Benkyou Pokémon Series

Anime Hajime Impressions: Benkyou – Pokémon Indigo League – Episodes 6 to 11

Note: For the Pokémon series, Anime Hajime refers to both human characters and Pokémon by their English names.
Original Run: April 1, 1997 - January 21, 1999
Number of Episodes: 82
Based on the Video Game: Pokémon

As A Reminder:  Anime Hajime Impressions: Benkyou is not a review series. Anime Hajime’s Odyssey attempts to watch an anime in Japanese with no English subtitles. Therefore, misinterpretations and misunderstandings are possible.

Feel free to leave comments, clarifications, and thoughts in the comments section below.


Pokémon

Pokémon Indigo League

Episodes 1 to 5 Recap

Ash Ketchum has begun his journey to becoming the world’s greatest Pokémon Master. However, his adventure got off to a rocky start when he showed up late to Professor Oak’s laboratory. Fortunately, there was still one Pokémon available to Ash – a Pikachu. Unfortunately, this Pikachu was quite stubborn and scoffed at the idea of anyone being its trainer.

However, Ash and Pikachu soon found themselves in many harrowing encounters. Though their time together had been short, they have formed an unbreakable bond. Now, the two are the closest of friends.

As Ash travels from city to city, collecting various gym badges, he meets a variety of exciting characters, including fellow Pokémon trainer Misty and Gym Leader Brock. Except, not all of Ash’s encounters were cordial.

Following Ash and his friends’ every step are the nefarious Jessie, James, and Meowth of Team Rocket, who have made it their goal to steal Ash’s unusually powerful Pikachu.

Having secured the Bolder Badge from Brock, Ash and his group head towards their next destination.

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Pokémon

Pokémon Indigo League

Episode 6
Japanese Title: ピッピとつきのいし
Romaji Title: Pippi to Tsuki no Ishi
English Title: Clefairy and the Moon Stone
Episode Synopsis

Ash, Pikachu, Brock, and Misty arrive at Mt. Moon. There they meet Scientist Seymour, who is studying the mysterious Moon Stone. Helping Seymour in his research are Mt. Moon’s native Celfairies, who spend everything day collecting stone shards.

However, Team Rocket appears in search of the stone. Ash and Brock battle Jessie and James as Misty, Seymour, and the Celfaries escape.

Following the fight, Ash and Brock meet up with the rest of the group. To everyone’s surprise, the Celfaries lead them straight to the Moon Stone itself. Annoyingly, Team Rocket followed as well. Once they arrive, they proceed to try and take the stone.

For Team Rocket, though, they didn’t expect the Celfaries to fight back. The pack of Celfaries blast Team Rocket and the Moon Stone to the sky. As shards rain down, some of the Clefaries evolve in Clefables.

With the Moon Stone now safe, Ash and his friends say goodbye to Seymour and head off.

Featured Pokémon
English Name (Japanese Name) – Pokédex Number
Pokémon

Clefairy (Pippi) – 035

Pokémon

Clefable (Piky) – 036

Pokémon

Zubat (Zubat) – 041

Pokémon Images Taken From: The Offical Pokémon Website

Principle Charcters
Pokémon

Ash Kechum

A.K.A. – Satoshi

Pokémon Master in training and adventurer

Pokémon

Seymour

A.K.A. – Rikao

A scientist studying the Moon Stone

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Pokémon Indigo League

Episode 7
Japanese Title: ハナダシティのすいちゅうか
Romaji Title: Hanada Shiti no Suichūka
English Title: The Water Flowers of Cerulean City
Episode Synopsis

Ash and company arrive at Cerulean City. Although Ash can’t wait to challenge the next Gym Leader, Misty seems oddly apprehensive. Then as the group gets closer to the gym itself, Misty mysteriously disappears.

Brock has business to take care of in town, so Ash and Pikachu head towards the gym. Except, what they find is not a place to have Pokémon battles, but rather a pool. There, the gym’s three leaders – sisters Daisy, Violet, and Lily – are putting on an immensely popular synchronized swimming show.

Afterward, Ash challenges the sisters to a match. But Ash’s chagrin, the sisters claim the gym no longer does that. Therefore, they decide to simply present Ash with the Cascade Badge. Just as Ash is about to accept the prize begrudgingly, Misty appears and reveals that the three swimmers are her older sisters. Thus, she will battle Ash in their place.

Although the battle is close, it never sees its resolution. Midway through, Team Rocket shows up and attempts to steal all of the gym’s Pokémon.

Ash and Pikachu manage to send Team Rocket running. In thanks for protecting the gym, Misty and her sisters award Ash the Cascade Badge.

Featured Pokémon
English Name (Japanese Name) – Pokédex Number
Pokémon

Seel (Pawou) – 086

Pokémon

Staryu (Hitodeman) – 120

Pokémon

Starmie (Starmie) – 121

Pokémon Images Taken From: The Offical Pokémon Website

Principle Charcters
Pokémon

Ash Kechum

A.K.A. – Satoshi

Pokémon Master in training and adventurer

Pokémon

Misty

A.K.A. – Kasumi

A Water Pokémon Master and Gym Leader at the Cerulean Gym

Pokémon

Daisy, Violet, and Lily

A.K.A. – Sakura, Ayame, and Botan

Gym Leaders at the Cerulean Gym and Misty’s older sisters

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Pokémon Indigo League

Episode 8
Japanese Title: ポケモンリーグへのみち
Romaji Title: Pokemon Rīgu e no Michi
English Title: The Path to the Pokémon League
Episode Synopsis

Riding a high after winning his two badges, Ash thinks he is on top of the world. As he and his friends travel towards Vermilion City, Ash takes on and defeats every challenger he meets. Soon he hears word of a powerful trainer named A.J.

