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DP187 : A Real Rival Rouser!
Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl
DP189 : The Semi-Final Frontier!
Battling a Thaw in Relations!
DP188   EP654
Conclusion of Rival Battle! Satoshi VS Shinji!!
First broadcast
Japan August 19, 2010
United States January 15, 2011
English themes
Opening We Will Carry On!
Japanese themes
Opening 「サイコー・エブリディ!」(BAND VERSION)
Ending 君の胸にLaLaLa
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
Storyboard 古賀一臣 Kazuomi Koga
Assistant director 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Animation director 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
Additional credits

Battling a Thaw in Relations! (Japanese: 決着ライバルバトル!サトシ対シンジ!! Conclusion of Rival Battle! Satoshi VS Shinji!!) is the 188th episode of Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, and the 654th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on August 19, 2010, and in the United States on January 15, 2011.

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


As Ash and Paul’s epic battle continues, Ash finds himself with three Pokémon remaining, while Paul has only two. Ash certainly seems to have the advantage as his Gliscor takes out Paul’s Drapion—but then Paul’s Electivire makes short work of both Gliscor and Pikachu, leaving each Trainer with only a single Pokémon!

As the final face-off begins, Ash’s Infernape has taken quite a bit of damage from Toxic Spikes, while Electivire is relatively unscathed. But something new seems to have entered Ash and Paul’s rivalry: a mutual respect for each other’s skills. This new respect shows in the intensity of the action, which builds to the moment when it appears that Ash’s Infernape is about to go down.

Assuming Infernape is unable to battle, the Judge starts to call the match—until some taunting from both Paul and Electivire raise Infernape to levels of power and fighting spirit unlike anything we’ve seen! And, after Electivire throws one last Thunder Punch and Infernape counters with a powered-up Flare Blitz, both Pokémon remain standing briefly...until Electivire finally collapses, unable to battle. Ash and Infernape are declared the winners!

Afterward, Ash runs to find Paul as he’s leaving, and their respect for each other is obvious. Paul remarks on how powerful Ash’s Infernape has grown, and Ash surprises Paul by cheerfully inviting him to battle again soon. It’s a touching moment, capping a bout that will not be soon forgotten by anyone who witnessed it!


The Lily of the Valley Conference Full Battle between Ash and Paul rages on as Gliscor dives towards Drapion with an X-Scissor attack at the ready. However, it is subsequently blocked by Drapion's Pin Missile at the last moment and sent flying back and landing on the ground. When Paul instructs Drapion to use Cross Poison, Ash orders a Fire Fang. Gliscor dodges Drapion's attack and scores a direct hit, not only causing Drapion major damage, but also burning it. Paul is angry at once again being outmaneuvered, while Ash grits his teeth with confidence. From all the cumulative damage it's taken up to this point, Drapion finally faints, leaving Paul with only one Pokémon left. Dawn and Barry cheer Ash on, but Brock is more cautious and reminds them that Ash’s three remaining Pokémon have all taken significant damage, as opposed to Paul's final Pokémon who has yet to enter the battle.

Paul sends out his final Pokémon, Electivire, the only Pokémon on Paul's current team that Ash has battled before. Ash knows that Gliscor is immune to Electivire's Electric-type moves, but is still concerned about leaving it in. However, Gliscor lets Ash know it can still battle, so he decides to leave it in. Paul has Electivire start by using Thunder and directing it into the ground; the electric charge breaks up the battlefield, causing the debris to fly high in the sky and fall onto Gliscor. Dawn, Barry and Brock realize that Paul must have thought of this strategy after Ash had Infernape use Flare Blitz underground earlier in the battle. Despite the damage this caused, Gliscor is still standing and replies with Giga Impact, though Electivire blocks the attack with its hands, before following suit with Drapion and entangling Gliscor with its tails. Ash, concerned at his Pokémon getting caught once again, commands Gliscor to escape, but Electivire's grip is just too tight for Gliscor to free itself from. Paul then tells Electivire to use Brick Break, and it lands on Gliscor's head, taking it out of the battle.

