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Charmander - the Stray Pokémon

The scene at the beginning with the trio being lost was cute. I like how Brock scared Misty by saying there was a bug on her, then he started laughing and she kicked him square in the face. Their first encounter with Charmander was funny, they thought it was a really big Pokemon at first but it turned out to be just little Charmander on a big rock. ^_^  Pikachu did another of its cute little translation sequences here (first one was in Clefairy and the Moon Stone), I like those. Too bad we only ever saw a few of them. Later in the Pokemon, it's not often we see Brock get angry (besides at the usual TR appearances), but he grabbed Damian by the shirt, got right in his face, and ordered him to go back and get Charmander. This was also our first exposure in the anime to trainers who don't love and respect their Pokemon, since Damian bragged about abandoning Charmander. The trio went back into the storm to save it, with Brock carrying it and Ash protecting its tail flame, and they just got it back to the Pokemon Center in time. When it recovered it went back to the rock on its own to wait for Damian, since it was still loyal to him. There was nothing more the trio could do so they were about to move on, but that's when they fell into another of Team Rocket's holes, and TR trapped Pikachu in a rubber balloon. Charmander knew that the trio had helped it so it showed up in their defense and demanded that TR let Pikachu go. When they didn't, they got burned...literally. ^_^ Damian showed up then and wanted to take Charmander back, but only because he'd happened to see it chase off TR. Charmander finally realized who its real friends were and rejected Damian; I like how Pikachu joined in the attack after Charmander started Flamethrowering him.
There's an interesting what-if scenario here: Brock HAD done a lot for Charmander and DID seem to be the most concerned about it, so how would the rest of the course of the anime have changed had he kept Charmander instead of letting Ash catch it? Interesting thing to think about, n'est-ce pas? But Brock was right though, Ash did keep Charmander's tail flame lit, which kept it alive, so he did deserve to catch it.
A great episode, with our first exposure to an abusive trainer, and the capture of a Pokemon that would go on to have one of the most fleshed-out personalities of any of the trio's Pokemon.

Geodude's rating: 9 out of 10