If Gary Oak is headed for the Sinnoh region, then Ash Ketchum won’t be far behind! Ready to take on the Sinnoh League, Ash brings along Pikachu and meets up with Brock in Sinnoh, where the pair of Trainers are soon joined by a third—Dawn, a novice Pokémon Coordinator determined to follow in the footsteps of her mother. Both Ash and Dawn struggle with their respective paths, but it’s easy for them to make new friends, gaining new Pokémon like Turtwig and Piplup.
It's always exciting when new Pokémon Trainers receives their first Pokémon, but for a girl named Dawn, things will be far more exciting than she'd ever imagined! Here in the Sinnoh region, Trainers receive their Pokémon from Professor Rowan, whose lab is near Sandgem Town—but soon after Dawn leaves her home in Twinleaf Town and heads for the lab, she's hopelessly lost. Fortunately, she runs into Professor Rowan on the street and follows him to the lab. But while the Professor was out, his assistants accidentally let two of the starter Pokémon, Chimchar and Pilplup, break out of the lab.
Dawn and Piplup's Pokémon journey is off to a bumpy start! She needs to catch Pokémon so she can become a great Pokémon Coordinator like her mom, but both her and Piplup are having trouble getting the hang of things. After a Buneary and Burmy get away, Dawn spots a Pikachu and tries to catch it before realizing it belongs to another Trainer. When Team Rocket shows up to claim Pikachu as their own, Dawn realizes they're up to no good. A powerful attack from Piplup sends the Pokémon thieves packing!
Dawn brings the exhausted Pikachu to a Pokémon Center and calls Professor Rowan to give him an update. Elsewhere, Ash's search for Pikachu takes him to Professor Rowan's lab, where he learns that Dawn has rescued Pikachu—except she's already left the Pokémon Center to find Pikachu's Trainer. And when Dawn calls Professor Rowan again, Ash has already left the lab to find her!
As for Team Rocket, they're now resting and relaxing at a vacation house belonging to James' family. They've also picked up a new member, James's old Carnivine. Sadly, once James hears his fiancée is headed his way, Team Rocket must hit the road again. Meanwhile, still looking for Dawn, Ash meets up with his good friend Brock and catches a Starly. But none of them notice the surly stranger who's spying on Ash—a stranger whose identity will soon be revealed...
When last we left our heroes, Ash and Brock were searching for Dawn and Pikachu, unaware that a stranger was spying on Ash's latest Pokémon capture. Now the stranger reveals himself as Paul, a Trainer with a tough Elekid and a surly attitude. Paul catches his own Starly and challenges Ash to a battle—but without Pikachu, Ash doesn't have enough Pokémon for a 3-on-3 battle! Paul leaves, leaving Ash embarrassed.
Elsewhere in the forest, Team Rocket swoops in and snatches Pikachu again despite the best efforts of Dawn and her Piplup. Ash shows up just in time to stop the villains, giving all our heroes a chance to finally meet each other. Then it's off to the Pokémon Center, where they find Professor Rowan. They all visit Rowan's lab where there's a package waiting for Ash, but there's another surprise waiting for him as well: Paul!
This time, Ash is more than ready for a battle. Both Trainers send out Starly, but Paul's Starly comes out the winner. Then it's Ash's Aipom against Paul's Chimchar, and Ash claims the victory! But in the last round, Elekid and Pikachu's battle is almost too close to call. Neither Ash nor Paul is happy with a draw. Ash sure doesn't appreciate Paul's attitude, either. Paul turns down Ash's request for another battle, but it's a safe bet that their rivalry is far from over!
Dawn is still trying to catch her first wild Pokémon, but Ash's coaching isn't helping at all and both Trainers are getting annoyed. The outlook suddenly gets much brighter when Nando, a traveling Pokémon bard, has his Budew use Sunny Day to lighten the mood. To show Ash her skills, Dawn requests a Contest battle with Nando, but Budew's Grass-type moves are too tough for Piplup. Budew wins and our heroes head to a Pokémon Center, where they learn that Nando can't decide whether to dedicate himself to Pokémon Contests or Gym battles.
To help him decide, Ash and Dawn set off to find Nando again, only to end up deep in the forest. It's too late to get back to the Pokémon Center, but three very familiar and suspicious-looking individuals offer them a free inn room for the night. Of course, it's all another Team Rocket scheme to snatch Pikachu! Nando and his Budew come to the rescue, and now it's Ash's turn to ask Nando for a friendly battle.
Ash decides to use Pikachu to battle Budew. Nando's style may be elegant, but even though Budew evolves into Roselia during the match, it's still not enough to defeat Pikachu. Still, Nando had so much fun battling Dawn and Ash that he's decided to do both Gym battles and Pokémon Contests! Our heroes say goodbye to Nando with promises to meet again, then continue their journey towards Dawn's first Contest and Ash's first Sinnoh Gym battle.
Team Rocket's latest Pikachu-snatching plan slips up, and Pikachu ends up lost in the woods. It's found by a friendly Turtwig who defends Pikachu from Team Rocket, but mistakes Ash for a foe as well! During this commotion, Ash and Pikachu are hit by Sleep Power from a nearby Oddish. Turtwig takes this opportunity to grab Pikachu and run off into the forest. Turtwig's friend Clara, a kind old lady, happens upon the scene and explains to our heroes that Turtwig is the leader of the local Pokémon. Looks like this time it's taking its responsibilities a little too seriously!
Ash finds Turtwig and explains that he and Pikachu are really best friends, though Turtwig doesn't believe a word of it until Pikachu confirms Ash's story. Now that everyone is on friendly terms, it's time for a lovely outdoor meal at Clara's lakeside home. However, nobody realizes that Team Rocket's Magikarp submarine is lurking in the water. The villains snatch Turtwig and Pikachu, but Ash and Piplup pursue them and Pikachu and Turtwig are soon free.
That's not enough to stop Team Rocket, of course. They come back for another kidnap attempt, only to be defeated by Pikachu. Ash and his friends then prepare to leave, but Turtwig wants to come along—after a battle with Ash, that is. Pikachu wins the match, which means Turtwig is now the newest member of the team!
When Ash runs into his new rival Paul, Ash wants a rematch—and a chance to show off his new Turtwig! The battle takes an unexpected turn when Turtwig disobeys Ash's orders, and is then accidentally kidnapped by Team Rocket during their latest attempt to grab Pikachu. Naturally our heroes thwart Team Rocket's plans, but Ash and Paul are knocked off a cliff in the process. Ash tells Dawn and Brock to meet him on the other side of the surrounding forest. He's ready to team up Paul to get out of the woods together, but Paul isn't interested and walks away.
Ash soon discovers that the forest is full of Stantler, and he keeps getting lost in the illusions created by their antlers. On the bright side, he and Turtwig have a chance to spend some time together reconciling their differences. Eventually they find their friends again, along with the inevitable swam of Beedrill. If that wasn't enough, our heroes are then chased out of the forest by a grouchy Ursaring. Of all people, it's Paul who comes to the rescue and catches Ursaring in the process.
Now Paul and Ash are free to finish their interrupted battle. Ash and Turtwig show off their new and improved teamwork, but even that just isn't enough to beat Paul and his Chimchar. Paul walks away, smug in his victory, and now Ash is more determined than ever to beat him the next time they meet!
It's a rough day for hero and villain alike, as Dawn's Piplup struggles to perfect a move for the upcoming Pokémon Contest and Team Rocket struggles to find something to eat. Team Rocket lucks out and finds a giant pile of berries in the middle of a field, but nearby footprints suggest the berries already belong to someone—or some Pokémon. Team Rocket steals the berries anyway, but a slip-up lands some of the berries in the possession of a Ludicolo trio. Then the berries' real owners, a Golduck and its Water Pokémon friends, show up and mistake the Ludicolo for the real berry thieves!
Team Rocket steps in and defeats Golduck, all part of their plan to get the Ludicolo on their good side so they can snag them for the boss. Alas, this plan is quickly abandoned when the grateful Ludicolo turn out to be too energetic for Team Rocket to bear. As for the dejected Golduck and its friends, they have the good fortune to run into Piplup. Piplup take charges and goes right up to the Ludicolo, determined to show them the error of their ways. Team Rocket watches it all while feasting on their ill-gotten berries and, unsurprisingly, decides this is a great opportunity to steal a whole lot of Pokémon at once.
