SM076 : A Battle Hand-Off!
Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon
SM078 : Twirling with a Bang!
Guiding an Awakening!
SM077   EP1016
Kuchinashi's Grand Trial! Lugarugan Awakens!!
First broadcast
Japan May 31, 2018
United States November 3, 2018
English themes
Opening Under The Alolan Moon
Japanese themes
Opening 未来コネクション
Ending ジャリボーイ・ジャリガール
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 米村正二 Shōji Yonemura
Storyboard 樋口香里 Kaori Higuchi
Assistant director 毛利和昭 Kazuaki Mōri
Animation director 大西雅也 Masaya Ōnishi
No additional credits are available at this time.

Guiding an Awakening! (Japanese: クチナシの大試練!ルガルガン覚醒!! Kuchinashi's Grand Trial! Lugarugan Awakens!!) is the 77th episode of Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, and the 1,016th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on May 31, 2018, in New Zealand on September 28, 2018, in Canada on October 20, 2018, in Australia and the United Kingdom on October 30, 2018, and in the United States on November 3, 2018.

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


Ash’s grand trial on Ula’ula Island is in full swing, and the kahuna has lots of twists and turns in store for the battle!

Following Ash’s victory at the Abandoned Thrifty Megamart, Ula’ula Island Kahuna Nanu agrees to battle him in a grand trial! But there’s a catch—Ash must defeat three of Nanu’s Pokémon using only one of his.

He chooses Lycanroc, whose training has paid off, as it quickly defeats Nanu’s Krookodile. Next up is Sableye, and Lycanroc lands another win. But when Nanu sends out his Alolan Persian and begins taunting Ash, Lycanroc’s temper begins to flare—leading Ash to realize that Lycanroc is channeling that anger into power! Determined, Lycanroc learns the move Counter and defeats Persian. Ash wins a Lycanium Z and his third grand trial!


Accompanied by Nanu, Acerola enters the empty Ruins of Abundance and leaves an offering of Berries. Later, Ash, with the Rockium Z equipped to his Z-Power Ring, challenges Nanu to a grand trial battle. At the battlefield, Acerola wishes Ash good luck as she takes her position as the referee. It is revealed that in order for Ash to clear the Ula'ula Island grand trial, he must defeat three of Nanu's Pokémon with only one of his. Ash uses Lycanroc and tells the judgmental Nanu that Lycanroc is motivated.

Ash facing Nanu

Nanu calls out his Krookodile, but Lycanroc remains unfazed by its opponent's Intimidate Ability. When Acerola calls for the match to begin, Nanu starts off with Mud-Slap, which Lycanroc avoids, only to fall into a Sand Tomb. Krookodile uses another Mud-Slap, and Lycanroc's eyes turn red after its fur is dirtied. This time, however, it simply jumps out of the Sand Tomb, and its eyes return to normal as it shakes off the mud. Ash tries to order Lycanroc to use Accelerock, but he remembers Krookodile used Counter to defeat Lycanroc last time. He opts to use Rock Throw instead, but Krookodile destroys it with its tail. Ash repeats the move, but Krookodile uses the same tactic to defend itself.

Nanu realizes that Ash is attempting to avoid close-range combat and has Krookodile approach with Crunch. Lycanroc dodges it and uses another Rock Throw, but the attack is again swatted away by Krookodile's tail. Nanu claims the battle is getting boring and calls Ash gutless for his fear of Krookodile's Counter, reminding him that a Pokemon battle is meant to be an exchange of power. Lycanroc also shares these sentiments, so Ash orders Accelerock. Krookodile goes to use Counter, but is struck by Lycanroc's speed before it has the chance, much to Nanu's surprise. Krookodile is overwhelmed by Lycanroc's follow-up Rock Throw and subsequently defeated. Ash thanks Nanu for his sharp words, which he says motivated him to fight. Nanu says lying can be a good strategy and that he planned to lure Ash into a Counter situation.

