AG042 : Love at First Flight
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG044 : The Princess and the Togepi
Let Bagons Be Bagons
AG043   EP317
Fly Tatsubay! Towards the Future!!
First broadcast
Japan September 18, 2003
United States September 18, 2004
English themes
Opening This Dream
Japanese themes
Opening アドバンス・アドベンチャー
Ending ポルカ・オ・ドルカ
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
Storyboard 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
Assistant director ながはまのりひこ Norihiko Nagahama
Animation director 広岡歳仁 Toshihito Hirooka
Additional credits

Let Bagons Be Bagons (Japanese: 飛べ、タツベイ!明日にむかって!! Fly Tatsubay! Towards the Future!!) is the 43rd episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire, and the 317th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on September 18, 2003, and in the United States on September 18, 2004.

Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.


Ash and friends are headed to Fallarbor Town when they are nearly hit by a Bagon jumping off a cliff. Ash sends out Taillow to attack the Bagon, but a girl named Michelle leaps out to accuse them of launching a sneak attack. After learning Bagon was at fault, Michelle apologizes and explains that her Bagon is trying to learn how to fly.

Ash challenges Michelle to a battle so Bagon can get more experience so it will evolve into Shelgon and then Salamence (which can fly). With Michelle using her special computerized glasses to guide Bagon, Pikachu takes a real beating from Bagon's Skull Bash attack.

The battle is interrupted by the arrival of Team Rocket in a helicopter. Meowth swoops down wearing a jetpack and grabs Bagon. Treecko hits the helicopter with Bullet Seed, causing Team Rocket to drop the remote control for the jetpack. Ash and the others run to find Bagon. Ash tells Michelle that she needs to encourage Bagon more so it can evolve.

Team Rocket meets up with Meowth and Bagon, discovering that Bagon is thrilled because it got to fly (using the jetpack). Ash and the others catch up, and Pikachu hits Team Rocket hard with Quick Attack. But Team Rocket captures Pikachu, flying off in their helicopter.

Bagon and Treecko use the jetpack to follow Team Rocket and attack the helicopter, freeing Pikachu. Pikachu zaps the helicopter, sending Team Rocket blasting off again. Bagon, Treecko, and Pikachu ride through the sky on the jetpack, and when they land, Bagon evolves into Shelgon!


Ash and his friends continue through a mountainous pass to Fallabor Town. Some falling rocks alert them to a small blue Pokémon standing on the top of a cliff. Ash immediately brings out his Pokédex, which identifies the Pokémon as Bagon, the Rock Head Pokémon. Max notes that a Skull Bash from that height would squish them like pancakes, with his older sister May reprimanding him for trying to scare her. Brock clarifies that wild Pokémon can attack unexpectedly, but soon after the Bagon launches itself off the cliff’s edge and the group fearfully screams in anticipation of an impact. They rush out of the way as Bagon obliterates a large boulder with its head. The dust soon clears and Bagon is standing in a determined manner. Max deduces that the Bagon is looking for a fight so Ash calls on his Taillow to deal with it. Bagon turns around and climbs back up the cliff on all fours, Taillow flying upwards near it. As Taillow swoops in, Ash calls for it to watch itself as Bagon once again launches itself off the cliff. It leaps out from its landing and its helmet-like head shines, again wearing a determined expression.

Ash commands Taillow to use Wing Attack, but before Taillow strikes, a girl agilely jumps down from the cliff, her appearance startling the group. The girl turns and looks at Taillow overhead, speaking coordinates, distance, and the speed of approaching Taillow out loud. She taps a button on her unusual glasses, calculates collision factors and tells Bagon to shift one meter to the left. Bagon efficiently dodges Taillow's attack and Taillow swoops upward, startled at Bagon's evasion. The purple-haired girl sternly reprimands the group, asking where they got off to launch a sneak attack on her Bagon. Ash defends himself, exclaiming that her Bagon attacked the group first. Belligerently the girl tells them that if it is a fight they are after, they have got their wish. May’s explanation settles tensions, with the girl removing her glasses and apologizing. Brock immediately approaches her with hearts in his eyes, and assures her that it is no problem. Concernedly, due to Brock’s unusual behavior, the girl asks if Brock is all right. Brock provides his name, and states that he will be just fine if she were to tell him who she was. The girl provides her name, Michelle, and Brock raves on what a beautiful name it is as the others introduce themselves.

