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| Better Eight Than Never
Fusube Gym! The Final Badge!!
|| June 27, 2002
| United States
|| June 21, 2003
|| Team Ota
|| 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
|| 藤本義孝 Yoshitaka Fujimoto
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
| No additional credits are available at this time.
Better Eight Than Never (Japanese: フスベジム！さいごのバッジ！！ Fusube Gym! The Final Badge!!) is the 254th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on June 27, 2002 and in the United States on June 21, 2003.
Having finally seen stability restored to the Blackthorn Gym, Ash and Clair face off in a gym battle. Ash opens with a surprise entry, his Snorlax, and defeats Clair's Kingdra to take victory in the first round. Clair quickly comes back, wearing Snorlax down with her Gyarados. Ash sends in Pikachu, hoping its advantage as an Electric Pokémon will be enough to defeat Clair's Water Pokémon. It isn't until he puts Pikachu's speed to use, however, that he emerges victorious. At two to one, Ash is only one win away from earning his final badge, but this last round—against Clair's Dragonair—promises to be the hardest one yet.
The episode begins with Ash and Clair on separate sides of a huge lake with floating platforms spread around it which is going to be the battlefield for Ash and Clair. It is a three-on-three match. The battle then begins. Ash starts off with Snorlax which is a big surprise for Misty and Brock. Clair counters with Kingdra.
Ash starts off with Snorlax’s Hyper Beam and Clair counters with Kingdra’s Agility. Kingdra attacks Snorlax, but it doesn't work. Clair then uses Kingdra’s Swift, but that just bounces off again. Ash tries to use Snorlax’s Body Slam, but Kingdra dodges with Agility. Kingdra attacks Snorlax again, but again Snorlax is undamaged. Clair notes that these attacks aren't working, so she uses Hydro Pump. Ash tells Snorlax to dodge it but it is unable to dodge it. Clair orders another Hyper Beam which Snorlax avoided by going under water. Ash congratulates it on its quick thinking. Ash orders a Body Slam but as it goes underwater it weighs much less. Kingdra uses this to its advantage and avoids being crushed. She tells Kingdra to use Hydro Pump once Snorlax comes up for air. This worries Misty and Brock, but Ash tells Snorlax to jump out of the water. It goes up into the air and Kingdra uses Hydro Pump. Ash orders Snorlax to lean back and it manages to successfully dodge the attack. Clair then orders Kingdra to use Swift, but Ash tells Snorlax to just take it. Clair orders another Hydro Pump, but it only does a little bit of damage. Kingdra is also starting to look tired. Brock says that Ash’s plan must be to just wear Kingdra out, as Snorlax has a lot of endurance. Clair orders another Hyper Beam, but Snorlax dodges it once again by going underwater. Ash then orders Snorlax to use Ice Punch knocking Kingdra out of the match.
Clair recalls Kingdra congratulating it for a job well done. She then sends out Gyarados. Snorlax seems to be a little tired after the match with Kingdra. Clair orders Gyarados to use Hydro Pump, while Snorlax uses Hyper Beam. Both attacks cancel each other out. Gyarados then uses DragonBreath, which hit Snorlax, paralyzing it. Clair then orders Gyarados to use Hyper Beam. Snorlax is slammed by the beam and it falls, fainted. Ash then chooses Pikachu.
Gyarados goes in to Bite Pikachu, but Pikachu uses Agility to get out of the way. Ash tells Pikachu to use Thunderbolt but before he could attack, Gyarados uses DragonBreath, tiring Pikachu. Gyarados then tries to finish him off with a Hydro Pump, which misses Pikachu as he uses Agility to get out of the way. As Gyarados goes in for another Hydro Pump, Pikachu uses Agility to race up the Hydro Pump to get into point-blank-range of Gyarados' face. He then uses a Thunderbolt to knock Gyarados out.
Clair then releases her strongest Pokémon: Dragonair. Pikachu then uses Thunderbolt, but Dragonair dives under the water. Clair orders a Hyper Beam, which zooms out of the water and smashes into Pikachu, taking him out. Ash then sends out Charizard into battle. The roof of the stadium then opens so that the two Pokémon could have a sky high battle.
Charizard goes in to attack Dragonair. Clair tells her to dive under the water. From under the water, Dragonair spins to create a massive twister, which bursts out of the water and smashes into Charizard. Charizard then uses Flamethrower on the lake, drying it entirely. Dragonair is now unable to dodge by diving in the water. Clair then orders Dragonair use Iron Tail. Charizard dodges and grabs Dragonair. Ash then orders a Seismic Toss. Charizard starts to spin around the earth and is about to throw Dragonair when she uses Dragon Rage. Charizard is hit bad and it falls to the ground. But on Ash's encouragement Charizard gets up and flies toward Dragonair. Dragonair then tries to use another Iron Tail. Charizard grabs her again and uses Seismic Toss just as before. Dragonair once again uses Dragon Rage but Charizard uses Fire Spin while in the twister! As Charizard is holding on to Dragonair, she is unable to escape. It then uses a fiery Seismic Toss. Charizard flies from the flames, roaring with victory. Clair orders Dragonair to get up. She tries, but collapses again. Clair then pulls out the Rising Badge and hands it to Ash, who says his usual line and Pikachu jumps for joy.
Back at the Dragon Cave, Team Rocket enters slowly. They approach the Dragon Fang, but see Liza and Charla. Charla goes in and sends them blasting off again. Liza then returns to the Gym to find that Ash has won the Rising Badge. Clair then explains that Ash should head to Mt. Silver, where he can prepare for the Johto League. Ash thanks her. He then looks at Charizard, who is by Charla. Ash walks up to it and tells it to be good for Liza. Liza is surprised, but Ash knows that is where Charizard belongs. Liza, Charla, and Charizard then take off. Ash waves goodbye to his old friend. Ash decides to stay in Blackthorn for one more day so Clair can explain about the League.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Muk (US and international), Charizard (Japan)
- The English title of this episode is taken from the saying "Better late than never".
- This is the only time so far that Ash has ever brought a Pokémon back from Professor Oak's for a Gym battle.
- Parts of this episode were reanimated and used for flashback material for The Fires of a Red-Hot Reunion.
- In the end, when Clair says good-bye to Liza, she mispronounces her name as "Laiza".
- Brock states that Gyarados is a dual Water/Flying type, and Misty replies that Pikachu should "still" have an advantage over Gyarados because of his Electricity; this implies that Electric-type attacks are super effective against Water-type Pokémon but weak against Flying-type Pokémon. In reality, Electric attacks are strong against both, giving Pikachu a double advantage.
- Dragonair's horn is missing when she faints from battle.
- After Snorlax uses Ice Punch, Brock states how Dragon Pokémon have trouble against Ice-type attacks, but because Kingdra is part Water-type it would affect it normally. The reverse happened in a previous episode when Pikachu used his Electric-type attacks against Kingdra.
- In one scene, Togepi's right arm is colored the same as its body.
- When Snorlax jumped out of the water, its feet were the same color as its body.
- When Ash sends out Charizard, the original generic animation of him throwing a Poké Ball is shown, a throwback to the original series. Because of this, Ash's hat is on backwards when it shouldn't be.
- In "Who's That Pokémon?" it says that Muk's footprints are poisonous, but Muk doesn't have a footprint.
- When Ash tells Charizard to use Fire Spin while using Seismic Toss, Charizard rotates its head a full 360 degrees.
- It would seem that some of Charizard's Flamethrower attacks are dubbed as Fire Spin.
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