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The Legend of Thunder!

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Pokémon Chronicles
PK08 : Delibird's Dilemma
The Legend of Thunder!
The Legend of Thunder.png
ポケットモンスタークリスタル・ライコウ 雷の伝説
Pocket Monsters Crystal: Raikou - Legend of Thunder
First broadcast
Japan December 30, 2001
United States June 3/10, 2006
English themes
Opening Pokérap GS (Part 1)
Pokémon Chronicles theme (Parts 2 and 3)
Japanese themes
Opening 新たなる誓い (acoustic version)
Ending 新たなる誓い
Animation Team Koitabashi
Screenplay 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
Storyboard 越智浩仁Hirohito Ochi
辻初樹Hazuki Tsuji
Assistant directors 越智浩仁Hirohito Ochi
池端隆史Ryūji Ikebata
Animation directors 松原徳弘Tokuhiro Matsubara
井ノ上ユウ子Yūko Inoue
Additional credits

The Legend of Thunder! (Japanese: ポケットモンスタークリスタル・ライコウ 雷の伝説 Pocket Monsters Crystal: Raikou - Legend of Thunder) is a made-for-TV anime movie that originally aired in Japan on December 30, 2001. It was not aired dubbed for three and a half years, until May of 2005 (UK) when it became the first three episodes of Pokémon Chronicles, which subsequently first aired in the USA on July 3, 2006 (part 1) and July 10, 2006 (parts 2 and 3). Rather than following Ash, it follows Jimmy, Marina, and Vincent, three Trainers from New Bark Town, in their attempts to prevent Team Rocket agents Attila and Hun from capturing Raikou.

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


Note: This synopsis is based on the English dubbed version of the episode. However, there are a number of differences between the dub and the original, which are listed below.

Part One

The episode opens as Jimmy and his Typhlosion prepare to battle Shinji and his Hitmonlee. Hitmonlee begins with a Jump Kick, which Typhlosion blocks by grabbing Hitmonlee's leg. Hitmonlee then uses his other leg to hit Typhlosion with Rolling Kick. Typhlosion easily recovers, so Hitmonlee jumps up high and uses Mega Kick. Typhlosion counters with Flamethrower, which engulfs Hitmonlee for a knockout. Jimmy does a "high-paw" with Typhlosion as the small audience cheers. As Jimmy and his opponent graciously shake hands and swear to battle again, the narrator talks about the wonders of the Pokémon world and the rare power that is Raikou.

Meanwhile, a helicopter enters one of Team Rocket's secret hideouts hidden under a mountain range. Hun introduces Attila to Professor Sebastian, who shows them an item known as the Miracle Crystal. Sebastian demonstrates the crystal's ability to attract and manipulate all nearby electricity. Hun notes that it now won't be long until unlimited power is in their hands.

As Jimmy continues on his journey, he stops by at a Pokémon Center, where Nurse Joy heals all his Pokémon. He stays in the Center to groom Typhlosion, complimenting it on its strength. He then hears a familiar voice, and sees Marina talking on the phone to Vincent. Her Misdreavus (nicknamed Little Miss) and Vincent notice Jimmy, but it takes Marina a moment to remember him. When she does, she is enthusiastic to see him again. Before the call ends, Vincent quietly tells Jimmy that he wants Marina to be his girlfriend and Jimmy, who has a crush on her, shouldn't try to take her away. Already not enthused to see Vincent again, Jimmy hangs up on him.

Taking a break in the Pokémon Center, Jimmy and Marina talk about what they have done on their journeys. Marina begins flirting with Jimmy and is annoyed when he tries to act disinterested. She then suggests that he is afraid of her because he likes her. Jimmy denies this, though Typhlosion seems to think otherwise. Jimmy makes Marina change the subject, so she tells him that she wants to be a performer and she battles to make people happy. Jimmy says that he battles so that he can go back and help the kids in New Bark Town raise Pokémon. Marina then reveals her fascination with "Fabu-Lance" and challenges Jimmy to a battle to prove that training Pokémon and being a star are not two different things.

