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| The Battle Of The Badge
Tokiwa Gym! The Last Badge!
|| September 17, 1998
| United States
|| September 25, 1999
|| Team Ota
|| 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
|| 横田和 Kazu Yokota
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
| Additional credits
The Battle Of The Badge (Japanese: トキワジム！さいごのバッジ！ Tokiwa Gym! The Last Badge!) is the 63rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on September 17, 1998 and in the United States on September 25, 1999.
Ash and friends finally make their way to Viridian City where Ash hopes to earn his Earth Badge. They get to the gym just in time to see his rival, Gary, being defeated by a never-before-seen Pokémon that he insists must be evil!
Ash, Brock, and Misty are walking through Viridian City and notice its destroyed Pokémon Center has since been rebuilt after nearly a year. They then make their way to the Viridian Gym. As they stop outside its doors, they encounter Gary and his cheering squad. Gary boasts that he is further along the path to the Pokémon League, having already earned ten Badges compared to Ash's seven. Gary heads into the Gym to challenge the Gym Leader, followed by his cheering squad. Ash tries to follow Gary, but is blocked by the ax-wielding guards, who will only permit one Trainer in the Gym at a time.
Disappointed and depressed that Gary will always get further and further ahead of him, Ash crouches down in a corner. Togepi pats him on the head in an attempt to comfort him. Thinking it is Pikachu, Ash is so surprised when he sees Togepi that he launches it into the air. Togepi flies up it bounces on a flagpole and then into the mouth of a startled Fearow, who flies then off with it. The trio set off after the Fearow.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket is perched high on top of a skyscraper, searching for Pikachu. As it flies over them, the Fearow drops Togepi in James's lap. Jessie tries to grab Togepi, but it evades her grasp and wanders onto a wooden plank linking the building to its neighboring structure. Jessie crawls in pursuit, though the plank gives way under her weight and she is sent plummeting to the street below. James and Meowth rush down the stairs to catch her but, despite making it down before her, they miss and she hits the ground. As Jessie picks herself up, Togepi lands on her head, allowing her to grab it before collapsing once more.
In the Gym, Gary, supported by his fans, challenges the Gym Leader, who is shrouded in shadows, boasting that he is the best Trainer in Pallet Town. The Gym Leader accepts his challenge, and his guards announce the battle will consist of three Pokémon with no time limit. Gary chooses Nidoking and the Leader responds by selecting Golem. The Gym Leader commences with a Tackle attack, and Gary responds in kind, ordering a Tackle from his Nidoking. This Golem flying backward into the wall, defeated. The Gym Leader then chooses Kingler, and Gary consults his Pokédex, which informs him that Kingler is the evolved form of Krabby. The Gym Leader resumes with a Crabhammer. Nidoking dodges the attack, but Gary recalls him and chooses Arcanine. Ordering Arcanine to perform Take Down followed by Fire Spin, Kingler is sent reeling amidst cheering from Gary's fans. Arcanine's Fire Blast is sufficient to beat Kingler.
The Gym Leader emerges from the shadows, confidently announcing that he is not beaten yet, and he will use this battle to test his most powerful Pokémon. As he snaps his fingers, a door opens to reveal a Pokémon concealed by mechanical armor. Using its Psychic attack, it sends Arcanine crashing into a wall. Gary's Pokédex claims there is no available data on the new Pokémon. The Gym Leader offers to allow Gary to use more than one Pokémon if he is afraid of losing. Despite protesting that he isn't afraid of anything, Gary sends both Arcanine and Nidoking forth to battle. Even as they attack, the mysterious Pokémon once again uses its Psychic powers to lift the pair from the ground. The Gym Leader gloats that this Pokémon is invincible, and Gary is left on the verge of panicking.
