| The Perfect Match!
Satoshi vs. Kasumi! The Final Battle in the Whirlpool Cup!!
|| September 27, 2001
| United States
|| November 2, 2002
|| Team Ota
|| 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Assistant director
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Animation director
|| 岩根雅明 Masaaki Iwane
| Additional credits
The Perfect Match! (Japanese: サトシＶＳカスミ！うずまきカップさいごのたたかい！！ Satoshi vs. Kasumi! The Final Battle in the Whirlpool Cup!!), is the 217th episode in the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on September 27, 2001 and in the United States on November 2, 2002.
Ash and Misty each emerge victorious from arduous bouts only to be paired against one another in the next round. As these two square off, Team Rocket plots to steal the tournament's prize using reverse psychology: they leave an anonymous tip with the local police force that the prize is in danger. This tip, Jessie reasons, will lead to heightened security, which will in turn lead to overconfidence and carelessness, effectually making it easier for Jessie and James to sneak in and claim their prize. With Ash already in strong position, Misty accidentally deploys Psyduck to face his Kingler. In a surprise turn, however, Psyduck launches a Confuse attack that wins the match for Misty. Ash takes his place in the stands and cheers for Misty as she begins her next round. Meanwhile Team Rocket watches in shock as—contrary to Jessie's plan—not only is the police presence at the event fortified, but the police show no sign of growing overconfident.
It looks like Ash and Misty were always destined to fight one way or another, and that fate meets in the twelfth round of Block A. This time, whoever wins will be in the semi-finalists, and neither will want to lose.
This time the rules are changed, instead of one Pokémon, it's two on two. Misty first calls out Poliwhirl and Ash sends out Totodile. Ash starts it off by having Totodile use Water Gun, but Poliwhirl dives underwater to evade it. Poliwhirl makes some swift movements and Misty commands it to use Bubble. Poliwhirl jumps out and fires the Bubble, dazing Totodile for a while. Poliwhirl attempts to come back with a DoubleSlap but Totodile dodges and Headbutts it back to a pillar. Poliwhirl isn't finished yet as it kicks off the pillar and then does a high speed dive towards Totodile and goes for a DoubleSlap again, knocking Totodile out. Ash recalls Totodile and sends out Kingler. Misty again commands Poliwhirl to unleash another Bubble but Kingler dishes out a Crabhammer attack. An energy sphere is sent across the arena causing whirlpools to form. The energy hits Poliwhirl sending it tossing with the whirlpools and Kingler uses another Crabhammer attack, knocking Poliwhirl out. With this win, Ash feels sure enough luck is on his side. Misty then tries to call out Corsola but instead, Psyduck comes out and immediately embarrasses itself (and Misty) by falling into the water and nearly drowning before pulling itself onto the platform. Ash, happy about his sudden good fortune, tells Kingler to go up for a Vice Grip attack. Misty tries to command Psyduck, but its too scared to do anything as Kingler speeds towards before clamping onto its head. Misty tells Psyduck to try and shake itself loose, but Psyduck is panicking and just flails about helplessly... as a headache begins to brew. When Psyduck begins to glow with Psychic energy, Ash realizes that he's made a serious tactical error and tells Kingler to put Psyduck down. Using this to her advantage, Misty tells Psyduck to use Confusion. Psyduck makes an explosion of psychic energy which sends Kingler bashing right into Ash, knocking them both out, allowing Misty to win the match! During that fight, Team Rocket is still figuring out how to get Maya's staff... but the problem is, security keeps increasing. They might as well figure something else out.
Later that evening, Professor Oak calls the Pokémon Center for Ash. Looks like he had a rough time with Bayleef, who then knocks him away telling Ash she wants to be with him. Ash quickly trades off Kingler for Bayleef and Bayleef is happy once again. Another Trainer comes in which looks like Misty knows her. The Trainer is Trinity, one of the better Water-type Pokémon Trainers and her next opponent for the finals. Misty has great respect for Trinity and wonders if she will be able to defeat her.
