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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 and his friends arrive in Opelucid City, the location of Iris's Gym Battle against Drayden, the local Gym Leader. Iris isn't in a good mood, and the boys ask her if she's okay. She says yes, but then runs off and climbs to the top of the city's radio tower. A crowd of pedestrians gathers, including Officer Jenny who orders her via megaphone to climb down immediately. After a bit of arguing, Iris descends the tower and is scolded by the Officer. An elderly woman named Martha recognizes Iris and brings the group to the Opelucid Academy, a prestigious school about Pokémon types, and where it is revealed that Drayden is the principal. Drayden notices the three and asks Iris if everything is okay after the tower incident. Iris replies positively, and Drayden leaves with his assistant, telling Iris that they should meet soon at the Opelucid Gym. Martha, the school's caretaker, appears and guides them inside.
While having lunch, they discuss Iris's time as a student. It is revealed that after her loss to Drayden, Iris left the Village of Dragons and enrolled in Opelucid Academy's course for Dragon types. However, because the city life and demeanor of her fellow pupils did not match her personality, Iris couldn't adjust or make friends, and thus became sad. She wouldn't even eat until Martha discovered and brought her favorite food to cheer her up. Iris also reveals the reason she climbed the radio tower earlier: she regularly did that in her school days to get fresh air and "feel the Village of Dragons." Officer Jenny, of course, was always there to scold her.
They then enter Iris's former dorm and notice that she had drawn her Pokémon friends from back home on a wall. Finally, Iris says that after lots of postcards from her best friend Shannon, she became homesick and secretly left school to go back. This was also the reason she had been avoiding Opelucid City and Drayden all this time.
She also talks about a Fraxure belonging to the Academy that she used to battle. In a battle against another Student's Altaria, Iris commanded the tired Pokémon to constantly attack because of her frustration. Due to her lack of focus, Iris lost the battle, and Drayden scolded her for not recognizing Fraxure's exhaustion and pushing it to battle despite its condition. Iris reminisces about the day the Elder gave her Axew to start her journey. Finally, she goes to the school playground and apologizes to Fraxure for what happened years ago. It accepts the apology and Iris promises that she will do her best to defeat Drayden and become a Dragon Master.
With her past issues dealt with, Iris and her friends finally head to the Gym, as she is more than ready to battle Drayden. 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. The moves used at the beginning of the battle replicate those of the last time Haxorus and Excadrill battled. However, Haxorus has to use Rock Smash to deflect Excadrill's Focus Blast, pushing Haxorus backward. The two strike full-force with Drill Run and Giga Impact, causing a huge explosion, and their blows knock each other out simultaneously. Each Trainer is satisfied with their Pokémon's performance, and Drayden congratulates Iris for her progress.
With one Pokémon left on each side, Drayden's Druddigon meets Iris's Dragonite. Although it has aerial superiority, the prideful Dragonite convinces Iris not to take advantage, making it a fair fight. Dragonite's ThunderPunch and Ice Beam land hits despite Druddigon's successful Dragon Claw hit, negation of Flamethrower with Flash Cannon, and momentary Double Team defense. Iris tries to finish the match with Dragon Rush, but Druddigon catches Dragonite by the neck, slams it down, and strikes with Dragon Tail, giving Drayden the win. Even though Iris has lost, she receives Drayden's praise and leaves the Gym happy and exhilarated.
Before departure, Martha says that Iris's journey to be a Dragon Master is far from over and that she should continue on until she reaches that point. She reveals that it was actually Drayden who recognized that his school was not helping Iris and recommended to the Village Elder that Iris be allowed to go on a journey so she could learn at her own pace, meaning that Drayden had no problem with her leaving school. In a stunning announcement, Drayden says that he wants her to become the next Opelucid Gym Leader. A shocked Iris replies that she wants time to consider her decision. She and her friends then depart from Opelucid City. 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.
In other languages