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Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village

I like the narrator's comment at the start of this episode. He talked about Ash leading his friends through the forest, and said that without a compass, Ash has to rely on his instincts, and that means trouble! ^_^ A bit of a strange scene happened soon after...Misty wanted to catch the Grass-type Oddish, just because they found it by a little pool of water? That just didn't seem right. Then Bulbasaur showed up and Ash wanted to catch it. Opinions vary as to what attack Bulbasaur did to blow back Butterfree's Sleep Powder, but I just think it has a good set of lungs. The scene with the bridge breaking and Brock falling into the water would've been fairly suspensful for anyone who hadn't seen any of the later episodes, so that was pretty well done. I like how Ash and Misty got caught in that net after that and struggled to get out, I even found a sound clip somewhere online a long time ago from that scene. Click here for the WAV file.
Then Brock showed up and got them out, with something you might not see in more recent episodes--his fairly tough-looking pocketknife. He introduced them to Melanie, who takes care of sick Pokemon while they recover. His relationship with Melanie was really interesting here; he was attracted to her but surprisingly enough, didn't want her to know it, as evidenced by his shutting Misty up when she first started teasing him about her. Misty teased him a few more times in the episode, and his reactions were nothing short of hilarious. We actually saw his fist come down on Misty's head twice! ^_^ I guarantee you we'd never see that in more recent episodes. Melanie was the first girl that Brock actually seemed to have a chance with, too bad we never saw her again.
I like how Ash was wondering if Melanie's traps were good enough to keep robbers out, then said that you'd have to be pretty stupid to fall into one of those holes, much to Misty's annoyance since she'd done just that earlier. Then immediately after that, we saw TR fall into one of the holes and Jessie complain about that being the third one they'd fallen into. Gotta love timing-based humor.
The flying stadium that TR used to attack and suck up Pokemon with was probably the biggest machine they'd ever used, and to me it seemed kinda like overkill considering that there were relatively few Pokemon in the village. (Speaking of which, the "village," for all we saw, only consisted of one cabin...what's up with that?) I like how Ash finally gained Bulbasaur's trust when he helped it get into the cabin. Then between Bulbasaur and Ash's Pidgeotto, they blasted TR off again. I like how Pidgeotto's Gust countered the air from the giant hose and created a tornado...BUT wouldn't the air have to be going in opposite directions for that to work? The hose was *sucking* air, meaning that the Gust attack should've only been pushing more air towards it. I don't quite get that, but oh well.
After all that was over, Melanie agreed to let Ash have Bulbasaur, and I like her explanation as to why. Pikachu's battle with Bulbasaur was short but not too bad. Brock offered to stay with Melanie, but she said they'd be fine and she didn't want to keep him from his adventures, and he kind of agreed. I like how Misty teased him again about that when they were out of earshot, with Ash finally noticing (now that there were no other distractions) and wondering if he missed something. ^_^
It was a great episode overall, with the capture of a Pokemon who would be a fixture on Ash's team for a long time to come.

Geodude's rating: 8.5 out of 10