Pokemon is is having quite a year for its 20th anniversary with two brand new mainline games coming later this year, along with games like Pokken Tournament and Pokemon GO as well. The actual 20th anniversary was on February 27th and brought us the three classic Pokemon games on the 3DS Virtual Console. While Red and Blue limit you to one of the original three starters, all three can be obtained in Pokemon Yellow.
As Pokemon Yellow is the one game to be somewhat based off the anime, you instead start with Pikachu as your starter, which leaves Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle out of the fun from the start. However, each one of these three can be gotten separately without too much work in the early portions of the game.
Upon getting to Cerulean City, you will be able to get two of the three starters, though for these purposes we will start with Charmander as it doesn’t require anything special. Go towards the north exit of Cerulean and fight your way up Nugget Bridge. After fighting the Team Rocket member at the top that tries to recruit you, go north and west just a bit to get inside a small rock area where a trainer is standing. Talk to him and he will give you Charmander. Unlike later games, you don’t have to have a space open in your party, as it will send Charmander directly to the box.
Bulbasaur takes a little more effort but still isn’t very hard. Go back to Cerulean City and go inside the house directly to the left of the Pokemon Center. Inside this house will be a girl and her Bulbasaur. If your Pikachu is happy enough, she will give you Bulbasaur in return. Pikachu will get happy by leveling up and some other methods like giving it potions, but at this point of the game it should probably be happy enough, especially if it’s after the Cerulean City gym battle.
The final of the three starters, Squirtle, will come later, but still not too far into the game. After Cerulean City, your next stop will be Vermillion City where you must board the S.S. Anne and earn the Cut HM. Upon doing this, you will have access to the Vermillion City Gym. After beating Lt. Surge, simply speak to the Officer Jenny in the middle of Vermillion City and she will give you the former troublemaker Squirtle.