Nanu sends out his Sableye and starts the match off with Shadow Ball. When Lycanroc's Rock Throw cancels out the attack, Sableye follows up with Shadow Sneak, which inflicts some damage on Lycanroc. Ash calls for Bite, but it collides with Sableye's Shadow Claw. Before Lycanroc can attack again, Sableye freezes it in place with Mean Look. Ash calls for an attack, but Lycanroc is unable to move and is subsequently struck by several Shadow Claws. After being hit by Shadow Sneak, Lycanroc reverts to its red-eyed form and goes on to evade another onslaught of Shadow Claws. Nanu takes a moment to inform Ash that Lycanroc seems to be much stronger whenever it is angry, but Ash fears his Pokémon will not listen to his instructions. He has Lycanroc use Stone Edge, which defeats Sableye. Nanu recalls his Pokémon, surprised by Lycanroc's new move, while Ash notices Lycanroc is panting heavily from exhaustion. This prompts Tapu Bulu to approach and deliver a Sitrus Berry, which rejuvenates Lycanroc.

Nanu's Alolan Persian is sent out. Its Power Gem strikes Lycanroc down, but Persian takes a hit from Lycanroc's Stone Edge. Nanu takes another swipe at Ash, noting that Lycanroc could perform better without its Trainer. While Ash is angered by Nanu's inflammatory comments, Persian lands a Dark Pulse on Lycanroc. The attacks hits its mark, and Rotom quickly realizes that this is another distraction tactic. Lycanroc shakes off the attack, but after another two Dark Pulses it again enters its red eyed state. Nanu admits he is trying to make Lycanroc lose control and earn himself the victory. Ash calls for Lycanroc to calm down, while Nanu continues to call Ash a worthless Trainer. Nanu sees another opportunity as Ash is again enraged, and Persian strikes Lycanroc with a Night Slash. Nanu argues that he is a Dark-type specialist and defends his so-called unfair tactics. As Persian is about to finish Lycanroc off, Ash call for his Pokémon to calm down. Lycanroc suddenly turns on Ash and knocks him to the ground.

Ash gazes into Lycanroc's red eyes and realizes that it is a sign that it grew in power, and was not blinded by rage. He apologizes for not noticing Lycanroc's control over its power and for becoming distracted by Nanu's comments. Lycanroc nudges Ash and accepts the apology, which allows the match to resume. Lycanroc dodges several Night Slashes and responds with a new move, Counter. Nanu is amused by the development and resorts to using his Z-Crystal. He activates its power and has Persian perform Black Hole Eclipse. However, Ash replies with a Z-Move of his own and has Lycanroc unleash a Continental Crush. The large mound of rock is consumed by the black hole, and the two attacks cancel each other out. Lycanroc follows up with Accelerock, and Persian is defeated. Acerola officially calls the match, with Ash winning the grand trial.

Nanu congratulates his opponent and pulls out a Darkinium Z, though he quickly retracts his offering and notes that Ash isn't the type of guy that would use it. Instead he gives Ash a different Z-Crystal, a Lycanium Z. Ash is amazed as Nanu explains that the Z-Crystal is exclusive to Lycanroc. A sudden ring of a cow bell causes the group to look up, and it is Tapu Bulu who drops another Sitrus Berry to Lycanroc.

Later, Ash and his Pokémon leave Ula'ula Island, with Acerola waving him off and wishing for his return someday soon. Ash waves goodbye to her, and invites her to visit the Pokémon School one day. As the ship sails into the distance, Nanu watches on and admits Ash is an interesting guy. Acerola points out that he could have said goodbye to Ash, but Nanu shrugs off the idea. Acerola still feels that Nanu enjoyed the battle, though Nanu notes that he couldn't afford to slack off and did his best. As they sail into the sunset, Ash readies his Pokémon and hopes to clear the next Grand Trial.

Major events

Ash holding the Lycanium Z
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?: Sableye (US and international), Persian (Alolan Form) (Japan)



  • The closed captions for the dub mistakenly show the answer to the Who's That Pokémon? segment as "It's Sableye! (Alolan Form)".

Dub edits

  • The kanji for "grand trial" used in the Japanese VS screen was changed to "VS".

In other languages

SM076 : A Battle Hand-Off!
Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon
SM078 : Twirling with a Bang!
  This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.