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SM008 : Lillie's Egg-xhilarating Challenge!
Sun & Moon series
SM010 : Trial and Tribulation!
To Top a Totem!
SM009   EP948
The Leader Pokémon is Dekagūsu!
First broadcast
Japan January 5, 2017
United States May 19, 2017
English themes
Opening Under The Alolan Sun
Japanese themes
Opening アローラ!!
Ending ポーズ
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 松井亜弥 Aya Matsui
Storyboard 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Assistant director 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Animation director 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
No additional credits are available at this time.

To Top a Totem! (Japanese: ぬしポケモンはデカグース! The Leader Pokémon is Dekagūsu!) is the ninth episode of the Sun & Moon series, and the 948th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on January 5, 2017, in Canada on May 13, 2017, and in the United States on May 19, 2017.

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


Hala asks Ash how to keep Alolan Rattata and Raticate from overrunning the town. With his classmates’ help, Ash suggests recruiting their natural rivals, Yungoos and Gumshoos. Hala agrees, and Ash faces his first trial: battling the enormous Totem Gumshoos and its allies to gain their assistance!

When Ash wins, Totem Gumshoos gives him a Z-Crystal, then takes its team into town to send all the pests running. Ash’s next step on the island challenge will be a grand trial—a battle against Kahuna Hala!


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Ash and Pikachu are sleeping in Professor Kukui's house when Ash wakes up and has a look at his Z-Ring and remembers his battle with Tapu Koko where his Electrium Z shattered. Rotom goes to wake them up before noticing that Ash is already awake. Ash is hoping to be able to use Z-Moves again and decides he has to get more crystals as Pikachu continues to sleep. During breakfast, Ash explains to Professor Kukui that he wants to get a lot stronger and then have a rematch with Tapu Koko and try the Z-Moves again. Professor Kukui sees that he is really fired up as Ash remembers he can get Z-Crystals by going through the island challenge which Professor Kukui confirms is one way but the most certain way and needs to pass the grand trial of each of the Island Kahuna's. Ash asks how they do it but Rotom stops Professor Kukui from answering and explains that a grand trial is a battle with between the challenger and the island Kahuna and if the trainer wins, the Kahuna acknowledges the trainer's worthiness which excites Ash but Professor Kukui says he shouldn't be too over confident as Rotom explains that the grand trials come after smaller trials. Seeing Ash's determination to take part, Professor Kukui suggests they first pay Hala a visit as he is the Kahuna of Melemele Island. They leave with Professor Kukui telling Rockruff to guard the house whilst they are gone.

In a field, a large group of Alolan Rattata and Alolan Raticate and eating the fruit when they are confronted by the owner and leave but end up startling three Tauros who are pulling a cart of timber which are sent flying. Along the road, Professor Kukui, Ash and Rotom are walking when they spot several villagers cross their path in a hurry and spot the accident that occurred with the Tauros as Officer Jenny informs the villagers that the road has been closed until the timber can be removed as the driver checks on his Tauros who are uninjured. Professor Kukui speaks to Officer Jenny who explains what happened. Ash is surprised as Officer Jenny asks if he is a student at the Pokémon School, which Ash confirms and introduces himself. Officer Jenny tells Ash that she graduated from the school but is distracted when a man and his Hariyama start picking up the timber. Ash notes that the man is strong as Professor Kukui introduces Ash to Hala. Ash goes to help pick up a timber but isn't able to lift it as Hala notices his Z-Ring before lifting the timber that Pikachu was trying to lift as Officer Jenny thanks him for his help. Four Machamp arrive on scene as part of the clean up crew and working together quickly clear the timber as Officer Jenny thanks everyone for their co-operation as Ash tells Hala that he is here for the Island Challenge which Hala already knew as he has been waiting and invites them to his house some time.

