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EP009 : The School of Hard Knocks
Original series
EP011 : Charmander – The Stray Pokémon
Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village
Fushigidane of the Hidden Village
First broadcast
Japan June 3, 1997
United States September 21, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ひゃくごじゅういち
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 大橋志吉 Yukiyoshi Ōhashi
Storyboard 開木菜織 Naori Hiraki
Assistant director 広島秀樹 Hideki Hiroshima
Animation director 平岡正幸 Masayuki Hiraoka
Additional credits

Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village (Japanese: かくれざとのフシギダネ Fushigidane of the Hidden Village) is the tenth episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on June 3, 1997 and in the United States on September 21, 1998.

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


Ash and Misty, while arguing, discover an Oddish. As Misty's Starmie weakens the Oddish, a Bulbasaur appears and fights Starmie while the Oddish runs off into the woods. Ash jumps in with his Butterfree, but the Bulbasaur is able to escape in the direction of the Oddish.

Our heroes cross a river over a rope bridge that snaps, sending Brock into the river below. As Misty, Ash, and Pikachu hunt for Brock, they set off a couple of traps, finally landing in a net that hangs from a tree!

Fortunately, Brock shows up to cut them down, then brings them to meet a woman named Melanie, who takes care of wounded Pokémon like the Oddish—and sets traps to defend the Pokémon from poachers. The Bulbasaur, we learn, acts as a kind of bodyguard.

Misty apologizes to the Oddish for attacking it earlier, but the Bulbasaur is still hostile because it dislikes Trainers. Meanwhile, Team Rocket has discovered the area and plans to snatch the weak Pokémon.

Will Team Rocket have an advantage against Pokémon that are wounded and unable to defend themselves? And will that Bulbasaur ever warm up to Ash and his friends?


Ash and his friends are wandering through the forest without a compass, trying to find the path to Vermilion City. Ash and Misty are fighting as usual, this time over who led them astray, while Brock tries to get them to cool down.

They pause for a rest, and Ash sees an Oddish taking a drink. Misty sends her Starmie to fight the Oddish so she can catch it. The Oddish is defeated, but Misty's Poké Ball is deflected by the appearance of a Bulbasaur before she can claim it. The Bulbasaur attacks and defeats the Starmie; Ash sends his Butterfree after the Bulbasaur with a Sleep Powder attack, but the Bulbasaur blows the powder back at Butterfree. Both the Oddish and the Bulbasaur run off into the underbrush.

The trio attempt to cross a rope bridge, but a wind starts to rip the bridge apart. Brock falls into the river below, while Misty and Pikachu cling to Ash. Ash ultimately manages to pull them up, and the three make their way to the end of the bridge. They make their way down to water level and go looking for Brock. At once, Misty falls through a dead fall into a pit. Ash pulls her out, and they go on looking. As they walk along, Misty's toe catches a rope, and they find themselves suspended in a net. They are found in this state by the Bulbasaur.

Team Rocket appears, looking for a village across the bridge.

Ash speculates that Brock has been washed to sea and shanghaied by pirates; moments later, Brock appears and cuts them down. Brock relates his experience in the river; he was rescued from the rapids by an "incredibly beautiful" girl. Brock takes them to a village and introduces them to the girl, Melanie.

Ash and Misty notice the large number of Pokémon in the village and wonder if they belong to Melanie. Brock explains that this Hidden Village is a place for abandoned or injured Pokémon to come to rest and relax. Melanie cares for them until they're better, then they leave. Melanie collects plants to use for medicine, though she says she's unqualified to be a Pokémon doctor. Misty teases Brock for falling in love with Melanie; he reacts a little violently, fearing Melanie might overhear.

Melanie explains that she set the traps they fell into to prevent Pokémon Trainers from reaching the village. She is trying to protect the injured Pokémon from being captured while they are too ill to escape.

Jessie, James and Meowth try to cross the remains of the bridge, but it collapses under them, dumping them into the river.

Brock promises Melanie they wouldn't capture any of the Pokémon in the village; Misty asks if he sealed the promise with a kiss, and Brock thumps her hard on the top of her head. Misty agrees anyway, saying, "Only bad guys try to capture sick Pokémon." Ash worries if the traps are enough to keep robbers away, saying, "You'd have to be pretty stupid to fall into one of those holes." The camera cuts to Team Rocket as Jessie says, "That's the third hole we've fallen into!" They do get out, only to immediately get caught in a net.

