From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search
EP004 : Challenge of the Samurai
Original series
EP006 : Clefairy and the Moon Stone
Showdown in Pewter City
Nibi Gym Battle!
First broadcast
Japan April 29, 1997
United States September 14, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ひゃくごじゅういち
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 武上純希 Junki Takegami
Storyboard 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Isako
Assistant director 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Isako
Animation director 松原徳弘 Tokuhiro Matsubara
Additional credits

Showdown in Pewter City (Japanese: ニビジムのたたかい! Nibi Gym Battle!) is the fifth episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 29, 1997 and in the United States on September 14, 1998.

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201


Jessie, James, and Meowth dig a trap for our heroes, but they end up falling into it themselves!

Ash and Misty arrive at Pewter City and meet a curious fellow named Flint, who notices that Pikachu is tired and shows them the way to the Pokémon Center.

At the Pokémon Center, Ash reads a poster promoting the Pokémon League Regional Championships—to compete, you have to beat gym leaders from various towns and win their badges. Ash challenges the Pewter City Gym Leader, Brock, but even a healed Pikachu has no chance against Brock's Rock-type Pokémon. Later, Flint shows Ash a surprising side of Brock—when he's not battling and raising Pokémon, he has to take care of his ten brothers and sisters.

Will this news affect Ash's desire to battle Brock again for the Rock Badge? Who is this Flint guy, and why does he insist on helping Ash train Pikachu for the rematch? And will Team Rocket ever climb out of that hole?


The episode begins with Team Rocket digging a hole, falling into it as soon as they forget where it was dug. Meanwhile, Ash, Misty, and Pikachu reach the edge of Viridian Forest and arrive on the outskirts of Pewter City. As Ash takes a rest sitting on some rocks, he and Misty meet a mysterious man named Flint. Ash, Misty, and Pikachu head to the Pokémon Center, where Ash is surprised to encounter Nurse Joy again. She explains that she is not the Viridian City Joy as Ash was obviously inclined to believe, but her older sister. She then shows Ash a poster promoting a tournament called the Pokémon League Championship and he decides to sign up. Before he can enter, however, he needs to defeat eight Pokémon Gym Leaders and earn from each a Gym Badge as proof of his victory. Flint walks in at this point and tells Ash about Pewter City's Gym Leader, Brock. He is openly skeptical of Ash's chances of winning, and laughs scornfully at the very thought of it. Later, when Misty warns Ash of Gym Leaders' prodigious skill and offers him advice, she becomes angry when he declines.

Ash stops by the Pokémon Center again to pick up his healed team before making his way to the Pewter Gym. When he arrives, he meets the Gym Leader, Brock, and challenges him to a battle. In the Pewter Gym, battles are two against two. Ash begins the match with Pikachu while Brock starts off with Onix. Pikachu is intimidated by the giant Pokémon and doesn't want to battle, but Ash responds by telling Pikachu that this is his battle. Pikachu's Thunder Shock is woefully ineffective and Brock commands Onix to counter with Bind. It begins to crush Pikachu, inflicting very visible pain. This prompts Ash to recall Pikachu, only to have the attempt thwarted by the larger Pokémon's bulk. Ash cannot bear to watch his friend suffer any more agony, and he forfeits the match.

As a dejected Ash leaves the Gym, he encounters Flint again, who suggests that Ash follow him to his home. Ash agrees, and, over a batch of tea, they discuss what happened in the Gym. Flint notices that Ash is obviously upset over his loss, so he consoles him with the knowledge that Brock could be an even better Trainer than he already is. Ash becomes confused by this, but Flint refuses to elaborate. Instead, he leads Ash outside and gestures across the way to another house. The two watch as Brock, in a pink apron, cares for his nine little brothers and sisters. As they walk away, Flint explains that after Brock's good-for-nothing father left home to become a Pokémon Trainer, his heartbroken mother abandoned them, leaving the eldest child, Brock to take care of his siblings. Ash feels sympathy for Brock, but is determined to defeat him nonetheless. Flint recognizes Ash's determination and mentions that he might know of a way Ash can super-charge Pikachu.

Flint and Ash travel to a hydro-electric plant, where Flint hooks up the generator to the electric sacs in Pikachu's cheeks. As the river is bone-dry, Ash must run on a large water wheel to generate the electricity, which flows into Pikachu. Misty shows up and offers to lend Ash her Water-type Pokémon, but Ash refuses, wanting to defeat Brock with his own team. He continues charging Pikachu until the generator overloads and Pikachu's electricity lights up the night sky. The next day, Ash returns with confidence to the Pewter City Gym for a rematch. Brock is also confident after his easy victory in the last battle, and the two quickly start the rematch. Brock sends out Geodude, while Ash sends out Pidgeotto. However, the Normal- and Flying-type Pokémon cannot hurt Geodude, and the Rock-type knocks Pidgeotto out. Ash recalls it and sends out Pikachu. Misty is watching in the rafters, cheering for Ash, only to be crowded by Brock's siblings, all of whom are cheering for their older brother.

Brock comments on how weak Pikachu and Ash are, and Ash retorts by commanding Pikachu's attack, which easily knocks Geodude down. Both Brock and Misty are stunned at this. Brock recalls his Geodude and sends out Onix, and a fearful Pikachu tries to do another Electric attack, damaging the Gym himself instead. Onix wraps Pikachu with Bind, but Pikachu makes a comeback with his new attack, Thunderbolt, which manages to hurt Onix but still isn't enough to take it out. Just as Pikachu is about to pass out, Brock suddenly spares it by calling Onix off. He tells Ash to forfeit again before any more harm comes to Pikachu. Ash protests, wanting to finish the battle.

