The Fortune Hunters (Japanese: ポケモンうらない！？だいらんせん！Pokémon Fortune-Telling!? Battle Royal!) is the 157th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on July 27, 2000 and in the United States on May 19, 2001.
A Pokémon Fortune Telling boom turns out to be a Team Rocket plot to steal Pokémon from local trainers. The engineers of this plot, though, are not the Team Rocket regulars, but by the formidable Butch and Cassidy.
Ash, Misty, Brock, Pikachu and Togepi arrive in a new city and head towards the Pokémon Center. There they encounter a group of children who tell them about the newest fad: Pokémon Fortune Telling, an activity similar to horoscopes in which people are assigned a Pokémon personality type based on their birthdate. Eager to find out her Pokémon type Misty drags her companions along to a local Day Care that has been giving out copies of the Fortune Telling book. Arriving at the Day Care, the owners explain to Misty that it's considered good luck to own the Pokémon that corresponds to your personality type. The Day Care center has a booming business in matching Trainers with their Pokémon type and frequently holds Pokémon for Trainers until a suitable trade can be made.
After getting a copy of the book, Misty reveals each of her companion's Pokémon types. Ash is listed as a Bellsprout type, while Brock is an Onix type. Misty eagerly looks up her own type, but is shocked to see that she's listed as a Gyarados type. Ash tells her that it's nothing to get worked up about, but he is unable to stop Misty's growing anger. Traveling back to the Pokémon Center the group falls into one of Team Rocket's pitfall traps, but an angry Misty easily climbs out and sends them "blasting off again". Upon landing, Team Rocket collects themselves and notices that they've unwittingly obtained Misty's fortune telling book. Jessie looks at it and finds that she's an Eevee type. Meowth tries to look himself up, but Jessie reminds him that as an actual Pokémon his type should be glaringly obvious. She then reads James's type, and is shocked to see that he's a Moltres. Initially skeptical, a series of bizarre coincidences soon convince James that the book can actually tell his future. Taking its words that Moltres type will "soar above the others" literally, he begins to see himself as unbeatable, and quickly appoints himself the new leader of Team Rocket. Impressed with his sudden shift in personality, Jessie and Meowth decide to follow his lead.
James leads them to the Day Care, planning on using his Moltres powers to steal every Pokémon inside. He attempts to intimidate the Day Care's owners, but is surprised when they reveal themselves to be none other than fellow members of Team RocketCassidy and Butch, who quickly capture and lock up the Rocket trio. Tied up inside the Day Care James once again surprises his companions by easily breaking out of his bonds and clearing an escape route. Leading them out of the Day Care he begins to plan their revenge.
Meanwhile Misty continues to stew over her Pokémon type. When she overhears Brock talking about how Gyarados suits her she decides to return to the Day Care and demand an explanation from its owners, dragging Brock and Ash along with her. Entering the Day Care, they see that the front desk is empty and decide to look for the owners in the back rooms. There they see all of the Pokémon in cages and overhear a conversation between Butch, Cassidy, and Giovanni. Realizing that the entire Day Care is another Rocket scheme the group decides to free the captured Pokémon. Unfortunately they are quickly discovered by Butch and Cassidy who begin to battle them with their Raticate and Primeape.
Suddenly Jessie and Meowth appear by driving a crane through the wall. To everyone's surprise James' comes flying in on the crane dressed in a Moltres suit. Declaring himself the "flame that burns brightest" he announces his intention to steal all of the Pokémon in the Day Care as well as those that belong to the "twerps". He calls out Victreebel and this time doesn't allow it to munch on his head, instead quickly bringing it into line and unexpectedly managing to defeat Raticate with it. Unfortunately James's ego is quickly shot down when Butch and Cassidy reveal that their entire fortune book was just part of their scam. Depressed that he's not actually a Moltres type James quickly reverts back to his old self forcing Jessie to start battling with Wobbuffet. However Wobbuffet alone isn't enough and Primeape quickly sends Jessie, James, Meowth, and their Pokémon "blasting off". Taking advantage of the battle Misty, Ash, and Brock go searching for the keys to the Pokémon cages but are quickly cornered by Butch and Cassidy.
Butch and Cassidy begin battling but are defeated by the combined efforts of Poliwhirl, Totodile and Pikachu. A quick call to Officer Jenny and the two Rockets are once again on their way to prison. While talking with Jenny, Misty notices that she has an official Pokémon fortune telling book, and uses the opportunity to check out her real type. Elsewhere Jessie finds the same book, and decides to see what James' actually is. Neither Misty nor James's real type is revealed though, as the episode ends before they can state it.
This is the last episode with the original title card in the dub (in the Japanese version, it was still used until EP191).
This is the last episode in the dub where the episode starts only after the opening sequence.
This episode contains one of the few occasions when a character other than Cassidy gets Butch's name right straight away—Brock identifies him correctly when they discover the Center was a fake.
Eric Stuart, the English voice actor for James, has stated that his favorite line from the anime is "I am a flaming Moltres," which comes from this episode.
What James says after first appearing in his Moltres in the Japanese version, "The heavens call...the earth cries out..the wind roars." is a reference to the catchphrase from the series Kamen Rider Stronger, in which the main character says "The heavens call...the earth cries out...the crowds roar".