|This article is about an episode of the Pokémon anime that has not been dubbed into English. As such, its coverage may contain romanized Japanese names, rather than dub names.|
| Sword and Shield: The Legends Awaken!
Sword and Shield: The Legends Awaken! (Japanese: ソード&シールドⅣ 「最強の剣と盾」 Sword & Shield IV - The Ultimate Sword and Shield) is the 45th episode of Pokémon Journeys: The Series, and the 1,130th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on November 13, 2020 and is scheduled to air in the United States on March 5, 2021.
A news crew continues to report on the events occurring around Hammerlocke Stadium and the Dynamax outbreaks across Galar. Jessie, James, and Wobbuffet flee from Gigantamax Meowth. Though the mention of Giovanni snaps Meowth out of his induced rage and he starts to go after Eternatus. As Meowth scale the stadium complex, his teammates grab hold of his tail. Already on the rooftop, Leon prepares to Gigantamax his Charizard; however, this fails as does Meowth's attempt to use G-Max Gold Rush. Eternatus then launches a Dynamax Cannon, which sends Team Rocket blasting off, before continuing to charge itself with Galar particles.
On the battlefield, Chairman Rose is pleased to see Eternatus absorbing the Galar particles to assume its final form. Ash is determined to end the chaos, so he orders Riolu and Pikachu to attack. Rose's Ferrothorn blocks with Iron Defense and Copperajah uses Heavy Slam on its opponents. Riolu prepares to land a counter Force Palm, only for Ferrothorn to intervene while Copperajah tries another Heavy Slam. Ash realizes Rose's strategy involves synchronized offense and defense, so he tries to separate Rose's Pokémon with Pikachu's Quick Attack and Riolu using Double Team. Rose then orders both of his Pokémon use Power Whip, managing to corner Pikachu and Riolu. Ash orders his pair to leap at the last moment, leading Rose's Copperajah and Ferrothorn to instead strike each other down with Power Whip. Rose is stunned by the counter tactic.
Meanwhile, Goh is facing Oleana in battle inside the stadium foyer. Goh's Raboot launches an Ember, which is knocked back by Oleana's Milotic using Water Pulse. Raboot tries a flurry of Ember attacks, though another Water Pulse from Milotic lands instead. She remarks on Goh's weak performance, admitting that he is rather foolish for thinking he could even defeat Eternatus. She orders Goh to stop wasting her time and simply forfeit. Goh, however, refuses and orders another Ember. Milotic again counters with Water Pulse, landing a blow on Raboot as well. Goh decides to switch things up, but Raboot launches another Ember, insistent that it wants to only battle using Ember. Goh concedes, reflecting on Raboot's performance against Flygon. Oleana scores another Water Pulse hit on Raboot and orders it to use Aqua Tail.
Eternatus suddenly launches a powerful Dynamax Cannon at the Hammerlocke Stadium complex, and the other battles pause momentarily. Pikachu narrowly evades the attack, leaping into Ash’s arms for safety. Rose orders his Pokémon use Power Whip, though Riolu leaps in front to defend its Trainer and Pikachu. Riolu manages to stave off the blows with its paws and evolves into a Lucario to bolster its strength. Ash first calls for a Vacuum Wave, but Lucario uses its Aura to communicate with him, so he instead tells it to use Aura Sphere, defeating Rose’s Pokémon with ease. Ash then rushes off to help Leon take on Eternatus while Rose rushes to tend to his defeated Pokémon.
Goh, meanwhile, considers a way to win the battle with Ember, by aiming the attack at the walls and ceiling from all angles. Raboot fulfills its Trainer’s request, landing several Ember attacks on Milotic before evolving into Cinderace. Taking a moment to scan it with his Rotom Phone, Goh orders Cinderace launch its new attack, Pyro Ball. The attack hits its mark and Oleana's Milotic is unable to battle. Raihan, meanwhile, easily defeats the group of Macro Cosmos agents after Sonia with Duraludon's Breaking Swipe. Sonia thanks Raihan for his help. He replies that while he would ask her on a date, however, he has to turn his attention to defeating the rampaging Dynamax Pokémon across Galar first. While Raihan leaves the area, Sonia turns her own attention to Eternatus.
Ash and Goh soon reach the Tower Summit, where Leon and Charizard continue to battle Eternatus. The boys take a moment to marvel at each other's newly-evolved Pokémon before returning to the real situation at hand: defeating Eternatus. Leon focuses his attention on Eternatus's head to stop its attack and has Charizard use a flurry of Air Slash attacks. As Eternatus appears to falter, Leon throws an Ultra Ball at it, momentarily sucking it in. However, Eternatus soon breaks out, with a powerful wave of energy knocking the boys down. Leon is forced to recalls his Charizard before fainting from exhaustion. Eternatus then flies up into the sky and transforms into its larger Eternamax form. Watching from his helicopter, Chairman Rose is thrilled by the development while Oleana is taken aback by it. Ash and Goh step up to take on Eternatus, but it is unfazed by their efforts and retaliates with Eternabeam. While Pikachu, Lucario, and Cinderace lay strewn about from the powerful attack, Goh cries out to them.