Taillow flaps into the air, alerting everyone to Bagon's latest cliff jump. Tracking Bagon's fall with her glasses, Michelle locks onto landing coordinates. Ash concernedly rushes in to rescue it, though Bagon leaps away from the boulder impact and into Michelle's arms. Max inquires about the glasses, and Michelle reveals that she programmed the glasses with an in-built computer analysis tool to improve Bagon's accuracy in battle. She explains her theory behind Bagon's cliff jumping antics, adding that it wants to swoop gracefully in the sky. May and Ash share Bagon's sentiments, though Max criticizes the pair for being immature. Brock comments that there is something strange about Bagon’s desire to fly, continuing that he thought Bagon evolved into Shelgon first before gaining wings when it evolves into a Salamence. Michelle affirms that it is correct, but clarifies that she is willing to support Bagon by providing it with all the extra experience to get it to evolve. Hearing this, Ash challenges Michelle to a battle, and she accepts the offer. Hiding behind a nearby ledge of rock, Team Rocket observes Bagon and the situation. James states that Bagon is interesting, but Jessie is unimpressed. Meowth adds that it would make a great gift for Giovanni, elaborating that Bagon’s hard head would be perfect for cracking open a coconut. His teammates cheer to the idea, with Wobbuffet also seeming to agree.

Brock referees the battle, calling for the one-on-one match to begin. Ash chooses Pikachu, though from the sidelines Max has his doubts, remarking that Bagon’s Dragon typing gives it the advantage. Ash says his command first, commanding Pikachu to use Quick Attack. Michelle analyzes Pikachu's movements with her glasses, and calls for Bagon to fly thirty degrees left and be defensive. Bagon braces itself, and Pikachu zigzags off a rock and lunges toward Bagon. Pikachu's head strikes Bagon's head, and due to the hardness of the impact, Pikachu recoils and Bagon throws him from its head. Pikachu roughly tumbles on the ground from the throw, holding his head in pain. Michelle analyzes Pikachu from her glasses, stating that Pikachu took seventy-percent damage and the morale is dropping. Michelle commands Bagon to use Skull Bash, and Bagon jumps forward. At Ash’s command, Pikachu hurriedly jumps out of the way. Michelle commands Bagon to change course forty-five degrees to the right, and Bagon leaps off a rock, changing direction and leaping directly towards Pikachu, who narrowly dodges it. Bagon, continuing from the momentum, smashes into a rock and Pikachu nervously looks on. Ash orders a Thunderbolt, and Michelle analyzes Pikachu's Thunderbolt's effective target area before instructing Bagon to move two meters to the left. Michelle has Bagon follow up with a Skull Bash, which hits its mark, knocking Pikachu into a surrounding boulder. Ash rushes to Pikachu’s side, with Michelle’s glasses revealing that Pikachu has suffered extensive damage. As she concludes that the match may have already been won, Pikachu displays great resolve as he stands to his feet again. Awestruck, Michelle stares at Pikachu and Ash, asking herself how encouragement could boost his morale. Ash commands Pikachu to use Thunder, and Pikachu runs forward. Michelle analyzes Thunder's effective shock zone, concluding that it is too big to dodge and that Bagon must instead attack. Michelle has Bagon charge straight into Pikachu at full velocity. At their collision, there is a massive explosion of dust and electrical energy, and Pikachu is revealed to have successfully hit Bagon with Thunder. Bagon, stunned, falls and skids across the ground. Max states that Bagon took some damage at the attack, and May adds that there is no telling who is going to win. Michelle attempts Ash's encouragement tactic, telling Bagon that it has to get up. In response, Bagon opens its eyes and rises to its feet. Michelle commands Bagon to hit Pikachu again with another Skull Bash, and Bagon lunges forward. Ash commands Pikachu to fight back, and as the distance between Bagon and its impact with Pikachu becomes shorter, Ash instructs Pikachu to dodge at the last second. At the precise moment, Pikachu leaps above Bagon. Bagon redirects its lunge to stop its momentum, standing and turning to face Pikachu. As Ash orders a Thunderbolt, Michelle calls for Bagon to jump thirty degrees upward before launching a midair Skull Bash. Ash commands Pikachu to use Iron Tail, and Pikachu lunges forward, turning himself around in the air to thrust his tail at Bagon's head. Michelle is incredulous, and Ash exclaims happily that it worked. Michelle compliments Ash on using an offensive attack for defense. Ash confidently asks Pikachu if he hears that compliment, when suddenly Jessie’s voice is heard and Ash, Michelle and the others are startled.