Later, Team Rocket meets their boss Giovanni, revealing him to be the Leader of the Viridian Gym. They present Togepi to him for his approval. However, when he demands to know what it can do, the trio is at a loss to explain. Giovanni loses his temper, accusing them of total incompetence despite months of work. They are allowed a brief reprieve when the phone on Giovanni's desk rings calling him to deal with an accident. He leaves the trio in charge of the Gym, giving them three Poké Balls to use if necessary. During the discussion, Togepi is able to escape through an open door. Afterwards, Giovanni walks into a dungeon where the Pokémon he used earlier are kept in cages. Continuing to the last one, he pulls a lever, releasing the mystery Pokémon from cables in its armor, and explains that he has an emergency assignment for it.
Meanwhile, Ash and his friends are still searching the city for Togepi, but to no avail. Misty is absolutely distraught by this and threatens Ash. However, they hear Togepi's voice coming from inside the Gym. Pulling open the heavy doors, they find not only Togepi, but Gary and his fans lying unconscious on the ground. As Ash pulls Gary back to consciousness, Gary says that the mysterious Pokémon was not only powerful, it was evil as well, despite Ash's assertion that there can't be an evil Pokémon. As Gary announces that no one will ever beat the Pokémon, Team Rocket appears and begins to recite their motto, but they are interrupted by Ash and his friends. To counter Misty's claim that their motto never changes, they state that today is very different because they are now in charge of the Gym and the Earth Badge. When Ash, Misty, and Brock demand to know why Team Rocket has a Gym, James explains that Team Rocket's plans are far too complex for them to understand. James whispers to Jessie for information, though Meowth reveals that they don't know the answers either. Jessie then angrily sends Meowth flying.
Jessie raises two platforms on either side of the battlefield and invites Ash to take his place as the challenger in the green platform. Despite his friends' warnings that Team Rocket have probably booby-trapped the box, Ash ascends as Jessie calls the three Pokémon Giovanni gave her: Machamp, Kingler, and Rhydon. Ash calls out Squirtle, and Jessie orders Machamp to use Karate Chop, striking Squirtle many times. As the blows land, Ash is given a shock; the box turned out to be rigged so that the Trainer feels all of the pain his Pokémon feels. Ash withdraws Squirtle and sends in Bulbasaur, prompting Jessie to switch to Kingler. Ash orders Bulbasaur to use Vine Whip as Jessie orders Kingler to use Harden. Bulbasaur's Vine Whip is rendered ineffective. Pressing the advantage, Jessie orders a Bubble attack, causing Ash to feel the pain as the Water move strikes Bulbasaur.
Gary advises Ash to give in, claiming that the Pokémon are too strong, but Ash refuses to give up as he trusts his Pokémon. Ash calls out Pidgeotto and orders it to use Quick Attack, which slams into Rhydon, inflicting damage. Sparks of electricity starts crackling at Jessie's feet, which she notices. Ash then orders Pidgeotto to use Double-Edge, which also slams into Rhydon, causing more damage to it and Jessie. James reveals that he rigged both sides, as it hadn't occurred to him that they might lose. However, Meowth reveals a remote control and is about to press the button when Gary tackles him, sending the remote flying. Now at a disadvantage, Jessie and James call on Arbok and Weezing to aid them. Ash orders Pikachu to attack, using his Thunderbolt to attack all of the opposing Pokémon at once. This sends Machamp, Rhydon, and Kingler fleeing; and Weezing and Arbok crashing into Jessie. As Ash and his Pokémon celebrate their victory, Gary's fans do a cheer in Ash's honor, and Gary is forced to admit that Ash is a good Trainer. However, he remarks Ash or anyone else will not be able to beat the mystery Pokémon that he witnessed.
Furious at the loss, Jessie beats both James and Meowth. Ash approaches Jessie and demands the Earth Badge as proof of his victory, citing that he earned it for beating her fair and square, but she refuses. As they argue, Meowth sees Togepi playing with the remote control. Despite Meowth's protests, Togepi presses a button, forcing Meowth to reveal that he had rigged both platforms to be able to explode. Sure enough, the trio's platform blows up, sending Team Rocket blasting off again, and the Earth Badge falls into Ash's hands. The group is then forced to flee as the Gym begins to collapse around them.
As Ash and his friends continue their journey, Brock wonders if they will ever see the Pokémon Gary saw, while Ash is only interested in his eight Badges. Realizing that they don't know where the Pokémon League is, they decide to head for Pallet Town to consult Professor Oak.
