EP009 : The School of Hard Knocks
Original series
EP011 : Charmander – The Stray Pokémon
Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village
Fushigidane of the Hidden Village
First broadcast
Japan June 3, 1997
United States September 21, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ひゃくごじゅういち
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 大橋志吉 Yukiyoshi Ōhashi
Storyboard 開木菜織 Naori Hiraki
Assistant director 広島秀樹 Hideki Hiroshima
Animation director 平岡正幸 Masayuki Hiraoka
Additional credits

Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village (Japanese: かくれざとのフシギダネ Fushigidane of the Hidden Village) is the tenth episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on June 3, 1997, and in the United States on September 21, 1998.

Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.


Ash and Misty, while arguing, discover an Oddish. As Misty's Starmie weakens the Oddish, a Bulbasaur appears and fights Starmie while the Oddish runs off into the woods. Ash jumps in with his Butterfree, but the Bulbasaur is able to escape in the direction of the Oddish.

Our heroes cross a river over a rope bridge that snaps, sending Brock into the river below. As Misty, Ash, and Pikachu hunt for Brock, they set off a couple of traps, finally landing in a net that hangs from a tree!

Fortunately, Brock shows up to cut them down, then brings them to meet a woman named Melanie, who takes care of wounded Pokémon like the Oddish—and sets traps to defend the Pokémon from poachers. The Bulbasaur, we learn, acts as a kind of bodyguard.

Misty apologizes to the Oddish for attacking it earlier, but the Bulbasaur is still hostile because it dislikes Trainers. Meanwhile, Team Rocket has discovered the area and plans to snatch the weak Pokémon.

Will Team Rocket have an advantage against Pokémon that are wounded and unable to defend themselves? And will that Bulbasaur ever warm up to Ash and his friends?


Ash and his friends are wandering through the forest without a compass, trying to find the path to Vermilion City. Ash and Misty are fighting, as usual, this time over who led them astray, while Brock tries to keep the peace. They pause for a rest, and Ash sees an Oddish taking a drink. Misty sends her Starmie to fight the Oddish so she can catch it. The Oddish is defeated by Water Gun, but Misty's Poké Ball is Vine Whipped away before she can claim it. The Bulbasaur attacks and defeats Starmie. Ash sends his Butterfree after the Bulbasaur with a Sleep Powder attack, but Bulbasaur blows the powder back at Butterfree. Both the Oddish and the Bulbasaur run off into the forest.

The trio attempts to cross a rope bridge, but the wind starts to rip the bridge apart. Brock falls into the river below, while Misty and Pikachu cling to Ash. Ash ultimately manages to pull them up, and the three make their way to the end of the bridge. They make their way down to the river and go looking for Brock. At once, Misty falls into a pit trap, not unlike those made by Team Rocket. Ash pulls her out, and they go on looking. As they walk along, Misty's toe catches a rope, and they find themselves suspended in a net. They are found in this state by the Bulbasaur. Ash speculates that Brock has been washed to sea and shanghaied by pirates; moments later, Brock appears and frees them from the trap. Brock relays his river experience and the fact that he was rescued from the rapids by a girl. Brock takes them to a village and introduces them to a girl, named Melanie.

Ash and Misty notice a large number of Pokémon in the village and wonder if they belong to Melanie. Brock explains that the Hidden Village is a place for abandoned or injured Pokémon to come to rest and relax. Melanie cares for them until they are better, and then they leave. Melanie collects plants to use for medicine, though she says that she is unqualified to be a Pokémon doctor. Misty teases Brock for falling in love with Melanie; he reacts a little violently, fearing Melanie might overhear. Melanie explains that she set the traps, including the rope bridge, to prevent Pokémon Trainers from reaching the village and protect the injured Pokémon from being captured. Meanwhile, Team Rocket tries to cross the remains of the bridge, but it collapses underneath them and they fall into the river rapids.

Brock promises Melanie that they will not try to catch any of the Pokémon in the village. Despite her earlier attempt to catch Oddish, Misty concurs. Ash worries if the traps are enough to keep robbers away, noting the idiocy of being caught in them. The camera cuts to Team Rocket, who have just fallen into their third pit trap. They finally manage to get out, only to immediately get caught in a net. Brock and Ash tend to a Staryu, while Misty apologizes to Oddish. She and Ash begin quarreling, and the Bulbasaur tackles Misty, thinking Oddish is in danger. Melanie explains that Bulbasaur has volunteered to protect the whole village. Bulbasaur tries to nudge Ash out of the village because it doesn't trust Pokémon Trainers.

