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EP266 : A Claim to Flame!
Original series
EP268 : Tie One On!
Love, Pokémon Style
League Preliminaries! Battle of the Magmarashi Flame!!
First broadcast
Japan September 26, 2002
United States September 18, 2003
English themes
Opening Believe in Me
Japanese themes
Opening Ready Go!
Ending ポケッターリ・モンスターリ
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
Storyboard 秦義人 Yoshito Hata
Assistant director 秦義人 Yoshito Hata
Animation director 向田隆 Takeshi Mukōda
No additional credits are available at this time.

Love, Pokémon Style (Japanese: よせんリーグ!マグマラシほのおのバトル!! League Preliminaries! Battle of the Magmarashi Flame!!) is the 267th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on September 26, 2002 and in the United States on September 18, 2003.

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


The day after the opening ceremonies, at the Athlete's Village Pokémon Center, Ash discovers that he's been grouped into Group H. Brock further explains that the semifinal round is a round-robin tournament, where each trainer battles the two others - with three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a loss. The trainer with the most points in the group stage will move on to the Victory Tournament. Ash is confused by the details, but hopes to win anyways.

Heading back out, they come across Ash's first opponent - a young girl named Macey. The two help each other get fired up, nearly getting into a battle in doing so, but just as it begins, Pikachu and Macey's Vulpix are snagged by Team Rocket in nets. As they make their getaway by bike, Ash and Macey pursue them downhill. As Macey trips and falls over following Ash, Ash tells Macey to leave recovering the two up to him, Macey is smitten by Ash. Meanwhile, Ash cuts off Team Rocket, and has Bayleef recover the two and send Team Rocket flying with Vine Whip.

As Macey expresses her feelings for Ash (both for saving Vulpix and being smitten by Ash in general), Misty breaks off Macey asking Ash for a lunch date. The two get into an argument, with Misty's preference for Water-types and Macey's affinity for Fire-types becoming fuel for their argument. When Macey asks Misty if she is Ash's girlfriend, Misty backs off, saying that she is only his coach. Macey then tells Misty to get herself out of Ash's personal life, as Macey believes that she has a romantic future ahead with Ash. As Macey and Misty are arguing, Ash runs off, about to prepare for battle. As Macey tells Ash to take her out on a date after a match should she win, it only serves to fuel Misty's jealousy even more.

That night, as Ash is switching around his Pokémon, and Brock attempts to seduce Nurse Joy (only to be dragged off by Misty by the ear once again), Ash decides to make up his team for the match right away, only to be quickly rebuffed by Brock and Misty. Back in their room, they check on Macey and discover that she has Vulpix, Slugma, and Quilava - all Fire Pokémon. Misty is adamant that Ash load up on Water Pokémon, but Ash reminds her that he only has two - Totodile and Kingler. On his third entrant for the three-on-three battle, Brock makes an interesting discovery about Macey, and the three ponder who should be chosen. Later that night, Brock finalizes Ash's entries.

The next day, Team Rocket opens a small concession stand, selling painted bottlecaps made to look like Silver Conference souvenirs. Meanwhile, Kingler is summoned for some warm-ups just as three Voltorb are rolling down a hill towards them. Kingler catches them, but the Voltorb shock it, knocking it out. Later, Ash finds out that Kingler would have to sit the battle out in order to recover. Missing one entry, Ash contemplates his next move, while Misty hopes that Totodile will hold up against Macey. Just then, Officer Jenny shows up in her police bike, with Squirtle in tow. As Ash and Squirtle exchange pleasantries, Officer Jenny explains that Squirtle was motivated to make itself available after seeing Ash in the torch relay, and that it took some time off from the Squirtle Squad just for the occasion. Squirtle has no problems being a last-minute addition to the upcoming match, and they hurry off to make a last-minute entry change.