The next day, Professor Kukui, Ash and Rotom are at Hala's house as Rotom takes pictures of Hariyama to update its data, Ash notices a room full of Z-Rings as Hala explains that his Z-Ring is one that he made which surprises Ash as he got it from Tapu Koko. Hala thought this was the case and explains that one day he noticed a Z-Ring was missing and realized it was the work of Tapu Koko and says that this was the first time it had ever happened and tells Ash that Tapu Koko appears to have a strange interest in him. Ash tells Hala that he is keen to get a Z-Crystal as soon as he can for when he plans to battle Tapu Koko again. Hala decides to set Ash a question and tells Ash about the group of wild Rattata and Raticate causing trouble on the island and asks if he was the person tasked with solving the problem, what would he do. Ash responds saying he would use Pikachu and Rowlet and battle them but Hala interrupts him asking if he is curious to know why the island challenge started and explains it wasn't to make trainers stronger but to raise them in a way to protect and love the islands of Alola as well as the people and Pokémon who inhabit them and tasks Ash with looking for answers that won't just lead him to battle as Professor Kukui tells Ash that during his trial, he spent a lot of time thinking about the question as Hala gives Ash plenty of time to think of an answer.

The next day at school, Lillie puts her Pokémon egg on a cushion on a chair as Mallow notes she is now handling the egg with confidence but Lillie says she is always afraid she might drop the egg but Mallow points out she used to be afraid to even tough the egg as Ash struggles to find an answer to Hala's test. Mallow, Lillie and Lana ask Ash what is wrong as Rotom calucates he has said hmmn 786 times, much to Lillie's surprise as Kiawe joins them and asks what Hala said offering to help him out. Ash thanks them and mentions the group of Rattata and Raticate and Sophocles is aware of the trouble due to a neigbour and as Ash says Hala asked Ash what he would do with them without using his Pokémon. Lillie suggests if they learn more about Rattata and Raticate, they could come up with an answer as Rotom brings up an image of Rattata and Raticate. Ash is surprised that they are different from normal Rattata and Raticate and learns these are their Alola forms as Rotom provides Ash with their history, mentioning that groups of Gumshoos and Yungoos were brought in chase them off after their numbers grew which gives them an idea but their delight startles Togedemaru sending her running into Popplio and Bounsweet but Pikachu manages to calm her down.

In a clearing, Team Rocket have escaped from Bewear and are pleased at finally getting away though Jessie can't help but think all the food that Bewear provided was good and agrees that Bewear was a good caretaker but as they walk off, the Rattata and Raticate cross their path and send them flying but as they are delighted to be blasting off, they are caught mid-air by Bewear who carries them back to its den. Meanwhile Ash has suggested his idea to Hala who calls it a wise and thoughtful idea and says it is his idea too and tells Ash honestly that that his question was merely to test Ash to see if he has what it needs to go through the trial as Ash confesses that he had help from his classmates, fearing it might be wrong of him but Hala says that when searching for lives answers, they should look for answers with friends and they leave as a Psyduck falls out of the sky. Ash and Hala arrive at Verdant Cavern, Hala explains that there are several Gumshoos and Yungoos living in the cave who are very strong but there is one Gumshoos who is very strong, it is called a Totem Pokémon and explains there are several Pokémon called Totem Pokémon who follow the lead of the Island Guardians as they assist trainers who take part in the Island Challenge and informs Ash his challenge is to take on the Totem Pokémon in a battle and be victorious and with the aid of the Totem Pokémon to chase away the Rattata and Raticate. As they go inside, Ash asks why Gumshoos and Yungoos would team up with him but Hala isn't concerned and tells Ash if he can earn the Totem Pokémon's respect during the battle challenge, it will assist Ash in his time of need.

