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SM035 : Currying Favor and Flavor!
Sun & Moon series
SM037 : Rising from the Ruins!
Trials and Determinations!
SM036   EP975
Lychee's Grand Trial! The Hardest Pokémon Match!!
First broadcast
Japan August 3, 2017
United States October 21, 2017
English themes
Opening Under The Alolan Sun
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター -20th Anniversary-
Ending ポーズ
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
Storyboard 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Assistant director 小柴純弥 Junya Koshiba
Animation director 大西雅也 Masaya Onishi
No additional credits are available at this time.

Trials and Determinations! (Japanese: ライチの大試練!一番ハードなポケモン勝負!! Lychee's Grand Trial! The Hardest Pokémon Match!!) is the 36th episode of the Sun & Moon series, and the 975th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on August 3, 2017 and in the United States on October 21, 2017.

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


The day of Ash’s grand trial against Kahuna Olivia is finally here, and it’s a Double Battle! Olivia’s Probopass and Lycanroc face off against Ash’s Rowlet and a strangely aggressive Rockruff. After Olivia sets a trap on the battlefield, Ash instructs Rowlet to grab Rockruff by the scruff of the neck so they can fly above it. They defeat Probopass, but Rockruff lashes out at Rowlet and knocks it out!

Rockruff feels terrible about this but soon regains its focus and takes Lycanroc down. Ash wins the grand trial and the Rock-type Z-Crystal, and Olivia has an explanation for Rockruff’s unusually aggressive behavior—she thinks it’s going to evolve soon!


At the beginning of the episode, Ash is training with Rowlet trying to perfect the Grass-type Z-Move, Bloom Doom. Ash got the Grassium Z after beating Totem Lurantis in a battle. Mallow tells Ash how to pose properly after the Z-Move failed. When Ash's Pokémon join Ash after the Z-Move practice, Rockruff bites Ash when Ash patted Rockruff. Rockruff looked more fired up than usual.

Before the Grand Trial, Olivia was seen in the Ruins of Life, praying to Tapu Lele, the island guardian and she told Tapu Lele that she will be challenging Ash.

Ash and friends head over to the Ruins of Life where Professor Kukui tells Ash that this will be the place where Ash battles Olivia. They head into a forest area where the rectangular stone battlefield is surrounded by large amounts of flowers and ancient stone pillars. Olivia comes onto the battlefield with Lycanroc and Ash's Rockruff gets worked up more than before and starts barking at Olivia and Lycanroc. Rockruff bites Ash again when Ash tries to control Rockruff. It leaps out of Ash's hands and wants to battle Lycanroc. It is revealed by Olivia that the battle is a double battle due to Ash's impressive handling of Z-Crystals, his success with performing Z-Moves and previous successes with his trials. Olivia is going to use Probopass and Lycanroc whilst Ash is going to use Rowlet and Rockruff.

Ash begins with Rowlet using Leafage and Rockruff using Rock Throw. Lycanroc uses Rock Slide to destroy the incoming attacks and blows away Rowlet and Rockruff. Probopass uses Stealth Rock and creates large rock pillars which surround Rowlet and Rockruff. Rowlet grabs Rockruff and flies out of the trap whilst using Leafage. Leafage makes contact on Probopass. Probopass reacts by making its little noses use Magnet Bomb but Rockruff uses Rock Throw to blow them away. However, one remains and uses Magnet Bomb causing damage to Rockruff and Rowlet. They are pushed back into the pillar trap.

Rowlet and Rockruff have taken a large amount of damage and look exhuasted but Ash is still fired up and ready. Probopass uses Zap Cannon whilst Lycanroc uses Accelerock. Rowlet quickly reacts with Leafage which makes contact. Lycanroc uses the little noses to jump into the sky to catch Rowlet and makes contact with Accelerock. Zap Cannon was fired to Rowlet but Rockruff pushed one of the little noses to the Zap Cannon which protected Rowlet. Rowlet thanks Rockruff but Rockruff barks loudly back. Rockruff's impatience and fieriness has elevated dramatically.

Olivia tells the mini noses to surround Rowlet and Rockruff. Olivia uses her Z-Move with Lycanroc. Ash tells Rowlet to fly in the air with Rockruff. Lycanroc uses Continental Crush and Rowlet and Rockruff stay directly underneath the rock but quickly fly away thus not taking any damage and crushing the stone pillars in the process. Olivia reacts by making Probopass use Giga Impact and Lycanroc use Rock Slide. Rowlet uses Leafage to destroy the Rock Slide and Rockruff uses Bite on Lycanroc. But Rockruff doesn't get there in time and Probopass turns around and makes contact with Rockruff. Rockruff is thrown against the cliff-face but comes back and uses Bite on Lycanroc and makes contact. Probopass uses Magnet Bomb on Rowlet but uses manoeuvring to make the little noses attack Probopass instead. Ash then decides to use the Grass-type Z-Move with Rowlet. To stop Ash from using it, Probopass uses Giga Impact but doesn't reach Rowlet in time. This time Ash got the Z-Move right and Probopass got attacked by Bloom Doom and was declared unable to battle.

Rockruff is getting even more worked up. Unfortunately, Rockruff resists Rowlet when trying to lift Rockruff into the air and uses Bite on Rowlet. This made Rowlet unable to battle and Rockruff realises his mistake. Rockruff becomes really sad but Ash has already forgiven Rockruff. Ash said he will battle alongside Rockruff by using Rockruff's Rock Throw pose (on all fours on the floor and copying Rockruff's Rock Throw). Rockruff uses Rock Throw whilst Lycanroc uses Accelerock. They both make contact. Rockruff uses Bite but misses and Lycanroc reacts with Rock Slide. Rockruff uses the rocks to jump, gets close to Lycanroc and delivers a Rock Throw at close range. As a result, Lycanroc falls onto the battlefield and is also pronounced unable to battle. Ash wins his Grand Trial. However, Rockruff faints in exhaustion.

Olivia and friends praise Ash and Olivia gives Ash a Rock Type Z-Crystal, Rockium Z, for winning the battle, which is his fourth Z-Crystal. Olivia being quite elated, falls over when giving him the Z-Crystal but gets back up. Ash shows Rockruff the Z-Crystal, but this doesn't help its upset feeling about attacking Rowlet. Olivia tells Ash that Rockruff is going to evolve soon. Kukui tells Ash that Rockruff behave this way when they are close to evolving, becoming more aggressive and independent. After the battle, Tapu Lele's sparkle can be seen raining down on the battlefield. Ash and friends see Tapu Lele in the sky for a brief moment.

Major events

Ash holding the Rockium 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?: Probopass



  • When Ash commands Rowlet to use Leafage at the start of the battle, Rowlet's wings glow, but when Rowlet is shown again, they aren't and then start to glow again.
  • When Ash takes the Rockium Z from Olivia's hand, she is still shown holding it in her hand.

Dub edits

In other languages

SM035 : Currying Favor and Flavor!
Sun & Moon series
SM037 : Rising from the Ruins!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.