The semi-finals of Block A puts Misty against Trinity with the same rules as the other round. Misty once again starts off with Poliwhirl while Trinity uses Gyarados. Even Misty gets scared at this point but she doesn't give up. Misty tells Poliwhirl to use Bubble, but Trinity tells Gyarados to use Hyper Beam. Gyarados quickly charges up and fires the Hyper Beam, knocking the Bubble away and blasting Poliwhirl for a knockout. Looks like the situation is very grim. Calling back Poliwhirl, Misty sends out Corsola. Trinity commands Gyarados to use Hydro Pump. Gyarados fires a powerful stream of water but Misty tells Corsola to counter it with Mirror Coat. The Hydro Pump is sent back but Gyarados fires Hyper Beam, blowing the water away and still going straight for Corsola. Corsola dives down and the beam blows up behind her. Waiting a while, Misty finishes Gyarados off with Spike Cannon. It may look like a brush of luck but Corsola is burned out from the fight. Trinity then sends out Chinchou. Trinity tells Chinchou to use Spark, which it does but instead, sends the electricity to sky. The electricity is then fired down on Corsola but Corsola uses another Mirror Coat, but she didn't hold out for long, not to mention Chinchou didn't even flinch. Trinity says to use Confuse Ray, Chinchou fires a wave but Corsola dives underwater to avoid it. Chinchou uses it again but underwater, this time Corsola gets confused. With Corsola out, Chinchou finishes her off with a Water Gun. Misty is defeated, and Trinity moves on to the finals. Team Rocket can't figure out any other way to get close enough to Maya with way too much security. Fed up, the only way is by air. That evening, Trinity meets with the gang at the Center. Misty congratulates her and tells her good luck for the next round.
The final battle is set, the winner from Block A against the winner from Block B. Trinity sets out using Golduck, her opponent using a Feraligatr. Just before the battle begins however, Team Rocket shows up in their balloon. Jessie uses a fishing rod to snag the staff but Pikachu comes in and uses a ThunderShock to snap the line. It's now a no-win situation for them, Ash and Misty send out Totodile and Poliwhirl and them and the two Trainers in the arena have all their Pokémon use Water Gun. Pikachu then finishes off with Thunderbolt (and they skip the battle).
During the award ceremony, Trinity's unnamed opponent is awarded the pendent, with Trinity winning second place. Maya once again puts her staff up towards the setting sun and it starts to glow. The next day, Trinity and the gang watch the once again flooded coliseum as they reminisce about the good times they had competing in the Whirl Cup.
- Misty defeats Ash and advances to the third round of the Whirl Cup.
- Misty is defeated by Trinity in the third round and is ranked in the "Top 4" of the Whirl Cup.
- Trinity is defeated by an unknown Trainer in the final round of the Whirl Cup.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- The scoreboard's appearance suggests that the Whirl Cup may have rounds that permit use of up to three Pokémon. Had Ash reached such a round, he would have had to either call up his Squirtle or borrow one of Misty's Pokémon to fill his roster with legal Pokémon.
- James breaks the fourth wall in this episode.
- Jessie, James and Meowth let the officials know that someone will steal the Sea Spirit Sapphire, probably a throwback to Spinarak Attack, where they tried to mimic the Black Arachnid.
- In the English dub, Brock said that the move Mirror Coat can only respond to Water-type attacks, though it can respond attacks of all types.
- This is most likely to simplify the workings of Mirror Coat, as the qualities of Physical/Special were not touched upon in detail in the anime. In Generation II, all Water attacks were Special, and thus would be deflected by Mirror Coat, while Gyarados' Hyper Beam was a Normal (Physical) type, and would not be affected. This is further shown when Corsola deflects Spark later in the episode, another attack which was Special at the time.
- Also in the English dub, the announcer says that the winner of the third round match between Misty and Trinity would advance to the semi-finals, but the fourth round of a 64-member tournament would be the quarter-finals (64→32→16→8).
- When Jessie's Wobbuffet comes out of its Poké Ball for the first time, it doesn't say its name correctly.
- When Bayleef is on top of Ash, Ash's mouth moves right with Bayleef's however, Ash doesn't say anything.
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