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EP031 : Dig Those Diglett!
Original series
EP033 : The Flame Pokémon-athon!
The Ninja Poké-Showdown
Sekichiku Ninja Showdown!
First broadcast
Japan November 4, 1997
United States October 20, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ニャースのうた
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 大橋志吉 Yukiyoshi Ōhashi
Storyboard 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Isako
Assistant director 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Isako
Animation director 志村隆行 Takayuki Shimura
Additional credits

The Ninja Poké-Showdown (Japanese: セキチクにんじゃたいけつ! Sekichiku Ninja Showdown!) is the 32nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on November 4, 1997 and in the United States on October 20, 1998.

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


Fuchsia Gym, the authorized gym where Ash seeks his next badge, turns out to be a hidden ninja's lair. After finally discovering and entering the gym, he is held up by a complex system of traps. At last, the gym's eccentric trainer challenges Ash to a match. Just as he defeats the trainer, the official battle with the Master begins. The battle goes out of control as Team Rocket also enters the gym and its vast array of traps. Can Ash actually earn the gym badge?


Ash, Misty, and Brock are trekking through a forest looking for Fuchsia Gym, when they decide to take a break at a lake. They sit by a lake with Pikachu, Vulpix and Psyduck. Misty tells Psyduck that drinking cold water will only make its headache worse. Brock mentions how wonderful Vulpix's hair is thanks to Suzie, causing Misty to get annoyed and ask if Brock wants to trade Vulpix for Psyduck. However, he refuses. As they head off for the Gym, a Venonat watches them from the trees.

As Ash and his friends continue walking, they end up at an odd-looking mansion where they stop to ask directions. They end up at an old house and open the door to find an empty corridor. Misty leans against a wall and falls through it. The others search the wall and eventually open it up to find her. There, they see the same Venonat that was spying on them before. It hops away, so they decide to follow it. It runs around a corner, and when they run after it, Ash hits his face on an invisible wall. They turn around to leave, only to hit another wall. Ash then falls out of the side of the house and is hanging on. The others manage to pull him up, and Ash starts to go through the door. Misty and Brock hear him yell, and go through the door to find an empty room. They call for Ash, and the door closes behind them to reveal him stuck to a wall with throwing stars. Then a girl who identifies herself as Aya falls down onto them. Aya says that she will not let them go until Ash and her have a battle. He accepts, and she sends out Venonat. Ash chooses Bulbasaur. Bulbasaur uses Tackle but Venonat jumps out of the way. Venonat then launches a Stun Spore attack, which Bulbasaur deflects with Whirlwind. Bulbasaur then finishes it off with Leech Seed. Aya returns Venonat and a Voltorb appears and selfdestructs. Koga appears, and explains that they are at the Fuchsia Gym, and that he is the Gym Leader. He says Aya is his sister and that he will battle Ash, and not let them go until he does.

