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| Drayden Versus Iris: Past, Present, and Future!
Soryu Gym! Iris VS Shaga!!
|| November 8, 2012
| United States
|| February 23, 2013
|| Team Kato
|| 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
|| 矢嶋哲生 Tetsuo Yajima
| Assistant director
|| 金崎貴臣 Takaomi Kanezaki
| Animation director
|| 小山知洋 Tomohiro Koyama
| No additional credits are available at this time.
Drayden Versus Iris: Past, Present, and Future! (Japanese: ソウリュウジム！アイリスVSシャガ！！ Soryu Gym! Iris VS Shaga!!) is the 101st episode of the Best Wishes series, and the 758th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on November 8, 2012 and in the United States on February 23, 2013.
Ash, Iris, and Cilan arrive in Opelucid City, site of Iris' Gym Battle against the local Gym Leader, Drayden. Iris isn't in a good mood, and the boys ask her if she's okay. Even though she replied yes, she left them in order to climb to the top of the city's radio tower, just before Officer Jenny appeared, demanding of her to climb down immediately. After a bit of arguing, Iris returns to the surface and is scolded by the Officer. As soon as all this is over, the gang arrives at the Opelucid Academy, a prestigious school about Pokemon types, hosted in Opelucid City. It is also revealed that Drayden is the principal. Drayden notices the three, and asks Iris if anything is okay after the incident before. Iris replies positively, and Drayden leaves with his assistant, telling Iris that they should meet soon at the Opelucid Gym. Just then, the school's caretaker, Martha appears and guides the gang inside.
While having lunch, Martha and Iris describe the latter's life as student. Apparently, Iris left the Village of Dragons after her loss to Drayden, enrolling in the Opelucid Academy's Dragon-type course. However, the city life and student's attitude did not match Iris' personality, and she quickly became depressed. Initially, she was even unwilling to eat, until Martha found out her favourite food to cheer her up. Iris also reveals the reason she climbed the radio tower earlier. She regularly did that in her school days, in order to get fresh air and "feel the Village of Dragons". Officer Jenny, of course, was always there to scold her.
Soon, the gang enter Iris' former dorm, which is currently vacant. They notice that she has made drawings of all her friends back at her hometown in the walls. Finally, Iris says that after lots of postcards from Shannon, she got nostalgic over her village, and secretly left school in order to return. This was also the reason she avoided Opelucid and Drayden that much all this time.
She also talks about a Fraxure she befriended, one of the Academy's Pokemon that was used to battle. In one of those battles against another Student's Altaria, Iris commanded Fraxure to attack alone, because of her anger. It was that anger that made her lose the battle, and get scolded with Drayden afterwards. Finally, she makes it to the school's playground and apologizes to Fraxure for what happened. It accepts the apology and Iris promises that she will do her best to defeat Drayden and become a Dragon Master.
With her issues with the past dealt with, Iris and her friends finally head to the Gym, as she is more than ready to challenge Drayden to a battle. This time, it will be a two on two match. Drayden starts up with Haxorus, while Iris sends out Excadrill, hoping that she will fare better this time. Indeed, the battle goes on exactly the way it did the first time. However, in the end, instead of a Rock Smash collision, Excadrill uses Focus Blast, holding Haxorus back. In the end, they collide with Giga Impact and Drill Run respectively, and their matchup ends in a tie. Both Trainers are satisfied from it, and Drayden congratulates Iris for her progress.
The battle is one on one, Drayden's Druddigon against Iris' Dragonite. Even though the latter has the aerial advantage, Iris decides (upon Dragonite's wishes) to not use it, making it a fair play match. Unfortunately for Iris, Dragonite's powerful attacks were blocked by Druddigon's arms. Iris decides to finish the match with a Dragon Rush, but Druddigon stopped it and finished the match with a decisive Dragon Tail, giving Drayden the win. Even though Iris lost, she receives a praise from Drayden and leaves the Gym happy and exhilerated.
Before departure, Martha says that Iris' goal of becoming a Dragon Master is far from achieved, and that she should continue journeying until she reaches that point. In fact, even the Village Elder and Drayden agree with that, and Iris finally realized that Drayden had no problem with her leaving school. Let alone, they want her to become the next Opelucid Gym Leader. Iris is surprised by that, and says that she wants her time, before her and her friends leaving Opelucid for good.
In the end, Ash tells Iris that he will not fall behind her, as he is going to win the Unova League.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Haxorus
- In a recurring error, when Iris first releases her Dragonite from its Poké Ball, its antennae are briefly the same orange color as its body.
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