| The Symbol Life
The Symbol Life (Japanese: 初陣！バトルファクトリー！！（後編） First Battle! Battle Factory! (Part Two)) is the 136th episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 410th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on July 28, 2005 and in the United States on April 22, 2006.
|Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.|
Ash has opted to battle Articuno with Charizard in his Battle Factory match. Now he's busy training with Charizard, who has gotten even stronger during its time in the Charicific Valley. Team Rocket, secretly watching from the roof of the Battle Factory, are hopeful they can snatch the impressive Pokémon for themselves. But when the battle gets underway, the roof of the Battle Factory opens and they fall into the main chamber where everyone can see them.
Articuno and Charizard waste no time in clearing out the intruders before Noland and Ash get down to business. This Articuno is tough and knows a Water-type attack, so Charizard is in for a rough time. The two Pokémon wage a fast-paced flying battle that looks like it might end in Noland's favor as Articuno ices up Charizard's wing. Good thing for Ash that Charizard has a new trick in store: Overheat!
Articuno also packs a powerful Steel Wing, but Charizard grabs it mid-attack and turns the move into a Seismic Toss. Articuno tries to get back up and battle, to no avail. Ash is awarded the Knowledge Symbol along with a Frontier Folio to hold his Battle Frontier Symbols, and Noland congratulates him on a battle well-fought. Next stop, the Battle Arena!
Ash, Brock, May, and Max are on their way through the Battle Frontier in Kanto, and are currently at the first challenge, the Battle Factory run by Factory Head Noland. A recap of the events of last episode, including the meeting of Articuno and Charizard, is shown.
We open up at sunset, and see Ash and Pikachu riding Charizard. Ash wants to see how much stronger Charizard has become, and tells Charizard to go from a steep dive into a steep climb, which Charizard does with ease. "That was great!" Ash exclaims. "I see you've been training," he teases. Charizard roars affirmatively. Ash now wants to see some of Charizard's attacks. He asks for Flamethrower, and Charizard breathes a large, far-reaching flame in the sky, far more powerful than in his last match against Harrison's Blaziken.
"Woah!" Max exclaims. "Look at that!" "It's amazing," May agrees. "Charizard's even more powerful than in the Johto League!" Max says. Brock explains that it's because Charizard keeps going up against all the other Charizard in the Charicific Valley. May doesn't understand why Ash left it there when they could have trained together. Brock tells May and Max how Ash thought that leaving it behind to train with the other Charizard would be the best thing for it. May thinks that's pretty cool and of how happy Ash and Charizard must be to be together again.
It cuts back to Ash, Pikachu, and Charizard as Ash orders a Dragon Breath. A dazzling burst of yellow-green flame erupts from Charizard's mouth, neatly blasting a hole through a cloud. Ash is impressed by Charizard's power and notes how much stronger it has become since the last time they met. He calls for some high-altitude flying, and Charizard shoots straight up, stunning May and Max with its Speed.
Team Rocket appears, watching Charizard through the binoculars. James claims that he can still feel the scorch marks from the last time they battled. Meowth says that it should be an incredible match, "fighting fire with real fire" as he puts it. He thinks they should have lunch and watch the battle while eating James's egg salad, but Jessie says no, and lays out her plan. They'll wait until Charizard tires out Articuno, and then they'll swipe the legendary Pokémon for their boss. Meowth wants to know what they'll do if Charizard gets beaten, and Jessie says they'll just take Charizard instead.
Ash, May, Brock, Max, and Scott are led into the Battle Factory's arena by Sergio, Nolan's top assistant and the designated official of this match. Ash thinks that the arena is great, and can hardly wait for the battle to begin. Noland enters and tells Ash that it's been a while since he's had a top-notch opponent, and he hopes Ash knows that he won't hold back. Ash says that he was counting on it, and Noland calls in Articuno, while Ash sends out Charizard. Max says he's never seen a Pokémon as great as Articuno, and May thinks that it's really beautiful. Scott suggests that they all go up to the stands.
