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EP223 : Throwing in the Noctowl
Original series
EP225 : Bulbasaur... the Ambassador!
Nerves of Steelix!
Asagi Gym! VS Haganeil!!
First broadcast
Japan November 15, 2001
United States December 21, 2002
English themes
Opening Believe in Me
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター (Whiteberry)
Ending 前向きロケット団!
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
Storyboard 原口浩 Hiroshi Haraguchi
Assistant director 原口浩 Hiroshi Haraguchi
Animation director はしもとかつみ Katsumi Hashimoto
Additional credits

Screenshots on Filb.de

Nerves of Steelix! (Japanese: アサギジム!VSハガネール!! Asagi Gym! VS Haganeil!!) is the 224th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on November 15, 2001 and in the United States on December 21, 2002.

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


As Ash prepares for his Olivine Gym battle, he and the others come across a giant Wobbuffet. It turns out to be a Team Rocket "Wobbu Warrior" robot, used for—what else?—trying to capture Pikachu. Jasmine's Steelix comes to the rescue, cracking the robot's shell, freeing Pikachu, and sending Team Rocket blasting off again.

At the Gym, Janina sets out the rules of the match: a two-by-two battle. Ash begins the match by using Pikachu against Jasmine's Magnemite. Pikachu takes an attack so it can hit the dodging Magnemite, then follows with Quick Attack to knock Magnemite out! Jasmine then sends out Steelix, which takes an early hit. It then manages to knock Pikachu out with its Iron Tail. Ash sends out Cyndaquil as his last Pokémon, trying to beat the Steel type with fire. Steelix digs itself underground and attacks, but Cyndaquil avoids it by using its Flamethrower against the wall for a quick direction change! Cyndaquil then takes a hit from Steelix's Iron Tail, but refuses to give up. Its Flamethrower turns Steelix's Sandstorm into a flaming whirlwind—knocking it out, and giving Ash the victory and the Mineral Badge!

After the battle, Ash and the gang decide where they will go next: Mahogany Town. To get there, they will cut through Ecruteak City. After saying goodbye to Janina and Jasmine, they're on their way!


Brock and Misty are at the Pokémon Center getting things ready when Janina comes by. She wonders where Ash is and they tell her he went out for a little field training and they were going to meet up with him. Later, Ash is seen running along the coastline with all his Pokémon. He soon sees Brock, Misty, and Janina in the distance and hurries up towards them. When they meet up, they continue to walk along the shore, until they come to a big Wobbuffet statue. Ash reads the little plaque in front, saying to place your prized Pokémon here for some superstitious thing. Ash puts Pikachu on top and the statue's eyes glow. Suddenly, a spring shoots Pikachu into the mouth which reveals it's another one of Team Rocket's traps. The statue drives off with the concealed treads. Ash has Bayleef use Razor Leaf at the bot but proves ineffective. While driving off with their catch, Jessie recalls the time when she couldn't get a new pencil case, supposedly indestructible even by a Snorlax stomping on them.

Suddenly, a Steelix from the cliff above drops down towards them, and uses Crunch on the robot. Then Jasmine jumps down and meets up with the gang. The bot falls down and becomes unstable and almost about to be blown. Before this can happen, Bayleef uses Vine Whip to take out Pikachu. After that, the bot blows up sending Team Rocket back to the sky. After thanking Jasmine and commenting about her Steelix, all of them head off to the Gym for the battle they so long been expecting.

The battle would be a two on two, and obviously, no time limit. Jasmine starts off with a Magnemite and Ash sends out Pikachu. Pikachu starts it off with a Thunderbolt but Magnemite simply dodges out of the way. Magnemite throws down a Thunder Wave back at Pikachu, Pikachu dodging as well. This seemed to continue for a while but then Pikachu throws in a Quick Attack, but also has little effect because of Magnemite's Steel-type. This opportunity lets Magnemite's Thunder Wave to successfully hit Pikachu. But Pikachu was able to resist it and tries yet another Quick Attack, putting the Magnemite out of commission for the first round.

