|Pedal to the Mettle!
Pedal to the Mettle! (Japanese: フルバトル！シンジＶＳサトシ！！-前編- Full Battle! Shinji VS Satoshi!! -Part 1-) is the 131st episode of Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl, and the 597th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on June 11, 2009 and in the United States on November 7, 2009.
Lake Acuity is said to be the home of Uxie, the Legendary Pokémon, but today it's home to a 6-on-6 battle between Ash and Paul! Paul is already waiting on the shore, where he's been training his Pokémon under the thoughtful eye of his brother Reggie. Once Ash arrives, Reggie explains that this battle is a good way for Ash and Paul to test each other. So, once the referee arrives with Team Rocket (disguised as the referee's assistants), it's time to start the match. Ash plans to start by using Buizel, but changes his mind when he sees Paul send out Torterra. Instead, Ash decides to have Gliscor battle first.
Gliscor tries to obscure its moves by kicking up dust, but the trick has no effect. Then Ash orders Gliscor to stay on the offense-and that overconfidence leads Gliscor straight into Torterra's attack! With Gliscor injured, Ash must switch in Staraptor. Torterra is tired too, but Paul keeps it in the battle just long enough to hit Staraptor with Stone Edge. Next, Paul switches in Weavile, which has the speed to keep up with Staraptor. Even so, Staraptor still beats Weavile, and it's time for another round of changes: Paul chooses Electabuzz, Ash sends in Grotle.
To Ash's surprise, Electabuzz uses Light Screen and promptly switches out for Honchkrow. Grotle is itching to settle an old score with Honchkrow, but Honchkrow still has a type advantage and the protection of Light Screen. What's more, Ash makes a mistake by ordering Grotle to use a defensive move at the wrong time! Honchkrow knocks Grotle out, and now it's Pikachu's turn to battle. Paul responds by bringing out Magmortar, taking Ash by surprise: is Pikachu ready to face the more powerful, evolved version of Paul's Magmar?
At Lake Acuity, Ash, Dawn and Brock have arrived for Ash's Full Battle against Paul, which Reggie had suggested ten days earlier. As Ash looks out at the view, Dawn recalls the legend the gang heard about during the Wallace Cup, which says the legendary Pokémon Uxie lives in Lake Acuity. Ash likes the thought of Uxie watching his battle with Paul, and the gang head for the nearby Pokémon Center where they are due to meet Paul and Reggie.
Ash hands in all of his Pokémon to be checked over by Nurse Joy and Brock begins to flirt with Nurse Joy until he's taken down by not just Croagunk's Poison Jab, but also with Chansey's Pound. Nurse Joy apologizes for her overprotective Pokémon as Croagunk drags Brock away. Ash learns that Paul has already arrived, and quickly heads out for the Center's battlefield.
Outside, the battlefield isn't in a usable condition, since it is mostly a pile of rubble and working construction is none other than Team Rocket. They recite an alternate version of their motto, which is centered around their new jobs. Suddenly, Ash arrives and he nearly sees through their disguises after they call him twerp. It turns out the battlefield is out of commission for a few days due to overuse. Ash begins to worry as he doesn't know where to meet Paul until a referee named Olivier arrives, having being asked by Reggie to officiate the Full Battle. He tells Ash that as the regular battlefield can't be used, Reggie has selected another location.
On a clearing beside Lake Acuity, Paul is practicing with Electabuzz under Reggie's watchful eye. Reggie notes how well Paul has polished his Pokémon's moves since the battle against Brandon, prompting Paul to ask Reggie why exactly he suggested the Full Battle in the first place. Reggie tells Paul that his battle with Brandon changed him, making it the perfect time for him to have a Full Battle with Ash, putting Paul at an apparent loss for words.
At the Pokémon Center, Ash picks up Pikachu, Staraptor, Grotle, Chimchar, Buizel, and Gliscor who are all ready and willing to battle Paul, Chimchar especially so. Brock reflects on Cynthia's words back in Celestic Town, when she told Chimchar that he had a bigger and better destiny. Brock knows that Chimchar is at the very center of Ash and Paul's rivalry, and that he will be instrumental in what happens between them. And so, with everyone ready to go, Ash goes out to meet Paul and Reggie.