Team Rocket pounces on the gathered Pokémon with the help of their Magikarp submarine. Piplup tries to save them, but Team Rocket launches a swarm of robot Remoraid that are just too much for Piplup to handle. That is, until Piplup finally pulls off a Contest-worthy spinning Bubblebeam move that wrecks the robots and turns the tide in our heroes' favor! Once it's revealed that Team Rocket had the berries all along, Golduck apologizes for falsely accusing the Ludicolo and the Pokémon join forces to beat Team Rocket. And with an amazing new move mastered, Dawn and Piplup can look forward to their upcoming Contest with newfound confidence!
There's a new Gym in Sinnoh, and Team Rocket is in charge! With Jessie as Princess Powerzone, the Gym Leader, and James as a crooked referee, there should be no way they can lose to their latest challenger—yet somehow they do. After the battle, Meowth goes out to get snacks and comes back home with an ominous Croagunk on its tail. Croagunk isn't impressed by Team Rocket, but they're impressed by Croagunk's Poison Jab move, so they recruit the Pokémon to help them out.
Elsewhere, our heroes encounter a Scizor and its Trainer, Minnie. Minnie is headed for the Powerzone Gym because she's heard that losing Pokémon can stay at the Gym to receive extra training. Minnie thinks it would be good for her Scizor, and Ash and his friends can't resist the chance to tag along. Ash wants to battle first, but Jessie wisely pretends not to hear him and chooses to battle Minnie instead.
James' creative refereeing gives Croagunk the victory over Minnie's Scizor, so Minnie lends Scizor to the Gym for training. Ash and Aipom are up next, but when Aipom wins, Jessie declares that Ash must battle her again—with Pikachu! That's the cue for Team Rocket to unmask themselves and their Pokémon-grabbing plan... which turns out to be no match for our heroes. Another Team Rocket scheme, foiled!
This still leaves the problem of all the Trainers who left their Pokémon with the Powerzone Gym. Minnie volunteers to watch over the Pokémon until their Trainers return, but Croagunk doesn't have a Trainer. So when Brock asks Croagunk if it wants to join him, it accepts. It's an easy catch, but it won't be that easy for Brock now that Croagunk is there to use Poison Jab every time he tries to swoon over a pretty girl!
When Dawn wakes up to a bad hair day, there's only one solution: have Piplup use Bubblebeam to fix her hair! Yep, it's just another typical morning on the road for our heroes until Pikachu catches the eye of a wild Buneary. Dawn wants to catch it for the upcoming Pokémon Contest, but it's too shy to stick around for long. And when Buneary comes back, both Ash and Dawn want to catch it, but Buneary's too slick for Piplup to handle. That means Ash and Pikachu get a chance!
The only problem is, Buneary definitely has a crush on Pikachu and even hits our heroes with an Ice Beam so it can be alone with Pikachu. This is certainly a new situation for Pikachu, who isn't entirely sure what to do! But when Team Rocket jumps in and steals Buneary, Pikachu bravely offers to go with Team Rocket if they let Buneary go. Team Rocket being Team Rocket, they accept Pikachu's offer and then keep both Pokémon anyway. Pikachu manages to break free and rescue Buneary, and the two then work together to wreck Team Rocket's latest Pokémon-stealing robot.
After seeing all this, Ash and his friends agree that Buneary would be a great addition to the team. However, Dawn decides to observe proper Trainer etiquette and battle it first. This time Dawn and Piplup are prepared for Buneary's moves, including Dizzy Punch, and it's a successful catch! Now Dawn has a new Pokémon up her sleeve for the Pokémon Contest in Jubilife City!
Dawn's first Pokémon Contest is just days away, and in order to prepare, she's searching Jubilife City for a Pokétch—a handy accessory that looks like a watch but has multiple useful functions. To her disappointment, the stores' Pokétch supply has mysteriously been recalled, but she gets a free Pokétch from Team Rocket. For some reason, Team Rocket are just giving Pokétch away! But a Shinx and its owner, Landis, expose Dawn's Pokétch as a fake. Landis should know—he's the son of the Pokétch corporation's president!
Landis introduces his father to Dawn and her friends, who learn that the Pokétch corporation withdrew its merchandise when it heard that someone was distributing fakes. But Landis' father does give our heroes a peek at the latest version of the real thing, a Pokétch that measures the Friendship between a Trainer and a Pokémon. As for the fake Pokétch, the truth is soon revealed: Team Rocket is using the fakes to transmit Psyduck's voice! Now lots of Pokémon are listlessly walking through the streets in a Psyduck-induced trance, headed right for Team Rocket's hideout, and Landis' Shinx is one of them!
Of course, our heroes must now stop Team Rocket from scooping up all the Pokémon and taking off in their Meowth balloon. Pikachu and Piplup try to stop them, but Team Rocket just adds those two to the collection as well. Dawn isn't having any more of this nonsense, so she helps Buneary unleash an amazing Ice Beam that puts the villains' plans on ice. With the Pokémon freed, Shinx helps charge Pikachu up with electricity and Team Rocket are sent flying once again, without the benefit of a hot air balloon. Now Dawn can receive a real Pokétch of her own, and she's just about ready to take on the Jubilife Pokémon Contest!
Dawn's mother Johanna has sent her a special outfit to wear for her first Pokémon Contest, which is just a day away! While Dawn tries on out her new Contest outfit, she meets another Coordinator, Zoey, who has a Glameow. Then Dawn is due for some friendly training with Ash and Pikachu, and Dawn's Piplup looks good until Ash's Aipom interrupts the battle to show off its moves. It seems that Aipom doesn't want to watch a Contest, it wants to be in one! So for Aipom's sake, Ash decides he'll enter the Contest too.
As Ash soon finds out, not only do Coordinators in Sinnoh like to dress up for their Contests, they use some special effects as well. In Sinnoh Pokémon Contests, each Pokémon's Poké Ball is put into a Ball Capsule and decorated with seals that create quite a showy entrance! Ash and Dawn aren't the only ones hoping to make a big entrance in the Jubelife Contest; Team Rocket is around, and Jessie has her sights set on a big victory while James and Meowth have settled on starting a seal-selling scam.
As the Contest begins, Dawn is backstage trying to fix her hair. Zoey shows up to help her out and as the two Coordinators talk, Dawn learns that Zoey already has her first Contest Ribbon. Zoey also has a Misdreavus which she shows off in the first round with some spectacular moves. Jessie borrows James' Carnivine to make her Sinnoh debut as Jessilina, and Ash and Dawn pull off their first round appeals without a hitch. All four Coordinators—well, three Coordinators and one Trainer—will move on to the next round!
The battles are about to begin in the Jubelife Pokémon Contest, and in the running are Dawn, Ash, Jessie (disguised as Jessilina), and a Coordinator named Zoey. Ash will be battling Zoey, and Zoey is shocked to hear that Ash isn't really a Coordinator. As far as Zooey's concerned, if you're not serious then you don't belong in a Contest! When Ash's Aipom and Zoey's Glameow go head to head, it looks like Zoey may be right. Contests aren't like Gym battles, as Zoey proves when her Glameow wins the round with creative usesof its Iron Tail and Shadow Claw moves.
The second round pits Dawn and Buneary against Zoey and Glameow. Even though Dawn has had a chance to watch Glameow in action, Buneary's graceful jumps and powerful Ice Beam just can't manage to top Glameow's moves. When time runs out, Zoey is declared the winner. After the match, Dawn calls her mother but receives a stern but encouraging lecture on being more independent. After all, Dawn has friends she can turn to for support!
The final round of the Contest is a battle between Zoey and, of all people, Jessie! Zoey's Glameow defeats Carnivine with time left to spare and Zoey wins her second ribbon. Before she heads out of town, she exchanges some encouraging words with Dawn. They're bound to meet again at another Contest—and now Dawn has a new rival who's also a new friend!
Ash is traveling through the forest on his way to Oreburgh City, where he hopes to earn his first Gym Badge in Sinnoh. But first he's helping Starly practice using Aerial Ace, a process that doesn't go entirely smoothly. Our heroes also catch the attention of Rosebay, a woman who monitors the Pokémon that live in the forest. Lots of Pokémon have been disappearing lately and she's not sure why, but it doesn't take long for Ash and his friends to decide they should help her out!
Meanwhile, Team Rocket have set up a trap in the Valley Path, an area which Flying-type Pokémon often pass through. All it takes some netting and soon Team Rocket is happily snagging lots of avian Pokémon for their Boss. When Ash sends Starly out to look for clues, Starly is swept up by Team Rocket's criminal plans as well—but Starly isn't about to sit back and wait to be rescued! Jessie and James leave Meowth to guard their ill-gotten Pokémon, and Starly is ready to stage a jailbreak together with help from a captured Hoothoot.
