While Team Rocket is very most generally related to being the principal antagonist group/organization in Pokémon, one early incident of the anime confirms that Jessie, James, and Meowth weren’t Ash‘s first arch rivals– as that tribute goes to someone much goofier.

The iconic participants of Team Rocket created their launching in the second incident of the original Pokémon cartoons, and also straight from the beginning, their objective in the series was actually brought in crystal very clear. Crew Rocket’s target in the show was to travel around the world and also take uncommon Pokémon nevertheless they could. Actually, that is actually just how Ash, Misty, and also Pikachu to begin with met all of them. When Pikachu was actually being actually recovered at a Pokémon Center following an injury he suffered battling a group of Spearows, Team Rocket infiltrated that amenities along with the objective of swiping useful Pokémon being actually addressed there certainly. When they heard of Pikachu’s huge electrical power (much higher than any other Pikachu that they knew) Team Rocket understood they had to have him– hence starting their decades-long interest of Ash, Pikachu, and their friends. Having said that, while Team Rocket may possess ended up being the best enduring rivals of Ash as well as Pikachu, they weren’t specifically the first.

Associated: Ash Didn’t Use Pikachu for His First Pokémon Battle

The Samurai was actually Ash’s First Pokémon Rival, Not Team Rocket

In Pokémon: Indigo League incident 4 (composed through Hideki Sonoda and also routed by Masamitsu Hidaka), Ash and Misty are hiking via the hardwoods, seeking untamed Pokémon to capture, when they are actually all of a sudden accosted by a kid that contacts themself the Samurai. As publicized, the Samurai is using a Samurai outfit, and also he probably resides in the timbers or even at the very least possesses a log cabin his loved ones allows him stay in without supervision. While their encounter was actually quick, it had not been unexpected, as the Samurai discloses to Ash that he found him out in order to participate in a Pokémon battle with him. The Samurai listened to yet another fitness instructor was actually walking through ‘his’ location of the timbers, and also he needed to have to test their capability.

While it is all in excellent enjoyable and also astonishingly short-lived, the Samurai confirms to be Ash’s first genuine Pokémon competitor for a few main reasons. First of all, the Samurai heard of Ash as well as deliberately went looking for him to test the brand-new fitness instructor to fight. The second thing is, the Samurai is actually the only contender for this position of ‘Ash’s first competitor’. The only other prospects will be actually Team Rocket or even Gary Oak, however neither of those selections operate. Gary does not suit the bill due to the fact that he and also Ash aren’t also in the exact same game at this point, in addition to they’ve never also remained in a true Pokémon fight in the past– as well as Team Rocket doesn’t but see Ash as a genuine opponent, just a barrier keeping them from their desired Pikachu (certainly not specifically ‘rivalrous’ material there).

All-in-all, the Samurai satisfied every demand for being actually the rival of an anime protagonist, as he observed Ash as a worthwhile rival, sought him out, and also tested him to fight. The Samurai desired to deal with Ash specifically, certainly not even if he had a beneficial Pokémon— proving that Ash‘s 1st arc opponent wasn’t Team Rocket (or even Gary).