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| Cruisin' for a Losin'
Pokémon Contest! Ruibosu Tournament!!
|| May 27, 2004
| United States
|| May 14, 2005
|| Team Ota
|| 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
|| 秦義人 Yoshito Hata
| Assistant director
|| 秦義人 Yoshito Hata
| Animation director
|| 宍戸久美子 Kumiko Shishido
| Additional credits
Cruisin' for a Losin' (Japanese: ポケモンコンテスト！ルイボス大会！！ Pokémon Contest! Ruibosu Tournament!!) is the 78th episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 352nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on May 27, 2004 and in the United States on May 14, 2005.
The Rubello Pokémon Contest begins! Savannah is still nervous, but May is overconfident. Both of them do well in the first round performances, and while waiting in the locker room, May brags that once you have at least one ribbon, all the rest come easily. Drew tells her off.
Jessie tries to enter the contest by making her own ribbon, but instead a woman offers to buy the ribbon, giving Jessie the idea to start selling them. She puts James and Meowth to work.
The finalists in the contest are announced: May, Savannah, Drew, and Sunny. Ash tries to offer some advice, but May snaps at him.
Drew's Masquerain takes down Sunny's Girafarig with a three-move combo. The next battle is May's Bulbasaur versus Savannah's Lairon. Bulbasaur gets nervous, and doesn't dodge Lairon's attacks. Bulbasaur takes a bad pounding but May refuses to accept defeat, and the judges yell at her.
May goes outside, and Ash talks with her. The two of them go back inside to watch Savannah face off against Drew. Drew beats Savannah by a lot of points, and wins his fourth ribbon.
Team Rocket is trying to sell the ribbons they made, but no one buys one, and even the woman who bought one before wants to return hers.
Back at the Pokémon Center, Savannah doesn't feel bad about losing, and even May realizes that she can't take her wins for granted.
It's Contest Day in Rubello Town, and the episode opens with Jessie being kicked out the Contest Hall for trying to enter with a fake, comically-large Ribbon, quashing her dream of entering this Pokémon Contest. Inside the Contest center, May and Savannah watch Vivian kick off the festivities. May is as determined as ever to win, and with her victories in Fallarbor and Verdanturf Town she is extremely confident and calm, while Savannah is still suffering from a bad case of nerves. Drew is also waiting backstage, and he smirks as May gives advice to Savannah. Meanwhile, outside, a stranger asks if she can purchase Jessie's fake Ribbon as a decoration for her Azurill. Jessie gains a steely glint in her eye and what's worse—an idea.
Back inside the competition center, May and Beautifly take the stage and open with a Morning Sun technique, followed by Silver Wind. The Mothers for Pokémon cheer May on, and Savannah later complements May for her good work, remarking that she hopes she can do as well herself (scores are not shown). Savannah starts off to a rocky start, missing her cue, but she makes up for her mistake quickly. Savannah elects to start with her Flareon, which uses a Fire Spin attack to create flaming hoops which it then tackles through. Savannah follows those theatrics with a combination Swift and Ember, turning the Swift stars red. Offstage, Sandra claims that the maneuver was her idea. After Savannah yields the stage, May compliments her but remarks that after winning a few Ribbons, winning becomes easy. Drew scoffs at her hubris, and advises her to forget what she's won and concentrate on the future—a remark that May doesn't understand. Before he can explain, Drew is called to take the stage. He starts with his Roselia, which bursts from its Poké Ball with an explosion of flower petals. Drew snaps his fingers and Roselia appears (the MFP go wild), and Savannah remarks backstage that Drew is amazing. May is less impressed.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket has started manufacturing bows like Jessie's earlier adornment, apparently having developed a temporary taste for legitimate business. However, Jessie is demanding perfection in the workmanship, which neither James nor Meowth (nor Wobbuffet) seem able to give. Elsewhere, in the competition center, it's announced that Savannah, Drew, and May (plus a here-to unheard-of "Sonny") have advanced to the Contest Battles. May remarks that she was never very worried, and the MFP cheer for both Drew and Savannah. May is paired to face Savannah, while Drew is slated to fight Sonny. May will be using her Bulbasaur for the battle, while Savannah will be using her Lairon. May starts giving Savannah advice for the upcoming match, but are interrupted by the arrival of Ash, Max, Brock, and Sandra. Ash suggests that if Savannah needs any help, she should probably ask him, which causes May's temper to flare. Sandra recommends that Savannah needs no advice, and that she should just battle the way she always does. Meanwhile, Ash tries to give May some Bulbasaur-related advice, but May snaps at him. Drew watches the exchange and shrugs.