Hoothoot hypnotizes Meowth into letting the Pokémon go, but when Meowth snaps out of its trance, it calls for backup from Team Rocket's other Pokémon. However, Ash and his friends came across a Pidgeot trapped in Team Rocket's net and realized what was going on, and they show up looking for Starly! Jessie and James return and try to stop our heroes, only to discover that Brock's Bonsly can use Mimic to send their Pokémon's moves right back at them. Then Starly evolves into Staravia and pulls off a terrific Aerial Ace—which is also the term that describes Team Rocket as they go blasting off again. The trapped Pokémon are freed, Rosebay is happy, and now it's onward to Oreburgh City!
On the way to Oreburgh, Ash and his friends see Nurse Joy trying to help an injured Nuzleaf. Nuzleaf is too upset to accept her help, so Brock steps in to calm Nuzleaf down. With help from Bonsly, who Nuzleaf seems to think is a Grass-type Pokémon, Brock wins Nuzleaf's trust and treats its injuries. This Nuzleaf must be lost, since an old tree on the other side of the mountain is the only place in the area where Seedot, Nuzleaf, and Shiftry are found. Ash and his friends volunteer to get Nuzleaf back where it belongs.
Team Rocket spies on the scene and decides Nuzleaf would be a great prize for the Boss. They show up with Meowth dressed as a Shiftry, hoping to trick Nuzleaf into coming with them. Their ploy is foiled, so they grab Bonsly and Nuzleaf. Brock tries to stop them and ends up getting carried away by Team Rocket too! That's no problem for Brock—Team Rocket lowers their guard after he cooks them a delicious meal, and Brock escapes with Nuzleaf and Bonsly. During the break-out, Bonsly even evolves into Sudowoodo!
Next Brock has to cross a river, but Sudowoodo dislikes water so Brock puts it in its Poké Ball. The problem is that without Sudowoodo, Nuzleaf gets upset! Brock has no choice but to bring out Sudowoodo and encourage it to be brave. Then Team Rocket catches up with Brock. Croagunk does its best but can't hold them off forever, so Sudowoodo pitches in to help fight. When Ash and Dawn arrive on the scene, Brock even tells them he and Sudowoodo can handle Team Rocket themselves! A real Shiftry shows up looking for Nuzleaf, and once Team Rocket is sent packing, our heroes can rest easy knowing that Nuzleaf will soon be back home.
Ash and his friends have reached Oreburgh City, where Ash will try to earn his first Sinnoh Gym Badge. But Paul has beaten him to the Oreburgh Gym, and he'll battle Gym Leader Roark first—if Roark ever shows up! Roark is also a mining foreman who's busy excavating for buried fossils and coal ore. In fact, Ash and company locate him just as he's uncovered another fossil find. The fossils he discovers can be revived at the local museum, which has Team Rocket sensing another great opportunity to score some Pokémon for their Boss.
Roark returns to the Gym to battle Paul in a 3-on-3 battle. The Oreburgh Gym is a Rock-type Gym, so Paul has an Azumarill to counter Roark's Geodude. Even though Azumarill should have the advantage, Geodude quickly knocks it out, and Paul is not pleased! Paul's Elekid defeats Geodude, only to have trouble with Roark's deceptively fast Onix. Paul switches Elekid out for Chimchar and beats Onix, but now Roark brings out a Cranidos.
Paul lets Chimchar take some hits so it can power up using its Blaze ability, yet even that doesn't stop Cranidos. Finally it's all up to Elekid, and it emerges victorious after the tough battle. Paul has earned his badge—along with a whole heap of hard feelings from Ash! Ash doesn't like the way Paul treats his Pokémon, and he likes it even less when Paul wants to leave without seeing Ash battle! But will Ash's wounded pride backfire on him?
Paul has just won his badge at the Oreburgh Gym, but he's reluctantly persuaded to stick around and watch Ash's battle the next day. Ash is in the middle of strategizing for the match when he finds out that Paul gave away his Azumarill because it wasn't tough enough, which only makes Ash dislike Paul's style even more! Meanwhile, Team Rocket are touring the Oreburgh Mining Museum to get a closer look at its Fossil Restorer machine, the key to their latest criminal plot.
When Ash's battle finally begins, Roark sends out Cranidos first and Ash uses Aipom to counter with speed and agility. However, Cranidos can be pretty nimble too, and it wins its round. Pikachu is up next, but Cranidos is still going strong and Pikachu just isn't having much of an effect. Paul gets up to leave in disgust, which gets Ash and Pikachu fired up. Roark responds by having Cranidos use its powerful Head Smash, and Ash has to bring in Turtwig to finally knock out Cranidos.
Roark's Onix comes in and defeats Turtwig in one hit, so now it's all up to Pikachu. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt to break up the field so Onix can't maneuver as quickly, a clever strategy until Onix brings the battle to a Screech-ing halt! Not only is Ash's match over, but he's been defeated in front of his rival Paul. Now he's going to have to figure out a way to get back on track!
Continuing to recover from his Oreburgh City Gym battle loss, Ash gets in plenty of training with Turtwig, Pikachu and Aipom. Dawn tries to convince Ash to send home for Pokémon that are strong against Rock Types, but Ash is persistent on using the ones he currently has. Brock lends Ash Sudowoodo to train against, as its Rock Head Ability is immune to such moves as Double Edge.
Back at the Pokémon Center, Dawn finds out that the next Pokémon Contest is at Floaroma Town, where she intends on heading next. Team Rocket steal the Fossil Restorer, unaware that a Pokémon is still inside. Out pops an Aerodactyl, which refuses to be caught by Jessie. Dawn finds Aerodactyl when it attacks the citizens of Oreburgh City; in the ruckus, Kabuto and Armaldo get free as well!
Roark, Brock and Ash triple team the Ancient Pokémon, but Team Rocket show up to steal them all. When Kabuto and Armaldo return to their Poké Balls, Dawn's Piplup and Buneary use their agility and grace to avoid Aerodactyl's Giga Impact, allowing Dr. Kenzo to get it back into its Poké Ball! Roark's newly evolved Rampardos finishes off Team Rocket's robot and blasts them off, putting everything back as it should be. Ash asks Roark if he can take on Rampardos in their rematch and he agrees, giving Ash time to craft a battle strategy!
Ash may have lost his battle at the Oreburgh Gym, but he wants a rematch and he's down at the Oreburgh mine to train hard for round two. His hard work inspires Dawn to go back to town and train her own Pokémon for the upcoming Contest in Floaroma Town. But over at Oreburgh's museum, the fossil restorer machine has vanished, together with the fossil that was inside! It could only be the work of Team Rocket, who gets a big surprise when the stolen machine finishes reviving the fossil and a very irritated Aerodactyl emerges. After giving Team Rocket a good clobbering, it flies off toward Oreburgh City.
Aerodactyl causes a big commotion as it soars over the city, surprising Dawn and alerting the museum's scientists to the fate of their missing fossil. In the confusion, a Kabutops and Armaldo break out of their quarters and the scientists go to get Roark's help. Ash and Brock team with Roark to stop the rogue Pokémon, but Team Rocket appears and snatches Kabutops, Armaldo, and Roark's Cranidos!
Surprisingly, it's Aerodactyl who comes to the rescue—it swoops in and blasts Team Rocket once more, freeing the Pokémon and giving the scientists a chance to safely recall Kabutops and Armaldo to their Poké Balls. But now who's going to stop Aerodactyl? The guys all give it their best, but this time Dawn shows up to save the day! She has Piplup and Buneary team up to pin Aerodactyl so the scientists can put it in a Poké Ball. Then Roark's Cranidos evolves into Rampardos so it can take down Team Rocket, and the fossil restorer is returned to the scientists. All of which gives Ash an idea for his rematch with Roark...
When Dawn comes across a wild Pachirisu, it's so cute that she just has to catch it! Catching it turns out to be the easy part, because Dawn's new Pachirisu turns out to be so hyperactive that it wears everyone out before she can even start to train it! Is Pachirisu really too much for Dawn to handle? Before long, Dawn is convinced that she's not up to the job and she releases it back into the wild.
Ash and Brock cheer Dawn up and convince her to try again with Pachirisu, but Team Rocket has already spotted it and Jessie wants it for herself! Because she released it, Dawn can't claim that it's still hers, so now it's up to Pachirisu to choose which Trainer it likes better. Despite Team Rocket's bribes of food, Pachirisu chooses Dawn, so Team Rocket chooses to steal it anyway!
After Team Rocket hit our heroes with a blast of goo to keep them glued in place, Pachirisu switches sides and joins them as they take off in their Meowth balloon.
