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AG042 : Love at First Flight
Advanced Generation series
AG044 : The Princess and the Togepi
Let Bagons Be Bagons
AG043   EP317
Fly Tatsubay! Towards the Future!
First broadcast
Japan September 18, 2003
United States September 18, 2004
English themes
Opening This Dream
Japanese themes
Opening アドバンス・アドベンチャー
Ending ポルカ・オ・ドルカ
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
Storyboard 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Assistant director ながはまのりひこ Norihiko Nagahama
Animation director 広岡歳仁 Toshihito Hirooka
Additional credits

Let Bagons be Bagons (Japanese: 飛べ、タツベイ!明日にむかって!! Fly Tatsubay! Towards the Future!) is the 43rd episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 317th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on September 18, 2003 and in the United States on September 18, 2004.

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


The episode starts with the group following the mountainous path to Fallarbor Town. There is a small clatter of rocks at the foot of one of the cliffs the groups passes by, and the group looks upward for its source. A small blue Pokémon is standing on the top of a cliff, and Ash immediately brings out his Pokédex to identify it. The Pokédex identifies the Pokémon as Bagon, the Rock Head Pokémon. Ash observes the Bagon and notes that it does look pretty strong. May elaborates, and states that its head looks strong anyway, Max further adding that a Skull Bash from that height would squish the group like pancakes. Frightened, May reprimands Max for trying to scare her. Brock factually states that it is true that wild Pokémon do sometimes attack unexpectedly, but soon after his explanation the Bagon launches itself off the cliff’s edge and the group fearfully screams in anticipation of an attack.

As the Bagon is in the air, it moves its limbs erratically before falling down. Max yells that it is coming down, and the group runs away. The Bagon drops onto a boulder and shatters it apart with its head as it falls. The group turns back around to look at the Bagon. The Bagon straightens itself before assuming a determined expression, and Max deduces that the Bagon is looking for a fight. Ash, fine on battling Bagon, sends out Taillow. Bagon turns around and climbs back up the cliff on all fours, Taillow flying upwards near it. Bagon climbs to the top of the cliff and views Taillow flying towards it. Ash, predicting that Bagon is going to use the attack it seemed to perform earlier, tells Taillow to watch out. Bagon jumps into the air and again erratically flaps its arms before diving down headfirst. Ash commands Taillow to dodge it, and Taillow does so, Bagon falling into another boulder and shattering it. It leaps out from its landing and its helmet-like head shines, again wearing a determined expression.

Ash commands Taillow to use Wing Attack, but before Taillow can hit Bagon a girl agilely jumps down from the cliff, her appearance startling the group. The girl turns and looks at Taillow overhead, speaking coordinates, distance, and the speed of approaching Taillow out loud. She taps a button on her unusual glasses, calculates collision factors and tells Bagon to shift one meter to the left. Bagon efficiently dodges Taillow’s attack and Taillow swoops upward, startled at Bagon’s dodging.

The purple-haired girl sternly reprimands the group, asking where they got off to launch a sneak attack on her Bagon. Ash defends himself, exclaiming that her Bagon attacked the group first. Belligerently the girl tells them that if it is a fight they are after, they have got their wish. Max attempts to correct the situation, stating that the group never said that, May further elaborating that they were just innocently walking along the path when her Bagon swooped upon them from the cliffs.

The purple-haired girl removes her glasses and says that she is sorry about that. Brock immediately comes over to her, his eyes stylistic hearts, and assures her that it is no problem. Concernedly, due to Brock’s unusual behavior, the girl asks if Brock is all right. Brock provides his name, and states that he will be just fine if she were to tell him who she was. The girl provides her name, Michelle, and Brock raves on what a beautiful name it is. Ash, Max, May and apparently Pikachu introduce themselves shortly after her.

