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EP005

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EP004 : Challenge of the Samurai
Original series
EP006 : Clefairy and the Moon Stone
Showdown in Pewter City
EP005.png
  EP005  
ニビジムのたたかい!
Nibi Gym Battle!
First broadcast
Japan April 29, 1997
United States September 14, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Ending {{{en_ed}}}
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ひゃくごじゅういち
Credits
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 武上純希 Junki Takegami
Storyboard 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Itani
Assistant director 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Itani
Animation director 松原徳弘 Tokuhiro Matsubara
Additional credits

Showdown in Pewter City (Japanese: ニビジムのたたかい! Nibi Gym Battle!) is the fifth episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 29, 1997 and in the United States on September 14, 1998.

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201

Blurb

Jessie, James, and Meowth dig a trap for our heroes, but they end up falling into it themselves!

Ash and Misty arrive at Pewter City and meet a curious fellow named Flint, who notices that Pikachu is tired and shows them the way to the Pokémon Center.

At the Pokémon Center, Ash reads a poster promoting the Pokémon League Regional Championships—to compete, you have to beat gym leaders from various towns and win their badges. Ash challenges the Pewter City Gym Leader, Brock, but even a healed Pikachu has no chance against Brock's Rock-type Pokémon. Later, Flint shows Ash a surprising side of Brock—when he's not battling and raising Pokémon, he has to take care of his ten brothers and sisters.

Will this news affect Ash's desire to battle Brock again for the Rock Badge? Who is this Flint guy, and why does he insist on helping Ash train Pikachu for the rematch? And will Team Rocket ever climb out of that hole?

Plot

The episode begins with Team Rocket digging a hole. After covering it, they forget exactly where the hole was dug and look around only to fall into it themselves and ended up buried alive.

Meanwhile, Ash, Misty, and Pikachu have reached the edge of Viridian Forest and arrive on the outskirts of Pewter City. Ash is tired enough that he decides to take a rest on some conveniently placed rocks. However, a nearby man tells him that there is a fee for sitting on the rocks. His name is Flint, and he is trying to sell rocks as souvenirs. Neither Ash nor Misty are interested.

They head to the Pokémon Center where Ash is surprised to encounter Nurse Joy. She explains that she is not the Viridian City Joy as Ash was obviously inclined to believe, but her older sister. She then shows Ash a poster promoting a tournament called the Pokémon League Championship and he decides to sign up. Before he can enter, however, he needs to defeat eight Pokémon Gym Leaders and earn from each a Gym Badge as proof of his victory. Flint walks in at this point and tells Ash about Pewter City's Gym Leader, Brock. He is openly skeptical of Ash's chances of winning, and laughs scornfully at the very thought of it.

Later, Ash and Misty discuss the situation over a meal and she warns Ash that Gym Leaders are much tougher than the average Trainer. She offers to help him out, but he declines. This upsets her and she storms out of the restaurant, leaving Ash with the bill.

Ash stops by the Pokémon Center again to pick up his healed team, before making his way to the Gym. Upon arriving he and Pikachu walk inside, only to find the interior pitch black. As Ash calls out, a spotlight switches on to reveal the Gym Leader, Brock, sitting cross-legged on a platform. Ash challenges Brock, who then goes over the official rules and declares that each Trainer may only use two Pokémon in the match. He stands up and asks about Ash's Pikachu, calling it cute but no match for him.

Despite this, Ash begins the match with Pikachu while Brock starts off with Onix. Pikachu is understandably intimidated by the giant rock Pokémon and tries to convince Ash to send out Pidgeotto instead. Ash responds by telling Pikachu that this is its battle, and commands it to use ThunderShock. The Electric attack is woefully ineffective and Brock commands Onix to counter with Bind. It begins to crush Pikachu, inflicting very visible pain. This prompts Ash to recall Pikachu, only to have the attempt thwarted by the larger Pokémon's bulk. Ash cannot bear to watch his friend suffer any more agony, and forfeits the match.

As the dejected Ash leaves the Gym he encounters Flint, who suggests that he follow him to his home. Ash agrees, and over a batch of tea they discuss what happened in the Gym. Flint notices that Ash is obviously upset over his loss, so he consoles him with the knowledge that Brock could be an even better Trainer than he already is. Confused, Ash asks why Brock is not living up to his potential. Flint decides to let Ash see for himself rather than explain.

Flint leads Ash outside and gestures across the way to another house. The two watch as Brock, in a pink apron, cares for his nine little brothers and sisters. As they walk away Flint explains that after Brock's good-for-nothing father left home to become a Pokémon Trainer his heartbroken mother abandoned them, leaving the eldest Brock to take care of his siblings. Ash empathizes with Brock, but is determined to defeat him. Flint recognizes that determination and mentions that he might know of a way Ash can super-charge Pikachu.

They go to a hydro-electric plant where Flint hooks up the generator to the electric sacs in Pikachu's cheeks. As the river is bone-dry, Ash must run on a large water wheel to generate the electricity, which flows into Pikachu. Misty shows up and offers to lend Ash her Water-type Pokémon, but Ash refuses, wanting to defeat Brock with his own team. He continues charging Pikachu until the generator overloads and Pikachu's electricity lights up the night sky.

The next day, Ash returns with confidence to the Pewter City Gym for a rematch. Brock is also confident after his easy victory in the last battle, and the two quickly start the rematch. Brock sends out Geodude, while Ash sends out Pidgeotto. However, the Flying type can't seem to harm the Rock type, so Ash recalls him and sends out Pikachu. Misty is seen in the rafters, cheering for Ash, only to be crowded by Brock's siblings.

