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| Guiding an Awakening!
Kuchinashi's Grand Trial! Lugarugan Awakens!!
|| May 31, 2018
| United States
|| November 3, 2018
|| Team Kato
|| 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
|| 樋口香里 Kaori Higuchi
| Assistant director
|| 毛利和昭 Kazuaki Mōri
| Animation director
|| 大西雅也 Masaya Onishi
| No additional credits are available at this time.
Guiding an Awakening! (Japanese: クチナシの大試練！ルガルガン覚醒！！ Kuchinashi's Grand Trial! Lugarugan Awakens!!) is the 77th episode of the Sun & Moon series, and the 1,016th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on May 31, 2018, in New Zealand on September 28, 2018, in Canada on October 20, 2018, in Australia and the United Kingdom on October 30, 2018, and in the United States on November 3, 2018.
Ash’s grand trial on Ula’ula Island is in full swing, and the kahuna has lots of twists and turns in store for the battle!
Following Ash’s victory at the Abandoned Thrifty Megamart, Ula’ula Island Kahuna Nanu agrees to battle him in a grand trial! But there’s a catch—Ash must defeat three of Nanu’s Pokémon using only one of his.
He chooses Lycanroc, whose training has paid off, as it quickly defeats Nanu’s Krookodile. Next up is Sableye, and Lycanroc lands another win. But when Nanu sends out his Alolan Persian and begins taunting Ash, Lycanroc’s temper begins to flare—leading Ash to realize that Lycanroc is channeling that anger into power! Determined, Lycanroc learns the move Counter and defeats Persian. Ash wins a Lycanium Z and his third grand trial!
Accompanied by Nanu, Acerola enters the empty Ruins of Abundance and leaves an offering of Berries. Later, Ash, with the Rockium Z equipped to his Z-Ring, challenges Nanu to a grand trial battle. At the battlefield, Acerola wishes Ash good luck as she takes her position as the referee. It is then revealed that in order for Ash to clear the Ula'ula Island grand trial, he must defeat three of Nanu's Pokémon with only one of his. Ash uses Lycanroc and tells the judgmental Nanu that Lycanroc is motivated.
Nanu calls out his Krookodile, but Lycanroc remains unfazed by its opponent's Intimidate Ability. When Acerola calls for the match to begin, Nanu starts off with Mud-Slap, which Lycanroc avoids, only to fall into a Sand Tomb. Krookodile uses another Mud-Slap, and Lycanroc's eyes turn red after its fur is dirtied. This time, however, it simply jumps out of the Sand Tomb, and its eyes return to normal as it shakes off the mud. Ash tries to order Lycanroc to use Accelerock, but he remembers Krookodile used Counter to defeat Lycanroc last time. He opts to use Rock Throw instead, but Krookodile destroys it with its tail. Ash repeats the move, but Krookodile uses the same tactic to defend itself.
Nanu realizes that Ash is attempting to avoid close-range combat and has Krookodile approach with Crunch. Lycanroc dodges it and uses another Rock Throw, but the attack is again swatted away by Krookodile's tail. Nanu claims the battle is getting boring and calls Ash gutless for his fear of Krookodile's Counter, reminding him that a Pokemon battle is meant to be an exchange of power. Lycanroc also shares these sentiments, so Ash orders Accelerock. Krookodile goes to use Counter, but is struck by Lycanroc's speed before it has the chance, much to Nanu's surprise. Krookodile is then overwhelmed by Lycanroc's follow-up Rock Throw and subsequently defeated. Ash thanks Nanu for his sharp words, which he says motivated him to fight. Nanu says lying can be a good strategy and that he planned to lure Ash into a Counter situation.
Nanu sends out his Sableye and starts the match off with Shadow Ball. When Lycanroc's Rock Throw cancels out the attack, Sableye follows up with Shadow Sneak, which inflicts some damage on Lycanroc. Ash calls for Bite, but it collides with Sableye's Shadow Claw. Before Lycanroc can attack again, Sableye freezes it in place with Mean Look. Ash calls for an attack, but Lycanroc is unable to move and is subsequently struck by several Shadow Claws. After being hit by Shadow Sneak, Lycanroc reverts to its red-eyed form and goes on to evade another onslaught of Shadow Claws. Nanu takes a moment to inform Ash that Lycanroc seems to be much stronger whenever it is angry, but Ash fears his Pokémon will not listen to his instructions. He has Lycanroc use Stone Edge, which defeats Sableye. Nanu recalls his Pokémon, surprised by Lycanroc's new move, while Ash notices Lycanroc is panting heavily from exhaustion. This prompts Tapu Bulu to approach and deliver a Sitrus Berry, which rejuvenates Lycanroc.
