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| Navel Maneuvers
Navel Gym! Snowy Mountain Battle!
|| April 22, 1999
| United States
|| March 11, 2000
|| Team Ota
|| 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
|| 横田和 Kazu Yokota
| Assistant director
|| 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
| Animation director
|| たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
| Additional credits
Navel Maneuvers (Japanese: ネーブルジム！ゆきやまのたたかい！ Navel Gym! Snowy Mountain Battle!) is the 93rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 22, 1999 and in the United States on March 11, 2000.
A second Orange Islands trainer puts Ash and his Pokémon through a battery of tests. First, Ash must climb a mountain without use of his Pokémon. Once at the summit, he must assemble the proper team of Pokémon to freeze moving water, construct a bobsled, and then win a race on the sled. Do Ash and his Pokémon have enough skills for the challenge of Orange Island training?
Ash and his friends spot Navel Island, the home of the second Orange League Gym and the Sea Ruby Badge. They touch down on the beach near a very quiet village, but the Gym is nowhere to be found. A man approaches on a sailboat, introducing himself as Danny and immediately appealing to Misty, shocking Ash and Tracey. Meanwhile, Team Rocket spots them from their Magikarp Submarine. Misty notes Danny's large backpack and contrasts it to Ash's lack of preparation, which begins an argument. Danny notes that they are close, but Misty calls Ash a little kid, which irritates Ash. Tracey thinks Danny is another Trainer seeking the Gym Badge.
They approach the Navel Gym gate, and Ash opens it. Inside, there is a cable car and a trail leading up the mountain. Pikachu points at a sign that gives instructions. It declares that challengers must climb up the mountain without using Pokémon or risk disqualification, while spectators can use the cable car. Danny also climbs along, moving at a seemingly easy pace while Ash is struggling with both the exertion and a slight fear of heights. At one point, Misty and Tracey pass via the cable car, and Misty calls to Danny. This irritates and distracts Ash, which causes him to slip and fall down. He grabs a ledge and attempts to call out Bulbasaur, but Danny reminds him of the rule. Ash puts the Poké Ball back and manages to climb back up.
Ash takes a rest, exhausted, while Pikachu and Danny enjoy the mountain air. Ash thanks Danny for the warning. Suddenly, Team Rocket grabs Pikachu with a suction cup and attempts to pull him to their balloon. Ash grabs Pikachu and Danny removes the suction cup, cutting off Team Rocket’s motto. They launch another plug, but Danny attaches it to a rock, which flies back and ruptures the balloon, sending it flying into the clouds. The balloon runs into a water geyser, which sends the balloon flying even higher.
Ash and Danny continue hiking up, the weather turning to snow. Ash shivers while Danny seems unaffected. Pikachu collapses from the cold and Ash runs to Pikachu, taking off his vest and wrapping Pikachu and holding him closer. Danny watches with admiration as Ash and Pikachu press forward. At the summit, Misty and Tracey are waiting, wrapped in blankets. Ash and Danny arrive, and they run to meet. Misty runs past Ash to Danny, offering to share her blanket. Danny reveals to everyone that he is the Gym Leader since nobody was at the top when Misty and Tracey arrived.
Danny announces that the match is composed of three rounds, and two of three wins. The first test is to freeze a hot water geyser. Danny uses Nidoqueen while Ash summons Lapras. Both Pokémon fire Ice Beam attacks at the geysers. While Lapras makes steady progress, Nidoqueen is much faster and freezes the geyser first, winning the round. Lapras manages to complete the task but winds up exhausted.
The second round is to carve the ice into a sled with three Pokémon. Ash sends out Pikachu, Bulbasaur and surprisingly Charizard. Misty and Tracey know that Charizard won't obey. Danny uses Machoke, Scyther and Nidoqueen. Danny’s team uses brute force to make adequate progress while Charizard loafs around. Bulbasaur’s Vine Whip and Pikachu’s Thunderbolt are not as effective, putting them behind while Ash tries to get Charizard to work. Charizard uses Flamethrower on Ash before using four more to perfectly carve the sled and win the round.
The final round is to race down the mountain to the beach goal line. Danny puts Geodude, Electrode and Scyther into his sled while Ash rides with Pikachu, Bulbasaur and Squirtle. When the light turns green, both teams race down as fast as possible while Misty and Tracey use the cable car. Danny’s Scyther steers his sled while Ash uses Bulbasaur's vines to steer, although Ash spins out of control. Danny watches and speeds ahead expertly, but runs into Team Rocket's pit trap. Ash notices and stops the sled to help. Danny knows it's a trap as Team Rocket reveals themselves. Meowth activates another switch as both teams fall into a larger pit trap. Team Rocket takes Pikachu and tries to escape. Bulbasaur uses its vines to get Ash and Danny out, and the Pokémon create snowballs, with Geodude launching them. Scyther loads Electrode onto a plank as everyone else propels it to the balloon. Pikachu gets clear of the balloon as Danny orders Electrode to use Explosion to destroy the balloon and send Team Rocket blasting off again.
They restart the race and launch when the sun comes out from behind a cloud. Both teams race down, as Misty and Tracey wait. The terrain changes from snow to rock. Ash’s sled picks up too much speed and barely misses a large rock, causing the craft to cut through trees. Danny closes in on the finish line, but Ash soars through the sky and catches up with Danny. The landing causes Ash’s sled to shrink in size, and the lighter sled allows Ash to pull forward and win the race, crashing into the ocean. Danny congratulates Ash and hands him the Sea Ruby Badge. Ash accepts it with excitement. Misty and Tracey are glad that Ash won, but Misty is also partially upset that Danny lost. Ash and co. get back on Lapras and leave Navel Island.
Ash holding the Sea Ruby Badge
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
TV episode debuts
Who's That Pokémon?: Exeggcute (U.S. and international), Geodude (Danny's) (Japan)
- Professor Oak's Pokémon Lecture: Bulbasaur: Oak discusses whether Bulbasaur is a plant or an animal, but concludes saying that Bulbasaur is a very strange Pokémon. In the end, Oak commands Bulbasaur to use Razor Leaf, but instead Bulbasaur wraps Oak up using Leech Seed.
- Pokémon senryū summary: Bulbasaur; there is no end to the mysteries, isn't it strange?
- An early anime frame from this episode indicates that it was in production from as early as 1996.
- As of this episode, every non-Legendary Pokémon of Generation I has appeared in at least one anime episode.
- When Danny first appears, he is wearing a Hawaiian-style shirt with a Geodude pattern on it.
- The book The Four Star Challenge is based on this episode.
- Jessie and James are seen eating fish, a real animal, in this episode.
- At the very first scene, Pikachu is standing on Lapras's head, however, on the next scene, he is sitting in front of Ash.
- When Ash announces that he's going to use Charizard for the second part of his Gym match, both Misty and Tracey exclaim "Not Charizard!". However, this was the first episode that Tracey saw or heard of Charizard. However, he could have seen or heard about it offscreen.
- According to Tracey, the Sea Ruby Badge is so named because it is made from a seashell with a ruby in it, but the gem on the Badge is actually an emerald.
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