Jimmy wants to battle one-on-one, but Marina insists on using two Pokémon each. Marina sends out Little Pink, her Jigglypuff, while Jimmy sends out Beedrill, which Marina recognizes from when it was a Weedle. Little Pink starts out with Sing, but it fails as the beating of Beedrill's wings blocks sound waves before they reach its ears. Beedrill uses Agility followed by Twineedle. Little Pink inflates to rise into the air, and is able to dodge Beedrill thanks to its many dance lessons. While Marina talks about turning it into a routine, Beedrill launches a Pin Missile, which makes Little Pink faint.

Next, Marina sends out Wani-Wani, her Croconaw, while Jimmy returns Beedrill and sends out Typhlosion. As the battle begins, thunderclouds start to build up. Wani-Wani uses Water Gun, and Typhlosion charges into it. Typhlosion survives the attack and uses Quick Attack, but a bolt of lightning strikes the ground between them. Jimmy calls off the match and tells the Pokémon to go back to the Pokémon Center, but they go the wrong way. Typhlosion and Wani-Wani are successfully recalled, but Little Miss gets too far ahead.

As Jimmy and Marina chase after Little Miss, the source of the thunderstorm is revealed to be the crystal. Under the control of Attila, Hun, and a mecha, it is now attracting Electric Pokémon from all over the area. There is no sign of Raikou yet, but Hun tells Attila that making trouble with the Pokémon that have appeared will make it more likely for Raikou to turn up. A Raichu tries to stop them, but an electric blast from the crystal quickly defeats it. Little Miss, Jimmy, and Marina come upon the scene as a different, yellow-colored thundercloud appears in the distance.

Attila grabs the Raichu and a Mareep using the mecha's robotic claws, and suddenly Raikou appears from the yellow thundercloud. Raikou frees the Raichu and Mareep by destroying the mecha's arms, and all the Electric Pokémon run away. With their target in sight, Team Rocket proceed to attack Raikou. Raikou retaliates with a Thunderbolt that is sucked into the crystal. Though it keeps attacking, the powerful Electric attacks are just sent right back at Raikou. As Hun points out, the more Raikou fights, the stronger Team Rocket get. Raikou collapses, but before Attila can capture it, Jimmy runs forward, telling them to stop. He sends out Typhlosion, while Attila sends out Skarmory and Hun sends out Steelix.

Hun warns Jimmy to "leave now or be destroyed." Jimmy warns Team Rocket to "let Raikou go, or you're in for the fight of your life."

Part Two

Skarmory begins with Fury Attack while Typhlosion responds with Flamethrower. Steelix counters with Sandstorm, stopping the Flamethrower as well as inflicting damage on Typhlosion. After Jimmy gives some words of encouragement, Typhlosion endures the Sandstorm and starts making its way over to Steelix, but is hit by Skarmory's Steel Wing.

With Typhlosion defeated, Attila uses the crystal to further weaken Raikou. After seeing Raikou in even more excruciating pain, Marina and Little Miss enter the battle. Steelix goes to use Bite, but Little Miss uses Perish Song. While Skarmory and Steelix are incapacitated by Little Miss, Attila returns his attention to Raikou. Jimmy sends out Beedrill, who destroys the mecha's claws with Pin Missile. With no means to capture Raikou, Attila orders a retreat. Team Rocket create a smokescreen and escape.

Raikou turns to go, but Jimmy calls after it and offers help. Raikou hits Jimmy with an electric bolt, throwing him back. Jimmy gets back up again, narrowly missing another attack. The two stare each other down, until Jimmy makes a step forward. Raikou goes to shock him again, but is countered by a blast of flame from Typhlosion. Jimmy assures Raikou that they want to help it, promising that it can trust him. Raikou then collapses.

Back at the Pokémon Center, Professor Elm tells Marina that there is a danger that Raikou will become withdrawn and depressed and not heal properly because it is in captivity. Marina decides that singing it a song may help, and while Professor Elm admits that that isn't a bad idea, he tells her that the important thing is to set it free as soon as it is healed. News of Raikou spreads, but Chansey guards the door so that only Jimmy is allowed to watch Nurse Joy treat the legendary Pokémon. Meanwhile, Team Rocket work on repairing their machine.

