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To Master the Onixpected!
Shiba of the Shitennō Enters!
First broadcast
Japan November 19, 1998
United States October 11, 1999
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending タイプ・ワイルド
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 武上純希 Junki Takegami
Storyboard 井上修 Osamu Inoue
Assistant director 井上修 Osamu Inoue
Animation director 梶浦紳一郎 Shin'ichirō Kajiura
No additional credits are available at this time.

To Master the Onixpected! (Japanese: してんのうシバとうじょう! Shiba of the Shitennō Enters!) is the 71st episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on November 19, 1998 and in the United States on October 11, 1999.

The heroes meet a member of the Kanto Elite Four in the lead-up to the Pokēmon League competition.

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


With three weeks left until the Pokémon League competition Ash has fallen behind in training. On the couch of Ash's home, Ash and Brock watch the Elite Four's Bruno battling a trainer with hisHitmonchan. As Bruno commands a Thunderpunch, the TV is switched off. Misty chastises Ash for goofing off. Ash tells Misty they were studying the tape of Bruno. Brock adds that they were learning the 'secrets of Pokémon' despite not knowing what those secrets were. Ash comments that Bruno could train him to learn the secrets. However Brock and Misty lament that the famous Bruno wouldn't waste his time with them. Ash confidently states that if they knew how to find him then Bruno would definitely teach him. Just then Ash's mother enters telling the group that she knows where to find Bruno. Apparently Bruno's secret training ground is on Mt.Hideaway. Ash jumps up and tells his mother not to make dinner as they are going up to Mt.Hideaway.

Now on their way to the mountain, Misty tells the group that Mt.Hideaway appears to be only 7 miles away. Ash and Brock, completely exhausted, convince Misty that she should rest. The group rest at a house where an old lady brings them food and drink. Ash asks her if she knows of a Pokémon Trainer named Bruno training around the area. The old lady doesn't recognise the name but tells the trio that Pokēmon trainers have been stealing her meatball kebabs. As Ash and Brock eat, a bunch of windchimes start rattling. The lady angrily tells them that the thieves must be back again. Push broom in hand the lady runs out followed by Ash and company. They see 3 hermits running off with sacks in hand. The lady gives chase as Ash recognises the bandits as Team Rocket. After giving a fast-forwarded version of their motto they tell Ash that because they always get beaten by him they have to decided to become hermits and live off the land. Meowth adds they're also living off the old ladies meatball kebabs. The enraged old lady gives Team Rocket a beating with her broom and the troublesome trio run away leaving behind the kebabs. The lady tells the heroes that the mountain is known for overgrown Onix. Apparently the soil makes them grow larger. The lady assures them that, despite their size, the Onix are very gentle.

Continuing up the mountain, Brock comments that they have been walking for hours but haven't seen any sign of Bruno or any giant Onix. Ash notices what he thinks is a road. Brock says that it doesn't look like a road but more like tracks made by a really big creature. Suddenly an intense rumbling is heard and the heroes turn to see an enormous Onix heading their way. The Onix approaches as the three run for their lives. When it looks as if the Onix is about to crush them a man beckons them to jump behind a rock. The Onix goes by leaving them unharmed. The man asks if they are ok. The group turn to thank him and Ash and Brock are amazed by who they see. Misty doesn't recognise the man. Brock can't believe that the man standing before them is none other than the Elite Four's Bruno.

The three heroes are trailing Bruno up the mountain when Bruno asks if there is a reason why they are following him. Brock gets on his knees, and asks him to help Ash train for the Pokémon League. Brock motions for Ash to ask as well. Ash kneels also and ask for Bruno's help. Bruno agrees to help them as long as they are willing to do everything he tells them to do.

Their first task is to carry buckets of water. Brock theorizes that the task is to make them physically strong. Ash adds that it also helps inner balance and outer equilibrium before falling and soaking Misty. Their second task is splitting wood. Bruno tells Ash this is to give him a firm grip. Ash chops the wood which sends a piece flying off in Misty's direction hitting her in the face and knocking her off the rock she was sitting on. Task three is to carry heavy rocks up hill. Bruno tells them that this will teach them how to control their 'inner nature'. Finally Bruno asks Ash to peel the bark of a twig. Ash peels it perfectly. Bruno takes it and tells them the lesson is to always pack a fork when camping. Bruno breaks the twig in two and uses them as chopsticks. Ash is a little discouraged by this and Misty says she thinks all of Bruno's lessons seem phony. Brock denies this and is ready to prove Bruno is a great trainer. Brock says that he will sneak up behind him and hit him with a stick, claiming Bruno should sense Brock and stop the attack. Brock envisions him doing so and goes behind Bruno and attacks full force. Bruno fails to detect anything and Brock strikes him hard over the head leaving a large bruise.