Ash recalls Gliscor and sends in Pikachu next. Barry thinks that Ash is planning to use Pikachu's speed to gain the advantage, but Brock says that this strategy can only work if Electivire’s Motor Drive Ability isn't activated by Pikachu's Electric attacks, since a power-type Pokémon like Electivire with boosted speed would be a real threat to any opponent. Barry then says that Ash should be just fine as long as he avoids using any Electric-type moves. Paul rests on his laurels and has Electivire direct Thunder into the ground again, and the debris is sent flying towards Pikachu. However, Pikachu is ready for this and uses Quick Attack to dodge the projectiles, even using some of them for momentum, much to Paul's shock, and lands a direct hit on Electivire's head. However, Electivire recovers and grabs Pikachu with its tails, leading Reggie, watching the battle from Veilstone City, to wonder why Ash keeps falling for the same trap over and over again, and that he might have some sort of plan. Pikachu tries to escape using Iron Tail, but Electivire smashes him into the ground before he can do so. Pikachu manages to escape and is commanded by Ash to counter Electivire's Brick Break with Quick Attack, causing a massive impact. Ash, wanting to go for broke, calls for Volt Tackle, causing Reggie and Barry to question why Ash is using an attack he knows won't work. Paul allows the attack to hit, and it triggers Electivire’s Motor Drive Ability, increasing its speed significantly. Paul tells Electivire to use Thunder Punch, and Electivire moves so fast that it can barely be seen and prepares to strike. However, Ash anticipated this in an effort to draw Electivire in, and has Pikachu collide with Iron Tail at the last moment. But Ash realizes that this was a huge mistake, since Electivire is powerful enough to hold Pikachu back with ease. Paul then proves that he is still somewhat able to predict Ash's strategies, as he remembers his and Ash's very first battle when Pikachu was battling Elekid and knows that Ash had hoped to finish the battle the exact same way; by trapping it in close range, thus allowing him to finish it off with Iron Tail. But things are different this time, since Pikachu is stuck, and will be overpowered by Thunder Punch if he lets up even a little. Meanwhile, Electivire, with one of its arms free, has another move it can use: Brick Break. Ash tells Pikachu to try and get away, but it's no use; Brick Break lands directly on Pikachu's head, sending him flying and landing hard on the ground. Pikachu tries to get up but ends up succumbing to all of the damage he's taken and faints.

Ash commends Paul on being able to come back from trailing three-to-five but declares that he is the one who is going to win this battle and sends out Infernape. Infernape and Electivire have a long-standing rivalry, even from their days as Chimchar and Elekid, both under Paul’s ownership, and the time has finally come for them to face off and prove not only which of them is the better Pokémon, but also which of their Trainers is better. However, while Electivire has only sustained some damage, Infernape has sustained significant damage from multiple battles, on top of still being poisoned from Drapion's Toxic Spikes, which means Paul has the upper hand.

Electivire starts things off with a Thunder Punch, and Infernape counters with Mach Punch, which collide and neutralize each other. Infernape tries for a Flamethrower, which is blocked by Electivire's Protect. Electivire uses Thunder to create a Counter Shield around the battlefield, but Infernape uses Dig to go underground and avoid the attack, before resurfacing below Electivire and hitting it dead-on, resulting in super-effective damage. Infernape then takes damage from poison, before Electivire gets back on its feet. After another blocked Flamethrower, Infernape and Electivire exchange a fury of Mach and Thunder Punches, respectively. They each land an attack before yet another Flamethrower by Infernape is blocked by Electivire's Protect. During this heated action, Dawn says that this battle is unlike any other one she had seen between Ash and Paul in the past. Brock tells her that this is due to the fact that the two of them, despite having the exact same goal, had taken completely different paths to get there, and have finally reached a point of being on equal terms; as time had passed all throughout their rivalry, they had both, in their own ways and through their own experiences, grown and matured, and slowly but surely gained respect for one another in the process. In other words, their separate paths have finally merged together. Ash then instructs Infernape to use another Mach Punch, but Electivire dodges and ensnares Infernape's arm with one of its tails, causing Reggie to criticize Ash for falling in that trap once again. Electivire then unleashes a Thunder, causing Infernape so much damage that he collapses to the ground, seemingly unable to battle.

