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| It's Still Rocket Roll to Me!
Fu and Lan! Space Center Battle!
|| October 21, 2004
| United States
|| October 29, 2005
|| Team Ota
|| 松井亜弥 Aya Matsui
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Assistant director
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Animation director
|| 玉川明洋 Akihiro Tamagawa
| Additional credits
It's Still Rocket Roll to Me! (Japanese: フウとラン！宇宙センターの戦い！ Fu and Lan! Space Center Battle!) is the 99th episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 373rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on October 21, 2004 and in the United States on October 29, 2005.
Ash and friends finally arrive in Mossdeep City and head straight to the Pokémon Gym—only to find it empty because everyone in town is at the Space Center for the shuttle launch, including the Gym Leader.
At the Space Center, the kids begin snooping around, and Ash stumbles upon a Pokémon battle between two siblings named Tate and Liza, who are there because their father is piloting the shuttle. They are the twin Gym Leaders of Mossdeep, who promise to battle Ash after the shuttle launch. For now, they take Ash and friends on a tour of the center. Corphish wanders off when Ash isn't looking, sneaking on board the shuttle.
Team Rocket breaks into the shuttle and heads for the cockpit, only to encounter Tate and Max! They tie the two boys up, and the shuttle takes off. Before they get very far, the shuttle is grabbed by the Baltoy that live in the Space Center. Corphish frees Max and Tate, and Tate's Solrock takes out Team Rocket with Psychic.
Tate must now land the shuttle, and he and Max manage to get it safely to the ground. May and Liza attack Team Rocket when they emerge from the shuttle, and Pikachu sends them blasting off.
The shuttle is launched with Commander Jin at the controls, and then it's time for a Gym battle!
Our heroes have now finally arrived in Mossdeep City and are on their way to the Mossdeep Gym so Ash can battle for his seventh Badge. As they are about to enter the Gym, a woman runs out in a hurry. She stops at Ash's request, and he asks her if the Gym Leader is around. She explains that the Gym Leader is at the Mossdeep Space Center to watch a rocket launch. This instantly catches Max's interest. The woman goes on to explain that the rocket will be escorting a manned space shuttle, and Max gets very excited at the prospect of watching the launch himself. Brock consults his guidebook for info on the Space Center, and Max talks more about it. May is also interested, remembering their recent adventure with a Lunatone and learning of its origin in outer space. Max agrees and proceeds to babble onwards again, but Ash soon gets annoyed and yells "FORGET IT!" before glaring at Max and telling him that they'll be going to the space center only to find the Gym Leader, not for the space shuttle. In response, Max pretends to apologize while thinking to himself that once they get there, Ash will want to see the launch as well.
At the Space Center, the astronaut pilot of the shuttle is going through the pre-launch checklist with mission control. Some conversation also goes on between Jin (the pilot) and Rachel (his wife, one of the operators in the mission control center). While all this is going on, Team Rocket is quite a distance away in a tree, observing the launch site through their binoculars. As they talk, Meowth gets the idea to steal the shuttle and give it to the Boss. He has a vision of Giovanni waking up in the morning and smiling when he sees the Team Rocket rocket outside his bedroom window. Meowth then sees Giovanni flying in the shuttle to explore outer space, and of course praising "Meowth and friends" for giving it to him. The trio then does their trademark cheer at the end.
Meanwhile, Ash and his friends have entered the Space Center and Ash wonders aloud where the Gym Leader is. They come to a door and open it, finding various machines inside the rooms. This catches Ash's interest, and Max says that these are the training machines that astronauts use. Ash runs to one, while May, Max, and Brock approach another. May wonders what it is, and Max calls it a moon walker. He explains that astronauts use it to practice walking on the moon in decreased gravity, and May pictures herself having fun on the machine. Ash, meanwhile, is interested in the nearby MAT (multi-axis Trainer). Finding the gate in front of it unlocked, he and Pikachu get in the seat and Ash straps himself in, thinking it'll be fun to ride it. Looking around for a way to start it, he sees two buttons on the left armrest: a blue one and a red one. He pushes the red one, and the MAT promptly begins to rotate and spin rapidly, causing Ash and Pikachu to yell out and hang on for dear life. Finally, Pikachu braces itself against Ash and stretches its tail towards the blue button, barely managing to push it, stopping the ride. Ash and Pikachu get off, stagger up to the others, and collapse, very dizzy. Brock says it's his own fault for "touching stuff", and May tells him not to expect any sympathy. She also says that "boys are so immature" under her breath.