Jessie's thrilled—until Pachirisu lets off an electric spark that sends Team Rocket flying. Then Pachirisu returns, having only pretended to go with Team Rocket so it could swipe the formula that neutralizes all the sticky goo. Now that it's clear Pachirisu wants to be part of Dawn's team, it joins our heroes for real!
On the way to Floaroma Town, our heroes see a Salamence-riding woman steal a Gardevoir from a Trainer named Melodi. Ash and Pikachu come to the rescue, but the mystery woman sends out a Drapion and swipes Pikachu! Team Rocket refuses to be outdone by another Pokémon thief and make their big entrance, except the woman steals Meowth as well before making her getaway.
What's going on? It's the latest heist by Pokémon Hunter J, a merciless Pokémon thief for hire! Together with Melodi, Officer Jenny, and even Team Rocket, our heroes set out to stop her. Melodi's Kirlia is able to locate J's next position, and Ash doesn't wait for back-up—he runs off and finds J in the middle of stealing an Absol.
It's hard to stop her when she has a Salamence to back her up, forcing Ash and Team Rocket to take the indirect route instead: they stow away under her vehicle and hitch a ride onto her aircraft. But the Hunter soon realizes there are intruders onboard, so Ash and Team Rocket battle their way through the ship and reach the hangar where Meowth, Pikachu, and Gardevoir are located. Ruthless as always, J decides to solve this problem by jettisoning the entire hangar! Gardevoir's Teleport saves the day, but J has escaped, and our heroes can only hope that one day she'll be brought to justice.
As Team Rocket trudges through Sinnoh, they run into the Magikarp Salesman who's tricked them so many times before. This time, he cons them into buying an Evolution machine that will evolve a Pokémon at any time—or so he says. Elsewhere, Ash and his friends hear about the B-Button League, a group of Coordinators who never evolve their Pokémon. The rumors say they have a beautiful Feebas and a powerful Magikarp, so Ash and his friends go to check it out.
The B-Button League is headed by a girl named Haley, and she and her sister Oralie do indeed have a very fine Feebas and Magikarp. Team Rocket sneaks in to watch Dawn and Ash test their Pokémon against Oralie's Magikarp; not only does Magikarp defeat Piplup, it's strong enough to give Pikachu a run for its money! Team Rocket is so impressed, they grab Magikarp and Feebas on the spot, then take Pikachu too when it tries to stop them.
Now Team Rocket prepares to use their new machine to evolve all three Pokémon, much to our heroes' dismay. But the Evolution machine doesn't work at all! However, Team Rocket has a plan B: their new machine can also transform into a tough-looking robot. Too bad for them that the robot quickly falls apart, being just another sales scam. Oralie and Haley have Feebas and Magikarp help Pikachu defeat Team Rocket, and then our heroes can happily continue on their way to Floaroma Town!
When Ash and his friends pass a village that's holding an informal Pokémon Contest where the prize is a year's supply of fruit, Dawn is eager to enter. Ash is just eager to get his hat back once Aipom grabs it and runs off, as usual, but Aipom runs too far and ends up stranded on a perilous spire of rock. Team Rocket wants to enter the Pokémon Contest too, and Jessie sees her chance when she finds and rescues Aipom. As thanks for the rescue, she persuades Ash to let her borrow Aipom for the Contest, and even Aipom seems eager to make the switch!
Once the Contest training begins, Ash is nervous about how easily Jessie and Aipom are working together. During the first round of the Contest, Aipom and Jessie make a fantastic team, and Ash starts to panic—what if Aipom doesn't want to come back? Meanwhile, Dawn's Pachirisu has a case of stage fright, but it manages to come through with a good show. Jessie and Dawn will now face each other in the final round.
Dawn's Pachirisu is brave, but it's unexperienced compared to Jessie and Aipom. Aipom wins the Contest with ease, although Team Rocket is so used to thievery that they steal the prize pile of fruit anyway. To Ash's horror, Aipom chases after them and joins their gang. Luckily, Aipom only wants some of the fruit, and when Team Rocket tries to steal Pikachu too, Aipom uses Swift to send them flying before returning to its real Trainer, Ash!
Team Rocket's latest misguided Pokémon-snatching scheme digs them into a deep hole, deep enough that they accidentally bury their shovels in the head of a very irritated Steelix! Steelix goes on a rampage and Team Rocket runs away, bumping into Ash and his friends in the middle of their mission to help a lost Bidoof find its home. Steelix hits Team Rocket with an attack that blasts Meowth into the midst of Ash and the gang, while Jessie and James are off on their own.
Ash's group runs for a nearby waterfall, escaping into a rocky pass that Steelix can't fit into. On the other side is the lost Bidoof's home village, but all the Bidoof are trapped there because they're afraid of Steelix. Jessie and James join the stranded group but decide to hide while Meowth and our heroes try to calm Steelix and save the village.
Building stronger walls to keep Steelix out is only a temporary solution—they need to get the shovels out of Steelix's head! Meowth lures Steelix to another narrow pass where the others are waiting, and even though Team Rocket is sent flying by yet another Hyper Beam, everyone else works together to get two shovels out. The last shovel is still stuck, but once the Bidoof team up, they get it out and stop Steelix from charging into a waterfall. Reminded once again of the power of teamwork, Ash and his friends can leave their new Bidoof friends and head for their next destination.
Ash's training battles with Dawn catch the eye of Theresa, a young woman with a strange request: can she borrow Pikachu for three days? Theresa and her aunt Abigail run a cake shop, but Abigail's Pikachu, Sugar, has disappeared and Abigail will surely need Sugar's help to win an upcoming baking contest. Ash agrees and the gang goes to Theresa's home, pretending that Pikachu is Sugar.
Abigail takes Pikachu into the forest, where it uses Thunderbolt to zap berries and give them a delicious roasted flavor. Team Rocket notices this unusual electrical activity and tries to seize Pikachu, but Abigail and Pikachu defeat them with ease. Abigail then challenges Ash to a friendly training battle, her "Sugar" against Ash's Aipom, only to cut the battle mysteriously short after just a few rounds.
That night, Ash feels so guilty about deceiving Abigail that he confesses the entire plan. Abigail reassures him that she knows Pikachu isn't Sugar, and Sugar really left because it was unable to crack open Aspear Berries for her. The moment is spoiled when Team Rocket nabs Pikachu, but a Raichu springs out of the woods and comes to the rescue. That's Sugar, who learned Focus Punch to crack open the Aspear Berries and even evolved into Raichu. Abigail's sure to win her contest and now our heroes are confident that they'll win their competitions as well!
Dawn and Ash have reached Floaroma Town, the site of Dawn's next Pokémon Contest as well as a Poffin cooking class! Poffins are a type of Pokémon snack that Ash has never seen before, and it doesn't take much convincing for him and his friends to join the class. Making Poffin turns out to be harder than it looks, even when our heroes are being instructed by an expert like Forsythia. She's a Trainer with a flowery field full of Poffin ingredients and a shy Roserade that she met back when it was a lonely little Budew.
When Team Rocket launches an automated raid on the berries Forsythia uses to make her Poffins, her Roserade puts on a scarf and steps up to defend its home. Whenever Roserade wears that scarf, its personality changes from shy to superhero—but once Meowth snatches the scarf, Roserade loses its nerve and is kidnapped by Team Rocket!
Forsythia calls to Roserade, reminding it that it's still strong even without the scarf. This gives Roserade the confidence it needs to deal Team Rocket another defeat and restore the damage caused by their rampage. Now it's back to cooking class, where Dawn develops her own special Poffin recipe. It looks like everyone has found some inspiration today, and Dawn should be on track to make a great showing at the upcoming Pokémon Contest!
With time running out before the start of the Floaroma Town Pokémon Contest, Dawn and Pachirisu are getting in as much training as they can. But it's not just Ash and Brock who are watching from the sidelines, because Dawn's friend Kenny is here to compete in the Contest, too! Both Dawn and Kenny are from Twinleaf Town, and Kenny is full of embarrassing stories about Dawn's childhood. What's more, he chose a Piplup for his first Pokémon, just like Dawn, but his Piplup is now a Prinplup with an attitude!
To add injury to insult, Kenny turns down a challenge from Dawn and asks to battle Ash and Pikachu instead. Pikachu should have the type advantage, but Kenny's Prinplup counters Pikachu's attacks by using its own moves in creative ways. It's so impressive that Team Rocket makes a grab for Prinplup—in order to boost Jessie's chances of Contest victory, James and Meowth are on a mission to steal Pokémon!
Prinplup is unable to escape, so Dawn sends Piplup to stop Team Rocket. Piplup uses a newly-learned move, Whirlpool, to give Prinplup back some of its pep, and the two Water-type Pokémon then beat Team Rocket with a double Bubblebeam. Today's teamwork was terrific, but both Dawn and Kenny have their eye on winning tomorrow's Contest. What will happen once these old friends become new rivals...?
