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DP073 : Crossing Paths
Diamond & Pearl series
DP075 : Our Cup Runneth Over!
Pika and Goliath!
DP074   EP540
Pikachu! Raichu! The Path to Evolution!!
First broadcast
Japan April 3, 2008
United States August 30, 2008
English themes
Opening We Will Be Heroes
Japanese themes
Opening Together
Ending 風のメッセージ (PokaPoka Version)
Animation Team Iguchi
Screenplay 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
Storyboard 小山賢 Masaru Koyama
Assistant director 小山賢 Masaru Koyama
Animation director 志村泉 Izumi Shimura
Additional credits

Pika and Goliath! (Japanese: ピカチュウ!ライチュウ!進化への道!! Pikachu! Raichu! The Path to Evolution!!) is the 74th episode of Diamond & Pearl series, and the 540th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on April 3, 2008, alongside DP073 as a one-hour special and in the United States on August 30, 2008.

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201



Before he can get to Pastoria City, Ash has to battle a slang-talking Trainer named Sho. Sho wants to collect a Pikachu evolution set and he already has Raichu and Pichu, so he has his eye on Ash's Pikachu—but Ash isn't about to trade. Instead, they have a battle: Sho's Raichu vs. Ash's Pikachu. Raichu isn't afraid to go head-to-head with Pikachu, and it also knows Hyper Beam, a move that Pikachu can't learn unless it evolves. Not only does Raichu beat Pikachu, Paul drops by just long enough to sneer at Ash for not having evolved his Pikachu.

While Pikachu gets some serious rest and recuperation at the nearest Pokémon Center, Ash takes out the Thunderstone he received in Vermilion City. Back at the Vermilion Gym, Lt. Surge's Raichu beat Pikachu and forced it to consider whether it wanted to evolve; even though Pikachu decided to remain a Pikachu, what if it's changed its mind since then? Team Rocket saw the whole thing unfold and they still think Pikachu should stay the same, so they swipe the Thunderstone when no one is looking.

It's just as well, since Pikachu decides to beat Raichu itself. After some special training, it's time for a rematch. Instead of relying on raw power, Ash has Pikachu use strategic moves and spinning tricks to beat Raichu. Sho admits that Ash's Pikachu is pretty good—but if they ever meet again, the result will be different!


As the gang is eating at a table in the woods, Piplup accidentally knocks a piece of food out of Pikachu's paw with its flailing arms. Disgruntled, both Pokémon ran off to find the food. Once the food stopped rolling, a strange Pichu picked it up, eating it right in front of the duo. Pichu called for its Trainer, a boy named Sho. When Sho laid his eyes on Pikachu, he thought it was a wild Pokémon. However, when a worried Ash ran over, Sho mistook their greeting, thinking Ash was trying to capture Pikachu.

In a rage, he tossed out his Raichu, and told it to use Iron Tail. Ash countered Raichu's attack with an Iron Tail of his own. Both Iron Tails collided. Once Sho realized that Pikachu wasn't wild, he offered up a few Pokémon to trade; namely a Mareep, Magnemite, and Magneton. Ash turned down all of the other Pokémon. Brock then asked why Sho wanted Pikachu so badly, to which he replied that he wanted a full-power evolution set.

Ash asked why Sho didn't just evolve his Pichu, and Sho said that then he'd have to catch another Pichu. Ash challenged Sho to a battle – His Raichu against Pikachu. Sho accepted on the terms that if he won, Pikachu was his. However, Ash declined that offer. Still, Sho agreed to battle him anyway.

The first attack launched was by Pikachu – A Thunderbolt. Raichu took the electricity, completely unfazed. Sho mocked Pikachu's power, and gave Pikachu a Thunder. Pikachu also took the attack, then launched Volt Tackle; however, Raichu also knew this move and used it as well. Both of the Volt Tackles collided, creating an explosion. Raichu safely landed on its feet, but Pikachu slammed into a rock and struggled to stand back up. Both Pokémon then used Iron Tail, skidding backwards on the ground.

Ash assumed Raichu would be beaten with speed, and Pikachu used Quick Attack. The attack collided with Raichu's stomach, but Raichu didn't seem hurt at all. Then Sho decided it was time to use Hyper Beam. Once Ash tried to get Pikachu to dodge it, Raichu used its tail to attach Pikachu to a nearby rock so it couldn't run away. Raichu charged up its Hyper Beam attack and hit Pikachu at point-blank range. This also destroyed the rock and sent Pikachu flying. Pikachu tried to stand up, but fell back down when Raichu stepped in front of it. Pikachu looked in fear at the face of the attacker before its vision blurred. Ash, concerned, ran over to Pikachu and held it.

Sho again asked to trade, but Ash refuses. Changing his mind, Sho made fun of Pikachu and walked off with his Raichu. Watching in the distance was Paul, who stated that Pikachu needed to evolve to even come close to being an equal to Raichu. Just as quickly as he appeared, he was gone again. Brock then states that it's true that Pikachu can't learn Hyper Beam without evolving. Dawn then says that Pikachu can't evolve without a Thunder Stone.

Before Pikachu can say anything, it passes out in Ash's arms. Pikachu is immediately taken to a Pokémon Center, where it is hooked up to a electrocardiograph to check its pulse and heart rate. Team Rocket is seen outside, looking into the hospital room sadly as Pikachu's health began to deteriorate. Upon having flashbacks of its life, Pikachu's pulse and heart rates begin to plummet, and Nurse Joy used a defibrillator and Chansey set it for 200 volts. It was ineffective, so Nurse Joy told Chansey to set it for 300 volts instead. After three more tries, Pikachu's heart and pulse rates begins to go back to normal, much to everyone's relief.