The referee begins to declare Infernape out of the match, though Electivire interrupts him, knowing that Infernape still has the ability to fight and wants to finish the battle properly. Electivire is proven right as Infernape starts to get up, and Paul tells him that he's pathetic for going down this easily, like always, and turns his head in skepticism. However, Infernape suddenly regains his senses, and Ash tells a surprised Paul that this battle isn't over yet. Infernape stands up and returns with a vengeance, activating his Blaze Ability. This makes Reggie realize that Ash had let Paul trap his Pokémon on purpose, to give him a false sense of security and provoke him to attack Infernape to the point of activating Blaze. Ash orders a Flamethrower, and Infernape fires a super-powerful blast at Electivire. Electivire tries to hold it back with Thunder, but it can't stand up to the sheer power. Ash then has Infernape use Mach Punch, which hits and sends Electivire flying back. Knowing their Pokémon are now at their limits, they get ready to finish it; Paul shouts for a Thunder Punch, while Ash orders a Flare Blitz. The two Pokémon, battling like they've never battled before, land their attacks on each other, creating a maelstrom of fire and electricity streaming into the sky, illuminating the stadium. Infernape pushes himself further and ends the feud, feeling the recoil from Flare Blitz. After a delayed reaction, Electivire feels the explosive force of Infernape's Flare Blitz, throwing up a thick blanket of smoke. The smoke clears and reveals Electivire still standing, and the two Pokémon and their Trainers stare each other down. The two Pokémon remain perfectly still, until Electivire finally falls and is declared unable to battle, awarding Ash the victor of this truly intense battle.

Dawn, Piplup and Barry scream out in elation for Ash's victorious win over Paul while Brock is overwhelmingly pleased. Team Rocket are thrilled Ash won, leaving Jessie happy and James in tears. Then, they remembered they accidentally ate all the food they were supposed to be selling while watching the battle and agree to work extra hard the next day to make up for it. Ash hugs Infernape for finally fulfilling his destiny and proving to his former Trainer just how much he underestimated him, before Paul thanks Electivire for its hard work and recalls it to its Poké Ball. Paul then walks up to Ash and Infernape and is about to say something but gets interrupted when Infernape almost falls over from sheer exhaustion, though Ash catches him. Paul then walks away relieved as the matchups for the semifinal battles are revealed, showing that Ash's next opponent will be the mysterious Tobias, the Trainer who is known for owning a Darkrai. From the stands, Tobias sees that he'll be facing Ash and walks away unconcerned. Back in Veilstone City, Reggie delivers the news to Paul's other Pokémon of their Trainer's loss. All are sad, until Reggie tells them that when Paul returns home soon, they'll all get to battle again.

Later, Dawn and Brock are walking outside and run into Barry, where they are all looking for Ash. Then, Cynthia appears, and Barry is awestruck at being face-to-face with the Champion. Cynthia explains that although Ash and Paul are very different people, all their time feuding and battling with each other has created a bond between them that can never be broken. She captures the moment with a quote from the Sinnoh time-space legend: "When every life meets another life, something will be born." She finishes by telling everyone that she is eager for the day when Ash and Paul make it all the way to the Champion League so she could face them in battle properly.

Paul is about to leave Lily of the Valley Island when Ash calls out to him. Paul finally admits that Infernape is strong, and Ash accepts the compliment before asking if Paul is leaving already, which Paul confirms as there is no reason to stay. He intends to return to Snowpoint City to request another battle with Brandon. Ash wishes him good luck with that, while Paul wishes Ash all the best in the rest of the tournament. Paul turns to leave, and Ash tells Paul he'd like to battle again one day. Paul signals a goodbye to him, letting Ash know that he has earned his complete respect, thus finally bringing their long-standing rivalry to an end. As Paul leaves, Ash turns his focus to his next opponent, Tobias.

