| Round One - Begin!
Pokémon League Opens! Water Field!
|| December 17, 1998
| United States
|| October 30, 1999
|| Team Ota
|| 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
|| 横田和 Kazu Yokota
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
| Additional credits
Round One - Begin! (Japanese: ポケモンリーグかいまく！みずのフィールド！ Pokémon League Opens! Water Field!) is the 75th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on December 17, 1998 and in the United States on October 30, 1999.
It's day one of the Pokémon League Tournament and the trainers learn where they will be competing in their first round battle and who their first opponent will be. We find Ash as he's checking into the Pokémon Village where he's told his first battle will be held on the Water Field. Since Misty's specialty is water Pokémon she offers to let him use some of hers, but Ash declines. Professor Oak suggests that he not go into battle with Squirtle as his only water Pokémon and sends over Krabby as a back up. Against the advice of his coaches, Brock and Misty, Ash begins the battle by using his Krabby who's never fought before.
With the opening ceremonies behind them, Ash and his friends begin to prepare for the Indigo League. After registering, Ash learns that he must first pass through four preliminary battles on four unique battlefields (Grass, Water, Ice, and Rock) to qualify for battling inside Indigo Stadium. The lady at the registry has Ash go through a random selection, and he is assigned to battle on the Water field later that day against a Trainer named Mandi, who refers to himself as "Mandi the Astounding."
Since he is assigned to the Water field, Ash plans to rely on Squirtle for the battle. Misty suggests that it might not be enough. The group runs into Gary, who is battling on the Ice field, who mockingly wishes Ash luck as he wants to be the one to defeat him, and he walks away laughing with his cheerleaders. At that moment, Ash receives a call from Professor Oak, who suggests he swap out one of his Pokémon. Ash decides to recall Krabby to boost his team. Misty is worried because Ash had never used Krabby before, but Ash is confident in the Pokémon.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket is posing as a news crew to try to find rare Pokémon to steal. However, they were not having much luck. In one of their "Interviews", they come across Mandi, whose cocky attitude makes Jessie angry enough to nearly blow their cover. Before she can make true on her words though, James and Meowth remind her of their mission and that they should keep their cover intact.
Ash's battle on the Water field soon begins. Misty and Brock get special seats behind Ash's podium on the battlefield to act as his coaches during the fights. After receiving a surprise good luck from Team Rocket, Ash starts with Krabby right away, and Mandi uses an Exeggutor. Krabby jumps into the pool, but Exeggutor uses its Psychic ability to create a whirlpool, revealing Krabby's hiding space. Mandi then orders an Egg Bomb, knocking Krabby into the whirlpool and preventing it from using any attacks. Ash tries to recall Krabby, but the whirlpool prevents him from doing so. Suddenly, Krabby escapes from the vortex, and Ash orders Krabby to use Vice Grip on Exeggutor's leaves, stopping its attacks. Hanging on tightly, Krabby uses Leer to immobilize Exeggutor and uses a Stomp attack to knock it out.
Krabby stands triumphant over Exeggutor, and suddenly evolves into Kingler. Mandi, still confident, sends out his second Pokémon, a Seadra. Seadra uses Agility to dodge Kingler's Water Gun, but Kingler manages to slow it down with a Bubble attack and then knocks Seadra out of the fight with Crabhammer.
Mandi, undaunted, sends out his last Pokémon — a Golbat. Brock worried that this could be bad for Ash; Kingler is weak against air attacks. Misty suggests Ash switch to Pikachu, but Ash stands by his Pokémon. Golbat manages to evade Kingler's attacks, dealing a great amount of damage in the process. But Ash remains firm and orders Kingler to use Hyper Beam. Kingler's shot hit Golbat dead-on, knocking it out and winning Ash his first Indigo League victory.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
TV episode debuts
- Professor Oak's lecture: Pokémon League participation
- Pokémon senryū summary: If you win the league, be sure to praise them, your Pokémon.
- This episode marks the first time when a Water-type Pokémon owned by Ash has evolved. The second time wouldn't occur until A Stealthy Challenge!, 777 episodes later.
- In the English dub, no gender for the "Who's That Pokémon?" feature was given, only "Nidoran". The picture and cry was of the male Nidoran.
- Team Rocket's bogus news network was called "Lovely Charming Network", a reference to their Japanese motto where they introduce themselves as "the lovely charming villains".
- The PA makes a reference to a real-life event by saying that Exeggutor's Egg Bomb makes the scene look like the Fourth of July.
- The blurb on the present-day pokemon.com for this episode is mistakenly listed as the blurb from the episode that aired two weeks before this one.
- In the dub, after Mandi summoned a flock of Pidgey during his magic trick, Meowth referred to the Pidgey as Pidgeotto.
- When a random Trainer is showing off his Pokémon to Team Rocket, he holds up a Poké Ball containing a Raticate, yet a picture of a Venomoth appears. When he holds up the Poké Ball containing Venomoth, the next scene shows him staring at Team Rocket's camera, with his mouth not moving when he says "And a Venomoth!" in the dub. In the Japanese version he only showed off one Pokémon and a Venomoth.
- When Ash used the video phone to talk to Professor Oak, Ash put the phone against his ear and used the screen when Ash's mom and Professor Oak only used the screen.
- Right after Ash chooses Krabby and Misty says Ash is making a big mistake, Brock walks in front of Misty to defend Ash's choice, but his body is still behind Misty.
- After Ash's Krabby evolves into Kingler, he looks looks at its Pokedex entry. The entry for Kingler states that "[Its] claws can pinch with the power of 10,000 horsepower". In fact, horsepower is a unit of power which is energy divided by time -- not at all related to pressure. A better unit would be pounds per square inch.
- When Mandi's Golbat used Double Team, it looked more like Teleport.
- Right after Ash defeats Mandi, the black background of the big screen disappears when the screen changes to congratulate the winner.
- This also happens after Gary's battle, therefore it may have been intentional and was simply changed in future episodes.
- After Ash tries to recall Krabby, the announcer states that Exeggutor's Barrage was preventing him from doing so, when it was really Egg Bomb.
- On the Ice Field, the announcer says that the battle is just beginning, but one Trainer has two Pokémon remaining, and the other has one Pokémon remaining.
- Seaking is said to use Horn Drill against Tentacruel, but it was actually a Horn Attack.
In other languages