At the lakefront, Reggie thanks Ash for coming, and expands upon what he was telling Paul earlier; another part of the reason that he requested the Full Battle is because of how alike Ash and Paul are. Both are intent on growing stronger alongside their Pokémon, the only difference between them being their training methods. He then says that a Full Battle between them is inevitable, and now is the perfect time for them both to compare each other's strengths and weaknesses. Just then, Olivier arrives in a balloon with a portable scoreboard. Helping him man the scoreboard and make the necessary changes as the match progresses are Team Rocket, once again wearing disguises.
Olivier officially states the rules: the battle will be a Full Battle, six-on-six with substitutions freely allowed on both sides. Coin Toss is used to decide who gets to pick their Pokémon first, and Ash wins. He sends out Buizel first, and Paul sends out his Torterra. The referee begins the match, only for Ash to instantly recall Buizel, similar to how Paul recalled his first Pokémon during the match against Brandon when he didn't like the type-matchup. Ash apologizes to Buizel and promises he will get another chance later, and sends out Gliscor instead. Ash reminds Paul that he encountered Gliscor before when it was still a Gligar, but Paul remains silent, choosing not to engage in conversation with his rival.
The battle then begins properly as Ash orders Gliscor to use Sand Attack, and Gliscor sends a lot of sand towards Torterra, clouding its vision. Reggie commends Ash on the smart move, as Brock notes that Ash has seen Torterra in battle before and therefore knows many of its strengths. Paul orders Torterra to use Giga Drain, but the energy-sapping tentacles end up plunging into the ground, missing a now airborne Gliscor completely. Brock and Reggie agree that Paul probably intended for Giga Drain to miss, to try and lull Ash into a false sense of security and let down his guard. Ash then has Gliscor use X-Scissor and it scores a direct hit. Being a Bug-type move, it causes Torterra a good amount of damage, but not enough to defeat it. Paul then starts to battle directly and orders Frenzy Plant, the most powerful Grass-type move as well as a risky one. Luckily, Gliscor is fast enough to fly up and avoid the vines, and Torterra is left immobilized due to having to recharge. Ash knows this is his chance and has Gliscor use Fire Fang, followed by X-Scissor. Ash decides to go in for one more hit and has Gliscor go in for a Steel Wing, but Torterra finishes recharging and is commanded by Paul to use Crunch. Although Steel Wing hits, Torterra also nails Crunch and bites down hard on Gliscor’s tail, trapping it and leaving it vulnerable to Torterra’s Giga Drain. Reggie and Brock realized this was part of Paul's strategy; allowing Torterra to be immobilized so Ash would go in close-range. Gliscor’s energy is still being sapped by Torterra, so Ash has it use Fire Fang on the energy tentacles, which brings the Giga Drain to a halt and sets Gliscor free. But despite this, Torterra’s attacks have caused Gliscor noticeable damage, so Ash decides to recall it.
Dawn is very nervous just watching the match, and Ash notices that Paul is keeping Torterra in the battle despite how much damage it’s taken, so he sends out Staraptor as his third Pokémon. Reggie realizes that Staraptor is the Staravia he battled back when Ash was in Veilstone City, and Dawn tells him that Staraptor defeated Paul's Honchkrow in a PokéRinger competition not too long ago, which impresses Reggie. Ash has Staraptor begin with Brave Bird, and Staraptor goes in for a direct hit. However, Paul has Torterra use Stone Edge, which stops Staraptor dead in his tracks and sends him plummeting to the ground. This makes everyone realize why Paul left Torterra in; he knew Ash would switch to Staraptor and go in for a close-range attack, making himself vulnerable to Torterra’s super-effective Stone Edge. Now that Torterra has done its job, Paul recalls it. Reggie asks Brock and Dawn if Ash came up with any kind of strategy against Paul or if he switched any of the Pokémon in his party. Dawn tells Reggie that Ash planned on using his usual six from the start, while Brock tells him that, with the exception of Pikachu, Ash's acquired all of his Pokémon in Sinnoh. Reggie then realizes that since Paul has battled Ash several times and knows what Pokémon he has, he based his team on that information.
