Season 1 Episode 1

Pokémon I Choose You!

Aired Saturday 8:30 AM Sep 08, 1998 on Cartoon Network

Episode Fan Reviews (106)

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  • First episode of Pokemon!

    "Pokemon, I Choose You!"

    Grade: A*

    The very first Pokemon episode, after almost 14 years is reviewed by me, and I used to watch alot of the season 1 episodes back in my childhood years. I bumped into this episode on TV not too long ago and thought it was an excellent way to start the series, and is actually quite darkly toned in places and funny. Ash is a total noob at Pokemon, whilst Pikachu is a right **** in this episode, but the key importance is how Ash and Pikachu's friendly trainer relationship grows slowly from here.

    The episode begins with a Gameboy screen of Pokemon being played. The screen changes to an actual Pokemon match and it turns out that it is coming from the TV. A 10 year old boy named Ash Ketchum is looking forward to becoming a Pokemon Trainer the day afterwards.
    Unfortuantly, Ash oversleeps and dreams about which starter Pokemon to choose from (Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur) and ends up waking up late. In a hurry and still in his pyjamas, Ash heads to Professor Oak, and is taunted by his rival Gary, who says he is late for the party and chosen the best Pokemon.
    Ash enters Professor Oaks lab and originally decides to pick Squirtle, but Oak says its taken. He then picks Bulbasaur, followed by Charmander, and they are all gone. Ash is devastated by this and demands to have any Pokemon. Professor Oak tells Ash that there is one more, though its a little misbehaving. He gives him an electric Pokeball and inside it is Pikachu and he comes out of the ball.
    Pikachu is a bit of a terror and doesn't like Ash, constantly using Thundershock on him. Despite not getting along too well, Ash packs his stuff up and says goodbye to his mother and his hometown Pallet Town. Ash is reminded that Pikachu should be going back in the ball, but he refuses and lets him walk with him instead.
    Pikachu doesn't get along with Ash and he encounters Pidgey, which Ash tells Pikachu to attack. Pikachu refuses and ash tries to capture it with a Pokeball normally. It doesn't work and Pikachu just keeps laughing at him. Ash attempts to try again by throwing his coat over Pidgey, but fails due to Pidgey's Gust and Sand Attack. Pikachu continously laughs and Ash realises he's going to have to do everything himself (for now).
    Ash sees another bird Pokemon and decides to try and weaken it with a rock, but it isn't a Pidgey, its a Spearow, and Spearows can be dangerous to both Pokemon and Humans. Spearow calls the hoard from the nest and Ash and Pikachu are forced to run.
    The hoard catches up with Ash and Pikachu, and Pikachu is hurt by the Spearows. Ash tries to save him and jumps into the river, avoiding the water Pokemon and finds himself getting caught by a fishing rod used by a girl named Misty. Misty realises Pikachu is in critical health and tells Ash where the Pokemon Center is, but the Spearows catch up with them again and Ash takes Misty's bike and pedals away without warning.
    Ash and Pikachu fall off the bike, and realising they are stuck, Ash tells Pikachu to get into the Pokeball so that he can be saved, but Pikachu still refuses. Ash tells the hoard of Spearows that he will become the greatest Pokemon trainer and they tell him to attack him instead of Pikachu. Pikachu starts to warm up to Ash and just before Ash is hit by the Spearows, Pikachu uses Thunder and scares the Spearows away, knocking both Ash and Pikachu unconscious.
    Ash wakes up and Pikachu starts liking him again. He notices a Pokemon in the sky (Ho-oh) and checks it with the Pokedex, but it doesn't recognise what it is, and nevertheless Ash starts walking towards the Pokemon Center with Pikachu in his hands, and the journey begins from here...

    Overall, one of the finest episodes of Pokemon and it had a good plot, some humour, and even some heart to it. I mean, Ash sacrifices himself to the Spearows in order to keep Pikachu alive at the end for goodness sake (as Ash doesn't think he'll survive), plus he delivers a moving speech that might even let out a little tearjerker to some viewers. I think this is also the only episode without Team Rocket in it, but I might be wrong, but nevertheless the first episode of Pokemon perfectly set the series and was a great way to start everything.