EP004 : Challenge of the Samurai
Original series
EP006 : Clefairy and the Moon Stone
Showdown in Pewter City
Nibi Gym Battle!
First broadcast
Japan April 29, 1997
United States September 14, 1998
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ひゃくごじゅういち
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 武上純希 Junki Takegami
Storyboard 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Itani
Assistant director 井硲清高 Kiyotaka Itani
Animation director 松原徳弘 Norihiro Matsubara
Additional credits

Showdown in Pewter City (Japanese: ニビジムのたたかい! Nibi Gym Battle!) is the fifth episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on April 29, 1997, and in the United States on September 14, 1998.

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


Jessie, James, and Meowth dig a trap for our heroes, but they end up falling into it themselves!

Ash and Misty arrive at Pewter City and meet a curious fellow named Flint, who notices that Pikachu is tired and shows them the way to the Pokémon Center.

At the Pokémon Center, Ash reads a poster promoting the Pokémon League Regional Championships—to compete, you have to beat gym leaders from various towns and win their badges. Ash challenges the Pewter City Gym Leader, Brock, but even a healed Pikachu has no chance against Brock's Rock-type Pokémon. Later, Flint shows Ash a surprising side of Brock—when he's not battling and raising Pokémon, he has to take care of his ten brothers and sisters.

Will this news affect Ash's desire to battle Brock again for the Rock Badge? Who is this Flint guy, and why does he insist on helping Ash train Pikachu for the rematch? And will Team Rocket ever climb out of that hole?


Team Rocket finishes digging a hole trap and disguises it with soil, leaves, and wood, though they fall into it soon after they forget its location. Meanwhile, Ash, Misty, and Pikachu arrive at the outskirts of Pewter City. As Ash takes a rest on some rocks, he and Misty meet a mysterious man named Flint, who sells rocks for a living. Flint escorts the group to the Pokémon Center, where Ash is surprised to encounter Nurse Joy again. She explains that she is the Viridian City Joy's older sister. She directs Ash's attention to a poster promoting a tournament called the Pokémon League Championship and he decides to sign up. However, before he can enter, he needs to defeat eight Pokémon Gym Leaders and earn a Gym Badge from each as proof of his victory. Flint walks in at this point and tells Ash about Pewter City's Gym Leader, Brock. He is openly skeptical of Ash's chances of winning and laughs scornfully at the very thought of it. Over a meal, Misty warns Ash of Gym Leaders' prodigious skill and offers him advice. Misty becomes angry when Ash declines her advice, so she choose to walks off, leaving him with the bill.

Ash stops by the Pokémon Center again to pick up his healed team before making his way to the Pewter Gym. When he arrives, the Gym is dark, though he soon meets the Gym Leader Brock, and challenges him to a battle. Brock queries Ash, and he replies that he has been traveling with Pikachu for two weeks. With a snap of his fingers, Brock transforms the Gym into a rocky field and turns on the lights. In the Pewter Gym, battles are two against two. Ash begins the match with Pikachu while Brock starts off with Onix. Pikachu is intimidated by the giant Pokémon and doesn't want to battle, but Ash responds by telling Pikachu that this is his battle. Pikachu's Thunder Shock is woefully ineffective against Onix's Bind, which begins to crush Pikachu, inflicting visible pain. This prompts Ash to recall Pikachu to his Poké Ball, though the attempt is thwarted by the larger Pokémon's bulk. Ash cannot bear to watch Pikachu's suffering and he forfeits the match.

As a dejected Ash leaves the Gym, he encounters Flint again, who suggests that Ash follow him to his home. Ash agrees, and over some tea, they discuss what happened in the Gym. Flint notices that Ash is obviously upset over his loss, so he consoles him with the knowledge that Brock could be an even better Trainer than he already is. Ash becomes confused by this, but Flint refuses to elaborate. Instead, he leads Ash outside to peer over a hedge into another house. The two of them watch as Brock, dressed in a pink apron, cares for his nine little brothers and sisters. Walking through the city, Flint explains that after Brock's good-for-nothing father left home to become a Pokémon Trainer, his heartbroken mother abandoned them, leaving the eldest child, Brock, to take care of his siblings. Ash feels sympathy for Brock but is determined to defeat him nonetheless. Flint recognizes Ash's determination and mentions that he might know of a way Ash can super-charge Pikachu.

Flint and Ash travel to a hydroelectric plant, where Flint hooks up the generator to the electric sacs in Pikachu's cheeks. As the river is bone-dry, Ash must run on a large water wheel to generate the electricity, which flows into Pikachu. Misty shows up and offers to lend Ash her Water-type Pokémon. However, Ash refuses and continues charging Pikachu until the generator overloads and Pikachu's electricity lights up the night sky. The next day, Ash returns with confidence to the Pewter City Gym for a rematch. Brock is also confident after his easy victory in the last battle, and the two quickly start the rematch. Brock starts off with Geodude, while Ash sends out Pidgeotto. However, the Normal- and Flying-type Pokémon cannot hurt Geodude, and is knocked out. Ash recalls it and sends out Pikachu. Misty watches and cheers for Ash from the rafters, though she is later outnumbered by Brock's supportive siblings.

Brock comments on how weak Pikachu and Ash are, and Ash retorts by commanding Pikachu's attack, which easily knocks Geodude out. Both Brock and Misty are stunned at this. Brock recalls his Geodude and sends out Onix, and a fearful Pikachu tries another Electric attack, damaging the Gym instead. Onix wraps Pikachu with Bind, but Pikachu makes a comeback with his new attack, Thunderbolt. While the attack manages to injure Onix, the Rock Snake Pokémon's Bind proves to be too much for Pikachu to handle, and the Thunderbolt fizzles out. Just as Pikachu is about to pass out, Brock suddenly spares him by calling Onix off. He tells Ash to forfeit again before any more harm comes to Pikachu. Ash protests, wanting to finish the battle.