Paul's second Pokémon is Weavile, and after making sure Staraptor is okay to continue battling, Ash has him go in for a Quick Attack. Staraptor gets the hit in, and Paul then has Weavile use Swords Dance. Dawn asks what Swords Dance does, and Reggie explains that it increases Attack power. Ash calls for an Aerial Ace, and Paul counters this by ordering Blizzard. The Ice-type move hits Staraptor and neutralizes his Aerial Ace, and Paul then has Weavile use Metal Claw. As Staraptor flies in, Weavile jumps onto his back, shocking everyone. Weavile then nails Metal Claw on Staraptor's back, and jumps off as the Predator Pokémon crashes to the ground. Paul then orders Weavile to go after Staraptor with another Metal Claw, and Ash has Staraptor use Close Combat in response. Staraptor and Weavile trade blows, but the exchange turns in Staraptor’s favor and Weavile takes a lot of damage. Paul orders a Blizzard while Ash calls for Brave Bird, and Staraptor endures the Blizzard and lands a direct hit with Brave Bird. Staraptor suffers from the recoil, but Weavile comes out of it far worse and falls on the ground unable to battle. Olivier rules Weavile out of the battle, and Ash, now with the advantage, commends a battered Staraptor on a fantastic performance, but knows better than to get too confident over this win. Ash also knows that Staraptor took significant damage, and recalls him for some rest.
Paul's third Pokémon is Electabuzz, to which Ash responds by sending out Grotle. Ash wonders what Paul is planning with an Electric-type, and has Grotle start with Energy Ball. Paul has Electabuzz use Light Screen, causing the Energy Ball to not even faze it. Brock explains to Dawn that Light Screen helps to defend against special attacks like Energy Ball, cutting down their power by half. Now that Light Screen is set up, Paul substitutes Electabuzz with Honchkrow, who has a much better type-matchup against Grotle. Brock tells Reggie that Grotle battled Honchkrow before, and it was that battle that caused Turtwig to evolve. Grotle is determined to defeat Honchkrow to make up for the defeat it suffered after evolving, and Ash decides to leave it in, determined to show Paul and Honchkrow how much Grotle has improved since then. Everyone else knows this is a bad decision on Ash's part due to Grotle’s disadvantage against a Flying-type, especially Paul.
Grotle uses Razor Leaf, but Honchkrow dodges and lands a powerful Night Slash. After Grotle shakes it off, Ash orders it to use Energy Ball. However, to Ash’s surprise, Honchkrow is shielded by Electabuzz’s earlier Light Screen, making him and Dawn realize that Light Screen can be passed on to other Pokémon. With the type-advantage and the Light Screen, Brock realizes that Paul’s goal is to overwhelm Ash, as Honchkrow is ordered to use Haze, surrounding Grotle. Normally, when Paul battles, it's to polish up his Pokémon's moves or to increase their power, but his motive during this battle is much different; this time, he's going straight for the win. Reggie explains that Paul has worked out Ash's battle style and is accordingly responding to it in order to keep the pressure on Ash. Grotle unsuccessfully tries to use Razor Leaf again, and Honchkrow comes out of the Haze and lands another Night Slash. Ash sees that Grotle is exhausted by now, so he has it use Synthesis. As Grotle regains its energy, Paul takes advantage of its vulnerable state and has Honchkrow use Sky Attack. Honchkrow begins glowing and flies straight for Grotle, and Dawn gets worried because Grotle hasn’t finished recovering yet. Ash has Grotle use Rock Climb to try and counter, but before it can execute the move, Honchkrow lands a direct hit and knocks Grotle out. Olivier rules Grotle unable to battle, and Ash recalls it, moments before Paul recalls Honchkrow. Reggie, noting on Ash's poor judgment, points out that using Synthesis as healing move has the disadvantage of leaving a Pokémon open to attack, and a Trainer should make note of the opponent's condition before using such a move, or be an easy target. Brock concurs, knowing that Ash wanted Grotle to defeat Honchkrow so badly that it clouded his judgment.