Ash sends in Pidgeotto, and Koga responds by sending out his own Venonat. Having just defeated Aya's Venonat, Ash is noticeably confident. However, Koga warns Ash that his Venonat has a lot more experience. As if to drive the point home, Venonat chooses that moment to evolve into Venomoth. The battle begins. Koga orders Venomoth to use Stun Spore. Ash responds to this the same way he did in his battle against Aya, by ordering Pidgeotto to use Whirlwind. This time, however, Stun Spore wins out and paralyzes Pidgeotto. Venomoth then follows up with Sleep Powder, prompting Ash to recall Pidgeotto and send out Charmander. Venomoth uses Stun Spore again, but Charmander blocks it with Flamethrower. At that point, Team Rocket arrives and send out Arbok and Weezing. Ash, Aya, and Koga send in Charmander, Venonat, and Venomoth respectively to battle, but James throws a fistful of a sticky substance at them, immobilizing them. Pikachu then steps up, only to meet the same fate from Jessie. Koga then pulls a cord, opening up panels in the ceiling, and unleashing a large amount of Voltorb on the trio. However, Team Rocket uses more of their sticky goop to reel in the entire pack of Voltorb. Misty then tries to send out Starmie, but Psyduck chooses that moment to break out of its Poké Ball. Misty, seething with rage, asks Ash what moves Psyduck knows. Ash consults the Pokédex, which lists Tail Whip. Misty tells Psyduck to use Tail Whip; Psyduck wags its tail to no effect whatsoever (aside from making Misty more angry). The Pokédex then lists Psyduck's second move as Scratch. On Misty's order, Psyduck uses Scratch on Arbok. Not only does this not work, Arbok begins biting Psyduck's head, worsening its headache. At that moment, Psyduck amazes everyone by using a variety of psychic powers to freeze Team Rocket, blast them off, and remove the sticky gunk from Venonat, Venomoth, Charmander, and Pikachu. Ash's Pokédex chimes in, listing Psyduck's third and fourth attacks; Disable and Confusion. Koga and Aya both offer to trade for Psyduck but Misty declines, saying "I wouldn't trade Psyduck for the world." Ash and Koga continue their battle outside. Ash chooses Charmander and Koga chooses Golbat. Charmander defeats Golbat with Ember and Fire Spin, and Koga gives Ash a Soul Badge, and the trio go on their way.

Major events

Ash holding the Soul 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?: Venonat


Brock's eyes open
  • This is Maddie Blaustein's first episode as Meowth.
  • Brock's eyes open after being hit by Charmander's Flamethrower.
  • This episode marks the first time Psyduck jumps out of Misty's Poké Ball when she attempts to summon another Pokémon.
  • The book Psyduck Ducks Out is partially based on this episode.
  • This episode is featured on Volume 13: Psyduck from Viz Media's Pokémon All-Stars series.
  • Team Rocket perform Kabuki, a type of Japanese dance-drama, when they enter Koga's Gym.
  • Due to Koga later becoming a member of the Elite Four, this is technically the first appearance of an Elite Four member in the anime.
  • The Gym is not located in Fuchsia City as it is in the games. Fuchsia City itself would appear almost 400 episodes later in Time Warp Heals All Wounds.
  • This episode was banned in South Korea, likely because of references to Japanese culture.
  • Parts of this episode were reanimated and used for flashback material for The Fires of a Red-Hot Reunion!.


  • Ash commands his Bulbasaur to use Whirlwind, though in the games, Bulbasaur cannot legitimately know this move.
    • This was most likely a dubbing error, since Whirlwind is known as ふきとばし Blow Away in Japanese. Ash was most likely telling Bulbasaur to simply "blow it away" rather than the actual attack.
  • Koga has his Venomoth attack Ash's Pidgeotto with Stun Spore and Sleep Powder, which paralyze it and put it to sleep, respectively. However, no Pokémon can have more than one major status condition on it at the same time.
  • Ash instructs his Pikachu to use "electric attack", which does not exist, while in the Japanese version he instructs it to use ThunderShock. This is most likely a translation error, as ThunderShock's Japanese name でんきショック means Electric Shock.
  • Even though Ash is stuck to the wall by the throwing stars, when the camera changes to show the side of Ash's face and sleeve, the stars are missing.
  • The Pokédex classifies Venonat as the Bug Pokémon instead of the Insect Pokémon.
  • In the shot right after Team Rocket performs their motto, Ash's gloves are completely black.
  • When Ash and co. enter the slanted trap room in the mansion, there are many errors. First, the wall design differs between shots as well as the wall design to Brock's right. Third, the back wall is sloped, but appears normal in the next.
  • After Team Rocket blasts off, the room isn't slanted anymore.
  • When Koga gives Ash his Soul Badge, it is perpendicular and rounder. However, when Koga unrolls it earlier, the badge was pointing away from the top.
  • In the Swedish dub after obtaining the Soul Badge Ash's English voice can be heard.

Dub edits

In other languages

EP031 : Dig Those Diglett!
Original series
EP033 : The Flame Pokémon-athon!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.