|A Squad’s Worth of Passion!
Burn! The Zenigame Fire Brigade!!
||February 10, 2023
||September 8, 2023
A Squad’s Worth of Passion! (Japanese: もえよ！ゼニガメしょうぼうだん！！ Burn! The Zenigame Fire Brigade!!) is the fifth episode of Pokémon: To Be a Pokémon Master, the 141st episode of Pokémon Journeys: The Series, and the 1,226th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on February 10, 2023, in Canada on June 10, 2023, in South Africa on June 20, 2023, and in the United States on September 8, 2023.
Continuing their journey, our heroes come across an ad for a Squirtle Firefighting Squad Show. Ash recognizes his Squirtle, the squad’s leader, so he brings out Bulbasaur and Charizard to see their friend. Everyone is excited for the show, and Squirtle is overjoyed when it sees Ash in the audience. But Team Rocket’s actions cause a misunderstanding, and Squirtle is upset when it meets up with Ash and friends. Just when it looks like the friendship is over, a fire breaks out, and our heroes join forces with Squirtle to put out the blaze. Friends again, Ash and Squirtle share a hug before the squad heads to the next town!
Ash and his friends' aimless journey has brought them to Vermilion City. Overhearing some children talking about a show, the group decides to go see it, especially once they see a poster that showcases the Squirtle Squad, with Ash's Squirtle leading them. Ash calls out his Bulbasaur and Charizard, who are also excited of the chance to get to see their old friend again. Unbeknownst to the group, the Squirtle Squad is now managed by Team Rocket, who are seeking to profit from the firefighter crew's fame by selling Squirtle Squad-themed merchandise. Once the show starts, Jessie and James play the pyromaniac villains while Meowth remotely ignites some controlled fires on the stage, prompting the Squirtle Squad, dressed in superhero costumes, to appear and start spraying water on the fire. Ash cheers for them from the audience, which his Squirtle notices, being happy to see its Trainer again. With the fire extinguished and the villains defeated, Jessie and James switch back to their manager uniforms and start letting children on the stage to meet and greet the Squirtle Squad. As Squirtle poses for photos and greets its fans, it keeps looking for Ash, but fails to spot him. Ash and his friends do join the queue, but by the time they'd be next in line, all the merchandise has been sold out and Team Rocket declares the handshake session is over. Dismayed, Ash and his friends leave. Their departure is noticed by Squirtle, who feels let down by its friends not coming to greet it.
Team Rocket and the Squirtle Squad move to a hotel to eat after a successful show, though Ash's Squirtle is feeling grumpy due its friends seemingly not caring about it. Ash and his friends also arrive at the hotel and try to go greet Squirtle, but Team Rocket, thinking Ash has come to take his Squirtle away, blocks their way. Bulbasaur and Charizard try to greet Squirtle, only for it to grumpily dismiss their greetings. Charizard responds by scorching the Squirtle Squad with Flamethrower, angering Squirtle even more and causing it to attack back. Ash tries to calm the situation down, but only gets caught in the crossfire of moves. Eventually, Pikachu feels he's had enough and shocks everyone nearby, causing Bulbasaur and Charizard to storm off and forcing the group to follow them, even if they still don't understand why Squirtle is acting so cold towards them. Both Ash and his Squirtle are left upset that they've parted on bad terms. Figuring that Pikachu was weakened after being caught in the crossfire, Team Rocket decides to use the opportunity to try to nab him.
Ash's team members for this episode
The group stops by at a café to eat, with Ash's attempts to have Bulbasaur and Charizard consider reconciling with Squirtle ending in failure. Hiding nearby, Team Rocket tries to fire a net at Pikachu, only for a gust of wind to blow it onto a Hariyama instead. Ticked off by this, Hariyama flings them into the air. After a brief blastoff, the trio lands on a Camerupt, which sends them blasting off for a second time. Meanwhile, Brock sees an Officer Jenny accepting a person's request to look for his missing Venonat and rushes to flirt with her, but his moment of romance is cut off by a Poison Jab from Croagunk and Misty dragging him away by the ear.
