This episode starts off right in a battle between Ash with Bulbasaur and a random lumberjack with his Rhyhorn. It’s assumed Rhyhorn’s a high level because Bulbasaur can’t seem to touch it. It refuses to give up, even when Ash tries to cal it back to it’s pokeball. Bulbasaur wins, but it’s heavily damaged. It’s bulb starts glowing so they rush it to the Pokemon Center. Nurse Joy determines that Bulbasaur isn’t sick, but instead is ready to evolve.
There’s a festival for bulbasaurs happening in a place called the mysterious garden. Once a year bulbasaur from all over gather to evolve. It doesn’t mater that Bulbasaur’s evolution does not work this way, it doesn’t even want to evolve. Pikachu and Bulbasaur have a heart to heart while magic flower dust flutters in the dawn. It’s interrupted when Bulbasaur is dragged away by its brethren.
Pikachu tries to chase after it’s friend, but in the end Bulbasaur is taken away. Pikachu wakes Ash via thunderbolt and soon the whole gang is on its way to rescue Bulbasaur. Meanwhile Team Rocket stumbles upon all the bulbasaur dragging our Bulbasaur away. They get blasted off by the little grass/poison gang.
Ash and co. start getting closer to the garden. Branches start attacking them, but they press on. They arrive to see like a hundred bulbasaur gathered in front of a magic tree powered by flower dust. Out from a tree comes a venusaur. Ash spots Bulbasaur in the crowd as the festival begins. The magic flower dust causes them all to evolve into ivysaurs. At the end of the festival Bulbasaur, well fights to remain a bulbasaur. This act angers the fellow saur Pokemon.
Venusaur begins attacking Bulbasaur and Ash finally steps in, taking the attack head on. Ash makes a heartfelt speech about how Bulbasaur shouldn’t have to evolve. Team Rocket bursts in on this tender moment. Their plan is to suck all the Pokemon up into the hot-air balloon. It fails when Bulbasaur suddenly learns solar beam and shoots them out of the sky all while saving the Pokemon they nearly stole. Venusaur accepts Bulbasaur’s choice and the little guy walks away a hero. Ash and the crew leave very grateful to have witnessed such a beautiful event.
- Levels are mentioned again
- Bulbasaur’s get together once a year and evolve
- Pikachu’s electric alarm clock
- Venusaurs should not be able to manipulate nature
- Ash already knows to prepare for trouble
This episode was one that could only happen in the anime. If you’re super into the games like I am you really have to turn all sense of pokelogic off. After I quit thinking “gahhhhh bulbasaur’s evolutionary line doesn’t work this way” I found the episode much more enjoyable. There was something almost beautiful in it’s idea’s. The anime’s a great medium to show off an idea like a huge evolution ceremony. It does get damped with another blown out moral of not forcing Pokemon to evolve. It also doesn’t help that Ash and co. are unusually passive. They say it’s because they don’t want to interrupt the ceremony, but it really makes them look bad.
Besides the idea being a beautiful touching one, visually it looks great too. The bright flashing light blues and shinning flower dust really create a soothing effect not seen in any episode before. A good chunk of time is just the Pokemon in the garden surrounded by lovely visuals. Besides looking nice it’s also a great episode for Bulbasaur. It’s really able to prove itself in the end. Over all it’s an above average episode. I nearly let the visuals temp me into saying it’s great, but the plot is let down by another forced moral and our own main characters lack of impact on it.