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Pokemon! I Choose You! - Animepedia

Pokemon! I Choose You!

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The first episode of Pokémon made its debut on April 1, 1997, on the Japanese television station TV Tokyo, with the title, Pokémon! I Choose You!

This episode begins with "Aim to Be a Pokémon Master" by Rica Matsumoto, and begins.



Part A

The episode begins with what seems to be a Gengar and Nidorino Pokémon, battling each other in a black and white video game. Both Pokémon attack each other using turn taking. After the Nidorino dodges an attack, it leaps at Gengar and the scene is turned into an actual battle between the two Pokémon. The game has turned into life, and the monochrome has turned into full color. Both Pokémon are facing each other in the Pokémon League stadium, with lots of cheering crowds watching. A narrator working for the stadium can be heard.

Gengar dodges an attack, and puts the Nidorino to sleep using Hypnosis. As Nidorino starts to drift off, its trainer returns it to its Pokeball. The trainer sends out his next Pokémon, an Onix. Onix attacks Gengar, but Gengar dodges again. The screen zooms out, revealing the whole scene was being watched on a television inside a boy's bedroom.

The boy is named Ash Ketchum, a huge fan of Pokémon. Many Pokédolls and various other goods are seen in his room. Ash lives in Pallet Town, and is now 10 years ago, the legal age to earn their Pokémon lisence. Tomarrow he will receive his starter Pokémon at Professor Oak's laboratory. That will only be the first step to achieving his goal of becoming a Pokémon master.

As Ash continues to watch the television program, his mother(Delia Ketchum) walks in. She is upset that it is 11:00 PM, and Ash still hasn't gone to bed. Ash says that he is too excited and cannot sleep. So as a compromise, she switches to a television program where Professor Oak talks about the starter Pokémon. The starter Pokémon are Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charmander. He continues his lecture. And just before Delia leaves, she tells Ash to go to bed when the program is finished.

That night, Ash has fallen asleep and begins to dream about the possible Starter he might choose. In his first dream, his choice was Bulbasaur. In the second, it was Squirtle. During his dream, his Voltrob alarm clock has fell into the palm of his hand. When it sended out Squirtle in the dream, he threw the alarm clock. Night soon turns into morning, and Ash now dreams of Charmander.

After a Dodrio cocks to announce the morning, Ash wakes up and realizes that he threw his alarm clock and broke it. He had over slept and is now late, and rushes to the laboratory still in his PJ's. When he arrives there is a large group of people. The most interesting ones are a group of cheer leaders who cheer for a boy named Gary Oak, who happens to be Ash's rival. Ash asks him what Pokémon he chose, but Gary ignores him and drives off in a red sports car with his cheer leaders. Ash is angry, but Professor Oak arrives and stops him. When Ash asks if he is ready for a Pokemon, Professor Oak is doubtful.. seeing that Ash is in his PJ's.

Ash still follows Oak inside to choose a Pokémon. Unfortunately, all of the starters were taken by people who came in early. Ash is really upset, but Oak decides to offer a Pokémon he was keeping away. He gives Ash a Pokeball, which realizes a Pikachu in a lightning flash. Ash is really excited, but Oak warns him that Pikachu isn't too fond of people. Ash hugs Pikachu and gets shocked. While still holding Pikachu, Oak hands him a Pokedex and some pokeballs. Both get shocked.

Outside is a much smaller group waiting for Ash. Apparently Ash isn't very popular. Delia Ketchum is really proud of her son and overloads him with some of his important goods, such as extra clothing and food. When his mother remarks that she thought most Pokémon stay inside their Pokeball, ash tries to return his Pikachu. But Pikachu just bounces the ball away, evident that it hates to stay inside a Pokeball. Delia mentioned that she packed some rubber gloves. Pikachu shocks everyone except Professor Oak, who mentions that the rubber gloves may come in handy.

The episode then goes into a commercial break. The "Who's That Pokémon" sequence also begins(which appears in both the original and 4Kids dub).

Part B

The Pokémon in "Who's That Pokémon?" is revealed to be a Pikachu.

Ash is walking along in Route 1 wearing rubber gloves, and pulling Pikachu long with a rope attached to its waist. Pikachu is obviously very uncomfortable. Getting tired of pulling it along, Ash tries to talk to Pikachu and ask what is wrong. Pikachu refuses to answer, as the only thing it can say is its own specie name. Ash's Pokedex only says that some Pokémon do not like being inside Pokeballs. Even when Ash removes the gloves and the rope, Pikachu still refuses to trust Ash.

