The Pokemon anime has been airing now for over 22 years, and in that time – we’ve had some absolutely amazing episodes, and a whole bunch of weird ones. The story of Ash has been an emotional one, even if he is a pretty lame trainer. Here are our top 5 best Pokemon episodes of all time!
5 – Electric Shock Showdown
We kick off our Top 5 with this great episode that sees Ash toy with the prospect of evolving his Pikachu. This episode has it all, emotion and great action. Ash has to face Lt. Surge’s Raichu, which proves to be way too strong for it’s pre-evolution counterpart. Nurse Joy then gives Ash a thunderstone so that Pikachu could fight Raichu on a more level playing ground.
Pikachu isn’t fond of the idea though, and they decide to give the gym another try. This time around, Pikachu has the upper hand, and uses Agility, a move that Raichu hadn’t learnt due to evolving too soon. Pikachu is too fast for Raichu and eventually ends the fight with a Quick Attack of all things. This episode implements the game mechanics into a great storyline.
4 – Bye Bye Butterfree
This tear-jerker opens with Ash and the gang discovering a group of Butterfree looking to find mates for the season. With his own Butterfree in tow, Ash takes a hot air balloon up to the group and asks Butterfree to find a mate of it’s own. It initially struggles, and then falls for a pink Butterfree – unfortunately the pink variant doesn’t reciprocate the feelings and Ash’s Butterfree flies away, devastated.
An encounter with Team Rocket ensues, and plenty of Butterfree are captured. Showing plenty of grit and determination, Ash’s Butterfree tears open the net to free his brethren, and then disposes of James who tried to catch the Pink Butterfree. The act of bravery means that the pink Butterfree is now very much into Ash’s Butterfree, and Ash says an emotional goodbye to the pair, that still makes me cry to this day.
3 – Charmander: The Stray Pokemon
Another heavy hitter in the feels, and the start of a beautiful relationship, this episode starts with the gang discovering a Charmander in a bad way. It’s tail flame is weak but Ash still tries to catch it anyway, and fails twice. Pikachu then talks to Charmander to reveal that he is in fact waiting to be picked up – with this news, the gang makes their exit.
Later on, they then come across a trainer called Damian, who exclaims that the Charmander was indeed his, and he felt it was too weak and left it behind. Brock becomes enraged and screams at Damian – the team then return to the Charmander to find it being attacked by a group of Spearow in the rain. After Pikachu disposes of the Spearow, the gang rush the Charmander to a Pokemon Center. The next day, Charmander is gone. An encounter with Team Rocket begins, and they almost get Pikachu – until Charmander reappears and barbecues them with a Flamethrower.
Funnily enough, Damian sees the strong move and tries to reclaim the Charmander. But Charmander hits the ball back at Damian and refuses to return. Eventually Charmander decides to join Ash, in the end of a roller-coaster episode.
2 – Familiarity Breeds Strategy! / A Real Rival Rouser! / Battling a Thaw in Relations!
So I may have cheated a bit here, this is 3 episodes but it’s one story arc. It’s Ash vs Paul in the Sinnoh League. The season had been building up to this one and it really didn’t disappoint. This is one of, if not the best battle in Pokemon history, as Paul has an incredible team to match Ash’s.
The battle involves lots of great moments and some actual strategy from Ash – and ends with a battle between long time rivals Electivire and Infernape, we get some incredibly strong moves here and eventually, Ash emerges victorious, just. This is a must watch for the battle alone. Ash faces Darkrai in the next round, but even that couldn’t top this fight.
1 – Can’t Beat The Heat!
Similar to the previous entry, this episode shines because of a battle. It’s Ash vs Gary in the Johto League. The classic rivalry is best displayed here. Gary starts off strongly and dispatches 3 of Ash’s party, which leads to a break in play. During the break, we get a nice scene discussing the childhood of the two rivals, and Pikachu expresses his desire to fight, but he was left out the party.
The battle resumes and Ash is quickly down to one Pokemon, Charizard. Some great battling ensues, and Charizard knocks out two of Gary’s Pokemon, using Dragon Rage on Golem. Unfortunately for Ash, Gary’s final Pokemon is his Blastoise, obviously a type mismatch. We now get a 200 IQ play from Ash, who asks Charizard to cover the battlefield in fire, immobilizing the Blastoise. This isn’t even the genius. Ash was 2 steps ahead. When Blastoise uses Hydro Pump to remove the fire, it covers the battlefield in Steam, allowing Charizard to get up close and personal. Using the advantage, Charizard uses a Seismic Toss, and eventually, after the dust clears, we see that Ash was victorious.
This episode ends with Gary finally showing some respect for Ash and promising to support him in the upcoming battle. A great moment.
Well, what did you think of our top 5 best Pokemon episodes? Which episodes would get in the list for you? Join the discussion on Discord here: https://discord.gg/ZSV6pWG
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