Suddenly, the Gym's sprinklers are set off by a fire caused by Pikachu's earlier Electric attack. Water sprays all over Onix, weakening it and allowing Pikachu to fight back with another Electric attack. Just as Ash is about to command Pikachu to finish Onix off, Brock's brothers and sisters all crowd Ash and beg him to stop. Brock orders his brothers and sisters to not get involved, but they protest, knowing that Brock's love of Pokémon would make it painful for him to continue the match and watch his Onix get hurt further. At this, Ash calls back his Pikachu. He explains that if he defeated Brock now, it would only be because of the sprinklers being set off. He decides he wants to win his Badge fair and square, much to Misty's disappointment, since he is giving up a lucky advantage.

Ash leaves the Pewter Gym, and, on his way out of Pewter City, he apologizes to Pikachu for being so tough. Then, he hears someone calling him, and he turns to find Brock running to catch up with him. Surprisingly, Brock gives him the Boulder Badge. Ash doesn't want to accept the Badge, but Brock insists that Ash has earned it through his kindness to Pokémon. Brock continues to explain that rather than becoming a great Pokémon Trainer, his dream is to become a great Pokémon Breeder, but can't do so because of his family duties. He gives Ash the Badge, and asks him to fulfill his dream, to which Ash agrees.

Suddenly, Flint shows up again, and reveals that he is Brock's "good-for-nothing" father. He explains that he avoided returning to his family as a failure of a Pokémon Trainer. Ash puzzles over the fact that Flint helped him instead of his son, Brock, and Flint explains that Ash's helplessness reminded him of himself. Flint is ready to take back the responsibilities that he abandoned, which Brock returns to him, along with a long list of tasks for him to remember while taking care of the children. That evening, Ash and Brock travel on the road out of Pewter City. Brock asks to make sure that it is okay that he joins Ash on his Pokémon journey, and Ash insists that he is glad to have him along. However, Misty is a different story, and from several paces behind she yells at him to not forget about her bicycle. Ash and Pikachu, followed by Brock, run ahead to try and get away from Misty, while she remains in pursuit.

Team Rocket shows up at the end for a final cameo, finally managing to burst out of their self-made tomb via a power drill, only to end up trampled by Ash and his friends as they run over the hole in the ground, unaware of the people underfoot.

Major events

Brock giving Ash the Boulder Badge
For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.



Pokémon debuts


Dare da?



Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Onix


  • This was chosen by Okazaki Taiiku as the eighth episode of Pocket Monsters Anime Premier 10.
  • This episode introduces Team Rocket's pitfall trap gag.
  • This episode establishes that there are multiple Nurse Joys who are all part of a large extended family.
  • This is the first episode in which Team Rocket appears but has no bearing on the plot.
  • The poster in the Pokémon Center uses type symbols from the TCG, specifically from top to bottom, the Electric, Psychic, Grass, Fighting, Fire, and Water symbols.
  • This is the only episode where Ash tries to actively recall Pikachu back into his Poké Ball.
  • This episode introduced the greatest number of named recurring characters in the anime, due to Brock's siblings.
  • This episode is featured on Volume 20: Onix from Viz Media's Pokémon All-Stars series.
  • Three days after this episode aired in English, Ash won his eighth Badge in Japanese.
  • Ash mentions it had nearly been two weeks since he started on his journey in this episode.
  • Brock's siblings restraining Ash is similar to a scene in the show Star of the Giants.


Ash's red eyes
  • In the dub, the letters in the episode title are all in capitals.
  • In the Brazilian Portuguese dub, Nurse Joy refers to Ash's Pidgeotto and Butterfree as only one Pokémon.
  • Before Ash's first battle with Brock, right before Brock switches the lights of the Gym on, Ash's eyes appear red.
  • When Ash begins both of his battles with Brock, the giant rock in the middle of the platform that moved into position disappears.
  • Flint says that Brock has ten little brothers and sisters when he only has nine.
  • When Brock says "Geodude, go!" during his rematch with Ash, his mouth does not move when he says "go".
  • Ash's advantage over Brock should not have technically worked; Ground-type Pokémon are immune to Electric-type moves. This is the first of many times Pikachu's Electric attacks defy type match-ups to change the results of the battle.


Dub edits

  • PokéRap: Day 5 (Version 2)
  • Flint charges a $2 fee for sitting on his rocks, or ¥50 in the Japanese version.
  • The restaurant bill was changed from ¥1150 to $1150. The top of the bill's writing is removed and bottom of the bill is changed from "Restaurant Nibi" to "Thank You".
  • Instead of saying Brock's mother left the family to Brock's care, Flint tells Ash that she died after trying to raise the family on her own. This resulted in an inconsistency in the English dub, as Brock's mother, Lola appears in A Family That Battles Together Stays Together! as well as in several other episodes afterward.

Differences between the episode and the comic adaptation

  • The scene where Ash discovers the poster has some extra lines in the comic (namely, Ash explicitly stating he was going to enter his name to the registration board, and Misty explicitly denying he'll do it) that weren't present in the Anime.
  • The scene at the diner was omitted.
  • When observing Brock raising his siblings at Flint's prompting, Ash explicitly says Brock's name in addition to saying "huh?" in the comic. In the episode, he only gives a confused remark.
  • Misty's complaint about Ash forfeiting again was cut.
  • Team Rocket falling into the hole again was cut out in the ending.

In other languages

EP004 : Challenge of the Samurai
Original series
EP006 : Clefairy and the Moon Stone
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.