Brock comments on how weak Pikachu and Ash were, and Ash retorts by commanding Pikachu's attack, which easily knocks Geodude down. Both Brock and Misty are stunned, staring open-mouthed. Brock recalls his Geodude and sends out Onix, and a fearful Pikachu tries to do another Electric attack, damaging the Gym itself instead. Onix wraps Pikachu with Bind, but Pikachu makes a comeback with his new attack, Thunderbolt, which manages to hurt Onix but still isn't enough to take it out. Just as Pikachu is about to pass out, Brock suddenly spares it by calling Onix off. He tells Ash to forfeit again, not wanting to cause further damage to Pikachu. Ash protests, wanting to fight the match to the end.

Suddenly, the Gym's sprinklers are set off by a fire caused by Pikachu's earlier Electric attack. Water sprays all over Onix, weakening him and allowing Pikachu to fight back with another Electric attack. Just as Ash is about to command Pikachu to finish Onix off, he finds he can't move. Brock's brothers and sisters are all holding Ash in place, which Ash believes to be his conscience. Brock orders his brothers and sisters to not get involved, but they protest, knowing that Brock's love of Pokémon would make it painful for him to continue the match and watch his Onix get hurt further.

Ash calls back his Pikachu. He explains that if he defeated Brock now, it would only be because of the sprinklers being set off. He decides he wants to win his Badge fair and square, much to Misty's disappointment, since he is giving up a lucky advantage.

Ash leaves the Pewter Gym, and, on his way out of Pewter City, he apologizes to Pikachu for being so tough. Then, he hears someone calling him, and turns to find Brock running to catch up with him and give him the Boulder Badge. Ash says he can't accept the Badge, but Brock insists that Ash has earned it through his kindness to Pokémon. Brock continues to explain that rather than becoming a great Pokémon Trainer, his dream is to become a great Pokémon breeder, but can't do so because of his family duties. He gives Ash the Badge, and asks him to fulfill his dream; Ash agrees to do so.

Suddenly, Flint shows up again, and reveals that he is Brock's "good-for-nothing" father. He explains that he didn't want to return to his family as a failure of a Pokémon Trainer. Ash puzzles over the fact that Flint helped him instead of his son, Brock, and Flint explains that Ash's helplessness reminded him of himself. Flint is ready to take back the responsibilities that he abandoned, which Brock returns to him, along with a long list of tasks for him to remember while taking care of the children.

That evening, Ash and Brock travel on the road out of Pewter City. Brock asks to make sure that it is okay that he joins Ash on his Pokémon journey, and Ash insists that he is glad to have him along. However, Misty is a different story, and from several paces behind she yells at him to not forget about her bike. Ash and Pikachu try to ditch Misty, followed by Brock and the angry girl herself.

Team Rocket show up at the end for a final cameo, finally managing to burst out of their self-made tomb via a power drill, only to end up trampled by Ash and his friends as they run over the hole in the ground, unaware of the people underfoot.

Major events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.

Debuts

Humans

Pokémon debuts

Characters

Dare da?

Humans

Pokémon

Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Onix


Trivia

  • This episode introduces Team Rocket's pitfall trap gag.
  • This episode establishes that there are multiple Nurse Joys who are all part of a large extended family.
  • This is the first episode in which Team Rocket appears but has no bearing on the plot.
  • The poster in the Pokémon Center uses type symbols from the TCG, specifically from top to bottom, the Electric, Psychic, Grass, Fighting, Fire, and Water symbols.
  • This is one of the few episodes where Ash tries to return Pikachu to its Poké Ball.
  • This episode introduced the greatest number of named recurring characters in the anime, due to Brock's siblings. If all of Gary's cheerleaders were named, the honor would go to the first episode.
  • This episode is featured on the Volume 20: Onix copy of Pokémon All-Stars.
  • Three days after this episode aired in English, Ash won his eighth Badge in Japanese.

Errors

Ash's red eyes
  • Before Ash's first battle with Brock, right before Brock switches the lights of the Gym on, Ash's eyes appear red.
  • In the English dub, Flint says that Brock has ten little brothers and sisters when he only has nine.
  • Ash's advantage over Brock should not have technically worked; Ground-type Pokémon are immune to Electric-type moves. This is the first of many times Pikachu's Electric attacks defy type match-ups to change the results of the battle.
    • Ironically, in later episodes when Pikachu faces other Ground-types, including other Onix, Ash actually states that electric attacks would have no effect.
  • When Brock says "Geodude, go!" during his rematch with Ash, his mouth does not move when he says "go".
  • When Ash tries to return Pikachu into its Poké Ball, the ball doesn't have the lightning bolt like in EP001.

Changes

Dub edits

  • Flint charges a $2 fee for sitting on his rocks, or ¥50 in the Japanese version.
  • Various pieces of text were changed to English:
    • The unreadable (due to the position of the camera) signs at Flint's shop were changed to "SALE".
    • The poster in the Pokémon Center was translated, emulating the font and style of the letters exactly.
    • The restaurant bill was changed from ¥1150 to $1150. The top of the bill's writing is removed and bottom of the bill is changed from "Restaurant Nibi" to "Thank You".
    • The "Nibi Gym" sign was changed to say "Pewter Gym".
    • The sign outside Flint's house changed from "We have rocks" to "ROCKS FOR SALE".
  • Instead of saying Brock's mother left the family to Brock's care, Flint tells Ash that she died after trying to raise the family on her own. This resulted in an inconsistency in the English dub, as Brock's mother, Lola appears in A Family That Battles Together Stays Together! as well as in several other episodes afterward.

Differences between the episode and the comic adaptation

  • The scene at the diner was omitted.

In other languages



EP004 : Challenge of the Samurai
Original series
EP006 : Clefairy and the Moon Stone
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.