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| A Meteoric Rise to Excellence!
Fukamaru and Meteor Shower!
|| December 17, 2009
| United States
|| May 8, 2010
|| Team Iguchi
|| 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
|| 金崎貴臣 Takaomi Kanasaki
| Assistant director
|| 古賀一臣 Kazuomi Koga
| Animation director
|| 玉川明洋 Akihiro Tamagawa
| Additional credits
A Meteoric Rise to Excellence! (Japanese: フカマルとりゅうせいぐん！ Fukamaru and Meteor Shower!) is the 156th episode of Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, and the 622nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on December 17, 2009 and in the United States on May 8, 2010.
As our heroes continue toward Daybreak Town and Dawn's next Pokémon Contest, they lose their sense of direction in a large forest. Peering into the sky, all of a sudden they see what turns out to be a move called Draco Meteor. The move comes from an Altaria, a Pokémon under the tutelage of an elderly woman who calls herself Grandma Wilma. The team asks if they can watch Grandma Wilma's coaching session with Altaria. Then the whole group is approached by a feisty Gible, which Grandma Wilma says lives in the forest. Gible wants to be able to use Draco Meteor, too, but can't seem to pull it off!
Meanwhile, Altaria has caught the fancy of Team Rocket. They decide to steal it to add to their power. Once Altaria is caught, a frantic chase ensues, and at one point it appears that Team Rocket has outrun our heroes! But even while Gible struggles with Draco Meteor, it manages to unleash a powerful Dragon Pulse move, which helps the gang rescue Altaria from Team Rocket's grip.
Bidding goodbye to Grandma Wilma and Altaria, our heroes suddenly realize that Gible is nowhere to be seen. But as they take their leave, we see Gible emerge from a bush and watch them as they walk away...
While on route to Daybreak Town, Ash and his friends witness a display of Draco Meteor, an extremely powerful move only known by Dragon Pokémon. They rush over to find Wilma and a powerful Altaria practicing, however it soon emerges that they have been followed by a Gible which is very eager to learn Draco Meteor. Despite some head-biting antics, Ash takes the Land Shark Pokémon under his wing and offers to help him learn the move. Wilma has Altaria demonstrate the technique first. Though Gible fails to execute the move properly and the meteor crashes down onto Piplup, who is unable to dodge the failed attack. Piplup expresses his displeasure to Gible, and Gible bites him on the head. Piplup jumps into Dawn's arms with Gible still attached, and Wilma simply rubs Gible's body, like a massage, and he lets go. Ash tries to command Gible, but this second attempt also fails and strikes Piplup. Wilma admits that it will be sometime before Gible masters Draco meteor.
Then, out of the blue, giant boulders begin falling from the sky and send the group scattering, with Dawn wonders if it a Draco Meteor, though Wilma admits that is just rocks. In the midst of the confusion, a bubble comes down and traps Altaria. Team Rocket fly into view and reel in their catch. They introduce themselves to Wilma, and then fly off in their balloon while the fallen boulders erupt into colored smoke to seal the getaway after Pikachu's and Piplup's Thunderbolt and Bubble Beam fail to break the bubble trapping Altaria.
Ash and Dawn give pursuit, while Brock is forced to piggyback Wilma after Team Rocket. Gible, while not invited, follows by way of using Dig. Eventually, Brock gives out from exhaustion and leaves Dawn and Ash to continue the chase, and even they eventually lose the trail. They soon spot Gible, hoping its knowledge of the forest will lead them to Team Rocket. Though Gible only ends up leading them to a berry bush, so Ash calls out his Staraptor for help while he and Dawn continue on foot. Gible seems torn between his snack and his new friends, but his stomach wins. Coming upon a huge cliff, Ash and Dawn are forced to climb it. Dawn falls after her handhold breaks off, but sends out her Mamoswine in time to catch herself and Piplup. Ash also falls, but catches sight of Gible's dorsal fin as he races up the cliff-side. Ash manages to grab onto the fin, and zooms up to the top. Dawn decides not to make the climb, so Ash must now go on alone, while Gible considers whether to continue along or not.
Ash's Staraptor comes across Team Rocket's balloon, but is captured by a net trap Meowth set up so that it can't follow them. Nearby, Team Rocket gloats at their success with evading the twerps and rolls off in their new Altaria robot which has Altaria trapped in the stomach area. The Humming Pokémon continues to use Ice Beam with little success until it decides to alternate with Flamethrower, with the temperature flux finally creating a big crack in the capsule. Altaria begins ramming the bubble side to side, which knocks the mecha off balance and causes it to crash straight into a giant boulder. From underground, Gible hears the crash and digs up to find Team Rocket. Gible instantly bites down on Jessie's hair before devouring all of Team Rocket's robot. Jessie retaliates by using her Seviper, but Gible proves quick enough to evade and tries Draco Meteor again, but fails. Back at the balloon, Ash frees from Staraptor from the net trap, when Wilma and his friend catch up. They spot the failed Draco Meteor, realizing it can only be Gible, so they take off in hot pursuit. A use of Dragon Pulse by Gible unnerves Team Rocket, and while he seems tired, Seviper goes in for the kill with Bite, but is stopped by a Thunderbolt. Ash, his friends, and Wilma appear with Pikachu and Piplup leading the group. James adds Carnivine to the battle to even the odds and Pikachu and Piplup easily tangle Seviper and Carnivine up before Pikachu uses Iron Tail to free Altaria for good. Gible decides to help some more, and it uses Draco Meteor, which finally succeeds and sends Team Rocket blasting off.
Everyone is awed by Gible's performance, and in celebration it uses Draco Meteor again, only to have it crash solely into Piplup once more. Later, Wilma directs Ash and friends towards Daybreak Town, and Ash wonders where Gible has gone. They leave Wilma and Altaria and continue on, but Gible emerges from a nearby bush and sees them going. It appears that Gible is debating whether to follow the group or stay in the forest.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- When Team Rocket is shown in their mecha, Jessie's earrings appear to be yellow, not their usual green.
- During Team Rocket's struggle to get Gible to let go of Jessie's hair, there is a shot of Wobbuffet holding Gible with Jessie's hair not in its mouth, and Jessie (bottom right) with the end of her hair showing (including her legs), though the struggle goes on.
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