The Rusted Sword and Rusted Shield suddenly glow blue and red respectively, taking Ash and Goh by surprise. Goh explains that he found them in the Slumbering Weald. Sonia reaches the rooftop and rushes to attend to her injured friend Leon. Eternatus then launches another Eternabeam, which again causes the Rusted Sword and Shield to glow. Ash and Goh realize they must fulfill the ancient legend, so they raise their armaments to defend Galar from Eternatus's evil power. With this, Zacian and Zamazenta awaken at the Slumbering Weald and come to their aid, taking possession of the Rusted Sword and Shield, respectively, and transforming to their Crowned Sword and Crowned Shield forms. Zacian strikes with Behemoth Blade and Zamazenta follows on with a Behemoth Bash. Ash and Goh order Pikachu use Thunderbolt, Lucario uses Aura Sphere, and Cinderace strike with Pyro Ball. The attacks hit before the Hero duo launch their own combined attack to exhaust Eternamax Eternatus. Goh sees his opportunity, and with Ash's help, hurls a large Poké Ball and successfully catches Eternatus. Goh's Rotom Phone updates with information on Eternatus, and the boys cheer. Zacian and Zamazenta quickly leave the area, leaping up into the sky and clearing away the dark clouds. The Dynamax Pokémon also return to their usual forms, ending the chaos across Galar. As the Rusted Sword and Shield return to Ash and Goh's possession, Leon takes the opportunity to thank them for helping save Galar.
Sometime later, Professor Magnolia and her granddaughter Sonia update each other on the situation across Galar. Chairman Rose's whereabouts are a mystery, while Leon tries to track him down. Eternatus has since been sealed deep in the earth, but Magnolia admits it still poses a potential future threat. Sonia, meanwhile, has been given the title of Pokémon Professor, with her very own white lab coat, and tasked with protecting Galar from future harm. At the Slumbering Weald altar, Ash and Goh return the Rusted Sword and Shield to their rightful place and take the opportunity to thank the Hero duo for their help. As the boys leave the altar, unknown to them, Zacian and Zamazenta appear momentarily to see them off.
- Meowth uses G-Max Gold Rush for the first time.
- Ash's Riolu evolves into Lucario and learns Aura Sphere.
- Goh's Raboot evolves into Cinderace and learns Pyro Ball.
- Ash and Goh defeat Rose and Oleana, respectively.
- Ash and Goh reunite.
- Eternatus turns into its Eternamax form.
- Ash encounters Zamazenta for the first time.
- Ash and Goh defeat Eternatus with Zacian and Zamazenta's help.
- Goh catches Eternatus, ending the Darkest Day.
- Rose and Oleana go into hiding.
- Eternatus's Poké Ball is sealed away.
- Sonia becomes a Pokémon Professor.
- Ash and Goh return the Rusted Sword and Rusted Shield to Slumbering Weald.
- Ash and Goh return to Vermilion City.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- Professor Magnolia
- Macro Cosmos employees
- Pikachu (Ash's)
- Meowth (Team Rocket; Gigantamax)
- Wobbuffet (Jessie's)
- Raboot (Goh's; evolves)
- Cinderace (Goh's; newly evolved; debut)
- Riolu (Ash's; evolves)
- Lucario (Ash's; newly evolved)
- Flygon (Goh's; flashback)
- Eternatus (Goh's; Eternamax; new; sealed away)
- Rotom (Professor Cerise's; Rotom Phone; ×2)
- Charizard (Leon's)
- Duraludon (Raihan's)
- Rotom (Professor Magnolia's; Rotom Phone)
- Copperajah (Rose's)
- Ferrothorn (Rose's)
- Milotic (Oleana's)
- Durant (Oleana's subordinate's)
- Ferroseed (Macro Cosmos employee's)
- Excadrill (Macro Cosmos employee's)
- Steelix (Macro Cosmos employee's)
- Zacian (anime; Hero of Many Battles and Crowned Sword)
- Zamazenta (anime; Hero of Many Battles and Crowned Shield)
- Pangoro (Dynamax)
- Yamask (Galarian Form; Dynamax; debut)
- Wooloo (multiple; Dynamax)
- Kommo-o (Dynamax)
- Get Inspired! Let's Solve a Poké Riddle!!: Lucario
- This episode concludes the four-episode Sword and Shield arc.
- In the original trailer for the Sword and Shield arc, Gigantamax Meowth is alone when he climbs to the top of the Tower Summit. In the broadcast version of the episode, Eternatus can be seen in the frame with him.
- This episode marks the first time in the anime where:
- One of Ash's Pokémon has evolved outside of the region it was obtained in since An Old Family Blend!, 482 episodes ago.
- A main character's starter Pokémon from the current generation fully evolves before all of the starters are introduced.
- A main character has caught a Legendary Pokémon, although they ultimately don't keep it.
- Meowth has used a new move since The Path to the Pokémon League, 1,122 episodes ago.
- In the original airing, the Dare da? segment is not shown.
- This episode marks the first time one of Ash's Pokémon has evolved via friendship since his Swadloon evolved into Leavanny in Battling the Leaf Thieves!, 399 episodes earlier.
- Professor Cerise, Goh, Ash, Mewtwo, and Pikachu narrate the preview for the next episode.