Pokémon

Season 1 Episode 11

Charmander - The Stray Pokémon

3
Aired Saturday 8:30 AM Sep 22, 1998 on Cartoon Network
9.4
out of 10
User Rating
124 votes
17

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Charmander - The Stray Pokémon
AIRED:
On the way to Vermilion City, Ash, Misty, and Brock come across a Charmander sitting on a rock. Ash tries to catch it, but it turns out it has a trainer and can't be captured, so they head to the Pokémon Center. At the center, a hotshot trainer named Damien is bragging about how he left it, promising to come back for it. After hearing this, they head back out to get the poor pokémon as the rainstorm threatens its very life.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • What a wonderful opportunity it is to watch this classic episode!

    10
    Today on Cartoon Network (12/21/2013) again showed this wonderful episode. It is the second time I got to see it and I see see it as outstanding, wonderful, and now classic. It is even better watching now that I know the future of Charmander and Ash for the next 16 seasons (1998 - 2013)! In 2013, Ash is still using his evolved Charmander (now Charizard and able to stay awake and listen to Ash at all times).



    Ash is a great trainer and it shows with his Charizard and how he worked with it from being left to die, ... Damn, I told myself I wasn't going to cry and yes, I know it is just a cartoon, but . . I personify stuff and while watching the episode thought of Charmander as being alive and tried to empathize with how it must be feeling. Why? Yeah, why? Well, I find when doing this I enjoy he episode even more than when I don't do it. I guess, what I'd love to see in movies and TV is true virtual reality, where when you watch you're actually inside the action as a real person there with other real people. Anyway, back to the episode.



    The drawing is really different from what we have in season 16 with action sometimes being still images shown in order instead of real time motion. I'm find the graphics in this episode GREAT given the time period and for its time, I compare it well against what we have today. Bottom line is the Pokemon producers, artists, and crew are keeping Pokemon current season by season instead of holding itself to one standard. (Yeah, some series use even more advanced graphics, but they're also darker. Maybe someday the artists and others on the Pokemon crew will go that route, but for now it is Just as the graphics in this episode are great, too.



    For the 11th episode on Cartoon Network, this is a wonderful and well placed story for us to learn about Ash and his buddies.moreless
  • Great way to show how some people treat their own Pokemon

    10
    Still lost on the way to Vermillion City, Ash, Misty and Brock come across an abandoned Charmander! The trainer that abandoned it named Damian falsely promised he would come back for it to get rid of it. That was worse than any theft attempted by Team Rocket of any Pokemon! I love the way Ash was willing to save a Pokemon that didn't belong to him, especially since its rightful owner abandoned it remorselessly! I also was not shocked that Charmander helped save Pikachu from Team Rocket after the way Ash and his friends saved its life!moreless
  • Charmander...

    9.5
    Easily the strongest of the "catch the Kanto starters arc" as it shows that there is a cost to abandoning your Pokemon, and helps establish Ash as a very caring character, even to Pokemon that aren't his. Of course Charmander would grow to become the very interesting Charzaird, so bonus points for future character development.



    Grade A-
  • Ash meets Charmander

    8.5
    in this episode Ash and the gang run in to a Charmander sitting on a rock. Ash tries to catch it but it turns out it has a trainer and can't be captured then at the pokemon center they learn that the owner thinks it's too weak and ditch the Charmander. So Ash and his friends go to save the Charmander and nurse it back to heath and then the Trainer wants charmander back then it was so funny when Charmander blast the Fa##ot with it's flamethrower and Charmander picks Ash too be it's trainer now Ash has 5 pokemonmoreless
  • An awesome episode focusing on Ash getting Charmander

    10
    "Charmander - The Stray Pokemon"



    Grade: A*



    Is it just me or were the early Pokemon episodes quite serious? This episode in particular was very good in showing how Ash and the others cared about Pokemon being abandoned, and how bad people can treat them really badly. The plot worked as a result, and it was nice to see how a Pokemon can see other points of views and look at what's best for them as well. Seeing a darker side to the Pokemon trainers was a nice touch as well.



    The episode begins with Ash, Brock, and Misty getting lost on the map trying to head for Vermillion City. They figure out that they are on Route 24 and follow the path down.

    They bump into a rock with a Pokemon on top of it. Ash's Pokedex tells him its a Charmander. Brock tells him that the fire tail flame is the indication of its health, and it looks in bad shape. Ash attempts to catch Charmander with a Pokeball, but he knocks it back with his tail. Ash tells Pikachu to weaken it, but Misty says she can use hers since Fire is weak to Water. Brock tells Ash to try again, since Charmander's flame tail is getting weaker. This time, the ball catches it, but it fails again. Pikachu attempts to communicate with Charmander, telling Ash, Brock, and Misty that Charmander is waiting for its owner, using sign language and gestures to describe what it said. The group decides to leave Charmander, as they think its owner will come back soon for it.