The Floaroma Town Contest has just started, and Dawn's already in trouble! Pachirisu gets spooked before Dawn can even start their appeal, and only Dawn's quick thinking and a Poffin treat can calm it down so they can complete their performance. Even with that good recovery, it's no help for Dawn's nerves that the first round goes perfectly for Jessie, AKA Jessilina, and Dawn's old friend Kenny. Still, Dawn advances with them to the next round, much to her relief! She's eager to take on Kenny, but her first opponent turns out to be Jessie.
Jessie and Dustox battle Dawn and Piplup, and Jessie's not actually half-bad. She shows off a few good moves and manages to put Dawn on the defensive. But Dawn manages to come back and win the battle, which means she'll face Kenny and his Prinplup in the next round. Piplup's Peck isn't going to win the round this time, because Kenny's Prinplup easily counters that attack with Metal Claw. And with a Water-type battling a Water-type, it's going to take something special to win this one!
Dawn has Piplup use Whirlpool, and Prinplup boldly dives into the vortex to battle Piplup. It's a close battle, but in the end, victory goes to Dawn and Piplup, earning them the Floaroma Ribbon! Of course Kenny is disappointed, but he promises to battle Dawn again at another Contest. And with that, it's time to head for Eterna City and Ash's next Gym battle!
On the way to Eterna City, our heroes visit a Pokémon Center where they meet young Paige and her big sister Marnie, the daughters of the local Nurse Joy! Ash and his pals get their first good look at Drifloon—Marnie has three, which she uses to help her deliver lunch to her father while Paige takes the gang to meet Pokémon in the surrounding forest. Paige also reveals she and Marnie have a secret friend, none other than the legendary Suicune!
Marnie's father and his Ampharos are working at the Valley Windworks Power Plant. Team Rocket tries to steal Ampharos, only to be shocked by Ampharos's Thunder. But the resulting explosion damages the Windworks, and when the lights go out at the Pokémon Center, Nurse Joy sets out for the Windworks to see what's wrong. Paige wants to take her Drifloon and follow; Pikachu tries to stop her, but a gust sweeps all three of them away!
Ash and his friends race to the Windworks to try and intercept them, except a looming storm blows Paige and Pikachu way off course. Ash finds them with the help of Marnie's Drifloon, but they're stuck up among the rocks and there's no way the others can reach them on foot any time soon. Marnie is determined to save her sister no matter what, so she asks Suicune to appear and help her. Suicune responds and quickly takes her to Ash and Paige, then brings everyone back to safety. With Nurse Joy's family reunited and the Windworks Power Plant fixed, our heroes can call it a day!
Ash and his friends have come across a newsworthy diversion: two notorious Pokémon Trainers who've won 16 battles in a row, attracting the attention of Rhonda the reporter and her Sinnoh Now news team. Ash wants to battle these Champ Twins, Bryan and Ryan, but they only have tag battles. So while the cameras are rolling, Ash and Dawn team up to battle Bryan's Croconaw and Ryan's Quilava with Turtwig and Piplup.
Ash and Dawn are eager to show their stuff, but their teamwork could use much more work! The two of them don't coordinate moves so soon Piplup and Turtwig are getting in each other's way, and once Ash and Dawn are arguing too, the battle's as good as lost. Bryan and Ryan win the battle, which only starts another argument between Ash and Dawn—and Turtwig and Piplup too! Once they come to their senses, they apologize and resolve to take on the Champ Twins again, this time as a real tag team.
One small problem with this plan: Team Rocket has lured the Champ Twins into a pit trap and stolen their Pokémon! When Ash and Dawn discover the theft, they show off their new teamwork and defeat Team Rocket to get Croconaw and Quilava back. Now Ash and Dawn can battle the Champ Twins again, and this time their improved coordination wins the day!
Ash and his friends find a tree full of delicious honey, the scent of which has attracted several Pokémon, including Ash's Aipom and a wild Burmy. The Burmy has also attracted the attention of a Trainer, Cheryl, who captures it with her Chansey. Cheryl is a treasure hunter in search of the Enchanted Honey that's said to lie within the Amber Castle. But to find it, she needs a male Burmy she can evolve into Mothim, which has an amazing sense of smell.
Ash offers to help evolve Burmy by letting it battle Turtwig. It should be easy for Burmy to beat a Grass-type, but this Burmy isn't very robust! It loses the match and gets seized by Team Rocket as part of a nefarious plot to evolve it into Mothim and impress Giovanni. After Team Rocket makes their getaway with Burmy, however, they discover that Burmy's better at eating all their food than it is at battling.
Just in time, Cheryl and our heroes arrive to rescue Burmy. Burmy manages to help rescue itself by teaming up with Chansey to defeat Meowth and Wobbuffet, and it finally evolves into Mothim! The stage is set for everyone to join forces and send Team Rocket blasting off. That's not all—Mothim then picks up a scent and leads Ash and the gang towards a new chapter in the search for the Amber Castle!
Deep in Eterna Forest, Ash and his friends have joined Cheryl the treasure hunter on her quest to find Enchanted Honey. Along the way their paths cross with that of Gardenia, a Trainer who's a real Grass-type fanatic. She admires Ash's Turtwig so much that she challenges Ash to a battle—the quest will have to wait! Gardenia sends out her Cherubi to battle Turtwig, but soon switches in her own Turtwig instead. As fast as Ash's Turtwig is, Gardenia's Turtwig is even faster and wins the first round!
Ash's next pick is his speedy Staravia, but he's shocked when Gardenia's Turtwig turns out to be fast enough to dodge Staravia's attacks and win once again. Gardenia is the victor! She then offers to help our heroes find a Combee Wall, because wherever Combee gather and store nectar, there's bound to be honey.
But then Team Rocket makes another attempt to steal Cheryl's Mothim, hoping that its keen sense of smell will lead them to the Enchanted Honey instead. Yet even their villainy is no match for Gardenia's fearless love for James' Grass-type Pokémon and the power of her Turtwig, and Team Rocket finds themselves blasting off again, still empty-handed. After all the help she's given, however, Gardenia has to part ways with our heroes, who soon spot a Combee. Excitedly realizing they must be close to a Combee Wall, Cheryl, Ash, Dawn, and Brock once again rush off in search of the unknown...
After several adventures, Ash, his friends, and Cheryl the treasure hunter are finally closing in on the elusive Amber Castle. They've spotted their first Combee Walls, clusters of Combee that surely indicate the Amber Castle and its trove of Enchanted Honey can't be far away. Cheryl's Mothim uses its keen sense of smell to lead everyone towards the scent of honey, and soon they're deep in a series of tunnels. But Team Rocket has found the tunnels too, and when they start digging for honey, the Combee become angry at all the intruders, including our heroes!
Cheryl's Mothim uses Supersonic to confuse the Combee, letting our heroes ignored Team Rocket and continue the search for the Enchanted Honey. They find themselves in front of the biggest Combee yet, and pass through to discover the Amber Castle behind it. This glimmering golden structure has a Vespiquen living at its center, and Cheryl apologizes to it for the intrusion.
Just as Cheryl asks Vespiquen for the gift of honey, Team Rocket bursts into the Castle and nearly wrecks it in their attempt to raid the Enchanted Honey. While Ash and his friends rush to repair the damage, Vespiquen and Cheryl's Mothim deal with Team Rocket, sending them flying before they can do any more damage. After some repairs, the Amber Castle is safe, and Cheryl receives a gift of Enchanted Honey for helping Vespiquen and the Combee. It's time for this treasure hunter to be on her way, and Ash and his friends are also eager to head for their next destination: Eterna City, where Ash's next Gym battle awaits!
What could convince our heroes to take a time-out from their journey to Eterna City? A Pokémon Dress-Up Contest where Pokémon try to imitate other Pokémon! Ash and Pikachu, Dawn and Piplup, Brock and Croagunk, even Team Rocket—they're all entering the contest in hopes of winning the Pokémon Egg prize! But will any of them be able to beat the reigning champion, a singing Chatot?
In this contest, the key is to stay in character. So when Piplup, pretending to be Weedle, gets a little too excited and uses Bubblebeam, Dawn and Piplup are knocked out of the first round. Ash and Brock make it into the second round along with Team Rocket, and James wants to win the contest fair and square. But to his dismay, dishonorable duty calls: Jessie can't resist stealing the prize Pokémon Egg, forcing Team Rocket to make a quick getaway. Together with Officer Jenny, our heroes chase after Team Rocket so quickly that Brock's Croagunk doesn’t even stop to take off its Politoed costume!
