"Pokémon: Poké-Friends" (Vol. 04) Pictures

  • Front Tape Cover
  • Back Tape Cover
  • Side Tape Cover
  • VHS tape

"Pokémon: Poké-Friends" (Vol. 04) Copy

"Pokémon: Poké-Friends" [Vol. 04] Review (Posted on 04-23-2013)

Scene opens with the trio getting lost in the forest. Just what the doctor ordered: Ash and Misty argue yet again. As Brock tries to stop the arguing, Misty said this:

"Alright, but remind me to yell at you some more if we ever get to Vermilion City."
- Misty

A woman's work is never done.

Constantly walking, then eventually stopping to take a break, Ash sees a wild Oddish and looks to capture it. Misty butts in and summons Starmie. Weakened, Misty throws the PokéBall...and gets denied! A wild Bulbasaur jumps in to save Oddish. Ash gives it a shot and summons Butterfree but has its clock cleaned by Bulbasaur. Oddish is saved and both Bulbasaur and Oddish run away. Continuing their journey, the trio cross on a wooden bridge, until it gives way and Brock falls into the stream. Ash and Misty try to find Brock when they suddenly fall into a trap on the ground, then get captured by the net from the tree right after. Trying to escape, Brock comes over and saves them. He explained what happened to him and how a sweet girl saved his life. Her name is Melanie and Brock was head over heels (as usual), and Misty hilariously teases Brock about her.

The trio walk over to where Melanie resides and the various Pokémon that hang around. She admitted to being the one to set up the traps to avoid Pokémon trainers from rummaging the forest for Pokémon. While Misty continues to tease Brock about Melanie, and Ash lashing out at Misty for being stupid in falling into a trap, Misty approaches Oddish to apologize for hurting it. Oddish forgives. After that dramatic scene, Bulbasaur runs in and tackles Misty thinking she was hurting Oddish. Team Rocket appears looking to capture more Pokémon using their "innovative" gigantic vacuum. Oddish nearly gets sucked up while the rest of the gang go into the cabin. Ash dives in to help Bulbasaur in the cabin, while it was holding onto Oddish. Ash decides to sweep TR away by summoning Pidgeotto, casting Gust. With TR gone, Melanie happily lends Bulbasaur to Ash explaining the life of the Pokémon and why they need to explore the world in order to grow. Bulbasaur loves to join under one condition: a battle. Ash accepts and summons Pikachu. Getting tackled twice and getting medicine taste tests for its Vine Whip attack, Ash gets Pikachu to cast Thunder Bolt and wins! Bulbasaur gets captured and both Ash and Pikachu celebrate. On the other hand, Brock asks Melanie if he could stay and help her out, to which Melanie kindly turns him down! Bummed at his chance, Brock subtly shrugs it off while Misty teases Brock again about Melanie!

Second episode, the trio continues their way trying to find Vermilion City. They run into a Charmander lying on a rock, as Ash tries to capture it...and gets the ball sent back to his face. Pikachu tries to talk to Charmander what's going on. Despite Charmander being in bad shape, it is waiting for its trainer to come back but to no avail. The trio continue on as the clouds kick in and starts raining. The trio arrive at a Pokémon Center to keep warm, when they overhear a conversation from a group of kooks. The "cool" dudes start chatting with Damien and his Pokémon collection, and admits to abandoning Charmander because it was weak and gullible. Brock walks away from their table to confront Damien for alleged domestic abuse (or should I say, Pokémon abuse). Feeling uneasy about its mistreatment from a cowardice, Brock decides to get Ash and Misty to run out and save Charmander. Charmander is rushed to the ER, as the trio wait outside, eager to know Charmander's condition. Nurse Joy breaks the news that Charmander will be fine by tomorrow morning.

Next day, Charmander is gone and missing. The trio concluded it went back to the rock to wait for its trainer. Nurse Joy informs them that Charmander needs a reality check as to how its trainer often mistreats the poor lizard. As the trio goes on to search for Charmander, they fall into a trap set up by Team Rocket! TR then gets busy capturing Pikachu using a red, rubber balloon (reminds me of the song "Red Rubber Ball" by The Cyrkle). Before fleeing away with Pikachu, Charmander warns TR to free up Pikachu. Refusing to do so, Charmander casts Flame Thrower on TR then runs away in fear! Damien, watching behind the bushes, was surprised Charmander defeated an enemy for the first time, and asks Charmander to tag along with him. The trio tells Charmander who saved it in time of need, and who was too cowardly enough to drop it. Damien throws the Pokéball at Charmander then gets hit with it, as Charmander denies. Angst-filled, Damien looks to retaliate as Charmander angrily burns Damien up, and Pikachu jumps in to electrocute him! Damien runs away like a sissy crying for his mom (like every gangster, apparently), and Ash welcomes Charmander to the group as Charmander happily jumps in to its Pokéball with a smile.