As Ash asks why the room won't stop spinning, a series of lights and sounds coming from some low windows nearby catches his attention. He crawls over and looks, and what he sees is a Pokémon battle between an identically dressed boy and girl (Tate and Liza) while a Baltoy is positioned at each corner of the room, four in total. Now very interested, Ash watches as Tate's Solrock and Liza's Lunatone both use Tackle, colliding in the middle of the field. Liza taunts her brother, saying that "he'll have to do better than that." Tate then tells Solrock to use Sandstorm, but it has no effect on Lunatone, causing Liza to remind him that Sandstorm doesn't work on other Rock-types. She then tells Lunatone to use Psychic, which shoves Solrock backwards into the wall behind Tate. Tate then calls for a Solar Beam counterattack, which Solrock begins to charge. However, this is proven a mistake when Liza has Lunatone hit Solrock with Tackle, breaking its concentration. Tate then has Solrock fire the Solar Beam, but Liza has Lunatone counter with Ice Beam, and, after the two beams collide and clash for a bit, the Ice Beam prevails, as Solrock didn't absorb enough sunlight to fire a strong enough Solar Beam. Ripping through the Solar Beam, the Ice Beam subsequently freezes Solrock solid in a slab of ice.
Tate recalls his Pokémon and says it put up a good battle, then braces himself for the teasing from his sister. Liza points out a few things Tate did wrong, and just then, Ash and friends enter the room. Tate and Liza gasp in surprise, and suddenly the newcomers are levitated into the air! They discover that they have entered a weightless room and Tate and Liza were held down to their respective platforms by ankle straps. They both release the straps and float up to join the newcomers. Liza turns Ash upright, and explains about the weightless room. She says that the Baltoy use their Confusion attack to simulate weightlessness. Tate floats up to meet Max and shows him a little weightless somersault trick.
Everyone introduces themselves and Ash compliments Liza on her battle. Tate makes an angry retort, but is shot down by his sister, much to his annoyance. Max and Tate then talk to each other about how their older sisters are so bossy and think they know everything. May, similarly, identifies with Liza. Despite being twins, Liza is slightly older than Tate, a fact she never lets him hear the end of. Tate and Liza go on to explain that they were having their battle while waiting for the rocket launch. Their father is the shuttle's pilot, so they are there to see him off. Their mother works at the Center as well. After they talk a bit more, Ash says that they came to the center looking for the Gym Leader. Tate and Liza then identify themselves as the co-Gym Leaders of Mossdeep City taking Ash by surprise.
Back in the training room, Tate demonstrates how to ride the MAT properly. Max can't resist teasing Ash about this. Liza then tells Ash that in their Gym they do Double Battles using their Lunatone and Solrock. Liza seems surprised when Ash still wants to challenge them. Liza then asks May if there's a ride she'd like to try, and May says she'd love to try the moon walker, so the two girls walk away. Ash is about to follow, but Pikachu leaps off his shoulder and stops him. Ash asks what's up, and Pikachu responds by doing impressions of Corphish, Grovyle and Torkoal, with the message being that the other Pokémon would love the chance to explore the Space Center as well. All of the group's Pokémon are then seen trying various rides and machines. Grovyle rides another MAT while Corphish watches. Combusken rides the MAT next to it. Torkoal, Forretress, Lombre and Mudkip play around in one of the weightless rooms, with the help of the Baltoy. Pikachu, Skitty, and Bulbasaur, all wearing space suits, swim in one of those water tanks used to simulate weightlessness. May and Liza talk for a bit while watching the swimming, and Tate shows Max a flight simulator used to train astronauts. The two boys sit in the pilot and copilot seats, as Tate explains how the simulator works. He starts it up, and an amazed Max happily joins in the pretend mission. However, Corphish exits into a hallway and noticing a string of motorized carts carrying space food that is going to be loaded onto the shuttle. Confused, but apparently recognizing some of the pictures on the boxes as food, the crab Pokémon excitedly takes off after the carts.
Back at the launch site, the pre-launch work is continuing. Jin has now joined his wife Rachel in the mission control center. Rachel suddenly notices something on the bank of monitors, and asks a worker to focus in on a certain area among the crates of space food that have been loaded onto the shuttle. The monitor in question zooms in, but nothing seems amiss. Rachel apologizes, thinking it must have been her imagination. It turns out, however, that it isn't her imagination - Corphish is happily eating its way through the space food.
Later, Ash, Pikachu, Brock, May, and Liza catch up to Jin as he is about to board the shuttle again for the last time before launch. Liza introduces her friends to her father, and they talk briefly about possibly finding Pokémon in space. Liza then asks Jin if he's seen Tate, since they haven't seen him since he and Max ran off together. Jin says no, he hasn't seen him. Then he suddenly gets a call on his little radio alerting him to a security breach. The scene then cuts to Team Rocket, dressed in space suits, jogging down a hallway. They're clearly visible and audible from mission control, and Rachel, over a microphone, demands to know what they're doing. Team Rocket stops and says their motto, and that's when Ash and the others find them. Team Rocket announces their plan to steal the rocket, and Jin and Liza say there's no way they'll get away with it. James sends out Cacnea to do a Pin Missile and Ash counters with Pikachu's Thunderbolt. Despite getting zapped, Jessie still manages to send out Seviper to perform a Haze attack, allowing them to make their escape and head for the shuttle's cockpit.
