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EP011

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EP010 : Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village
Original series
EP012 : Here Comes the Squirtle Squad
Charmander – The Stray Pokémon
EP011.png
  EP011  
はぐれポケモン・ヒトカゲ
Stray Pokémon - Hitokage
First broadcast
Japan June 10, 1997
United States September 22, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Ending {{{en_ed}}}
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ひゃくごじゅういち
Credits
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 武上純希 Junki Takegami
Storyboard 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Itani
Assistant director 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Itani
Animation director 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
Additional credits

Charmander – The Stray Pokémon (Japanese: はぐれポケモン・ヒトカゲ Stray Pokémon - Hitokage) is the 11th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on June 10, 1997 and in the United States on September 22, 1998.

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201

Blurb

Our friends, lost, discover an injured Charmander. Pikachu talks to it and learns that it's been waiting a long time for its trainer to return.

Later, at a Pokémon Center, we overhear a Trainer bragging about abandoning his Charmander. Brock and Ash confront the trainer, named Damien, who challenges them to a battle. Nurse Joy breaks things up and reminds everyone that Pokémon are not to be used for settle personal disputes.

Ash, Misty, and Brock rush to retrieve the Charmander. It's not only threatened by a driving rain that could extinguish its flame, it's also under attack by a flock of Pidgeotto! Fortunately, Pikachu is able to make the Pidgeotto scatter so the Charmander could be saved.

They return to the Pokémon Center, where Nurse Joy says the Charmander requires an overnight stay.

When our friends wake up the next morning, however, the Charmander is gone!

Is the Charmander still loyal to the neglectful Damien? Will Damien ever learn that a Trainer must be responsible for his Pokémon? And will Team Rocket's latest trap finally succeed?

Plot

Ash and his friends seem to have lost their way en route to Vermilion City, making Misty very frustrated. The group stops to consult a map that Brock has unfolded, and Ash determines that—while they are currently in the middle of nowhere—the trail they are following intersects Route 24, which in turn leads straight to Vermilion City. Brock, satisfied with how they must proceed, puts the map away. But, as they move to leave, a large shadow suddenly falls across their path, causing them to look up in alarm.

With the sunlight shining directly into their eyes, the source of the shadow manifests itself as the impossibly large silhouette of a Pokémon. Ash quickly orders Pikachu to get ready, but it has other ideas and takes cover behind the group. Just as he begins to rebuke his Pokémon the sunlight's intensity dims, revealing a Charmander sitting upon a rock as having cast the shadow.

After checking his Pokédex, Ash is happy that he finally got a chance to catch a Charmander. Brock points out how weak its tail flame is, and that it probably needs help. Ash throws a Poké Ball at it, but the Charmander whacks it back with its tail. Ash asks if Pikachu should weaken it first, but Misty suggests she try, because her Water-type Pokémon would help. Brock still doesn't think it is that strong because of its small flame, and suggests that Ash try again.

Ash throws the Poké Ball again, and this time it pulls the Charmander in. However, it breaks out quickly, which causes the Poké Ball to conk off Ash's head. They are surprised by how much spunk the Charmander is showing. "A little too much, if you ask me," is Ash's comment.

Pikachu climbs up onto the rock and talks to the Charmander. It then comes back down and puts on a charades display. Ash eventually figures out that what Pikachu is saying is that Charmander is waiting on the rock for someone else to come pick him up. Brock decides that if it belongs to someone else, it is best to leave it. Ash and his friends leave.

Farther down the trail, Ash and his friends discover the Pokémon Center that is on the map. Ash declares that Route 24 can't be far now. And they couldn't have found it at a better time, as it soon starts to rain, forcing them all to race quickly down to the Pokémon center.

A brief scene shows the Charmander still on the rock, vainly trying to protect its tail flame from the rain with a leaf (as it will die if its flame goes out). Back at the Pokémon Center, Misty is serving up some soup, but Brock is still worried about the Charmander. Ash points out that there's no way the Charmander would have waited around that long. Brock agrees, stating that the Trainer surely would have gotten it by now.