Later that afternoon, Pikachu is seen resting in a hospital bed. As it wakes up, Ash and the others were waiting for it to come to. Pikachu quickly tries to rush off to get Raichu, but Ash puts it back in the bed, saying that it needs to rest. Then, Ash takes out a Thunder Stone, revealing to Dawn that Pikachu had been defeated by a Raichu in the past, referring to his Gym battle with Lt. Surge's Raichu. The Nurse Joy in Vermilion City gave him the stone and he kept it all that time in case Pikachu ever wanted to evolve. Pikachu didn't seem to want to evolve even then. As Pikachu still seems hurt, the gang leaves the room after Ash places the Thunder Stone on the table next to the window.

Outside, Team Rocket contemplate Pikachu evolving into Raichu. Jessie says that it wouldn't feel right, and Meowth is strongly against it, as he is proud not to evolve himself. Later that night, Pikachu glares angrily at the Thunder Stone, quickly turning away from it. It begins to think about the Raichu it battled. It sits up, looking at the Thunder Stone.

When the gang come into the room, Pikachu vanishes and the Thunder Stone is gone. Ash and his friends go off looking for Pikachu. A jolt of electricity in the night sky is seen and Ash runs off in that direction. Ash then sees his Pikachu, practicing Volt Tackle on a rock and breaking it. Ash runs over, happy that Pikachu decides to not evolve after all.

Team Rocket appears with Thunder Stone in hand, implying that they planned to sell it before running off. Brock, Dawn, and Piplup came rushing over, noticing that Pikachu decided not to evolve after all.

The next morning, Pikachu seems ready and raring to go as they ran into the lobby of the Pokémon Center. There, they see Paul. Paul notices that Pikachu hadn't evolved, but says nothing and walks right past them.

The episode switches to Ash and Pikachu training with a frisbee, practicing flips and spins. A jolt of electricity bursts from out of the trees, interrupting the training. Ash quickly runs over, noticing that it was Raichu's Thunder. Sho is seen with his Raichu, practicing against a few trees before the gang runs over. Ash immediately challenges Sho to another battle. Sho remarks that it would end the same, but that he was fine with a rematch. He let out his Pichu to watch the battle.

Right before the battle started, Pikachu taunted Sho and his Raichu. Ash told them that it was their turn to go first. Angrily, Sho told Raichu to use Iron Tail. Ash's Pikachu was able to dodge it by spinning over top of Raichu. Again, Raichu used Iron Tail. However, Pikachu spun around on the ground, dodging every Iron Tail Raichu threw at it. Finally, one of Raichu's Iron Tails hit Pikachu. Raichu then spun around and threw Pikachu in the air. Raichu used Volt Tackle on where Pikachu was going to land, and Ash countered with an Iron Tail.

Both Pokémon slid backwards, but Raichu came at Pikachu with another Volt Tackle. Pikachu was able to dodge it and then had to dodge a barrage of Iron Tails. Once Raichu was tired, Pikachu used Quick Attack and slammed into Raichu's stomach. Raichu was tossed backwards, but was able to stay on its feet. Raichu then came at Pikachu with an Iron Tail again. Pikachu was able to dodge it and use Iron Tail on Raichu's stomach. Raichu seemed to be worn out, but was able to make a come back with Thunder. However, Pikachu easily moved out of the way and used Volt Tackle. This time when Raichu was hit, it fell to the ground. Still, Raichu was able to stand back up. Sho then ordered Raichu to use Hyper Beam.

Raichu used its tail in the same way it had before, only this time Pikachu was held against a tree. Thinking on his feet, Ash told Pikachu to use Thunderbolt. Right as Raichu's Hyper Beam collided, Pikachu was able to soften the blow with Thunderbolt. Sho thought it was all over, until the smoke cleared and Pikachu was still standing. Raichu couldn't move, so Ash took this time to get an advantage. Pikachu used Volt Tackle combined with an Iron Tail and slammed right into Raichu.

Raichu was still able to get to its feet, and countered with Volt Tackle. Pikachu also used Volt Tackle. The attacks collided and an explosion was created. Both Pokémon were flung backwards, and both Pokémon were able to stand their ground. Raichu then used Iron Tail on Pikachu, who countered with a spinning Iron Tail. Raichu was flung into a tree, however Raichu was still able to get back up. Raichu then used Hyper Beam again, but its tail missed Pikachu. Ash's Pikachu then somehow 'used the energy from the Hyper Beam' to jump into the air and began to spin. It used the energy to go into an Iron Tail. Iron Tail collided with Raichu, knocking it out.

Both Paul and Team Rocket had been watching the battle. Team Rocket, much like they did when this happened previously, celebrated and revealed that they stole the Thunder Stone, and they intended to sell it for their plans to steal Pikachu. Meanwhile, Paul simply walks off-screen.

Finally, our heroes said good-bye to Sho and walked off into the sunset.

Major events

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


Pokémon debuts





The machine in the Pokémon Center


Dub edits

  • In the Hindi dub, when Pikachu quickly tries to rush off to get Raichu during his recovery in the Pokémon Center, Ash asks Pikachu if he really does want to evolve into Raichu. However, in the original as well as in the English dub version, Ash just says that he needs to rest.

In other languages

DP073 : Crossing Paths
Diamond & Pearl series
DP075 : Our Cup Runneth Over!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.