It cuts to Team Rocket standing on the roof of the Battle Factory. James wants to know why they are this high up, and Meowth explains that they'll cut a hole in the roof, and when Articuno flies up high enough, they'll grab it and head off to the Boss. They begin to cut a hole in the roof with welding torches.
Back inside the Battle Factory, Max says that this will be an awesome match-up, while Brock remarks about how he's never seen an Articuno battle before. May starts cheering for Ash, but suddenly the roof begins to open up. Scott explains that it was designed to do that so that Flying-type Pokémon would be able to use their full potential. Cut back to a startled Team Rocket, who fall off the roof and into the arena. They say their motto and try to grab Articuno while it's still at full strength. Articuno uses Ice Beam and freezes them, then Ash uses Charizard's Flamethrower and Pikachu's Thunderbolt to send them blasting off.
The match finally begins, and both Charizard and Articuno fly up into the air. Charizard uses Flamethrower. Articuno counters with Ice Beam, and the two attacks meet. Flamethrower burns right through Ice Beam, striking Articuno for a direct hit, and sending it crashing into the ground. Ash is exultant that Charizard can stand up to Articuno, but it flies straight back into the air, not looking any worse for wear. Ash calls for another Flamethrower, but Articuno uses its speed to evade the attack and fly right past the Fire-type Pokémon. Noland tells Articuno to spin in a steep dive and Ash tells Charizard to fly right for it. Articuno uses Mist, and Charizard can't see. It hovers in midair until Articuno flies right into it, sending Charizard to the ground. Cut to the spectators and Brock comments how Mist is usually used for defense, or even to help the Pokémon using it escape, but he's never seen it used like that before.
Charizard stands up, shaking its head. It looks up just in time to see Articuno fly straight for it out of the Mist cloud. Ash calls for Dragon Breath, and though Articuno dodges twice, it is hit on the third try. Noland calls for Ice Beam, and it strikes Charizard on the wing. Ash calls for Flamethrower, which Articuno dodges and hits Charizard with a Steel Wing. Charizard falls from a huge height and crashes into the earth again.
Charizard stands up, growling. It looks battered, but Articuno is still unmarked. Articuno hits Charizard with a Water Pulse, sending Charizard into the wall. Ash calls for Charizard to get up, but it hunches its neck. Ash is getting really nervous, and thinks he may have only one chance left.
It cuts to last night, when Ash was seeing what Charizard could do. Ash, riding his Pokémon, says "Well, that's it for attacks!" right before Charizard begins glowing red. Charizard looks back at Ash and smiles with satisfaction. Ash is stunned and says "Have you learned that attack all by yourself?" Charizard glows even more brightly, and a huge ball of red energy envelops them as the flashback fades.
However, Ash decides that it's still too soon to use that attack. Articuno uses Ice Beam, striking Charizard's wingtip, freezing it. Charizard falls from the air and spins along the ground as Articuno uses Water Pulse on the ice that hit the ground. The ice shatters, and flies towards Charizard, who shields himself with a wing, but a big piece knocks him off balance. Ash tells Charizard to climb in the hope that he will be able to avoid another combination attack. May notices that something is wrong with Charizard, it's flying much too slowly. Brock sees that the wingtip is still frozen. Scott realizes that the reason Noland kept getting Articuno to use Ice Beam was because even though it wasn't very effective, he knew that eventually it would freeze part of Charizard. Noland tells Articuno to use another combination of Ice Beam and Water Pulse, and Ash gets Charizard to use Flamethrower on the ice shards, but some get past the attack and strike Charizard. Noland tells Articuno to finish the battle by getting above Charizard. Ash realizes it's time to use that attack Charizard learned all on its own. He tells Charizard to get above Articuno, and use Overheat! Charizard glows bright red, and the ice on the wing melts. Noland and Articuno are both stunned. So are May and Max. May didn't realize that Charizard could know that move, and Max remembers that it was never used in the Johto League.
