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| The Punchy Pokémon
Fighting Pokémon! The Great Battle!
|| October 14, 1997
| United States
|| October 15, 1998
|| Team Ota
|| 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
|| 鈴木敏明 Toshiaki Suzuki
| Assistant director
|| 鈴木敏明 Toshiaki Suzuki
| Animation director
|| 酒井啓史 Hiroshi Sakai
| Additional credits
The Punchy Pokémon (Japanese: かくとうポケモン！だいバトル！ Fighting Pokémon! The Great Battle!) is the 29th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on October 14, 1997 and in the United States on October 15, 1998.
In the outskirts of Fuchsia City, our heroes come across Hitmonchan, a fighter-Pokémon. With little thought, Ash attempts to capture it, but he and Pikachu are badly defeated. Hitmonchan's master has abandoned his family, training day and night, aiming for victory at the P1 Grand Prix (the number one Pokémon Grand Prix). His daughter tells Ash and his friends of her desire to make her father remember his family. In the meantime, Ash's party enters the P1 Grand Prix, but with Team Rockets unwanted, not to mention, unofficial presence at the competition, the battle goes out of control.
A shadowy figure is seen in the distance. As it approaches, it is discovered that the figure is a Hitmonchan. It suddenly stops by a nearby tree, while a girl watches the Fighting-type from behind. Ash and his friends are amazed, thinking it's a wild Hitmonchan. Ash tells Pikachu that if it can defeat Hitmonchan, it will be a world champion Pokémon. However, Pikachu just imagines itself getting beaten up. Ash says that he will teach Pikachu his secret punch. Misty and Brock are curious about this, and question when Ash became a boxing expert.
Ash challenges Hitmonchan, and Pikachu is wearing little boxing gloves. Hitmonchan smirks at this, but Ash tells Pikachu to attack. Brock and Misty are watching while Ash gives commands. Pikachu sends a glowing glove into Hitmonchan's face. It rubs the spot where it was hit, and Pikachu gets scared. A man runs over, and tells Hitmonchan it should not let its guard down, then tells it to knock out that Pokémon.
Hitmonchan creams Ash's little Pikachu. Much to Ash's disappointment, it was not a wild Hitmonchan. Suddenly, the girl runs out from behind the tree. She calls the man her dad, and begs him to come home, and to give up trying to become a Trainer. The man tells his daughter, Rebecca, that he won't quit until he becomes the P1 Grand Prix champion. He then informs everyone that he will be at his Gym and leaves.
After talking with Rebecca, Ash and the others learn that Anthony is determined to become the P1 Grand Prix champion, and as a result has essentially abandoned his family. Wanting to help Rebecca out, Brock volunteers his and Ash's assistance, saying their Geodude and Primeape will defeat Anthony and his Hitmonchan.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket gets wind of the Grand Prix as well. They decide to enter to win the prize belt. James and Meowth, on the other hand, want to win for the all-you-can-eat buffet. Jessie then gets mad at them. When they ask what she would use the money for, she tells them she would go to the salon and go on a shopping spree. When James points out that only Fighting Pokémon can enter, Jessie says that they will have to "borrow" one. They spot a tall man and his Hitmonlee, which James identifies as the Kicking Fiend.
At the P1 Grand Prix, all the competitors are ready. The first battle is between a Machop and Ash's Primeape. Despite Ash's pleas, Primeape refuses to listen, until Machop launches a Seismic Toss and sends Primeape out of the ring. Ash rushes to save it, but misses. He then asks his Pokémon if it's okay. Primeape gives Ash a sad look, then shakes it off and jumps back into the ring. Now listening to Ash, Primeape is able to take control and defeat the Machop with Scratch and Mega Kick.
The next match is Hitmonlee versus Geodude. Brock waves to Rebecca, saying everything is under control. Suddenly, Rebecca tells him to look out, and Brock is hit in the head with his own Pokémon. He sends Geodude back into the ring, where it is kicked mercilessly. Anthony approaches, telling Brock that a real man knows when to admit defeat. Brock throws in the towel, and apologizes to Geodude for making it battle. Ash promises that he and Primeape will take care of the tournament from that point forward.
