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| Grating Spaces!
Takeshi & Satoshi! Defend Nibi Gym in a Tag Battle!!
|| May 18, 2006
| United States
|| December 5, 2006
|| Team Iguchi
|| 松井亜弥 Aya Matsui
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Assistant director
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Animation director
|| 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
| No additional credits are available at this time.
Grating Spaces! (Japanese: タケシ＆サトシ！タッグバトルでニビジムを守れ！！ Takeshi & Satoshi! Defend Nibi Gym in a Tag Battle!!) is the 177th episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 451st episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on May 18, 2006 and in the United States on December 5, 2006.
In a blaze of glory, Ash and his friends are headed towards Pewter Gym and are getting even closer to the Battle Pyramid. Upon successful arrival at the Gym, strange looks overcome our heroes. Brock explodes with the sight of the frightful remodeling of his beloved Gym.
Brock is welcomed back with open arms as his siblings surround him. After a few moments, all of his siblings form a single line. The oldest sibling instructs Brock that mother and father have left with the others confirming the statement.
Brock places a call to his mother and father who happen to be at an airport. Brock is upset while his mother is in a joyous mood, acting as if everything is okay. As Brock displays his anger, his mother just ignores his comments and wishes him a goodbye as Ludicolo and Mime Jr. grant him the same parting.
After she disconnects the call, two people dressed in airport staff attire and a Meowth arrives, handing Brock's father two tickets for a honeymoon. As the plane jets off into the sky, Team Rocket plot to capture the Pokémon of Pewter Gym now without a Gym Leader. Meowth goes into his usual illusions with Giovanni being pampered by Pewter Gym's former Pokémon.
Brock explores the newly renovated Gym further, noting the various streaks of colors plastered across the walls and floor. An adjacent door opens to the pathway and a Steelix grasps Brock's body and moves him closer. Brock is in a confused state as he did not realize that his Onix evolved into Steelix while he was away. As soon as Steelix becomes friendly, Brock finally notices that Steelix was his original Onix while Steelix places him on the ground. After a few seconds, Golem, Crobat and Geodude stampede into the arena to display their pleasure with Brock's return. Brock turns to thank his younger sibling, Forrest, for his hard work and commitment in assisting the Pewter Gym.
Brock prepares a delectable lunch for his siblings, Ash, May and Max. Meanwhile, Team Rocket begins plotting their attack on Pewter Gym. After a few seconds, a Delibird descends from the air and delivers two Poké Balls to Jessie. Team Rocket escape into a nearby field and call upon the two Pokémon. After the blinding light disperses, an Aggron and a Charizard are revealed. Now with two powerful Pokémon within their possession, Team Rocket arrive at Brock's residence and ring the doorbell. Everyone rushes to the door to see who the visitor is. Once Brock answers the door, Jessie and James are quick to forward a challenge to the ominous Pewter Gym. The kids hint that Team Rocket (or rather, their disguised selves) were responsible for the makeover (or vandalism).
The battle goes underway as Ash and Brock call upon their majestic Steelix and Donphan. Team Rocket release their Charizard and Aggron. Jessie doesn't hesitate to begin the battle as Charizard blazes forward with a Flamethrower striking Steelix directly. Donphan blazes forward striking Charizard with a Take Down and breaking the ferocious steam of flames. Aggron launches forward with a Mega Punch colliding with Donphan and pushing him backwards. Steelix flares forward but comes to meet Charizard's ferocious Fire Spin and gets knocked backwards. Aggron follows up with a Hyper Beam, tearing up the Gym floor and finally coming to meet its target, Donphan, striking for a direct hit.
Donphan and Steelix begin to recover from the attack as Ash and Brock reformulate their strategy. Donphan begins the second round by exploding forward with a Rollout attack which knocks Charizard off balance. Steelix follows up with an Iron Tail knocking Charizard backwards and then grasps onto it with Bind, constricting and restraining Charizard. Aggron launches a devastating Hyper Beam which hits Steelix directly and makes it release Charizard from its grasp. Charizard explodes into the air and counterattacks with another Flamethrower as Steelix strategically uses its tail to uplift rock to guard against and disperse the fire attack, following right away with a DragonBreath, which makes a direct hit to Charizard and sends it smashing it into the wall. Donphan the charges at Charizard with Take Down, making another direct hit in a row. Aggron launches a Water Pulse attack striking Donphan knocking it backwards. Aggron continues the attack with another Water Pulse. The impending wave of water closes in on Donphan as Steelix strikes Donphan launching him over the wave striking Aggron. As the battle continues, Meowth escapes off into the distance, but not without Max noticing his departure.
Meowth collects the Poké Balls of Pewter Gym as Max arrives to confront Meowth. As his hat falls off, Max realizes that Meowth is actually Meowth of Team Rocket. Jessie and James attempt to recover from the last round as Charizard launches another Fire Spin attack and manages to hit Aggron. Both Pokémon begin feuding and finally charge a corresponding Flamethrower and Hyper Beam which manage to collide and fuse creating a magnificent explosion enveloping Team Rocket. As the dust clears, Team Rocket's outfits are charred and soon crumble away revealing themselves to Ash and Brock. Meowth attempts to escape but Forrest manages to call upon his Geodude who Tackles Meowth knocking it off course. Meowth drops the bag and a few Poké Balls spill out from inside.
As Brock attempts to confront Team Rocket, Forrest interrupts and interrogates their actions with attempting to steal the Poké Balls. Forrest tells Geodude to use Sandstorm. Aggron and Charizard go on the attack with Hyper Beam and Flamethrower while Steelix uplifts more rock to defend against the impending attacks. Geodude and Steelix then blast forward, striking Charizard and Aggron with Mega Punch and Iron Tail. As Charizard and Aggron stumble from the attack, everyone contributes to Team Rockets defeat with a fusion of majestic attacks. Team Rocket blazes off like a brilliant star.
Brock's mother and father finally arrive home as Brock explains the previous situation to them. As usual, his mother ignores his comments and goes to grab a wand shaped item to display to Brock.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket hang from atop a tree as Delibird arrives to claim the Poké Balls it gave them earlier, explaining that they were supposed to go to Butch and Cassidy. Team Rocket attempts to reason with it but it only escapes off into the distance. A grand departure is exchanged with our heroes. The Flames of Courage grow ever so brighter for Ash and his friends as they near ever so closer to the forbidding Battle Pyramid.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- This episode's title is a pun on the title of the TV show Trading Spaces, a reality show about home renovation, much like what Team Rocket did to the Pewter Gym.
- This is the second time that the Pewter Gym has been redecorated. The first was in A Family that Battles Together Stays Together.
- In the dub, after Steelix is hit by Aggron's Hyper Beam and targeted by Charizard's Flamethrower, Brocks tells it to "dodge and use DragonBreath." Steelix instead smashes the Gym floor with Iron Tail, lifting up rocks as a shield. This could be a dubbing error or some improvisation on the part of Steelix.
- Pokémon Symphonic Medley is used as background music.
- This is the first appearance of Team Rocket's Delibird since Johto, and its only appearance in Hoenn.
- In one scene, Jessie's earrings are red instead of green.
- During the battle in the dub, Jessie says "light thrower" instead of "Flamethrower."
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