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BW082 : An Epic Defense Force!
Best Wishes series
BW084 : Rocking the Virbank Gym! Part 2
Rocking the Virbank Gym! Part 1
BW083   EP740
Fierce Fighting at Tachiwaki Gym! VS Homika!! (Part 1)
First broadcast
Japan June 14, 2012
United States October 13, 2012
English themes
Opening Rival Destinies
Japanese themes
Opening ベストウイッシュ!
Ending None
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
Storyboard 川田武範 Takenori Kawada
Assistant director 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Animation director 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
No additional credits are available at this time.

Rocking the Virbank Gym! Part 1 (Japanese: 激闘タチワキジム!VSホミカ(前編) Fierce Fighting at Tachiwaki Gym! VS Homika!! (Part 1)) is the 83rd episode of the Best Wishes series, and the 740th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on June 14, 2012 and aired in the United States on October 13, 2012.

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201


In order to get his eighth Badge required to enter the Unova League, Ash prepares to challenge the Virbank Gym. While in the Virbank City Pokémon Center, he sees many Trainers enter with poisoned Pokémon. A Trainer explains to Ash that the Virbank Gym Leader specializes in Poison-type Pokémon and that he should watch out for the many Poison-type moves that she uses. Heeding this warning, Ash comes up with a strategy to avoid Poison as much as possible.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket talk to Dr. Zager through a video feed from within their truck hideout. They report that they have lost track of Meloetta since it can disappear. Dr. Zager plans to send them anti-cloaking glasses, which the trio malevolently accept.

The next morning, Ash is running through the streets in search of the Gym. Cilan points out that the Gym is actually beyond an unassuming metal door. The group heads down a flight of stairs and enters the stadium just as a Trainer and his Gothitelle are defeated. The Gym Leader is Roxie, the bassist and frontwoman of Unova's top punk band "Koffing and the Toxics". The band was named after Roxie's main Pokémon, Koffing, which she met at a concert in Kanto. The Gym not only serves as a battlefield, but also a live concert stadium. The screams of an audience that loves both battles and live concerts fills the air, and Ash livens up the stadium with a Thunderbolt from Pikachu. Brimming with confidence, Roxie makes the outrageous suggestion that Ash will battle with six Pokémon, while she will only use three. Ash attempts to persuade her otherwise given that this type of battle is unfair, but she insists to do it anyway. From behind a stage light, Meloetta observes the upcoming battle.

Roxie chooses Koffing as her first Pokémon, which surprises Cilan and Iris with its incredible Speed. Ash brings out Boldore as his first Pokémon. The band rocks out before the battle begins, and the crowd chants Ash's name, confusing him and his friends. With that, the referee begins the battle. Ash has Boldore use Sandstorm to slow down and cause steady damage to Koffing. Roxie isn't bothered and has Koffing counter with Clear Smog, which blows away the Sandstorm and deals considerable damage to Boldore. However, it stands its ground and uses Rock Blast, but Koffing deflects with Gyro Ball and strikes Boldore for super-effective damage. Koffing then uses Sludge Bomb and Boldore counters with Flash Cannon. Koffing then uses Gyro Ball, which Boldore attempts to defend against with Sandstorm, but Koffing breaks through and knocks Boldore out.

Ash sends out Unfezant next to counter Koffing's speed, starting off with Quick Attack which does considerable damage. Koffing then proceeds to use Will-O-Wisp, but a cleverly executed Gust from Unfezant blows the wisps back at Koffing for a lot of damage. Iris and Cilan compliment Ash on his move and Meloetta is shown smiling. Unfezant uses Air Cutter, but Koffing easily dodges and follows up with Sludge Bomb. The smoke clears and it appears that Unfezant has been poisoned as per Roxie's battle style. Koffing then uses Clear Smog to ramp up Unfezant's damage. Ash considers withdrawing her, but she lands and stands her ground confidently. Ash is pleased and calls for Aerial Ace. She clashes with Koffing's Gyro Ball and is knocked back. Unfezant tries once more, but this clash renders her unable to battle. With that knockout, Ash is left with four Pokémon.

Ash surprises everyone when he brings out his third Pokémon, Leavanny a part Grass-type. Ash feels confident about his choice and has Leavanny use Energy Ball. The attack hits and has a secondary effect on Koffing: lowering its Special Defense. Roxie goes for a head-on attack with Gyro Ball, but Leavanny ensnares it in its String Shot. Koffing then tries to use Sludge Bomb but misses when Leavanny begins swinging it around. Ash has Leavanny reel it in and finish it off with a close-range Energy Ball that knocks Koffing out at last.

Roxie brings out her next Pokémon, Scolipede. Leavanny fires Razor Leaf, but the move hits with no observable effect. Scolipede responds with Toxic, leaving Leavanny badly poisoned. Unable to stand due to the poison's effects, Leavanny falls to the ground as the episode ends.

Major events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.






Dare da?
Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Koffing


  • Due to being shown back-to-back with Rocking the Virbank Gym! Part 2, there is no Professor Oak's Live Caster following this episode.
  • Prior to the start of the episode in the original Japanese airing, a clip of Ash, Pikachu, and the text "Pokémon Movie & TV Anime 15th Anniversary" (Japanese: ポケモン映画&TVアニメ 15周年), with multiple anime characters saying "Pokémon Anniversary", is presented. This was also shown the airing before the episodes after BW084.
  • This is the first time Ash has battled with a Gym Leader and used a different amount of Pokémon than her/him since his rematch with Whitney in A Dairy Tale Ending.
    • This method is similar to the way Gym Battles work in the games, where the player is allowed to use any of their six possible Pokémon, while the number of Gym Leader's Pokémon is more limited.
  • This episode marks the first physical appearance of a pre-Generation V Pokémon in Unova other than Pikachu and Meowth.
  • This two-part episode marks the first time an episode has received a known dub title before airing in Japan, as the titles were revealed two days before this episode aired.
  • This episode marks the first time that the status ailment "badly poisoned" is seen in the anime.
  • Although Koffing already made its debut in the second episode of the anime and has appeared every once in a while ever since, this is the first time it has been scanned with a Pokédex.
  • This episode is the first in the Best Wishes series to feature a pre-Generation V Pokémon in the dubbed version of Who's That Pokémon?. In the original, this happened in the pevious episode.
  • This was the first new episode to air after the English release of Pokémon Black and White Versions 2.
  • In this episode and the next one, Roxie says "Lets turn it up to eleven", referencing the movie This Is Spinal Tap.
  • When Koffing is struck by Sandstorm, it bares a full set of flat teeth as it winces in pain. Before this, Koffing was only ever shown with two small fangs.


  • When Roxie approaches the Trainer with the Gothitelle she had just defeated, the bottoms of her shoes are purple, not blue.
  • In one scene for a split second, the pupil in Roxie's right eye is missing.
  • Roxie's Koffing uses Clear Smog to remove the Sandstorm created by Boldore, but Clear Smog does not negate weather conditions. In fact, Sandstorm could only have ended after 5 turns or if another weather-changing move was used.

Dub edits

In other languages

BW082 : An Epic Defense Force!
Best Wishes series
BW084 : Rocking the Virbank Gym! Part 2
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.