Brock and Ash tend to a Staryu, while Misty apologizes to the Oddish. She and Ash begin quarreling, and the Bulbasaur tackles Misty, thinking Oddish is in danger. Melanie explains that Bulbasaur has volunteered to protect the whole village. Bulbasaur tries to push Ash out of the village because it doesn't trust Pokémon Trainers. Ash wishes he had a Pokémon that brave.

Team Rocket appears from behind a cloud, standing on a balloon-lifted platform, and recite their mantra. They land in a clearing outside the village, and try to collect all the Pokémon in the village with a massive vacuum. Brock herds everyone into the cabin, but Oddish gets caught in the suction. Bulbasaur rescues Oddish with its Vine Whip, and Ash helps block the wind so it can carry Oddish to the cabin. The vacuum starts to actually pull the roof off the cabin, so Bulbasaur uses its vine whips to smack the hose around. Ash releases his Pidgeotto with instructions to start a Gust attack. The resultant tornado tosses Team Rocket and their platform into the distance.

Melanie asks Ash to take the Bulbasaur with him; the village is too small for its bulb to grow. She says the Pokémon are staying in the village too long, because the Bulbasaur has done too good a job of protecting them. She feels Ash will be a good Trainer for Bulbasaur. Bulbasaur agrees to go with Ash, on condition that they battle first. Ash sends Pikachu, and the two trade rams. Bulbasaur uses its vine whips to toss Pikachu around, but Ash calls for a Thunderbolt, which shocks Bulbasaur into submission, allowing Ash to catch it. Brock offers to stay and help, but Melanie refuses, telling him to continue on his adventures.

Major events

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


Pokémon debuts



Dare da?


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Bulbasaur


  • This is the first episode of a three-episode arc where Ash catches each of Kanto's starter Pokémon.
  • This is one of the few times a knife, in this case a hunting knife, is seen in the anime.
  • James makes a reference to the Japanese baseball player Hideo Nomo, who was playing for Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers at the time of initial airing, in the Japanese version when Pidgeotto blows the stadium away.
  • This episode is featured on the Volume 7: Bulbasaur copy of Pokémon All-Stars.


Ash's "gloves"
James's "gloves"
  • When Ash and his friends sit on the rock, the back of Ash's cap is white.
  • When Ash sends out Butterfree, both halves of the Poké Ball are colored red.
  • Ash's gloves turn completely lime green after he pulls Misty, Pikachu and himself up from the broken bridge.
  • When Misty falls into the hole a zoomed out picture is shown of her and Ash staring, in which Ash's gloves are again missing.
  • After being released from the net trap by Brock, Ash's gloves disappeared.
  • When Team Rocket falls down into a hole, Meowth's lower body turns darker.
  • When Team Rocket got caught in the net, Meowth's ears were light brown.
  • When Brock bonks Misty on the head for making fun of him liking Melanie, Ash is missing his gloves.
  • After Team Rocket's motto, James's gloves are missing.
  • Before Ash helps Bulbasaur by pushing it, part of its bulb disappears.
  • When Pikachu and Bulbasaur speak before their battle, their lips don't move.
  • After Ash captures Bulbasaur, Melanie's shirt is red instead of pink.

Dub edits

  • The exchange between Ash and Misty at the bridge is altered: In the dub version, Ash is losing confidence, and Misty encourages him, whereas in the original version Ash says Misty is far too heavy, and Misty berates Ash for implying that she's fat.
  • Another different exchange is when they are caught in the net and are obviously cramped. In the dub, Ash attempts to break out of the net and Misty tells him his plan isn't working; and in the Japanese version, Ash attempts to break the net but the shaking of the net starts when Misty tells Ash his attempts to break out are leading to him touching her in inappropriate places.
  • Also, when Ash is guessing about what has happened to Brock, he speculates that he was picked up by pirates in the dub, while in the original he guesses that he was picked up by an ugly old hag washing clothes in the river.

In other languages

EP009 : The School of Hard Knocks
Original series
EP011 : Charmander – The Stray Pokémon
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.