All TopicsNewsTravelAnimeKawaii CharactersKawaii FashionJapanese StationeryMember Spotlight
YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogPokemon Indigo League: What Made This Anime So Special?

Pokemon Indigo League: What Made This Anime So Special?

By Devon Lord-Moncrief
April 18, 2024
Ash, Brock, Misty and Pikachu from Pokemon Indigo League.

Pokemon: Indigo League was the first season of the hit Pokemon anime from 1997 to 1999. A classic, it helped set the stage for every Pokemon series to follow. Little did anyone know, but when a brand-new anime debuted in 1997, it told how a young boy would embark on an adventure. One of the world’s biggest and most popular video game series of all time was just beginning!

What was Pokemon Indigo League about?

Pokemon: Indigo League is based on the first game in the Pokemon series (versions Green, Blue, Red, and Yellow.) The show begins with a young boy named Ash, who begins his quest to become the best Pokemon trainer in the world.

Ash, Brock and Misty from Pokemon Indigo League.
The original series aired from 1997 to 1999. Image via Astrorat

Ash quickly befriends his first Pokemon, Pikachu, and the two form a fast (if slightly contentious) friendship. On his travels, Ash is joined by two Pokemon Gym Leaders, Brock and Misty. Together, the three travel the land, catching and befriending Pokemon and evading the dastardly schemes of the evil Team Rocket.

Which Pokemon were the most popular from that era?


Ash's Pikachu from Pokemon Indigo League.
Pikachu is one of the most popular Pokemon of all time! Image via Bulbapedia

No one can talk about Pokemon without talking about Pikachu. #25 in the Pokedex, Pikachu is not only Ash’s best friend but also the mascot for the entire Pokemon franchise. Super cute but spunky with plenty of attitude, Pikachu has proven countless times to be one of the best Pokemon Ash has ever befriended in his travels.


Team Rocket's Meowth getting ready to pounce on someone.
Meowth from Team Rocket was not to be messed with! Image via CBR

Rude, crafty, and sporting a heavy Brooklyn accent, Team Rocket’s constant cat Pokemon companion is almost as famous as Pikachu throughout the series. As Jesse and James constantly try to capture Pikachu, their Pokemon friend Meowth is always there to aid them and offer his support. Luckily for Ash (and unluckily for Team Rocket), Meowth is more bravado than anything and continually goofs up Team Rocket’s plans.


A group of Squirtle wearing sunglasses. The leader is wearing a triangular pair.
Squirtle is the coolest water turtle! Image via Hypbeast

One of the first three Pokemon available to trainers to choose at the beginning of the first Pokemon game, Squirtle is a reliable and surprisingly robust starter Pokemon. The iconic blue turtle Pokemon was a super solid addition to Ash’s Pokemon team and helped get the team out of plenty of sticky situations. Of course, the Squirtle Squad is what everyone remembers: that gang of cool cat greaser-style Squirtles with fabulous shades.


Psyduck holding its head, looking confused.
Psyduck was one of the more underrated Pokemon. Image via Pokemon Wiki

Another water-type Pokemon, Psyduck wasn’t a member of Ash’s team, but was his friend Misty’s Pokemon. Unlike Squirtle or Misty’s other water-type Pokemon like Staryu, Psyduck was less than effective in a pinch. The duck Pokemon with a perpetual headache, Psyduck, would often come out instead of the actual Pokemon Misty called for. But, on rare occasions, Psyduck would perform a super effective Confusion, dramatically turning the tide of events.


The adorable creampuff-looking Pokemon with the voice of an angel, Jigglypuff, became famous for its iconic singing. Jigglypuff loved to perform for people but didn’t realize that its voice would also send whoever heard it to sleep.

Jigglypuff getting ready to sing.
Don’t fall asleep to their song! Image via Pokemon Wiki

This upset Jigglypuff, who would rush around and draw silly mustaches and monocles on sleeping people’s faces. Jigglypuff’s popularity can be seen in its inclusion in the Super Smash Bros. games, who is a top-tier character in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Are you looking for some amazing Pokemon items? Check out YumeTwins! YumeTwins sends all kinds of kawaii character goods – from Japanese plushies to stationery – right to your door so that you can enjoy your best kawaii lifestyle on your way!

Are there any notable differences between the original Japanese and English dubbed versions?

While much of the show remains the same between the English and Japanese versions, a few differences are worth discussing. Many Japanese words/items are localized to make more sense for English-speaking viewers.

A prime example of this is how onigiri (a rice snack wrapped in seaweed) is called a jelly doughnut in the English version. Other changes include altered dialogue and scenes, with certain thematic elements toned down or omitted for the English version. Ultimately, both versions are the same show and offer the same overall viewing experience.

What were some notable moments from the anime?

Ash almost said goodbye to Pikachu.

