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| Throwing the Track Switch
Eipam and Buoysel! Respective Roads!!
|| November 22, 2007
| United States
|| April 26, 2008
|| Team Iguchi
|| 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
|| 奥村よしあき Yoshiasa Okumura
| Assistant director
|| 秦義人 Yoshito Hata
| Animation director
|| 木下和栄 Kazue Kinoshita
| Additional credits
Throwing the Track Switch (Japanese: エイパムとブイゼル！それぞれの道！！ Eipam and Buoysel! Respective Roads!!) is the 55th episode of the Diamond & Pearl series, and the 521st episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on November 22, 2007 and in the United States on April 26, 2008.
When Dawn and her friends run into Zoey on their way to Solaceon Town, the two Coordinators can't resist having a practice battle. At the same time, Ash has Chimchar and Aipom battle each other to train for his upcoming Gym battle. But Buizel is distracted by the battle between Chimchar and Aipom, while Aipom keeps trying to watch the Contest battle between Buizel and Zoey's Glameow. It seems as if Buizel would rather be battling while Aipom would rather be in a Contest, so Zoey makes a bold suggestion: why doesn't Dawn trade Buizel for Ash's Aipom?
Dawn and Ash aren't sure if that's a good idea. To test the waters, Ash suggests that he use Buizel to battle Brock, and Dawn can use Aipom to battle Zoey. But before the battle can get very far, Jessie and Meowth show up in disguise. James is miserable now that Cacnea's gone, so his teammates are determined to cheer him up-by stealing Aipom and Buizel!
But James, unaware of the plan, accidentally blows Team Rocket's cover. Seviper uses Haze and Team Rocket makes a grab for Aipom and Buizel anyway, but they end up snagging Glameow and Sudowoodo instead. Ash and Dawn use Aipom and Buizel to defeat Team Rocket, and it looks like Ash's attacking style is a good match for Buizel while Aipom's flair is a good match for Dawn. They complete the Pokémon trade, then get back on the road to Dawn's next Contest!
During the night, James looks down at a Pokémon Center, still very depressed at giving Cacnea away. Jessie and Meowth try to cheer him up with his favorite fruit, but it fails, which affects all of them since James's attitude is weighing Team Rocket down.
Inside the Center, Dawn and Aipom watch the television, which displays Kenny and Prinplup winning their second Ribbon. Zoey enters the Center and greets them before noticing Ash and Pikachu spread out across the bench, lacking energy after eating too much. While Brock and Sudowoodo make a herbal remedy for them, Dawn glances at her only Ribbon, upset that Kenny is passing her. Ash gives her encouragement as Marian announces that Solaceon Town is the next Pokémon Contest location, which Zoey mentions is on the same route as Veilstone City. Dawn decides to train for that Contest, asking Zoey if she is entering as well, but Zoey decides to pass in order to improve one of her combinations. Still, Dawn asks to train with her tomorrow, which she agrees to. Brock and Sudowoodo finish making the herbal remedy for Ash and Pikachu. Brock gives Ash his dose as a powder while Pikachu's dose is mixed with liquid Poffin batter, sticking it on Pikachu's nose. When both take the herbs, they find it very disgusting, causing both to run around the room.
The next morning, Dawn decides to prepare Buizel for his Contest debut by having a practice Contest Battle against Zoey and her Glameow. Ash is also inspired to train, deciding to practice with Aipom and Chimchar. While Brock studies Ash's battle, Dawn commands Buizel to use Water Gun. Glameow uses Iron Tail to dissipate the attack into a fine mist sparkle, creating an appeal. Aipom watches a little too intently and doesn't hear Ash's first command, but quickly gets back into battle. Brock notices the behavior as Ash and Aipom try to get back on track. Dawn critiques Buizel's Water Gun and how it made Glameow look appealing but not Buizel. As Buizel tries to get into the Contest flow, Ash tells Aipom to use Focus Punch, which Chimchar easily dodges. The battle grabs Buizel's attention, which Zoey notices. Dawn gets Buizel's attention back and has him use Aqua Jet. Glameow uses Shadow Claw in an attempt to cancel, but ends up going over the attack, using the water mist to create another appeal before landing. Buizel lands and shakes off the water, which Dawn also critiques. Buizel tries to take it in, but drifts to watching Ash’s battle. Chimchar launches Flame Wheel as Aipom dodges and fires Swift, which Chimchar charges right into with Flame Wheel. Zoey notices Buizel's interest as Aipom breaks the Flame Wheel with Focus Punch. Aipom suddenly launches a Swift attack towards the sky and jumps on the stars as a Contest move. Zoey notes the appeal as Dawn mentions that Aipom watches Dawn train a lot. Ash and Dawn prepare to continue training, but Zoey stops both of them and brings up the time when she told Ash to let Dawn raise Aipom, pointing out that Aipom likes Contests while Buizel isn’t as receptive to it. Zoey suggest for Ash and Dawn to trade Aipom and Buizel to each other, which surprises everyone. Team Rocket listens in nearby and decides to steal both Pokémon, but James is still depressed.
