Pokemon Indigo Anime Guide: Breaking Down The Nostalgic Initial Adventure

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Pokémon: Indigo League is the first-ever season of the Pokémon anime series. This season has 52 episodes and it occurs in the Kanto Region. This season follows the adventures of Ash Ketchum, a kid from Pallet Town who, with Brock and Misty company, will try to be the best Pokémon trainer ever.

Indigo League only has 52 episodes and ended abruptly; then, Adventures in the Orange Islands continues with Ash’s adventure in Kanto, getting the last Badges he needed to participate in the Indigo League. This happened because Pokémon had to have a four-month hiatus after episode 38, Electric Soldier Porygon, which had to be retired from circulation. After all, it contained repetitive flashes that caused epilepsy in 685 Japanese kids.

The Pokémon series had to reschedule, and the last episodes of the Indigo League ended being part of Season 02.

Indigo League was distributed on TV by Kids’ WB! and owned by Warner Bros. It started with Pokémon, I Choose You!, which was aired on September 8, 1998, and ended with the episode The Breeding Center Secret! which was aired on May 1, 1999.



This season can be found in several streaming services; iTunes, Amazon Video, and Google Play offer their services to see this season. It is divided into four different volumes:

  • Volume 1: From Episode 1 to Episode 13.
  • Volume 2: From Episode 14 to Episode 27 excluding Episode 18.
  • Volume 3: From Episode 19 to Episode 42, excluding Episode 35 and Episode 38.
  • Volume 4: From Episode 43 to Episode 57 excluding Episode 52 and Episode 53.

The banned episodes happened for many reasons; Episode 18 showed James with a Bikini and fake breasts, while Episode 35 showed real guns.

Episodes 38, 52, and 53 were banned because of the appearance of Jynx, a Pokémon, which was badly interpreted as a racial joke. These episodes can be found now, but in them, Jynx is purple instead of black.


pokemon indigo league

Warning: From here, there will be spoilers! Be careful and skip this part if you want to see the season entirely!

The season starts with Ash finally being 10 years old. In the Pokémon world, this means that you can now make a journey and find yourself as a Pokémon Trainer. But, unfortunately, he got late to Professor Oak’s laboratory, where he was called to receive his starter, so he had to take the last Pokémon available; Pikachu.

Pikachu and its new trainer, Ash, didn’t get together, but they slowly became friends.

Gary Oak, Professor Oak’s grandson, also started his adventure with Squirtle as its Pokémon.

In the first episode, Ash meets Misty, and an urgency, after Pikachu gets fainted because of a fight against a pack of Spearows, Ash takes Misty’s bike and destroys it. Misty sticks with Ash only to get her bike again, but they also get to be friends.

Ash captures a Caterpie, which later evolved into Butterfree, and also caught a Pidgeotto. He now goes to get his first Badge against Brock in Pewter City.

Ash had his first battle against Brock, which the latter won easily with his powerful Onix. Ash had to train a lot and prepare himself to try again. After that, Ash asked for a rematch, Brock accepted, and the battle started again. Ash used Pikachu, and it easily Brock’s defeated Geodude. Brock used Onix, and it quickly trapped Pikachu into a Bind.

Pikachu got free of it with a powerful Thunderbolt, damaging the Gym and making the Fire system start, letting water falling on Onix and weakening it. Ash didn’t want Pikachu or Onix suffering more in this battle, so he asked to stop the battle once again.

Brock gave Ash the first Badge as a reward for being kind to the Pokémon, and Brock joined the journey, alongside Ash and Misty.

They traveled to Cerulean City to get the next Badge, but it is revealed that Misty is one of the Gym Leaders. Ash and Misty battled, but the battle had to get stopped because of Team Rocket’s interruption. Nevertheless, Ash helped defeat Team Rocket; this was enough to be rewarded with the second Badge.

Ash’s next destination was to get in Vermillion City to win his third Badge. On the way, Ash catches a Bulbasaur and a Krabby and helps an abandoned Charmander, keeping it. But, unfortunately, Bulbasaur never evolved, and Charmander got into Charizard. Ash also meets the Squirtle Squad, and the leader of them joins Ash’s party.

Ash got into Vermillion City to get the Badge from Lt. Surge; Ash lost the first battle. Then, it is revealed that Pikachu can evolve into Raichu, but Ash refuses it. Instead, Ash asked for a rematch against Lt. Surge, winning and getting his third Badge.

Ash and his friends get into SS Anne, but it sinks. However, they suffered no harm and had to continue their travel; their next destination was to get to Saffron City.

Ash had to get Butterfree free since it wanted to breed with a mate.

They got into Saffron City, and Ash battled against Sabrina, losing the battle. Ash and his friends decided to get into Lavender Town to catch a Ghost-type Pokémon to defeat Sabrina easily.

Ash finally got and befriended a Haunter, which agreed to follow Ash to Saffron City. Unfortunately, Haunter disappeared before the battle began, and Ash had to forfeit once again. Every time Ash tried to use Haunter for this battle, the latter disappeared. But Haunter made Sabrina and her Kadabra laugh, making Kadabra unable to battle; that was how Ash got the fourth Badge.

His next destination was to get to Celadon City for the fifth Badge.

Ash and his friends get to Celadon City, and Ash challenges Erika, but the battle had to be interrupted since Team Rocket tried to steal Pikachu again. However, Ash got rewarded with the fifth Badge because he helped Erika’s Gloom get out of the fire provoked by Team Rocket.

Ash catches a Mankey, which evolved into Primeape. It didn’t want to obey at first, but it later started to obey Ash’s orders. Ash had to leave Primeape to train with Anthony, a trainer.

Ash also caught a Muk, but he sent it to Professor Oak’s laboratory because of its horrible smell.

fuchisia gym

Into this season, the last Gym Ash had to face was in Fuchsia City, against Koga. Then, Ash and his friends travel there. Ash challenges Koga to get the sixth Badge, but the battle is again interrupted by Team Rocket. After getting rid of them, Ash and Koga continue with the match; Ash wins and gets his sixth Badge.

Later on, after unsuccessfully trying to catch Pokémon like Jynx and Snorlax, Ash tried to release Pikachu, but it came back. After that, Charmander evolved into Charmeleon and later on Charizard, and it started to disobey Ash.

The season ends with Ash, Brock, Misty, and Pikachu heading to the Cinnabar Islands to get the next Badge, participate in the Indigo League and be the best Pokémon trainer ever.


Question: Why is this series named Indigo League?

Answer: Indigo League has this name instead of Kanto League only because the League is situated in the Indigo Plateau.

Question: Why does the first season only have 52 episodes?

Answer: This happened after a reschedule the Pokémon Company had to do after the incidents of Episode 38, Electric Soldier Porygon, which contained repetitive flashes which sent 685 Japanese kids to the hospital. The rest of what should be the Indigo League can be found in Season 2: Pokémon Adventures in the Orange Islands.

Question: Why do Pokémon Indigo League have some banned episodes?

Answer: Besides Episode 38, Electric Soldier Porygon, which caused a lot of controversies, there are some other banned episodes, like everyone where a Blackfaced Jynx appeared, because it was considered a racial slur. Episode 35 is special since it got banned because it showed the usage of real guns.


This is the first-ever season of Pokémon, and it’s mythical. Even if you only like the Pokémon games and don’t care about the anime, you have to see it; it is accurate with the first game, with all its perks like Charizard disobeying Ash (Because it belongs to another trainer), and the Gym Challenge.

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