Round One - Begin! (ポケモンリーグかいまく！みずのフィールド！ Pokémon League Commencement! Water Field!) is the 75th episode of the Pokémon: Indigo League season.
Ash's decision has picked a trainer named Mandi. Professor Oak's advice, Ash chooses Krabby to battle in first round. Though Mandi's Pokémon corners Krabby, it evolves into a Kingler. Will Ash be able to win his first match in the League?
At Professor Oak's lab, the citizens (including the professor and Ash's mother) watch the opening of the League. Delia is happy to see her son on TV. The woman asks for Ash's identifications. Brock flirts with her, but gets pushed away by Misty. He gives her his own Pokédex and confirms that this is his first time in the League. The woman checks his ID and tells he is checked in. Ash asks who will his first opponent be, but Brock clarifies that he needs to win at one of the four fields (grass, rock, ice, and water) to be able to continue. Ash asks him how he'd knew that. Brock tells he studied the manual of the Pokémon League (trying to impress the lady, but gets pushed again by Misty). Ash asks the lady which field should he choose. The lady tells him he needs to press the button. Upon doing so, the screen displays he'll battle at the Water field with a man named Mandi.
Team Rocket interviews a man to see what Pokémon he has, but they walk away, commenting he has a bugzilla (Venomoth), a three-headed bird (Dodrio) and an overgrown rat (Raticate). Team Rocket goes to see if they can snitch a Pokémon or two and see a man who performs magic tricks (which is Mandi, the opponent that will battle Ash). The man introduces himself as Mandi and asks from which channel they are. They respond they are from LCN. Mandi says he only gets interviewed by channels that have viewers and leaves Jessie angered. James and Meowth calm her down, else they would be kicked out of this place.
Misty asks if Ash needed to borrow her Pokémon. Ash refuses, as he knows he can use Squirtle for this battle. They encounter Gary, who wants Ash to win the first battle to have the pleasure of defeating Ash himself. Gary sees it is his time to battle and leaves Ash angered by saying that Pallet Town needs at least one good trainer. Ash soon hears he has a call and sees it is Prof. Oak. Oak advises Ash he should switch one of his Pokémon for the battle, as Gary switched two already. Ash sees Krabby and asks if he could get Krabby. Oak goes to get the machine, while Ash's mom comes to tell him that she and her neighbors have seen him on TV and support him. Oak sends Krabby, making Ash happy, while Delia advises her son to brush his teeth and go to bed early, so Ash promises to do so.
Ash encounters Mandi and greets him, then goes to shake his hand. Mandi refuses and responds his hand is for holding Poké Balls. Misty tells him he should shake his hand, but Mandi leaves, thinking he'll win, but Ash thinks otherwise. Misty still advises Ash to take some of her Pokémon, but Ash refuses. Brock advises him that he should plan which ones to use, while Misty lets him know they want to see him victorious. Suddenly, they see Gary won his first battle. Gary tells the reporter one needs to know which Pokémon to choose, as they can decide whether a person wins or loses, although the first victory is the most important one.
A man's Seaking defeats the opponent's Tentacruel and wins. Ash sees he is next to battle. Misty notices Ash is shaking, but he responds it is the stadium, while Brock thinks he should go for a milkshake. Ash sees his opponent Mandi and lets him know he is not a twerp. Team Rocket tell Ash (via the microphone) that they are on his side today, making the heroes surprised. However, Team Rocket get escorted out of the stadium by many Officer Jennies. Ash comments that Team Rocket never changes, while Misty thinks the same for Brock, who is charmed by Officer Jennies appearances. He knows that he can tell which one is which, so Misty pushes him away. Mandi sends Exeggutor and Ash his Krabby. Misty advises Ash not to use Krabby, but he knows he has Pikachu and Squirtle as backup. Misty believes he is making a mistake. Brock confirms, but knows they need to leave Ash alone at his decision.
Exeggutor uses Psywave, while Krabby dives. Exeggutor makes the water spin using Psychic in a whirlpool, as Krabby gets swept by it. Exeggutor uses Egg Bomb to the whirlpool, and as Ash goes to call Krabby back, the water explosions block the recall beam from reaching Krabby. However, Krabby manages to get out and claws at Exeggutor using Vice Grip. Mandi orders Exeggutor to use Hypnosis, but couldn't since Krabby grabs on to Exeggutor's leaf plume, keeping it from attacking. Krabby uses Leer and defeats Exeggutor with Stomp. Ash's Krabby evolves into a Kingler. Mandi thinks he has beginner's luck and sends Seadra. Seadra begins with Agility, making Kingler's Water Gun miss. Kingler attempts with Bubble, but still misses. However, Seadra slips away when it touched the bubbles, making Kingler to hit it with Crabhammer and defeat it.
Misty says he is not nervous and Brock sees the crowd is cheering for him. Team Rocket notices the twerp is not so bad. As his last Pokémon, Mandi sends Golbat. Brock knows Golbat has the upper hand and will defeat Kingler. Misty advises Ash to switch Kingler with Pikachu, but Ash stays with Kingler. Kingler dives and Golbat takes down, though gets hit by Vice Grip. Golbat goes away from its claw because it used Double Team and uses Razor Wind for a counter attack. Golbat uses Mega Drain, but with a surprising Hyper Beam, Kingler defeats Golbat. Ash is very happy to see he won, while Brock and Misty congratulate him. Ash hops to Kingler and hugs it, while Delia, Oak and the neighbors are overjoyed for his victory. Team Rocket are also baffled, but Meowth knows that his Pokémon are powerful and must be taken.
Brock reads in the manual a trainer should have dignity and restraint, but Ash hops at the cameras and greets his mom.
- This is the first time Ash has won a multi-Pokémon battle without switching his Pokémon.
- The announcer describes Ash as "newcomer" and Mandi as "Pokémon League favorite", suggesting that trainers can enter the Pokémon League more than once.
- The "Who's that Pokémon?" in this episode is Nidoran ♂.
Meowth calls Mandi's Pidgey "Pidgeotto".