James replies to Jessie, starting their motto as their helicopter vehicle rises into the air. During the motto, James mentions remote-control. Brock, confused, asks what remote-control is supposed to mean. James laughs, as a panel opens in the front portion of the helicopter, revealing Meowth with a jetpack attached to his back. Meowth rockets towards Pikachu, and Ash tells Pikachu to watch out. Jessie states that he fell for it, tapping a button on a device. Meowth suddenly swerves direction, grabbing Bagon instead of Pikachu. Bagon struggles in Meowth's grip as they ascend. In the helicopter, Jessie remarks that it is going great and that they should do all of their operations by remote control. Ash sends out Treecko and orders a Bullet Seed. Treecko fires Bullet Seed at Team Rocket’s helicopter, causing the aircraft to tilt and the remote fumbles out of Jessie’s hands. Without anyone directing the remote control, Meowth's missile jetpack begins flying erratically and zooms off into the distance. James swerves and pursues him in the helicopter.

Michelle bends down and picks the fallen remote control off the ground, she explains to the others that they will need to be at close range for it to work. Meowth, with the erratically moving rocket still strapped to his back, yells for James to find the off switch. Bagon, still in Meowth's arms, seems to now enjoy the ride, and flaps its arms happily. As James positions the helicopter, Jessie calls for Meowth to fly directly into the extended net. However, the rocket pack makes a sharp dive, causing Meowth and Bagon to crash through the several trees below. The joy flight comes to an abrupt end when Meowth collides into a tree trunk, with Bagon slipping from his grasp. Meanwhile, Treecko agilely somersaults through the forest, leading Ash and the others to Bagon. Michelle commends Ash on his well-trained Pokémon, remarking that he is a great Trainer. Ash thanks her, but states that it is his Pokémon that deserve the credit. Brock comments that Ash is being too modest, that he has worked with both Pokémon for a long time to help them master the attacks. Michelle states, with some rising realization, that his encouragement and determination to fulfill their dreams are key to their incredible strengths.

Jessie and James, with the landed helicopter nearby, examine Meowth for injury, but he explains that much of the damage is psychological. Bagon curiously pokes the jetpack, and James asks what Bagon is so happy about. Bagon stands on the tips of its toes and flaps its arms, and Meowth translates that Bagon always dreamed of flying and finally was able to see what it was like. Jessie incredulously and disparagingly states that Bagon cannot fly, James adding that it is not even a remote possibility. Meowth angrily brings out his claws and yells that he has had enough of James's remotes before swiping him. Painfully, James exclaims that he think he has the point. Meowth breathes momentarily on his claws before reminding them that he himself has accomplished the impossible. At Jessie's request, Meowth recalls how he learned human speech. In a cheerful nature. Meowth walks over to Bagon and encourages it to achieve its ambitions. Bagon pantomimes flying again, jumping into the air and flapping its arms. Jessie, slumped over, remarks if she just heard Team Rocket praising the virtues of hard work, James and Wobbuffet are also disparaged. Meowth reminds his teammates that a flying Bagon is more valuable, and the fantasy sequence helps them to realize.

