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| A Staravia Is Born!
|| December 21, 2006
| United States
|| June 25, 2007
|| Team Iguchi
|| 十川誠志 Masashi Sogo
|| 山田浩之 Hiroyuki Yamada
| Assistant director
|| 山田浩之 Hiroyuki Yamada
| Animation director
|| 新城真 Makoto Shinjō
| Additional credits
A Staravia is Born! (Japanese: ムックルがんばる！ Mukkuru Perseveres!) is the 13th episode of the Diamond & Pearl series, and the 479th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on December 21, 2006 as a part of a one-hour special along with DP014.
Ash is traveling through the forest on his way to Oreburgh City, where he hopes to earn his first Gym Badge in Sinnoh. But first he's helping Starly practice using Aerial Ace, a process that doesn't go entirely smoothly. Our heroes also catch the attention of Rosebay, a woman who monitors the Pokémon that live in the forest. Lots of Pokémon have been disappearing lately and she's not sure why, but it doesn't take long for Ash and his friends to decide they should help her out!
Meanwhile, Team Rocket have set up a trap in the Valley Path, an area which Flying-type Pokémon often pass through. All it takes some netting and soon Team Rocket is happily snagging lots of avian Pokémon for their Boss. When Ash sends Starly out to look for clues, Starly is swept up by Team Rocket's criminal plans as well—but Starly isn't about to sit back and wait to be rescued! Jessie and James leave Meowth to guard their ill-gotten Pokémon, and Starly is ready to stage a jailbreak together with help from a captured Hoothoot.
Hoothoot hypnotizes Meowth into letting the Pokémon go, but when Meowth snaps out of its trance, it calls for backup from Team Rocket's other Pokémon. However, Ash and his friends came across a Pidgeot trapped in Team Rocket's net and realized what was going on, and they show up looking for Starly! Jessie and James return and try to stop our heroes, only to discover that Brock's Bonsly can use Mimic to send their Pokémon's moves right back at them. Then Starly evolves into Staravia and pulls off a terrific Aerial Ace—which is also the term that describes Team Rocket as they go blasting off again. The trapped Pokémon are freed, Rosebay is happy, and now it's onward to Oreburgh City!
The episode opens with Starly diving down into a clearing in a forest. Ash tells it to use Aerial Ace, and it does so, flying along the ground towards a target on the base of a tree. Ash tells it to pull up, and it flies up the trunk of the tree, before looping around for another go. However, this time Aerial Ace fails, and Starly crash-lands, injuring its leg. The group rushes over to check if it is okay and Brock says that it is just a minor injury, and all it needs is a bandage and some potion. Ash comments that they still need to do some more practice on Aerial Ace.
A nearby bush rustles and Rosebay steps out of it. After the members of the group introduce themselves, and Croagunk Poison Jabs Brock to stop him flirting, Rosebay says that she is observing the Pokémon in the forest. Rosebay then shows them a Swablu nest in another part of the forest, before giving Ash her binoculars. Ash sees the nest for himself, then passes the binoculars to Dawn, who comments that there aren't any Swablu in the nest. Rosebay leads the group to higher ground, before commenting that the Swablu should have returned to the nest by that time. She also mentions that the bird Pokémon population has recently been shrinking. Ash and Dawn offer to help her out.
Rosebay leads the group to a Hoothoot colony, but nobody can see or hear any Hoothoot. Starly flies down to the group and reports that it can't see any either. Ash asks if its leg feels better, then tells it to have one more look around.
Meanwhile, four Swellow are flying through a valley. As they swoop around a corner they are surprised by a large net, which catches them and shakes them out into a cage underground. Team Rocket walks into view, and mentions that it was a good idea to put their trap there, as all the bird Pokémon in the forest fly through the valley. Meowth then describes how the bird Pokémon will please the boss by flying him around in his chair.
Starly flies into the valley, noticing a group of three Swellow below it. All four get caught in Team Rocket's trap. Starly gets up and notices all the bird Pokémon in cages around it. Some of them are pecking at their cage when Meowth enters and laughs at them.
Ash becomes worried about Starly, as it has been gone a long time. Rosebay realizes that all the bird Pokémon use the valley path, so that must be where they are. The group decides to hurry there as Starly might be in trouble.
