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JN047 : Crowning the Chow Crusher!
Pokémon Journeys: The Series
JN049 : To Train, or Not to Train!
A Close Call... Practically!
JN048   EP1133
A Close Call with Practically Pikachu!
First broadcast
Japan December 4, 2020
United States March 5, 2021
English themes
Opening The Journey Starts Today
Japanese themes
Opening 1・2・3
Ending ふしぎなふしぎな生きもの*
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 赤尾でこ Deko Akao
Storyboard 樋口香里 Kaori Higuchi
Assistant director 葛西良信 Yoshinobu Kasai
Animation directors さとう沙名栄 Sanae Satō
佐々木綾香 Ayaka Sasaki
斎藤和也 Kazuya Saitō
永田有香 Yuka Nagata
rere rere
Cerberus Cerberus
Suwarin Promjutikanon Suwarin Promjutikanon
Chotanan Pipobworachai Chotanan Pipobworachai
Additional credits

A Close Call... Practically! (Japanese: ほぼほぼピカチュウ危機一髪! A Close Call with Practically Pikachu!) is the 48th episode of Pokémon Journeys: The Series, and the 1,133rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on December 4, 2020 and in the United States on March 5, 2021.

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


While Ash and Goh eat delectable treats (thanks to Greedent’s eating contest victory), Team Rocket plans to steal Pikachu by switching it with a lookalike called “Practically Pikachu.” When they appear to succeed and make their getaway via bicycle, Lucario and Cinderace chase after them! In response, Meowth shoots a bouncy glue at the two Pokémon, and they end up stuck together. Although this presents real challenges, Lucario and Cinderace figure out a way to work together and send Team Rocket flying. But when they return to Ash and Goh, the two Pokémon are shocked—the real Pikachu had been safely by Ash’s side all along!


Ash and Goh have come to Castelia City to indulge in an all-you-can-eat tour as a part of Goh's prize for winning the Pokémon Grand Eating Contest. Lying in wait, a disguised Team Rocket has set up a fake Casteliacone van in a bid to steal Pikachu. Meowth reveals his latest scheme to his teammates, they plan to switch the real Pikachu for a life-like mecha called "Practically Pikachu". Jessie and James are impressed by Practically Pikachu's likeness, but quickly spot one flaw: it keeps saying "Hika" instead of "Pika". Meowth admits the cry was the only thing he couldn't replicate perfectly, hence the robot's name. Jessie sneers as she admits that Ash will be too dumb to notice the difference.

Ash and Goh finally arrive at the van window, so Team Rocket gets into their positions. Jessie takes the orders, giving the boys a vanilla-flavored ice cream each. She announces that it is Casteliacone's anniversary today and offers them a special bonus to celebrate. Goh says that he prefers plain vanilla. Ash falls for the trap, and gladly accepts the bonus offer, so several more scoops of pink ice cream and fruit are added to his cone. Sitting down on a park bench to enjoy their desserts, Ash decides to leave to wash his hand clean, leaving Pikachu in Goh's care. Team Rocket quickly enact their plan, placing Practically Pikachu beside Pikachu before making the swap. Unexpectedly, the two Pikachu run off and start playing together, making the situation confusing. Goh is distracted, meanwhile, by the fast-melting ice cream. Meowth and his teammates try listening out for the difference in cries before one of the Pikachu coughs on its food and says "Hika". They snatch the other Pikachu and ride off on a bicycle. While Ash returns, unsuspecting of anything amiss, Cinderace and Lucario chase after Team Rocket after spotting Pikachu has been kidnapped. Meowth launches some sticky goop to slow them down, however, Lucario and Cinderace, who have been struggling to get along, find themselves stuck together by their wrists. The rubber-like goop helps the pair ricochet off several light poles, before managing to rebound and rescue Pikachu.

Ash and Goh move on to their next Unova delicacy, Watchog buns; crunchy fried batter with mustard stripes on a stick. Lucario and Cinderace, meanwhile, find themselves at a dead-end with Team Rocket approaching in their Meowth balloon. Cinderace and Lucario try to go in opposite directions, which sparks an intense argument between the two. Meowth fires another goop bomb at them, though this only enables the pair to escape the alleyway, still with Pikachu in hand. The now-extended goop leads Lucario and Cinderace to bounce off several more poles across Castelia City. As Team Rocket tries to survey the area from the skies, Lucario and Cinderace eventually crash straight into them, sending them all blasting off into the distance.

