| In the Knicker of Time!
Jiguzaguma and the Short-pantsed Boy! Haruka's First Battle
|| December 19, 2002
| United States
|| November 22, 2003
|| Team Ota
|| 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
|| 新留俊哉 Toshiya Niidome
| Assistant director
|| 鈴木敏明 Toshiaki Suzuki
| Animation director
|| 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
| Additional credits
In the Knicker of Time! (Japanese: ジグザグマと短パン小僧！ハルカはじめてのバトル！！ Jiguzaguma and Short-pantsed Boy! Haruka's First Battle!) is the fifth episode of the Advanced Generation series and the 279th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on December 19, 2002 and in the United States on November 22, 2003.
Brock is ready to travel again and has joined up with Ash, May and Max as the journey on towards Rustboro City. In the forest they encounter a giant Zigzagoon, which they soon realize is actually a trainer in a Zigzagoon suit. Nicholai the Knickerbocker is a trainer that believes in becoming one with Pokémon in order to understand them. While battling, he wears a costume of whichever Pokémon he is using. When not dressed as a Pokémon, he wears knickers in order to be closer to nature. Nicholai is very excited to learn that May is the daughter of the Petalburg Gym leader. He challenges her to a battle and quickly defeats her. Nicholai taunts her for losing, saying that he doesn't think her father will be difficult to beat since she is such an inexperienced trainer. Brock, Ash and May shrug off the defeat and continue on their way, but Max is furious. Without telling anyone, he goes off in search of Nicholai to defend his father's honor—but what will happen when he gets in trouble with a pack of angry Zigzagoon?
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As Brock, Ash, May and Max continue towards Rustboro City, Ash is using Pikachu in a battle against a trainer's Beedrill. Beedrill uses Twineedle and it hits Pikachu. Ash tells Pikachu to use Thunderbolt and it hits Beedrill. The boy tells it to get up, but Beedrill is knocked out. Meaning Ash wins the battle. The boy thanks Beedrill for doing great and Ash for a great battle as they both shake hands.
In the forest they encounter a giant Zigzagoon, which they soon realize is actually a Trainer in a Zigzagoon suit. The Trainer is Nicholai the knickerbocker; who believes in becoming one with Pokémon in order to understand them. When Nicholai learns that May is the daughter of the Petalburg Gym Leader Norman and instantly asks for a battle, May accepts. However, Brock claims she is not ready as Torchic is still inexperienced.
In the battle Nicholai sends out a Mudkip while May sends out Torchic, Nicholai quickly changes into a Mudkip costume. May uses Ember while Nicholai commands a Water Gun that drenches the Ember. May orders a Peck attack, to which Max warns against, but it is too late, and Nicholai commands Mudkip to blast Torchic with a close-range water gun, knocking it out. Nicholai starts to make jokes on how easy it was to battle May and her father may be easier, this makes Max furious but Ash, Brock and May shrugs off the insult.
While having lunch, May realizes Max is missing they go on to search for him. Nearby Max is seen with a handful of Berries and drops them on the ground then out of nowhere a group of Zigzagoon comes for the food, when all the food is finished the group of Zigzagoon ask for more, but Max says there is no more. This makes the Zigzagoon angry as they start attacking Max. At that point Ash, May and Brock arrives and try to save Max, but before they could do anything a big Zigzagoon appeared, it's Nicholai, Nicholai tames the Zigzagoon and captures one of them.
Team Rocket then attempts to steal Nicholai's Mudkip. However, Nicholai saves it by dressing up in different Pokémon costumes.
After the apology from Max, Ash and Nicholai have a battle; Ash sends out Taillow he caught last episode and Nicholai sends out his newly-acquired Zigzagoon. The episode concludes as both of them fight with their new Pokémon.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- Jessie and James narrate the next episode preview. Instead of the normal preview music, the music for the Team Rocket motto is played.
- This is the very last time that Ash and his friends battle Jessie's Arbok and James's Weezing.
- The English episode title is a pun on the phrase "in the nick of time."
- This episode is featured on Volume 10: Mudkip and Volume 19: Torchic from Viz Media's Pokémon All-Stars series.
- This is the only episode to be featured in Viz Media's Pokémon All-Stars series more than once.
- The costumes worn by Nicholai are the same as those that can be bought in Pokémon Trainer Store at Pokemon.com.
- Max claims that an average Zigzagoon weighs only 8 pounds, but in the games they weigh an average of 38.6 pounds.
- Nicholai says that he is a Tentacool when wearing a Tentacruel costume.
- However, this was corrected in the Finnish dub.
- After Torchic faints, Mudkip's and Nicholai's costume's jaws are dark blue, when they should be the same as Mudkip's belly, and Mudkip's and Nicholai's costume's left cheeks are blue instead of orange.
- When Nicholai walks away after defeating May, his Mudkip is on his right shoulder but when Team Rocket is watching him through their binoculars, the Mudkip is on his left shoulder.
- When Brock takes the food from Max to feed the Zigzagoon, he says there is enough for all the Zigzagoon, when he is only holding seven fruits. There were noticeably a lot more than seven Zigzagoon.
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