Ash holding the Earth Badge
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
TV episode debuts
Who's That Pokémon?: Mr. Mime (US and international), Arcanine (Japan)
- Professor Oak's Pokémon Lecture: Charmander
- Pokémon senryū summary: Suspended on Charmander's flame, people's shadows.
- The episode title is derived from the Battle of the Bulge.
- This is the first of three episodes (the other two being It's Mr. Mime Time and Showdown at the Po-ké Corral) to feature Mewtwo in scenes that are preludes to the first movie. This is despite the seizures caused by EP038, which caused the show to go on a four-month hiatus, which in turn led to the aforementioned three episodes airing after the movie's premiere on July 18, 1998.
- A few seconds of the battle between Giovanni and Gary (namely, Nidoking and Arcanine running towards Mewtwo and the latter using its Psychic powers to levitate them) are also shown in the movie's prologue, but from a different perspective and with a different animation. Examples of this include:
- Mewtwo's appearance is evidently more cartoonish in this episode as opposed to the elaborate design of its armor in the movie.
- Mewtwo's whole body glows when he uses Psychic against Nidoking and Arcanine, as opposed to the movie, where only its eyes glow.
- In the movie, Mewtwo's "chin" is covered by its armor, as opposed to this episode, where it is exposed. However, it is unknown whether the exposed chin is a deliberate choice made by the animators or if it became that way after the color was added, since what looks like the chin could have been part of the armor if colored differently.
- A small continuity mistake between this episode and the movie is Giovanni's position: in this episode, Giovanni stood up and walked forward before sending out Mewtwo, while in the movie, he is still sitting in his chair.
- This is the first episode to use background music from the first movie's original Japanese soundtrack, namely during the scene of Giovanni with Mewtwo, making it by definition also the first episode to feature Japanese movie music. However, the music was replaced in the dub.
- This marks the first and only time a Gym Leader refuses to give the Badge to Ash despite him winning the battle fairly; granted, Ash did not actually battle the official Gym Leader.
- Both Ash and Jessie's dialogues upon this happening also implied that it was illegal and against the rules for a Gym Leader to refuse to give a Badge to a Trainer who beat them fairly.
- Like in Riddle Me This, Pikachu was able to defeat, or at least, injure Rhydon with a Thunderbolt attack despite the Ground type's immunity to Electric moves.
- This is the first time Giovanni's face is entirely seen, as it has always been in the shadows in previous episodes.
- This is also the first dub episode to have Giovanni speaking normally and not through a voice filter.
- If going by the number of episodes spent in each region, this is the quickest that Ash has ever earned eight Gym Badges. By this point in Johto, Ash is in the process of obtaining his fourth Badge; in Hoenn, he has four Badges; in Sinnoh, he only has two Badges; in Unova, he has five Badges; and in Kalos, he has four Badges. Also, the Orange Islands only had four Badges.
- The book Team Rocket Blasts Off! is partially based on this episode.
- Both times Gary's Nidoking is shown, his cry is actually a stock sound effect, not that of a Pokémon.
- Later in the episode, Rhydon uses exactly the same cry as Nidoking.
- The picture of Mewtwo hanging in Giovanni's office shows Mewtwo in the same pose as its sprite from Red and Blue.
- This episode was released as part of the "Mewtwo Box" in Japan on December 18, 2013, along with Mewtwo Strikes Back, Mewtwo Returns, Mewtwo — Prologue to Awakening, and Genesect and the Legend Awakened.
- This was the first episode to air after the release of Pokémon Yellow.
- Of Gary's ten Badges, the only ones from the same Gyms Ash battled at are a Boulder Badge, a Cascade Badge, and a Rainbow Badge. This indicates that Gary did not battle, or at least did not defeat, Lt. Surge, Sabrina, or Koga. It is already known he did not battle Blaine due to being unaware of the existence of a Gym on Cinnabar Island.
- This is the first episode where a character other than Ash is seen using a Pokédex or challenging a Gym Leader to a Gym battle.