Ash trying to say goodbye to Pikachu with his back turned to him.
Luckily, Ash and Pikachu didn’t stay apart for too long. Image via CBR

In one of the most emotional episodes in the series, Ash nearly says goodbye to Pikachu. When Ash and his friends come across a group of wild Pikachu, Ash’s Pikachu almost decides to part ways with Ash and live with the wild Pokemon. Not a single eye was dry as every kid watching was calling for Pikachu to stay with Ash (spoiler alert: he did.)

Ash sees Ho-oh in the first episode.

Surprisingly enough, the very first episode of the entire series has an incredibly memorable moment. After a flock of Spearows attacks Ash, he and a very roughed-up Pikachu lie in a daze on the ground. As he looks at the sky, Ash sees a beautiful, golden Pokemon flying overhead.

Ho-Oh, a legendary fire bird Pokemon bathed in sunlight.
Ho-Oh is a legendary Pokemon that many people admire. Image via Screen Rant

This Pokemon was Ho-oh, one of the most powerful Legendary Pokemon in the world, capable of bringing the dead back to life. What’s so cool about this moment was that this was the first peak at a Gen II Pokemon years before the Gold and Silver games were released.

Ash technically dying in a haunted house.

The world of Pokemon is not without danger, and Ash indeed found his fair share of dangerous situations. Perhaps the worst was when a chandelier fell on Ash while attempting to deal with a rambunctious Haunter and Gengar duo.

The ghost of Ash and Pikachu shocked while a Haunter laughs at them.
This is one of the darker episodes in the series. Image via CBR

Haunter essentially killed Ash and Pikachu by pulling their spirits from their unconscious bodies (yup, they can do that) and took them on a ghostly adventure with Gengar and Ghastly. The two have their spirits returned in the end, but it’s still a bit of a spooky moment in the show nonetheless. 

Why is Pokemon Indigo League so special?

This was the beginning of Pokemon for countless fans across the world. Everyone sang along when that title song started because they knew they would “be the very best, like no one ever was”. Playing the Pokemon games alongside the show felt like we were in the show, too, following Ash’s footsteps. And with the card game launching, too? Pokemon became a lifestyle. 

Ash, Brock and Misty from Pokemon Indigo League hanging out in the forest.
Which episode of Pokemon Indigo League was your favorite? Image via Starburst Magazine

Pokemon: Indigo League wasn’t just a tie-in show for a game. It brought the game to life and, in some ways, surpassed the games. Ash, Brock, Misty, and all the Pokemon they encountered became close friends we got to visit each week. While Pokemon is still going today, Indigo League set the bar and helped establish It as what it is today.

Did you get to watch Pokemon: Indigo League when it first aired on TV? Even if you didn’t, do you have any favorite moments from the show that stand out to you? Please let us know in the comments below! We would love to hear about your love for Indigo League!

Enjoy Popular Japanese Kawaii Merchandise Every Month!

Enjoy Popular Japanese Kawaii Merchandise Every Month!

Starting from $32.50 USD

Get YumeTwins

Author avatar
Devon Lord-Moncrief

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

What is Pokemon: Everything You Need to Know!

Pokemon is a blend of the words “Pocket Monsters.” It has fascinated millions around the globe!

May 23, 2024
A Pokeball in one of many Pokemon regions.

Pokémon Regions: Five Real-Life Locations!

Did you know that some places that Ash Ketchum and Pikachu explore are based on real-world settings? Let’s look at five real-life locations that inspired Pokémon regions!

April 27, 2024
An inanimate object Pokemon that resembles a teapot.

Inanimate Objects or Pokemon? Let’s Find Out!

One type of Pokemon is particularly unique because of its unusual makeup: the ones that look like inanimate objects found in the human world.

April 24, 2024
Ash and Pikachu from the Pokemon anime.

Pokemon Anime: Top Moments in History!

Pokemon anime series has incredibly memorable events that have shocked and moved fans worldwide. Here are just a few more notable moments from the Pokemon anime! 

April 18, 2024
A figurine of Hatsune Miku wearing a yukata in the forest.

Hatsune Miku Project Diva Cafes

Hatsune Miku is one of the most famous Vocaloids in the world. If you plan to visit Japan, you should check out her many pop-up cafes!

January 31, 2024
YumeTwins logo

Be a YumeTwins Insider!

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive kawaii news!


Accepted Payments
Visa payment availableMastercard payment availableAmerican Express payment availableDiscover payment availablePayPal payment available

YumeTwins Logo

Be a YumeTwins Insider!

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive kawaii news!

Ichigo Logo
Copyright © 2024 YumeTwins™. All Rights Reserved.
Accepted Payments
Visa payment availableMastercard payment availableAmerican Express payment availableDiscover payment availablePayPal payment available