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| Challenge of the Samurai
Challenge of the Samurai Boy
|| April 22, 1997
| United States
|| September 11, 1998
|| Team Ota
|| 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
|| 鈴木敏明 Toshiaki Suzuki
| Assistant director
|| 大原実 Minoru Ōhara
| Animation director
|| 平岡正幸 Masayuki Hiraoka
| Additional credits
Challenge of the Samurai (Japanese: サムライしょうねんのちょうせん！ Challenge of the Samurai Boy) is the fourth episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 22, 1997 and in USA on September 11, 1998.
Ash, Misty continue their travel through the Viridian Forest on the way to Pewter City. Suddenly, Ash spots a Weedle and decides to catch it. He tries to use Pikachu against it, but it is more interested in sleeping rather than battling, so he sends out his Pidgeotto. Pidgeotto manages to defeat Weedle but just when Ash is about to toss a Poké Ball to capture it, a person dressed as a samurai arrives on scene. The samurai asks Misty if she is from Pallet Town and when she replies in the negative, he turns to Ash. The wild Weedle escapes and the samurai rebukes Ash for it. The two then engage themselves in a Pokémon battle.
Ash uses his Pidgeotto and the samurai battles with his Pinsir. The two battle for sometime and finally, Pinsir manages to defeat Pidgeotto. Ash then sends out his Metapod. Metapod breaks Pinsir's pincers with Harden and wins the round. The samurai then sends out his Metapod! The two Metapod continue to harden themselves leading Misty and Pikachu to wonder whether the match would ever finish. Suddenly, a swarm of Beedrill arrive and lift Ash's Metapod away. The samurai takes Ash, Misty and their other Pokémon to a safe place.
In the samurai's hiding place, the samurai furiously rebukes Ash for putting his Metapod in danger. Ash keeps mum and promises to himself that he would find out Metapod the next day and look after it from then on. During the night, he is unable to sleep and can only think about his Metapod.
The next day, the group start their search for Metapod. They soon find it on a tree among many Kakuna. Ash joyously goes to Metapod to take him back in his team. He however sees a look of sorrow on Metapod and realizes that he has lost its trust. He apologizes to it and promises to take better care of it next time and manages to regain its trust. To show that it has faith in him, Metapod saves him from a Beedrill which was about to attack him from behind. It then starts glowing and evolves into a Butterfree!
Ash and the others are then once again attacked by the swarm of Beedrill, but this time, Ash is prepared for them. He orders his newly evolved Butterfree to use Sleep Powder and which puts the bee-like Pokémon to sleep. They then escape from the area.
Later, Ash and the samurai part as friends, but promise to battle again. He and Misty then go on and finally reach the end of the Viridian Forest. Ash runs at full speed towards Pewter City to earn his first Gym Badge, with Misty close behind.
Who's That Pokémon?: Metapod
- This is the first episode in which Ash participates in a "fair" battle.
- This is the first time the lines "Prepare for trouble!" and "And make it double!" are included in the Team Rocket's motto.
- Samurai is based on a bug catcher trainer class.
- Samurai is the first anime character of the day.
- In this episode, Metapod's and Kakuna's evolutions are depicted as their shells cracking and their evolved forms emerging. In later episodes, however, Metapod and Kakuna are shown to evolve like any other Pokémon.
- When Ash, Misty and Samurai are sleeping down for the night and Ash is wide awake worrying about Metapod, his Japanese name, Satoshi, is written on his sleeping bag and not painted over.
- Ash tries to capture a Weedle, but fails. Later on, however, he would succeed in capturing its evolved form, but he would give it away shortly afterward. Incidentally, in that episode, Ash tries to capture another Weedle and fails.
- When Ash sets out the next morning to look for Metapod, Meowth kicks Ash in the head and scratches him. After he starts crying Jessie and James are shown on top of the cliff above him. Ash runs off after they recited their motto, during this time Meowth was still next to him. When the camera cuts to Jessie and James jumping off the cliff and running after them, Meowth is shown jumping off with them.
- In one scene, when Ash is arguing with Samurai, his gloves disappear.
- Ash getting in a cow costume and suggesting that a bug is a "cowterpie" makes more sense in the Japanese pun: Misty says "Mushi! Mushi! Mushi! ...Mushi!" which means "Bug! Bug! Bug! ...Bug!". Ash then says "Ushi?", meaning "Cow?".
- The word "Mika" on Jessie's Kakuna disguise is painted out in the dub.
In other languages
- Czech: Souboj se samurajem
- Dutch: De Samoerai Uitdaging!
- European and Brazilian Portuguese: O Desafio do Samurai
- Finnish: Samurain haaste
- French: Le défi du Samouraï
- German: Die Herausforderung
- Italian: La sfida del Samurai
- Latin American Spanish: ¡El desafio del Samurai!
- Iberian Spanish: El reto del Samurai
- Mandarin: 武士少年的挑战