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These donuts are great! This article is about an episode of the Pokémon anime that has not been dubbed into English. As such, its coverage may contain romanized Japanese names, rather than dub names.
Pokémon Horizons: The Series
HZ043   EP1275
A Letter of Challenge from the Explorers
First broadcast
Japan March 15, 2024
United States
English themes
Japanese themes
Opening ハロ
Ending RVR〜ライジングボルテッカーズラップ〜[オリオVer.PART2]
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 永川成基 Naruki Nagakawa
Storyboard 尼野浩正 Hiromasa Amano
冨安大貴 Daiki Tomiyasu
Assistant director 岩田義彦 Yoshihiko Iwata
Animation directors 柳原好貴 Yoshitaka Yanagihara
萩原慶汰 Keita Hagiwara
服部奈津美 Natsumi Hattori
松本めぐみ Megumi Matsumoto
大西雅也 Masaya Ōnishi
Additional credits

(Japanese: エクスプローラーズからの果たし状 A Letter of Challenge from the Explorers) is the 43rd episode of Pokémon Horizons: The Series, and the 1,275th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on March 15, 2024.

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


The Rising Volt Tacklers are doing some shopping. Liko, Orla, and Mollie have just finished buying their portion of the shopping list when they find Roy and Friede waiting in line for a limited-set Sea Digdaman with only 30 boxes of it being available per day. Mollie says they are free to continue waiting as long as they've completed shopping everything they were supposed to. Awkwardly, Friede and Roy make it clear they haven't done so yet, so they head out to shop, while Mollie asks Liko to make sure that Roy doesn't waste his money. Outside the town, Coral and Sidian have arrived as well, with Coral having promised her fellow admin that there's something very important to be found here. She disguises herself to avoid being recognized as a member of the Explorers before heading out, leaving her partner awkwardly looking after her.

Just as Liko and Roy complete their shoppings, Liko notices a hunched-over old man, scowling in a way that intimidates her. Roy, however, realizes that the old man must've thrown his back, so he and Liko help him aboard his cart and take him to his destination while Sprigatito gives him a back massage, making him feel better. A young man approaches them and says that they can now open their shop. As thanks for helping him, the old man gives the children a boxful of the coveted Sea Digdaman, as he actually works at the shop that sells them. The manjū is made of local sea salt and red bean paste, covered in white chocolate imported all the way from the Kalos region to give it the appearance of a Wiglett. Being assured that this box is not one of the 30 boxes to be sold today, Liko and Roy happily accept it as the two men leave. Meanwhile, aboard the Brave Olivine, Tinkatink is demanding food from Dot, but she's busy at the moment. Dejectedly, Tinkatink leaves the room to instead get food from Murdock, who's feeding the other Pokémon on the deck. After getting her food, Tinkatink tries to move elsewhere to eat it, but she trips, spilling her food over the edge of the airship. Tinkatink is on the verge of crying, but Terapagos walks up to her, knowing a place where she can get more food.

Back in town, Coral is waiting in line for the Sea Digdaman just as the store opens. Counting herself as the 30th person in the queue, she's sure she'll get a box, but unfortunately for her, the last box instead goes to the Cutiefly in front of her, which had come to pick it up for an errand. Coral is enraged, but despite her protests, she's thrown out of that store as it is closed for the day. Her state of disbelief ends up being short-lived when Liko and Roy walk past with their box of manjū, commenting on how they had gotten it without having to wait just by being nice to someone. Outraged by the children having gotten a manjū box without having to wait in line while she's been left with nothing, Coral swears to make them pay. Back at that airship, Ludlow's Quagsire shares some of its Pecha Berries with Tinkatink, who, in turn, brings them to Dot's room to share with Quaxly, earning a compliment from Dot.

