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AG158 : Queen of the Serpentine!
Advanced Generation series
AG160 : Harley Rides Again
Off the Unbeaten Path
AG159   EP433
優勝は誰の手に!? ポケモンオリエンテーリング!
Who Single-Handedly has the Victory!? Pokémon Orienteering
First broadcast
Japan January 12, 2006
United States October 21, 2006
English themes
Opening Battle Frontier
Japanese themes
Opening バトルフロンティア
Ending GLORY DAY 〜輝くその日〜
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 大橋志吉 Yukiyoshi Ōhashi
Storyboard 大山和弘 Kazuhiro Ōyama
Assistant director 中村圭三 Keizō Nakamura
Animation director たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
No additional credits are available at this time.

Off the Unbeaten Path (Japanese: 優勝は誰の手に!? ポケモンオリエンテーリング! Who Single-Handedly has the Victory!? Pokémon Orienteering!) is the 159th episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 433rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on January 12, 2006 and in the United States on October 21, 2006.

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


The episode starts out as an ocean breeze blows by, while Ash admires his four Frontier Symbols. As enthusiastic as ever, Ash is more than ready to take on the Orienteering challenge.

As our heroes sail towards their next destination, a periscope comes from underneath the water capturing every move that Ash and his friends make. While James and Meowth power the submarine, Jessie continues spying on them. Then they exit from the vessel and Ash spots a Pokémon Center while May adores a group of Pokémon nearby including Chikorita, Igglybuff and Marill. Nurse Joy appears to welcome Ash and everyone to the Pokémon Center. While three young people walk by, Ash overhears the conversation and asks Nurse Joy about it. She responds, saying that they are participating in Pokémon Orienteering. With a confused look on Ash's face, he then asks Joy about Pokémon Orienteering. Joy explains that it is a cross-country race in which competitors use a map and compass to find their way through unfamiliar territory. Brock quickly interrupts the conversation with his usual romance techniques but gets dragged away again once more by Max. Night falls upon our heroes, everyone gathers at a table in the Pokémon Center. All of them begin discussing the Pokémon Orienteering, with Ash to participate with Pikachu, May to participate with Eevee, and Brock to participate with Bonsly. Explosions can be heard overhead signaling the start of the competition and every Trainer is given a map and a compass of the surrounding area. Joy then displays the medal that will be presented to the winner of this contest and also reveals an extraordinary amount of food that will also be presented to the winner. With the quick phrase of "Start" from Joy, everyone dashes off into the distance towards the next destination. Everyone goes in opposite directions, in search for the best path to the location. Meanwhile, Ash and Pikachu are walking across a log and a faint wind blows and knocks Ash and Pikachu down as they grasp onto the underside of the log. May begins crossing the river by jumping across lodged rocks but loses her footing and plummets into the river with Eevee following. Brock studies his compass as Nurse Joy walks across his path. While Brock moves towards her, Bonsly attacks Brock sending him blasting off into the sky while Nurse Joy stands around confused.

James and Mime Jr. are climbing a rock structure as they finally reach the top and arrive to a stone statue resembling a Lunatone. James rushes over to the statue and grabs the stamp of approval to show that he has successfully arrived at this checkpoint. Max chases after Munchlax as it dashes off into the distance. Jessie and Meowth are atop a cliff adorning the glorious scene of the ocean and surrounding area. Ash and Pikachu spot another checkpoint, he rushes towards a waterfall and stamps his map for approval. Brock and Bonsly find another checkpoint which is surrounded by a gigantic tree. With one quick swipe of the stamp, Brock marks his paper for completion. Having successfully escaped from the river, May notices two stone structures in the ocean and then sees the nearby checkpoint. May rushes over to stamp her map with the seal of approval. Jessie and Meowth are above a rock structure studying the surrounding area attempting to locate the checkpoints. As Jessie scans the area, she fails to notice any of the checkpoints from their high altitude. Max studies the map for the next checkpoint as Munchlax appears to have dozed off. Ash dashes forward and falls into a hidden trap. Brock and Bonsly are moving for their next location when they come into contact with a hidden net and are ensnared into the overhead tree. Then Max begins to search for Munchlax again, May has also lost sight of her Eevee. Munchlax finally walks upon May as Eevee also finds Max. As both continue walking, they come upon each other spotting their Pokémon. May and Max begin quarreling over both losing sight of their Pokémon but Max interrupt the argument and snatches Munchlax while dashing off into the distance. Ash reaches his second checkpoint nearby the water with the two structures.