Ash and Goh continue to indulge in more food, this time enjoying some Crustle cakes; alternating layers of chocolate sponge and cheesecake with sweet icing that resembles a Crustle's shell. Goh adds that there are also bite-sized Dwebble cakes. While the boys and Pikachu enjoy the cakes, they remain unaware that Lucario and Cinderace are in danger. Ash jokes that the two have probably stuffed themselves full and cannot move.

Eventually crash-landing in another part of the city, Team Rocket summon the Rocket Prize Master, receiving a Sawk and Throh to take on Lucario and Cinderace. Sawk makes the first move, attacking with a Low Sweep. Cinderace leaps up to avoid the blow, but Lucario instead takes the hit to the ankles. The pair, still attached at the wrists by the goop, is consequently battered away. James orders Throh to use Circle Throw, tossing the pair. Lucario manages to get to its feet, but Cinderace cannot stop its momentum and crashes into its partner. The goop continues to cause havoc for Cinderace and Lucario, as neither can agree on a counter-tactic. Sawk and Throh deal more damage with Brick Break and Vital Throw attacks, respectively. As Jessie remarks that the two look pathetic while stuck together, Cinderace becomes inspired to collaborate with Lucario. Without much warning, it twirls Lucario around before throwing it towards Team Rocket. Lucario recovers from its dizziness and lands Reversal to knock Sawk out. Lucario follows suit, swinging Cinderace to build momentum before Cinderace defeats Throh with a Blaze Kick. The goop has finally reached its optimum stretch and breaks away, leaving Cinderace and Lucario free of any restraint. Together, they launch a Pyro Ball and Aura Sphere combo to send Team Rocket blasting off. Lucario and Cinderace then turn to check on Pikachu, only to see that he is now missing. While blasting off, the Rocket trio notices that Wobbuffet nabbed Pikachu during the confrontation. Jessie is initially thrilled, until Pikachu calls out "Hikachu", revealing that it's actually the Practically Pikachu robot. Meowth remarks that the robot proved to be a great replica after all, much to the infuriation of his teammates as they blast off together.

Cinderace and Lucario rush back to the park in a panicked state. However, they are stunned to see Pikachu happily snacking beside Ash and Goh. As the pair collapse from shock, Ash believes they must be hungry, so Goh gives Cinderace a bag of snacks to enjoy. As Cinderace enjoys the food, it tries to get Lucario to try one for itself. Lucario is unimpressed when Cinderace pushes the snack into its face. It reacts in a rage and chases Cinderace down in retaliation. Ash and Goh remain unaware of Lucario and Cinderace's fiery rivalry, even remarking that the pair appear to get on well.

Major events

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


Pokémon debuts



Dare da?


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Cinderace


The "After the story" artwork for this episode


  • When Lucario is leaning against a light post just before it starts pursuing Team Rocket, the black fur around its shoulders is missing.
  • When Cinderace and Lucario are spun into the air by Throh's Circle Throw, the patterns below Cinderace's eyes are missing.
  • During Lucario and Cinderace's battle against Throh and Sawk, both the Rocket Prize Master and the Practically Pikachu robot disappear for the rest of the scene.
  • When Team Rocket is blasted off for the second time, Wobbuffet and their Practically Pikachu robot are missing. However, Wobbuffet's voice can be heard twice.
    • Later, when Team Rocket realizes that they stole their Practically Pikachu robot instead of Ash's Pikachu, Sawk and Throh are not seen blasting off with them, while Wobbuffet and Practically Pikachu appear instead.

Dub edits

  • The Japanese text depicting Castelia City's name is edited out.
  • The Japanese texts depicting Sawk and Throh's categories and names are edited out.

In other languages

JN047 : Crowning the Chow Crusher!
Pokémon Journeys: The Series
JN049 : To Train, or Not to Train!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.