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| League Unleashed!
Raise the Curtain! Shin'ō League - Suzuran Tournament!!
|| July 1, 2010
| United States
|| November 27, 2010
|| Team Kato
|| 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
|| まついひとゆき Hitoyuki Matsui
| Assistant director
|| 古賀一臣 Kazuomi Koga
| Animation directors
|| 夏目久仁彦 Kunihiko Natsume
| 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
| No additional credits are available at this time.
League Unleashed! (Japanese: 開幕！シンオウリーグ・スズラン大会！！ Raise the Curtain! Shin'ō League - Suzuran Tournament!!) is the 183rd episode of the Diamond & Pearl series, and the 649th episode of the Pokémon anime. It aired in Japan on July 1, 2010 and in the United States on November 27, 2010.
As Round One of the Sinnoh League gets under way, Ash learns he will be battling none other than his friend, the musician Nando. Our heroes also run into Paul, who is planning to use his trademark analytical strategy. And then Ash literally runs into a very confident and excited Barry!
Battling in a three-on-three format, Ash and Nando initially appear to be evenly matched. But as Ash’s desire for a real head-to-head battle takes hold, Nando becomes fascinated with the action—and a bit distracted in the process. After a moment, he manages to clear his head and battle back using his own style. Finally, Ash claims victory, but Nando is satisfied with his own efforts and bids our heroes a fond farewell. Conway and Barry catch up with our heroes to report that they both won their first-round battles. So did Paul—and an unknown Trainer who defeated his first opponent with a Darkrai!
Far from the action in the arena, Team Rocket has managed a victory of its own, successfully selling snacks for the crowds at the Sinnoh League. The team has been impressing the head of concessions, thanks to some smart sales strategizing by none other than Meowth!
Round Two of the Sinnoh League is soon to come, and we leave our heroes looking forward to even more battle action!
In the previous episode, Ash learned that he would be battling Nando first. The two Trainers exchange their wishes of good luck. Later, the gang is sitting together, thinking about Ash's strategy. Brock tells him that Nando often uses Bug- and Grass-type Pokémon, and so Fire-, Flying-, and Ice-type Pokémon would be effective. Dawn also reminds Ash that Nando used a Lopunny, a Normal type, in the Sinnoh Grand Festival.
Just then, Paul walks past them. Ash stops him and tells him that he's going to give it his all so that he can face Paul in the finals, but Paul says that Ash is pathetic. 'Giving it his all' wouldn't mean anything, because everyone there had already earned eight Badges.
Meanwhile, inside a room, a woman is giving a talk to the vendors. Team Rocket is also there among all the vendors. They had all drawn lots to see where they would set up shop. Jessie is angry as their booth will be lot #139, which is out in the back of the complex, away from the others, but James and Meowth tell her that with some Team Rocket ingenuity, they can make do.
Late at night, Ash ponders on what Paul said, causing him to second-guess his strategy. Frustrated, he retreats goes to the balcony and begins looking at eight shining stars in the sky. Ash remembers how he won his Badges by believing in his Pokémon and with that, he decides it is how it always has been, and always will be, and that's how he can beat Nando.
The next morning, Ash swaps out his team with Professor Oak at the Pokémon Center. Dawn asks him what Pokémon he plans to use against Nando, but Ash says that it's a secret. Just then, Barry runs by and crashes into Ash. After a brief argument, he remembers that he's late for his first battle and runs off. While Dawn wonders what kind of team Barry has put together, Conway suddenly appears behind her, reminding her that he can answer any question she has. He then slinks away, snickering.
Outside the stadium, Team Rocket are selling their merchandise in their distant stall. Not a single person is there. Jessie sends out Seviper to forcibly bring in customers, but James and Meowth discourage her. Meowth already has a great idea.
Inside the stadium, Barry had just won his first match, and will be moving on to the next battle. He passes by a man and feels a frightening chill.
