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| Last Call — First Round!
The Grand Festival Begins! The Art of Flame and Ice!!
|| April 29, 2010
| United States
|| September 18, 2010
|| Team Kato
|| 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
|| まついひとゆき Hitoyuki Matsui
| Assistant director
|| 大庭秀昭 Hideaki Ōba
| Animation director
|| 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
| No additional credits are available at this time.
Last Call — First Round! (Japanese: グランドフェスティバル開幕！炎と氷のアート！！ The Grand Festival Begins! The Art of Flame and Ice!!) is the 174th episode of the Diamond & Pearl series, and the 640th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on April 29, 2010 and in the United States on September 18, 2010.
The Grand Festival is finally under way, and the air is crackling with excitement! We join our heroes at a meet-and-greet to kick off the event. Many of Dawn's fellow Coordinators are in attendance, and they're all excited to show off their skills. Nando, Zoey, Ursula, and Kenny have all come to compete, as well as Jessilina (who is, of course, Team Rocket's Jessie in disguise). But the real surprise comes when the judges announce Nurse Joy from the Hoenn region and Hearthome City Gym Leader Fantina!
The first round begins with three stages running at once! The girls and Nando all turn in splendid performances, but Kenny tries out a risky combination move that doesn't go so well...
When the final tabulation is revealed, everyone but Kenny has moved on to the second round. Vowing to begin training at once for the next Grand Festival, Kenny cheerfully bids goodbye to Dawn and her friends. He also advises Dawn to make sure she beats "that girl with the Plusle and Minun"—her old rival Ursula, of course!
We leave the Grand Festival as it wraps up its first day. But the second round is coming up quickly!
The group have reached Valor Lakefront where Dawn is set to compete in the Sinnoh Grand Festival. The night before hosts a meet-and-greet event for the participating Coordinators. Brock starts flirting with the many girls at the event before Croagunk uses Poison Jab to end the embarrassment. Meanwhile Rhonda and the crew of Sinnoh Now are interviewing Coordinators at the party. Rhonda is seen interviewing Nando before turning her camera to Dawn for a scoop.
After being interviewed, Nando tells the group that he has won seven Gym Badges and thanks the Trainers for encouraging him to pursue both Gym battles and Pokémon Contests. Then, Kenny appears from behind Dawn and teases her, calling her "Dee Dee". She brushes off his comment saying that she has gotten over her nickname. Dawn says that she isn't even afraid of Plusle and Minun anymore. At that moment, a Plusle and Minum appear and leap onto Dawn's shoulders, giving Dawn a diamond dandruff frizz. Dawn assures Kenny she is unfazed and simply fixes up her hair. She recognizes the two as Ursula's Pokémon, and sure enough Ursula approaches the group and snidely remarks that she is "counting on Dawn to look bad". After Ursula walks away, Dawn hears Zoey call out to her from across the room. Dawn rushes up to Zoey. Clasping her hand, the two exchange greetings and talk about fulfilling their promise to meet in the final round of the Grand Festival. Jessilina is equally determined to win, though her mere presence irritates Ursula.
Later that night, Dawn stands on a balcony with her Pokémon. She thanks them for their hard work until this point, and also thanks Ash and Brock. She shows them all the Ribbon her mother gave her the day she started her journey and says that she wants to honor her mother's Ribbon by winning the next day.
In the morning, Ash and his Gible practice Draco Meteor outside. Kenny approaches them and is almost hit by Gible's wayward attack. He asks where Dawn is and Ash tells him that Dawn was in their room, apparently freaking out about the performance and her appearance. In the room, Dawn sits in front of a mirror trying to tame her bedhead. Brock walks into the room with Zoey, whom he brought to help Dawn. Zoey immediately goes to help Dawn brush her hair and tells her to remember to stay calm. Dawn sighs, confessing to Zoey that she envies Zoey's ability to always seem so calm and collected. Zoey reassures Dawn that she too feels nervous, but she instead tries to think of her Pokémon, since they are the stars.
Fireworks announce the beginning of the Sinnoh Grand Festival. Marian appears on stage, introducing the Contest Judges: Raoul Contesta from the Pokémon Activities Committee, Mr. Sukizo from the Pokémon Fan Club, three Nurse Joy, who are also sisters, from the Pokémon Centers of Jubilife, Pastoria, and Lilycove City, and special guest Fantina, the Hearthome City Gym Leader and a Top Coordinator. Marian explains that there are 108 Coordinators competing, and therefore the Performance Stage will take place on three stages: red, blue, and green. There are two judges per stage. After Fantina gives a brief comment, the Double Performances begin.
Ursula is the first Coordinator to appear. In her portion on the blue stage she starts out with two Eevee. She uses Song Seals and it causes musical notes to shoot upward out of the Poké Balls, revealing the Eevee. Dawn has never seen Eevee before, so she checks her Pokédex. Ursula starts with having the two use Iron Tail repeatedly with each other. She tells them both to use Hidden Power. Then she tosses a Water Stone and a Fire Stone at each, causing them to evolve into Vaporeon and Flareon. During evolution each has a cluster of silver bubbles around it and then as the Evolution stones are caught, one Eevee is caught in a whirl of flames and the small silver bubbles become red bubbles and it evolves into Flareon, whereas the other is covered in a wave of water and its silver bubbles come blue bubbles as it evolves into Vaporeon. The two then fly together and they swirl in the air then fire the bubbles and they land softly on the ground as the bubbles land softly and pop into shimmering light. Again, Dawn checks the Pokédex. Kenny remarks that he never thought of using evolution in an Appeal, though Zoey notes that while it looked impressive and Ursula will get high marks, it will only work once.