Drew and Sonny's battle is first. Sonny sends out his Girafarig while Drew chooses his Masquerain that he showed May the previous evening. A brief exchange (Girafarig's Iron Tail versus Masquerain's Bubble), Masquerain uses Ice Beam to freeze its own Bubbles, and then Hidden Power to launch the guide at Sonny's Girafarig, which is then knocked out. Drew thus gains a quick victory over Sonny and advances to the finals. That leaves May versus Savannah, and May determined to win. May's Bulbasaur and Savannah's Lairon take the stage but each Trainer has an immediate problem—Savannah continues to suffer from stage fright and nerves and May's Bulbasaur is unfamiliar with the big city, and is dazzled by the Contest stage and roaring crowd. Bulbasaur quickly retreats to behind May for cover. In the audience, Brock speculate that's May's angry outbursts backstage upset Bulbasaur. Unfortunately, May is also none too kind in telling Bulbasaur to take the stage, and Bulbasaur reluctantly steps forward to face Lairon.
With the battle joined in earnest, Savannah orders Lairon to use Take Down. May calls for Bulbasaur to dodge, but the bright lights and unfamiliar stage fill her with fear, which is compounded by May's anger. Bulbasaur therefore takes the attack head on. May orders a counterattack with Vine Whip, which Bulbasaur supplies, but Lairon counters with a surprise and Electric-type Shock Wave, which traces the Vine Whip and shocks Bulbasaur. Sandra reveals, at this point, that she was also the architect of the Shock Wave combo and that because of Vine Whip's direct contact, Lairon paralyzed Bulbasaur. Savannah orders a coup de grace with Metal Claw, which makes contact and causes the Contest Judges to call the battle against Bulbasaur. May declares that she's not done, but the judges rebuke her harshly, declaring that she has disregarded the well-being of her Bulbasaur. May has lost the battle, and Savannah continues to the finals.
In the next scene, May is outside tending to her Bulbasaur. She apologizes to her Pokémon for letting her desire for a Ribbon cause her to lose sight of what was important, and Bulbasaur easily forgives her. She is soon joined by Ash and Pikachu, who invite her inside to watch the final round. Ash tells May that everyone gets carried away with wanting to win sometimes, and that the most important fact of battling, Contest or Gym, is that Trainer and Pokémon must be in sync to succeed. Meanwhile, Drew and Savannah are fighting fiercely. In the final seconds of the match, Drew scores an unavenged hit with Hidden Power, and time expires before Savannah can counter with a Shock Wave. The victory goes to Drew (who courteously shakes hands with his opponent after the battle), and he gains the Rubello Town Contest Ribbon, bringing his total to four and leaving him with only one more needed to enter the Grand Festival). Elsewhere, Team Rocket is having trouble selling their carefully crafted Ribbons, and in the greatest irony, the stranger who purchase one earlier asks if she can return hers.
The episode ends with Ash, his friends, Savannah, and Sandra sitting around a table. Savannah declares that though she wanted the Contest Ribbon today, she didn't want it so badly that she took her existing Ribbon for granted. May realizes that she did exactly that—take her other Ribbons for granted in her pursuit of yet another, and vows she never will do so again. In the end, May learned something from Savannah (rather than the reverse) and the narrator concludes that for May this defeat was a learning experience.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Pokémon Trainer's Choice: Camerupt
The Max look-a-like on the right
- Music from Mewtwo Strikes Back and some music from The Power of One was used in this episode.
- The English dub title is based on the phrase, "cruising for a bruising".
- In the crowd watching the Contest, an older-looking Max look-a-like can be seen.
- In this episode, Team Rocket doesn't blast off or recite their motto.
- The Pokémon Trainer's Choice states that Camerupt would be the best choice to battle Ludicolo. It would actually be the worst choice because Ludicolo's Water-type attacks would be 4× effective on Camerupt as it is a Fire/Ground-type. Ground-type attacks are not very effective against Ludicolo and Fire-type attacks are normally effective. Both Duskull and Mightyena would be normally effective on Ludicolo.
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