Surge's flawed philosophy as a trainer (raw power > everything else). Oh, and I guess it is one'a the few moments Ash isn't a complete derptard...
Competitively, despite Raichu's dex entries describing it's ability t' fell the very first fully-evolved Dragon-type, it's very lacking in stopping power. Though it was fast back in the day, many things outsped it. The only reason it'd ever be used over other Electric-types was the fact it learned Surf to easily dispatch those pesky Rock/Ground types which infested RBY's metagame. It's BST and movepool were just too meager...
... Which only got worse as the power creep came on by ever so slightly in each generation shift. The introduction of new Electric-types like Lanturn, Raikou and Luxray in particular served to only knock it down tiers. As a result, Raichu hasn't been OU since the retro days of (early) GSC. Despite new tools occasionally received from generation shifts, such as Nasty Plot or Volt Switch, Raichu has sat within the pathetic confines of NU for the past two generations. Raichu has never had great stats, wide movepool or a unique niche. Because of this, until it can use a Light Ball; like hell that'd ever happen; it'l remain sub-par... ... ...
Pikachu, the Mouse Overrated Pokemon. It lives within forests in communities of many Pikachu. It keeps its tail raised to monitor its surroundings. The tail is sometimes struck by lightning in this pose. This Pokemon stores electricity in the electric sacs on its cheeks. When it is angered, it immediately discharges the energy stored in these pouches. Its electric sacs appear to become electrically charged during the night while Pikachu sleeps. It occasionally discharges electricity when it is dozy after waking up. Whenever Pikachu comes across something new, it blasts it with a jolt of electricity. If you come across a blackened object, it's evidence that this Pokémon mistook the intensity of its charge. When several of these Pokémon gather, their electricity could build and cause lightning storms. Pikachu will cleverly roast tough berries with it's electricity, making them tender enough to eat.
Behold, the evil being that is Game Freak's very own mascot! ... Ignoring the bias that it's only so damn popular 'cause of dumb ol' Ash, there really ain't nothin' wrong with it's design. It's the original Electric Mouse, so it's immune to criticisms such as havin' the generic design of Electric-type yellow and a lightning bolt-shaped appendage. Now with that said, it certainly isn't a bad design. It's somewhat cute I s'pose... it wouldn't be such a widely adored Pokemon otherwise I don't think, Ash's favorite or not. Pikachu ain't stupid lookin' nor is it poorly executed.
I ain't gonna say a word on whether I prefer the ol' fat Pikachu or Newchu, so y'all can go on 'n get to insulting each other over that genwunner bullshit.
Competitively, Pikachu wasn't around in a time when LC existed (i.e. RBY). It actually hits harder than non-Choice Specs Raichu when holdin' that there Light Ball, so it can be used as a ridiculously gimmicky late-game sweeper if the team is dedicated t' help it sweep. Otherwise, it's defenses 'n speed are even lower than Raichu's, meanin' it just-plain sucks. Pikachu is quite literally a glass cannon... without any cannon balls.
Pichu, the Tiny Mouse Brochu Pokemon. Despite its small size, it can zap even adult humans. You can hear the crackling of static coming off this Pokémon, as it is still inept at retaining electricity. It may spontaneously send out a jolt if amused or startled, possibly shocking itself accidentally. When Pichu plays with others, it may intentionally short out electricity with another Pichu, creating a shower of sparks. This appears to be a test of courage, as the sudden flash of sparks can startle the Pichu and cause it to cry. Pichu charges itself with electricity more easily on days with thunderclouds or when the air is very dry.
Unlike with Pikachu, Pichu is undeniably adorable. There ain't really much t' say on it's design, 'sides from the fact it's a mini-Pikachu made cuter. Well, that and the fact I certainly like said design. I ain't a fan of many baby Pokes neither, as I generally care little for cute 'mons. It's aesthetics also radiate that unique appeal most Gen 2 Pokes seem t' have. Pichu was Junichi Masuda's favorite 'mon 'til Generation 5 for good reason.
... By the way, if ya don't love the Pichu Bros., you're banned.
Competitively, despite having some potent tools few or no other Little Cup Pokemon have; the omnipotent Volt Tackle, namely; Elekid completely outclasses it in both offensive movepool and stats. If it could use a Light Ball then it'd be amazingly good, but that ain't the case sadly.
I would've finished this for MR's birthday, but it didn't cross my mind at the time 'cause I'm a derp. =( Sorry bro...