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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 semifinal 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 they make their getaway by bike, Ash and Macy pursue them downhill. As Macy trips and falls over following Ash, Ash tells Macy to leave recovering the two up to him, Macy is smitten by Ash. Meanwhile, Ash cuts off Team Rocket, and has Bayleef recover the two 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), Misty breaks off Macy asking Ash for a lunch date. The two get into an argument, with Misty's preference for Water types and Macy's affinity for Fire types becoming fuel for their argument. When Macy asks Misty if she is Ash's girlfriend, Misty backs off, saying 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. As Macy tells Ash to take her out on a date after a match should she win, it only serves to fuel Misty's jealousy even more.
That night, as Ash is switching around his Pokémon, and 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 on Macy and discover that she has Vulpix, Slugma, and Quilava—all Fire Pokémon. Misty is adamant that Ash 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 bottlecaps made to look like Silver Conference souvenirs. Meanwhile, Kingler is summoned 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. Later, Ash finds out that Kingler would have to sit the battle out in order 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 by exchanging Flamethrower and Water Gun, but Macy, 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 (being able to hit Totodile once with Flamethrower), but the luck runs out as Totodile manages to hit Slugma while evading with a Water Gun. At this point, Macy pulls out Slugma for her surprise entrant, Electabuzz, but anticipating this, Ash pulls Totodile for his surprise entrant, 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 hits 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 with a Rollout, but is counterattacked with a Flame Wheel, followed by a 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. Putting Totodile back in, Macy pulls Quilava out and calls on Electabuzz again, with Ash having lost his advantage against it with Phanpy's elimination. 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 Squirtle. As Macy prepares to sweep Squirtle out with a Thunderbolt, Squirtle hits its mark with a Water Gun. The Water Gun hit before Electabuzz could fire the Thunderbolt, confusing Macy. Squirtle evades a series of Thunder Punches, and hits again with a Water Gun, which Electabuzz deflects with an Iron Tail. However, a second Iron Tail hits Squirtle, and Macy tries to finish 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 is met with a Skull Bash for its efforts. This knocks out Electabuzz.
The match is 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 being inverted. As Ash desperately tries to get Squirtle back up, Quilava, seeing an opening goes for a Flame Wheel to finish off Squirtle while it is still vulnerable. In a last minute move, Squirtle 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.
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 bottlecaps. 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 (Macy, on the other hand, cannot advance unless she wins her second match and Ash loses the next one to force a three-way tie). They are met by Macy, who tells them that after the battle that her Slugma had evolved into a Magcargo after the match had ended. Hugging Magcargo, she tells Ash that it will always be a reminder of her love for Ash. Macy 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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