There's no doubt who’ll win this showdown, especially once Mime Jr.'s Teeter Dance hits Team Rocket instead of its target. In all the confusion, Team Rocket drops the stolen Pokémon Egg. Buneary quickly catches it, Team Rocket is sent packing, and everyone returns to the contest for the final results. After the judges tally their votes, the final winner is Brock's Croagunk, who stayed in character as Politoed even while chasing Team Rocket! Brock accepts his Pokémon Egg, leaving him and his friends to ponder two important questions. When will the Egg hatch—and just what Pokémon will it turn out to be?
On the way to Eterna City, our heroes go fishing in hopes of catching a powerful Buizel that's been spotted in a nearby river. They're joined by Zoey, Dawn's friend and rival, who's in the area to do some fishing, but it's Dawn who ends up with Buizel on her fishing line. Buizel defeats Dawn's Piplup and promptly challenges Zoey. Zoey's Glameow is no slouch, but Buizel wins that battle and then still has the energy to take on Pikachu and win! Now all three Trainers are determined to catch it—and so is Team Rocket, who's secretly observed the entire scene.
Buizel is in the middle of a workout when Dawn and her friends manage to find it again. But Team Rocket catches it in a net and tries to take off in their balloon, and Ash's Turtwig cuts Buizel loose with Razor Leaf. Dawn also tries to rescue Buizel, although Buizel doesn't seem convinced that it needs any help at all! In fact, freed from the net, it helps defeat Team Rocket and still wants another battle with Piplup.
It's clear that Buizel is a strong, powerful Pokémon, but this time Dawn and Piplup realize they have a creative edge. By using the combinations they've been developing for Contests, Piplup is able to defeat Buizel and Dawn can finally catch it in a Poké Ball. Zoey stays behind to do some fishing for a new Pokémon of her own, but Dawn and her new Buizel are headed to Eterna City for Ash's next Gym battle!
Dawn and Ash are hoping a friendly battle with Turtwig will help Dawn's new Buizel warm up to its new companions. But Buizel wants to play rough, and it won't even listen to Dawn's commands! Our heroes head to a Pokémon Center after the battle and that's where they meet Lucian, a Trainer who specializes in Psychic Pokémon. He's also one of Sinnoh's Elite Four, a top group of Trainers—and Buizel is itching to have a battle with him!
Lucian agrees to the match and sends out his Bronzong. Buizel ignores Dawn's commands again and continues to battle its own way, but Bronzong is just too tough. Buizel is soon knocked out of the match, but it's so used to winning that it has difficulty accepting this defeat. Later Lucian tells Dawn that this loss could be very important: if Buizel doesn't learn how to overcome this setback, who knows what might happen?
What happens, however, is that Team Rocket takes this opportunity to trap Buizel in a cage so they can steal it. Lucian thinks this is actually a good thing! Indeed, Buizel is so angry at being captured that it forgets about its defeat and breaks out of the cage. Then, Lucian shows Dawn how to adapt to Buizel's style so they can work together to beat Team Rocket. After the villains are defeated, Dawn and Buizel go one more round with Lucian and Bronzong, and they're already demonstrating improved teamwork! Before he leaves, Lucian encourages Dawn to keep training and says he'll see our heroes again someday.
Ash and his friends are in Eterna City for Ash's next Gym battle, but first they have to help solve a heist at the Eterna Historical Museum! Someone has stolen the Museum's Adamant Orb, an artifact which is said to increase Dialga's power, and the security footage suggests a Sunflora was one of the culprits. Team Rocket stole the Orb with Meowth disguised as Sunflora, but it's the Pokémon bard Nando and his Sunflora that have been cornered by Officer Jenny! Luckily, our heroes and their recent acquaintance Gardenia, who turns out to be the Eterna Gym Leader, are ready to vouch for Nando's innocence.
This is a day for duplicates, because there's another Officer Jenny in town from Viridian City, too! Everyone splits up to search the Museum for the real culprit, with the Eterna City police especially eager to find the Orb first and uphold the honor of their department. But it's Piplup, Pikachu, and Nando's Sunflora who spot Team Rocket gloating over their theft, and soon backup is on the way.
Now that Meowth is no longer in the Sunflora costume, Team Rocket tries to bluff their way out of this jam. No such luck! But it's risky to battle Team Rocket while they're holding the precious Orb, so Officer Jenny from Eterna City has her Stunky stun Team Rocket with its powerful stench. Once Gardenia retrieves the Orb, it's a simple matter to defeat Team Rocket. Our heroes are then left to ponder the legends surrounding Dialga and Palkia... as well as the true motivation behind this attempted theft!
The time has come for Ash's Eterna Gym Battle with Gym Leader Gardenia, who's a Grass-type Pokémon expert. The battle will be 3-on-3, starting with Ash's Turtwig against Gardenia's Cherubi. The sun is out and that means Cherubi's Chlorophyll ability gives it a speed boost, so before long Ash recalls Turtwig and swaps in Staravia. Meanwhile, Team Rocket is digging into the Eterna Gym in hopes of stealing Pokémon, but they end up hitting a network of underground tunnels instead. There they meet an Underground explorer who convinces them to help him dig for sphere and other buried treasures—too bad he doesn't plan on sharing the loot!
Back on the surface, it's Ash's turn to use the weather to his advantage. He has Staravia dive at Cherubi, using the glare of the sun as a distraction, and Staravia wins this round. Next up is Gardenia's Turtwig: Ash has a strategy to neutralize her Turtwig's speed, but Turtwig still manages to knock Staravia out with Leech Seed.
Now it's Ash's Turtwig against Gardenia's Turtwig! These Pokémon have faced each other before and neither one wants to lose. Ash's Turtwig wins this round, but it's been weakened by a Leech Seed from Gardenia's Turtwig. Gardenia's Roserade is then able to defeat Ash's Turtwig with ease, but that just means Ash's Aipom is ready to go next! More of Ash's quick strategizing wins the final round, and now he's earned his Forest Badge!
Ash and his friends are taking the Cyling Road toward Hearthome City, but when the weather turns bad and Brock's Pokémon Egg is about to hatch, they quickly take refuge at the nearest Pokémon Center. However, the Nurse Joy at the Center has a serious case of the blues. Thanks to the Cycling Road, everyone pedals right past her Pokémon Center and she's convinced it's her fault that the place is so empty! With a little encouragement from our heroes, Nurse Joy gets back some confidence in time to help hatch Brock's Pokémon Egg, which turns out to be a Happiny.
Everyone has fun taking care of Happiny, until Team Rocket shows up, snatches it, and makes a getaway in their Meowth balloon. Jessie wants Happiny to evolve into Chansey and become a nurse! Brock and his friends have to chase down Team Rocket while also trying to keep Nurse Joy's spirits up, but Team Rocket has an even more difficult task ahead: cheering Happiny up! Happiny likes to carry a smooth stone in its pouch, and it's not impressed by any of the rocks that Team Rocket has to offer.
Now Team Rocket has another problem to deal with, because Brock and the gang have finally caught up with them. Nurse Joy is feeling confident enough to help our heroes battle, too! But it comes as a surprise to everyone when pint-sized Happiny turns out to be so strong, it can clobber Team Rocket on its own. Pikachu helps finish the battle, and then our heroes are ready to get back on the road to Hearthome City... and Nurse Joy is ready to get back to work!
On the way to Hearthome City, Ash and his friends spot a sightseeing steamboat and decide to take a ride. But the old man in charge of the boat informs them that it doesn't depart until noon, which leaves our three Trainers with plenty of time to go shop at a nearby Poké Mart. All their Pokémon stay on the boat to have some fun in the meantime, since there are no other passengers yet. The fun starts to get a little messy, however, and on top of that, Pachirisu's clowning around accidentally sets the ship in motion!
Team Rocket is already onboard and in disguise, planning to carry out their latest criminal scheme. Using the power of song and dance, they lure Pikachu and the Pokémon into a trap—except all the Pokémon escape when the ship suddenly changes course! Pachirisu is still up in the boat's cockpit, and it accidentally turned the steering wheel. Pikachu and friends have no problem blasting Team Rocket off and overboard, but now the boat's new course is taking it right toward a giant waterfall!
Ash, Dawn, and Brock return to the boat dock and discover that their Pokémon are in danger. With the help of the old man's Mantine, Ash and Dawn catch up to the runaway boat and jump onboard. Then, with Ash at the wheel and some Pokémon teamwork, the ship is steered away from the waterfall and back to safety. Our heroes apologize to the old man for all the trouble, but he's proud of what they accomplished and wishes them good luck on their adventures.
