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| Training Wrecks
Muscle Battle!? Double Battle!!
|| September 30, 2004
| United States
|| October 8, 2005
|| Team OTA
|| 十川誠志 Masashi Sogo
|| 藤本義孝 Yoshitaka Fujimoto
| Assistant director
|| 渡辺正彦 Masahiko Watanabe
| Animation director
|| 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
| Additional credits
Training Wrecks (Japanese: 筋肉バトル！？ダブルバトル！！ Muscle Battle!? Double Battle!!) is the 96th episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 370th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on September 30, 2004 and in the United States on October 8, 2005.
Still on their way to Mossdeep City, Ash and his friends arrive at Muscle Island, which has two small mountains that are shaped like an arm flexing its biceps. After they disembark, May wonders where the nearest coffee shop is. Brock consults his guidebook, and they begin to explore. They soon hear a crowd of people chanting "one…two…one…two…" and wonder what’s going on.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket crashes onto shore in their Magikarp Submarine, and they all quickly abandon ship, yelling in fright. After they take cover behind some boulders, Jessie asks Meowth exactly why they had to run. Before Meowth can answer, the sub is swept away by a giant wave. They stare in stunned silence before arguing over whose fault it was, and over the fact that they’re now stranded. Then they hear the same "one…two…one…two…" that Ash and his friends heard earlier, and also decide to investigate.
The source of the chants turns out to be a nearby open area where a group of weightlifters are doing various exercises. One man wearing sunglasses is doing arm exercises with a heavy-looking steel Poké Ball, another man is lifting a Geodude on each hand as if they were dumbbells, and a woman is doing sit-ups while a Blastoise spots her. Other exercises are going on in the background. Ash and friends watch as the leader of the weightlifting group, Rocky, shouts encouragement to his friends. He then approaches and introduces himself. Brock asks Rocky if there are any shops nearby, and he says that there are none. He then asks about Ash’s journey, and then Ash figures out that the weight Trainers are also Pokémon Trainers. Everyone introduces themselves, and Rocky explains his group’s philosophy: when Trainers work on improving their strength, it inspires their Pokémon to do the same and thereby become stronger in battle. At Rocky’s invitation, Ash, Max, and Brock decide to try the weight training, much to May’s dismay.
Of course, Team Rocket is watching this whole scene from the nearby bushes. Meowth gets the idea that they should join the weight-training group as well. He has a vision of a paranoid Boss being comforted by the presence of a noticeably bulked-up Jessie, James, and Meowth as his bodyguards. Meowth begins to cheer, but Jessie interrupts him, saying it’s a stupid idea. James, however, is fired up, believing that physical weakness is a big reason they keep losing to the twerps and have yet to capture Pikachu. Jessie and Meowth are unimpressed by James’s dramatic display. Suddenly, the shades-wearing guy from earlier shows up, introduces himself as Randy, and asks if they want to join the training program with the others. Jessie and Meowth are hesitant, but James immediately accepts.
Meanwhile, Max tries to lift the steel Poké Ball the shades guy was lifting so easily earlier, but can’t even get it off the ground. One of the weight Trainers encourages him. Even May has decided to join them, and is even enjoying herself as she rides an exercise bike and has a conversation with the female Blastoise Trainer from earlier. Rocky has assigned Ash and Pikachu to another mechanism. It consists of two ropes, hanging from one horizontal wheel each. The whole thing is attached to a generator via a pulley system. Ash and Pikachu are each clinging to a rope. When the machine is turned on, the wheels rotate, and the idea is for Ash and Pikachu to repeatedly change ropes. This turns out to be much more difficult than the two had anticipated.
Nearby, Team Rocket are happily running on a treadmill. They hesitate when Ash and friends approach, but ignore them and continue to run, sticking to their original plan. Ash warns Rocky that Team Rocket are dangerous, but he says that they welcome anyone on the island, that Team Rocket hasn’t done anything yet, and that they seem to be content just working out. As Jessie, James, and Meowth talk to themselves on the treadmill, Rocky suddenly challenges Ash to a battle! The other Trainers say that Rocky is the strongest Trainer on the island, but that only makes Ash more intrigued. May and the others want to watch, of course, but Rocky says that his group has a rule prohibiting spectators. Ash and Rocky leave for their battle, and the other Trainers approach to say that May and the others can continue training. Meanwhile, on the treadmill, Meowth figures that maybe this battle will be their chance to get Pikachu, since it will eventually be tired out. However, Jessie and James aren’t paying attention, instead focusing on keeping up their rhythm.
Some distance away, Ash and Rocky take positions atop two rocks. Rocky announces the rules, saying that it will be a Double Battle, and Ash agrees. Rocky sends out a Walrein and a Quagsire, and Ash counters with Pikachu and Grovyle. Ash starts by having Pikachu fire a Thunderbolt at Walrein, but Rocky has Quagsire get in front of Walrein and take the attack. Ash and Pikachu thought they were off to a good start, but Quagsire emerges unscathed from the attack. Ash then remembers that Quagsire is part Ground-type, so electricity won’t work on it.
While all this is going on, Brock, May, and Max, are all doing sit-ups, as a Geodude spots each of them. Jessie and Meowth, still on the treadmill, are tiring. To their dismay, the shades guy informs them that they aren’t done yet. James, however, is showing no signs of fatigue, and is still fired up to keep going.