However, they hear laughter nearby, and look over to see a Trainer named Damian surrounded by a group of hanger-ons. They are awing over his Pokémon collection, which is pretty sizable, when one of them asks if he has a Charmander too. Damian reveals he did, but since it was so weak, he left it on a rock out in the middle of the woods promising to return for it, which he had and still has no intention of doing.

Ash and his friends realize that it must have been his Charmander they saw and that based on Damian's description of Charmander's loyalty to him, it must still be waiting on the rock. This pushes the normally calm Brock over the edge, and he stands up and makes his way over to Damian. While they continue to laugh about how the Charmander is probably still waiting, Brock confronts Damian, telling him to go get the Charmander.

Damian pushes him off, but Ash and Misty soon arrive to back up Brock. The argument almost escalates to a Pokémon battle, but Nurse Joy breaks it up, saying Pokémon should never be used in personal battles. Damian and his crew leave, and Joy warns Ash, Misty and Brock about their bad reputation. Brock spaces out in his usual fashion, but Ash and Misty snap him out of it by reminding him about the Charmander.

The three race back through the pouring rain towards the rock where the Charmander is, only to find it is now having worse problems than the weather. A gang of Spearow attack it, and Ash tries to drive them off by throwing a rock at them, but this only causes them to attack him and his friends. Ash orders a ThunderShock from Pikachu, and it obeys, scaring off the Spearow. Unfortunately, its ThunderShock inadvertently zaps Ash, Misty, and Brock too.

They quickly wrap Charmander up in their rain coats, Ash volunteering to make sure its tail flame stays lit. Then they race back to the Pokémon Center, and ask Nurse Joy to help.

Nurse Joy is angry at Ash and his friends, wondering how they could have let the Charmander get into such bad shape. But Ash explains that it was Damian that left the Charmander out there, taking advantage of Charmander's loyalty. Brock pleads with Nurse Joy to save the Charmander, and she promises to do whatever she can.

From there, there is nothing they can do but wait. A montage of scenes show the three waiting, while Brock silently pleads for Charmander to hang on. Nurse Joy soon comes out, though, and reports success. The Charmander has pulled through, and it will be fine by morning.

When morning comes, Ash and Misty are asleep on couches in the lobby, Pikachu asleep below. Ash rolls over, causing his blanket to drop onto Pikachu. Suddenly, Brock shouts, causing Ash to crash off the couch. It turns out Charmander has disappeared from the ER.

Ash is certain that the Charmander has simply gone back to the rock. Brock wants to go after it again, but Misty points out that it is no use. Even though Damian is a jerk, the Charmander is still loyal to him, and nothing is likely to change that. They can't force Charmander to go with them if it doesn't want to.

A scene shows Charmander on its way back to the rock, stopping long enough to look back at the Pokémon Center. Ash and friends are soon on their way as well, Brock still disappointed. Ash points out that Charmander knew they cared about it, but it couldn't forget about Damian. Misty then slaps Brock, saying that Route 24 is just ahead, and there would be plenty of Pokémon once they get to Vermilion City.

Up ahead, Team Rocket is grouped around their newest mecha. They go into a dancing version of their motto, but Meowth cuts in early. They declare they now had a foolproof plan to capture Pikachu, and they start up their "automatic super-duper high-speed whatchamacallit," which turns out to be an over glorified hole driller.

Meowth flips, saying they tried this already, but James assures Meowth that, this time, they'll remember where the hole is. They go to work covering the hole, and when Meowth asks if they were sure, Jessie responds, "Don't you think we're smarter than that?." Meowth replies with a face fault. Suddenly, he sees Ash and Co. coming, and alerts the others. They quickly hide, and Jessie orders the mecha to hide itself as well.

Pikachu comes up to the hole and walks right over it. It seems that Pikachu was too light to trigger the pitfall. Jessie and James argues over who blew it this time, until Meowth shuts them up with scratches to the face. Ash, Brock, and Misty, being a lot heavier, end up triggering the pitfall and fall into the hole.

Team Rocket then appear, laughing at the fact that their trap worked. Pikachu tries to shock them, but they are dressed in rubber uniforms that don't conduct electricity. Pikachu tries to make a break for it, but they fire the Anti-Pikachu Rubber Balloon Bazooka, which eventually catches Pikachu and traps it inside.