As Bruno recovers from the incident, he asks Brock and Ash if they really want to know about the secrets of Pokémon training. Brock and Ash eagerly reply yes. Bruno tells them there are no such secrets and the reason he was on Mt.Hideaway was to catch the biggest Onix he could find. Bruno says that it's no secret that to be a strong trainer you have to catch strong Pokémon. These revelations leaves Ash, Brock and Misty groaning. Brock is distraught that Bruno isn't who he thought he was. Team Rocket overhear the conversation and plan to catch a strong Onix so they can be as good as the Elite Four without having to do any Pokémon training.

Following the gigantic Onix tracks, Meowth believes that they have no hope of catching such a big Pokémon. Jessie and James reveal that they have an unexpected weapon to catch Onix. At the end of the Onix tracks in an large, open area Team Rocket set themselves in wait of the Onix. The ground begins rumbling as an enormous Onix bursts from underground. The Onix is much bigger than they were expecting and Meowth suggests they forget the idea. Jessie stubbornly says that they came for an Onix and that's what they would get.

Ash, Misty and Brock are heading back down the mountain when they hear a loud noise. They race off to the source of the sound. Meanwhile Team Rocket are blasting missiles at the giant Onix. The smoke clears and the Onix is completely unharmed and begins advancing on them. Terrified the three run into a nearby cave. The Onix begins slamming the wall of the cave causing it to start collapsing. Team Rocket are shouting for help as Ash and the others arrive. To save Team Rocket Brock sends out his Onix and Misty sends out her Staryu. Ash chooses Squirtle. Brock orders his Onix to use Tackle, but it gets knocked back due to the size of the huge Onix. Misty tells Staryu to use Water Gun but it is largely ineffective. Ash orders Squirtle to use Water Gun too and the combined water attacks cause the Onix to recoil from the cave. Team Rocket use the opportunity to run for their lives. The wild Onix recovers from the double Water Gun attack and uses it's tail to hit Staryu and Squirtle and Brock's Onix before sending Team Rocket on their way. The Onix then notices the heroes standing on the ledge above. The Onix headbutts the edge where they are standing causing Ash to lose his balance and fall in to the area right in front of Onix. Pikachu jumps down and uses its ThunderShock attack. But Onix just shakes it off. Pikachu is about to try again before Ash grabs it telling Pikachu that electric attacks won't work. They huddle together awaiting Onix's attack. But before Onix can strike a lightning fast Bruno leaps in and carries Ash and Pikachu to safety. Bruno looks down at the Onix which is thrashing around. Ash and Brock ask him what Pokémon and attack he will use. Bruno states that he will not use a Pokémon.

Bruno jumps down and asks Onix why it is acting so violent him. The Onix dives at him several times, but Bruno dodges its hits asking it why it is attacking him. Bruno then jumps on Onix's head. Onix whips his tail around but misses Bruno and connects with its own head disorientating it. Bruno requests it not to be afraid of him and asks it to let him know what it is feeling. He closes his eyes and concentrates for some time. He then starts feeling around Onix's body. Eventually he finds something between Onix's rocks. Asking Onix to bear with the momentary pain, he strains before pulling out a Sandslash. The heroes are shocked and Ash checks it on his PokéDex. Apparently the Sandslash was irritating Onix the whole time and causing it to act aggressively. Bruno lets the Template:Type2 Pokémon go and asks Onix if it wants to come with him. Onix accepts and Bruno catches him in a Poké Ball. He jumps back up to Ash, Misty, and Brock. He then tells them the true secret is for Pokémon and humans to care for each other like Ash and Pikachu. Both of them look at each other and start laughing. Bruno farewlls the trio telling Ash he looks forward to facing him in battle. Ash and Pikachu laugh together as they become one day closer to the Pokémon League.

Major events





Who’s That Pokémon?: Alakazam (US and international), Iwark (Japan)


  • This is the first appearance of a member of the Elite Four in the anime, if Koga is not considered, due to Koga only being an Elite Four member in Generation II.
  • The title is most likely referred to the phrase "To Master the Unexpected".
  • Meowth uses a remote to fast forward the Team Rocket's motto in this episode.


  • In one shot, Bruno is shown to have six fingers.

Dub edits

In other languages

  • Finnish: Otetaan Onixista mittaa
  • French: Le secret
  • Italian: Il segreto dei Pokémon
  • Latin American Spanish: ¡Dominando lo Onixperado!
  • Spanish: El Maestro de lo Onixesperado


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