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| Cream of the Croagunk Crop!
The Gureggru Festival of the Nomose Great Marsh!?
|| June 5, 2008
| United States
|| November 15, 2008
|| Team Iguchi
|| 武上純希 Junki Takegami
|| 山田浩之 Hiroyuki Yamada
| Assistant director
|| 山田浩之 Hiroyuki Yamada
| Animation directors
|| 夏目久仁彦 Kunihiko Natsume
| 新城真 Makoto Shinjō
| Additional credits
Cream of the Croagunk Crop! (Japanese: ノモセ大湿原のグレッグル祭り！? The Gureggru Festival of the Nomose Great Marsh!?) is the 82nd episode of the Diamond & Pearl series, and the 548th episode of the Pokémon anime. It aired in Japan on June 5, 2008 and in the United States on November 15, 2008.
Ash and his friends arrive at Pastoria City and run into Crasher Wake. He introduces himself and Ash immediately challenges him to a Gym Battle. Crasher Wake says he has some business to attend to and asks Ash and friends if they'd like to accompany him.
They hurry to catch the tram that takes them through the Great Marsh. When they arrive, Crasher Wake rushes ahead and they arrive at an open field at sunset. They're startled by glowing eyes in the bushes, which turn out to be a bunch of wild Croagunk. Then, they follow a bunch of Croagunk Trainers to a giant Croagunk Temple. They meet up with Crasher Wake again, who informs them of the Pastoria Croagunk Festival and the ancient tradition of battling Croagunk, with the leader becoming Champion of the Great Marsh.
Brock intrudes in an argument between Nurse Joy and Hamilton, a brunet male whose Croagunk, Craig, won last year's Croagunk Championship. Brock goes crazy for Nurse Joy, proposing a marriage of their Croagunk, only to be Poison Jabbed by his own Croagunk and dragged off-screen.
Team Rocket arrives at the Great Marsh. James recalls his childhood, during which he first met and rescued his Carnivine, who was trapped in the Great Marsh mud.
Ash and friends enjoy the evening festival, eating Croagunk cookies and watching Croagunk-shaped fireworks. Crasher Wake MCs the event and introduces Hamilton, the defending Champion, who places Craig's crown on a pedestal - to be won by this year's Champion. Crasher Wake, the operator of the rail system, and Nurse Joy judge the competition.
All of the Croagunk take turns coming on stage, crouching then croaking, apparently comparing their looks and physical condition. The judges and local crowd are excited by their different aspects, but Ash. and co are confused; as far as they can see, the Croagunk all look exactly the same. Brock's Croagunk takes the stage and the judges are impressed by Croagunk's looks.
Team Rocket dresses Meowth up in a Croagunk costume and sends him out on stage. Meowth is thoroughly embarrassed, but the crowd and judges go wild for it. Hamilton is unimpressed.
Crasher Wake announces the brick-breaking contest. Brock's Croagunk uses Brick Break and breaks all of the bricks! Meowth takes the stage next, to high anticipation. He charges up, attacks the bricks, but the only thing he breaks is his paw.
Crasher Wake announces a championship battle between Brock's Croagunk and Craig. They take to the boxing ring and begin the match! Craig uses Cross Chop. The dueling Croagunk trade jabs and Dawn has trouble figuring which one is which.
Out of nowhere, Team Rocket storms the festival in a giant Croagunk robot. Its tongue steals the prized crown. Craig and Brock's Croagunk attack the robot, but are trapped by the tongue. Crasher Wake steps in to help, but suddenly remembers that he left all his Poké Balls at the Gym! Everyone else's Croagunk attack the giant robot, but they're scooped into its belly! Chrissy heavily damages the robot, followed by Pikachu's Thunderbolt.
Crasher Wake retrieves the crown and asks the crowd if they agree that Nurse Joy's Croagunk won this year's championship. He awards her with the crown.
Afterward, Crasher Wake tells Ash that he was impressed by Pikachu's Thunderbolt and accepts his challenge for a Gym Battle, but it'll have to be held the next day as there's still plenty of partying to do. And so, with Ash's fourth Sinnoh Gym Battle on the horizon, everyone finishes out the traditional Croagunk Festival evening with dancing.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Hamilton's changed appearance
- Instead of Professor Oak's Pokémon lecture, the end of the episode featured a memorial to Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. This is part of a countdown to Giratina and the Sky Warrior.
- Details of this episode were actually made known in K-Zone, a children's magazine, before any official Japanese episode listing.
- This episode shows how James and Carnivine met and possibly explains why Carnivine is so affectionate.
- Pokémon Ondo is used as background music.
- The background music from Pikachu's Goodbye is also used in this episode.
- The diamond and pearl on the crown are references to Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
- The segment where Brock fantasizes about marrying Nurse Joy and his Croagunk marrying hers echoes that of a similar fantasy he had in Hassle In The Castle where he dreamed of marrying a woman while his Zubat married her Zubat. Coincidentally, both Croagunk and Zubat (now Crobat) are Brock's only Poison-types.
- During the Brick Break contest, only Brock's Croagunk's hands glow white.
- The dub title refers to the phrase "the cream of the crop".
- James caught his Carnivine in the Great Marsh (which makes sense, since it is the only known place to catch a Carnivine in Sinnoh), yet he keeps it in a regular Poké Ball, rather than a Safari Ball, though this may be because he officially captured it outside of the Marsh. A similar situation was made with Ash's Tauros where, despite their being captured in Safari Balls, they occasionally appear in Poké Balls.
- Hamilton's hair, eyes, eyebrows, and face shape were changed sometime after the character was first seen, and he no longer has sunglasses; his own Japanese name as well as Craig's were also changed. Contrary to popular belief, the changes to his appearance are not dub-exclusive changes, but changes made by the Japanese producers to avoid lawsuits from the makers of Dokonjō Gaeru. As a result, several scenes needed to be completely reanimated and Yuriko Yamaguchi, Yōko Sōmi and Tetsu Inada (the respective voices of Nurse Joy, Hamilton and Crasher Wake) had to re-record a few lines due to the name changes. Hamilton was meant to be a direct parody of the main character of the series, Hiroshi.
- This is the first episode in which two voice actors return to the series - David Brimmer and Jason Griffith.
- In the official dub numbering (as seen on Pokémon.com), this episode precedes Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu! Parts One and Two. However, this episode premiered on Cartoon Network after these two episodes, in more logical order. All repeats of the dub, both in the United States and worldwide, follow the official dub order.
In other languages