When word gets out that Champion League Master Cynthia is in town, our heroes can't resist a chance to meet her in person. But Paul is also in town, and he can't resist challenging Cynthia to a battle! The local Trainers are shocked that he has the nerve to challenge the Champion, and they're even more shocked when Cynthia agrees to a 6-on-6 battle. Against her mighty Garchomp, Paul's Pokémon don't stand a chance: Garchomp knocks out his Chimchar, Weavile, Murkrow, and even his Torterra!
The battle ends there, and Cynthia has to remind Paul to take his Pokémon to the Pokémon Center right away. She even helps care for his Pokémon when Nurse Joy is called away to another urgent case. Ash tries to convince Paul that his training methods are too harsh, but Paul doesn't care and Ash starts to lose his temper. Ever the diplomatic one, Cynthia steps in to gently remind Paul that there's more to traveling with Pokémon than simply trying to be strong.
While Cynthia gives our heroes a history lesson, Team Rocket sneaks into the Pokémon Center and steals Paul's Chimchar as it's sleeping. Paul and our heroes discover the kidnapping and Paul sends out yet another of his Pokémon—an Ursaring! Ursaring hits Team Rocket with a Hyper Beam and Chimchar escapes, but Paul is annoyed that it let itself be captured in the first place. Before she leaves for Celestic Town, Cynthia politely suggests that Paul take time to bond with his Pokémon. As for our heroes, she's given them something to think about... but it remains to be seen if her words managed to touch Paul!
Dawn's latest training session is interrupted by a Glameow and Misdreavus that seem to be asking for help, and it's a safe bet that those Pokémon must belong to Zoey! Sure enough, the two Pokémon lead Dawn and her friends to Zoey, who's fallen and sprained her foot. Our heroes treat the sprain the best they can and help Zoey back to her campsite, where everyone is introduced to Zoey's new Shellos. That's when Zoey tells Dawn that the upcoming Hearthome Contest has a double performance format, which means Dawn has to show off two Pokémon at once!
Fortunately, Zoey offers to help Dawn train. First, she shows Dawn some of the combinations she has planned for Glameow and Shellos. Then Dawn tries to develop some combinations of her own with Pachirisu and Piplup, but it's even harder than she imagined. Things aren't any smoother when she tries a double battle with Buizel and Buneary against Pikachu and Aipom, but all Dawn can do is practice until her team gets it right.
Jessie, now disguised as Jessilina the Coordinator, drops in for a surprise visit and challenges Dawn to a double battle. Zoey's not about to let Jessilina pick on a double battle novice, so she accepts the challenge instead! Injured or not, Zoey still has all her skills intact—her Glameow and Shellos overcome Jessie's Dustox and Seviper with power and style. Zoey's example encourages Dawn to keep on trying, and the two Coordinators look forward to their next meeting at the Hearthome Contest!
On a sunny day in Sinnoh, Ash is literally hit by a bolt out of the blue—an Electrike is practicing its Electric-type moves nearby, but it accidentally zapped Ash instead of its target! Jaco, the Electrike's Trainer, is a Pokémon breeder who's raising Electrike at the Pokémon Training Center. He doesn't think Electrike will ever be able to control its moves, but Brock knows better and offers to help both of them train. It's all about developing trust between Trainer and Pokémon so they can work together as a team. From daily care and feeding to learning Electrike's individual rhythm, Brock knows just how it's done!
Even Team Rocket feels a little touched by the developing bond between Jaco and Electrike. At least, James and Meowth are touched; Jessie is just touchy. She wants to steal Electrike now, but not only do James and Meowth try to stop her, they also volunteer to help Electrike and Jaco train! They have plenty of experience at being zapped by Pikachu, so they're happy to run around in insulated jackets so Electrike can practice hitting moving targets.
Jessie is still determined to steal Electrike, and she uses her own one-woman robot to grab it. But when Electrike evolves into Manectric, Jessie steals an easier prize instead: Pikachu! To stop her getaway, Manectric needs to hit the one exposed spot on her rampaging robot. Will Jaco and Manectric's hard work finally pay off? Of course! Manectric hits its target and sends Team Rocket blasting off. Now that it's finally learned to control its attacks, Manectric is ready to graduate from the Pokémon Training Center, and our heroes can say goodbye knowing that both Jaco and Manectric have grown from the experience.
An old gate leads Ash and the gang to a Pokémon Center where all their dreams come true! Brock is surrounded by adoring Nurse Joys and Officer Jennys, Ash is invited to a tournament of the world's greatest Trainers, and Dawn is asked to compete in a Contest of the world's best Coordinators! Even Team Rocket, lost outside in the fog, manages to find a free all-you-can-eat restaurant! Everything's perfect until Croagunk uses Poison Jab on Brock, and Brock wakes up to discover it was all a dream.
It's no ordinary dream, either: everyone was hypnotized by Mismagius and fell asleep in a field. But before Brock can do anything, Mismagius appears and hypnotizes him once more. This time, he knows it's an illusion and reveals the truth to Ash and Dawn. Then Mismagius appears and blocks their way with a phantom Rayquaza to prevent them from escaping the dream!
Piplup, Croagunk, and Pikachu attempt to battle the Rayquaza. It's tough at first, but even Pokémon dreams can come true in this world, so our heroes' three Pokémon grow to giant size and defeat it. Ash and his friends explain to the puzzled Mismagius that they don't want its illusions, however pleasant those illusions may be. And once they pass through the old gate again, they're able to wake up back in reality. As for Team Rocket, still dreaming in the fields—well, they'll be sure to wake up by the next episode!
Ash's Turtwig brings everyone's attention to a young Hippopotas that's stranded on the ledge of a cliff. Ash hauls the Hippopotas to safety, and it insists on following him. Then Rhonda and the Sinnoh Now news team arrive on the scene, and they want to follow Ash around, too! Rhonda wants to see Ash reunite the Hippopotas with its migrating herd. Team Rocket, of course, wants to steal Hippopotas, but between Hippopotas's Yawn attack and Ash, Team Rocket barely even manages to slow our heroes down.
Of course, Team Rocket won't quit that easily. They come back for another try, using a piece of fruit to lure Hippopotas into their balloon. But when Hippopotas uses Sand Tomb, their plans are sunk just as fast as their balloon, and Hippopotas happily returns to Ash. Next Ash has to cross a narrow bridge across a river, and when Team Rocket attacks, Hippopotas falls in the river! For a Ground-type like Hippopotas, that's bad news.
Hippopotas is rushed to the nearest Pokémon Center, where Nurse Joy has it feeling fine in no time. The quest for the Hippopotas herd resumes, and the gang encounters a strangely familiar group of sand salesmen. They turn out to be Team Rocket, of course, but the thieving trio didn't count on Hippopotas and that Yawn attack, which puts Jessie to sleep. Meowth and James' Cacnea are no match for Pikachu and Ash's Turtwig, and once they're gone, our heroes keep searching until they find the Hippopotas herd. The lost Hippopotas is back where it belongs and Ash is headed back on the road to Hearthome City—after a Yawn-induced nap, that is!
Near Mr. Coronet, Ash and his friends come across Pokémon Hunter J's goons trying to snag a group of wild Shieldon. Ash is about to come to their rescue, but his old friend and rival Gary gets there first with his Electivire. Once the men are gone, Gary explains that he's here in Sinnoh as part of a project to turn the area into a nature preserve for the Shieldon. Now that J's men are looking to kidnap them, Gary decides to move all the Shieldon to a safer location, and our heroes decide to help.
Pokémon Hunter J's minions aren't about to leave a valuable prize alone, and it's not long before they show up again to capture the Shieldon. Ash is ready to give J's men the battle of their lives, but Gary doesn't want to risk getting into a fight that could injure the Shieldon. Instead, Gary stirs up a Beedrill nest, and the angry Beedrill keep the minions distracted so our heroes can make a getaway.
As Gary and Ash lead the Shieldon on a perilous escape route across nearby cliffs, Pokémon Hunter J figures out where they're headed and shows up on her Salamence to steal the Shieldon herself. Despite Gary and Ash's best efforts to hold her off so Dawn and Brock can get the Pokmon to safety, J still manages to snag one Shieldon and escape. Determined to put a stop to her crimes, Gary and Ash sneak back to her base and bust their way through in order to get Shieldon back. J is about to take them on when she gets word that her original client no longer wants to purchase the Shieldon; with no money on the line, she's no longer interested in the Shieldon and immediately leaves. The Shieldon are safe again, but who knows where J will strike next?
