| An Epic Defense Force!
An Epic Defense Force! (Japanese: 映画対決！出撃イッシュ防衛隊！！ Movie Showdown! Sortie, Isshu Defense Group!!) is the 82nd episode of the Best Wishes series, and the 739th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on June 7, 2012 and in the United States on October 6, 2012.
|Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.|
After Ash and the gang arrive in Virbank City and Cilan gives them a rundown of the area’s history, they run into their filmmaking friend Luke and his Zorua! Thanks to winning a film festival with the movie our heroes helped him make (The Legend of the Pokémon Knight), Luke is there to attend a preview event for Pokéstar Studios, a theme park opening soon within the film studio lots.
Luke then announces that he is going to enter a filmmaking competition, and he asks for his friends’ help once again. Our heroes excitedly agree, especially Cilan—who is, after all, a Film Connoisseur! The script for Luke’s film An Epic Defense Force is quickly complete and production begins, using all sorts of film tricks and technology.
During the shooting, Luke sends Ash to find an extra prop in the warehouse, where he has an unusual encounter with a mysterious and elusive Pokémon that Team Rocket has been tracking. He rescues it from a collapsing shelf, but before he can figure out who that Pokémon is, it’s disappeared again...
At the showing, a film made by Luke’s rival Jules receives warm (but not rousing) applause. Then they show Luke’s film—at first, the audience gives no response at all, and Luke thinks they didn’t like his work. But the silence only lasts for a moment, and as the cheering grows and grows, Luke wins the competition!
As a reward, Luke gets to shoot another film that will be backed by Pokéstar Studios! He stays behind, while our heroes resume their journey to the Virbank City Gym and Ash’s next Gym battle!
Ash and his friends finally arrive in Virbank City, where Ash is getting ready to win his next Badge. He is extremely excited since he only needs one more Badge to qualify for the Unova League. Suddenly, the group is stunned to see another Ash approach the group and snicker at them. Everyone is confused until Iris realizes who it is, and sure enough, the other Ash turns into Zorua, with Luke just nearby. The group catches up with each other when Luke briefly mentions that he's here for the opening of Pokéstar Studios, much to Cilan's excitement. Cilan ends up dragging Ash to the studios, much to the latter's displeasure since it means putting off his Gym battle.
Pokéstar Studios is actually an amusement park filled with various memorabilia of Virbank City's film industry, including posters, a Pokémon footprint walk of fame and even old sets that were used in famous movies. Luke and Cilan are extremely happy and excited about the whole experience, and Ash and Iris likewise express interest. The group is then greeted by Mr. Gold, owner of the studios, who compliments Luke for his previous work, which was very well-received, and wishes Luke all the best in the upcoming film competition. Luke explains that a competition is being held for all aspiring film directors like himself to commemorate the opening of Pokéstar Studios. He then asks his friends for help in the competition, which they gladly accept.
Shortly after, Luke and Cilan finish writing the script and compiling storyboards for the movie. Ash and Iris comment on their speed, but a lofty voice suggests that the script is likely to be merely "lukewarm." Luke identifies the voice as belonging to Jules; a fellow aspiring director and rival who has competed against Luke in various film festivals. Alongside Jules is his Krookodile which Ash scans with his Pokédex. Jules proclaims that he specializes in hard-hitting action movies that make Luke's films boring by comparison, and he leaves after taunting and infuriating Luke.
Luke brings everyone to where the props are kept, revealing multiple copies of the same costumes and props. Luke reveals that all competitors are only allowed to use the same props as were used in the famous films shot at Virbank City, which means that films will be rated solely based on the directors' skill. Luke assigns roles to everyone: Ash is the hero, Cilan is the villain, Iris is the priestess, and the Pokémon work as crew members and extras. Shortly thereafter, filming begins in earnest with Luke explaining various movie technologies such as green screens to the gang. At one point, Iris is required to cry for Golurk, but cannot bring herself to do so. Cilan suggests that she imagine never being able to see Axew again, which instantly makes her tear up. Meanwhile, a translucent figure moves through the city while Team Rocket searches for it.
In another scene, Luke has Ash help him retrieve a prop from the warehouse. Just after he and Pikachu find the airplane prop, a Meloetta bumps into some materials and becomes visible, surprising Ash and Pikachu. A plank of wood begins to fall on Meloetta, but Ash saves it from danger. He looks up to check on Meloetta, but the mysterious Pokémon has already disappeared.
After the filming is completed, Luke edits the footage they shot and the group records the necessary voices. At the end of the whole thing everyone cheers for a job well done.
On the day of the judging, everyone sits in the main theater watching the various films. Jules's film uses the same props as Luke's did, but instead places him and Krookodile as the protagonists. In his film, Jules and Krookodile end up firing a massive energy cannon at the rampaging Mecha-Tyranitar, defeating it and saving the ruined city from any further destruction. The film ends to massive applause, giving Jules the notion to sneer disdainfully at Luke, who simmers in anger. Luke's entry is then presented, kicking off with a logo featuring Zorua.
Luke's movie begins with Ash, Pikachu and Pignite as the Unova Defense Force, commandeering an airship that is homing in on a giant Tyranitar making its way to Pokémon Island. The group unleashes their attacks on Tyranitar, but when the smoke clears, it's revealed to be Mecha-Tyranitar. The mechanical monster shoots down Ash's ship with a powerful beam from its mouth. A UFO flies into the scene, controlled by the villainous alien invader Cilan, who reveals himself to be controlling Mecha-Tyranitar and declares his mission to steal all the Pokémon from the island.