Taillow flaps into the air, and Ash asks Taillow where they are going. May sees Bagon, and says that Bagon is back on the cliff again. Bagon jumps off its edge, and Michelle equips her unusual glasses. Tracking Bagon’s falls with her glasses, Michelle states speed and degree numbers and that the landing coordinates are locked on. Ash concernedly exclaims for Bagon to look out and rushes closer to Bagon, raising his arms to catch Bagon. Bagon continues to fall, shattering a boulder before leaping out and into Michelle’s arms. May comments that it was a perfect catch, and Michelle removes her glasses to look at Bagon, who is also looking back at her. Michelle states to Bagon that it was a good job and if Bagon is all right, and Bagon affirms its safety. Max inquires Michelle if her glasses have some kind of communication link inside of them. Michelle turns to Max and answers that the glasses have more than that, the glasses having a built-in computer that calculates angle, speed, and distance. In wonderment, May asks ‘a computer?’

Michelle says yes and states that she programmed it herself to help her Bagon improve accuracy in Pokémon battles. Ash walks up, and Max comments that, from what they saw, it must be working pretty well. May also states it is pretty incredible, but Brock curiously inquires that if Bagon was not attacking them, then why did it keep diving down from the cliff. Michelle admits that the only conclusion that she can come up with is that Bagon wants to learn to fly. Max asks how a Bagon could fly, and Michelle, Ash, and May look up towards the sky to see Taillow circling overhead. Above, Taillow screeches and Bagon cries out happily in response in Michelle’s arms. Michelle states her theory that Bagon wants to swoop gracefully in the sky like Taillow does. Slightly incredulously, Brock states “so Bagon jumps off cliffs?” Michelle replies that it does, every time she takes her eyes off Bagon.

Ash moves his arms behind his head and states that he thinks he knows how Michelle’s Bagon feels, and Michelle acknowledges this statement, encouraging him to continue it. Ash, looking upward at Taillow circling, says that he has always thought how cool it must be to fly, and go anywhere you wanted to. May agrees, stating to think what a great view one would have up there. With his eyes closed and his arms crossed, Max remarks that he cannot believe how immature the two of them are. Irritated, the two of them surround Max, May indignantly asking what was it he said and Ash stating for Max to watch it. Brock comments that there is something strange about the subject of Bagon wanting to fly, continuing that he thought Bagon evolved into Shelgon first, and then into Salamence before they could fly. Michelle affirms that it is correct, but clarifies in that her Bagon has been so anxious to fly that she has been providing all the extra experience she can to help it evolve.

Ash, in that case, asks about a real battle. Michelle nods and accepts the challenge, Bagon energetically waving its limbs in Michelle’s arms.

Away from the group and hiding behind a ledge of rock, Team Rocket observes Bagon and the situation. James states that Bagon is interesting, to which Jessie asks indifferently what could be interesting about a hard-headed Pokémon. Wobbuffet pops out of its Poké Ball behind them, its hand to its head, apparently agreeing with Jessie. Meowth lowers the binoculars from his eyes and starts to explain what is interesting as Jessie and James lower theirs. Meowth states the interesting thing about Bagon is the possibility of giving it to the boss as a present. James asks Meowth if he really thinks that Giovanni would like it, and Meowth explains this in an accompanying fantasy. After this explanation, Team Rocket is cheered and further fantasizes enjoying their luxurious reward, with Wobbuffet seeming to agree.

Brock referees the battle, stating the rules and that Trainers signal when ready. Ash tells Michelle that he will start off with Pikachu, and Michelle responds that he can go ahead whenever he is ready. Max states that it is going to be Bagon, a Dragon-type, versus Pikachu, an electric type. May asks Max which one has the advantage, and Max responds that although a Dragon-type would have a clear advantage in the case, Ash chose his Pikachu anyway. Brock exclaims for the challengers to begin and Ash says his command first, commanding Pikachu to use Quick Attack. Michelle analyzes Pikachu’s Quick Attack with her glasses, and commands Bagon to fly thirty degrees left and be defensive. Bagon braces itself, and Pikachu zigzags off a rock and lunges toward Bagon. Pikachu’s head hits Bagon’s head, and due to the hardness of the impact, Pikachu recoils and Bagon throws them from their head. Pikachu roughly tumbles on the ground from the throw, holding its head.

May notes with some surprise that Bagon used its head to deflect Quick Attack, and Max adds that Michelle knew where it was coming from, and that it is bad. May asks Max why that is bad, and Max explains that it means Quick Attack has only half the normal impact. At this, May gasps concernedly in the direction of the battle.

