| Once More With Reeling!
Satoshi vs. Haruka! Last Battle!!
|| September 7, 2006
| United States
|| February 24, 2007
|| Team Iguchi
|| 武上純希 Junki Takegami
|| 川田武範 Takenori Kawada
| Assistant director
|| 渡辺正彦 Masahiko Watanabe
| Animation director
|| 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
| Additional credits
Once More With Reeling! (Japanese: サトシVSハルカ！ラストバトル！！ Satoshi vs. Haruka! Last Battle!!) is the 191st episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 465th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on September 7, 2006 and in the USA on February 24, 2007.
The kids are at Terracotta Town, where May and Max will catch a boat back home to Hoenn. The town happens to be hosting a festival, complete with its very own Pokémon Contest. Ash figures it's unofficial, so he wants to compete. Both Ash and May sign up, with Ash using Pikachu and Sceptile, and May using her Eevee and Combusken.
Nurse Joy is the MC, doing her best Lillian impersonation. May goes first, impressing the crowd by having Eevee use Dig and Shadow Ball to create a fireworks display. Ash is equally impressive when Pikachu uses Quick Attack, Thunderbolt, and Iron Tail to create electric rings that buzz around the arena. At the end of the first round, May is in first place with Ash a close second, both of them advancing to the finals against each other.
Between rounds, Team Rocket shows up in a parade float, tossing Pokémon food out so they can lure the Trainers' Pokémon into a net. Sceptile frees the Pokémon from the net and Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, but Combusken seems to be ill and can't attack. Just then, it evolves into Blaziken, and uses Blaze Kick to send Team Rocket packing.
The contest resumes, and Ash and May shake hands and start the battle. When Blaziken dodges all of Sceptile's attacks, Ash starts to lose points. He finally connects with Pound, but Blaziken returns with Fire Spin. The two Pokémon begin to lose points at roughly the same rate. Eventually both Pokémon are weakened, and Sceptile's Ability Overgrow kicks in. Blaziken's Ability Blaze also appears, and the two commence their battle. Eventually Blaziken fires Overheat and Sceptile responds with SolarBeam, with the two attacks colliding. The results of this attack will determine the outcome of the match, but no one can see the scoreboard, now obscured by a thick cloud of smoke.
With Ash’s victory at the Battle Pyramid passed, the group arrives at Terracotta Town. Everyone plans to go back home, with May and Max taking a ship to Hoenn, Brock returning to Pewter City and Ash returning to Pallet Town. As the group checks out the town, May finds a sign for a special Pokémon Contest. May signs up for it. Ash shocks everyone by deciding to enter as well since it is not an official Contest, meaning he doesn’t need a pass.
Ash and May go to the Contest Hall and register. Ash signs Pikachu for the appeals round and Sceptile for battle. May chooses Eevee for the appeal and Combusken for the battle. This Contest is special in which the top two in the appeals round will move to the battle.
The appeals round begin with the local Nurse Joy judging. May takes the stage first with her Eevee. It uses Dig to form several holes on the battlefield. From underground, Eevee launches Shadow Ball through the holes to create a fireworks display, impressing the crowd. Other contestants take the stage, some appealing better than the others.
Finally, Ash takes the stage. Even though this is his first Contest, the crowd cheers him on for being in the Top Eight of the Hoenn League. Pikachu executes Quick Attack and Thunderbolt to create an electric ring before using Iron Tail to send him bouncing across the field. Pikachu repeats the move to create a group of bouncing electric rings. The appeals round ends, and the top two are decided. May takes first place with Ash as the runner-up.
During the break, Ash and May take time to practice. Team Rocket arrives in a giant ship float, attracting the competing Pokémon with food. They capture the Pokémon with a giant net. Ash and his friends confront them, and James launches another net to capture Pikachu. Combusken frees the Pokémon with Mega Kick, and Sceptile catches the net, sending them to safety. Combusken collapses, seeming exhausted, but it evolves into Blaziken. It easily dodges Team Rocket’s net and uses Blaze Kick to destroy the float, sending them flying.
The Contest battle pits May's Blaziken against Ash's Sceptile. Max doesn't want either of them to lose. May and Ash shake hands before the Contest battle begins. It appears that May has the advantage, but the match is fairly even, both Pokémon matching opening executions.
Sceptile opens with Pound, Bullet Seed, and Leaf Blade. Blaziken dodges them all, and Ash loses points. To make up for it, Sceptile chases Blaziken towards the wall, preventing it from dodging Pound. Sceptile fires Bullet Seed, but Blaziken’s Fire Spin neutralizes it and hurts Sceptile. Blaziken attacks with Sky Uppercut, but Sceptile dodges, taking May's points. Sceptile’s Leaf Blade and Pound attack knock down Blaziken, setting points even at the halfway mark. Sceptile follows up with Bullet Seed and Pound. It tries Leaf Blade, but Blaziken dodges. Blaziken attacks with Sky Uppercut, but Sceptile matches it with Leaf Blade, negating both attacks. Blaziken uses Blaze Kick but Sceptile’s Pound matches it as well.
With one minute left, the points are identical, but both Pokémon are exhausted. Sceptile activates Overgrow, and Blaziken matches with Blaze. Neither Pokémon can gain an advantage, with moves evenly matched. Sceptile’s Leaf Blade and Pound match Blaziken’s Sky Uppercut and Blaze Kick. Ash and May lose points fairly evenly. With ten seconds left, Sceptile unleashes SolarBeam while Blaziken fires Overheat. The attack creates a big explosion that covers the scoreboard. Time expires, but it is unclear who won. The outcome will be revealed in the next episode.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Recolored version of the Pokémon logo
- An alternate cut of 私、負けない！ ～ハルカのテーマ～ I Won't Lose! ~Haruka's Theme~ is used as background music during May's appeal.
- An alternate cut of Spurt! is used as background music during Ash's appeal.
- Dance of the Bellossom is used as background music during the other appeals.
- Pokémon Symphonic Medley is used as background music during the battle between Ash and May.
- May's Combusken and Blaziken are both listed in the credits separately, as they have different voice actors.
- The flag on the Team Rocket mecha depicts a variant of the Flag of Japan and Mount Fuji.
- The unofficial Contest was promoted using a recolored version of the international logo for the Pokémon franchise (that shows the word "Pokémon" in red letters bordered in a yellow outline, while the actual logo has yellow letters that are bordered in blue). Also, no Generation III Pokémon appear on the poster.
- This episode's title is a pun on the saying "once more with feeling".
- In Going for Choke!, it was established that Contest battles ending in ties would result in an extra battle. Ash and May did not have an extra battle even though they tied. It is possible that an extra battle was not held because it was an unofficial Contest.
- Two green-eyed Jigglypuff are visible.
- One of these may be a consistency error.
- To date, this is the only time where Pikachu has participated in a Pokémon Contest.
- As Team Rocket hauls in the nets the nets are opaque.
- This is likely an animation simplifier.
- In one scene as the camera looks down on the Team Rocket float and the various Pokémon come running up to them, the dorsal fin on their Magikarp net launcher is red.
- In one scene toward the end, when Blaziken uses Overheat, its eyes are red instead of blue.
- However, this may have been intentional.
- The announcer incorrectly states that Overgrow ups the power of all attacks and implies the same for Blaze.
- At the end of the episode, in the last panel, Sceptile and Blaziken are nowhere to be seen.
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