Finally, Ash's battle against Nando is about to begin. The gang cheers him on. Nando sends out his Roserade as his first Pokémon and Ash sends out his Staraptor, which is a type advantage over Roserade. Nando gets the first move, and tells Roserade to use Sweet Scent, which Staraptor fails to dodge. Then, Roserade uses Magical Leaf, hitting Staraptor once again. Staraptor falls, and Nando tells Roserade to use Solar Beam. As Roserade is preparing to launch its Solar Beam, Ash begs Staraptor to stand up and dodge. Roserade launches its Solar Beam, but at the last second, Staraptor opens its eyes, and an explosion occurs. Staraptor flies out of the smoke, which astonishes both Nando and Roserade. Ash tells Staraptor to use Brave Bird, and hits Roserade, which knocks Roserade out, but Staraptor is affected by the recoil damage. Nando recalls Roserade and sends out Armaldo. Dawn checks it with her Pokédex. Ash realizes that Staraptor is worn out, so he tells it to use Close Combat, but Armaldo suddenly uses Protect, causing Staraptor to fall back. Then, Armaldo uses Rock Blast, knocking out Staraptor.
With Dawn and Brock discussing Ash's situation, Barry runs down the stairs and stands in front of Brock and Dawn, and tells them that an unknown Trainer has entered the competition with a powerful Darkrai. Dawn doesn't listen to what Barry says and continues cheering for Ash. Barry gets angry that he isn't being listened to, but then turns and sees that Ash is battling. Barry sits down to watch Ash, who sends out his Quilava and tells it to do its best. Meanwhile, outside the stadium, Team Rocket is putting their plan into action. They are now in the middle of the complex, giving merchandise away.
Back in the stadium, Quilava is shown to be knocked away, but both Armaldo and Quilava are running out of steam. Nando tells Armaldo to use X-Scissor, and Ash tells Quilava to use Aerial Ace. Both attacks collide. Armaldo is out for the count, but with the strong impact of the X-Scissor, Quilava is knocked out too. The match results in a draw.
Back in the stands, Conway appears again, scaring Dawn and Barry. Conway introduces himself to Barry, who hasn't met him yet. Nando sends out his last Pokémon, Kricketune, and Ash sends out his Heracross. Ash tells Heracross to use Megahorn, and Kricketune counters with Silver Wind, the impact sends Heracross flying. Nando tells Kricketune to use Sing, and Heracross falls asleep, falling to the ground. Then, Kricketune uses Fury Cutter, and Ash tells Heracross to use its newly learned Sleep Talk. Heracross dodges the Fury Cutter, and uses Focus Punch continuously, while awaking up, and Kricketune counters it with another Fury Cutter. The two continue to attack with Paul watching the battle on the television. A strong impact from both attacks send both Pokémon flying. Nando then tells Kricketune to use Sing but just as it is about to use the move, Ash tells Heracross to use Megahorn in the ground. The Megahorn hits the ground and it stamps its feet, using Horn Attack to send Kricketune flying. With the strong power, Kricketune is knocked out, and Ash is the winner. Heracross flies over to Ash and sucks on his head and the gang cheers him on. Conway laughs and disappears once again.
Outside the stadium, Team Rocket has lots of customers at their booth. Selma says to herself that she will have to get them a better booth. Nando thanks Ash for the great battle and then leaves. Then, Paul is shown winning his battle. Brock tells Ash about the Trainer with the Darkrai. Ash is surprised at first, but becomes excited about battling a strong foe. The episode ends with Ash and the gang, Paul, Barry, Conway and the mysterious Trainer with the Darkrai.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- When Jessie sends out her Seviper, it is smaller than her, the same size it was in A Tail with a Twist.
- During the flashback of Ash's Gym Battles, Turtwig is shown defeating Roark's Rampardos with Magical Leaf, despite the fact that Turtwig actually defeated Rampardos with Razor Leaf and is in fact unable to learn Magical Leaf. This might just be a coloration error, however.
- When Kricketune and Heracross are clashing with Fury Cutter and Focus Punch (respectively), at the end, Kricketune is knocked back after the red flash, and Heracross is knocked back after the white flash, although it should be the other way around since Fury Cutter (Kricketune's move) is colored red, and Focus Punch (Heracross's move) is colored white.
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