Inside the Center, Ash and Dawn watch as Nurse Joy helps two Trainers conduct a trade with a Ponyta and a Munchlax. As the trade finishes and the Trainers leave, Nurse Joy asks if they are ready to trade. Ash and Dawn appear reluctant as they realize how they have already bonded to their Pokémon. Dawn knows Aipom has been with Ash a long time, while Ash knows that Dawn has already put time into training with Buizel. Joy mentions that Trainers need to adapt to their Pokémon in the same way Pokémon bond to Trainers. Ash suggests that he should have a practice battle with Buizel against Brock while Dawn practices with Aipom against Zoey. Brock realizes that it will simulate the trade effects and if it will really work.
Outside, they prepare for the practice matches as Zoey summons Glameow while Brock chooses Sudowoodo. Before anything starts, however, a disguised Team Rocket, minus James, shows up as a fake Pokémon au pair service, where they train Pokémon for a Trainer. However, James shows up without a disguise, which destroys the plan. After realizing that they did it to help him, James has Carnivine attack alongside Seviper and Dustox. Dustox fires Psybeam and Carnivine uses Bullet Seed, the attacks hitting Ash and his friends, creating an explosion. Seviper follows up with a blinding Haze, but Ash is quick to bring out Staravia to Gust it away. After reciting their motto, Team Rocket realizes that Carnivine and Seviper took Sudowoodo and Glameow instead of Aipom and Buizel. Ash and Dawn step in with their new practice partners to stop Team Rocket.
Carnivine fires Bullet Seed and Dustox fires Psybeam. Aipom uses Swift to create a giant star Swift shield to block the attack and demonstrate Contest appeal as well. Dustox uses Whirlwind, but Buizel hits Dustox with SonicBoom before knocking her out with Aqua Jet. Seviper fires Haze as Aipom uses Double Team to surround Buizel before using Focus Punch to disperse the Haze. Buizel fires Water Gun, sending Team Rocket blasting off. As Zoey and Brock hug their Pokémon, Ash and Dawn applaud their partner Pokémon's abilities. Brock and Zoey mentions that it is a match, which the Trainers agree to, so the trade is set.
At the Center, Ash and Dawn place Aipom and Buizel's Poké Balls into the trade machine and pull the lever together, conducting the trade. After it finishes, Ash and Dawn pick up their new Poké Balls and summon their new Pokémon, Buizel and Aipom. Ash vows to use Buizel at the next Gym while Aipom will participate in Dawn's next Contest.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- James's Cacnea has been removed from the opening credits.
- Music from Jirachi: Wish Maker, an instrumental version of Together, Hello! Thank You!, and the title theme from Celebi: Voice of the Forest are used as background music.
- The music of the Abandoned Ship is used as background music in a scene with Team Rocket.
- Jessie says the title of the song とりかえっこプリーズ Trade Please.
- This episode marks the first and so far the only time that Ash or any of his friends has conducted a trade with each other.
- Professor Oak's Big Pokémon Encyclopedia: Shellos
- Pokémon senryū: カラナクシ にしとひがしで いろちがい Karanakushi, nishi to higashi de, iro chigai "Karanakushi, the Western and the Eastern are, alternate colored"
- This is one of the few episodes Brock doesn't flirt with Nurse Joy, although earlier in the episode while he was making a medicine for Ash, he said he wouldn't waste Nurse Joy's time when she could be working.
- Despite Aipom and Buizel being traded so both could follow their respective roads, Contests and Gym battles respectively, later on they still would participate in their paths prior the trade, with Aipom participating in a Gym battle against Maylene in Crossing the Battle Line! (which occurred after she evolved into Ambipom) and Buizel participating in the Wallace Cup in Staging a Heroes' Welcome!.
- As Jessie and Meowth finish their plotting, Meowth's charm has three lines on it instead of the usual four.
- When Jessie sends out Dustox, her mouth doesn't move.
- While Croagunk was watching Happiny and Buneary, his irises were missing making his eyes only yellow.
- The Brazilian Portuguese dub wrongly states that Piplup is female.
- When the two unnamed trainers trade, the one mentions "Thanks for the Ponyta," but the silhouette on the trading machine is of Rapidash.
- After Team Rocket recite their motto, James's Mime Jr. disappears and isn't seen for the remainder of the episode.
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