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| Princess vs. Princess
Fierce Fight! Pokémon Girls' Festival!
|| July 9, 1998
| United States
|| September 4, 1999
|| Team Ota
|| 武上純希 Junki Takegami
|| 横田和 Kazu Yokota
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| 武田優作 Yūsaku Takeda
| Additional credits
Princess vs. Princess (Japanese: げきとう！ポケモンひなまつり Fierce Fight! Pokémon Girls' Festival!) is the 52nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on July 9, 1998 and in United States on September 4, 1999.
Misty and Jessie compete against one another for Queen of the Princess Festival, a day where women rule and the guys have to do whatever the girls tell them. Misty finds out how important friends are when Ash and Brock allow her to use their Pokémon in the tournament. But Jessie manages to lick her competition with a surprise Pokémon of her own.
The episode begins with Misty and Jessie getting excited about The Princess Festival, a holiday with events, shopping sales and discounts, festivals, and games that are exclusively for women. The narrator explains this over Misty going on a shopping spree, making Ash, Brock, and even Pikachu carry her purchases. After the title screen, Misty and Jessie are shown enjoying the perks of the Princess Festival in O-Hina Town, which leads to Jessie capturing a Lickitung. Jessie then drags James and Meowth with her to do more shopping, where she encounters Misty. The two fight over a piece of clothing, only to have another shopper grab it while they aren't looking. They quickly forget about it when an announcement is made over the store's intercom about the Queen of the Princess Festival contest. Jessie and Misty decide to enter, fueled by their desire for the prize; Pokémon Princess Dolls. The other prize is a picture with a movie star named Fiorello Cappucino, but they don't show interest in that.
The next scene is the competition, where we see Fiorello, an announcer, and a line of pretty girls dressed in kimonos on a stage, including Jessie and Misty! The announcer then brings everyone's attention to the prize, a one of a kind set of Pokémon Princess Dolls. Fiorello, who is also an announcer for the competition, adds that he is part of the prize, too, causing an uproar in the crowd. Then, a startling announcement is made; the contest isn't just a beauty pageant... it's also a Pokémon battle competition! The contestants are split into divisions, and they must use four Pokémon to battle.
Misty then begs Ash and Brock to let her use their Pokémon for the contest. They reluctantly agree. Misty's team of four consists of Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Vulpix, and her Starmie. Then, Ash gets confused to why Misty wants to meet Fiorello, thinking Misty wants to win the contest to meet him. Misty explains that she just wants the dolls, because her sisters all had their own dolls sets, but she only got their hand-me-down dolls, which were broken by the time she got them. So she has always wanted a Pokémon doll set of her own.
The next scene is a montage of Misty and Jessie winning several matches. During this scene, Jessie's team consists of Arbok, Weezing, and Meowth. Misty and Jessie then face off in the finals, but not until after Jessie has a sad flashback. She talks about being a little girl, and how she, like Misty, never had a Pokémon Princess Doll of her own, while all the other little girls did. The story brings the emotional trio to tears, and James and Meowth give her support. When they're done with this, Misty and Jessie proceed with the match. Pikachu makes quick work of Arbok, Weezing, and Meowth. At first, Jessie and James lose hope that she will win the contest, but then Meowth reminds her that she caught a Lickitung earlier, and the battle continues! Lickitung easily defeats Pikachu, Bulbasaur, and Vulpix with Lick! Then, when Misty tries to send out Staryu (because earlier, she said she planned on using her Starmie), but her Psyduck pops out instead! At first, Misty is in despair, thinking that she can never win now! But in an unexpected turn of events, Lickitung's attacks give Psyduck a headache, triggering its potent psychic powers! Misty then wins the match with Psyduck's Confusion, while blasting off Team Rocket in the process!
In the end, Misty sends the dolls to the Cerulean Gym to make her sisters jealous. As for Team Rocket, James, Meowth, Arbok, Weezing, and Lickitung dressed up as Pokémon dolls to make her feel better. Jessie was moved to tears, and pretended to be a Pokémon doll along with them.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Butterfree (US and international), Lickitung (Japan)
Pokémon seen at the tournament
Jynx's original skin color
- Chronologically, this episode takes place sometime prior to So Near, Yet So Farfetch'd, since Jessie's Lickitung is mentioned in that episode. The correct order is somewhat a mystery because of the episodes airing out of order due to the EP038 incident.
- This episode was originally scheduled to air on Girls' Day itself, on March 3, 1998, but was rescheduled in the aftermath of EP038.
- This is the first episode to be part of the second dub season in broadcast order. However, the Pokémon: Indigo League title remains for this and the remaining twenty-seven episodes of the Kanto saga.
- The book Splashdown in Cerulean City is partially based on this episode.
- The billboard Ash points out is for the movie filmed in the episode Lights, Camera, Quack-tion!, seventeen episodes later.
- The Jynx princess doll displays the old color design before the skin color was changed to purple due to the controversy surrounding the issue.
- When Misty is planning for the competition, she says she is going to use Starmie. But later in the episode, she tries to use Staryu (her Psyduck comes out instead).
- Jessie's Lickitung uses Lick multiple times in this episode; however, Lickitung was unable to actually learn the move until Generation II.
- Jessie's Lickitung's yellow eyebrows turned to a shaded pink many times throughout the episode.
- Numerous signs throughout the episode were edited in place of the original text for English speaking audiences.
In other languages