|Partners in Time!
The Finals IV: "Partner"
|November 11, 2022
|June 23, 2023
Partners in Time! (Japanese: ファイナルⅣ 「相棒」 The Finals IV: "Partner") is the 132nd episode of Pokémon Journeys: The Series, and the 1,217th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on November 11, 2022, in Canada on April 8, 2023, in South Africa on April 18, 2023, in Australia on May 8, 2023, and in the United States on June 23, 2023.
The final round of the Pokémon World Coronation Series Masters Eight Tournament is roaring along, and the power generated by 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt and G-Max Wildfire causes a storm of Galar particles! But the Legendary Pokémon Eternatus appears, quelling the disturbance and recharging Leon and Ash’s Dynamax bands. Leon Gigantamaxes his Cinderace, and Ash has Pikachu Gigantamax, too. Pikachu wins the matchup, leaving it and Leon’s Charizard to battle to the end. The battle is like nothing anyone has seen before, and all of Ash’s friends and Pokémon show him and Pikachu their support. In the end, Pikachu wins, and Ash becomes the new World Champion!
Leon's Gigantamax Cinderace making its entrance
Eternatus has appeared above Wyndon Stadium during the Masters Eight Tournament finals. Reporting the situation to her grandmother, Sonia informs Professor Magnolia of the high activity of Galar particles in the area, which is likely the reason why Eternatus was drawn there. With a roar, the Legendary Pokémon fires a Dynamax Cannon into the sky, causing the dark clouds above the stadium to part and the Galar particles to stabilize, showing that Eternatus had come here to protect Galar. Following one more roar, Eternatus flies away. Leon thanks Eternatus for protecting them and points out to Ash that the Gigantic Pokémon left them a parting gift in the form of recharged Dynamax Bands. He recalls his Charizard and uses his rejuvenated Dynamax Band on Cinderace's Poké Ball, performing his second Gigantamax in this Full Battle. Ash decides to respond in kind, loading Pikachu with power from his own Dynamax Band and tossing him to the battlefield as the Mouse Pokémon Gigantamaxes as well. Both Pokémon launch their respective G-Max Moves, G-Max Fireball and G-Max Volt Crash. Both attacks land, despite the attempts at holding them back, creating a pair of giant explosions. When the smoke clears, it turns out the extreme power exerted by the two Pokémon has caused them to revert to normal prematurely. Moments later, Cinderace collapses, ending the Gigantamax showdown in Pikachu's victory and leaving both Trainers with their last Pokémon.
Misty watching the battle
Leon sends Charizard back out, preparing for the final clash between two partner Pokémon. Leon thanks Ash for giving him such an exciting battle and resolves to keep doing his best until the very end. Ash is also fired up, declaring the this battle is a culmination of everything he's experienced since he first met Pikachu, which is why he fully intends to win. Pikachu begins the confrontation with Quick Attack, avoiding an Ancient Power before landing a hit that he tries to follow up with Iron Tail. Charizard pushes Pikachu back with its own tail and then uses Air Slash to bombard both Pikachu and the battlefield around him. A Fire Blast follows, which Pikachu stops with Electroweb, giving him enough time to get out of the blast radius. Next comes a meeting of Fire Blast and Thunderbolt, which pushes both Pokémon back. When Pikachu uses Iron Tail once again, Leon lets Charizard take the hit, leaving Pikachu open for a close-range Dragon Pulse that blows him back, with him only narrowly escaping its full force by blasting it apart with Thunderbolt.
May, Max, and Serena watching the battle
Ash and Pikachu are still far from done and express their determination with a grand display of Electric power from Pikachu. Filled with excitement, Leon and Charizard respond in kind with a show of Charizard's Fire power. While Sonia looks down at Leon from the stands and reminisces how much he has grown since she first battled against him as a child, Pikachu strikes Charizard with a blindingly fast Quick Attack. Once more, Charizard uses Ancient Power, which Pikachu evades by jumping from floating rock to another, until he's running upside down along the arc running over the stadium. Charizard pursues Pikachu while using Air Slash, which Pikachu meets with a series of Iron Tails as he drops back down. Dodging Pikachu's last Iron Tail swing, Charizard releases another Fire Blast. Ash calls for a Thunderbolt to stop it, but Pikachu fails to react in time, allowing Charizard's devastating Fire move to finally make contact. When the smoke clears, it becomes clear that Pikachu has taken heavy damage from the hit. The entire stadium and all of Ash's friends watching the battle descend into a deafening silence while Pikachu breathes heavily and struggles to stay conscious. Pikachu's vision grows blurry, and he collapses.
