Pokemon of the Week 13: Bulbasaur

Mimikyu, Pokemon
Pokemon and Daniel Arsham team up for art collaboration.. Image Courtesy The Pokemon Company, James Law /

Welcome to Pokemon of the Week, the 13th installment in a recurring series that looks at the impact of some of our favorite Pokemon on the anime, TCG and VGC. Taking a trip down memory lane to see the impact these Pokemon have had on the series and our lives is what makes Pokemon the magical thing it is.

Pokemon of the Week is a little bit different this week. Usually we look at the impact Pokemon have on the most popular areas of Pokemon. Unfortunately, in VGC and TCG the focus is often on fully evolved Pokemon. This will lessen the impact of the Pokemon that are lower on the evolution line.

Luckily, our first example of this has such a prolific run in terms of the lore that is more than makes up for its absence in the two other areas. Number one overall in the National Pokedex, Bulbasaur has been around since the very beginning. Known as the Seed Pokemon, any fan of the anime is extremely familiar with Bulbasaur.

The only recent competitive TCG appearance of note was back in December 2017 as it was the first step of getting into Venauar in the rogue Shining Genesect strategy that finished 10th at the Memphis Regional Championships.

This lower form has appeared in both Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Melee as a trophy. It was featured prominently and repeatedly in the live action Detective Pikachu move. Bulbasaur has even transcended video games, becoming the basis of the name for a genus of the dicynodonts.

Photo: Pokemon Home.. Image Courtesy The Pokémon Company International
Photo: Pokemon Home.. Image Courtesy The Pokémon Company International /

In the anime

When you think of the Pokemon partners for Ash Ketchum Bulbasaur is definitely high up on the list. After joining Ash he first battled alongside the series hero all the way back on the S.S. Anne against Team Rocket. It would go on to compete in a Gym Battle against Erika before the group found their way to the Mysterious Garden.

Bulbasaur opted not to evolve and instead continue its journey with its friends in its original form, which along with Pikachu became a common trend for Ash and his Pokemon. To round out his Kanto experience he would appear in a Gym Battle against Giovani and one of Ash’s battles at the Indigo League.

Bulbasaur was one of the few Pokemon that continued on Ash’s journeys with him throughout multiple regions, first starting with the Orange Islands and Johto. Bulbasaur fought valiantly in the Orange League and would be added to the Hall of Fame when Ash came away victorious. It became the focal point of Heracrosss affection. It would help Professor Oak calm the unruly Pokemon at his research lab. Ultimately it would even make an appearance in the Silver Conference, marking its third championship appearance.

Ash would eventually bring his Bulbasaur to Hoenn as well to meet his friend May’s own Bulbasaur before going back to help Professor Oak. This would be the last major appearance for Ash’s Bullbasaur as it would spend most of the rest of its time continuing to help at Oak’s lab.

Other notable trainers would have their own Bulbasaurs in the series. As previously stated May had one while she traveled with the team. Shauna, a friend in the Kalos region, had a Bulbasaur of her own. But none will ever hold a place in the fandom like the one who traveled with Ash.