Both Pokémon zoom higher and higher into the air. Ash orders Overheat, and a blast of white flame is sent at Articuno. The legendary bird counters with Water Pulse, which results in an explosion when the two attacks meet. Light fills the stadium, and when it fades, and huge cloud of smoke hides the Pokémon from each other. Noland orders a Steel Wing. Articuno bursts from the smoke and scores a direct hit. Charizard looks tired and very battered, while Articuno is still as strong as ever. Brock realizes that Charizard won't be able to withstand another direct hit by any attack. Ash knows that he can't use Overheat anymore - it won't be as effective. He realizes that there is only one chance left to win the battle.
Noland tells Ash he has battled bravely, but it's time to end the battle. He orders another Steel Wing. Charizard stays unmoving in midair, as May, Brock, Scott, and Max watch in anxiety. Right before Articuno can strike, Ash orders Charizard to grab it. Charizard grabs the glowing wings with its claws, taking both Noland and Articuno by surprise. Ash directs Charizard to perform a Seismic Toss! Charizard brings Articuno in close, and spins downward, faster than ever before. They collide with the ground, raising a large cloud of dust. When it finally clears, Charizard is seen stretched out on the ground, seemingly unable to move, oddly reminiscent of Ash's final match in the Johto League Championships. Articuno struggles to its feet. The official begins to call the battle, but Noland tells him to wait until the battle is over for sure, right as Articuno collapses. Then Charizard manages to struggle to its feet. With Articuno fainted, Charizard has won, defeating a legendary Pokémon, and giving Ash his first Battle Frontier Symbol in the process.
Ash and friends say goodbye to Noland, Scott, Sergio, and Articuno and leave the Battle Factory. Ash says goodbye once again to Charizard as it heads back to the Charicific Valley, and the group sets off for the next Battle Frontier challenge.
- Ash's Charizard is revealed to have learned Dragon Breath and Overheat.
- Ash and Charizard defeat Noland and Articuno, earning him the Knowledge Symbol.
- Ash receives the Frontierfolio.
- Charizard returns to the Charicific Valley.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- This episode marks the first time that a legendary Pokémon has been defeated in a one-on-one battle with a non-legendary Pokémon.
- This is the only Frontier Brain challenge that is dubbed by 4Kids.
- This episode's title is based on the phrase "the simple life."
- This is the last episode in which Greg Abbey plays Scott.
- Music from The Power of One plays while Charizard is using Seismic Toss on Articuno.
- Articuno's eyes did not turn to swirls when it was knocked out like with most Pokémon, they merely stayed closed when it collapsed.
- Parts of this episode were reanimated and used for flashback material for The Fires of a Red-Hot Reunion.
- Before the battle begins in the dub, Scott says that he will finally see Ash battle, but he was the referee of Ash's battle against Agatha just a few episodes ago.
- In the dub, when Charizard is first hit by Ice Beam, Max states that the move should have no effect on Charizard since it is a Fire type. This is untrue because Ice-type attacks on Fire-type Pokémon are not very effective, not ineffective. Furthermore, since Charizard's secondary type is Flying, Ice Beam should do normal damage.
- In the dub, Scott says, "Overheat attacks lose their effectiveness and cause less damage each time they're used." While partially true, it implies that only the move itself loses power instead of its actual effect, which lowers the Pokémon's Special Attack and thus the effectiveness of all Special moves.
- However, this error has been present since the first time Overheat was used in Ash's Gym Battle with Flannery in Lavaridge Town.
- When Articuno hits Charizard's wingtip with Ice Beam, three frames show Charizard with two left wings, one frozen and one not.
In other languages
|Dutch||Het symbolen leven|
|European French||Le premier match extrême|
|German||Ein Trumpf im Ärmel!|
|Italian||Il primo Simbolo|
|Portuguese||Brazil||O Símbolo da Vida|
|Portugal||Vida de Medalhas|
|Spanish||Latin America||El símbolo de la vida|
|Spain||El Símbolo Vida|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|