Michelle analyzes Pikachu from his glasses, stating that Pikachu took seventy-percent damage and the morale is dropping. Michelle commands Bagon to use Skull Bash, and Bagon jumps forward. Ash commands Pikachu to dodge the attack and Pikachu hurriedly jumps out of the way. Michelle commands Bagon to change course forty-five degrees to the right, and Bagon leaps off a rock, changing direction and leaping directly towards Pikachu, who narrowly dodges it. Bagon, continuing from the momentum, smashes into a rock and Pikachu nervously looks on. Max comments that it was close, and that Bagon almost clobbered Pikachu. May replies that she knows, and that the way Michelle can analyze all the data is amazing.

Ash commands Pikachu to use Thunderbolt, and Michelle analyzes Pikachu’s Thunderbolt’s effective target area before instructing Bagon to move two meters to the left. Michelle commands Bagon to use Skull Bash, and Ash commands Pikachu to dodge it. Pikachu is unable to dodge, however, and the attack successfully hits, slamming Pikachu into a rock. May and Max react concernedly from the serious hit.

Ash runs over to Pikachu and asks Pikachu if they are all right. Michelle analyzes Pikachu, and concludes that Pikachu has taken heavy damage, a major morale drop, commenting that the match may already be over. Ash tells Pikachu to hang in there, encouraging Pikachu that they can do it. With great resolve, Pikachu stands and shows off a momentary display of sparks from their cheeks. Both Michelle and Bagon are startled at the occurrence. Ash confidently tells Pikachu that is time to show Michelle and Bagon what they got. Awestruck, Michelle stares at Pikachu and Ash, asking to herself how he could do that, and just by encouraging it he could boost its morale. Ash commands Pikachu to use Thunder, and Pikachu runs forward. Michelle analyzes Thunder’s effective shock zone, concluding that it is too big to dodge and that Bagon must instead attack. Michelle commands Bagon to charge straight into Pikachu at full velocity, and Bagon runs forward. At their collision, there is a massive explosion of dust and electrical energy, and Pikachu is revealed to have successfully hit Bagon with Thunder. Bagon, stunned, falls and skids across the ground. Max states that Bagon took some damage at the attack, and May adds that there is no telling who is going to win.

Michelle attempts Ash’s encouragement tactic, telling Bagon that it has to get up. In response, Bagon opens its eyes and rises to its feet. Michelle commands Bagon to hit Pikachu again with another Skull Bash, and Bagon lunges forward. Ash commands Pikachu to fight back, and as the distance between Bagon and its impact with Pikachu becomes shorter, Ash instructs Pikachu that he would like Pikachu to dodge at the very last second. At the precise moment, Ash commands Pikachu to dodge, and Pikachu leaps above Bagon. Bagon redirects its lunge to stop its momentum, standing and turning to face Pikachu. Ash commands Pikachu to use Thunderbolt, and Michelle calculates the probable shock area. Michelle commands Bagon to jump thirty degrees upward, and once Bagon is the air, Michelle instructs Bagon to use Skull Bash. Ash commands Pikachu to use Iron Tail, and Pikachu lunges forward, turning itself around in the air to thrust its tail at Bagon’s head. Michelle is incredulous, and Ash exclaims happily that it worked. Michelle compliments Ash, calling his tactic of using an offensive attack for defense as impressive. Ash confidently asks Pikachu if he hears that compliment, when suddenly Jessie’s voice is heard and Ash, Michelle, May, and Max all appear startled.

James replies to Jessie, starting the motto as their helicopter vehicle rises into the air. During the motto, James mentions remote-control. Brock, confused, asks what remote-control is supposed to mean. James laughs, and remarks that he is glad that Brock asked the question. A panel opens in the front portion of the helicopter, revealing Meowth with jetpack attached to his back. Meowth rockets towards Pikachu, and Ash tells Pikachu to watch out. Jessie states that he fell for it, tapping a button on a device. Meowth suddenly swerves direction, grabbing Bagon instead of Pikachu. Bagon struggles in Meowth’s grip as they ascend. In the helicopter, Jessie remarks that it is going great and that they should do all of their operations by remote control. Ash sends out Treecko, commanding Treecko to use Bullet Seed. Treecko fires Bullet Seed at Team Rocket’s helicopter, and the helicopter tilts from the impact. Jessie and James are having difficulty balancing within the faltering helicopter, and the remote control Jessie was holding is jarred out of her hands, falling out the window.

