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.
After registering for the Indigo Plateau Conference, 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 the 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.
Since he is assigned to the Water field, Ash plans to rely on Squirtle for the battle, but Misty suggests that it might not be enough. The group runs into Gary, who is battling on the Ice field. He 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 have Krabby sent through 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 and unsuccessfully trying to find rare Pokémon to steal.
Ash's battle on the Water field soon begins, and he starts off with Krabby, while Mandi uses an Exeggutor. Krabby jumps into the pool, but Exeggutor uses Psychic 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 it to use Vice Grip on Exeggutor's leaves, stopping its attacks. Hanging on tightly, Krabby uses Leer to immobilize Exeggutor, and its Stomp attack knocks it out. As it stands triumphant over Exeggutor, Krabby 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 Bubble and then knocks Seadra out with Crabhammer.
Mandi remains undaunted as he sends out his last Pokémon, a Golbat. Brock becomes worried, since Kingler is weak against Flying attacks. Misty suggests that Ash should 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. Ash then orders Kingler to use Hyper Beam. Kingler's shot hits Golbat dead-on, knocking it out and winning Ash his first Indigo League victory. Mandi is astounded by his defeat, with the commentator confirming that Ash successfully used only one Pokémon for the entire match. Misty and Brock watch on in shock as Ash jumps around, overexcited by his first win.
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 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.
Team Rocket doesn't recite the motto or blast off in this episode.
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.
After Ash's Krabby evolves into Kingler, he 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.
In the dub, after Mandi summoned a flock of Pidgey during his magic trick, Meowth referred to the Pidgey as Pidgeotto. In the original version, Meowth doesn't name the Pokémon at all.
In the original, Gary says Ash is lucky to not be up against him, then speaks of a promise he supposedly made that Ash would lose, prompting Ash to question where said promise came from. In the dub, Gary says he'd feel terrible if Ash lost, then tells Ash he wants the pleasure of beating him as a Pokémon Master. Ash then responds with a sarcastic remark about Gary's overconfidence.
Gary's comments on the battle to the news reporter are a bit more goading towards Ash in the dub. In the original, he just says he's relieved because everything went according to plan.
Brock saying he wants a chocolate shake in response to Ash and the stadium shaking is nowhere to be found in the original; instead he unconvincingly claims that he isn't nervous.
In the dub, during the battle on the Water Field, the announcer says that the battle is about to begin, but one Trainer has two Pokémon remaining, and the other has one Pokémon remaining. In the original, he says it's about to end.