Dawn needs to turn in her coupon for a new Pokétch application, but she has to do it at the Pokémon Center on the far side of the forest, and time is running out! Team Rocket, wearing disguises, hands Dawn and her friends a fake map and tells them there's a shortcut through a nearby cave, but first they want to take a photo of all our heroes' Pokémon. Before Team Rocket can complete their plot, a group of Graveler and Golem stampede through the cave, splitting up our heroes and all their Pokémon!
Now Dawn, Ash, and Brock are wandering through the cavern and the outdoor maze at the cavern's end. Meanwhile, Team Rocket discover why the Golem and Graveler were in a hurry: they were fleeing an irritated Onix! After some misadventures of her own, Dawn and Croagunk are reunited with Brock and several other Pokémon, including Ash's Staravia. When Brock asks Staravia to search for Ash in the maze, Team Rocket swoops down and nabs it!
Fortunately, Ash is nearby and he hears Dawn and Brock calling for him. He also sees Team Rocket with his Staravia! Ash has found many of Dawn and Brock's Pokémon, so he has them try to stop Team Rocket. Pachirisu accidentally shocks its own team and Team Rocket escapes-for now! Our heroes decide to work together to break through the wall separating them and soon the whole team is back together, except for Staravia.
Team Rocket come back once again, unable to resist the thought of all our heroes' Pokémon together in one place, but Ash and Pikachu are ready for them. Pikachu frees Staravia, then sends Team Rocket flying into the stratosphere. And even after all this excitement, Dawn still makes it to the Pokémon Center in time to get the Coin Toss application for her Pokétch!
On the way to Hearthome City, Ash and his friends are approached by Mira, a friendly girl who offers them a shortcut. All they have to do is use her Abra to teleport there! The gang eagerly accepts the offer, but to their surprise, Abra teleports them to the top of a dam. Mira apologizes, but since they're there, she asks everyone to help her recover a piece of heirloom jewelry that's lost in the lake behind the dam.Was this a trick to get our heroes to help?
However, the gang agrees to help Mira anyway. Mira leads them on a dive into the lake, where they find a submerged town. An angry Gyarados forces them to make an unplanned retreat, and Brock convinces Mira to tell them what's really going on. Mira finally explains that she used to live in the town before it was submerged, and her Sandshrew was left behind in its Poké Ball when the townspeople moved.
This time, Brock has a plan: Piplup, Buizel, and Pikachu keep Gyarados busy while the others finish the dive and recover Sandshrew's Poké Ball. As soon as they find the Poké Ball, Team Rocket arrives on the scene in their Carvanha-shaped submarine and kidnap Mira and Abra. But Mira tricks Team Rocket into relaxing their guard and teleports away with Abra.
At last, Mira is reunited with her Sandshrew. Team Rocket comes back one more time and seizes Abra, but Ash's Turtwig cuts it free with Razor Leaf. Sandshrew joins the group in defeating Team Rocket and after that, Mira's Abra teleports everyone to Hearthome City—for real this time!
A clip show unaired outside of Japan summarizing the important events of the first 47 Diamond and Pearl episodes, including Satoshi's (Ash's) victories over Hyouta (Roark) and Natane (Gardenia) and the introductions of new rivals Shinji (Paul) and Nozomi (Zoey).
As our Heroes make their way through Hearthome City and to the Hearthome City Gym, they run into their friend Nando at the Gym door who tells them that the Gym Leader will be away for quite awhile, much to Ash’s dismay. But telling them about the upcoming Hearthome City Pokemon Tag Battle, Ash and Brock decided to enter that instead – as a team. Meanwhile, the Hearthome City Pokemon Contest is just getting underway, and Dawn finds herself competing along with Nando, Zoey, and Jessilina, who of course is actually Jessie in disguise. Feeling very confident, Dawn gives a superb performance, but is sadly shocked to learn that she hasn’t even made it past the 1st round. As she struggles to cope with the situation, Jessilina is defeated by Nando, leaving Zoey and Nando battling in the finals, which Nando ultimately wins. Sharing feelings about their losses proves to cement Dawn and Zoey’s friendship even further, and as they both marvel at Nando’s ability to compete in both Pokemon Gym battles and Contests, the future begins to look much brighter for both of them, as the Pokemon Tag Battle is set to take place for Ash and Brock in a matter of days.
Dawn is still feeling a little blue after her early exit from the Hearthome Pokémon Contest, so her friends convince her to compete in a tag battle tournament along with Ash and Brock. Our heroes head to the opening ceremonies to learn who their randomly chosen tag partners are. Dawn's new partner is Conway, a calculating Trainer with a Slowking. Brock's lovely partner is Holly, who will compete using her Wingull. And Ash's partner is—Paul? Even Paul's Elekid doesn't get along with Pikachu! Ash and Pauls chances of winning the Soothe Bell prize arent looking too great.
Dawn and Conway are up first, battling a team using Koffing and Scyther. Dawn isnt so sure about Conway, but the two of them turn out to be a good pair! Conway has Slowking use defensive moves to cover for Dawn's Piplup, letting Piplup concentrate on offensive moves, and they win their match. Then Brock and Holly have their Sudowoodo and Wingull work together to defeat a Yanma and Bagon whose Trainers are too busy arguing to battle effectively. That doesn't bode well for Ash and Paul, who still aren't getting along.
Ash and Paul are up against opponents using Magmar and Rhydon—not a great type match-up for Pikachu and Paul's Chimchar. When Rhydon uses Surf, Paul orders Chimchar to use Flame Wheel directly into the waves! Its incredibly risky, so Ash tells Pikachu to disrupt the Surf attack instead. That protects Chimchar and knocks out Rhydon, but Paul doesnt appreciate the interference. They manage to win this round, but at the rate they're arguing, they might not last through the next!
The good news for Ash and his friends is that they've entered a tag battle tournament in Hearthome City and everyone made it past the first round. The bad news? Paul is Ash's partner and the two of them just can't get along. Before the second round, Paul has his Pokémon team up against Chimchar to deliver some harsh training. Even Team Rocket thinks Paul is being cruel to Chimchar! It's all too much for Ash, who insists on taking Chimchar to the Pokémon Center.
At the Pokémon Center, Brock asks Paul to explain himself. Paul describes how he first met Chimchar: it was cornered by a group of relentless Zangoose and looked to be in serious trouble. Pushed to its limit, Chimchar let loose with a mighty Flame Wheel that knocked out all its foes! Paul immediately asked Chimchar to join him, but since that day, Chimchar hasn't been able to recapture that same power. And now, Nurse Joy and Brock tell Paul he has to give Chimchar a rest.
But at the tournament the next day, Paul sends Chimchar in to battle alongside Ash's Turtwig. What's worse, their tag battle opponents are fielding a Metagross and a Zangoose! Once again, Ash and Paul simply can't cooperate. Paul doesn't even care when Chimchar's Flame Wheel hurts Turtwig! But when Chimchar freezes in fear at painful memories of its battle with the group of Zangoose, Turtwig still comes to the rescue.
Disgusted, Paul turns his back on Chimchar, and Ash gives Chimchar and Turtwig commands so they can win the battle. After the match, Paul releases Chimchar—for good. As Paul walks away, Ash asks the unhappy Chimchar if it wants to come with him instead...
After a strange victory in the second round of Hearthome City's tag battle tournament, Paul has abandoned his Chimchar and Ash wants Chimchar to join his team instead. Team Rocket wants Chimchar's power for themselves, and they swoop in to steal it. Their hot air balloon getaway flames out when Chimchar toasts their balloon and happily returns to Ash. For the quarterfinals of the tournament, Chimchar will rest and watch Ash and Paul use Staravia and Torterra to battle Brock and his tag battle partner Holly, who are using Croagunk and Farfetch'd.
Unlike Ash and Paul, who are getting along just as badly as ever, Brock and Holly work well as a team. But against a powerhouse Pokémon like Torterra, even Brock and Holly are unable to win. Paul sneers at Ash for celebrating and thinks his Torterra was the only reason they won, but it doesn't matter now. Ash and Paul move on to face Dawn and her partner Conway in the final round. And for this battle, Ash chooses Chimchar and Paul chooses Elekid to battle against Dawn's Buizel and Conway's Heracross.
Dawn and Conway are good partners, too: they know how to work together and synchronize attack and defense. However, Conway's strategies didn't anticipate that Paul's Elekid would evolve into Electabuzz in the middle of the match! Buizel and Heracross do their best, but Electabuzz's power and Chimchar's Fire-type attacks win the day. Of course, now that he's evolved his Elekid, Paul couldn't care less about victory or the Soothe Bell prize. But Ash believes Paul's Chimchar will be a great addition to his team, and he's looking forward to the next Gym battle in Veilstone City!