Without anyone directing the remote control, Meowth’s missile jetpack goes out of control, making the missile spin and fly erratically, Meowth exclaiming to stop the ride and that he wishes to get off, stating that they should have made room for a parachute.

Inside the helicopter, James states for Meowth to hold on and that help is on the way, swerving the helicopter towards Meowth’s direction. Michelle bends down to take the fallen remote control on the ground, and presses a few buttons. Brock asks if it is working, to which Michelle explains that it will if they get closer to it, but for the time being there are too out of range. Ash proposes that they go after it, to which Michelle nods to and affirms.

Meowth, with the erratically moving rocket still strapped to his back, yells for James to find the off switch for the rocket. Bagon, still in Meowth’s arms, seems to now enjoy the ride, and flaps its arms happily. The helicopter comes closer with a large net extended. Jessie prompts Meowth that whatever he does, that he not let go of the Bagon, and James explains to Meowth that they will scoop him in the net. Just as the net is about to scoop Meowth, however, the rocket suddenly dips downward. The rocket rushes through trees and branches, Meowth repeatedly being immersed in leaves before slamming headfirst into a tree trunk, Bagon slipping from his grasp. Meowth slides uncomfortably down, painfully complaining how they could have missed.

Treecko agility leaps and somersaults from one branch to another, the group following behind it. Michelle compliments Ash, stating that his Pokémon are really well trained. Michelle further clarifies, noting Treecko with its Bullet Seed, Pikachu’s deflecting Skull Bash with Iron Tail, before concluding that it is pretty obvious to her that Ash is a great Trainer. Ash thanks her, but states that it is his Pokémon that deserve the credit. Brock comments that Ash is being too modest, that he worked with both Pokémon for a long time to help them master the attacks. Michelle states, with some rising realization, that he encourages them. Ash affirms this and replies that he wanted them to master those attacks as much as they did, so they tried and never gave up. Michelle states that she gets it, and Ash compares the subject to being like her Bagon wanting to fly, stating that it’s a long shot, but they would really love to see it happen.

Michelle says that she understands, and thus that if she wants Bagon to evolve as much as it does, it would happen sooner. Ash affirms this, saying that it is right. Michelle looks forward before stating that encouraging her Pokémon and never getting up is it.

Jessie and James, with the landed helicopter nearby, investigate Meowth. James says the Meowth does appear too badly injured, but Meowth clarifies in stating that the damage is mostly psychological. Bagon curiously pokes the jetpack, and James asks what Bagon is so happy about. Bagon stands on the tips of its toes and flaps its arms, and Meowth translates that Bagon always dreamt of flying and finally was able to see what it was like. Jessie incredulously and disparagingly states that Bagon cannot fly, James adding that it is not even a remote possibility. Meowth angrily brings out his claws and yells that he has had enough of James’s remotes before swiping him. Painfully, James exclaims that he think he has the point. Meowth breathes momentarily on his claws before reminding that he himself has accomplished the impossible. Jessie snaps her fingers, coming to a revelation and asking Meowth to tell them a story. Meowth speaks of the day he came to the city, learning to walk upright and study human speech.

In a cheerful nature Meowth walks over to Bagon and tells him to hang on to their dreams and work hard, and someday they will fly. Bagon pantomimes flying again, jumping into the air and flapping its arms. Jessie, slumped over, remarks if she just heard Team Rocket praising the virtues of hard work, James adding that it has all gone horribly wrong. Wobbuffet pops out, seemingly in agreement.

Meowth reminds Jessie and James that if Bagon really does learn to fly, the boss will happier. James asks how so, and Meowth explains with a fantasy, involving the boss inexplicably having a craving for coconut milk in a helicopter. After the fantasy, with Team Rocket happily cheered in anticipation of their reward, Ash exclaims that has found Team Rocket. Michelle demands that Team Rocket give her back her Bagon.

