EP051 : Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden
Original series
EP053 : The Purr-fect Hero
Princess vs. Princess
Fierce Fight! Pokémon Girls' Festival
First broadcast
Japan July 9, 1998
United States September 4, 1999
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ポケットにファンタジー
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 武上純希 Junki Takegami
Storyboard 横田和 Kazu Yokota
Assistant director 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
Animation director 武田優作 Yūsaku Takeda
Additional credits

Princess vs. Princess (Japanese: げきとう!ポケモンひなまつり Fierce Fight! Pokémon Girls' Festival) is the 52nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on July 9, 1998, and in the United States on September 4, 1999. It was initially intended to air in Japan on March 3, 1998, but was rescheduled following the EP038 incident.

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


Misty and Jessie compete against one another for Queen of the Princess Festival, a day where women rule and the guys have to do whatever the girls tell them. Misty finds out how important friends are when Ash and Brock allow her to use their Pokémon in the tournament. But Jessie manages to lick her competition with a surprise Pokémon of her own.


While in O-Hina Town, Misty and Jessie enjoy the perks of the Princess Festival, a holiday with events, shopping sales and discounts, festivals, and games that are exclusively for women. Misty goes on a shopping spree, making Ash, Brock, and even Pikachu carry her purchases. At a local park, Jessie shows off her expensive finds, including food and clothing, and hopes that her gifts for the boss will make up for the Team Rocket trio's inability to capture Pikachu. Just then, a Lickitung appears and swallows Jessie's food and attempts to do the same to some of the clothing that she has bought, although it spits it out in disgust instead. Irritated, Jessie calls on Arbok to battle Lickitung. However, Lickitung immediately dispatches Arbok with a huge, sloppy lick to the face. Even angrier now, Jessie throws a Poké Ball and abruptly catches Lickitung out of spite, much to James and Meowth's surprise. Jessie drags James and Meowth with her to do more shopping.

At a store, Jessie encounters Misty, and they fight over a dress, only to have another shopper grab it while they aren't looking. They quickly forget about it when an announcement is made over the store's intercom about the Queen of the Princess Festival contest. Jessie and Misty decide to enter, fueled by their desire for the prize, a set of Pokémon Princess Dolls. The other prize is a picture with a movie star named Fiorella Cappuccino, but they don't show the same interest in him as the other girls and women do.

During the competition, Fiorella, an announcer, and a line of pretty girls dressed in kimonos and crowns, including Jessie and Misty, stand on a stage. Ash, Brock, and Pikachu are awed by Misty's beautiful appearance, as are James and Meowth by Jessie's. The announcer reveals that the contest isn't just a beauty pageant, it is also a Pokémon battle competition. The contestants are split into divisions, and they must use four Pokémon to battle. Misty begs Ash and Brock to let her use their Pokémon for the contest, and they reluctantly loan Pikachu, Bulbasaur, and Vulpix to her. When Ash is confused as to why Misty wants to meet Fiorella, she explains that she just wants the dolls, because her sisters all had their own doll sets, while she only got their hand-me-down dolls, which were broken by the time she got them.

Misty wins several matches with Ash and Brock's Pokémon, as well as Staryu. Jessie also wins matches with Arbok, Weezing, and Meowth. Misty and Jessie face off in the finals, but not until after Jessie reminisces about her hatred of the Princess Festivals because, like Misty, she never had a Pokémon Princess Doll of her own, while all of the other girls did. The story brings the emotional trio to tears, and James and Meowth give her support.

During the match, Pikachu makes quick work of Arbok, Weezing, and Meowth. At first, Jessie and James lose hope that she will win the contest, but Meowth reminds her that she caught a Lickitung earlier, and James helps her realize that she still has a chance to win as long as she still has at least one Pokémon left. With a renewed sense of determination, Jessie calls out Lickitung, and the battle continues, with the kids surprised by the appearance of Team Rocket's newest Pokémon. Lickitung easily defeats Pikachu, Bulbasaur, and Vulpix with a confusion-inducing lick. Down to her final Pokémon, Misty tries to send out Staryu, but her Psyduck pops out instead. At first, Misty is in despair, thinking that she can never win now. Just then, in an unexpected turn of events, Lickitung's attacks give Psyduck a headache, triggering its potent Psychic powers. Misty wins the match and the Queen of the Princess Festival Contest with Psyduck's Confusion, while blasting off Team Rocket in the process.

In the end, Misty has a courier service deliver the dolls to the Cerulean Gym to make her sisters jealous. As for Team Rocket, James, Meowth, Arbok, Weezing, and Lickitung are all dressed up as Pokémon Princess dolls to make Jessie feel better. Jessie is moved to tears and pretends to be a Pokémon Princess doll along with them.

Major events

Jessie catching Lickitung
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?: Butterfree (US and international), Lickitung (Japan)

Scheduling conflict

This episode was originally scheduled to air on Girls' Day itself, on March 3, 1998, but was rescheduled in the aftermath of EP038. The original schedule was as follows:

Code English title Japanese title Planned broadcast Actual broadcast
* Holiday Hi-Jynx ルージュラのクリスマス December 23, 1997 October 5, 1998
* Snow Way Out! イワークでビバーク October 5, 1998
EP040 The Battling Eevee Brothers イーブイ4きょうだい January 6, 1998 April 16, 1998
EP041 Wake Up, Snorlax! おきろ!カビゴン! January 13, 1998 April 23, 1998
EP042 Showdown at Dark City たいけつ!ポケモンジム! January 20, 1998 April 30, 1998
EP043 March of the Exeggutor Squad ナッシーぐんだんだいこうしん! January 27, 1998 May 7, 1998
EP044 The Problem with Paras パラスとパラセクト February 3, 1998 May 14, 1998
EP052 Princess vs. Princess げきとう!ポケモンひなまつり March 3, 1998 July 9, 1998
EP053 The Purr-fect Hero こどものひだよ!ぜんいんしゅうごう! May 5, 1998 July 9, 1998

This episode and the following air after The Breeding Center Secret in the dub. It aired between A Chansey Operation and Holy Matrimony! on Pocket Monsters Encore.