Back at the battle, Rocky orders an Ice Ball from Walrein. Pikachu and Grovyle both dodge the move using Quick Attack. Pikachu aims an Iron Tail at Walrein, and Grovyle lunges towards Quagsire for a Leaf Blade, but their opponents switch positions and neither attack does much damage. In fact, Pikachu and Grovyle actually appear to take some recoil. Walrein charges up another Ice Ball, and Ash tries Pikachu’s Thunderbolt again, but Quagsire gets in the way once more. Walrein completes its attack, and the larger Ice Ball scores a direct hit on both of Ash’s Pokémon. It seems that Rocky’s strategy has been to train Quagsire to be adept at blocking moves, while Walrein serves as the powerhouse.
May, Max, and Brock are doing push-ups now, each with a Pokémon on their backs. Max has his sister’s Skitty, May has Bulbasaur, and Brock has Lombre. The humans are tiring and complain a bit. Jessie and Meowth are still tiring as well, but James is still at a jogging pace on the treadmill, as the weight Trainers observe them. Jessie tries a plan to distract them and make their escape, pretending to notice a nonexistent Wobbuffet nearby. The plan backfires, though, because James is fooled as well, and shades his eyes as he looks for it. Jessie and Meowth face fault, and James continues to keep up the pace on the treadmill.
Back at the battle, Ash tells Grovyle to use Bullet Seed, but Quagsire and Walrein take cover behind some rocks. Rocky orders another Ice Ball from Walrein. Ash tells Grovyle and Pikachu to attack the ball with Iron Tail and Leaf Blade, but they aren’t quick enough, and the Ice Ball strikes them again.
At the training area, Max gets an idea. He tells the Trainers that he wants to go get something he left back on the boat. They offer to get it for him, but May and Brock say that the item is really hard to describe, so they’d rather go themselves. They’re allowed to go, so they grab their stuff, and no doubt have to stifle smirks as they pass Team Rocket. Jessie and Meowth angrily yell at James for letting the twerps go.
Meanwhile, at the battle, Ash has no idea what to do next, but then he notices the time it takes for Walrein to charge its Ice Ball is longer the bigger the Ice Ball is, as Pikachu and Grovyle dodge another one. He then gets an idea. Rocky orders another Ice Ball, and Walrein charges it up. Ash quickly tells Pikachu to hit Walrein with Thunderbolt. As expected, Quagsire takes the attack. It has to stay in one place to do so, so Ash takes advantage of that and has Grovyle Leaf Blade it, for a powerful hit. Pikachu then jumps on Grovyle’s head leaf, and Grovyle throws it towards Walrein. From the air, Pikachu releases another Thunderbolt, scoring a direct hit this time. Quagsire and Walrein both faint, and Pikachu and Grovyle are the winners! Rocky recalls his Pokémon, thanks them for a good battle, and congratulates Ash, complimenting him on his strategy. Rocky comments on what he has learned from battling Ash, and that’s when Brock and the others show up. They ask how the battle went, and Ash tells them he won. Rocky then points them towards the ferry they need to take.
Later, Ash and friends are on a ferry bound for Mossdeep City with Ash excited for his seventh Gym Battle. However what the gang don't know is that Team Rocket are also on the boat, disguised as sailors. James watches the twerps while Jessie and Meowth complain about their sore muscles. James says that now that they’re stronger from their physical training, this is their chance to steal Pikachu. They approach the twerps, and say that they’re not allowed to have any Pokémon on board the ferry and that they'll take Pikachu for "safe-keeping". James reaches for Pikachu, but Ash instinctively grabs James’s arm, as Pikachu cries out. Ash isn't about to just hand Pikachu over to anyone and demands to know who they are, and Jessie and James start their motto. Meowth interrupts them to point out that if they’re going to do the motto, there’s no point in keeping the disguises on. Jessie agrees and says that they haven’t done the motto yet today either, so they remove the disguises and continue. When they’re done, James brags about their new strength while Jessie produces a net and snags Pikachu. Ash grabs it, and it turns into an all-out tug-of-war between the two sides, both sides desperately trying to keep hold of Pikachu. However Pikachu does not like being pulled from both sides, and lets out a massive Thunderbolt out of stress. While Pikachu succeeds in sending Team Rocket blasting off, it also sends Ash and the others blasting off in the opposite direction, far from the ferry which rapidly moves away, leaving our heroes stranded in the middle of the ocean!
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Pokémon Trainer’s Choice: Poliwag
- In this episode, Team Rocket uses a variation of their motto.
- The title of this episode is a pun of the phrase, "Train wreck".
- When Ash was on a rope, the back of his cap was colored entirely black.
- After Team Rocket does their motto, James is holding his arm muscle when he only went on the treadmill.
- During Pokémon Trainer's Choice, the swirl on Poliwhirl's abdomen goes the same way as Poliwag's. The swirl on Poliwag's abdomen reverses when it evolves into a Poliwhirl, therefore, Poliwhirl's swirl should be counter-clockwise, like Poliwrath's.
- When May wonders that does strength really matter, the end of her little finger is not covered with her glove.
- In the same scene, Max tells May that if she was in better shape, she wouldn't have messed up in her last contest. However, May won her last contest.
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