Major events

  • The Full Battle between Ash and Paul ends in Ash's victory, resulting in Ash's first victory over Paul in a traditional Pokémon battle.
  • Ash and Paul settle their differences and end their rivalry.
  • Ash learns he will be battling Tobias in the semifinals.
  • Paul announces his intention to head to Snowpoint City and re-challenge Brandon.
For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.


Pokémon debuts





  • Professor Oak's Big Pokémon Examination isn't shown at the end of the episode. Instead, a preview from the upcoming Pokémon the Series: Black & White was shown.
  • Type: Wild, the instrumental version of A Small Thing, and music from Jirachi: Wish Maker and Giratina and the Sky Warrior were used in this episode.
  • As of this episode, this is the first time that a single battle has spanned more than two consecutive episodes.
  • This battle could be considered the "inverse" of Ash and Paul's first Full Battle. In that battle, four of Paul's Pokémon scored victories, with one knocking out three of Ash's Pokémon and the other three knocking out one each. In this battle, four of Ash's Pokémon scored victories, with one knocking out three of Paul's Pokémon and the other three knocking out one each. Only two of Paul's Pokémon scored victories this time, like how only two of Ash's Pokémon scored victories in their first Full Battle.
    • Additionally, with the exception of Torterra, every one of Ash's Pokémon who didn't score a knockout in the first battle did score one in this battle.
  • This episode marks the last time to date in which Ash has used Gliscor in an onscreen battle.
    • This is also the last time Gliscor has been shown in Ash's active party.
  • Shots of this episode were remade and reused in flashbacks in Advice to Goh! and Friends, Rivals, Lend Me Your Spirit!.


  • In the scene right after Ash commands Gliscor to use Fire Fang, the normally red part of Gliscor's ear is purple.
  • When Gliscor gets caught by Electivire, Barry says "I can't believe Gliscor's caught again!" although Gliscor had not been trapped at all before during the battle.
  • When the electric explosion from Pikachu hitting Electivire with Volt Tackle occurs, on the scoreboard, there is a Mismagius silhouette in place of Buizel's.
    • This error can be seen again later when Infernape's Flare Blitz collides with Electivire's Thunder Punch.
  • When Pikachu uses Volt Tackle on Electivire, he suffers from recoil damage, even though said damage is normally nullified when the attack causing it is ineffective against the target.
  • When Electivire finishes using Thunder on Infernape, the normally red part of Electivire's tail is pink.
  • When Infernape uses Mach Punch on Electivire while Blaze is active, for a split second, Infernape looks as if it doesn't have its Blaze active.
  • In Familiarity Breeds Strategy!, the announcer declared Paul and Ash's match the first match of the quarter-finals, and all of the quarter-final, semi-final, and final matches are fought on the same field. Yet at the end of the match, the pairings for the semi-finals are already revealed on screen without scheduling.
  • In the Brazilian Portuguese dub, Ash orders Pikachu to use Tackle, a move Pikachu cannot learn naturally. The narrator names the move, Volt Tackle, correctly, however.

Dub edits

  • Type: Wild was replaced in the English dub with an instrumental of This is the Moment while another instrumental replaced the instrumental of A Small Thing.
  • In the English dub, after Electivire knocks out Pikachu, Brock says Electivire was just a little bit stronger. In the original Japanese version, he was talking about Paul instead.
  • In the English dub, Brock talks about how Reggie described Ash and Paul's similar goals and differing methods. In the original Japanese version, Brock adds that Ash and Paul now respect each other.
  • In the English dub, Paul says that Infernape is pathetic like always. In the original Japanese version, he tells Infernape to stop disappointing him over and over again.
  • In the original Japanese version, while he is walking up to Infernape after the battle, Paul starts to say "You've gotten stronger" when Infernape starts to collapses. In the English dub, he just says the word "well" before he is startled by Infernape's collapse.
  • In the English dub, Reggie tells Paul's Pokémon that the Trainer will be back soon, and that they will then get to battle him soon. In the original Japanese version, he says they will get to battle with Paul again soon.

In other languages

DP187 : A Real Rival Rouser!
Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl
DP189 : The Semi-Final Frontier!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.