Team Rocket childishly taunts them, essentially stating that they will not. Ash commands Pikachu to use Quick Attack, and Pikachu rushes into Team Rocket, causing them to slam into their helicopter. Bagon, holding the jet pack in its hands, presents it to Michelle. Michelle concernedly asks Bagon if they hurt it, but Bagon assures her that they did not, and Michelle is relieved. The helicopter’s blades suddenly spin, and a clamp appears and grabs Pikachu. Ash exclaims that it is not fair, to which Jessie vainly states that it is also not fair that she is both brilliant and beautiful. Ash demands Team Rocket stop, but Bagon speaks out. The jet pack is around Bagon’s back, and Max asks if he wishes to follow them with it. Bagon affirms this, and Treecko leaps onto its back. Ash asks if Treecko also wishes to follow Team Rocket by the jetpack, and Treecko shortly nods.

Ash tells Michelle that they should let Bagon and Treecko try it, and Michelle nods, donning her glasses and saying that she will stand by her Pokémon. Michelle calculates the helicopter’s speed and distance, holding the remote control and telling Bagon and Treecko to get ready. Michelle presses a green button on the remote control and yells launch as the jetpack launches. Once in the air, Bagon happily surveys the view as they approach Team Rocket’s helicopter.

Inside the helicopter, Pikachu attempts to use an electric attack, but it has no effect. Meowth tells Pikachu that Team Rocket is as electricity-proof as ever and to save its thunder. James looks towards a window and states that it would appear they have some company. The rocket swerves toward Team Rocket, flying directly through it and making a hole in its hull. Treecko leaps atop the helicopter as Team Rocket stares in fright. Jessie assumes a more belligerent expression, sending out Seviper. Seviper’s head bumps into the ceiling, and its length makes the helicopter cramped. The helicopter shakes violently as Bagon rams its head into the hull on the outside. Treecko uses Bullet Seed on the inside of the helicopter and the projectiles ricochet off the walls, causing several explosions in the helicopter, making it tilt. One of the ricocheting Bullet Seeds hits the lock on Pikachu’s cage, and Pikachu scampers out. Pikachu and Treecko fall off the helicopter, landing on the rocketing Bagon.

Meowth and Jessie prompt James that he is the captain and that he must do something. James exclaims with some fear in his voice that lunch will not be served. Running on the ground, Ash commands Pikachu to use Thunderbolt. Pikachu leaps off Bagon and uses Thunderbolt on Team Rocket’s helicopter, causing Team Rocket to blast off. Bagon circles in the air several times. The others watch Bagon fly, and Max comments that Michelle believed in it and its dream came true. Pikachu and Treecko happily ride on the rocket with Bagon, and Brock observes that Bagon is pretty good at it too, and that Bagon really was born to fly. Ash notes to Michelle that their Pokémon saved the day, and Michelle thanks him, stating that she owes him. Michelle removes her glasses and looks up to Bagon, adding that she owes a lot to Bagon too.

It is now sunset and Bagon lands with Pikachu and Treecko disembarking. Michelle asks Bagon how did it like its first flight, and Bagon happily replies. Suddenly, Bagon glows with a white light, and the group watches in awe. As Bagon expands, the jetpack slips off. Fully materialized as a Shelgon, Shelgon states its name. Ash states in awe that Bagon evolved into a Shelgon. Michelle remarks how fantastic it is and bends down to hug Shelgon. Michelle adds that Shelgon really earned this, by never giving up on its dream. Shelgon replies to her, and Ash and Max happily laugh. A flock of Pidgeotto flies outward, and Brock states that the Pidgeotto are the perfect symbol for Shelgon’s dream of flying someday.

Major events

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


Pokémon debuts




Pokémon Trainer’s Choice: Treecko


  • The dub title is based on the phrase "Let bygones be bygones."
  • This episode and the next three aired in the U.S. exactly one year after they aired in Japan.
  • Music from Mewtwo Strikes Back was used.
  • Michelle commanded her Bagon to use Skull Bash, when it can't learn that move legally in the games.
  • This episode is featured on the Volume 8: Dragon copy of Pokémon Elements.

Pokémon Trainer's Choice


Dub edits

In other languages

AG042 : Love at First Flight
Advanced Generation series
AG044 : The Princess and the Togepi
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.