Suddenly, the Gym's sprinklers are set off by a fire caused by Pikachu's earlier Electric attack. Water sprays all over Onix, weakening it and allowing Pikachu to fight back with another Electric attack after Misty yells out to Ash that Rock types like Onix are weakened by water. Just as Ash is about to command Pikachu to finish Onix off, Brock's brothers and sisters all crowd Ash and beg him to stop. Brock orders his brothers and sisters to not get involved, but they protest, knowing that Brock's love of Pokémon would make it painful for him to continue the match and watch his Onix get hurt further. At this, Ash, flashing back to Brock telling his Onix to release Pikachu just prior to the sprinklers being set off, calls back his Pikachu. He explains that if he defeated Brock now, it would only be because of the sprinklers being set off. He decides he wants to win his Badge fair and square, much to Misty's disappointment since he is giving up a lucky advantage.

Ash leaves the Pewter Gym and apologizes to Pikachu for being so tough on him. He turns around after hearing someone calling, and notices Brock running up to him. Surprisingly, Brock gives him the Boulder Badge. Ash doesn't want to accept the Badge, but Brock insists that Ash has earned it through his kindness to Pokémon. Brock continues to explain that rather than becoming a great Pokémon Trainer, his dream is to become a great Pokémon Breeder, but can't do so because of his family duties. He gives Ash the Badge and asks him to fulfill his dream, to which Ash agrees.

Suddenly, Flint reappears and removes his beard and hat, revealing that he is Brock's father. He explains that he avoided returning to his family as a failure of a Pokémon Trainer. Ash puzzles over the fact that Flint helped him instead of his son, Brock, and Flint explains that Ash's helplessness reminded him of himself. Flint is ready to take back the responsibilities that he abandoned years ago, which Brock returns to him, along with a long list of tasks for him to remember while taking care of the children. That evening, Ash and Brock travel on the road out of Pewter City. Ash insists that he is glad to have him along. However, Misty is a different story, and from several paces behind she yells at him to not forget about her bike. Ash and Pikachu, followed by Brock, run ahead to lose Misty, though she remains in pursuit.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket finally manages to burst out of their trap via power drill, only to end up being trampled by Ash and his friends.

Major events

Brock giving Ash the Boulder Badge
For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.



Pokémon debuts


Dare da?



Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Onix



  • The blurb incorrectly refers to the Boulder Badge as the Rock Badge.
  • Before Ash's first battle with Brock, right before Brock switches the lights of the Gym on, Ash's eyes are colored red. This also happens when Ash attempts to recall Pikachu.
  • When Ash begins both of his battles with Brock, the giant rock in the middle of the platform that moved into position disappears.
  • When Flint tells Ash to come with him, Ash's right glove is missing.
  • Ash's advantage over Brock should not have technically worked; Ground-type Pokémon are immune to Electric-type moves. This is the first of many times Pikachu's Electric attacks defy type matchups to change the results of the battle.
    • However, there are multiple future instances in the anime where Electric moves have not worked against Ground-type Pokémon, including Onix.
  • In the English dub:
    • Ash tells Flint that his goal is to become a Pokémon Trainer. This is untrue, as he already is a Pokémon Trainer. His true goal is to become a Pokémon Master.
    • Flint says that Brock has ten little brothers and sisters when he only has nine. The same mistake appears in the blurb.
    • When Brock says, "Geodude, go!" during his rematch with Ash, his mouth does not move when he says "go!".
  • In the Brazilian Portuguese dub, Nurse Joy refers to Ash's Pidgeotto and Butterfree as only one Pokémon.


Dub edits

  • Kanto Pokérap: Day 5 (Version 2)
  • Flint charges a $2 fee for sitting on his rocks, or ¥50 in the Japanese version.
  • The restaurant bill was changed from ¥1150 to $1150. The top of the bill's writing is removed and bottom of the bill is changed from "Restaurant Nibi" to "Thank You".

Differences between the episode and the comic adaptation

  • The scene where Ash discovers the poster has some extra lines in the comic (namely, Ash explicitly stating he was going to enter his name to the registration board, and Misty explicitly denying he'll do it) that weren't present in the anime.
  • The scene at the diner was omitted. As a result, the subplot where Misty offers to aid Ash by letting him borrow her Pokémon was downplayed to the extent that the only hint that existed was Misty's exclamation to Ash during the fight that Rock Pokémon are weak to Water attacks late into the comic.
  • When observing Brock raising his siblings at Flint's prompting, Ash explicitly says Brock's name in addition to saying "huh?" in the comic. In the episode, he only gives a confused remark. On a similar note, Flint's explanation for Brock's past in the comic, while moreorless the same as in the episode, uses the word "died" instead of "passed away" when describing Brock's mother's fate.
  • The scene where Brock's siblings interfere with the match is excised significantly to only show them telling off Ash and his attempting to claim he is not a bully. It also omits the flashback to Brock refusing to finish off Pikachu that ultimately has Ash decide to do a similar act of refusing to finish off Onix.
  • Misty's complaint about Ash forfeiting again was cut. Likewise, Brock's reaction to Ash's explanation for throwing the match was changed to him saying his name instead of saying "Maybe..."
  • Team Rocket falling into the hole again was cut out in the ending.

In other languages

EP004 : Challenge of the Samurai
Original series
EP006 : Clefairy and the Moon Stone
  This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.