Next up is Steelix; however, it has the advantage with Pikachu fatigued from the last round. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, but Steelix manages to hang in there. The first attack was Iron Tail by Steelix, but Pikachu was able to dodge it with ease. Pikachu retaliated with a Quick Attack but it had no effect on Steelix. Steelix soon finished Pikachu off with another Iron Tail. However, Ash already had another plan so he sends out Cyndaquil. He tells it to use Flamethrower, but before it could do that, Steelix uses Sandstorm to block and then it used Dig to go underground. Steelix pops out from under and uses Iron Tail, which Cyndaquil easily dodges. After being busy with dodging, Cyndaquil finally used a Flamethrower on Steelix. However, Steelix started using Sandstorm, making a dust devil appear absorbing the flame. Now unable to do anything, they just wait until Steelix rises out again.

Steelix rises out but misses Cyndaquil by a close call. Steelix again tries an Iron Tail, which misses, and Cyndaquil going for a Flamethrower again. Steelix digs once again to evade the attack and the process repeats for a while. Cyndaquil tries a SmokeScreen but Steelix uses Sandstorm to blow it away. However, when Steelix stops for a moment, Cyndaquil isn't there. Cyndaquil soon appears from a hole behind the Steelix and shoots out a Flamethrower at an advantage. Steelix gets hit, but not quite down from the blow, instead getting mad. Steelix tries Iron Tail over and over while Cyndaquil dodges. When Cyndaquil tries to dodge an Iron Tail, it gets smacked out of the ring. Everyone thinks that Cyndaquil is knocked out, but Cyndaquil gets up and tries to get back onto the ring. Cyndaquil successfully makes it and with a whole lot more energy than what it looked like.

Steelix dives in for a Crunch attack and Cyndaquil releases another SmokeScreen. Cyndaquil appears to be nowhere again, so Jasmine has Steelix Iron Tail the ground to shake it a bit. The tunnel where Cyndaquil is hiding becomes unstable, forcing it to head for the surface. Another Iron Tail was attempted and failed, and Cyndaquil tries a Flamethrower. Steelix again digs, but remains on the surface. Cyndaquil gives the flame some power which keeps the Steelix on the surface. Ash then gets the idea that, if the flame stays long enough, then it'll turn the tornado into an inferno. Ash says to use Flamethrower at full power, which turns the tornado into a blaze. After a while, Steelix stops, steaming and burnt from the heat, and then collapses. Ash wins the match!

Ash is rewarded the Mineral Badge and wonders where to go next. Brock says they should head to Mahogany Town, and Janina adds that cutting through Ecruteak City would be a shortcut. Being settled, they set off for the next town, Mahogany Town.

Major events

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


Pokémon debuts



Pocket Monster TV


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Granbull (US and international), Steelix (Japan)


  • The English title of this episode is a pun of the phrase nerves of steel.
  • This is the first episode since The Fire-ing Squad! that Jessie's Wobbuffet did not appear, making it, at the time, the Pokémon with the fourth-longest appearance streak, behind Pikachu, Meowth and Togepi, and the longest appearance streak of a Pokémon that is kept in a Poké Ball.
    • Ths is only true if we count voice as an appearance, since Jessie's Wobbuffet did not appear physically on episodes Trouble's Brewing and The Light Fantastic, but his voice was heard.
  • This is the second episode in which Brock imitates Dexter (Ash's Pokédex) when describing a girl, the first being The Whistle Stop.
  • Music from Pikachu's Rescue Adventure can be heard in the beginning of the episode.


  • When Jessie is explaining her inspiration for her Wobbuffet mecha, her gloves are missing.
  • When Pikachu makes the first move in the second round and uses Thunderbolt, a second Pikachu voice can be heard in the background saying "Pika!". There is no explanation for this second voice as it is not present in the original Japanese version.
  • Brock says that Pikachu's Thunderbolt and Magnemite's Thunder Wave dealt "half the damage" to each other; however, Thunder Wave is not a damage-dealing attack.
  • Jasmine's Steelix seemed to be affected by Pikachu's Thunderbolt, despite being a Ground type.

Dub edits

  • In the Dutch version, Jasmine tells her Steelix to use Crunch, using the English name rather than the Dutch one, which is "Knars".

In other languages

EP223 : Throwing in the Noctowl!
Original series
EP225 : Bulbasaur...The Ambassador!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.