日高政光 Hidaka Masamitsu was the former director of the Pokémon anime.
Early reports credited 高木信一郎 Shin'ichirō Takagi as the animation director for this episode.
Dawn Of A New Era! (Japanese: ポッチャマ対スボミー！ヒカリ初バトル！！Pochama VS Subomie! Hikari's First Battle!!) is the fourth episode of the Diamond & Pearl series, and the 470th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on October 5, 2006 and in the United States on June 7, 2007.
Dawn is still trying to catch her first wild Pokémon, but Ash's coaching isn't helping at all and both Trainers are getting annoyed. The outlook suddenly gets much brighter when Nando, a traveling Pokémon bard, has his Budew use Sunny Day to lighten the mood. To show Ash her skills, Dawn requests a Contest battle with Nando, but Budew's Grass-type moves are too tough for Piplup. Budew wins and our heroes head to a Pokémon Center, where they learn that Nando can't decide whether to dedicate himself to Pokémon Contests or Gym battles.
To help him decide, Ash and Dawn set off to find Nando again, only to end up deep in the forest. It's too late to get back to the Pokémon Center, but three very familiar and suspicious-looking individuals offer them a free inn room for the night. Of course, it's all another Team Rocket scheme to snatch Pikachu! Nando and his Budew come to the rescue, and now it's Ash's turn to ask Nando for a friendly battle.
Ash decides to use Pikachu to battle Budew. Nando's style may be elegant, but even though Budew evolves into Roselia during the match, it's still not enough to defeat Pikachu. Still, Nando had so much fun battling Dawn and Ash that he's decided to do both Gym battles and Pokémon Contests! Our heroes say goodbye to Nando with promises to meet again, then continue their journey towards Dawn's first Contest and Ash's first Sinnoh Gym battle.
Dawn makes her second attempt to capture a Buneary. She pulls out a Poké Ball, but Ash reminds her to make it larger. She expands the Ball and throws it, but it slips and hits Ash in the face. Ash gets angry and scolds Dawn, and an argument ensues. Buneary slips away, and Piplup notices, alerting everyone else. Ash and Dawn continue to argue as they continue down the path. Brock tries to stop them, but bright sunlight silences all three of them. Brock mentions that it is Sunny Day. A Budew walks up and Ash checks his Pokédex. A minstrel steps out from behind a tree, playing a harp and mentioning that the move helped calm the argument. The group exchanges introductions, the man identifying himself as Nando and his Budew. Dawn asks Nando for a battle in order to show Ash how strong she is. Nando asks her if she is going for the Sinnoh League, her reply being that she is going for the Sinnoh Grand Festival. Nando decides to make it a Contest Battle as they head to a clearing. Team Rocket follows and notices Dawn with Ash and Brock, Jessie irritated that she is going for the Grand Festival.
Dawn chooses Piplup to go against Budew. Dawn goes first with Peck, but Nando's Budew dodges easily, jumping up in the air and firing Bullet Seed. Piplup dodges and fires Bubble Beam. It hits, but it is ineffective against Budew. Ash points out the type disadvantage while Brock notices that Budew used the smoke as an appeal. Nando orders Budew to use Solar Beam and Dawn decides to rush Piplup in with Peck. However, Sunny Day was still in effect, something she overlooked, and Solar Beam fires immediately, scoring a hit and incapacitating Piplup. Nando commends Dawn for her first battle as he departs. Team Rocket watches and Jessie snubs Dawn for her loss as they group planning to steal Pikachu.
As sunset passes, Dawn sulks at her loss and her inability to catch Pokémon. Brock looks at his guidebook and mentions a nearby Pokémon Center, where they can stay the night. Brock brings out Bonsly as Dawn checks her Pokédex. Ash asks if Brock brought his other Pokémon, but Bonsly is his only Pokémon, his other Pokémon back at home. Dawn learns that Brock was the PewterGymLeader.
At the center, Dawn thinks the Nurse Joy there was the same one from Sandgem Town. Brock shows how all the Nurse Joys are related as he makes his romantic advances, Dawn noticing the familiar behavior. Dawn calls her mother as she thanks them for watching her. Nurse Joy comes up and asks Ash if he already registered for the Sinnoh League, which he has not. She takes his Pokédex and plugs it into a computer, registering him. Dawn asks if she can register for Contests as well, but Joy mentions that she does that at the Contest Hall, as well as getting a Contest Pass. Three Trainers arrive with the three Sinnohstarters, one with a Prinplup. Dawn checks her Pokédex as Nando shows up. Nurse Joy hands Nando his Budew as Nando takes off to ponder a decision. Nurse Joy reveals to Ash and his friends that Nando is trying to decide whether to focus on winning Badges or Ribbons. Ash and Dawn argue about what Nando should choose, running off after Nando to ask, forcing Brock to follow.
Night falls as Ash and Dawn lose Nando. Ash's Starly did not find Nando as he recalls Starly. Ash mentions that the group will have to camp out for the night as Brock scolds them for being impulsive. A disguised Team Rocket shows up and points them to a building in the forest where they can stay. The wind blows and the building, which was really a large, propped board, falls over and removes Team Rocket's disguise. They recite their their motto as James brings out Carnivine. Noting the new Pokémon, Ash checks his Pokédex. Dawn brings out Piplup and fires Bubble Beam, but Carnivine literally eats it and charges forward with Bite. However, Budew intercepts, pushing Carnivine back and fires Bullet Seed, sending Team Rocket flying. Nando shows up as Ash and Dawn try to persuade him to focus specifically on either Contests or Gym battles. Ash and Dawn continue to argue as Nando stops them, mentioning that they can hear the forest sounds and wild Pokémon roaming. The group stops and listens at the various Pokémon. Dawn apologizes to Ash for her anger and the two make up. Ash mentions the time when he first spotted Ho-Oh at the beginning of his journey. Dawn mentions her sighting of a projected soul of a legendary Pokémon back at Lake Verity.
Ash asks Nando to battle, which happens the next day, pitting Pikachu against Budew. Pikachu uses Quick Attack on Budew, but it fires Bullet Seed. Pikachu dodges and hits with Quick Attack. Budew uses Mega Drain, ensnaring Pikachu and sending him flying, taking energy and healing Budew. Pikachu gets up and uses Thunderbolt, shocking Budew. Budew gets up and glows, evolving into Roselia. Ash is shocked by Budew's evolution. Roselia uses Sunny Day to amplify the rays and proceeds to complete the combo with SolarBeam. Pikachu darts forward as the beam launches. Pikachu jumps up to dodge and comes down with Iron Tail, knocking out Roselia. Nando picks up Roselia and recalls it. He thanks Ash and Dawn, announcing his decision to do both Contests and Gym battles based on his battles with Ash and Dawn. The group parts way and Ash's group continues on to Jubilife City.
The eyecatches feature Ash (wearing his Diamond & Pearl outfit), Dawn, and Brock. The first shot shown just before the commercial is a close up of them, while the second shot shown right after the commercials shows their whole bodies. These would be the same shots until the show moved into HD in The Lonely Snover!.
After Dawn talks to Johanna, her hair-clips turn blue.
Before the end of the episode, the semi Poké Ball on Dawn's hat is missing the filled in pink circle, leaving only the outer circle icon on the hat.
Several voice errors can be heard in the Swedish dub:
When Dawn hits Ash in the face with a Poké Ball, his English voice can be heard.
Before Ash introduces himself to Nando, Budew's mouth is moving without any sound being heard resulting in an awkward silence.
Before Dawn scans Bonsly with her Pokédex, Bonsly's mouth is moving but no sound can be heard.