Third and final episode of the volume seeks Ash joyfully walking and humming to the show's soundtrack (classic!). Couldn't come at a worse time: the trio falls into another trap again, only this time it was set up by a gang called the "Squirtle Squad." Agitated, Pikachu steps up and electrocutes a gang member of the Squad, as the leader of the Squad is eye-to-eye with Pikachu. Before a fight breaks out, sirens go off as the Squad runs away; Officer Jenny arrives by.

Confused, Officer Jenny informs about the gang causing a ruckus. It's a gang of Pokémon—Squirtles—who were abandoned by their trainers, have ganged up and caused widespread violence, according to Jenny. Team Rocket appears but they seem to be very hungry, as Jesse packed some goodies. TR is confronted by Squirtle Squad, and tied them up on a tree all eating and drinking up TR's lunch. Meanwhile, the trio go fishing only to get pranked by one of the Squad members and Pikachu steps in to electrocute it. Unfortunately, Pikachu electrocutes the trio, but sets up a match against Squirtle only to get tackled badly into the pond. Adding insult to injury, Pikachu struggling to swim to shore gets the Horn Attack by a wild Goldeen. Pikachu is immobile and in critical condition, then all get held hostage by the Squad and Meowth. Ash desperately needs to save Pikachu, and begs the Squad to obtain the Super Potion so hard, he starts crying (Meowth didn't even emote). Finally getting the nod, Ash runs to the nearby store to save Pikachu, even tripped while he was at it. He crosses a wooden bridge, until it gives way and he falls into the stream...then out as he got the Horn Attack by Goldeen. As Misty and Brock wait, Meowth is also waiting and what's taking Jesse and James so long. After Jesse and James run away having robbed a store, Ash arrives and purchases a Super Potion. Officer Jenny helps Ash out by driving him close to his destination quickly. Ash is then forced to squeeze into a small cave, then summoning new friend/Pokémon Charmander to light the way.

Team Rocket finally appears and drops bombs to wipe out the Squirtle Squad, as everyone runs for cover. The leader of the Squad couldn't move trying to desperately escape and Ash dives in to save the leader. The leader, appreciative of Ash, runs quickly, picks up Ash and tosses him at the folks for cover. Ash and the leader team up to eliminate TR as they did so successfully! Ash also jumps up to save Pikachu from all the bomb blasts. The forest is on fire, and Jenny arrives at the scene warning that the flames must be put out to prevent it from spreading into town. The Squad join together and puts out the flames. The town awards and appoints the Squad as the town's firefighters. As the trio continue on their journey, and Pikachu is back to normal, a Squirtle is following them: it's the leader of the Squad! Squirtle was so touched by the help, it excitedly runs and joins Ash and the gang with open arms. Everybody loves a happy ending.

Like the title of this volume states, these episodes are all about friendship. The second episode portrays an excellent message about domestic abuse and loyalty. I will go as far as to say that having been confronted by "cool" dudes like Damien when I was younger, seeing guys like him suffer makes me happy (any of you that struggled socially during your school days will/would agree with me). I've always hated people like Damien, yet seeing guys like him sink to the bottom where they belong is another reason to smile. The third episode was a great touch explaining gang violence—a crime that was common during the eighties and nineties. Yet it seems possible that you can get criminals to do good deeds, like saving a town being engulfed in raging fire (it's debatable, but there's a possibility, if you're optimistic). According to criminal psychologists, that's the quintillion-dollar question: after being punished, can a criminal become a good person?

Of all the volumes I own on VHS, this was the very first volume I ever purchased (and the very first online purchase I ever made, back then). I don't regret having chosen this volume at all, as the episodes have great adventure, unforgettable action and hilarious bits. Whether you're a collector or not, these episodes share excellent messages about true friendship and sincerity. Strongly recommended!

Who's That Pokémon? Answers:
Ep.010 - Bulbasaur
Ep.011 - Charmander
Ep.012 - Squirtle

You can also discuss various hidden Pokémon messages through video on the ever-popular video sharing website Vimeo! Your videos look better on Vimeo:

© 2008-2019 written and reviewed personally by Kris Caballero.