Both Trainers must choose new Pokémon, and Pikachu lets Ash know he's ready to go up next. Ash can see his partner is determined to help defeat Paul, and sends him into the battle. Paul sends in a Pokémon that surprises everyone: Magmortar, evolved from his Magmar. With one of his Pokémon down, and feeling the pressure piling on, Ash prepares to take on Magmortar.
- Ash and his friends reach Lake Acuity.
- Ash and Paul begin their Full Battle.
- Paul's Magmar is revealed to have evolved into a Magmortar.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
TV episode debuts
- Music from Mewtwo Strikes Back, Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, and Lucario and the Mystery of Mew is used as background music.
- This is the first time Pikachu was chosen to battle Paul since When Pokémon Worlds Collide!
- The disguises used by Team Rocket in this episode are the same that were used in Holy Matrimony!, which first aired in Japan exactly eleven years before the debut Japanese airing of this episode.
- When Ash, Dawn, and Brock arrive at Lake Acuity, there is no snow by the lake despite it being surrounded by snow in the games and in May and Zoey's flashbacks in Pruning a Passel of Pals!.
- The episode's English dub title is based on the saying "Pedal to the metal" and the word "mettle", meaning 'spirit' or 'quality of temperament'.
- Cartoon Network's standard-definition feed starts to become inconsistent in how the anime is aired, switching between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios before consistently being shown in 4:3 four episodes later for 14 weeks; Cartoon Network later stopped their cropping practices during the week prior to the initial dub airing of Sticking With Who You Know!, allowing the 16:9 letterbox presentation. Due to the opening credits now being formatted with the 16:9 aspect ratio in mind, the names in the opening credits are now cut off when Cartoon Network chooses to show the show in 4:3 in standard definition.
- However, if one watched the episode on Cartoon Network's high-definition feed or on Cartoon Network Video, the episode always airs in a 16:9 aspect ratio.
- Also, from this episode until Three Sides to Every Story!, if one watched an episode on Cartoon Network's high-definition feed, the first part of the episode (until the episode's title card appeared) would be shown in a 3:2 aspect ratio.
- Team Rocket uses a variation of their motto in this episode.
- They also don't blast off in this episode.
- Ash narrates the preview for the next episode.
- When Ash arrives at the Pokémon Center, Nurse Joy tells him she is looking after Paul's Pokémon. However, when Paul is seen, without him having had any chance to collect his Pokémon, Paul has his team already.
- Ash says that Water-type moves will not work very much on Torterra. However, Torterra is half-Ground type, meaning it would take normal damage.
- Brock mentions that Ash has battled Paul's Torterra several times before, though this is untrue. In the many times Ash has faced Paul, Paul has never used Torterra against him.
- When Honchkrow hits Grotle with Sky Attack, the scoreboard does not show Honchkrow at all, and shows Electabuzz being sent out. Seconds later, when the scoreboard is being updated with Grotle's KO, Honchkrow is seen.
- When Paul sends out his Magmortar, the screenshot shows that it stands a few feet away from Pikachu. However, when the camera switches to the battle from a distance, just as the episode is about to end, the space between the two Pokémon has widened so that Dawn, Brock, Reggie, Team Rocket, and the referee can be seen in the middle of the battle.
- At the end of the episode, when the camera is slowly zooming out while Pikachu and Magmortar are on the field, Grotle's icon on the scoreboard represents that he has been substituted, although he had already been defeated by this point.
In other languages
|Czech||Velký zápas začíná|
|Danish||Hårdt mod hårdt!|
|Dutch||Op naar de vuurproef!|
|European French||Rencontre au sommet !|
|German||Mit Eifer und Mut wird alles gut!|
|Italian||A tutto Coraggio!|
|Korean||풀배틀! 진철 VS 지우 제1부|
|Norwegian||Den store styrkeprøven!|
|Polish||Pokaż na co cię stać|
|Portuguese||Brazil||Ralar Pra Ganhar!|
|Romanian||Arată ce Poți|
|Spanish||Latin America||Pedal hasta el fondo|
|Spain||¡Poniendo al Límite!|
|Swedish||Full fart framåt!|
|This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.|