As more battles are battled throughout the tournament, Primeape, Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee rise to the top of the ladder. The next main match is between Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee. Jessie is ready for anything and to make sure they win. Meowth squirts glue up through the floor of the arena. Hitmonchan steps on the glue and gets stuck, so Anthony has to throw in the towel. Anthony says he is sorry he worried Rebecca and her mother. Misty says that the fighting brought a family back together.
Then the highly anticipated battle between Ash's Primeape versus the stolen Hitmonlee takes place. Primeape blocks multiple rapid kicks from Hitmonlee and manages to sneak through a few hits. Under the arena Meowth tries to pull off another cheating move, but Pikachu spots him and decides to get moving. It finds that Meowth has planted a bomb on the stage.
Meanwhile back on the stage Hitmonlee jumps up, as per plan, Meowth hits the button on the controls, but the bomb does not explode. Hitmonlee falls down, and Primeape grabs it. It uses its Seismic Toss and wins the match. Primeape has now become the new P1 Grand Prix Champion. Ash says he is proud of Primeape. Anthony says it has a lot of natural talent, and offers to train it for Ash; he promises that he will make Primeape a true P1 Champion
Ash and leaves Primeape with Anthony to train and take care of. His daughter says that she will also make sure he spends time at home. Primeape then gets teary-eyed, but Ash assures Primeape that he and Primeape will be together again someday.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Hitmonchan
Other Pokémon seen competing at the P1 Grand Prix
- Despite it not being a Fighting-type, Brock was allowed to enter his Geodude in the competition. In the Pokémon Trading Card Game, however, Geodude is considered a Fighting-type.
- Anthony quotes the song You Gotta Be by Des'ree while commanding Hitmonchan in its fight against Hitmonlee.
- This episode shares some similarities with To Thine Own Pokémon Be True!:
- A main character participates in a special contest, using a monkey-based Pokémon.
- The main character ends up giving his/her Pokémon that participated the contest to be trained by another participant of the contest.
- In the original version, Ash wanted to teach Pikachu boxing. So he said : " Ashita no Tame ni #1 " (For the sake of tomorrow #1), which is clearly a reference to the 1970 Boxing anime Ashita No Joe (Tomorrow's Joe). "For the sake of tomorrow # 1,2..." are boxing lessons in the anime .
- Meowth's trap for Primeape proved to be flawed.
- When Hitmonlee jumped on the turnbuckle, had the trap went off, it would've been shocked anyway.
- When Pikachu handed the device to Meowth, there was no way for James or Jessie to get shocked, as there was no current.
- Near the end, Rebecca says "And I'll make sure my father spends lots of time with her family."
- Ash's statement of Pikachu using an Uppercut was actually supposed to be a Right Straight.
- A lot of paint edits were made in this episode.
- The sign outside the Gym, 闘魂ジム (Fighting Spirit Gym), was changed to "Fighting Spirit". A similar, yet reversed version happens in the interior of the Gym, where toukon (Fighting Spirit) is changed to "Fighting Spirit Gym".
- The "P-1 Grand Prix" text on the Banners are removed.
- Any and all banners saying 必勝 (Victory), ポケピタソP (Pokédrink), and がんばれ (Do Your Best!) ガンバレ(Do Your Best!), and ファイト (Fight!) are removed. However, a banner reading GOGOサワムラー (Go Go Hitmonlee) is left in the dub.
- Team Rocket's desire for what they should get after winning the Belt were different between the original and dubbed version. In the original, Team Rocket mentioned wanting hamburg, curry, cake, ice cream, steak, spaghetti, and cola. In the dub, it was changed to honey-glazed ham, roast leg of lamb, strawberry jam, sirloin steaks, and chocolate cakes. On a related note, Jessie's original desire was to invite bishonen (pretty boys) over for okonomiyaki, whileas the dub just called them her close friends.
- Rebecca's mother was never mentioned in the Japanese version.
- The hints at Primeape seeing Ash afterwards (and the implications that Primeape being Anthony's Pokémon only being temporary) were dub added. In fact, the only character in both versions to even hint at Primeape and Ash seeing each other again was the narrator.
In other languages