That evening, as Raikou sleeps, Marina tries to cheer Jimmy up. Suddenly, a man comes in and demands to see Raikou. Marina becomes enamored with him and asks his name, but then Officer Jenny leads another man to them. The first man is Eugene and the second is Kudo, and they appear to know each other. Marina is more interested in Eugene's cape, which Eugene informs her no one is permitted to touch.

Eugene explains that Raikou is a legendary Pokémon, making it unique and extraordinary. While it cannot be captured, man has always tried to capture that which they cannot have. Since Raikou can control thunderstorms and lightning, men have always hunted it to capture it and harness its power; because of this, Raikou does not trust humans. Kudo says that Raikou thinks that all humans are the same, but Jimmy believes that it can sense who its friends and enemies are.

The following morning, Raikou wakes up and is strong enough to break the glass in the Pokémon Center with electricity. Jimmy introduces himself, but Raikou just sends more electricity his way. As the others appear, Raikou blows a hole in the wall and runs off. The clouds that the crystal created have returned, and Raikou runs right back into Team Rocket's trap. Eugene tells Jimmy and Marina to get into his car so that they can follow it. Meanwhile, Kudo mans the home base and calls Officer Jenny.

Raikou soon appears in front of Attila and Hun, who introduce themselves as its new masters. Raikou replies with another lightning bolt to the crystal, which just powers it up even more. Hun sends out Steelix to agitate Raikou into inadvertently giving more electricity to the crystal, which then sends out electricity everywhere. Next, Steelix uses Dig and causes serious damage to Raikou. Suddenly, Eugene's car appears and Jimmy gets out.

After Jimmy demands that they stop attacking Raikou, Attila explains to him that they aren't doing anything that he didn't do with his Typhlosion. Jimmy disagrees, telling them to fight Raikou fairly. Hun tells Jimmy that one doesn't come to rule the world by fighting fairly. Jimmy tells them that what they're doing is wrong, but they respond that they're simply acting like all Pokémon Trainers. Jimmy tells them that they don't understand Pokémon Trainers at all: "When we battle, we have respect for each other. When we battle, it's to learn and get better. When we battle, it's for the love of the contest, and not to steal the powers of a noble and legendary creature." Jimmy then exclaims that he refuses to let Team Rocket take Raikou.

As the Raikou jumps into battle, he is hit by the crystal's electricity. But before anyone can release a Pokémon, Steelix uses Rock Throw on Jimmy and Marina. One large rock is heading straight for them, yet before they are hit, a beam from off-screen destroys it. Looking to where the beam came from, they see a Meganium with... Fabu-Lance? No, it's "Fabu-Vinny," their childhood friend Vincent, who has come to save them. Vincent orders Meganium to use SolarBeam, but it barely leaves a mark on Steelix, who retaliates with Crunch, followed by Iron Tail and Rock Throw. Eugene goes to save them, but the falling Rock Throw prevents him from doing so.

Meanwhile, Raikou has collapsed from the electric attacks that the crystal has been hitting it with. Attila then activates the capture bubble, which causes extreme pain to Raikou as soon as it is trapped inside. Typhlosion blasts the bubble with flame, which concerns Hun, who explains that the system is only designed to absorb electricity—it doesn't know how to handle any other form of energy. As Typhlosion begins to push the bubble back, Little Miss and Meganium join in with Psybeam and SolarBeam. Steelix tries to use Iron Tail to knock everyone out of the way, but the capture bubble explodes. Attila quickly grabs Raikou and puts it into the cargo hold. Team Rocket fly off, but with Marina trapped inside with Raikou!

Raikou tries to blow its way out, but the walls are non-conductive. It then tries tackling the walls, but they are too strong for that to work, either. Marina tries to calm Raikou down and promises to find a way out. During its rampage, Raikou scrapes away a piece of the floor. Marina sees some wires and yanks them apart, which makes the door open. They are too high up for Marina to be able to safely escape, but since Raikou can make the jump, she encourages it to free itself. Attila activates the emergency override, but Raikou escapes before the door closes. The engines of the aircraft begin to fail as well, causing it to lose altitude. As Team Rocket prepare to get Raikou back, it watches as they move away with Marina still trapped.