At the B-Stadium, the match begins, with Macey having the first move. Macey sends out Slugma, while Ash responds with Totodile. The battle begins by exchanging Flamethrower and Water Gun, but Macey, anticipating that a Water Pokémon would be sent out, tells Slugma to use Double Team to evade Totodile's attacks. It works for a moment (being able to hit Totodile once with Flamethrower), but the luck runs out as Totodile manages to hit Slugma while evading with a Water Gun. At this point, Macey pulls out Slugma for her surprise entrant, Electabuzz, but anticipating this, Ash pulls Totodile for his surprise entrant, Phanpy. Misty congratulates Brock on his foresight in assisting Ash to make Phanpy his third entrant, and it pays off when Phanpy shakes off a Thunderbolt. Pulling Electabuzz back for Slugma. Ash leaves Phanpy in, and uses Earthquake and Rollout in quick succession. Slugma retaliates with another Flamethrower, but Phanpy blocks with Defense Curl. Phanpy also blocks Slugma's Body Slam, and hits another Earthquake on the recovery. One Take Down later, and Slugma is out for the count.

Quilava is sent in. As Misty comments on how any of Ash's entries will have the advantage against Quilava, Phanpy starts with a Rollout, but is counterattacked with a Flame Wheel, followed by a Quick Attack. Phanpy's attempt to Take Down is met with another Flame Wheel, knocking it out. Brock and Misty are surprised at the turn of events, believing that Phanpy could have gone for the sweep. Putting Totodile back in, Macey pulls Quilava back for Electabuzz, who would have the advantage against both of Ash's remaining entries. Totodile begins with a Water Gun, but Electabuzz blocks it off with Light Screen. Totodile's Headbutt to break through results in Electabuzz landing a ThunderPunch, knocking it out.

Now down two Pokémon, Ash is forced to send out Squirtle. As Macey prepares to sweep Squirtle out with a Thunderbolt, Squirtle hits its mark with a Water Gun. The Water Gun hit before Electabuzz could fire the Thunderbolt, confusing Macey. Squirtle evades a series of ThunderPunches, and hits again with a Water Gun, which Electabuzz deflects with an Iron Tail. However, a second Iron Tail hits Squirtle, and Macey tries to finish off with a ThunderPunch. However, Squirtle, out of the air, hits another Water Gun in the same spot as the first, interrupting the ThunderPunch. Electabuzz tries to finish Squirtle with another Thunderbolt, but is met with a Skull Bash for its efforts. This knocks out Electabuzz.

The match is down to Quilava with Squirtle, with momentum back on Ash's side. Squirtle opens with a Water Gun, which Quilava counters with Flamethrower and Swift. Squirtle responds the Swift with Bubble. The projectiles collide, creating a smoke cover for a Water Gun to hit Quilava. Another Bubble attack is met with a Quick Attack, which sends Squirtle reeling, with Squirtle ending up being inverted. As Ash desperately tries to get Squirtle back up, Quilava, seeing an opening goes for a Flame Wheel to finish off Squirtle while it is still vulnerable. In a last minute move, Squirtle uses Hydro Pump, using the spinning attack to not only hit Quilava with the water, but also with its own body. Quilava is knocked out, and Ash wins the match.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket has managed to sell all of their stock at their concession stand. Though Jessie and Meowth intend to spend their profits, James instead has a more ambitious idea, convincing the others to sell even more bottlecaps. After the match, Brock tells Ash that he now has firm control of Group H with the win. Depending on the outcome of the second match, Ash could be in a situation in which he only needs a draw to advance (Macey, on the other hand, cannot advance unless she wins her second match and Ash loses the next one to force a three-way tie). They are met by Macey, who tells them that after the battle that her Slugma had evolved into a Magcargo after the match had ended. Hugging Magcargo, she tells Ash that it will always be a reminder of her love for Ash. Macey promptly leaves to prepare for her next match.

Major events


Pokémon debuts




Who's That Pokémon?: Skiploom



  • When Team Rocket finishes talking about their day selling bottle caps, Wobbuffet can be heard coming out of its Poké Ball, even though it was already out.
  • When Macey brings out her Quilava to battle Ash's Squirtle she tells it to use Flamethrower, after Squirtle uses Water Gun, but Quilava actually uses Flame Wheel.

Dub edits

In other languages

  • French: Une nouvelle prétendante
  • German. Shiggy für Ash!
  • Hebrew: אהבה בסגנון פוקימוני ahava besignon Pokémoni
  • Italian: Le semifinali
  • Portuguese (Brazilian): Amor ao Estilo Pokémon
  • Spanish:
    • Iberian Spanish: Amor, al estilo Pokémon
    • Latin American Spanish: ¡Amor, al estilo Pokémon!

EP266 : A Claim to Flame!
Original series
EP268 : Tie One On!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.