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| The Keystone Pops!
|| November 29, 2007
| United States
|| May 10, 2008
|| Team Iguchi
|| 大橋志吉 Yukiyoshi Ōhashi
|| 山田浩之 Hiroyuki Yamada
| Assistant director
|| 山田浩之 Hiroyuki Yamada
| Animation directors
|| 新城真 Makoto Shinjō
| 夏目久仁彦 Kunihiko Natsume
| Additional credits
The Keystone Pops! (Japanese: ミカルゲの要石！ Mikaruge's Keystone!) is the 56th episode of the Diamond & Pearl series, and the 522nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on November 29, 2007 as part of a one-hour special alongside Bibarel Gnaws Best!, and in the United States on May 10, 2008.
Aipom and Buizel are battling in a field when Aipom deflects Buizel's Sonic Boom into an old stone tower, knocking it down. Then the skies darken and a Pokémon emerges from the ruined tower: Spiritomb! Spiritomb flies off, causing havoc wherever it goes—first it wrecks Team Rocket's dinner, then it wrecks an entire village!
One of the villagers is an old lady who knows this damage is the work of Spiritomb. Long, long ago, Spiritomb caused trouble for the villagers until an Aura Guardian and his Pikachu sealed Spiritomb inside a Hallowed Tower made of stone. That sounds an awful lot like the tower our heroes accidentally knocked down! Ash and his friends promise to make things right, they're approached by Team Rocket, who are disguised as psychics. They pretend to help calm Spiritomb down, but then spring a net over Pikachu and Spiritomb.
Spiritomb blasts the net apart and chases down Team Rocket. But Meowth discovers that Spiritomb is really looking for revenge on the Aura Guardian who sealed it in the Tower. Meanwhile, our heroes need to stop Spiritomb, so they lure Team Rocket into a trap and Spiritomb is close behind. But when Team Rocket tells Spiritomb that Ash is a descendant of the Aura Guardian, it turns its wrath on Ash!
With Spiritomb in hot pursuit, Ash runs to the ruins of the Hallowed Tower, yet Spiritomb is too powerful to be sealed away. Pikachu is exhausted, but as clouds gather overhead, Ash gets an idea. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt on the skies, attracting a lightning bolt that fills it with energy. Then Pikachu defeats Spiritomb and the wayward spirit is sealed back into the Hallowed Tower, this time for good!
After having traded, Ash and Dawn decide to get used to their new Pokémon. After a few minutes of battling Ash's Buizel uses SonicBoom which is then deflected by Dawn's Aipom's Focus Punch and sent into a Hallowed Stone Tower. The tower immediately crumbles into bricks. The bricks of the Hallowed Stone Tower then begin to glow. The sky turns black and clouds roll in. In the rubble lies an Odd Keystone.
Lightning strikes the keystone and from it emerges Spiritomb who then proceeds to attack the group with Shadow Ball and Hyper Beam. The group try to counter with Buizel's Water Gun however the attack goes straight through Spiritomb. It then responds with Shadow Ball knocking Buizel out. Spiritomb then flies away. Soon after, it encounters Jessie, James and Meowth and attacks them with Hyper Beam and Dark Pulse. It then flies away hitting Jessie's head with its Keystone in the process.
The next day Ash and his friends arrive in the village to find it derelict. They hear stories about a strange Ghost-type Pokémon that attacked the village in the night. They immediately connect this with Spiritomb. They meet an old woman who tells them the story of Spiritomb which terrorized the village and how an Aura Guardian with a Pikachu defeated and sealed away Spiritomb in the Hallowed Stone Tower 500 years ago. Then the group realizes they've destroyed the same tower and takes the old lady to it who acts furious seeing it. Then they apologize promising to make things right.
Then Team Rocket shows up disguised as psychics. Jessie pretends to be saying facts that happened in their past life, while James tells them that Meowth (who is disguised as a Sneasel) has the ability to communicate telepathically with other Pokémon. Next, the old man's grandson appears informing them of Spiritomb's return. They return to the village where Meowth uses "telepathy" to communicate with Spiritomb. Meowth returns and whispers into James's ear that Spiritomb wants something from Pikachu. Jessie takes Pikachu to Spiritomb and throws a net over both of them revealing their identity. After reciting their motto they take off in their balloon.