Part Three

Vincent panics while Jimmy tries to think of a new plan. Eugene tells him that the first rule of any rescue operation is to remain calm. Jimmy decides to try contacting Marina using Vincent's Pokégear. They call her and have a brief, frantic exchange of words before Attila breaks Marina's Pokégear. Eugene suggests that they use the call log data to locate where Marina was when the call was made.

Meanwhile, the crystal has been reactivated, which alerts Raikou. Having seen the dark clouds reappear, Eugene, Jimmy, and Vincent head toward the crystal as well. When they arrive, Vincent demands to see Marina, who is tied up but otherwise okay. Jimmy tells them to let Marina and Raikou go, but Eugene realizes that since Team Rocket has activated the crystal, they must not have Raikou. Suddenly, a huge bolt of lightning hits the crystal, and it seems that Raikou is planning to attack from outside of the crystal's range. Raikou is stronger than ever, but the group is right in the line of fire.

As electricity reflects off of the crystal and fires everywhere, Marina falls from the cliff she was on, but is rescued by Beedrill. Attila releases Skarmory to attack Beedrill with Steel Wing, making it drop Marina. Both Jimmy and Vincent run to catch her, but Vincent trips and lands on his face, with Marina landing on top of him. Jimmy ensures that Marina is okay, but Vincent interrupts to remind them that he is the one that Marina fell on. Hun then cuts in by ordering Steelix to use Iron Tail. Just as Eugene is about to save them, Raikou comes in and attacks Steelix head-on. Raikou then attacks Attila's mecha, tearing the control panel apart. Skarmory swoops down with a Sky Attack, but Raikou runs away as the control panel explodes, blasting Skarmory back. The purple glow around the crystal disappears.

The group wonders why Raikou risked battling face-to-face when it had been attacking from above beforehand. Jimmy realizes that Raikou does not just protect Electric-type Pokémon; it protects its friends, and considers the group to be so. Although they cannot control the crystal anymore, Team Rocket are still around. The reason for this appears when Raikou attacks them—the electricity is still drawn to the crystal, which sends a powerful blast back. Hun explains that if the control panel is destroyed, the crystal will run on "auto-destruct," which means that its power is now twice as focused. The crystal homes in on Raikou, and then turns black. Its electric hooks sink into Raikou and pull it inwards. Hun explains that it is impossible for Raikou to escape now.

Hun taunts that their legend will last forever as they have brains and science on their side—but Jimmy, Vincent, and Marina will not let that happen. They send out Typhlosion, Little Miss, and Meganium. Typhlosion uses Flamethrower, but the field now surrounding Raikou stops it. Jimmy suggests using combined forces again, but Eugene tells them that it won't work. If the field explodes with Raikou trapped inside, then the blast would be so powerful that it would destroy even Raikou.

With Raikou drained of its electricity, Eugene says that their only hope is the "all or nothing" plan. They would have to break the field open, grab Raikou, and then get out before the explosion, but whoever goes in might never come out. After a moment of deep consideration, Typhlosion volunteers to do it. As Typhlosion runs forward, so do Little Miss and Meganium. Skarmory and Steelix attack, but Eugene sends out Alakazam to provide enough of a distraction to let the other Pokémon past. Typhlosion uses Flame Wheel on the field, while Meganium uses Light Screen.

Attila then sends his Muk into the battle to use Sludge Bomb. Little Miss counters with Psybeam, but is hit by Skarmory's wing. Skarmory then flies up to avoid Alakazam's Psybeam. While this is going on, Meganium and Typhlosion begin to drain energy from the crystal's force field. Raikou wakes up, allowing it to flee on its own if they are successful, giving the other Pokémon enough time to get away.