"Pokémon: Poké-Friends" (Vol. 04) Ratings

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"Pokémon: Poké-Friends" (Vol. 04) Profile Info

Title Pokémon
Volume Number and Title Volume #04: Poké-Friends
Description Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle

Ash and his friends discover a spa for wounded Pokémon that is guarded by a brave Bulbasaur. Can Ash and Bulbasaur protect the spa from Team Rocket's evil plans? Ash finds an abandoned Charmander and both of them learn a lesson in loyalty. Finally, Ash runs into a gang of delinquent Squirtle that have united with Team Rocket to cause trouble... Will Team Rocket ever go straight?
ISBN / Bar Code number 013023023130
Video Format 1.33:1 (4:3) / Full screen
Audio Format Hi-Fi Stereo
Tape Count One (1)
Genre Anime / Children's
Run Time Approx. 75 Mins. (actual time 1:08:36)
Language(s) English
Subtitles --
Closed Captioning Yes
Rated G (Suitable For All Ages)
VHS Release May 14, 1999
Specification Color
Production / Company 4 Kids Productions / VIZ VIDEO (www.viz.com or www.j-pop.com) / Nintendo (www.nintendo.com)
Distributed Exclusively by Pioneer (www.pioneeranimation.com)
Executive Producers Norman J. Grossfeld, Alfred R. Kahn, Thomas J. Kenney
Producer Norman J. Grossfeld
Directors Michael Haigney, Jim Malone
Product / Item Number #PIKA-0004D
Copyright © 1997, 1998 Nintendo, CREATURES, GAME FREAK, TV Tokyo, ShoPro, JR Kikaku. Pokémon, Pikachu, and all other Pokémon character names are trademarks of Nintendo.
Other Formats DVD, Blu-ray
Quoted Reviews --
Other --

"Pokémon: Poké-Friends" (Vol. 04) Credits

Executive Producers
Norman J. Grossfeld
Alfred Kahn
Tom Kenney

U.S. Production by
4Kids Productions, Inc.

Produced by
Norman J. Grossfeld

Voice Directors
Michael Haigney
Jim Malone

Voice Producers
Larry Juris
Michael Haigney
Taj Productions

Adaptations by
Norman J. Grossfeld
Michael Haigney
John Touhey
Thomas D. Sullivan
Crispin Freeman

Voice Characterizations
Rikako Aikawa
Adam Blaustein
Mandy Bonhomme
Ken Gates
Stan Hart
Megumi Hayashibara
Megan Hollingshead
Tatsuyuki Ishimori
Unsho Ishizuka
Tara Jayne
Ted Lewis
Rachel Lillis
Rika Matsumoto
Shinichiro Miki

Voice Characterizations
Matthew Mitler
Chinami Nishimura
Ikue Otani
Lisa Ortiz
Annie Pondel
Nathan Price
Kayzie Rogers
Eric Stuart
Rei Takano
Nicholas James Tate
Veronica Taylor
Jack Taylor
Yuji Ueda
Jimmy Zoppi

Production Associate
Tisha Ford

Translations by
Paul Taylor

Production Assistants
Eric Tyler
Sam Weisberg

Theme and Pokérap by
John Loeffler
John Seigler

Music by
Manny Corallo
John Lissauer
for Rave Music

Music Producer
John Sands

Music Editors
Manny Corallo
Sue Shufro
Julian Schwartz

Recording Engineer
Joe Barbaria
Paul Special

Audio Post Production
Button Sound, Inc.

Sound Supervisor/Final Mixer
Rich Macar

ADR Engineer Editor
Ron London

Sound Editors
Paul Levin
Frank Gencorelli

Sound Manager
Keith Weaver

Video Post Production
Betelgeuse Productions, Inc.

Tom Wiener
Miguel Oldenburg
Lorraine Campo

Graphics Supervision
Alexis Rothberg
Angela Rivera

PokéRap Editor
Daniel Hubp

TV Tokyo
Shogakukan Production Co, Ltd.

Based On A Story by
Satoshi Tajiri

Executive Producer
Tsunekazu Ishihara

Keisuke Iwata
Takayuki Yanagisawa
Takemoto Mori

Masamitsu Hidaka

Animation Production Company

Animation Producer
Shukichi Kanda

Associate Producer
Choji Yoshikawa

Animation Supervisor
Yoichi Kotabe

Takashi Kawaguchi
Masakazu Kubo

Executive Director
Kunihiko Yuyama

Series Supervisor
Takeshi Shudo

Character Design
Sayuri Ichiishi

Art Director
Katsuyoshi Kanemura

Color Coordinator
Norimichi Yoshino

Director of Photography
Motoaki Ikegami

Toshio Henmi
Yutaka Ito

Shinji Miyazaki

Sound Director
Masafumi Mima

Music Producer
Takahi Yoshida

Production Assistance
East Japan Marketing &
Communications, Inc.

Special Thanks
Gail Tilden
Kenji Okubo
Hiro Nakamura

Sheldon Hirsch

Joseph P. Garrity

©1997, 1998
Nintendo, CREATURES,
ShoPro, JR Kikaku

Pokémon, Pikachu, and all
other Pokémon character
names are trademarks
of Nintendo.