Squirtle Squad from Pokémon: the heartbreaking origin of anime’s coolest band


Squirtle’s infamous Pokémon team with sunglasses has a past that wasn’t all sun.

Normally, the growth of a Pokémon is guided by the experience of a loving trainer, but Pokémon are intelligent creatures with a will of their own, that is, they can sometimes go for something a little different. Appearing early in the anime, Squirtle Squad is an example of what happens when Pokémon take matters into their own hands.

This group of Squirtle wearing sunglasses came together to cause mischief and more importantly to protect each other, separating them from everyone else Ash Ketchum met during his journey through the Kanto region and beyond, even to the today.

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Early Indigo LeagueWhile Ash was still assembling his team, he and his friends wandered through a town with a Squirtle problem on their hands. Five local Squirtles, long abandoned by their owners, had formed a punk band and were causing mischief wherever they went. One Squirtle stood out from the rest, wearing pointy sunglasses instead of the others’ round ones, clearly the headmaster of chaos. These Pokémon had determined that no human would love or protect them, so they bonded together like stray dogs, trusting only one another. The Squirtles clashed with Ash’s team, but that would only last until Team Rocket burst onto the scene.

Team Rocket, still obsessed with stealing Ash’s Pikachu, tricked the Squirtles into helping them. Pikachu needed a Super Potion to recover from his attack, and the Squirtle Squad even took Misty hostage to make sure there was nothing funny while Ash recovered the Super Potion with their help. However, in the end, the five Squirtles realized that Team Rocket were the real baddies and defeated the villains with the Water Gun, sending them blasting off once more. Peace had returned to the city, but the Squirtle Squad still had a pending account with Ash.

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pokemon rotom squirtle

Chief Squirtle was impressed with Ash’s genuine care for all Pokémon, and decided that Ash was a trainer worthy of respect. So Chief Squirtle ditched his glasses and formally became Ash’s sixth Pokémon, while the other four Squirtle became this city’s firefighters and others in need. The Squirtles had gone from criminals to heroes, inspired by Ash’s team, and true to their word, the four Squirtles saved the day time and again from accidental fires and other disasters. From time to time, Ash’s own Squirtle would meet up with his old friends in the line of duty, and fight between missions.

Despite not evolving into Wartortle or Blastoise, Ash’s Squirtle proved to be a brave and resourceful Pokémon by challenging a wide variety of rivals and prevailing time and time again. Squirtle won nearly twice as many matches as he lost, but all along, Squirtle never forgot his tough and rogue roots, staying in his Squirtle evolution stage and fighting alone with incredible tenacity worthy of any good-hearted punk.

After a long journey together with Ash, this Squirtle finally said his goodbyes and rejoined the other four as a firefighting team. Both Ash and Squirtle grew up a lot together.

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