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| Love, Pokémon Style
League Preliminaries! Battle of the Magmarashi Flame!!
|| September 26, 2002
| United States
|| September 18, 2003
|| Team Ota
|| 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
|| 秦義人 Yoshito Hata
| Assistant director
|| 秦義人 Yoshito Hata
| Animation director
|| 向田隆 Takeshi Mukōda
| No additional credits are available at this time.
Love, Pokémon Style (Japanese: よせんリーグ！マグマラシほのおのバトル！！ League Preliminaries! Battle of the Magmarashi Flame!!) is the 267th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on September 26, 2002 and in the United States on September 18, 2003.
Ash begins the Silver Conference Tournament in Division H, against two opponents. The Semi-Finals round-robin style, where a victory gives you three points, a loss gives you no points, and a draw gives each challenger one point. Whoever gets the most points wins!
After his usual boast of confidence towards the match, Ash runs into one of his opponents: Macey. She is looking to know all about Ash so that she can crush him in the tournament. Just as they begin an impromptu battle, Team Rocket comes along and grabs Pikachu and Macey's Vulpix! Macey hurts herself running after them, leading Ash to use Bayleef to get rid of them fast. Its Vine Whip throws Team Rocket aside, and frees Pikachu and Vulpix before any harm is done. Macey is more than happy with Ash for "saving her life," and seems to be a bit smitten with him much the chagrin of Misty. She even threatens Ash with a date if she wins their match!
Professor Oak sends Ash all his Pokémon for the match, and Ash goes through Macey's data in order to choose the perfect combination. She loves fire types, so Ash goes with Kingler. That is, until Kingler saves a group of Voltorb from falling, and winds up shocked! Kingler will be unable to battle, leaving Ash with a tough decision to make. The decision is made for him, as Officer Jenny and Squirtle arrive to help Ash out!
The match begins with Macey's Slugma against Ash's Totodile. Totodile's Water Gun manages to see through Slugma's Double Team, leading Macey to switch it out very quickly. For her next Pokémon she chooses an Electabuzz, to which Ash counters with Phanpy. When Electabuzz's Thunderbolt proves ineffective, she switches back to Slugma, but Phanpy's Takedown finished it off! As her third Pokémon she goes with Quilava, who surprises Phanpy with its Flame Wheel! Phanpy is no match for it, and takes Phanpy out of the picture. Macy switches out for her Electabuzz against Totodile, who gets taken out with one Thunder Punch. Only Squirtle remains, who comes close to defeat at the hands of Electabuzz's Iron Tail. While in mid-air, Squirtle fires a Water Gun and uses Skull Bash to defeat Electabuzz. Quilava is Macey's last hope, and it manages to get Squirtle on its back. Just as it charges in, Squirtle launches a Hydro Pump to take Quilava out for good, giving Ash his first victory!
With three points to his name, Ash prepares for his next match, while Macey "cancels" her date to train her newly evolves Magcargo, who evolved during their match!
The day after the opening ceremonies, at the Athlete's Village Pokémon Center, Ash discovers that he has been grouped into Group H. Brock further explains that the semi-final round is a round-robin tournament, where each Trainer battles the two others—with three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a loss. The Trainer with the most points in the group stage will move on to the Victory Tournament. Ash is confused by the details but hopes to win anyways.
Heading back out, they come across Ash's first opponent, a young girl named Macy. The two help each other get fired up, nearly getting into a battle in doing so, but just as it begins, Pikachu and Macy's Vulpix are snagged by Team Rocket in nets. As the Rocket trio makes their getaway on a tandem bike, Ash and Macy pursue them downhill. Macy soon trips and falls over, though Ash manages to break her fall. He tells Macy to leave recovering the Pokémon up to him, Macy is immediately smitten for Ash. Meanwhile, Ash cuts off Team Rocket, and has Bayleef recover the stolen Pokémon and send Team Rocket flying with Vine Whip.
As Macy expresses her feelings for Ash, both for saving Vulpix and being smitten by Ash in general. Macy invites out for lunch, but Misty breaks her off. The two get into an argument, with Misty's preference for Water types and Macy's affinity for Fire Pokémon becoming fuel for their argument. Macy asks Misty if she is Ash's girlfriend, though Misty backs off and replies that she is only his coach. Macy then tells Misty to get herself out of Ash's personal life, as Macy believes that she has a romantic future ahead with Ash. As Macy and Misty are arguing, Ash runs off, about to prepare for battle. Macy waves Ash off, telling him to take her out on a date after their match should she win. Though this only fuels Misty's jealousy even more.
That night, Ash assembles his party of Pokémon for his upcoming matches, receiving some from Professor Oak's Laboratory. Brock attempts to seduce Nurse Joy only to be dragged off by Misty by the ear once again. Ash decides to make up his team for the match right away, only to be quickly rebuffed by Brock and Misty. Back in their room, they check the system for information on Macy, and they discover that she has Vulpix, Slugma, and Quilava—all Fire Pokémon. Misty is adamant that Ash will load up on Water Pokémon, but Ash reminds her that he only has two—Totodile and Kingler. On his third entrant for the three-on-three battle, Brock makes an interesting discovery about Macy, and the three ponder who should be chosen. Later that night, Brock finalizes Ash's entries.