Ash exclaims that has found Team Rocket and Michelle demands her Bagon be returned. Team Rocket retorts with childish taunts. Ash commands Pikachu to use Quick Attack, and Pikachu rushes into Team Rocket, causing them to slam into their helicopter. Bagon, holding the jetpack in its hands, presents it to Michelle. Michelle concernedly asks Bagon if they hurt it, but Bagon assures her that they did not. The helicopter’s blades suddenly spin, and a clamp appears and grabs Pikachu. Ash demands Team Rocket to stop, but Bagon speaks out. The jetpack is around Bagon's back, and Max asks if it wishes to follow after Team Rocket. Bagon affirms this, and Treecko leaps onto its back also wanting to pursue them. Michelle gives her nod of approval before donning her computer glasses to analyse Bagon and Treecko's aerial pursuit. Michelle calculates the helicopter’s speed and distance, holding the remote control and telling Bagon and Treecko to get ready before launching them into the sky. Once in the air, Bagon happily surveys the view as they approach Team Rocket's helicopter. Inside the aircraft, Pikachu attempts to use one of his Electric attacks, but it has no effect as Meowth reveals that the cage is electric proof. James looks towards a window and states that it would appear they have some company. The rocket swerves towards Team Rocket, flying directly through it and making a hole in its cabin. Treecko leaps atop the helicopter as Team Rocket stares in fright. Jessie assumes a more belligerent expression, sending out Seviper. Seviper's head bumps into the ceiling, and its length makes the helicopter cramped. The helicopter shakes violently as Bagon rams its head into the hull on the outside. Treecko uses Bullet Seed on the inside of the helicopter and the projectiles ricochet off the walls, causing several explosions in the helicopter, making it tilt. One of the ricocheting Bullet Seeds hits the lock on Pikachu's cage, and Pikachu scampers out. Pikachu and Treecko leap from the helicopter, landing on the rocketing Bagon. Jessie and Meowth call for James to fly the craft properly, but it is not correcting properly. Ash orders Pikachu to use Thunderbolt. Pikachu follows suit, leaping from Bagon's jetpack before sending Team Rocket blasting off.

Bagon continues circles in the air several times with Pikachu and Treecko happily enjoying the flight. The others are thrilled to see Bagon’s dreams have finally come true. Michelle removes her glasses and looks up to Bagon, adding that she owes a lot to Bagon too. By sunset, Bagon lands with Pikachu and Treecko disembarking. Michelle asks Bagon how it liked its first flight, and Bagon happily replies. Suddenly, Bagon begins to evolve, and the group watches in awe. As Bagon's body glows and expands, the jetpack slips off, and it finally evolves into Shelgon. Michelle happily embraces her newly evolved Pokémon, commending it on never giving up its dream. As a flock of Pidgeotto fly overhead, Brock remarks that the Pidgeotto are the perfect symbol for Shelgon's dream of flying someday.

Major events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.


Pokémon debuts




Pokémon Trainer's Choice

Pokémon Trainer’s Choice: Treecko


  • The dub title is based on the phrase "Let bygones be bygones", and uses the incorrect plural form of Bagon to accomplish the pun.
  • For the first time, two boss fantasies occur in a single episode.
  • This episode and the next three aired in the U.S. exactly one year after they aired in Japan.
  • Advance Adventure and music from Mewtwo Strikes Back are used.
  • This episode is featured on the Volume 8: Dragon copy of Pokémon Elements.


  • When Bagon dodges Taillow and a split-screen appears, Bagon disappears, but the left screen view doesn't move.

Dub edits

  • The Hungama TV Hindi dub cuts the scene in which Brock makes romantic advancements towards Michelle, and she introduces herself, perhaps considering the age of the target audience. This creates a plot hole as to how the group know her name and refer to her accordingly.

Pokémon Trainer's Choice

In other languages

AG042 : Love at First Flight
Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire
AG044 : The Princess and the Togepi
  This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.