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| One Journey Ends, Another Begins...
Nyabby, Time to Begin the Journey!
|| April 6, 2017
| United States
|| July 1, 2017
|| Team Kato
|| 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Assistant director
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Animation directors
|| 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
| 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
| No additional credits are available at this time.
One Journey Ends, Another Begins... (Japanese: ニャビー、旅立ちの時！ Nyabby, Time to Begin the Journey!) is the 21st episode of the Sun & Moon series, and the 960th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on April 6, 2017, as a one-hour special alongside SM020, and in the United States on July 1, 2017, as part of a three-hour special.
After stealing his groceries again, the wild Litten comes to Ash for help when its friend Stoutland starts to have trouble breathing. Ash struggles to get it to the Pokémon Center...but Stoutland is old, and there’s not much Nurse Joy can do.
Ash watches over Litten as it mourns for its dear friend, and even Meowth offers a compassionate ear. In time, a beautiful rainbow helps revive the joyful memories, and Litten begins to feel better. Ash invites Litten to join his team to continue the training it started with Stoutland—and after a battle, Litten agrees. The memories are still fresh, but Litten has a new life ahead!
On a shopping trip for food, Ash and Pikachu end up carrying many bags. After Rotom offers to carry one, it ends up dropping it and causes a doughnut to fall out, which is picked up by the old lady from the marketplace. Recognizing her, Ash receives the doughnut, but it is immediately intercepted by Litten, who steals it and runs off. The group chases after Litten to find it run under a bridge and give the doughnut to Stoutland. Ash realizes that this was where Litten and Stoutland moved after their first encounter and observes how Stoutland is teaching Litten how to use Fire Fang. Although Litten accumulates enough strength to pull off the move, it fails to maintain the intensity at the last second, causing it to recoil. Ash's group goes down to visit Stoutland, and the narrator recalls Ash's peculiar relationship with Litten, as the Pokémon has seemingly refused to bond with Ash despite their multiple encounters. Litten initially turns down Ash's offer of food until rebuked by Stoutland. As Stoutland continues to mentor Litten, Ash observes Stoutland having breathing problems.
That night, Professor Kukui reviews video footage Rotom took of Litten and Stoutland, remarking that it's rare for two completely different species of Pokémon to work on moves together in such a close way, and notes that Stoutland has taken extremely good care of its friend.
The next day after school, Ash suggests to Pikachu that they should go visit Litten and Stoutland once again. Upon saying this, Team Rocket appears out of nowhere, but their motto gets interrupted when Litten suddenly attacks them with Ember and comes running up to Ash, asking him to follow. Ash commands Pikachu to use Electro Ball on the ground before Team Rocket, using the distraction created to disappear with Pikachu and Litten. While Jessie and James decide to retreat, Meowth insists on going after Litten and runs off to find them. Upon Ash arriving under the bridge, he sees Stoutland has collapsed on the ground. Rotom declares that Stoutland is undergoing severe breathing problems, and Ash decides to carry Stoutland to the Pokémon Center on his back despite Stoutland's size. Nearby, Meowth watches on silently, as a nearby withering tree sheds more of its leaves.
At the Pokémon Center's emergency room, Stoutland is taken care of by Nurse Joy and her Pokémon as it has various medical equipment hooked up to it, while Litten, Ash and Pikachu watch from outside. As soon as the door opens, Litten rushes inside the ward as Nurse Joy and Ash discuss Stoutland's condition. Nurse Joy says that Stoutland isn't suffering from an injury or disease, but the rest of her explanation is shut off as the door closes behind Litten as it licks Stoutland. Outside, Ash asks Nurse Joy if Litten knows the truth behind Stoutland's condition, and Nurse Joy replies that she can sense it does. Ash then calls Kukui, asking to stay by Stoutland's side for the night; Kukui gives Ash his permission, noting that Ash is the only human Litten willingly trusts. Later that night, Ash brings food for Litten and Stoutland, only to find them missing from the emergency room. Knowing where they have gone, Ash and Pikachu run out to look for the two Pokémon, coming across Meowth. Meowth tells them that he wants Litten to be protected before leaving, much to Ash's surprise. Stoutland, back under the bridge, attempts to teach Litten once more how to use Fire Fang, but Litten fails once more. Stoutland then falls asleep and Litten curls up next to it.
In a dream, Litten stands in a white void and sees Stoutland in front of it, prompting it to run up to Stoutland but unable to catch up as Stoutland drifts away into the distance. Waking up, Litten finds that Stoutland has gone missing, and begins searching for Stoutland at their old hideout, the market and a cliffside, but is unable to find Stoutland. Upon returning to the couch under the bridge, Litten witnesses the couch Stoutland had been resting on finally break and collapse under its weight and dilapidation; nearby the final leaf falls off the dying tree, coming to a rest on the couch. Looking up at the bare tree, Litten realizes that Stoutland is gone forever and begins to howl at the sky as rain begins to fall. Carrying umbrellas, Ash and Kukui with Rotom in tow come to visit Litten under the bridge. Rotom asks where Stoutland has gone; Kukui, realizing that Stoutland has passed on, bows his head and apologizes as Ash and Pikachu watch in silence. Litten curls up on the broken couch, falling asleep. Back in Team Rocket's hideout, Meowth looks sadly up at the sky out of concern for Litten, much to the confusion of his teammates. Bewear offers him a gentle hug, drawing a stiff response from Meowth that he isn't in the mood. Following this, Ash receives some food from the old lady, who tells him that Litten is welcome to visit any time. Returning to the bridge, Ash offers Litten the food, but Litten refuses to eat.
Ash spends the day staring out in the rain during school, on the bridge, and at Professor Kukui's, concerned about Litten. Back at the bridge, Meowth is seen asking Litten to tell him what happened, saying that opening oneself to others can help it get over its grief, but quickly runs off as he sees Ash approaching. As his other Pokémon greet Litten, Ash tells Litten that his group is staying by its side until it starts eating again.
By the time the rain stops, Ash and his Pokémon have fallen asleep with Litten. Rousing awake, Litten sees a rainbow etched in the sky; behind it is a cloud formation that resembles Stoutland, which looks back at it just as Litten remembered. The sight convinces Litten to accept what happened to Stoutland and move on. Waking up as well, Ash offers a Sitrus Berry he brought for Litten, only for the Pokémon to push it back to him. The two do this back and forth until Pikachu falls down from dizziness, watching the exchange. Ash then asks Litten to become his Pokémon, saying that he wants to help Litten master Fire Fang. Litten initially seems to agree, but attacks Ash with Ember; nearby, Meowth muses that Litten wants to battle Ash for it, having decided that it doesn't want Ash's pity.
Ash uses Pikachu, trading many attacks with Litten with neither side having a distinct advantage. Eventually, having fought to a standstill, Ash asks Litten if it accepts him as his Trainer, and Litten agrees, jumping into a Poké Ball Ash throws in the air. Meowth leaves, knowing that Litten's capture is ultimately for the best, and remarks that he and Litten are enemies from now on. Ash then sends out Litten who is greeted by the other Pokémon, and they share the food Ash had brought along as the narrator closes the episode.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Stoutland
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