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EP222 : A Promise is a Promise
Original series
EP224 : Nerves of Steelix!
Throwing in the Noctowl
Fly Flight Hoho! Head for Asagi!!
First broadcast
Japan November 8, 2001
United States December 14, 2002
English themes
Opening Believe in Me
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター (Whiteberry)
Ending 前向きロケット団!
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 武上純希 Junki Takegami
Storyboard よこた和 Kazu Yokota
Assistant director 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
Animation director たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
Additional credits

Throwing in the Noctowl (Japanese: とべホーホーごう!アサギをめざし!! Fly Flight Hoho! Head for Asagi!!) is the 223rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on November 8, 2001 and in the United States on December 14, 2002.

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


At Transit Town, Ash gives Janina a call to check on Sparkle the Ampharos, and to see if Jasmine is ready for their Gym battle. Janina gives them good news, and Ash and the others set off for the last boat out to Olivine City, but they wind up missing it! Ash asks an old man about the next ferry, and is told that there are no more until tomorrow. The old man directs him to a plane service called the Hoothoot Express that might be able to help them.

When they arrive, they find that the old man is actually the owner of the plane, Wings Alexander. Wings used to be a great Pokémon Trainer back in the day, winning many a battle with the help of his Hoothoot. He asks the kids to help him with his chores, and then he will fly them to Olivine City.

They get on the plane and find a Noctowl in the co-pilot seat—it's Wings's Hoothoot, now evolved. They take off, only to be hit by an approaching storm. In their balloon, the members of Team Rocket are also caught in the storm, and they ask the pilot for help. Wings invites them on board.

It takes the combined power of both Ash and Wings's Noctowl to keep the plane aloft while Pikachu draws the lightning away! Wings notices the lighthouse in the distance, showing him which way to go to avoid the cliffs, while Team Rocket goes blasting off again.

Finally, the plane lands in Olivine City, and Ash begins to prepare for his long-awaited battle with Gym Leader Jasmine!


Ash and his friends are just one city away from Olivine. Ash calls Janina to tell her that he's coming back to Olivine City. The group heads out for the port, but it looks like again there's no ferry for a long while back to Olivine. Ash notices an old man fishing on the pier and asks him when the next ferry will come by. The response was obviously a no, but he does mention that there is an airport that'll take them to Olivine City. The group decides on if they should go over there, but why not? Ash turns around to thank the old man, but oddly he's missing, or running off somewhere.

They get to the airport, which looks more like an abandoned airstrip. They check out the hanger, when an old pilot comes out of the door. They recognize that he was that fisherman from before. Of course, he'll give them a ride to Olivine City, but first a few things before they leave. The old pilot starts feeding a few Sandshrew in a barn, which there's a lot more Pokémon to feed. Then he just talks about his Hoothoot that he raised when he was younger. Except while he was talking, the group was doing most of the work. They just wanted to get to Olivine as fast as they could.

So finally they got on board the plane, which seems a little shabby, but it works. In the cockpit's co-pilot seat was a sleeping Noctowl, which was really the old pilot's Hoothoot. It seems now the Noctowl doesn't do much, but sooner or later it wakes up. The old man tries to start up the plane, but the plane needs some refueling. Either way they take off and head back to Olivine.

After awhile in flight, a storm builds up. Of course, the old man still goes on course, thinking that he could out ride any storm. But a little ways away was Team Rocket in their balloon. They seem to have trouble themselves and don't think they can handle the storm. Then they see the plane and start yelling for help. Ash notices Team Rocket's voices outside and looks back. The question would be, help them or not? In the end they help Team Rocket on to the plane, only under one condition, they have to say a bunch of "I know this was wrong" lines. Then Wobbuffet comes out and makes a hole in the plane. James still has a hold of the plane but everyone else is holding onto him.

The storm gets worse and soon one of the engines start to come off. If this happens then they'll crash right into the ocean. So Ash opens up the door and jumps out onto the side and climbs up to the top. He has a little trouble holding on so Brock sends out Crobat to help Ash. After Ash gets in a stable place, he sends out Bulbasaur to hold onto the loose engine. Now the other engine starts to come off, so Ash sends out Bayleef to hold that one in place. A while away from the plane, Jigglypuff floats by. Jigglypuff starts to head over to the plane. Just as things seem to get better, Meowth spots Jigglypuff on the wing. Everyone starts to panic, except for the old man. Before anyone could stop Jigglypuff, she sings. Everyone falls asleep and as always, Jigglypuff gets angry, but before she could do anything, she gets picked up by another gust of wind.

Ash wakes up first, then everyone else, but without much control, the plane is headed straight for the ocean! The old man starts to go against the descent but the plane can shake it. Misty calls out Poliwhirl and Staryu, getting into good positions and they squirt a Water Gun to the ocean, which picks them back up and into the sky. The storm grows progressively worse, now lightning starts to form up. At that minute, the Noctowl wakes up and then flies around the plane with a rope making a secure wrap around it and tugging it. Ash releases his Noctowl to help out the other one. In the back however, Team Rocket starts a little planning on how to get Pikachu, but is cut short when Wobbuffet again pops out, making the cover of the hole break through.

The lightning now is a little too close for comfort. Brock says that Pikachu's electricity can act as a lightning rod, in a sense. So Pikachu climbs up to the top of the plane and releases a Thunderbolt in the sky, which attracts the lightning to that spot. Soon all the lightning becomes unstable and explodes in the sky in a flash of light. After that, the old man seems to see a light shining in the distance, except it's level and they're still in the air... or are they? He immediately pulls the plane upwards now noticing the plane is way too near the cliff near Olivine. They clear the cliff and are now back to the Johto mainland.

Major events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.


Pokémon debuts



Pocket Monster TV


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Mankey (US and international), Noctowl (Wings) (Japan)


  • The English dub title of this episode is a based on the phrase "Throwing in the towel".
  • Team Rocket breaks the fourth wall in this episode.
  • The song "Dragonite Takes Flight" from Mewtwo Strikes Back is used in this episode.
  • The sign at the front of the airport has a purple Hoothoot painted on to it.
  • Team Rocket is not seen blasting off when they are falling down from the plane.
  • Music from Pikachu's Vacation, Mewtwo Strikes Back, and The Power of One can be heard in this episode.
  • In one scene, Wings Alexander says, "Oh, my wings! That is the light of Asagi!". This is most likely a reference to a quote by famed American aviator Charles Lindbergh, when he said, "Oh, my wings! That is the light of Paris!"


  • At the start of the episode, it says that Ash and his friends are going to attend a Gym battle. However, when it says Olivine City, the screen points at Transit Town.
  • When Ash and his friends miss the ferry, there is a port on the other side of the island. However, in the next scene, when Ash sees Wings Alexander further to the right, the port moves further to the right as well.
  • When Ash thanks Crobat, Crobat's feet are missing.

Dub edits

In other languages

EP222 : A Promise is a Promise
Original series
EP224 : Nerves of Steelix!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.