| Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu!
Pokémon Ranger! The Wave-Guiding Riolu!! (Part 1)
|| March 20, 2008
| United States
|| November 1, 2008
|| Team Iguchi
|| 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Assistant director
|| 古賀一臣 Kazuomi Koga
| Animation director
|| 玉川明洋 Akihiro Tamagawa
| Additional credits
Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu! Part 1 (Japanese: ポケモンレンジャー！波導のリオル！！(前編) Pokémon Ranger! The Wave-Guiding Riolu!! (Part 1)) is the 71st episode of Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, and the 537th episode of the Pokémon anime. It aired in Japan in a one-hour special on March 20, 2008, the day that Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia was released. It and DP072 were released on DVD in Japan on June 20, 2008. It aired in the United States on November 1, 2008.
In the middle of the night, chaos breaks loose in an isolated research center as research subject RX-1, a Riolu, escapes with the help of several men and a getaway truck. But the men want to steal Riolu, not help it, so Riolu breaks out again and flees into the forest. The next day, nursing an injury, it encounters Ash and the gang, but mistakes them for more false friends and blasts Ash with Aura Sphere when he tries to help. Fortunately Kellyn, a Top Ranger from the Pokémon Rangers, catches up with Riolu. Kellyn is just in time to stop Pokémon Hunter J's minions from grabbing Riolu themselves; he uses his Vatonage Styler to recruit nearby Bug Pokémon to halt the thugs' kidnap attempt.
Now that everyone can relax, he explains that Riolu hails from the Paradise Kingdom, where it uses its special Aura powers to serve as the kingdom's guardian. Those powers strike a chord with Ash, who's able to sense mental images of Riolu's past. Riolu was kidnapped from its kingdom and is now on Pokémon Hunter J's target list, so Kellyn, together with Pokémon Ranger Solana and Officer Jenny, is here to save Riolu and get it back home. As proof of his good intentions, he brings Riolu a wooden carving made by the old man who raised it.
Hoping to evade Pokémon Hunter J, Kellyn teams up with our heroes to escort Riolu downriver toward a waiting recovery team. It's all for naught, though, as Pokémon Hunter J and her Salamence attack, forcing everyone to scatter. Ash manages to rescue Riolu and its prized carving from the water, but they wind up lost on a riverbank and cut off from the others, with Pokémon Hunter J's goons already searching the forest around them.
Ash and Riolu make a break for it, only to be spotted. Pokémon Hunter J coolly decides to flush them out into the open by burning down the forest around them, and Ash and Riolu escape the flames only to find themselves cornered by J and her Salamence. Are Ash and Riolu ever going to get out of this in one piece...?
A Riolu, named RX1 by its captors, flees from explosions rocking a research facility. The kidnappers' Golem fires a Hyper Beam at the building, and they escape on a passing truck with their boss inside. Riolu is put in the back. As the truck is moving, Riolu uses its Aura abilities to overhear a discussion between its rescuers and their boss. They say that they tricked Riolu into thinking they would bring it home. Upon hearing it, Riolu uses Aura Sphere on the truck's back door to escape. The boss is impressed by Riolu’s power and orders his henchmen to go after Riolu immediately.
Later, Ash, Brock and Dawn encounter Riolu as they are passing through a forest, and find out it is hurt. When Ash tries to help it, Riolu attacks him with an Aura Sphere to defend itself. Brock is surprised, adding that Aura Sphere is usually learned after a Riolu evolves into a Lucario. Then, Ash tries to help it again but Riolu prepares to attack him again. Unexpectedly, Kellyn, a Pokémon Ranger, deflects the attack with his arm. Riolu soon runs off, with Kellyn following, and Ash’s impulsiveness leads the group into the pursuit. Watching from a tree, Team Rocket are impressed by Riolu’s power and set their sights on stealing it.