Max and Tate, meanwhile, are exploring the shuttle's cockpit but Max is worried that maybe they shouldn't be there. Tate reassures him and Max feels better. Unbeknownst to the two boys, Team Rocket is nearing the cockpit. Passing the crates of food from earlier, Jessie suddenly goes back to them, excited. Meowth insists that they continue forward, but Jessie grabs a bunch of food packets anyway. After they leave, Corphish pops up from its hiding place among the crates. Team Rocket has now reached the cockpit, only to find it occupied by Max and Tate. Meowth quickly ties them up with a rope, and boasts that Team Rocket now finally has their rocket. To put them in the proper mood for takeoff, James sends out Chimecho, but it wraps around his head first. He gets it off and attaches it to the ceiling and its Heal Bell calms them down. Meowth pushes the launch button, causing the boosters to start. Everyone else notices this with alarm and, upon turning on the cockpit's monitor, Rachel radios to Jin that Tate and Max are in the shuttle with Team Rocket. It's too late, however, as the shuttle is already taking off. The rocket and boosters fall off, and the shuttle is now in flight. Team Rocket's cheering is suddenly interrupted when the shuttle inexplicably stops moving. Looking outside, they see that the four Baltoy from the space center are using Confusion to stop the shuttle's progress. Tate explains this to Max, recommending that they attempt to escape now. Trying to figure out how to accomplish this, Max notices Corphish hiding under a bank of controls. Corphish motions for Max to be quiet (doing the "shhh" gesture with its claw), and he nods. As Team Rocket decide what to do next, they suddenly find themselves suspended in midair! Offscreen, Corphish had cut the ropes and freed Max and Tate, and now Tate's Solrock is using Psychic to levitate Team Rocket. Solrock throws them around the cabin for a bit until they all collide and fall to the floor, out cold. The boys and the Pokémon cheer, and Tate jumps on the radio and tells his parents that they're all right. Liza and the others are happy, but Jin says that the Baltoy won't be able to hold the shuttle in the air for very long and that Tate has to somehow land the shuttle.
Much to Liza's concern, Tate takes the pilot's seat and confidently says that he can do it due to his experience in the simulator. Max says he'll help as well and the landing process begins. The Baltoy release their hold on the shuttle and Jin begins relaying instructions to the boys. After a few tense moments of switch-flipping and control-monitoring, in which an impatient Corphish threatens to press a random button before Max whacks its claw away, the shuttle lands safely. Team Rocket, still dazed from Solrock's Psychic attack, stagger out of the shuttle and fall to the ground. Immediately, they suffer the wrath of Liza and May, both of whom are furious at the Rockets for the danger they had put Tate and Max into. After a Fire Spin from Combusken, an Ice Beam from Lunatone, and an Iron Tail from Pikachu, Team Rocket goes blasting off again.
Later, the shuttle takes off for real, with Jin at the controls. Ash and friends watch the takeoff and comment on how Jin can now search for Pokémon in space. Tate and Liza then tell Ash that they are ready to accept his Gym challenge. Ash, of course, is extremely excited for the upcoming battle.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Pokémon Trainer's Choice: Tangela
Tate's miscolored hair bun
- There were a few technical issues with the anime's portrayal of a shuttle launch:
- First, the solid rocket boosters should not have separated until after they had finished firing. Otherwise, they would have gone up instead of down and wasted a lot of energy. The external tank should not have separated until the shuttle was nearly in orbit, and the engines should not have been firing when the shuttle was about to land.
- However, this was only when Team Rocket tried to steal the shuttle, and it had to be landed soon after, so at least most of these mistakes were likely made on purpose. When the shuttle was later launched for a real mission, technical issues seemed to be correct.
- When Tate is showing Max the shuttle simulator, his hair bun is colored white.
- When Tate's Solrock's Sandstorm fails to work on Lunatone, Liza says "Those Ground attacks just don't work against my Lunatone", obviously referring to Lunatone's Ability Levitate. However, Sandstorm is a Rock-type move, not Ground-type.
- It is correct, however, that Sandstorm would not hurt a Lunatone, due to it also being Rock-type.
- Question: Trainers, which one of these Pokémon does not evolve?
- Choices: Lileep, Tangela, Houndour
- Answer: Ok, Trainers! If you chose Tangela, you were right!
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