Then a Pidgey, a bird Pokémon, walks past them. Ash scans it on his Pokedex for information. He is very willing to catch it, but Pikachu does not want to battle alongside with Ash, so it runs up a tree. So now Ash is forced to wing it. He tries to throw a Pokeball at the Pidgey, but it only breaks free and runs away. His Pokedex mentions that only weakened Pokémon can be caught. Pikachu laughs at him from the treetops. Ash still doesn't give up, but tries to sneak up to a Pidgey with a PJ shirt. He traps it on top of the Pidgey, only to be blown away by a Whirlwind. Then the Pidgey attacks him with a Sand Attack and flies off. Pikachu laughs at him again.

Ash then spots a Rattata sneaking into his backpack and chases it off. His Pokedex says that Rattatas try to steal food from 'stupid' trainers. Again, Pikachu laughs at him. He turns and sees a flock of Pidgey standing around. He throws a rock at them, but they fly off. He then spots another Pokémon, and mistaking it for a Pidgey, throws a rock at it and successfully hits its head. The Pokémon is actually a Spearow, a dangerous bird Pokémon. It glares at Ash. The Spearow then tries to peck away at Ash, but spots Pikachu and attacks it instead. Ash is very worried.

Pikachu was in a small state of trouble, but uses ThunderShock to stop the Spearow. It then cries out to its other flock members, who begin to chase after Ash and Pikachu. Both run away. But Pikachu still dislikes Ash, and runs ahead. The Spearows reach Pikachu and injure it. Ash picks it up and runs the rest of the way. He reaches a waterfall and is forced to fall into a river. The screen shows a Magikarp who is frightened away when Ash is swimming underwater. A Gyarados appears and Ash, scared, swims away.

Above the water's surface is a red haired girl fishing at the river, who's name is revealed to be Misty in episode 2. Something then tugs on her bait, and she pulls out Ash who is still holding onto Pikachu. Misty is worried and asks if 'it' is ok. Ash says he is, but is then slapped by Misty. Misty actually meant Pikachu and says to Ash to hurry to a Pokémon Center at Virdian City. The Spearow flock arrive and Ash needs to get to safety soon. He sees Misty's bike and rides it away, burrowing it. Although Misty is quite unpleased.

As Ash rides away, it begins to thunder and rain. Pikachu is very weak and can only say "..Pika" when Ash reassures it. The Spearow flock is closing in and Ash 'trips' over a ledge and falls off with Pikachu. Ash is now desperate to save his Pokemon, and places its Pokeball near it. Knowing that Pikachu hates Pokeballs, Ash still pleads to it to go inside. But no luck. Ash turns around to the Spearow with his arms spread out wide to protect Pikachu. He tells them that he is Ash Ketchum and is determined to save Pikachu and become a Pokémon Master.

As the Spearow dive toward him, Pikachu finds enough strength and begins to run toward them. It jumps up and unleashes a very powerful Thundershock. A huge lightning bolt flashes over the entire field, and the rain clouds disappear. Ash and Pikachu are laying on the ground. The Spearows have all been defeated and Ash is very proud of his Pikachu. He picks up it and they both see a Ho-Oh flying over a rainbow. The two nod and begin the rest of their way to Viridian City.


As the last scene zooms out, the words "To Be Continued" appear. Then the ending theme, "One Hundred Fifty-One" by Professor Oak (Unshō Ishizuka) and Pokémon Kids starts to play.

Character Introductions

Ash Ketchum

Ash's Pikachu

Gary Oak


Delia Ketchum

Professor Oak

Bruno, of the Indigo League Elite Four












Sandshrew, brief appearence

Mankey, brief appearence


Episode Trivia Facts

  • This is the only main series episode where Team Rocket doesn't appear, until temporarily in Season 8.
  • The shadowed Pokemon trainer who owns the Nidorino and Onix, is in fact Bruno of the Indigo League's Elite Four.
  • This episode can be found on the third cartridge of the 'Game Boy Advance Video', a device that lets one watch a TV show on their Game Boy Advance.
  • Pikachu's pokeball has a thunder bolt label on it. However in later scenes and episodes, the label is gone.
  • This is also the only episode where Pikachu was inside its Pokeball. After it was released inside Professor Oak's laboratory, it never went inside ever again.

Edits in the Dub

  • This is one of the few episodes that Rachael Lillis provides the voice for Pikachu. This was done when a character spoke over Ikue Ohtani's Pikachu voice. The audio couldn't be saved.
  • When Ash said he was not harmed to Misty, she slapped him in the original. In the dub, this was cut.
  • The Pokeballs containing the starter Pokemon have Japanese labels on them. They were painted over in the dub, although there is one snapshot where the labels weren't painted over.
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