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Showdown in Pewter City
Battle of Nibi Gym
First broadcast
Japan April 29, 1997
United States September 14, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ひゃくごじゅういち
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 武上純希 Junki Takegami
Storyboard 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Isako
Assistant director 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Isako
Animation director 松原徳弘 Tokuhiro Matsubara
No additional credits are available at this time.

Showdown in Pewter City (Japanese: ニビジムのたたかい! Battle of Nibi Gym), was the fifth episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 29, 1997 and in the United States on September 14, 1998.

In this episode, Ash and Misty finally reach Pewter City, and Ash is ready to challenge Pewter City Gym for his first badge. Can he win despite a type disadvantage?

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

Template:Japanese version


The episode opens with a brief cameo by Team Rocket. They dig a hole, but after covering it, they forget exactly where they put it. They look around in the general area, and find the hole by falling into it.

Ash, Misty, and Pikachu have reached the end of the Viridian Forest and arrive in Pewter City. Ash is tired enough that he decides to take a rest on some conveniently placed rocks. However, a nearby man tells him that there is a fee for sitting on the rocks. His name is Flint, and he is trying to sell rocks as souvenirs of Pewter City. Neither Ash nor Misty is interested.

They head to the Pokémon Center, where Ash is surprised to see Nurse Joy, who explains that she and the Nurse Joy from Viridian City are related; the Joy in Viridian is her little sister. Nurse Joy then shows Ash a poster which promotes a tournament called the Pokémon League Championship. Ash decides to sign up, but before he can enter, he needs to beat eight Pokémon Gym Leaders in order to enter. Flint enters and tells Ash about Pewter City's Gym Leader, Brock. He laughs at the idea of Ash beating Brock.

Ash and Misty discuss it over a meal. Misty warns Ash that Gym Leaders are tougher than average trainers. She offers to help him out, but he declines. This upsets her, and she storms out, leaving Ash with the bill.

Brock sitting in the Pewter Gym.

Ash stops by the Pokémon Center again to pick up his healed team, and then goes to the Pewter City Gym. He walks inside, finding it dark inside. After Ash calls out to see if anyone is inside, a spotlight switches on to reveal the Gym Leader, Brock, who is sitting cross-legged on a platform. Ash challenges Brock, who goes over the official tournament rules where both trainers must choose two Pokémon to battle. He stands up and asks about Ash's Pikachu, which he remarks is cute but can't win against him.

Despite this, Ash starts off with Pikachu, while Brock starts off with Onix. Pikachu is terrified of the giant rock snake and tries to convince Ash to send out his Pidgeotto instead. Pikachu's ThunderShock doesn't harm it at all. Onix crushes Pikachu with a Bind, preventing Ash from recalling it. Ash doesn't want Pikachu to be hurt more, and so he surrenders.

After leaving the Gym, Ash encounters Flint again. He goes with the man to his home, and over tea he complains that he is upset over his loss to a better trainer. Flint mentions that Brock could become much more than just a local Gym Leader. Ash asks why he doesn't, and Flint decides to let Ash see for himself.

They head to Brock's home, and spy into his house, where they see Brock in a pink apron, taking care of his nine little brothers and sisters. They walk away, and Flint explains that after Brock's parents both left home to become Pokémon trainers, Brock was left to take care of his siblings. Despite this, Ash is now determined to beat Brock. Flint mentions that he knows a way Ash can super-charge Pikachu.

They go to a hydro-electric plant, and Flint hooks up the generator to the Electric sacs in Pikachu's cheeks. Ash runs on a huge wheel to generate electricity, which flows into Pikachu. Misty shows up and offers to lend Ash her Template:Type2 Pokémon, but Ash refuses, wanting to defeat Brock with his own Pokémon. He continues charging Pikachu until the generator overloads and Pikachu's electricity lights up the sky.

The next day, Ash returns with confidence to the Pewter City Gym for a rematch. Brock is also confident from the last battle, and the two quickly start the rematch. Brock sends out Geodude, while Ash sends out Pidgeotto. However, the Template:Type2 can't seem to harm the Rock-type, so Ash recalls him and send out Pikachu. Misty is seen in the rafters, cheering for Ash, only to be crowded by Brock's siblings.

Brock comments on how weak Pikachu and Ash are, and Ash retorts by commanding Pikachu's attack, which easily knocks Geodude down. Both Brock and Misty are stunned, staring open-mouthed. Brock recalls his Geodude and sends out Onix, and a fearful Pikachu tries to do another Electric attack, damaging the gym itself instead. Onix wraps Pikachu with Bind, but Pikachu makes a comeback with his new attack, Thunderbolt, which manages to hurt Onix but still can't take it out. Just as Pikachu is about to pass out, Brock suddenly spares him by calling Onix off. He tells Ash to forfeit again, not wanting to cause further damage to Pikachu. Ash protests, wanting to fight the match to the end.