Suddenly, Team Rocket appears from behind a cloud, standing on a balloon-lifted flying baseball stadium and reciting their motto. They land in a clearing outside the village and try to collect all the Pokémon in the village with a massive vacuum. As Brock herds everyone into the cabin, Oddish gets caught in the suction. Bulbasaur rescues Oddish with its Vine Whip, and Ash helps block the wind so it can carry Oddish to the cabin. Team Rocket moves the vacuum directly over the cabin, so Bulbasaur uses its vines to smack the hose around. Ash instructs his Pidgeotto to use Gust, and this causes a tornado that tosses Team Rocket and their flying stadium into the distance.

Melanie asks Ash to take the Bulbasaur with him, seeing the pair as a good match; the village is too small for its bulb to grow. She says the Pokémon have stayed in the village too long because the Bulbasaur has done too good a job of protecting them. Bulbasaur agrees to go with Ash, on condition that they battle first. Ash sends Pikachu, who dodges Bulbasaur's vines but is tackled. Bulbasaur uses its Vine Whips to slam Pikachu into the ground, but Ash calls for a Thunderbolt, which uses Bulbasaur's vines as wires to shock it into submission, allowing Ash to catch it. Brock offers to stay and help, but Melanie refuses, telling him to continue on his adventures. The trio and Bulbasaur wave goodbye to Melanie as they continue their journey to Vermilion City.

Major events

Ash catching Bulbasaur
For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.


Pokémon debuts



Dare da?


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Bulbasaur



  • When Ash and his friends sit on rocks, the back of Ash's cap is colored white.
  • When Ash and Misty are arguing about who gets to capture Oddish, parts of Ash's sleeves are colored blue instead of white.
  • After Ash fails to catch Bulbasaur, the pupils in Misty's eyes are missing. This also happened when Ash was commanding Butterfree.
  • When Ash sends out Butterfree, both halves of the Poké Ball are colored red.
  • Ash's gloves turn completely lime green after he pulls Misty, Pikachu and himself up from the broken bridge.
  • In several scenes, Ash's gloves are missing.
  • When Team Rocket falls down into a hole, Meowth's lower body turns darker.
  • When Team Rocket gets caught in a net trap, Meowth's ears are colored light brown.
  • After Team Rocket's motto, James's gloves are missing.
  • Before Ash helps Bulbasaur by pushing it, part of its bulb disappears.
  • When Pikachu and Bulbasaur speak before their battle, their lips don't move.
  • When Ash and Misty are struggling to get out of the net, the orange and white stripes on Ash's backpack and his gloves all disappear.
  • In the beginning when an up close shot of Pikachu is shown, Brock's shoes are colored gray.
  • Ash's shoes are colored completely white before Pikachu and Bulbasaur battle.
  • When Melanie says she'll miss Bulbasaur, her shirt is colored red like her overalls.
  • When Ash and Brock are with a Staryu, a side of Ash's hat is white instead of red.
  • When Misty is making fun of Brock for liking Melanie at the end of the episode, the straps on Ash's backpack are colored the same blue as his jacket.
  • During the next episode preview, when Ash is protecting the flame on Charmander's tail, the brim on his hat is colored white instead of red. This is fixed in the aforementioned episode.

Dub edits

  • Kanto Pokérap: Day 5 (Graveler error)
  • The exchange between Ash and Misty at the bridge is altered: In the English dub, Ash is losing confidence, and Misty encourages him, whereas in the original Japanese version Ash says Misty is far too heavy, and Misty berates him for implying that she's fat and says she doesn't weigh that much.
  • Another different exchange is when they are caught in the net and are obviously cramped. In the English dub, Ash attempts to break out of the net and Misty tells him his plan isn't working; and in the Japanese version, Ash attempts to break the net but the shaking of the net starts when Misty tells him his attempts to break out are leading to him touching her in inappropriate places.
  • When Ash is guessing about what has happened to Brock, he speculates that he was picked up by pirates in the English dub, while in the original Japanese version, he guesses that he was picked up by an ugly old hag washing clothes in the river.
  • In the English dub, when Melanie asked Ash if he thought Bulbasaur would be a good addition to his team, Ash responded, "Boy, would he ever!" Melanie also says Ash will "take great care of him." Bulbasaur's gender wasn't stated in the original Japanese version.

In other languages

EP009 : The School of Hard Knocks
Original series
EP011 : Charmander – The Stray Pokémon
  This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.