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AG124 : Island Time
Advanced Generation series
AG126 : Saved by the Beldum
Like a Meowth to a Flame
AG125   EP399
Arrival in Saiyū City! Nyarth in Boots!?
First broadcast
Japan April 21, 2005
United States March 4, 2006
English themes
Opening Unbeatable
Japanese themes
Opening ポケモン シンフォニック メドレー
Ending GLORY DAY 〜輝くその日〜
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 松井亜弥 Aya Matsui
Storyboard 秦義人 Yoshito Hata
Assistant director 秦義人 Yoshito Hata
Animation directors 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
山下恵 Megumi Yamashita
No additional credits are available at this time.

Like a Meowth to a Flame (Japanese: サイユウシティ到着!長靴をはいたニャース!? Arrival in Saiyū City! Nyarth in Boots!?) is the 125th episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 399th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 21, 2005 and in the United States on March 4, 2006.

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


Ash and his friends have finally arrived in Ever Grande city for the Hoenn League Championships, but they're mobbed by a group of Murkrow as they're looking for a place to eat. A snappily-dressed Meowth and its Trainer, Tyson, jump into save the day. After introductions and a friendly lunch together, it's time to see the torch carried to the stadium. Tyson himself turns out to be the torch bearer!

While Tyson heads for the stadium, Ash makes his preparations for the Hoenn league and wonders where Morrison is. Team Rocket is also making their preparations—to steal the torch, which burns with a legendary flame! When Tyson brings the torch to a storage room before the ceremonies, a disguised Team Rocket grabs the torch and runs! Officer Jenny, Nurse Joy, and our heroes all give chase and finally corner Team Rocket.

Tyson's Meowth seizes the torch and dares Team Rocket's Meowth to try and take it back. Meowth, its pride wounded, takes up the challenge, but is quickly defeated by its new rival before Team Rocket is sent blasting off as usual. With the torch recovered, now the Hoenn League championships can get underway!


The episode starts with the group on the deck of a ship, with Ever Grande City visible ahead. They've finally reached the site of the Hoenn League's Ever Grande Conference, where Trainers who have earned their eight Badges will test their abilities. There's one week to go until the tournament starts, and Ash has some serious training to do. But as May points out, there's something else to do first. Get something good to eat. Namely, ramen.

We now see that Team Rocket is following the ship in their Magikarp Submarine. Inside, they're all moaning about the hard work of following the twerps, but when James suggests taking some time to rest, he is vetoed by Jessie, who insists that if they stop now, they'll miss their chance at something big. She isn't sure what, but is quite certain there's something waiting for them.

Evidently, there's a very good ramen shop somewhere in Ever Grande City, one of the best three in all Hoenn, called the Ever Grande Noodle Nosh. This information, along with directions to get there, is in the Ever Grande Conference Shop and Restaurant Guide which May has. When she announces that she intends to hit all the good shops and restaurants in town while they're there, the males of the group appear somewhat taken aback.

Some time later, as the group makes its way down a narrow back street somewhere in the city, Max asks his sister if she's really sure the shop is in a place like this. As she expresses her certainty, and the others express their doubts, we see that the group is being watched by a flock of Murkrow. A few moments later, one Murkrow steals the guide book, and the rest of the flock attacks. Pikachu drives them off temporarily, but more swoop down to take their place. The cycle continues until a Meowth - one wearing boots and a hat - comes to their rescue.

The Meowth, with help from its Trainer, drives off the flock of Murkrow. Our heroes thank him for the help, and while he's saying it's no big deal, he sees the restaurant guide lying on the ground. It turns out he's also going to the same ramen shop.

Next comes a scene in the ramen shop, where the Trainer, named Tyson, tells Ash that he, too, will be in the tournament, and so they're rivals. Tyson and Brock exchange the standard set of compliments over how well the Meowth has been raised and the quality of Brock's Pokémon food. The conversation continues, with bonding between Tyson and the group, until Tyson notices the time. He has to get going, or he'll be late.

Tyson runs out of the shop, with Ash and the rest of the group close behind. Ash asks what the rush is, and Tyson replies that the sacred fire will be arriving soon. The sacred fire is the flame of Moltres, which will burn in the central torch of the tournament, and Tyson is one of the runners.

We cut to a scene where League President Charles Goodshow, together with the local Officer Jenny and Nurse Joy and a small crowd of spectators, is waiting for the flame to arrive. In the bushes nearby, Team Rocket is listening. Jessie's intuition about something big was correct. Their next target is the flame. They'll be able to get a great price for it from a collector, and give part of it to the Boss.

The flame arrives by car, just as Tyson arrives and apologizes for being late. Then our heroes arrive, and when the League President greets Ash and Brock by name, May and Max are very impressed. Ash explains that they were torch runners once. May and Max are even more surprised than before when Goodshow knows May's name, too. He was impressed by her performance in the Hoenn Grand Festival, which he watched on TV.

Tyson sets off running with the flame, with his Meowth running beside him. In the bushes, Team Rocket's Meowth watches, and doesn't seem to like what he sees. Jessie and James tell him to get moving, and all three run off to get started on their plan. Our heroes are about to set off for the stadium when Goodshow's limo pulls up, and he invites them to join him for the ride, since they're all heading to the same place.

As Tyson runs along a route lined with people, the limo takes a back road. As it goes over a hill, the occupants get their first view of the stadium complex for the tournament. Goodshow points out the Pokémon Center where registration and announcements will take place. He also tells May and Max about the restaurants and shops nearby.

