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| A Gruff Act to Follow!
Zugaidos VS Pikachu!!
|| January 18, 2007
| United States
|| June 28, 2007
|| Team Iguchi
|| 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Assistant director
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Animation director
|| 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
| Additional credits
A Gruff Act to Follow! (Japanese: ズガイドスＶＳピカチュウ！！ Zugaidos VS Pikachu!!) is the 16th episode of the Diamond & Pearl series, and the 482nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on January 18, 2007, and in the United States on June 28, 2007.
Paul has just won his badge at the Oreburgh Gym, but he's reluctantly persuaded to stick around and watch Ash's battle the next day. Ash is in the middle of strategizing for the match when he finds out that Paul gave away his Azumarill because it wasn't tough enough, which only makes Ash dislike Paul's style even more! Meanwhile, Team Rocket are touring the Oreburgh Mining Museum to get a closer look at its Fossil Restorer machine, the key to their latest criminal plot.
When Ash's battle finally begins, Roark sends out Cranidos first and Ash uses Aipom to counter with speed and agility. However, Cranidos can be pretty nimble too, and it wins its round. Pikachu is up next, but Cranidos is still going strong and Pikachu just isn't having much of an effect. Paul gets up to leave in disgust, which gets Ash and Pikachu fired up. Roark responds by having Cranidos use its powerful Head Smash, and Ash has to bring in Turtwig to finally knock out Cranidos.
Roark's Onix comes in and defeats Turtwig in one hit, so now it's all up to Pikachu. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt to break up the field so Onix can't maneuver as quickly, a clever strategy until Onix brings the battle to a Screech-ing halt! Not only is Ash's match over, but he's been defeated in front of his rival Paul. Now he's going to have to figure out a way to get back on track!
This episode starts off with a flashback from the previous episode. The narrator tells of Paul's victory. Now Ash asks if Paul will stay to watch his battle.
Paul laughs, saying it's funny that Ash wants him to watch Ash lose. Before a fight breaks out, both Dawn and Pikachu break it up. Dawn tells Paul that he's already battled Ash once, so there's no harm in staying and watching... only for Paul to ask her who she is. Naturally, Dawn is angry that Paul doesn't remember her and is also ready to take him on only for Brock to rush in and stop her. Roark tells Paul he's free to stay and watch and Paul, now mildly amused, agrees. Ash is ready to battle straight away, but Roark tells Ash that both he and his Pokémon have been through a tough battle and requests that they battle the next day, to which Ash agrees still determined to show Paul how good he is as a Trainer.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket are at a museum, plotting to steal some 'cool stuff'. Meowth suggests that first that figure out interesting facts about Pokémon first. As they gazed in awe at a colossal structure of coal, they are approached by a man named Kenzo, who is a Pokémon Researcher.
When inquiring where the trio would like to see in the museum, they all respond by saying the Fossil restorer. Dr. Kenzo gladly takes them to it. On the way, he explains that the museum is split into two parts. The main part houses the exhibits, whereas the second part holds many places to do research. He explains that in the research part of the museum, they study the prehistoric Pokémon and their abilities to learn more about them. They then restore the Pokémon and place them in a special environment.
Back with the gang, we see Paul at the Pokémon Center healing his Pokémon. He turns to see Ash and his friends. Ash is choosing which Pokémon he is going to use against Roark. Brock tells Ash that Turtwig is the only one of his Pokémon who has an advantage against Rock types. Ash agrees, so Turtwig is up. Ash also knows that Aipom's Focus Punch and Pikachu's Iron Tail are super effective against Rock types, so it's decided that Pikachu, Aipom and Turtwig will be the ones to battle. While those three are happy, Staravia is extremely upset that he's being left out, and Ash apologises and promises he'll get to go up next time. Brock mentions to Ash that Paul's victory over Roark was mostly due to the speed of his Pokémon. Ash agrees, and wonders what he'll do during his match.
Suddenly Paul turns up and tells Ash that all he has to do is imitate him. Of course, Ash refuses to treat his Pokémon the way Paul does. Just then, a small boy runs up to Paul, thanking him for the Azumarill Paul gave him. Ash, knowing this Azumarill is the same one that quickly lost to Roark's Geodude in his Gym battle, is furious that Paul gave away his Azumarill just because it lost. Ash then tells Paul that he thought Azumarill was his friend and just because it lost Paul could still keep training. Paul tells Ash Azumarill was, in his opinion, never going to get any better and reminds Ash that he said he wanted to win. Ash knows he does, but not the way Paul does. With that, Paul left and Ash vows never to lose to him again. Dawn seems upset, saying that there are just different kinds of Trainers. She then wonders what Elekid and Chimchar think of Paul.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket are plotting to steal the Fossil restoration machine. Team Rocket thinks back to when Kenzo showed them the Fossil machine. He placed a Fossil in one machine and said that the restoration process takes only 24 hours to be complete. One machine was finished restoring an Omanyte. Then they decide to steal Fossils as well. However, none of them have a plan.