Spiritomb uses Ominous Wind, which slashes Team Rocket's balloon and making them crash to the ground. It then lets itself free, to which Jessie sends out Seviper but it is quickly knocked by Spiritomb's Hyper Beam. Then Team Rocket flees with Spiritomb following them. Spiritomb catches up with them, revealing to Meowth it wants revenge on the Aura Guardian for sealing it in the Keystone. Knowing the Guardian lived 500 years ago they flee again with Spiritomb on their tracks.
The scene turns to the group searching for Spiritomb. Dawn realizes Spiritomb gave chase to Team Rocket and makes a plan in order to lure them. The scene reverts to Team Rocket in their balloon. They notice Pikachu alone, sleeping in a meadow. They land and head for Pikachu but they get into a pitfall trap. Then the group proceeds to imitate Team Rocket's motto but are interrupted by an angry Jessie.
Spiritomb shows up and Team Rocket convinces Spiritomb that Ash is a descendant of the Aura Guardian. It turns its anger on Ash and attacks him with Hyper Beam. Ash dodges and agrees to battle it. Ash runs to the ruins of the Hallowed Tower with Spiritomb in close pursuit. It stops Ash and Pikachu in their tracks by using Dark Pulse. Pikachu replies with Quick Attack but Spiritomb dodges. Then Pikachu uses Thunderbolt hitting Spiritomb which counters with Hyper Beam.
They start running again but Spiritomb stops them. Pikachu continually uses Thunderbolt getting more and more tired while Spiritomb resists each attack. Then it uses Shadow Ball but misses Pikachu and hitting Team Rocket blasting them off. Then it initiates in a Giga Impact striking both Ash and Pikachu. Pikachu falls on the ground exhausted as clouds gather above. Ash urges him to stand up and to send a Thunderbolt up towards the sky which re-charges Pikachu's energy. Pikachu uses Volt Tackle, then Thunderbolt defeating Spiritomb. The group then seals Spiritomb away in the Keystone. Then the old lady invites them for dinner.
In the end, the scene cuts with the narrator's conclusion.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- Team Rocket's final pose for their motto in this episode refers to a Hindi/Chinese myth of world creation: the world is held by four elephants (Phanpy), which stand on a turtle (Torkoal), which stands on a snake that bites its own tail (Arbok).
- Each of these Pokémon were on a main character's team at some point in the anime. Arbok belonged to Jessie, while Phanpy and Torkoal belong to Ash.
- This is the first episode of the anime to mention Aura (and Ash's proficiency in it), which was a major plot point in Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. As a result, the movie is made canon by this episode.
- Buizel and Aipom switched places in Ash's and Dawn's teams in the opening and ending, respectively, corresponding with their trade in the previous episode.
- Music from Lucario and the Mystery of Mew was used as background music during the old woman's story and the ending scene.
- Professor Oak's lecture: Mismagius
- Pokémon senryū: ムウマージ じゅもんとなえて やみにきえ Muumāji, jumon to naete, yami ni kie
- This is the first Pokémon USA/DuArt Film & Video episode to feature Dan Green (appearing in this episode as the voice of Spiritomb), who had previously worked on the 4Kids dub.
- The episode was originally scheduled to premiere in the United States on May 3, 2008, but was pulled due to unknown reasons. As a result, some fans were initially led to believe this episode was being skipped in the dub.
- The title for this episode comes from the movie series Keystone Kops.
- This episode marks the only time Dawn is seen using Aipom between the last episode (in which she was traded) and Journey to the Unown! (in which she evolves into Ambipom).
- This is one of the few episodes of the Diamond & Pearl series in which Dawn's Piplup does not appear.
- Jessie calls Spiritomb "Iron Chef", referring to the Japanese TV show of the same name.
- In this episode, Team Rocket uses a variation of their motto.
- Ash, Dawn, and Brock also perform a partial variation of the motto.
- This episode marks the most recent appearance of a Pikachu other than the one belonging to Ash in an main series episode of the anime. Though a female Pikachu would appear in SS027, it's a side-series episode.
- This is one of the rare episodes where a Pokémon displays independently malicious behaviour, rather than following a malicious human's orders or natural behavior, such as defending its territory.
- When Dawn tells Team Rocket she doesn't care about them today, the old woman magically appears in front of the kids without being there in the prior scenes.
- In the same scene, as Brock says "in your ear" and the scene changes to Jessie yelling, Dawn's arm is no longer raised in their pose while Ash's is still outstretched.
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