Ash is surprised by how huge it is inside as Hala calls out to the Totem Pokémon informing it that there is a trial goer as Ash calls out to challenge it as a Yungoos appears along with a Gumshoos. Ash asks if they are a Totem Pokémon but Hala informs Ash that they are the Totem Pokémon's allies and he has to battle them first. Ash asks Rotom for data on Yungoos and Gumshoos which he receives and learns that they are both Normal-types. Ash sends Pikachu to battle and brings out a sleeping Rowlet to assist but Ash soon wakes Rowlet up and the battle begins with Ash ordering Pikachu to use Thunderbolt and Rowlet to use Tackle but Gumshoos blinds them with Sand Attack, preventing their attacks from hitting before launching another attack. After Yungoos and Gumshoos finish their first attack on Rowlet and Pikachu, they immediately follow up with another. As Yungoos and Gumshoos prepare to attack Ash's Pokémon once again, Ash commands the two to dodge. After successfully dodging the combined attack, Ash commands Rowlet to use Leafage which creates a storm of leaves that not only surround Yungoos and Gumshoos but also provide Pikachu and Rowlet some cover. Ash commands Pikachu to use an Iron Tail and was about to give Rowlet a command but notices that Rowlet is gone. Both Ash and Hala then notice Rowlet behind Yungoos with Hala noting on Rowlets ability to fly silently. Seeing Rowlet in a favourable position, Ash commands Rowlet to use Tackle on the Yungoos while Pikachu uses Iron Tail on the Gumshoos. Both attacks hit their target and manage to knock out the Loitering and Stakeout Pokémon with Hala officially declaring the two Ally Pokémon unable to battle.

Ash and his Pokémon celebrate their victory, but their victory was short lived as they hear heavy footsteps from the deeper parts of the cavern. The source of those heavy footsteps reveal to be the Totem Pokémon Gumshoos, something Hala immediately notices upon seeing it. Ash is shocked on how big it is and comments on its size while Rotom notes that it is three times the size of a normal Gumshoos. The Totem Gumshoos lets out a loud roar which is strong enough to push back Rowlet but as this happens, something flies past to observe the battle between Ash and the Totem Pokémon unnoticed by those in the cavern. The Totem Gumshoos leaps into the air towards Pikachu to which Ash responds by ordering Pikachu to use Thunderbolt. But before that could happen, the Totem Gumshoos uses Frustration at Pikachu. However the Mouse Pokémon dodged the attack, albeit barely and counterattacks with a Thunderbolt which successfully hits Gumshoos. But the Stakeout Totem Pokémon manages to shrug off the attack and attacks again with Frustration, but this time it manages to hit Pikachu. This sends Pikachu flying and Gumshoos immediately appears behind Pikachu preparing for another attack. Rotom commenting on the Totem Gumshoos' high speed.

Ash then notices Rowlet flying behind Gumshoos and commands Rowlet to use a Tackle attack from behind. But just as Rowlet was about to hit the Totem Pokémon, it picks up a nearby rock and throws it at Rowlet before its Tackle managed to hit sending it flying at Ash who barely manages to catch Rowlet in time. It is then shown that Rowlet has been knocked out with Ash thanking Rowlet for its efforts in saving Pikachu as he returns the Grass Quill Pokémon to its ball. However this just left Pikachu to face Gumshoos all on its own! Ash clenches his fist in determination and commands Pikachu to use Electro Ball while the Totem Gumshoos uses Sand Attack in response to intercept the attack which proves to be successful as the Electro Ball gets deflected elsewhere. Pikachu watched in shock as his attack gets easily deflected, but this allowed Gumshoos' to hit Pikachu from behind which sent the Mouse Pokémon across the battlefield while barely managing to land onto his feet. Ash then orders Pikachu to use a Quick Attack with Rotom shouting about how Quick Attack will be ineffective against the large Stakeout Pokémon.

Pikachu uses the attack and begins to charge towards the Totem Gumshoos who responds with a Sand Attack. As the Totem Gumshoos uses Sand Attack, Ash tells Pikachu to use the sand as a cover much to the surprise of the Rotom. Pikachu ran directly into the sand and began running around Gumshoos, spreading the sand to create a thick dust cloud which not only disorientates the Totem Gumshoos but also causes Pikachu to disappear into the cloud, something that the Rotom comments on. Ash then confidently tells Pikachu to hit it now which Pikachu does by striking at the Totem Pokémon with a barrage of Quick Attacks which eventually causes the Stakeout Pokémon to fall to the ground. Ash commands Pikachu to finish it off with a Thunderbolt which gives the Totem Gumshoos a powerful shock. Tapu Koko observed this show of power which could determine the outcome of the battle.