Ash rushes to face this undefeated foe, who then promptly stomps our hero.

Humiliated by his loss, Ash wonders how A.J. could have beaten him so easily. It turns out that A.J. is a strict trainer who regularly pushes his Pokémon to their limits.

At first, Ash cannot believe the “brutal” treatment he is witnessing. However, when he tries to convince A.J.’s Pokémon to join him instead, they all flatly refuse. Although A.J. might be tough, his Pokémon love him dearly and he, them.

After another encounter with Team Rocket, which gives A.J. his 100th straight victory, Ash develops a strong admiration for his new rival. The two go their separate ways and promise to rechallenge each other when next they meet.

Featured Pokémon
English Name (Japanese Name) – Pokédex Number
Pokémon

Sandshrew (Sand) – 027

Pokémon Images Taken From: The Offical Pokémon Website

Principle Charcters
Pokémon

Ash Kechum

A.K.A. – Satoshi

Pokémon Master in training and adventurer

Pokémon

A.J.

A.K.A. – Akira

An undefeated and tough Pokémon trainer

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Pokémon Indigo League

Episode 9
Japanese Title: ポケモンひっしょうマニュアル
Romaji Title: Pokemon Hisshō Manyuaru
English Title: The School of Hard Knocks
Episode Synopsis

Ash and his friends prepare to make camp for the night. While out looking for firewood, Ash comes across a group of boys bullying someone who appears to be their classmate.

Upon further investigation, Ash and his group learn the boys attend a unique academy, Pokémon Technical Institute, where graduates automatically enter the Pokémon League without needing to collect badges.

Despite the school’s reputation for molding talented trainers, its methods do not sit well with our heroes. Mainly, the school emphasizes levels and Pokémon types, caring little about building trust between Pokémon and trainer.

Ash and his friends make a huge stink over this, which eventually catches the attention of the student body’s leader, Giselle.

Giselle belittles Ash and his ideas of friendship with Pokémon. Ash challenges Giselle to a match to prove her wrong and instructs Pikachu not to use any electric attacks.

At first, Pikachu has some trouble with Giselle’s Cubone. Eventually, though, Pikachu resorts to random biting and scratching. Given the chaotic flurry, Cubone loses track of its surroundings and accidentally knocks itself out with its own Bonemerang attack.

A stunned Giselle concedes that Ash might have a better grasp of Pokémon training than she initially thought.

Featured Pokémon
English Name (Japanese Name) – Pokédex Number
Pokémon

Bellsprout (Madatsubomi) – 069

Pokémon

Graveler (Golone) – 075

Pokémon

Cubone (Karakara) – 104

Pokémon Images Taken From: The Offical Pokémon Website

Principle Charcters
Pokémon

Ash Kechum

A.K.A. – Satoshi

Pokémon Master in training and adventurer

Pokémon

Giselle

A.K.A. – Seiyo Yuto

A student at the Pokémon Technical Institute

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Pokémon Indigo League

Episode 10
Japanese Title: ニビジムのたたかい!
Romaji Title: Kakurezato no Fushigidane
English Title: Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village
Episode Synopsis

Our heroes lose their way while traveling to Vermilion City. When they stop for a short rest, they encounter an Oddish. Misty tries to capture the Pokémon but it is saved by a Bulbasaur.

After their run-in with the Bulbasaur, Ash and his friends go deeper into the wilderness. All along the way, they run into many traps and obstacles which inhibit their path. Eventually, the group stumbles upon a small hidden Pokémon village run by a young woman named Melanie.

Melanie tells the team that the village is where Pokémon can go if they are sick, wounded, or their trainer abandons them. The Bulbasaur they met is particularly protective of the place. Touched by Melanie’s purpose, Ash, Misty, and Brock prepare to leave when Team Rocket appears.

Ash, Pikachu, and Bulbasaur successfully fend off Team Rocket, and the three grow close. After the battle, Bulbasaur chooses to join Ash. But first, Bulbasaur and Pikachu agree to a friendly sparring match.

Featured Pokémon
English Name (Japanese Name) – Pokédex Number
Pokémon

Bulbasaur (Fushigidane) – 001

Pokémon

Oddish (Nazonokusa) – 043

Pokémon Images Taken From: The Offical Pokémon Website

Principle Charcters
Pokémon

Ash Kechum

A.K.A. – Satoshi

Pokémon Master in training and adventurer

Pokémon

Melanie

A.K.A. – Midori

A girl living in the Hidden Pokémon Village

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Final Thoughts

There is a ton of details I am remembering when watching this show. But the one thing I didn’t appreciate when I was a kid was how good this series was.

Yeah, this show is meant for children, but still, it has a ton of heart and character. Even as an adult, I am having a lot of fun.

Then again, my enjoyment might have something to do with me being a Pokémon fan for the past twenty years.

Thanks for following along with me. If you’ve seen this series and feel I am wrong in my descriptions, please let me know in the comments below. I wouldn’t want to put this show in an inaccurate light.

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For Anime Hajime, I’m Odyssey, and I’ll see you next week for more of Pokémon Indigo League with episodes 11 to 15.

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Pokémon
Episodes 1 to 5
Main Page
Pokémon
Episodes 11 to 15 (October 21)

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