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JN124 : Valor: A Strategic Part of Battling!
Pokémon Journeys: The Series
Whittle While You Work!
JN125   EP1210
セミファイナルⅣ 「衝撃」
The Semifinals IV: "Impact"
First broadcast
Japan September 16, 2022
United States June 23, 2023
English themes
Opening With You
Japanese themes
Opening 1・2・3
Ending バツグンタイプ
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
Storyboard 齋藤徳明 Noriaki Saitō
Assistant director 沼山茉由 Mayu Numayama
Animation director 大豆一博 Kazuhiro Ōmame
Additional credits

Whittle While You Work! (Japanese: セミファイナルⅣ 「衝撃」 The Semifinals IV: "Impact") is the 125th episode of Pokémon Journeys: The Series, and the 1,210th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on September 16, 2022, in Canada on March 4, 2023, in South Africa on March 14, 2023, in the United Kingdom on April 7, 2023, in Australia on May 1, 2023, and in the United States on June 23, 2023.

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


The second match of the Masters Eight Tournament semifinals continues with Ash battling Sinnoh Champion Cynthia. The six-on-six Full Battle has promised lots of action…and it has certainly delivered! With five of Ash’s Pokémon already eliminated, it’s now up to Mega Lucario. First up is Cynthia’s Dynamax Togekiss, and Lucario wins, leaving Cynthia with only Garchomp. This is the last battle of the match, and both Pokémon fight hard, but Lucario’s endurance gives Ash the victory! Moving on to the finals round, our hero now must prepare for his toughest battle yet—against Leon!


The second Pokémon World Coronation Series Masters Eight Tournament semifinals battle between Ash and Cynthia continues. Faced with the surprising move of Cynthia Dynamaxing Togekiss rather than Mega Evolving Garchomp, Ash uses his Key Stone to Mega Evolve Lucario. Mega Lucario attacks with Aura Sphere while Togekiss counters with Max Airstream. Lucario leaps into the cyclone to continue its attack, but the fierce winds blast it out, while Togekiss smothers the Aura Sphere with its body. Furthermore, Max Airstream's effect increases Togekiss's speed. Refusing to give in, Ash calls for Bullet Punch, while Cynthia counters with Max Airstream once more. This time, however, Lucario leaps over the cyclone and begins pummeling Togekiss, dealing super-effective damage. The onslaught causes Togekiss to crash into the ground, but, to everyone's shock, it manages to get back up, its speed increasing once again. Cynthia orders a third Max Airstream, which meets Aura Sphere as it charges up. Ash and Lucario draw their aura together to fight back, while all the way in Kalos, Greninja feels the surge of power occur as "Giant Aura Sphere" pushes forward and finally breaks through to score a direct hit on the Jubilee Pokémon, much to Cynthia's shock and awe. Togekiss reverts to its normal size and collapses to the ground, but soon gets up once more, its speed bolstered a third time. Cynthia expresses her excitement over the battle and continues, Togekiss flying around at high speeds and avoiding Lucario's Bullet Punch attempts. When Cynthia calls for Sky Attack, Ash counters with Double Team to avoid the attack, but Togekiss destroys the copies before it can be struck by Aura Sphere. However, it fails to overpower Bullet Punch and is repelled, finally being declared unable to battle. Cynthia recalls and thanks Togekiss, while Ash praises Lucario.

With only one Pokémon left for both participants, Cynthia calls upon Garchomp one final time, marking the start of the battle's climax. Backstage, Diantha and Leon compare the damage both Pokémon have received in their respective battles, believing the battle is a toss-up. Seeing Ash and Lucario's powerful connection, Cynthia and Garchomp think back to their past travels together over their many years: from playing together as children, to fishing up a Feebas, Garchomp's evolutionary road from Gible, viewing the mural at Amity Square, and their countless battles as partners on their shared road to the present. Cynthia declares they will be the ones to battle Leon and calls for Scale Shot. Lucario counters with Bullet Punch, before following it up with an Aura Sphere, triggering a large explosion that damages both Pokémon. Cynthia's excitement peaks as she exclaims how she has longed for a battle this intense. Lucario and Garchomp begin trading blows with Bullet Punch and Dragon Claw, turning the battle into an all-out slugfest as the two try desperately to knock the other out. Eventually the flurry of blows stops and both Pokémon back off, clearly running low on energy. When Lucario drops to one knee, Cynthia takes her chance and orders Dragon Claw once more, but Lucario musters the last of his strength to counter with Reversal. Both attacks score devastating blows and both Pokémon simultaneously hit the dirt, seemingly unable to continue. After several agonizing moments of deafening silence, Lucario slowly rises to its feet, while Garchomp remains motionless on the ground. Dan declares Garchomp unable to battle and Ash the winner of the match, allowing Ash to advance to the finals.

Ash stands stupefied as cheers shower down on him, unable to quite believe he has actually managed to defeat Cynthia. It is not until he sees Pikachu jumping for joy does he fully realize his victory. Bursting with excitement, he rushes forth and hugs Lucario. In the stands, Goh and Hop cheer for Ash's victory, as do Team Rocket, who are overcome with emotion that their twerp has now toppled the Champions of both Hoenn and Sinnoh. In Pallet Town, Ash's Pokémon at Oak's lab rejoice, while Professor Oak fights off tears. Meanwhile, Leon is fired up and can't hold back his own excitement over facing Ash in the finals. Garchomp accepts Lucario's paw and rises to her feet, while Cynthia congratulates Ash on his triumph. She praises his unparalleled connection with all of his Pokémon, admitting that she still has much to learn, and adds that she hopes to battle him again in the future. Meanwhile, the announcer reveals that the matchup of Ash versus Leon in the finals will be another six-on-six Full Battle to decide who gets the title of Monarch.

Cynthia reconvenes with Diantha in the tunnel and apologizes for losing. Cynthia admits that battling provides her with a thrill that can't be surpassed, choosing to continue on with her career as a Pokémon Trainer, rather than retiring like she previously planned, while still moving forward with her fields of research, much to Diantha's happiness. Outside, Ash summons his team to thank them for their victory. However, he adds that now that they have reached the finals and their goal of battling Leon, they can't back down and will emerge victorious. As the team cheers, they begin preparing to face their strongest opponent ever.

Major events

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


Pokémon debuts





The "After the story" artwork for this episode


Dub edits

In other languages

JN124 : Valor: A Strategic Part of Battling!
Pokémon Journeys: The Series
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.