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|| This article is about an episode of the Pokémon anime that has not been dubbed into English. As such, its coverage may contain romanized Japanese names, rather than dub names.
Shippou Gym Battle! VS Gym Leader Aloe!!
|| January 6, 2011
| United States
|| Team Kato
|| 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
|| 山田浩之 Hiroyuki Yamada
| Assistant director
|| 花井宏和 Hirokazu Hanai
| Animation director
|| 小野和寛 Kazuhiro Ono
| Additional credits
(Japanese: シッポウジム戦！VSジムリーダー・アロエ！！ Shippou Gym Battle! VS Gym Leader Aloe!!) is the 15th episode of the Best Wishes series, and the 672nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on January 6, 2011.
Continuing their visit in Nacrene City, Ash and co. are being lead through the Museum by Aloe and Kidachi. Ash asks where the battlefield is, and Cilan remarks that there doesn't appear to be one on the premises. Aloe states that they'll find it soon enough as Kidachi opens a door that is off-limits to their regular guests. Behind the door is a huge archive of research papers and priceless books. Cilan is especially impressed at the amount of history books on Pokémon Sommeliers. He then explains to Aloe that he's on this journey to experience different people and Pokémon, and Aloe wishes him luck on his studies.
Aloe then asks Ash if he'd like to learn something about the history of the Unova region. He remarks that he's more interested in his gym battle than studying, but Aloe mentions that knowledge is just as important in battle as strength. She then knocks on a book and recommends it for Ash, though he's less than interested in reading it. Iris tells him that it might be best that he read it since she's suggesting it to him, and Cilan remarks that it might be a test. Ash then decides he'll do anything for his gym match so he pulls the book from the shelf and all of a sudden the book case rises revealing a hidden staircase leading to the basement. Aloe then confirms that it was all a test, and states that most trainers just search for a book subject they are proficient in rather than the one she suggests. She then uses this response to define what kind of personality a trainer has, and states that Ash has a personality she can pester. Iris remarks that Ash has the personality that gets told off all the time. Ash then challenges Aloe to study him carefully during their battle and with that, the five of them head down to the basement.
They enter the basement where a large battlefield is set up, and Ash is eager to start battling. Aloe tells him to be patient and study her Pokémon first. She calls out her Watchog and Ash is confident as he's met Watchog before. She then calls out her Lillipup which instantly makes Iris shriek with glee as she runs over and starts petting it. Pikachu then jumps off Ash's shoulder to play with the Pokémon as he scans it into his PokéDex. Kidachi mentions that Watchog and Lillipup serve as guards for the museum when not engaged in a gym match, and then Lillipup comes over and greets Ash. Ash then picks Lillipup up and it starts licking him on the cheek. Aloe begins giving Ash advice, but he doesn't pay any attention and Cilan is taken by Aloe's strategy of using Normal-types to test her opponents. Aloe is flattered by Cilan's statement and asks that Kidachi explain the rules to Ash, which is just a two-on-two battle. Ash returns Lillipup to its trainer and decides on his Pokémon he's going to use. Aloe also returns Watchog to its Poké Ball and the two of them take their places on each side of the field.
Lillipup's playfulness instantly transforms into fierce competition which surprises Iris. Ash calls out his Tepig as his first Pokémon, but before it could do any damage, Lillipup forced Tepig back into his Poké Ball with Roar and a sleeping Oshawott is sent out in his place. Aloe then explains that Roar forces the opponent to switch Pokémon as she recalls her Lillipup and sends out Watchog. Ash pulls out a Poké Ball to return Oshawott, but Watchog stops him with Mean Look. Everyone is impressed by Aloe's strategy to catch her opponent off guard by destroying their strategy. Ash orders Oshawott to use Water Gun, however Oshawott is very bitter about being sent out while it was napping so he uses half the force of a normal Water Gun. Oshawott is suddenly knocked off his feet when Watchog unleashes a quick Low Kick. This infuriates Oshawott who is now confident for battle, as is Aloe who is orders Watchog to use Thunderbolt. Ash quickly orders Oshawott to deflect it with his shell, which surprises both Watchog and Aloe. Oshawott then charges into the fray, and Watchog attacks with another Low Kick, but before either of them hit, Oshawott jumps up and unleashes a powerful Water Gun. Oshawott charges towards Watchog once more and pulls out a Shell Blade and Aloe orders Watchog to slap the shell away with its tail. With his shell gone Oshawott is defenseless which Aloe uses to order another Thunderbolt which knocks Oshawott out.
Aloe then returns Watchog and calls out her Lillipup and Ash sends his Tepig back out. Tepig uses Tackle which Lillipup easily dodges and counters with a Shadow Ball. Tepig manages to stay on his feet and attack with an Ember. But its effort doesn't do much as Lillipup charges in a Take Down attack which knocks Tepig out, winning Aloe the match. His confidence shot, Tepig looks sadly at Ash as he is given a bit of encouragement. Ash takes full responsibility for Tepig's loss and he thanks Aloe for the battle. Aloe tells Ash that she wasn't unimpressed by his strategy of facing her head-on, and invites him back for a rematch any time he wishes.
Ash, Iris, and Cilan await Tepig and Oshawott's treatment to be over at the Pokémon Center as Ash rests his head on his egg's case. Iris mentions that he's not acting like himself. Ash replies that he's upset that he did so poorly in the match. Iris and Cilan then give him a bit of encouraging advice that he should train Tepig and Oshawott a bit first so they can be up to Watchog and Lillipup's level. Suddenly the Pokémon Center doors open and Tepig and Oshawott are brought out by Tabunne and Nurse Joy feeling fine and more determined than ever to have a rematch with Aloe. Nurse Joy suggest that Ash go train at the Pokémon Battle Club in town for his rematch and that Don George might even know some strategies against Aloe.
That night, James is communicating to Jessie and Meowth that he has hacked the museum's security system and is in control of it all. Jessie and Meowth find the meteorite they were ordered to steal and James turns off the infrared sensors for a few seconds. Jessie and Meowth dash in, snatch the meteorite and replace it with the decoy before the sensors come back on with time to spare. They then head back outside and get into James's van and take off into the night.
The next morning the group heads out to the Pokémon Battle Club to ask Don George for advice. He gladly is willing to assist Ash in training and the episode ends with the doors to the arena opening as Don George takes Ash into his training.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.