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AG169 : Talking a Good Game!
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG171 : Pokémon Ranger - Deoxys' Crisis! (Part 1)
Second Time's the Charm!
AG170   EP444
Battle Tower! Telepathy Battle!!
First broadcast
Japan March 30, 2006
United States November 27, 2006
English themes
Opening Battle Frontier
Ending Pokémon Go!
Japanese themes
Opening スパート!
Ending GLORY DAY 〜輝くその日〜
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
Storyboard 須藤典彦 Norihiko Sudō
Assistant director 秦義人 Yoshito Hata
Animation director 山下恵 Megumi Yamashita
Additional credits

Second Time's the Charm! (Japanese: バトルタワー!以心伝心バトル!! Battle Tower! Telepathy Battle!!) is the 170th episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, and the 444th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on March 30, 2006 and in the United States on November 27, 2006.

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


Ash lost his first Battle Tower challenge, but he won't give up. He's out practicing with his team the next day, until Tauros stirs up a Beedrill nest that even Anabel can't calm them down. Both Anabel and Ash end up in the lake, but at least they see the funny side of it all. Below them, Team Rocket tries to burrow their way to Pikachu, but they find Munchlax instead. Undaunted, they bring out a giant Wobbuffet device to assist in their scheme, but all it takes is a Tackle from May's Eevee to puncture that plan.

With Team Rocket out of the way, Ash challenges Anabel again. Both Trainers use the same teams as before, but this time Ash plans to get the best out of his Pokémon. Corphish is confused by Alakazam's Psybeam during their rematch, but Ash recalls it to its Poké Ball to cure the confusion, then sends it back out. Corphish wins the battle, but it's tired out and Anabel's Metagross knocks it out in one hit. Then Ash's Tauros has a head-on battle with Metagross that ends in a double knockout!

Now it's time for one of Anabel's favorite Pokémon, Espeon! Pikachu is fast, but so is Espeon. Things are going well for Anabel until Pikachu's attack accidentally shorts out the lights, startling Espeon. With Espeon rattled, Pikachu finishes the battle and wins Ash the Ability Symbol! Now it's time for the location of the seventh and final challenge, the Battle Pyramid, to be revealed—it's near Pewter City, so there's a homecoming for Brock to look forward to as well!


At the Pokémon Center, the day after Ash's defeat at the hands of Salon Maiden Anabel, Ash decides that he wants to challenge Anabel again, this time without using just brute strength and power. Ash gets straight into training with a morning run with his Pokémon. They move on to practicing their attacks on a nearby tree; Pikachu uses Iron Tail, Tauros uses Take Down, and Corphish uses Crabhammer. While the attacks prove powerful, Ash accidentally disturbs a swarm Beedrill in the tree. The swarm pursues Ash and his team, who run into Anabel. Ash asks if she could calm them down, but Anabel claims that she is unable to do so when they attack in a swarm like that. Tauros soon gets stung from behind by the Beedrill's Twineedle attack, sending him into a rampage from the pain before colliding with Ash, Anabel, and the other Pokémon off into a lake. Immediately afterward, Ash and Anabel start laughing at the crazy scenario. Ash decides to clean Tauros up before any kind of battle and Anabel offered to help. During the course, Anabel, Ash, and Corphish begin to play around in the river by splashing water.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket has dug a tunnel underneath the twerps, trying to catch Pikachu. Unfortunately for them, Munchlax was right above them, causing the ground to collapse on top of them. The trio quickly gets to their feet and abandons their plans to capture Pikachu when they see the group's food. After being caught stealing the food and accused of being there for Pikachu, they realized that Munchlax had run off with the food. In a rage, Team Rocket reveals a giant inflatable Wobbuffet-like mecha. May sends out her Eevee to use Tackle on the inflatable. Team Rocket, thinking it wouldn't do a thing, laughs at Eevee's attempts. However, Meowth sees that Eevee has managed to pop a hole in the inflatable, which soon deflates, sending Team Rocket blasting off again.

Inspired by Anabel's ability to talk to Pokémon through telepathy, May lets out her Combusken, saying that they should all try to give commands to their Pokémon through telepathy. Ash agrees and gets down to Corphish's level, telling Corphish to use Harden with his mind. However, Corphish becomes nervous and frustrated, as does Combusken, leading Ash and May to give up. Ash asks Anabel how she was able to communicate that way, to which Anabel replies that she didn't quite know herself. She reveals that she has always been able to use telepathy to talk to Pokémon and plants since she was young. Anabel tells Ash to try to sense what was in her heart; however, Ash is unable to. Anabel reassures him that it really didn't matter.