Hun orders Steelix to use Crunch on the Trainers, but Jimmy tells the Pokémon to concentrate on saving Raikou. As Muk bombards Meganium with Sludge Bomb and Skarmory jabs Typhlosion with Fury Attack, Steelix goes after Jimmy, who has run to the edge of a cliff. Jimmy provokes Steelix by saying that it couldn't Crunch a potato chip and is rescued from the attack by Beedrill, leaving Steelix to fall into the river below. With Little Miss and Alakazam keeping Skarmory and Muk in check with Psybeam, Typhlosion and Meganium have nearly broken the field. Steelix suddenly bursts from the ground and prepares to Crunch Typhlosion and Meganium, but Jimmy, Marina, and Vincent stand to defend their Pokémon. Eugene tells them to get out of the way, but Raikou breaks the field with a powerful electric attack that knocks Steelix back. As the crystal cracks, Hun and Attila realize that the ultimate system has met the ultimate Pokémon. They then run away, leaving becoming legends for another day.

While the Trainers celebrate, Raikou breaks the crystal once and for all. They thank Raikou for saving them before it runs off, safe again at last. Knowing that they will never forget Raikou, the Trainers cheer. The narrator tells us that they continued on their journeys to become great Pokémon Trainers, while Raikou continued its own journey, occasionally checking in on the three humans that turned out to be friends after all.

At this point, the dubbed Pokémon Chronicles episode cuts out, leaving out a notable scene. Jimmy is in a forest when his Pokégear starts to ring. On the other end of the phone is Marina, asking if he would like her Pokégear number. He says "Yes" in a calm tone, but his expression reveals that he is actually excited.

Major events





Cover from the rental copy of Legend of Thunder!



At the Pokémon Center


  • By the time this aired dubbed, Eugene and Vincent had already been seen before, in For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll and Love, Pokémon Style, respectively. In the episodes in question, they were named as Eusine and Jackson.
  • This special marks the first time that any characters based on game protagonists have appeared besides Ash, who is based on Red.
  • This special has the longest time between the original airings in Japanese and English, taking three and a half years to air dubbed.
  • This is the only movie-length anime special that hasn't aired in Finland.


  • In one scene, Hun commands Skarmory to use Fury Attack. Since it's Attila's Pokémon, it should be Attila commanding Skarmory and not Hun.
  • In the shot where Raikou is put in the cargo hold, there is no sign of Marina, though she had been knocked down when Raikou collided with her after the bubble exploded.
  • Attila incorrectly refers to the plural of Caterpie as Caterpies.
  • When Vincent's Meganium hits Steelix with SolarBeam, Hun implies that Grass-type are ineffective against a Steel-type like Steelix. This is not entirely true because Steelix's other type, Ground, is weak to Grass, and therefore Steelix receives neutral damage from Grass attacks.
  • Raikou's electric attacks worked on Steelix, even though Steelix is part Ground. This, however, could be because of Raikou's sheer strength, similar to Pikachu. A similar situation occurs when Raikou tackles Steelix forcefully, sending it crashing into the cliff side.
  • In the Hindi dub, Misdreavus was once mispronounced as "Misdrees."

Dub edits

The dub of The Legend of Thunder is one of the most heavily edited episodes of Pokémon, most likely due to TV time constraints:

  • All of the music is replaced, besides the three seconds of Jigglypuff's song.
  • Hun apparently gets a gender change. While a male in the original, he receives a female voice in the dub.
  • The Trainer that Jimmy battles at the beginning had a name in Japanese, Shinji. The scene in which Shinji introduces himself and swaps Pokégear numbers with Jimmy is cut in the dub.
  • The original version has its own opening theme after said battle. The televised version begins with the Chronicles opening theme before the battle, while the DVD just cuts out the opening completely.
  • At this point, the dub uses its own title card. This is used again for the other two parts, and is preceded with a recap of the events of the previous episode in those cases.
  • Attila is described as a wrangler and as Hun's new partner in the dub. This is not true for the original.
  • In the original, the Pokégears have a backwards-looking two (2). These are painted out in the dub.
  • A small scene after Jimmy hangs up is cut. Marina asks Jimmy what Vincent wanted, and Jimmy replies that he wanted a battle. Marina then suggests that they get a drink.
  • The following scene is then rewritten. While the dub concentrates on pushing QuestShipping, the original explores their backstory much closer.
  • The original had a number of eyecatches which are not in the dub.
  • Beedrill's attacks miss Jigglypuff in the original simply because it is in the air. In the dub, Marina explains that being an "Idol Trainer" means that she needs to be knowledgeable about battling as well as being good at dancing.
  • In the original, Jimmy's Pokédex sounds just like Ash's. In the dub, it doesn't.
  • Towards the end of part one, the shots of Raikou falling to the ground and Jimmy looking on in horror are switched around.
  • Steelix's initial Bite attack is actually Crunch in the original, which is consistent with the rest of the special.
  • When Jimmy is thinking about getting Raikou to trust him, his thoughts are not heard in the original.
  • Just before Eugene comes in, the original had a scene in which Marina explains the effects of Perish Song, and asks if she and Misdreavus look cute together.
  • The following scene has three cuts which amount to about nine seconds.
  • The sign behind Kudo has its text removed in the dub.
  • The shot of Raikou after it has burst through the wall of the Pokémon Center is lengthened by a second in the dub.
  • When Attila is happy that a few more Thunderbolts will make the crystal unbeatable in the dub, in the original he is surprised that Raikou came to destroy the machine, and not because he was attracted by it.
  • The scene in which Jimmy says how Attila and Hun don't know Pokémon Trainers gives different reasons in the original. In the original, he becomes strong with his Pokémon and doesn't battle to win. When he tells them that he won't let them take Raikou, in the original he says that they don't deserve to have Pokémon.
  • Four more seconds are cut out of the end of the second part. The first is when Jimmy realizes that Team Rocket took Marina, and the other three are from the final shot as Raikou watches Team Rocket fly away.
  • The first scene of the final part has 27 seconds removed from it. The first six remove a shot of Vincent looking angrily at Team Rocket. There is then 21 seconds of Jimmy talking to Eugene removed. Here, Eugene told Jimmy that Officer Jenny had been informed and was working with the emergency squad to find more information. Jimmy says they can't stand around, but Eugene informs him that it would be impossible to get there by foot. The dub cuts to here with Jimmy saying that "We could get a plane or a helicopter or..."
  • When Attila talks about Caterpie in the dub, he was telling Marina not to move in the original.
  • When Hun and Attila talk about signature attacks, they weren't saying anything in the original.
  • The following section has a total of 35 seconds of cuts. Some shots are shortened slightly. But it also includes speech such as Jimmy guessing that they are using the crystal again, Hun saying that Jimmy did well to find them, and Attila telling them that Marina let Raikou escape.
  • In the original, Raikou does not return to save them. He does it because the crystal has disturbed the peace of the Electric Pokémon, and he can't forgive anyone that would hurt them.
  • After being told that the crystal is twice as focused, there is an eleven-second cut during which there is a close-up of the crystal followed by a shot of Jimmy and the other heroes, wondering what the Rocket-Dan has up their sleeves.
  • While everyone is talking about being legends in the dub, the original has Team Rocket warning that the system could kill Raikou.
  • Five seconds are cut from the discussion about the "all-or-nothing" plan.
  • The scene in which Typhlosion agrees to help Raikou has a lot more emotion in the original. This includes an additional eight seconds, which were cut in the dub.
  • When Attila is about to toss Muk's Poké Ball, he tells the kids to put on their raincoats and galoshes. In the original, he first swears and then calls out Muk's name.
  • When Raikou is waking up in the dub while in the original, it was actually noted that it was getting worse.
  • When Steelix is driving Jimmy towards a cliff, Hun is heard talking. When Hun tells Steelix to use Crunch, Jimmy taunts Steelix about how it "couldn't crunch even a potato chip", causing it to become mad. In the original, Hun isn't talking at this point and Steelix gets mad because Jimmy calls it "Baka-neil".
  • During this scene, there are three seconds cut during which Marina and Vincent shout to Jimmy, telling him to get out of there.
  • Two and a half minutes are cut from the ending, as described above. There is also an additional two minutes and six seconds for the ending credits.
  • The shot of the mountains seen at the very end of the dub is shown after all this, but is also shortened by seven seconds.

In other languages


Pokémon Chronicles
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