Nando, on the green stage, uses Kricketot and Altaria. The two start by floating through the air and spinning together. Altaria flies upward using Perish Song in synchronization with Kricketot’s own Singing. The two combine and make the music notes glow. The judges compliment Nando musical performance.
Jessilina takes her position on the red stage, calling out Seviper and Yanmega. She has Seviper use Haze to create a circular spiral of smoke around it. She then jumps and flips onto its head without disturbing the Haze. Yanmega uses Silver Wind and aims it directly at Jessilina, causing a brilliant glow. This attack sheds her original Contest outfit, revealing a brand new one beneath it. Fantina stands from her seat, applauding Jessilina’s fun performance.
After several other Coordinators perform, it's Zoey's turn on the blue stage, of which the center opens up to reveal a pool for a water stage. She has Lumineon use Aqua Ring and then her Gastrodon emerge from the water. Gastrodon uses Water Pulse, colliding with and Lumineon’s Aqua Ring which bursts into a brilliant light. The lights form into three rings that float over the water's surface, which Lumineon jumps through, as well as Gastrodon. The rings then float closer to the surface and flatten out and shoot up into water spouts. Zoey jumps onto the center and her two Pokémon next to her for their finishing pose.
In Kenny's performance on the red stage he chooses to use his Floatzel and Empoleon. Floatzel starts by using Aqua Jet straight up into the air. Empoleon blasts three shots of Hydro Cannon at the Aqua Jet trail and it turns into a large waterfall. Floatzel fires off Razor Wind into the water around itself, which disperses into many beautiful flying discs around the stage. Empoleon then uses Metal Claw and shatters the discs, creating a large colorful mist. To finish, Floatzel uses Whirlpool and Empoleon uses Flash Cannon. While Floatzel turns the Whirlpool sideways to face Empoleon, the Flash Cannon blasts into the center, breaking up into droplets of rainbow energy. However, the Flash Cannon is too powerful for Floatzel to hold back; the Whirlpool quickly collapses and Floatzel is thrown back. Kenny grits his teeth, realizing his chances of winning the Festival have likely been dashed.
The final Coordinator is Dawn. On the green stage, she uses Cyndaquil and Buneary with Line Seals that sets off a large blue ribbon for a shimmering effect. Buneary bounces into position while letting off an Ice Beam. The twirling and Ice Beam combination creates a large, rollercoaster type ice path. Cyndaquil then uses Flame Wheel and rolls down the path, melting a trench and creating a slide for Buneary, who follows just behind. Buneary then charges an Ice Beam and Cyndaquil uses SmokeScreen in order to cloak themselves above a large center ice spike. The glow is seen through the SmokeScreen. The smoke is blown away, revealing Buneary to be inside a large Poké Ball of ice with Cyndaquil standing on top. She bows as Cyndaquil, having used its back flames to form flapping wings of fire to clear the smoke, continues to fan, the flames illuminating the ice to give off a brilliant glow and causing sparkling snow to fall.
Marian announces the show of Coordinators that made it through to the second round. It is revealed that Dawn, Nando, Ursula, Zoey, and Jessilina are amongst the 32 hopefuls that will all advance to the Contest Battles. Kenny, however, will not: he has been eliminated.
Now out of the Grand Festival, Kenny decides to leave. Dawn is concerned about Kenny leaving so soon, but he says he has to get ready for the next Grand Festival. He says he'll be rooting for Dawn and wishes everyone else luck with their ventures. They say goodbye to him and he walks off.
Coordinators who cleared the first stage
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- Professor Oak's Big Pokémon Examination: Hitmonlee
- This episode begins the four-part Sinnoh Grand Festival arc.
- The names of the three stages of the Performance Stage are the same as that of the three original games, Red, Green and Blue.
- Despite the fact that a main character and two recurring characters have each owned an Eevee that has gone on to evolve, this episode marks the first time an Eevee is shown evolving onscreen in the anime, with two Eevee undergoing separate evolutions.
- This episode marks the first time a Pokémon is seen evolving in the middle of an Appeal, discounting the illusory Johanna evolving her Feebas in Malice In Wonderland!.
- Not marking his brief, non-speaking cameo in A Breed Stampede!, this episode marks the first appearance of Nando since Dawn's Early Night!, 125 episodes ago.
- This is also the first in-person appearance of Nando that is not animated by 木下和栄 Kazue Kinoshita.
- Background music from Mewtwo Strikes Back, Spell of the Unown: Entei, Jirachi: Wish Maker, Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, and The Rise of Darkrai, as well as the instrumental of By Your Side ~Hikari's Theme~, are used.
- This episode marks the final main series appearance of Rhonda.
- Team Rocket isn't seen in their regular uniforms throughout this episode.
- The English version of this episode aired on the same day Pokémon Black and White came out in Japan.
- Team Rocket doesn't blast off or recite the motto during the entire arc.
- One act of the Performance Stage involves a Toxicroak and a Skuntank, similar to Saturn's Toxicroak and Jupiter's Skuntank.
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