Later that day, Ash is ready and raring to battle Anabel the second time. The match starts off with Alakazam versus Ash's Corphish, who begins with a Crabhammer attack. Anabel fights using her mind right from the start, commanding Alakazam to use Focus Punch. The attacks collide, and neither Pokémon is injured. Ash counters with a Bubble Beam, to which Alakazam responds with Psybeam, with the attacks colliding and causing an explosion. Ash isn't deterred and orders Corphish to use Vise Grip; however, Anabel has Alakazam use Psychic to throw Corphish backward. Corphish, despite being in mid-air, is able to use Bubble Beam, which successfully strikes Alakazam. Anabel isn't fazed and calls for Alakazam to use Recover, helping it regain some of its energy. Without giving an inch, Ash has Corphish use Crabhammer, which Anabel counters with Focus Punch. However, Corphish dodges the Focus Punch and slams its Crabhammer attack into Alakazam's jaw. Alakazam uses Psybeam again, confusing Corphish. Luckily for Ash, Corphish is still able to use Crabhammer and use it well. Immediately, Ash recalls Corphish, snapping it out of confusion, and throws Corphish right back onto the field, where it instantly uses Bubble Beam and knocks out Alakazam. Anabel's next Pokémon is her Metagross. Corphish uses Bubble Beam, but Metagross evades the attack and sends the Ruffian Pokémon flying with a Meteor Mash attack, knocking Corphish out.

Despite the type-disadvantage, Ash sends out his Tauros. Tauros's first attack is Take Down, which Metagross counters with Iron Defense. Ash calls for Tauros to use Horn Attack and Anabel has Metagross counter with Meteor Mash. Tauros is able to dodge Meteor Mash and slam his horn into Metagross's underside, sending it flying. Metagross uses Hyper Beam and although Tauros uses Double Team to avoid the attack, the Iron Leg Pokémon eventually strikes the real Tauros with the Hyper Beam. Tauros, however, makes a quick recovery and retaliates with Horn Attack, striking Metagross due to the delay as it recovers from its earlier Hyper Beam. Finally, Metagross is able to use Meteor Mash, which Tauros tries to counter with Take Down. The attacks collide and both Pokémon faint.

Anabel's final Pokémon is Espeon and Ash chooses his Pikachu. Determined to win the match with speed, Ash has Pikachu start off by using Quick Attack, to which Espeon responds by dodging and striking back with its own Quick Attack. Pikachu tries an Iron Tail attack, but Espeon intercepts with an Iron Tail of its own and manages to overpower its opponent. Pikachu follows up with Thunderbolt. However, Espeon fires a Zap Cannon that overpowers the Thunderbolt, and Pikachu is sent flying back by the attack. Ash has Pikachu use Thunderbolt once again, but Espeon jumps out of the way before using Psychic to slam Pikachu into the ceiling. Pikachu recovers quickly and uses Quick Attack, but Espeon uses Psychic again and sends Pikachu back into the ceiling. This time, however, Pikachu is able to compose himself and bounce off the ceiling and onto one of the lights. The proceeding Thunderbolt knocks out the Battle Tower's power, making the whole field go pitch black. Pikachu fires another Thunderbolt, landing his first hit on Espeon, who responds with Zap Cannon, which overpowers the Thunderbolt; however, Pikachu dodges the attack and jumps from light to light, avoiding all the Zap Cannons thrown at him. Espeon is unable to relax, making all mental communication null and void. Again, Espeon is hit with a Thunderbolt. When the lights come back on, Espeon is hit again with Iron Tail. Without wasting any time, Pikachu uses Volt Tackle. Espeon tries to counterattack with Zap Cannon, but it simply flies off Pikachu. Espeon is struck down by Pikachu's Volt Tackle, making Ash the victor and earning him the Ability Symbol. After shaking Anabel's hand, Ash and his friends make their way towards the next facility, the Battle Pyramid, located near Pewter City, for Ash's final Symbol. Anabel blushes, holding onto the hand Ash had just shaken.

Major events

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


Pokémon debuts





Anabel in the opening credits
  • Anabel is added to the opening of the Japanese version.
  • The episode's English dub title is a play on the phrase "third time's the charm".
  • In the Japanese version, orchestral music plays as Ash, his Pokémon, and Anabel are running from the Beedrill.
  • Just after Corphish lands a direct hit on Alakazam with Crabhammer, Ash recalls it to cure its confusion and then immediately sends it back out, something not possible in the games.
  • Espeon keeps its Japanese voice in the English dub of this episode, so it says Eifie, its Japanese name, every time it speaks.
  • Anabel is yet another girl with a crush on Ash. This is founded on Anabel's thoughts as Ash leaves: "Guess you can't sense feelings yet, Ash, or you would have sensed my feelings for you." (Japanese: 最後までボクの気持ちは読めなかったね、サトシ? "You weren't able to read my heart after all, were you, Satoshi?").
  • Battle Frontier is used as background music from when Pikachu blows out all of the lights until the end of the battle.
  • This episode marks the last time to date in which Ash has used one of his Tauros in an onscreen battle.
    • This is also the last time any of Ash's Tauros have been shown in his active party.
    • This episode is also the only time Ash’s Tauros has been in his active party for something that is not a tournament or battle, taking Tauros for training alongside Pikachu and Corphish.


  • For a split-second, when Ash and Anabel are washing Tauros, the lines around its eyes are thicker than usual.
  • Anabel says that Corphish told her that it had not swam for a while, but it swam the day before when it was helping Anabel and Pikachu.
  • Alakazam attempts to hit confused Corphish with Focus Punch using its right hand, but after Corphish counters, Alakazam's left hand glows instead.

Dub edits

  • While Team Rocket is eating Ash and his friends' food, James mentions curry rice in the original Japanese version. In the English dub, he just says he like good food.

In other languages

AG169 : Talking a Good Game!
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG171 : Pokémon Ranger - Deoxys' Crisis! (Part 1)
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.