Ash flipping his hat backwards
Pikachu recalls Ash's words from the time they first met and how he shocked him on sight, before waking up in a white void, with Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charizard, Butterfree, and Pidgeot appearing around him. Looking around, Pikachu sees the rest of Ash's Kanto Pokémon, as well as his Pokémon friends from Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos, Alola, and the current team, all cheering for him. Finally, Ash himself also appears, telling Pikachu how all of their companions are at their side. With the support of his friends from past and present alike on his side, Pikachu stands back up and releases a massive eruption of electricity, which also occurs in the real world. Flipping his hat backwards, Ash declares that the next attack will finish it. Leon grows equally excited and tosses his own hat aside to show he's putting everything into his next blow as well. Filled with passion, Ash and Leon order their respective partners to use Thunderbolt and Fire Blast while diving at each other. The two fired-up Pokémon crash into each other in a literal head-to-head collision, putting everything they have into use in order to overpower the other.
Waking up at a Pokémon Center, Pikachu sees Ash and starts recalling how the battle ended. Following the fierce clash, both Pokémon are pushed back. Charizard lets out a determined roar, but then slowly keels over and falls down. The official judgment is made: Charizard is unable to battle, meaning that the winner of the Masters Eight Tournament and the new Monarch is Ash. The stadium explodes with cheers at the birth of a new World Champion and Ash rushes to scoop the thoroughly exhausted Pikachu into his arms for a celebratory hug. Back at the present, Ash congratulates Pikachu for winning the battle as his partner happily jumps into his arms once again. Leon enters the room and thanks Ash for the fun battle before telling him how this match actually reminded him of his first-ever battle against Sonia, which had taught him the excitement of battling and even the frustration of losing. He declares that from now on, he's just another challenger, and both he and Ash promise to battle again someday. They are subsequently joined by Dawn and Chloe, who tell them the awards ceremony is about to begin.
With the whole world watching, Leon presents Ash with a golden trophy, which is so heavy that he needs the support of his team to lift it. At Professor Oak's Laboratory, all of Ash's Pokémon let off a fireworks display of moves as they joyously celebrate their Trainer's victory. In their skybox, Cynthia and Diantha are feeling so excited by the battle they just witnessed that they decide to also have one right away. In the stands, Team Rocket is so caught up in their happiness at Ash winning that they completely forget about their plan to steal his Pokémon. The entire stadium cheers for Ash as he raises the trophy up high and the latest World Coronation Series season comes to a close.
The next morning, Ash is woken up from his sleep at the Rose of the Rondelands hotel by a phone call from Goh. Figuring it must be about Mew, Ash wakes Pikachu up and happily responds to the call.
Ash holding the World Championship Trophy
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.
Main series debuts
The "After the story" artwork for this episode
- Get Inspired! Let's Solve a Poké Riddle!!: Cinderace
- This is the last episode to air in Japan before the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
- Ash and Leon read out this episode's title card.
- There are no eyecatches in this episode.
- Special screenings of Ash's winning ceremony were held in Shibuya.
- This episode's commercial break does not occur at the halfway point, like it usually does, instead taking place during the final clash of the battle.
- This episode concludes the thirteen-part Pokémon World Coronation Series Masters Eight Tournament arc.
- Shinji Miyazaki's music from Pokémon the Series: Black & White, Pokémon the Series: XY, Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel, and I Choose You! is reused as background music in this episode.
- Aim to Be a Pokémon Master's original 1997 version is used as an insert song in the original version, while Pokémon Theme (Gotta Catch 'Em All) is used in the English dub.
- This episode marks the first physical appearance of multiple human characters in the anime after long absences:
- As of this episode, every human main character introduced up to this point has physically appeared during Pokémon Journeys: The Series.
- This episode features twenty human main characters, the highest amount in any episode up to this point.
- As of this episode, Togetic is the only main character (human or Pokémon) across the anime up to this point who hasn’t appeared during this series.
- This episode marks the first time outside of openings and endings in which every human main character up to this point has physically appeared since The Right Place and the Right Mime, 810 episodes earlier.
- May's physical appearance is updated to match her game counterpart's design in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and is shown wearing the Contest Costume that her counterpart wears, with the costume previously being worn by Chloe in Reuniting for the First Time!.