Nanu's Alolan Persian is sent out. Its Power Gem strikes Lycanroc down, but Persian takes a hit from Lycanroc's Stone Edge. Nanu takes another swipe at Ash, noting that Lycanroc could perform better without its Trainer. While Ash is angered by Nanu's inflammatory comments, Persian lands a Dark Pulse on Lycanroc. The attacks hits its mark, and Rotom quickly realizes that this is another distraction tactic. Lycanroc shakes off the attack, but after another two Dark Pulses it again enters its red eyed state. Nanu admits he is trying to make Lycanroc lose control and earn himself the victory. Ash calls for Lycanroc to calm down, while Nanu continues to call Ash a worthless Trainer. Nanu sees another opportunity as Ash is again enraged, and Persian strikes Lycanroc with a Night Slash. Nanu argues that he is a Dark-type specialist and defends his so-called unfair tactics. As Persian is about to finish Lycanroc off, Ash call for his Pokémon to calm down. Lycanroc suddenly turns on Ash and knocks him to the ground.
Ash gazes into Lycanroc's red eyes and realizes that it is a sign that it grew in power, and was not blinded by rage. He apologizes for not noticing Lycanroc's control over its power and for becoming distracted by Nanu's comments. Lycanroc nudges Ash and accepts the apology, which allows the match to resume. Lycanroc dodges several Night Slashes and responds with a new move, Counter. Nanu is amused by the development and resorts to using his Z-Crystal. He activates its power and has Persian perform Black Hole Eclipse. However, Ash replies with a Z-Move of his own and has Lycanroc unleash a Continental Crush. The large mound of rock is consumed by the black hole, and the two attacks cancel each other out. Lycanroc follows up with Accelerock, and Persian is defeated. Acerola officially calls the match, with Ash winning the grand trial.
Nanu congratulates his opponent and pulls out a Darkinium Z, though he quickly retracts his offering and notes that Ash isn't the type of guy that would use it. Instead he gives Ash a different Z-Crystal, a Lycanium Z. Ash is amazed as Nanu explains that the Z-Crystal is exclusive to Lycanroc. A sudden ring of a cow bell causes the group to look up, and it is Tapu Bulu who drops another Sitrus Berry to Lycanroc.
Later, Ash and his Pokémon leave Ula'ula Island, with Acerola waving him off and wishing for his return someday soon. Ash waves goodbye to her, and invites her to visit the Pokémon School one day. As the ship sails into the distance, Nanu watches on and admits Ash is an interesting guy. Acerola points out that he could have said goodbye to Ash, but Nanu shrugs off the idea. Acerola still feels that Nanu enjoyed the battle, though Nanu notes that he couldn't afford to slack off and did his best. As they sail into the sunset, Ash readies his Pokémon and hopes to clear the next Grand Trial.
Ash holding the Lycanium Z
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Sableye (US and international), Persian (Alolan Form) (Japan)
- Poké Problem: Which one of these is the final Pokémon Nanu sends out in today's episode?
- Aim to Be a Pokémon Master -20th Anniversary- is used as an insert song when Ash and Lycanroc perform Continental Crush.
- Sophocles, Mallow, Ash, Lana, Kiawe, Lillie, and a Blacephalon all narrate the preview for the next episode.
- As of this episode, all variations of Quick Attack have been used in the anime.
- The period from Why Not Give Me a Z-Ring Sometime? to this episode marks the longest time Ash has been without his friends or classmates in the anime, being a span of five episodes.
- Ash, Acerola, Nanu, and Rotom read the Who's That Pokémon? segment in the dub.
- The closed captions for the dub mistakenly shows the answer to the Who's That Pokémon? segment as "It's Sableye! (Alolan Form)".
- The kanji for "grand trial" used in the Japanese VS screen was changed to "VS".
In other languages