A Crowning Moment of Truth! (Japanese: 炎のバトル！ガラガラあらわる！！Battle of Fire! Garagara Appears!!) is the 34th episode of the Sun & Moon series, and the 973rd episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on July 20, 2017 and in the United States on October 7, 2017.
Our heroes attend the Wela Fire Festival, where Fire-type Pokémon line up to receive the Wela Crown—said to convey the power of Wela Volcano itself! Just as Ash’s Litten steps up, a feisty Alolan Marowak steals the crown from Kahuna Olivia and runs off. Kiawe pursues it, but Turtonator is no match for Alolan Marowak’s speed!
Ash offers to help Kiawe train against this quicker foe, and they come up with a strategy: use Shell Smash, a risky move that drops Turtonator’s defenses but makes it stronger and faster. In the rematch, Kiawe wins, and Marowak returns the crown—and then decides to join Kiawe’s team!
As part of their Akala Island field trip, Ash, his classmates and Professor Kukui are visiting the Wela Volcano Park. A large crowd has gathered along with their Fire-type Pokémon. Professor Kukui explains that this is the Wela Fire Festival which has been held for over 100 years, and that its history will be the subject of today's class. Kiawe leads the way and whilst walking, Kiawe mentions to Ash the festival will allow Litten get stronger. As they join a queue of trainers, Olivia announces that the festival is about to start and as the crowd cheers. Meanwhile, an AlolanMarowak watches nearby.
Olivia starts the festivities by taking the Wela Crown and placing it on the head of a Growlithe. Rotom Pokédex and Kiawe explain to Ash that the Wela Crown helps make Pokémon grand and strong, and is most effective on Fire types. Lillie realizes this explains why so many people have gathered here. Kiawe reveals that Turtonator was crowned last year, and that his grandfather had used to do the crowning in the past. Kiawe also explains that when he was young, he dreamed to have his grandfather crown his Pokémon. Soon the group reach the front of the queue, and Ash rushes forward with Litten. As Olivia is about to crown Litten, Marowak rushes forward and steals the crown.
Kiawe, angered, goes to grab it off Marowak but Marowak runs off, past the crowd of queuing trainers and attacks those who try to stop it. Professor Kukui stops Olivia from going after Marowak as they need to calm everyone down, and Kiawe decides that he'll get it back with Ash following him. Marowak evades capture and jumps off the cliff as Kiawe and Ash follow in pursuit. They soon reach a fork in the road as Kiawe comes across a Hiker and his injured Magmar as another Hiker asks if he is chasing after the Marowak. Another Hiker appears and asks the same question but tries to dissuade Kiawe from chasing after Marowak. Eventually they point him in the right direction and Kiawe soon confronts Marowak.
As Marowak challenges Kiawe to a battle, Kiawe sends out Turtonator and they start the battle. Marowak breaks through Flamethrower and manages to dodge Dragon Tail and manages to hit Turtonator with Shadow Bone. Kiawe decides to finish it with one shot and they use Inferno Overdrive. However, Marowak dodges. Marowak then knocks Turtonator out with Iron Head before leaving as Ash arrives.
At the Pokémon Center, everyone waits as Turtonator receives treatment, while Kiawe remains frustrated at not being able to get the crown back. That night, Ash goes outside and finds Kiawe on the steps with Turtonator now healed up. Kiawe apologizes to Turtonator for being focused on the crown and not paying attention to the battle, and thinks back to what his grandfather said about battling. Kiawe mentions that he had a goal of becoming as strong as Wela Volcano but is now unsure if he can obtain that goal. Ash manages to convince him to continue with his dream and they agree to have a training match so that they can devise a way to beat Marowak. They start a battle with Pikachu managing to avoid Turtonator's spikes and Ash has Pikachu run around Turtonator before landing an Iron Tail on Turtonator. As the battle continues, Kiawe begins to realize that they are having trouble competing against Pikachu's speed, much like it was with Marowak, and that they can't rely on defense alone. Turtonator remains determined and starts to glow, which surprises Ash.
The next morning, the Hikers bring their Magmar to Nurse Joy for treatment as Professor Kukui and Olivia discuss why Marowak stole the crown. Being one of the precious treasures on Akala Island, Olivia knows that they will have to get it back and she plans to go after Marowak. However Kiawe arrives and stops her, promising to get back the Wela Crown back.
Soon Kiawe confronts Marowak for a rematch which Marowak agrees to as everyone watches on. Marowak throws his bone at Turtonator but Turtonator sends it back with Dragon Tail before Marowak attacks with Iron Head. As their classmates discuss the battle, Turtonator counters Flare Blitz with Flamethrower but Marowak gets behind Turtonator to attack. Marowak manages to avoid Shell Trap by avoiding the spikes while landing a hit, but Turtonator moves its back to ensure its spikes to make contact, causing damage. Kiawe then has Turtonator power up using newly learnt Shell Smash, allowing Turtonator to become stronger and faster. Though Marowak still manages to hit Turtonator with Iron Head, Turtonator retaliates with Dragon Tail with its new speed, before launching an Inferno Overdrive, winning Kiawe the match.
Defeated, Marowak hands Kiawe the Wela Crown and confirms Kiawe's theory that it wanted to wear the crown so it could become stronger. Marowak then motions that it wishes to join Kiawe's team. Realizing what Marowak wants, Kiawe agrees and throws a Poké Ball at it. Kiawe then calls Marowak out and welcomes it to his team, only for it to attack Turtonator. Later the Wela Crown has been returned to Oliva and the festival continues. Olivia places the crown on Pikachu and Litten, and also invites Marowak to put on the crown. As Olivia puts the crown on Marowak, Kiawe tells Turtonator that they'll work harder with Marowak as Rotom takes pictures only for the Hikers to photobomb each attempt.
When Lana turns towards to Lillie at the end of Kiawe's battle, her headband changes shape.
During the Poké Problem, Kiawe was in front of his Turtonator as they went towards the stone oven at his house, but after his Alolan Marowak appeared and attacked Turtonator, Kiawe came running from behind Turtonator to catch the food that was thrown up in the air.