Ash registers for the competition, and receives the official guide to the tournament, of which Max takes possession. Meanwhile, Brock is doing exactly what would be expected of him in a place filled with so many Jennies and Joys, at least until Max drags him away. Ash asks the Joy in charge of registration if Morrison has registered yet. The answer is no. On a screen above the registration desk, we see Tyson arrive at the stadium complex, not visibly tired at all from the long run.

Ash calls Professor Oak, who offers to send any of the Pokémon Ash left with him at any time. Ash declines, saying that he came to Hoenn to try a fresh start. Though he'd love to let his older Pokémon fight, his current team is ready and willing. He wants to do this tournament with just his Hoenn team. The call ends with some words of encouragement from Oak.

Moments later, an alarm goes off. The sacred flame has been stolen.

The group meets up with Tyson, who tells them what happened. As he delivered the flame to a group of Jennies and Joys, one Jenny caused a distraction by pointing into the distance and saying she thought she saw a real Moltres. As everyone was looking, she and one of the Joys ran off with the flame.

As he finishes the story, the thieves are found. The fake Jenny and Joy are speeding off on a police motorcycle (with sidecar), pursued by a couple of real Jennies. With a bit of fancy driving, one gets ahead and cuts them off, but they turn aside, going offroad and heading straight for a cliff. As the motorcycle goes off the cliff, the thieves jump off and into the basket of the Meowth balloon which has just risen into view. This is followed shortly by the recital of the motto and removal of disguises to reveal Team Rocket.

The balloon starts to leave, and Ash tries the usual Pikachu Thunderbolt tactic to stop them. As happens with some regularity, the attack is turned back on Pikachu by a device wielded by Meowth. The Jenny on the scene is about to use her Blastoise, but the Joy stops her, reminding her that they can't risk putting the fire out. Tyson sends out his Metagross to stop the balloon with its Confusion. Meowth turns up the flame to counter the pull. Neither side is making any progress, and Goodshow asks Ash if he has any Ice-type Pokémon. When Ash says he has a Glalie, Goodshow tells him to freeze Team Rocket. An attack like that won't be enough to put out the flame of Moltres.

Things go exactly as planned. Glalie's Ice Beam freezes Team Rocket, but the flame keeps burning. Metagross pulls the balloon down, and Ash somehow manages to jump into the basket. He takes the flame, but before he can get away with it, Team Rocket breaks out of the ice and tries to take it back. In the struggle, the flame falls out of the balloon. Jessie throws Meowth after the flame to catch it. He grabs it, then realizes he's still falling and panics. Tyson sends his Meowth to get the flame. It jumps up, grabs the flame from Team Rocket's Meowth in midair, kicking Team Rocket's Meowth in the process.

Landing, Tyson's Meowth sets the flame safely on the ground, then turns and says something apparently rather insulting to Team Rocket's Meowth. Team Rocket's Meowth takes offense. In the balloon above, Ash and the human Team Rocket members are fighting, and Jessie yells to Meowth to get the flame back. Team Rocket's Meowth yells to Tyson's Meowth that if it doesn't want to get hurt, it should hand over the flame. The reply is a gesture unmistakably meaning "why don't you try to take it?"

Team Rocket's Meowth tries to attack, but Tyson's Meowth is the one who gets in a hit. Team Rocket's Meowth tries again, but is sent blasting off by an Iron Tail attack from Tyson's Meowth. Ash jumps from the balloon, and is caught by Metagross's Confusion. Tyson proceeds to have Meowth blow up the balloon and send Team Rocket blasting off with a Thunderbolt.

Back at the stadium complex, League President Goodshow thanks Ash and Tyson for their work in protecting the flame, without which the tournament could not start. Ash and Tyson are both looking forward to facing each other in the tournament, and on that note, the episode ends.

Major events

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



Pokémon debuts

TV episode debuts




Pokémon Trainer's Choice

Pokémon Trainer's Choice: Horsea


  • Advance Adventure is used as background music.
  • Ash and Pikachu narrate the preview for the next episode.
  • This episode begins the seven-part Ever Grande Conference arc.
  • The title is a reference to the saying "Like a moth to a flame".
  • This is the latest speaking appearance of Charles Goodshow.
  • This is one of the few times Meowth "blasts off" at a different time from Jessie and James at the end of the episode.
    • It is also one of the times when Team Rocket blasts off without saying "Team Rocket's blasting off again!", and they don't say it either time they blast off.
  • In the Latin American dub, Tyson's Meowth has the same voice actor as Team Rocket's Meowth. However, near the end of the episode, it has the same voice as in the English version.
  • Like the Indigo League's torch, the Hoenn League's torch gets its flame from Moltres.
  • James cross dresses as a Nurse Joy in this episode.


  • When Tyson's Meowth attacks the flock of Murkrow with Fury Swipes, the scarf around his neck is absent.
  • When Nurse Joy is talking to Ash and his friends, her cross changes color from red to yellow.
  • When Ash is talking to Prof. Oak about sending his old Pokémon to himself, Ash said "I'm sure Charizard and the others..." but Ash's Charizard was in Charicific Valley with Liza at that point, not with Professor Oak.
  • In the dub, Mr. Goodshow is mistakenly referred to as a professor.
  • In the dub's original broadcast on Kids' WB in 2006, the ending credits were incorrectly shown to be last season's opening theme This Dream, instead of Unbeatable, the opening theme for this season. In addition, the copyright year on the credits is referred to as "© 1997–2004 Nintendo, Creatures, GAME FREAK, TV Tokyo, ShoPro, JR Kikaku", despite the fact that this episode was dubbed in 2005.

Dub edits

  • In the beginning of the episode, while suggesting that the group find something to eat, May refers to ramen as "chicken noodle soup".

Pokémon Trainer's Choice

In other languages

AG124 : Island Time
Advanced Generation series
AG126 : Saved by the Beldum
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.