Suddenly, the gym's sprinklers are set off by a fire caused by Pikachu's earlier Electric attack. Water sprays all over Onix, weakening him and allowing Pikachu to fight back with another Electric attack. Just as Ash is about to command Pikachu to finish Onix off, he finds he can't move. Brock's brothers and sisters are all holding Ash in place, which Ash believes is his conscience. Brock orders his brothers and sisters to not get involved, but they protest, knowing that Brock's love of Pokémon makes it painful for him to continue the match and watch his Onix get hurt further.

Ash calls back his Pikachu. He explains that if he defeated Brock now, it would only be because of the sprinklers being set off. He decides he wants to win his badge fair and square, much to Misty's disappointment since he's giving up a lucky advantage.

Ash leaves the Pewter Gym, and on his way out of Pewter City, he apologizes to Pikachu for being so tough. He hears someone calling him, and turns to find Brock running to catch up with him and give him the Boulder Badge. Ash says he can't accept the badge, but Brock insists Ash earned it through his kindness to Pokémon. Brock continues to explain that rather than become a great Pokémon trainer, his dream is to become a Pokémon breeder, but can't do so because of his family duties. He gives Ash the badge, and asks him to fulfill his dream, and Ash agrees.

Suddenly, Flint shows up again, and reveals that he is Brock's "good-for-nothing" father. He explains that he didn't want to return to his family as a failure of a Pokémon trainer. Ash puzzles over the fact that Flint helped him instead of his son, Brock, and Flint explains that Ash's helplessness reminded him of himself. Flint is ready to take back the responsibilities he abandoned, which Brock returns to him, along with a long list of tasks for him to remember while taking care of the children.

That evening, Ash and Brock travel on the road out of Pewter City. Brock asks to make sure it's okay that he joins Ash on his Pokémon journey, and Ash insists that he's glad to have him along. However, Misty is a different story, and from several paces behind she yells at him to not forget about her bike. Ash and Pikachu try to ditch Misty, followed by Brock and the angry redhead herself.

Team Rocket show up at the end for a final cameo, trampled by Ash and his friends as they run past the hole in the ground, unaware of the people underfoot.

Major events

  • Ash and Misty meet Brock.
  • Ash gets a Boulder Badge.
  • Ash has his first Gym Battle.
  • Ash has his first loss.
  • Pikachu uses Thunderbolt for the first time.
  • Brock joins Ash and Misty.





Who's That Pokémon?: Onix


  • Misty is willing to lend her Template:Type2 Pokémon to Ash for the battle but he refuses.
  • The scene in which Brock's siblings prevent Ash from finishing the battle is a reference to a similar scene in Fushigi Yuugi, as Brock's Japanese voice actor played one of the characters (Suboshi) in that anime.
  • This is the first of few episodes where Team Rocket appears but has no bearing on the plot.
  • This episode introduced the most named, recurring characters in the entire anime. However, given that it introduced Brock's siblings, it has an unfair advantage over other episodes. If Gary's cheerleaders had ever been named, the honor would go to the first episode.
  • This is the only episode since the first where Ash tries to return Pikachu to its Poké Ball.


  • Ash's advantage over Brock should not have technically worked. Template:Type2 Pokémon are always immune to Template:Type2 moves, no matter how strong the attack or how weakened the opposing Pokémon. This is the first of many times Pikachu's Electric attacks defy type match-ups to change the results of the battle.

Dub edits

  • Flint charges a $2 fee for sitting on his rocks, or 50 ¥ in the Japanese version.
  • Various pieces of text were changed to English:
    • The unreadable (due to the position of the camera) signs at Flint's shop were changed to "SALE".
    • The poster in the Pokémon center was translated, emulating the font and style of the letters exactly.
    • The restaurant bill was changed from ¥1150 to $1150. The bottom of the bill is changed from "Restaraunt Nibi" to "Thank You".
    • The "Nibi Gym" sign was changed to say "Pewter Gym".
    • The sign outside Flint's house changed from "We have rocks" to "ROCKS FOR SALE".
  • Instead of saying Brock's mother left the family to Brock's care, Flint tells Ash that she died after trying to raise the family on her own. At the time, 4Kids didn't want Brock to have two deadbeat parents. This resulted in an inconsistency in the English dub, as Brock's mother Lola appears in A Family That Battles Together, Stays Together! as well as in several other episodes afterwards.

In other languages

  • European Portuguese: Confronto na cidade de Pewter
  • Brazilian Portuguese: Exibição na Cidade de Pewter
  • Dutch: Krachtmeting in Pewter City
  • French: Confrontation à Argenta
  • Italian: La grande sfida
  • Latin American Spanish: ¡Duelo en la ciudad Plateada!
  • Spanish: Combate en la Ciudad Plateada
  • Finnish: Välit selviksi Pewter Cityssä


Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.