Approaching the island, Ash tries to convince the twin priestesses Iris—only one of whom is Iris, the other being Zorua—to evacuate everyone, but they refuse; only the legendary titan, Golurk can save them. Meanwhile, Cilan has already begun capturing the island Pokémon (played by the rest of everyone's Pokémon). Everyone tries praying to a Golurk statue in the middle of the island, but Mecha-Tyranitar blasts it and destroys it. Before Mecha-Tyranitar can attack Iris, Luke's Golett leaps into the blast and shields them, seemingly dying as a result. The two priestesses begin to cry at this, but as their tears hit Golett, it instantly evolves into the titan, Golurk. Golurk trades blows with Mecha-Tyranitar and quickly gains the upper hand, winning the epic confrontation with a destructive Mega Punch. The alien Cilan is furious and tries to attack with a beam from his UFO, but Golurk blocks it, retrieves the stolen Pokémon, and flies up like a tornado to strike the UFO. Cilan vows to return, but his UFO explodes shortly thereafter. Golurk uses its power to restore the Golurk statue before transforming back into Golett. The film ends with everyone gazing at the Golurk statue against a brilliant sunset.
As the screen darkens, Luke is very disheartened to see that no one has clapped, much to Jules's delight. However, clapping is eventually heard as the audience gives Luke a standing ovation. Cilan encourages Luke to stand up and see his fans cheer for him. Later, the judging commences and Luke is declared the winner, upsetting Jules. Mr. Gold hands Luke the competition trophy, praising him for his work. Everyone congratulates Luke as Zorua cycles between her roles of Iris, Golurk, and finally herself, snickering happily for her Trainer. The episode ends with the group giving Luke their best wishes, and Luke wishes Ash luck for his Gym match. The group leaves while Meloetta, intrigued with Ash, watches on.
- Ash and his friends arrive in Virbank City and meet up with Luke again.
- The Team Rocket trio prepares to begin their latest operation.
- A wild Meloetta starts to follow Ash.
- Ash meets Meloetta for the first time.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
TV episode debuts
- Pikachu (Ash's)
- Meowth (Team Rocket)
- Axew (Iris's)
- Oshawott (Ash's)
- Pignite (Ash's)
- Snivy (Ash's)
- Scraggy (Ash's)
- Boldore (Ash's)
- Excadrill (Iris's)
- Emolga (Iris's)
- Pansage (Cilan's)
- Crustle (Cilan's)
- Stunfisk (Cilan's)
- Zorua (Luke's)
- Golett (Luke's)
- Leavanny (Luke's)
- Krookodile (Jules's)
- Meloetta (anime; debut)
- Golurk (illusion)
- Tyranitar (mecha)
- Professor Oak's Pokémon Live Caster: Meloetta's Moonlight Serenade, Kyurem VS the Sacred Swordsman: Keldeo, BW083 and BW084*/Galvantula*.
- This is the first Who's That Pokémon? segment of the Japanese broadcast of Best Wishes series not to feature a Generation V Pokémon. In the English dub, Krookodile is featured.
- This episode marks the first time that a promotion-only Pokémon makes its anime debut outside of the movies.
- This episode contains a parody of the MGM logo, with Zorua in place of the lion and Yamask's mask underneath it.
- Most of the movies mentioned in this episode are parodies of movies in real life, such as Dirty Herdier parodying Dirty Harry.
- The movie seen in this episode is a parody of kaiju movies, which are popular in Japan. There are a number of Godzilla references in this episode as well, which are listed below.
- Iris and Luke's Zorua play the twin priestesses of Pokémon Island, roles that are similar to the miniature priestesses of Infant Island in the Mothra movies, the Shobijin.
- Cilan playing an evil alien controlling the Mecha Tyranitar is similar to a number of Godzilla movies in which various daikaiju were under the control of aliens bent on destroying Earth, including Destroy All Monsters.
- The Mecha Tyranitar itself is a reference to Godzilla's longtime mechanical foe, Mechagodzilla.
- Instrumental versions of Rival Destinies and Follow Your Star (Ideals Mix) are used as background music in the dub.
- This was the last new episode to air before the English release of Pokémon Black and White Versions 2.
- This episode marks the final physical appearance of Luke.
- Ash mentions that he is familiar with the film Dirty Herdier, yet he is completely unfamiliar with any Unova Pokémon prior to Best Wishes and does not meet one until his rematch with Lenora.
- When the wooden boards were about to fall on Meloetta, the back of its head is green instead of black for a few frames.
- When the Mecha Tyranitar is using its laser to attack Iris and Luke's Zorua, a strap on Axew's collar is purple instead of red.
- The faces of Iris and Luke's Zorua (as Iris) are not always the same size throughout the episode.
- When Golett returns to its normal form after fixing the statue, Ash's collar is red instead of black.
In other languages
|Dutch||Ode aan de Defensiemacht!|
|German||Der Pokémon Film-Wettbewerb!|
|Greek||Μια Επική Αμυντική Δύναμη!|
|Italian||Evviva le Guardie di Unima!|
|Korean||영화 대결! 출격 하나 방위대!|
|Norwegian||En storslått forsvarsstyrke!|
|Polish||Filmowy oddział obronny!|
|Brazilian Portuguese||Uma Épica Força de Defesa!|
|Spanish||Latin America||¡Una fuerza defensiva épica!|
|Spain||¡Fuerzas defensivas de leyenda!|
|Swedish||En storslagen försvarsstyrka!|
|Vietnamese||Trận chiến điện ảnh! Đội cảnh vệ vùng Isshu vào cuộc!|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|