However much to the shock of Ash and Pikachu, Gumshoos eventually manages to break out of the Thunderbolt a second time. As the Totem Gumshoos broke out of the Thunderbolt, it gave out a loud cry and looked like it was about to continue battling. But instead the Totem Stakeout Pokémon collapses to the ground, signalling it has been knocked out and unable to battle. Hala announces that the trial has finished and that the official winner is Ash. Ash then celebrates with Rotom and Pikachu but then notices the Totem Gumshoos slowly getting up from the ground. Ash runs up to the larger Gumshoos to see if its okay with Rotom exclaiming in fear that it is dangerous to approach the larger Pokémon. As Ash asks if it is alright, the Totem Gumshoos brushes Ash off but at the same time hands him a white gem. Ash asks if the gem is for him but the Totem Gumshoos thrusts its paw containing the gem towards Ash to reply affirmative. Hala sees the gem given by the Totem Gumshoos and expresses surprise in what it is while Ash proudly announces that he got a new Z-Crystal; theNormalium-Z. Rotom takes a picture of Ash and Pikachu with the new Z-Crystal while Hala thinks to himself that Ash is an unusual boy to be able to get a Z-Crystal directly from a Totem Pokémon; something that is a very rare occurrence. As this is all happening, Tapu Koko who has been watching the whole time then flies away.

Ash then asks the Totem Gumshoos if it could help him with the problem involving some Alolan Rattata and Alolan Raticate; with the Totem Gumshoos grinning in response. Meanwhile in a supermarket storage room, a large group of Alolan Rattata and Alolan Raticate burst out of boxes containing fruits and begins eating all the food inside. Outside the room Ash, Professor Kukui, Hala, Officer Jenny along with some backup and the Totem Gumshoos and ally Gumshoos and Yungoos all prepare to ambush the Alolan pests. Officer Jenny asks Ash if he is ready which he confirms as he thanks the Totem Gumshoos and its allies for its assistance. Professor Kukui alerts everyone that he and Officer Jenny are opening the doors and the moment they do, all the Alolan Mouse Pokémon stop eating to stare in horror and surprise at seeing the Pokémon species they fear the most. But despite the Totem Pokémon and allies presence, the group of Alolan Rattata and Alolan Raticate charge at the two Gumshoos and Yungoos. However their efforts of fighting back were in vain as the Alolan Rattata and Alolan Raticate were sent flying in large numbers as the Gumshoos and Yungoos unleash their attacks. As this happens, Officer Jenny notes on how the three Pokémon are doing such a wonderful job at scaring away the Alolan pests. The Alolan Rattata and Raticate then flee back into the wild as the two Gumshoos and Yungoos cry out in victory.

Rotom comments on how the plan worked just like the data about the Alolan Mouse Pokémon indicated. Officer Jenny saluted and thanked Ash but Ash said that he shouldn't be thanked but rather Yungoos and Gumshoos. Hala then approaches Ash and as Island Kahuna, officially recognises Ash as having completed the trial while Professor Kukui congratulates Ash on his victory. Hala then says that Ash has the Grand Trial up next for him and says that he is excited to battle Ash as he will be able to see Ash's Z-Move with his very eyes. Ash replies that he is excited for the battle as Pikachu agrees.

The narrator says that as Ash has completed the first trial, next up is the Grand Trial against Melemele Island's Kahuna Hala.

Major events

Ash holding the Normalium Z
For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.



Pokémon debuts



Dare da?


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Rattata (Alola Form) (US and international), Yungoos (Japan)



  • In the Brazilian Portuguese dub, the ending theme was not updated to have Lillie hold the Egg in her arms.

Dub edits

In other languages

SM008 : Lillie's Egg-xhilarating Challenge!
Sun & Moon series
SM010 : Trial and Tribulation!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.