James begins walking down the path and Jessie and Meowth come across him. Both James and Mime Jr. quickly refuse to help Jessie, as they rush off into the distance. May successfully reaches her second location stamping her map with the Lunatone seal of approval. Ash and Pikachu take a quick break devouring the few snacks that they have on hand. Munchlax devours his share of the food and quickly asks Max for more. Munchlax cries for more food so Max offers Munchlax his sandwich. May offers Eevee some Pokémon food and then it eats it. James tries to break a cookie in half but it turns out to be uneven. He offers the larger half to Mime Jr. As he tries to offer Mime Jr. its share, it tries to give it back to James. When Jessie breaks her cookie in half and does the same, she offers the smaller part to Meowth. This angers Meowth as both begin fighting over the small morsel of food. James reaches the Ocean checkpoint marking his map with approval. May spots her next checkpoint as she and Eevee glide down to the lower part of the terrain. She dashes for the next checkpoint as the ground collapses with May and Eevee being thrust underground. Max comes upon the river and then takes a nearby bamboo stick and uses it to thrust himself and Munchlax across the river. When he successfully lands, the ground begins to collapse with Max and Munchlax being thrown underground. May comes upon the "Spearow" checkpoint and quickly stamps her map as Max walks upon her path. May wishes Max "Good Luck" and Jessie and Meowth appear to snap the ropes to the bridge as it begins to collapse. Brock and Ash hear Max's and May's cries for help. As May and Max continue hanging on for life, the rope begins to weaken and then break just as the bridge begins to fall, Brock and Ash catch the collapsing bridge and carry May and Max up to the surface.

Jessie and Meowth successfully arrive at the Pokémon Center with no one in sight as a net explodes from the distance and ensnares the Pokémon. While Meowth begins to roll the contest prizes off, Swellow flies away in search of Ash. Ash and Brock check the status of May and Max and they both say they are in good condition, Swellow interrupts with an urgent message. With Swellow's quick display of charades, Brock successfully deciphers the message as both head towards the Pokémon Center. Jessie and Meowth give the usual introduction with one exception; James is missing from the group so Meowth takes his place temporarily. While Jessie and Meowth are displaying their Team Rocket motto, Brock releases the Pokémon from their prison. Jessie and Meowth then turn around to find that the captured Pokémon have now been released. Jessie then releases her Dustox as Donphan blazes towards Dustox. They both collide with Dustox forcing Donphan backwards. Donphan then responds with blasting into Dustox and knocking it backwards towards Jessie and Meowth. Donphan launches a Hyper Beam, that blasts Jessie and Meowth off into the sky like a speeding rocket. James looks overhead to notice the shining yet blinding light that has been created from the blasting Jessie and Meowth.

As the day concludes, Joy announces James as the winner of the contest and presents him with the medal. The crowd cheers, the day concludes with May more enthusiastic than ever for her impending Pokémon Contest, another day and another adventure unfold upon our everlasting heroes.

Major events

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





Used by participants



  • When Ash falls into the underground hole, two of the participants' Torchic and Azurill are oddly shaped.

Dub edits

  • James notes that Team Rocket have copyrighted the phrase "we're blasting off again".

In other languages

AG158 : Queen of the Serpentine!
Advanced Generation series
AG160 : Harley Rides Again
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.