The episode switches to Ash's Gym battle against Roark. After the rules are stated, Ash is sure that he will show Paul some 'real battling'. Roark first sends out his Cranidos, surprising Ash and Dawn who expected Roark to save Cranidos for last as he did with Paul. Ash decides to start things off with Aipom, hoping to win using her speed. The referee begins the match, and Ash commands Aipom to use Focus Punch. Aipom jumps into the air, spinning herself into a ball. Brock notes the smart move by Ash, getting Aipom into the air should give him an advantage with Cranidos stuck on the ground. Roark tells Cranidos to use Headbutt and Cranidos surprises everyone by jumping into the air and hitting Aipom in the stomach with Headbutt, negating Focus Punch. After Aipom hits the ground, Roark has Cranidos use Flamethrower. Ash is able to keep Aipom out of harm's way with Double Team. However Cranidos easily gets rid of all the Aipom illusions, so Ash decides to go on the attack with Swift sending Cranidos reeling back. Ash now has Aipom try another Focus Punch, so Roark has Cranidos counter with Zen Headbutt. Both attacks collide, causing a massive explosion. However Aipom comes out of it the worst, as she flies into Ash's arms unable to battle. Ash recalls Aipom for some rest and decides to use Pikachu next.
Right off the bat, Ash has Pikachu to use Thunderbolt and Roark commands Cranidos to dodge and use Zen Headbutt. Although Cranidos successfully avoids the Thunderbolt, Pikachu strikes back with Iron Tail, landing a direct hit and knocking Cranidos backwards and smashing down one of the rocks on the Gym floor. Ash believes that should finish Cranidos off, however it surprises him by quickly getting back on its feet and using Headbutt. Pikachu tries to dodge and use Thunderbolt by jumping into the air but Cranidos jumps as well, hitting Pikachu and canceling out the attack. Pikachu tries to use Thunderbolt again but is thwarted by Cranidos' Zen Headbutt. Again, Cranidos uses Headbutt on Pikachu, knocking it to the ground.
Unimpressed, Paul gets up to leave believing Ash has already lost. However, Pikachu suddenly shows his fighting spirit by letting off a powerful electric attack in the air, making Paul regain interest.
Ash tells Pikachu to use Quick Attack while Cranidos is told to counter with Flamethrower. However, Pikachu dodges it and successfully lands Iron Tail on Cranidos' head. Amazingly, despite all of the damage, Cranidos still manages to recover and stay in the battle. Roark then tells Cranidos to use Head Smash, a move he didn't use in the battle against Paul. Ash, too, took a chance, and countered with Volt Tackle despite the risk of recoil. The two scream towards each other full of power and collide, causing a massive explosion and injuring both Pokémon.
Ash decides that Pikachu needs to be recalled for now and sends out Turtwig. Ash begins with Razor Leaf, how Cranidos fires back with Flamethrower which destroys the leaves. Turtwig however is quick enough to dodge the Flamethrower and uses Bite on Cranidos' arm. Cranidos then uses Zen Headbutt, and scores a direct hit sending Turtwig flying. Cranidos is then told to use Flamethrower, and it scores a direct hit on Turtwig causing major damage. However Turtwig is able to survive the hit and, on Ash's command, uses Razor Leaf. This time, it hits dead on, sending Cranidos crashing through a rock on the battlefield and finally knocking it out. Ash is happy with Turtwig, but doesn't allow himself to celebrate knowing that he went through far too much to knock out only one Pokémon.
Roark sends out Onix as his second Pokémon, while Ash keeps Turtwig in. Turtwig is told to use Razor Leaf, but Onix is speedy enough to dodge the attack and is told to use Double-Edge which scores a direct hit on Turtwig and knocks it out, having suffered massive damage already from Cranidos's Flamethrower.
Ash sends out Pikachu again, but Pikachu is already exhausted and damaged from the battle against Cranidos and Brock knows that Pikachu won't last long. Onix uses Slam, countering Pikachu's Iron Tail and causing an explosion causing both Pokémon damage however it's Pikachu who comes out of it the worst.
Ash is struggling, knowing that the only move that's any good against Onix is Iron Tail... then suddenly gets a flash of inspiration and tells Pikachu to use Thunderbolt on the field. Onix attempts Double-Edge however the debris from Pikachu's attack hits Onix causing the move to fail. Ash is happy, and for a few seconds it actually seems Pikachu may be able to turn the match around. Ash then tells Pikachu to use Quick Attack, but Onix is told to use Screech. Onix fires the Screech, stopping Pikachu in his tracks for a few seconds before sending him flying to nearby rocks. Pikachu tries to get back up, but it turns out that Screech pushed him over the edge and he faints. The referee declares Pikachu as unable to battle, therefore the match is over with Roark the winner, meaning no Badge for Ash. As Ash picks up his exhausted partner, Paul leaves but not before making it known that his opinion of Ash is as low as ever.
And so, the episode ends with Ash's first Sinnoh defeat as he knows he needs to pick up the pace if he's going to defeat Roark.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- When Team Rocket is dreaming about conquering Sinnoh and fantasizing about Fossil Pokémon, Jessie's Wobbuffet is smaller than its normal size.
- When Paul meets up with Ash at the Pokémon Center, one young Trainer passes by to thank Paul for his Azumarill. Ash's Staravia is seen for a second. After both Ash and Paul have their conversation, Staravia disappears in the next scene.
- Dawn says that Paul has already battled Ash once, when in truth they've actually battled twice.
- When Aipom is knocked out, she is shown lying on the floor despite having being thrown into Ash (with him then shown holding her).
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