While looking for Riolu, Ash is startled as he is pulled into the bushes by the mysterious guy from earlier. Kellyn orders the group to keep quiet and points out that Riolu is in a nearby tree. He tells the group that Riolu only wants to go back home. Pokémon hunter J's thugs show up in their armored vehicles and attempt to steal Riolu. One of her henchman sends out a Crobat, lashing Riolu with a Wing Attack to knock it out of the tree. Then Ash comes out and orders Pikachu to use Thunderbolt. Crobat dodges the attack before being struck down by Riolu’s Aura Sphere. Riolu leaps out from the shrubs and unleashes a fury of Aura Sphere on the henchmen, narrowly missing Ash and Pikachu. The henchmen respond by sending out their other Crobat, though Kellyn steps in. Throwing off his green cloak and connecting his Vatonage Styler to his wrist, the group realize that Kellyn is a Pokémon Ranger. Kellyn takes control of a nearby Ariados. Then Ariados wraps the henchmen's Pokémon in its String Shot. Then he captures a Nincada and orders it to Dig, which traps the henchmen in pitfall. Kellyn promptly releases the Pokémon he captured, thanking them for their assistance.
Next, Kellyn turns his attention to Riolu, showing it with a small wooden Riolu figurine. He explains to Riolu that there is nothing to fear as he returns the figurine into a pullstring bag and places around Riolu's neck. He picks up Riolu and tells the group to follow him, introducing himself to them as Kellyn, a Pokémon Ranger whose mission is to bring Riolu home. Kellyn uses a Super Potion to heal Riolu's wounded arm. Then Riolu approaches the nearby river and takes out the wooden figurine. Kellyn informs the group that the figurine is a gift from the man who raised him. Then, Ash experiences a sudden vision of a house where Riolu receives the same wooden figurine from its Trainer. Then he approaches Riolu and reveals that Riolu used its Aura to create the vision. Upon hearing this, all react surprised and Kellyn explains the Aura is similar to a feeling and Ash's Aura is perfectly matched with that of Riolu's. Then his Styler starts ringing, the caller being Solana who immediately recognizes Ash and Brock. She informs Kellyn that Ash will be a great asset to the mission. Solana informs informs them that she and Officer Jenny are currently headed for J's client's house. Kellyn thanks her for the confirmation and replies that he'll meet her at the agreed rendezvous point before signing off.
Kellyn and the group spot Hunter J's airship flying overhead, so they push forward and cross a lake by a boat being towed by Piplup and Buizel. As they cross the lake Kellyn explains that Riolu comes from the Lucario Kingdom, where it will use its special Aura powers to serve as the kingdom's new guardian. Their boat is then smashed by J's henchmen's Sharpedo who show up. A Floatzel jumps out of the water and Kellyn uses his Capture Styler to enlist its help. He orders Floatzel to take them to the shore but they are attacked by Sharpedo's Aqua Jet. In order to escape them, Pikachu shocks the Sharpedo with Thunderbolt. Then J and her Salamence show up. The group proceeds to attack her, but Salamence deflects their attacks with Hyper Beam. Hunter J points her freezing bracelet at Riolu, so Kellyn has Floatzel use Water Gun to hit Salamence in its wing. After that, she fires a shot. Riolu manages to evade it, but drops the figurine in the water. Riolu swims after its memento, so Kellyn and others prepare to follow. Salamence uses Hyper Beam on the surrounding cliffs which break apart to stop Kellyn, Dawn and Brock in their tracks.
Meanwhile, Ash, Pikachu and Buizel continue following Riolu and the figurine. The figurine falls down a waterfall and Riolu is caught in the currents, and is dragged underwater. As Riolu drowns it recalls the moment it was captured by the scientists. It later wakes up to find itself lying down on the grass after being rescued by Ash, who gives it the wooden figurine. Pikachu hears Hunter J nearby, so he along with Ash, Buizel and Riolu run away but are spotted by Hunter J and her henchmen. The henchmen prepare to go after them, but Hunter J puts her own plan into motion. She has her Salamence use Flamethrower to set the forest alight, soon managing to trap Riolu and Ash in a ring of fire.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- In the English dub, when Ash chases after Kellyn and Riolu, Brock and Dawn tell Ash to wait, but only Brock's voice is heard.
- When Ash is confronting J, J's left sleeve is colored the same as her jacket.
In other languages