Hello everyone and welcome to Pokemon Catch-Up! Today, we’re making up for lost time by skipping from episode 7 to episode 10 of the first season. Why, you ask? I’m using the Fast Track Viewing List by a reddit user which is helping me get through the anime, catch up to the current episode release and do so without missing anything important. After all, we all know how tedious Pokemon can get with its tangents. Check out a quick online synopsis for episode eight and nine if you’re really curious but I don’t think it’s worth it.

A quick piece of trivia. We’ll learn about Bulbasaur today and Bulbasaur is not only one of the Kanto starters but it’s also the first Pokemon of the Pokedex. Another cool piece of trivia is that Bulbasaur was not allowed to be traded on the GTS in Pokemon Black and White without having a nickname because a part of its name is offensive in another language.

Today’s episode: Season 1 (Indigo League), Episode 10: “Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village”

Synopsis

This might be a little disorienting. Last thing we covered was the battle at the Cerulean Gym. This episode starts off with Ash in yet another forest. What forest is it? We’ll never know. It’s an anime-only forest and the heroes are, you guessed it, lost.

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Ash, Misty, and Brock had strayed off the main road to take a “shortcut” and now, without a compass, they’re traveling through an unknown forest on the way to Vermillion City.

Ash and Misty break out into one of their iconic fights over whose fault it is. The forest is beautiful though and Ash spots an Oddish drinking water from a spring.

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He decides to catch it but Misty interjects. She wants to catch it and releases a Starmie that attacks the poor Oddish with a water gun and a tackle. The Oddish “faints” and Misty gets ready to send her Pokeball out to capture it.

However, a Bulbasaur knocks it back. Ash gets super excited about the encounter.

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The Bulbasaur attacks Misty’s Starmie and nearly knocks it out. Ash’s Butterfree makes an appearance with Sleep Powder but Bulbasaur blows it back, making Butterfree very sleepy.

Both Bulbasaur and Oddish run off into the bushes.

The trio resume their journey but Ash can’t shake his excitement. They cross a bridge above a river and the bridge starts to fall apart. Brock falls into the rushing water and Ash barely hangs on with Misty holding onto him tightly.

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The two, somehow, make it across. They now have a new goal, find Brock.

But along the way, they fall into a few traps. First, there is a huge hole in the ground that Misty falls into. Then, they get caught up in a net hanging from a tree.

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The Bulbasaur they saw before sees them struggling in the netting but just walks off.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket is on the prowl, looking for a “Village”.

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Ash and Misty stay in the trap for a while and speculate as to what happened to Brock when he simply appears below them and frees them.

It turns out, Brock was saved by a very beautiful girl, Melanie, who hauled him out of the water. Brock brings the group to meet her at her cabin.

Melanie runs a sanctuary of sorts where she takes care off tired and abandoned Pokemon until they can leave.

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Pokemon don’t battle at Melanie’s “Health Spa” (or Village) and simply enjoy themselves.

The trio find out that Melanie had been the one to set the traps up (and you thought it was Team Rocket, didn’t you?!). She set them up to catch Pokemon trainers before they reach the Village in order to protect the Pokemon.

Unfortunately, Team Rocket is on its way. Over the broken bridge, and down the stream.

Back at the Village, Misty keeps teasing Brock about his feelings for Melanie. And he has a problem with it. That’s a shocker since in the later seasons, Brock openly professes his love for any nice-looking girl he meets.

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Back to Team Rocket. They stumble into every…single..trap that Melanie sets up and they’re fed up with it. I mean, they’re supposed to be the masters of traps!

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Phew, so this episode keeps going back and forth between Team Rocket. Back at the Village, our heroes are helping out with the Pokemon, doing whatever they can to make them feel better. Including the Oddish that both Misty and Ash tried to catch.

We get an interesting glimpse into the Pokemon world as Misty talks to Oddish. We find out that some trainers really do abandon their Pokemon if they’re too weak and those Pokemon are left alone to fend for themselves. Think about that next time you release that low-IV Pokemon when you’re catching, breeding, and training your team.

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And that’s when Bulbasaur tackles Misty and prepares to battle Ash. We find out that Bulbasaur is the guardian of the Hidden Village. He protects the Pokemon from any attacks and hates Pokemon trainers in general.

And here comes Team Rocket again and this time on some weird balloon contraption which turns out to be a flying stadium?

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And they mean business. They descend on the village and use a vacuum to scoop up as many Pokemon as possible, almost getting Oddish in the process but Bulbasaur saves it. Ash helps Bulbasaur and Oddish into Melanie’s cabin where everyone is safe.

Team Rocket turn up the vacuum, trying to inhale the entire cabin but Bulbasaur vine whips the hose out of the wave. Meanwhile, Ash sends out Pidgeotto and Pidgeotto strikes back with a gust attack that creates a powerful tornado.

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I give you five guesses as to who is blasting off again! The entire stadium lifts off and Team Rocket disappears beyond the hills.

After seeing Ash and Bulbasaur work together, Melanie suggests that they team up for real because, honestly, the village is pretty small and Bulbasaur doesn’t have enough space to really grow.

Melanie also brings up that Bulbasaur kept the village too safe and that kept a lot of the Pokemon as permanent residents rather than temporary visitors.

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Bulbasaur wants to have a Pokemon battle before joining and so Ash calls out Pikachu and the two Pokemon start right away. Bulbasaur uses Vine Whip and its powerful Tackle. Pikachu counters with its own Tackle. Bulbasaur wraps its vines around Pikachu which turns out to be a mistake as Pikachu blasts it with Thunderbolt.

Ash throws his Pokeball and Bulbasaur officially joins Ash’s party!

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Melanie says good bye to all of them and our heroes continue on their adventure, hopefully in Vermillion City this time!

Episode eleven is our next episode so I’ll see you there!