Due to being originally intended to be aired after Holiday Hi-Jynx, Meowth alluding to the events of that episode in the Japanese version (specifically, when comparing Jessie's melancholy for the overall holiday to her hating Christmas). The episode takes place sometime prior to So Near, Yet So Farfetch'd, since Jessie's Lickitung is mentioned in that episode. Airing out of order also explains the absence of Misty's Togepi from this episode.


The title card
Jynx's original skin color


  • When Misty is planning for the competition, she says she is going to use Starmie. Later in the episode, however, she tries to send out Staryu, but her Psyduck comes out instead.
  • Jessie's Lickitung's pink eyebrows turn yellow several times throughout the episode.
  • In the English dub, due to being dubbed out of order, Ash's Pokédex is voiced by Eric Stuart in this episode, despite it taking place before Who Gets to Keep Togepi?, where Ash's Pokédex is upgraded, meaning the Pokédex should still have the voice of Nicholas James Tate at this point.

Dub edits

  • Pikachu's Jukebox: My Best Friends
  • Numerous signs throughout the episode were edited in place of the original text for English audiences.
  • In the original Japanese version, the Princess Festival was actually called Hinamatsuri (literally "doll festival"), an actual holiday in Japan. In addition, the Japanese version specifically lists the date as being March 3, while the English dub omits this at various points:
    • In the beginning of the episode, Misty specifically mentions March 3 is occurring, while in the English dub, she simply states it is her favorite holiday.
    • The narrator also mentions the March 3 date when explaining what the holiday is about, something that is omitted in the English dub. On a related note, the same narration also gives the name of the town as O-Hina Town, while the setting is left unnamed in the English dub. He also mentions that the women are allowed to do whatever they please during the holiday due to the money they bring in, something that was left unsaid in the English dub.
    • Jessie, when monologuing about her motives, also mentions the March 3 date. The Japanese version also reveals her personal motives for doing the contest were similar to those from Holiday Hi-Jynx.
  • The English dub implies that only men have to pay while women can get their items for free. The Japanese version, however, makes clear that the girls simply got a discount, while the men are implied to have to pay the full price.
  • Brock's prince statement when flirting with the waitress was originally the emperor figure in various Hina dolls during Hinamatsuri in the Japanese version.
  • Jessie's request to put the items on the Team Rocket account was actually a request to gift-wrap them in the Japanese version.
    • In addition, the gifting for the Boss was originally to show their appreciation for Giovanni instead of an attempt to make up for not capturing Pikachu. Meowth's line about "a half-price Pikachu" was likewise simply stating that it was nice that Giovanni was a salaryman.
  • Jessie's exclamation about "genuine designer fakes" was originally her yelling at Lickitung and demanding to know what it just did.
  • In the scene where Jessie and Misty fight for the outfit mentioned in the Japanese version, Jessie says that the outfit can't fit Misty because it is too big for her (while also calling her a jari-girl), with Misty simply replying she'll grow into it, and refers to Jessie as Rocket-dan (the Japanese name for Team Rocket). They also referred to the large woman who took the dress they had been fighting over as "old woman" in the Japanese version (which explains her glaring at them after their shouting at her).
  • The announcer's statement that the winner must be "poised as a Jynx, sit as serenely as a Jigglypuff, and possess the charm and grace of an Oddish" was originally a Pokémon-ized version of a Japanese proverb on how to be a lady.
  • Misty originally mentioned that she's "the most beautiful woman in the world" and thus will win, while Jessie commented that a true beauty wouldn't boast like that before stating she'll win for that reason in the Japanese version.
  • The Pokémon Princess Doll Set was specified in the Japanese version to be a three-tiered Hina doll set. In addition, the "Batteries sold separately" quip was dub-added.
  • Ash's reference to Misty's status as the runt of the Cerulean sisters was replaced with his claiming that her desiring the doll set was simply "a Misty thing."
  • Misty's comment about using Starmie when reviewing her team was actually referring to Staryu.
  • James's reaction about Jessie taking Weezing was originally him expressing shock that Jessie had managed to take it without his even noticing.
  • Meowth's threat to Primeape was originally his boasting that he'll take it down in one hit due to being all fired up.
  • Jessie's two outbursts to the announcer was originally due to anger at being addressed as "san" instead of "chan".
  • Misty's warning to Pikachu about Lickitung was originally her deducing that Lickitung was lazy due to its using its tongue to grab things.
  • Meowth's comment about Lickitung getting tongue tied was originally commenting that Pikachu didn't taste good and it spit him out.
  • Brock's concern for Misty was originally his stating that Lickitung was more concerned about tasting his victims than actually battling.
  • Fiorella Cappuccino's comment about Psyduck not being affected by Lickitung's tongue being "just like in the movies" was originally him expressing some minor surprise at Lickitung's tongue not affecting Psyduck at all.
  • In the Japanese version, Lickitung's stomach is heard rumbling when it disobeys Jessie, strongly implying that it wasn't willing to continue because it can't eat. The English dub doesn't make this clear because of the music obscuring the gurgling sound effects.
  • Jessie, when discovering James and Meowth dressed up as dolls for her, only said ī-kanji! ("This feels nice!") in the Japanese version. This is an allusion to Team Rocket's Japanese "blasting off" catchphrase, Yana kanji! ("This feels bad!").

In other languages

EP051 : Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden
Original series
EP053 : The Purr-fect Hero
  This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.