Liko and Roy head back to the airship, but just before they can reach it, Roy notices that Fuecoco has wandered off. He quickly finds his partner, only to spot a letter attached to Fuecoco's back. Despite the handwriting being hard to read, Roy is able to make out what it says. The letter's sender claims they stole something important and demands to meet them at the nearby "Snorlax Rock". Roy, having heard of old-style challenge letters from his grandfather, figures this must be one, and heads out to the Snorlax Rock, followed by Liko. At the designated spot, Coral is waiting for them and demands they hand over the Sea Digdaman box they "stole". While Roy denies them having stolen anything, Liko agrees to share a manjū and opens the box. This, however, ends up only making Coral even angrier, because she had wanted the box due to it being a limited item, meaning that opening it has completely ruined its value for her. Enraged, she sends out her Glalie and removes her disguise, allowing Liko and Roy to recognize her as a member of the Explorers. Liko wants to call Friede for help, but Roy feels ready to fight on his own, as his Fuecoco has a type advantage over Glalie. Before the battle can begin, though, Sidian and his Garganacl enter the scene as well, much to Coral's annoyance. Noticing the children from the Rising Volt Tacklers, he decides to take the chance to deal with them. Coral immediately claims Roy as her opponent, so Sidian settles on challenging Liko, leaving Liko in disbelief of how a box of Sea Digdaman could've led them to this situation.

Having no choice but to battle, Liko orders Sprigatito to use Quick Attack, but Garganacl does not even flinch from being hit. Fuecoco tries to use Flamethrower, which Glalie easily dodges and counters with Blizzard, freezing Fuecoco solid. Sprigatito, meanwhile, manages to avoid a Salt Cure from Garganacl and hit it with Magical Leaf, though the sturdy Rock type still remains unflinching from the attack and continues attacking with Salt Cure, ultimately cornering Sprigatito between itself and the Snorlax Rock. Coral orders Glalie to use Crunch on the frozen Fuecoco, but Roy's partner manages to thaw himself out before he can be hit, much to Coral's disbelief, though she soon starts laughing when Fuecoco slips on the icy ground left behind by Blizzard. Further Flamethrowers also fail to make contact, after which Glalie attacks Fuecoco with multiple Ice Spinners, leaving Roy desperate to come up with a counterattack.

Having Sprigatito cornered, Sidian declares that his next attack won't miss and orders another Salt Cure. Liko, though, manages to avoid the attack by having Sprigatito use Quick Attack and dive out of the attack's way by jumping through between Garganacl's legs, before unleashing a Magical Leaf at it from behind. This, though, ends up only providing a smokescreen for Garganacl, allowing it to grab Sprigatito and finally hit her with a close-range Salt Cure, before tossing the Grass Cat Pokémon aside. However, despite being hurt by Salt Cure's salt crystals, Sprigatito still refuses to give up and stands back up. Powered by her Overgrow Ability, Sprigatito is able to counter Garganacl's Stone Edge and actually land a hit on it with Magical Leaf. Roy, meanwhile, notices Fuecoco's frustrated stomps cracking the ice beneath him, so he has him use Stomping Tantrum. The shattered ice produced by the attack throws the spinning Glalie off-balance and sends it flying at Garganacl, finally dealing a proper hit on it. Sidian is impressed, but then declares that playtime is over, and he and Coral intend to get serious. Before they have a chance to do so, though, Sidian receives an alert and immediately recalls Garganacl, telling an annoyed Coral that they have more important things to do. Coral protests that she hates it on the island and that they can summon the Black Rayquaza later. Sidian berates Coral for blurting out their plans to capture Rayquaza in front of the two children and calls out his Aerodactyl, pulling Coral away when she intends to continue the fight, much to her irritation.

Having narrowly survived their encounter with the admins, Liko calls Friede and tells him what they just learned. Friede soon arrives on the scene in-person, asking for further details on where the Explorers headed. Based on their clue about an island and the earlier photo featuring a tower built by some suspicious people, Friede decides to investigate said tower and island, telling Liko and Roy to return to the airship while he does so. With Roy sharing some manjū with Captain Pikachu and Charizard as they head out, Liko can't help but feel an uncomfortable sensation of uneasiness within her chest.

Major events

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


Pokémon debuts






Dub edits

In other languages

Pokémon Horizons: The Series
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.