Inside the cages, Starly walks up to a Hoothoot and starts talking with it. Inside Team Rocket's secret base, Meowth reports back to Jessie and James, who ask him to sort out their gift for the boss. Meowth insists on a 'vote,' so the group plays Rock Paper Scissors. Meowth loses, and gloomily asks what the others will be doing. They respond by starting to sunbathe. Up on the edge of the valley, the group spots Team Rocket, and Rosebay notices a Pidgeot in Team Rocket's net. Ash tells Pikachu to help it. Pikachu runs off and frees it from the net just as it is closing. Ash then orders Pikachu and Pidgeot to gather as many bird Pokémon as they can find, in order to rip down the net. The rest of the group runs off to free the Pokémon Team Rocket has already captured.
In the underground base where Carnivine, Cacnea and Seviper are guarding the door to the cage room, Meowth walks in and puts a ring around a Swablu, immobilizing it. Starly and Hoothoot signal each other, and Hoothoot uses Hypnosis on Meowth; he releases Swablu.
As the humans approach Team Rocket's base, they sneak in the front door and climb down a ladder to an underground tunnel containing monitors for the security cameras. Ash sees Starly on one of the monitors. In the meantime, the bird Pokémon and a hypnotized Meowth are digging an escape tunnel from the cage room.
Jessie and James wake up as a very large group of bird Pokémon fly towards their base. They panic when they notice Pikachu, who is leading the group from Pidgeot's back. Pikachu calls out to the Pokémon and they all attack the net, ripping it to pieces. The group, still underground, watches on the security camera screens. Jessie and James rush to some controls, wondering where Meowth is. In the cage room Meowth and Starly are watching as all the other Pokémon leave through the escape tunnel, with Hoothoot leaving last. As Meowth snaps out of the hypnosis, he calls in Seviper, Cacnea and Carnivine. They surround Starly, as the group runs into the room.
The ground starts to shake as Team Rocket's mecha rises from the ground. A ladder drops down, and Team Rocket's Pokémon climb the ladder into the mecha. Meowth admits to Jessie and James that he was hypnotized and let the Pokémon escape. Jessie pushes a button, and nets pop out of the mecha's arms. The Pokémon flee out of the escape tunnel, with the group following behind. Ash yells for Pikachu to use Thunderbolt, but, as usual, it doesn't affect the mecha, which is made of wood. Team Rocket then tries to Stomp on the group with their mecha, but they run out of the way, and the foot falls into the escape tunnel, making it fall over.
After they climb out of the remains of their mecha, Team Rocket recite their motto. Ash's Starly uses Wing Attack, but Jessie calls out Dustox, and tells it to use Gust, which blows Starly away as Ash comments on its strength. James tells Cacnea to fire Pin Missiles at Pikachu, who uses Quick Attack to dodge it. Brock sends out Bonsly. Jessie commands a Gust from Dustox. The first blows Bonsly back, but the second time balls on Bonsly's head begin to glow, and Bonsly uses Gust, blocking the attack. Brock realizes that Bonsly has learned Mimic. Jessie tells Dustox to use Psybeam, but Brock tells Bonsly to dodge it and use Mimic. The resulting Psybeam knocks out Dustox.
The groups start running toward each other when Starly flies up high and starts to glow. Its bandage falls off, and it evolves into Staravia. Staravia then uses Aerial Ace to make Team Rocket blast off. Staravia lands, and Dawn checks it on her Pokédex. The other bird Pokémon then fly off, with Hoothoot waving goodbye to Staravia. The group leaves Rosebay and continues on their journey, with Staravia flying overhead.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- Ash trying to teach Starly how to use Aerial Ace is similar to how he tried to teach Swellow how to use it in AG091 and AG092. However, he didn't use the strategy Vladimir and his Pidgeotto taught him in those episodes.
- Professor Oak's lecture: Ash's Pikachu
- Pokémon senryū: パートナー サトシとピカチュウ いいかんじ Pātonā, Satoshi to Pikachū, ii kanji "Partners Satoshi and Pikachu: a pleasant feeling."
- The episode title is a pun of A Star Is Born, a 1937 romance drama film, produced by David O. Selznick.
- This is one of the few episodes of the Diamond & Pearl series where Dawn's Piplup does not appear.
- This is one of the few episodes in which more than one main character's Pokémon learns new moves.
- The scene of Pikachu flying on Pidgeot in the flock of bird Pokémon is very similar to one in another episode, which also appeared in the original opening.
- Staravia remains outside his Poké Ball for the entire episode.
- When Ash was going to find Starly, Pikachu's right cheek was gone.
- When Meowth was holding a Swablu, a Taillow in the background has its belly the same color as its body.
- In one of the scenes where Starly was learning Aerial Ace, his plume was the same colour as his body.
- In one scene the dark green section on Cacnea's head is colored yellow.
- In the dub, they accidentally called Pidgeotto its evolved form, Pidgeot, when it was in the cage.
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