- After Gary's Arcanine defeated Giovanni's Kingler, a different perspective gives it the size of a Growlithe.
- When Jessie calls Kingler, Machamp, and Rhydon out of their Poké Balls, the red light that they return in shows, but in the next scene, they are in the white light.
- Despite being a Ground-type, Rhydon was hurt by Pikachu's Electric attack.
- Gary's Arcanine used Fire Spin in this episode, a move it was not able to learn until Generation II.
- Pikachu's Jukebox: 2.B.A. Master (US DVD box set), Double Trouble (Pokémon TV)
- Ash's statement of it being "a whole year" since they last visited Viridian City was added in the dub. In the original Japanese version, Ash only remarks that it has been a while since they last visited Viridian City.
- The scene where Ash and Pikachu were mentioning their friendship was largely the same as in the original, although the dub omitted Brock's referring to the two as "those guys", which hinted at Pikachu's gender.
- Gary's greeting to Ash was passive-aggressive in the Japanese version rather than gloating like in the dub.
- In the scene where Ash is sulking about not being allowed into Viridian Gym, Ash originally referenced his being the fourth person to leave Pallet Town.
- In the original Japanese version, when Misty confronts Ash over losing Togepi, Ash mixes up "Hazumi" (はずみ), meaning "offguard", with "Kasumi", Misty's name in the Japanese version. This was changed to an "Egg-cident" pun in the dub.
- In the Japanese version, Meowth, while using binoculars, warns his teammates that they will get fired if they don't find Pikachu soon. In the dub, he simply comments about a spotted Pikachu in response to James.
- In addition, the dub version does not directly mention James being hit in the butt by Togepi when accusing Meowth of doing so, unlike in the Japanese version.
- In the original Japanese version, Giovanni introduces himself to Gary by name. In the dub, he just refers himself as the Viridian Gym Leader.
- In the original Japanese version, when calling out Arcanine, Gary specifically refers to it as "My honey", while in the dub, this is omitted. In addition, the pinch pun was dub-exclusive.
- In the original Japanese version, after his cheerleaders cheer him on, Gary refers to them as his girlfriends, and also stated he will finish up the battle for them. In the dub, he just praises himself before wrapping them up.
- In the original version, when a Pokémon was knocked out during Gary and Giovanni's battle, the name of the defeated Pokémon was declared. In the dub, the names of the winning Pokémon were declared instead.
- In the Japanese version, when Giovanni chuckles at Gary's request to give up, Gary winces, surprised of Giovanni's reaction. In the dub, Gary's retort to Giovanni's answer was much more confident.
- In the Japanese version, after Mewtwo is introduced, Giovanni simply tells Gary to bring out all his Pokémon at once due to playtime being over, while the dub came across as goading.
- In the Japanese version, when presenting Togepi to their boss, Team Rocket informs Giovanni that it has a powerful technique that makes people feel good, while the dub simply has Jessie mentioning that it would make a "handsome paperweight".
- In addition, similar to the "whole year" mention above, Giovanni's mention of a search being "months" was dub-only.
- When Giovanni takes his leave, the Japanese version had him simply expressing disbelief in what happened, while the dub has him mentioning an accident occurring.
- In the Japanese version, Misty replied to Brock's attempts at keeping the peace by telling him to "shut up", while in the dub, she simply stated that attacking Ash will at least make her feel better about Togepi being lost.
- Gary's comment about Mewtwo being evil was dub-only. Originally, he just commented that his own Pokémon couldn't do a thing against it, with Ash repeating it back.
- When Team Rocket reveal themselves, the Japanese version has Ash and Brock specifically referring to them by name (Jessie and James, respectively).
- When Ash becomes determined shortly before sending out Pidgeotto, Gary simply mentioned Ash's name in the Japanese version.
- Originally shortly after being electrocuted, Jessie insults her teammates for rigging her platform with the electric shock generators, while the dub has her simply saying, "Follow...the leader."
- The Japanese version of the scene where Gary expressed his respect for Ash also referenced Ash's status as the fourth person to leave Pallet Town.
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