    Following the trail down on Route 24, the weather starts to get bad by raining heavily, and the group decide to camp in the Pokemon Center. At the same time, a flashback shows that Charmander is still on the rock, covering the flame tail from the heavy rain with a large green leaf.

    In the Pokemon Center, Misty gives Ash and Brock some food and conclude that Charmander was found by its owner and is safely out of the rain now. That is until they overhear a voice in the Center. A trainer named Damian tells his friends about his Pokemon. One of them asks he what happened to his Charmander. He says that Charmander was so weak that he told him to stay on the rock and wait for it, indicating he lied to get rid of it.

    The group concludes its the same Charmander on the rock, and Brock loses his temper and gets up and grabs Damian. He demands him to get his Charmander and it goes as far as starting a Pokemon match to deal with the consequences. A nurse named Nurse Joy breaks it up before it happens and demands Damian and his friends to leave, whilst Brock freaks out due to her appearance as usual. Ash and Misty snaps him out and tells him that they are going to rescue the Charmander.

    The group run through the rain back to the rock where Charmander is being attacked by Spearows. Pikachu gets rid of them using Thundershock (though shocking Ash and the others too) and quickly wrap Charmander up with their coats, leaving Ash to keep the flame tail burning as long as possible so that it doesn't die.

    Ash, Brock, and Misty get Charmander to the Center and Nurse Joy is shocked on how badly Charmander's condition is. They tell her that its Damian who's caused the problem, and just want to ensure that Charmander recovers and doesn't die. Nurse Joy tells them that she will do her best to save it.

    The group wait for hours upon hours, hoping that Charmander won't die, and Nurse Joy tells them that Charmander will recover by morning.

    The next morning, Brock tells Ash and Misty that Charmander has escaped, and is most likely heading back to the rock due to Damian's promise. Misty points out that there's nothing they can do, as Damian is Charmander's original owner, so they decide to head on. Meanwhile, Charmander heads back up to the rock, looking back at the Pokemon Center, confused on who to trust.

    A couple of roads ahead, Team Rocket have come up with a brilliant scheme of capturing Pikachu, using a drill machine to make a hole and set a trap out. Meowth points out they tried that before and it backfired on them because they forgot where the hole was. This time though, Jessie and James are confident it will work.

    Ash, Brock, Misty, and Pikachu approach the trap and Pikachu walks over it without a problem, ruining a part of Team Rocket's plan already (in which Meowth scratches their faces for their stupidity) but Ash, Brock, and Misty fall down, leaving Pikachu by himself. Team Rocket use this opportunity to try and capture Pikachu. With their anti-electric suits, Pikachu can't shock them, and they launch a Anti-Pikachu Bazooka Balloon at it. Pikachu tries to run away but eventually gets caught.

    Ash, left hopeless in getting out of the hole (due to standing on Brock and Misty) is left seemingly without a plan to rescue Pikachu. Team Rocket try to walk away, but bump into Charmander. Charmander tells Meowth to give back Pikachu to Ash, but they just laugh, and as a result Charmander uses his Flamethrower on them to roast them. Team Rocket drop Pikachu, and run away (blasting off again!).

    With thanking Charmander of saving Pikachu, Ash asks Charmander if he wants to join them, but Damian returns, telling him he's back to return him. Ash tells him that he was being biased yesterday bragging about abandoning Charmander, but Damian says he toughed Charmander up. Damian's comments continue to annoy both Brock and Ash, saying there's nothing wrong with dumping a weak Pokemon, and that training it is the worst part. Ash, Brock, and Misty try to convince Charmander that Damian only wants him to win battles, and nothing else. Damian has had enough of the conversation and forcefully throws a Pokeball at Charmander, but Charmander kicks it away with a change of heart at the last second.

    Damian, outraged at this, throws all his Pokeballs at him, but Charmander (along with Pikachu) attacks him, sending him away crying. The group are glad that Charmander made the right decision, and as a result Ash throws a Pokeball at it, leaving Charmander to jump into it straight away.



    Overall, this episode was well plotted and written, considering that although the Team Rocket part was slightly silly, the episode again had alot of heart to it and quite a serious tone. It was nice to see that a Pokemon can change its mind and understand which decisions are best for them in the end. One of the best episode of Pokemon by far.moreless

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