Ash realizes that Pikachu is in trouble. So he quickly tries to climb out of the pit, but fails. He tries to get Misty and Brock to get him up, but finds he is standing on them. Team Rocket gloats for a while, and turn to leave, but at that moment Charmander steps in their way.

Charmander, as translated by Meowth, orders them to give Pikachu back to Ash and the others. Team Rocket naturally refuse, and warn the Charmander to beat it or else. The Charmander responds by closing its eyes, focusing hard, and unleashing a massive Flamethrower, which roasts Team Rocket.

They drop the Pikachu balloon and run like crazy. James screams, "Didn't I tell you we needed fireproof uniforms?!" Jessie tells him to keep running. "Some geniuses", says a despondent Meowth. Team Rocket are "blasting off again" by running off, much to the surprise of Damian, who had not realized Charmander was so powerful.

Ash, Misty, and Brock, having gotten out of the pit, thank Charmander for its help, and Ash asks Charmander if it wants to come along with them. However, Damian shows up, saying he has come back for Charmander, "just as he promised". Ash is angry, saying he was just bragging about how he abandoned Charmander, but Damian laughs, saying it toughened him up. He adds, "Besides, what's wrong with dumping off a weak Pokémon?"

Charmander seems to be taking exception to most of these statements, but Damian goes on about not even having to make Charmander tough himself. Brock angrily replies that raising a Pokémon is the best part of being a Trainer, but Damian calls it the most boring part. Finally, Damian, having had enough talk, flings a Poké Ball at Charmander. The Charmander, realizing that Damian neither cares nor respects it, whacks the ball right back into Damian's face.

Damian is now furious, and attempts to crush Charmander with every Pokémon he has, but Charmander turns its Flamethrower against him. Pikachu adds a ThunderShock of its own, and the utterly scorched and fried Damian runs off crying. The others cheer Charmander for its choice.

Brock tells Ash to go ahead and catch Charmander. Ash protests at first, but Brock convinces him that Ash will raise Charmander to be a great Pokémon. Ash accepts Brock's decision, and takes his opportunity throws a Poké Ball, which Charmander dives into for an easy catch. With a new Pokémon, and a new friend, Ash and friends continue on their way to Vermilion City.

Major events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.

Debuts

Pokémon debuts

Characters

Humans

Dare da?

Pokémon

Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Charmander


Trivia

  • This is the first episode that credits Izumi Shimura as an animation director.
  • This is the second episode of a three-episode arc where Ash catches each of Kanto's starter Pokémon.
  • Damian is shown to be carrying around twenty Poké Balls, all allegedly containing Pokémon; however, it is later established that a Trainer can only carry six Pokémon at a time in their party, just like in the games. This may be because he wasn't shown to have a Pokédex; therefore, he is not forced to use the storage system.
  • This is the first episode mentioning that Pokémon could die.
  • It is revealed in this episode that using a battle to settle a personal argument is frowned upon, and that Pokémon battles are not supposed to occur in Pokémon Centers. Ironically, Generation IV's Platinum Version introduces the concept of battling Trainers in Pokémon Centers.
  • This is the first episode that Meowth translates a Pokémon's speech.
  • This episode is featured on the Volume 9: Charmander copy of Pokémon All-Stars.
  • Parts of this episode were reanimated and used for flashback material for Fires of a Red-Hot Reunion.

Errors

The missing "Zs"
  • When Ash and his friends rush up to the rock to get a closer look at the shady Pokémon, the "Zs" underneath Ash's eyes disappear.
  • Charmander's eye shape changes to resemble that of a Charizard whenever zoomed in upon.
  • After Nurse Joy stops running, two extra footsteps are heard.
  • When Pikachu is running from Team Rocket's balloon, his feet have pads.

Dub edits

  • In the original Japanese version, Damian mentions to his friends that Charmander was so weak that it couldn't defeat a Poliwag. The English version changes it into the weakest opponents, which created a dialog error when Brock immediately remarks Charmander is naturally weak against Water-type Pokémon.

In other languages



EP010 : Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village
Original series
EP012 : Here Comes the Squirtle Squad
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.