In the city's warehouse district, Team Rocket's net has landed on a piece of exposed wire, soon causing it and the nearby warehouse to catch fire. Hearing the hotel workers talking about the fire, the Squirtle Squad rushes to the site and starts using Water Gun on the flames. Arriving on the scene, Ash and his friends help out, too, with Brock assisting Officer Jenny in keeping the nearby crowd under control, Misty using her Psyduck, Politoed, and Clauncher to fight the flames, and Ash using a hose to spray water on the fire as well. Receiving encouragements from Ash, the Squirtle Squad abandons their superhero costumes and dons their usual firefighter jackets before redoubling their efforts. A gust of wind blows the flames towards a neighboring warehouse, which also starts catching fire, so the firefighters focus their attention to it to keep the flames from spreading. Seeing how hard Squirtle is working, Bulbasaur and Charizard also join in, stopping the fire from spreading onto the nearby trees. Just as the situation seems to be getting under control, someone spots a group of Pokémon, including the missing Venonat, on the burning warehouse's rooftop. As such, Ash has Bulbasaur and Squirtle ride Charizard to the rooftop's level, with Squirtle putting out the flames near the trapped Pokémon and Bulbasaur lifting them to safety with Vine Whip. Ash's heroic efforts earn him attention from the crowd, with some children even recognizing him.
Eventually, the fire is put out, and Ash happily hugs his Squirtle, the reason why his Pokémon were fighting earlier not mattering to him anymore. Surprisingly, a second Officer Jenny shows up, revealing that the "managers" had actually taken the Squirtle Squad with them without permission and declaring that the profits from the sold merchandise will be donated to the city and used to rebuild the warehouses. As the Squirtle Squad prepares to depart, Ash expresses his hope to get to battle together with Squirtle again one day, and his partner shares one more hug with him before leaving. Unexpectedly, a group of fans rushes over, but instead of the Squirtle Squad, they're now after Ash, having recognized him as a Champion, and surround him, Brock, and Misty in an excited mob.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.
Who's That Pokémon?: Squirtle
The "After the story" artwork for this episode
- Get Inspired! Let's Solve a Poké Riddle!! - Episode Paldea: Quaxly
- There was no Dare Da? segment in the initial airing of the episode, instead having the series logo on the screen before and after the commercial break.
- This episode marks the first time Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charizard, and Squirtle have physically reunited since Gathering the Gang of Four, 763 episodes ago.
- The costumes that the Squirtle Squad wear in this episode resemble the suits from the Super Sentai franchise.
- This is the first episode of Pokémon: To Be a Pokémon Master where Ash has more than one Pokémon from the same region in his team (not including Pikachu).
- This is also the first episode of Pokémon: To Be a Pokémon Master where Ash's World Champion title has been acknowledged by people other than his friends.
- Shinji Miyazaki's music from the Pokémon the Series: XY is reused as background music in this episode.
- This episode marks the first appearance of a Cacnea in the anime since Barry's Busting Out All Over!, 659 episodes earlier.
- This episode marks the first time when Misty and Croagunk pull Brock away from a girl he's flirting with together.
- When Ash releases Bulbasaur from its Poké Ball, it poses like Ken Sugimori's official artwork of Bulbasaur in Generation III.
- The final scene where Squirtle removes its sunglasses and leaps into Ash's arms is reminiscent of Here Comes the Squirtle Squad when Squirtle did the same thing to let Ash know it wanted to join his team.
- Team Rocket performs a variation of their motto in this episode.
- Ash, Pikachu, Meowth, Misty, and James narrate the preview for the next episode.
- This episode's English dub title was originally listed as A Squad Worth of Passion! on various TV guides and on Pokémon.com.
- The close captions for the English dub do not include the correct line from the intro, which should say "It's you and me" instead of "Pika."
- When Misty hides behind Brock after being scared by Venonat and turns to sheepishly smirk at him, her mouth can be seen near her underarm for a second.
- In one of the flashbacks of Ash and his Kanto starter Pokémon, Ash is missing the gold trims on the lower part of his original jacket.
- In the Polish dub, "Armatka Wodna" is called "Wodne Działo".
In other languages