The next day, Team Rocket opens a small concession stand, selling painted bottle caps made to look like Silver Conference souvenirs. Meanwhile, Ash calls out Kingler for some warm-ups just as three Voltorb are rolling down a hill towards them. Kingler catches them, but the Voltorb shock it, knocking it out. They retreat to the Pokémon Center, and Nurse Joy declares that Kingler will need a full day to recover. Missing one entry, Ash contemplates his next move, while Misty hopes that Totodile will hold up against Macy. Just then, Officer Jenny shows up in her police bike, with Squirtle in tow. As Ash and Squirtle exchange pleasantries, Officer Jenny explains that Squirtle was motivated to make itself available after seeing Ash in the torch relay and that it took some time off from the Squirtle Squad just for the occasion. Squirtle has no problems being a last-minute addition to the upcoming match, and they hurry off to make a last-minute entry change.
At the B-Stadium, the match begins, with Macy having the first move. Macy sends out Slugma, while Ash responds with Totodile. The battle begins with an exchange of Flamethrower and Water Gun. Macy changes tact, anticipating that a Water Pokémon would be sent out, tells Slugma to use Double Team to evade Totodile's attacks. It works for a moment, and Slugma hits Totodile with a Flamethrower. Macy orders another round of Double Team, but Totodile manages to hit Slugma with a Water Gun. At this point, Macy recalls Slugma to its Poké Ball for her surprise entrant, Electabuzz. Anticipating this, Ash pulls out Totodile for Phanpy. Misty congratulates Brock on his foresight in assisting Ash to make Phanpy his third entrant, and it pays off when Phanpy shakes off a Thunderbolt. With Electabuzz perfectly countered, Macy recalls it and sends Slugma back out. Ash leaves Phanpy in, and uses Earthquake and Rollout in quick succession. Slugma retaliates with another Flamethrower, but Phanpy blocks with Defense Curl. Phanpy also blocks Slugma's Body Slam, and uses another Earthquake on the recovery. One Take Down later, and Slugma is out for the count.
Quilava is sent in. As Misty comments on how any of Ash's entries will have the advantage against Quilava, Phanpy starts off with Rollout, but it is countered with Flame Wheel, followed by Quick Attack. Phanpy's attempt at a Take Down is met with another Flame Wheel, knocking it out. Brock and Misty are surprised at the turn of events, believing that Phanpy could have gone for the sweep. Ash calls out Totodile once again, while Macy selects her Electabuzz for the upper hand. Totodile begins with a Water Gun, but Electabuzz blocks it off with Light Screen. Totodile's Headbutt manages to break through, however, this allows Electabuzz to land a Thunder Punch, knocking it out.
Now down two Pokémon, Ash is forced to send out his Squirtle. As Macy prepares to strike Squirtle out with a Thunderbolt, Squirtle hits its mark with a Water Gun. Officer Jenny is watching from the sidelines and credits the firefighting training for Squirtle’s lightning-fast maneuver. Macy is left startled for a moment, though she soon goes on the attack. Squirtle evades a series of Thunder Punches and hits again with a Water Gun, which Electabuzz blocks with an Iron Tail. A second Iron Tail hits Squirtle, and Macy tries to finish it off with a Thunder Punch. However, Squirtle, out of the air, hits another Water Gun in the same spot as the first, interrupting the Thunder Punch. Electabuzz tries to finish Squirtle with another Thunderbolt, but it is met with a Skull Bash for its efforts and knocked out.
The match is now down to Quilava with Squirtle, with momentum back on Ash's side. Squirtle opens with a Water Gun, which Quilava counters with Flamethrower and Swift. Squirtle responds to the Swift with Bubble. The projectiles collide, creating a smoke cover for a Water Gun to hit Quilava. Another Bubble attack is met with a Quick Attack, which sends Squirtle reeling, with Squirtle ending up on its back. As Squirtle struggles to get back up, Quilava sees an opening and rushes in for a Flame Wheel. In a last-minute move, Squirtle retreats into its shell and uses Hydro Pump, using the spinning attack to not only hit Quilava with the water but also with its own body. Quilava is knocked out, and Ash wins the match. Macy walks over to Ash and congratulates him on the victory. Ash replies that the match helped him and Squirtle to reunite.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket has managed to sell all of their stock at their concession stand. Though Jessie and Meowth intend to spend their profits, James instead has a more ambitious idea, convincing the others to sell even more bottle caps. After the match, Brock tells Ash that he now has firm control of Group H with the win. Depending on the outcome of the second match, Ash could be in a situation in which he only needs a draw to advance. They are met again by Macy. She shows them her newly-evolved Magcargo. Hugging Magcargo, she tells Ash that it will always be a reminder of her love for Ash. Macy is still determined to advance through to the next round and she promptly leaves to prepare for her next match.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Skiploom (US and international), Quilava (Japan)
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