- This marks the first time outside of openings and endings that every one of Ash's Pokémon up to this point has appeared in the same episode since Mystery at the Lighthouse, 1,204 episodes earlier.
- This episode marks the first appearance of several of Ash's Pokémon after long absences:
- Lapras, who last appeared in Lapras of Luxury, 960 episodes earlier.
- Pidgeot and Primeape, who both last appeared in The Fires of a Red-Hot Reunion!, 444 episodes earlier.
- Goodra, who last appeared in Till We Compete Again!, 278 episodes earlier.
- Butterfree, Squirtle, and Larvitar, who all last appeared in Alola, Kanto!, 236 episodes earlier.
- This episode also marks the first time Ambipom is seen since To Thine Own Pokémon Be True!, 627 episodes earlier. She, however, was seen as an Aipom in a flashback in Friends, Rivals, Lend Me Your Spirit!.
- The only Pokémon Ash has owned which didn't appear in this episode are ones he owned for less than an episode and Haunter (who was never officially caught).
- This episode marks the first time that Leon is defeated in an onscreen battle.
- This episode also marks the first time Leon's Charizard has been knocked out onscreen.
- As of this episode, Alder is the only regional Champion, current or former, to have not been defeated in an onscreen battle.
- This episode marks the first appearance of a Manectric and an Ambipom in the anime since Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel, over six years prior.
- This is the first time Pikachu has Gigantamaxed since his ability to do so was first revealed in The Climb to Be the Very Best!, 119 episodes earlier.
- This episode marks the first time a Trainer is seen Gigantamaxing more than one Pokémon in a single battle, as well as the first time a Pokémon is seen using more than a single power-up—in this case, using a Z-Move and Gigantamaxing—in a single battle.
- Despite being present in all but one episode of the arc, this is the first episode in which Morpeko turns into Full Belly Mode during the Masters Eight Tournament. The form change may reflect the conclusion of the tournament.
- Morpeko is seen eating Darumaka box lunches from Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice in this episode.
- Since Brock and Cilan are shown watching Ash's battle together, it's most likely that they have learned they are both mutual friends of his after failing to do so in BWS01.
- Eternatus's role in this episode is similar to that of the guardian deities in From Z to Shining Z!, as they both appear during the last battle of a tournament arc to allow one more use of a power-up in that very battle.
- One of the scenes where Pikachu's Thunderbolt and Charizard's Fire Blast collide is remarkably similar to a scene in the third version of One, Two, Three.
- Ash flipping his hat when he and Pikachu are ready to finish off the battle against Leon is very reminiscent to when he did so when he and Pikachu were battling Tobias and his Latios in The Semi-Final Frontier!.
- Pikachu's method of charging in with his final Thunderbolt is very reminiscent of his former use of Volt Tackle. Furthermore, the way his body sparks after finishing the attack is similar to Volt Tackle's recoil effect.
- The painting on the wall of Ash's hotel room at the end of the episode is similar to "A sailing ship on a high sea by moonlight" by Ivan Aivazovsky. His greatest work is considered to be a painting called "The Ninth Wave", making this a potential reference to Generation IX.
- As of this episode, Leon's Charizard has used more moves than any other individual Pokémon in the anime, with a total of 20, surpassing Ash's Pikachu's record of 19 used moves. It has also used all of them in a single series, unlike Pikachu.
- This episode marks the final appearance of May, Max, Dawn, Iris, Serena, Clemont, Bonnie, Lana, Kiawe, Lillie, Sophocles, Mallow, Todd Snap, Cynthia, Alexa, Diantha, Professor Kukui, Gladion, Professor Burnet, Rose, Sonia, Lei, Oleana, Professor Magnolia, and Dan.
- This episode marks the final physical appearance of Ash's Lycanroc and Melmetal.
- Unshō Ishizuka was added into the credits for this episode, with archived audio of his voice being used for Kingler, Muk, Swellow, and Boldore.
- The English dub title is based on the term "partners in crime."
- Danika, Danika's Azumarill, Gary, Goh, Horace, Quillon, and Grookey narrate the preview for the next episode.
- The English dub's subtitles have several errors during the Pokémon Theme, as well as incorrectly listing one line as "present the best Win exciting battling.s".
- The muffling sound effect present when Pikachu is panting heavily and Ash cries out Pikachu's name afterwards is removed in the dub.
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