| Enter the Champion!
Birth! The Alola Champion!!
|| September 15, 2019
| United States
|| January 18, 2020
|| Team Kato
|| 藤咲淳一 Jun'ichi Fujisaku
|| 毛利和昭 Kazuaki Mōri
| Assistant director
|| 毛利和昭 Kazuaki Mōri
| Animation director
|| 山崎玲愛 Rena Yamazaki
| No additional credits are available at this time.
Enter the Champion! (Japanese: 誕生！アローラの覇者！！ Birth! The Alola Champion!!) is the 139th episode of Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, and the 1,078th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on September 15, 2019 and in the United States on January 18, 2020.
As the Alola Pokémon League races toward the finish line, Gladion and Zoroark unleash the Z-Move Never-Ending Nightmare against Pikachu. But Pikachu stops in its tracks to meet the threat head-on with Breakneck Blitz: a strategy that’s pure Ash! The clash of Z-Moves leaves both Pokémon unable to battle, and Ash and Gladion both respond by sending out their Lycanroc for the final stretch of the match. The two Lycanroc battle to new levels of intensity, ending with a Counter-versus-Counter showdown—and a momentous, hard-earned win for Ash!
At long last, our hero is crowned the Champion of the first-ever Alola Pokémon League!
Ash and Gladion continue their Manalo Conference finals battle. Zoroark uses Night Daze, but Pikachu counters with Thunderbolt. Gladion follows up with Shadow Claw, and Pikachu uses Iron Tail to block it. Zoroark then uses Shadow Claw, eventually striking its foe. Pikachu dusts himself off in time to leap upwards to evade another Night Daze, but Zoroark lashes him with Shadow Claw as he descends towards the field. Gladion sees an opening and activates his Z-Power Ring to have Zoroark unleash the Never-Ending Nightmare. The Z-Move plunges the arena into darkness and a multitude of eerie hands pursue Pikachu. With the dark hands seemingly inescapable, Ash orders Pikachu to counter with a Z-Move of his own. Using Breakneck Blitz, Pikachu rushes through the wall of hands and strikes Zoroark. Gladion's Z-Move still connects, resulting in a large explosion that knocks both Pokémon out, leaving Ash and Gladion with one Pokémon each remaining. After recalling their Pokémon, they return to their places and glare at each other. Ash compliments Gladion for being in perfect sync with Zoroark, while Gladion admits only Ash would be able to break through his Z-Move like that. Just then, the two boys burst into laughter, taking the audience by surprise. Ash soon catches his breath and tells Gladion that this was their best battle yet, with Gladion agreeing.
With that, the two sides decide to settle an old score, both sending out their Lycanroc as their final Pokémon. Ash and Gladion both start off with Stone Edge, canceling each other's efforts out. Ash orders his Lycanroc to use Accelerock, which Gladion's Lycanroc intercepts with Counter before punching Ash's away. Gladion then goes for another Stone Edge, which Ash's Lycanroc evades by running alongside the attack, then goes to use Bite. Ash orders his Lycanroc to stop as he sees it readying another Counter. Gladion switches tactics and orders a new Stone Edge, though Ash's Lycanroc dodges it. Ash orders his Lycanroc to charge ahead and continue attacking. It dodges an oncoming Stone Edge and prepares to lash its opponent with an Accelerock. Gladion orders another Stone Edge, though Ash's Lycanroc jumps on top of the boulders and manages to hit Gladion's. Gladion's Lycanroc grins as it uses Counter to deliver an uppercut to Ash's Lycanroc, who is unable to dodge because of its momentum.
As both Lycanroc take heavy blows but continue to fight on, Gladion orders his Lycanroc to boost its power with Swords Dance, then follow up with Outrage. Ash's Lycanroc uses Stone Edge, but Gladion's Lycanroc smashes right through it with its Outrage. As Gladion's Lycanroc confronts Ash's, it is suddenly overcome by the Outrage's after-effects of confusion. Ash orders Lycanroc to use Bite, but Gladion's Lycanroc snaps out of its confusion after biting on its own paw, and it lands a hit with Counter. Gladion admits that he developed the confusion-snapping strategy to avoid calamity during a heated battle, much to Ash's astonishment.
Gladion calls for Stone Edge, while Ash has his Lycanroc chomp through the obstacles. Gladion's Lycanroc repeats its attack, prompting Ash's Lycanroc to use Accelerock to break through. It then charges at Gladion's Lycanroc, who immediately uses Counter. As it takes the blow, Ash has Lycanroc use its own Counter, which sends Gladion's Lycanroc to the stadium wall, defeating it in the process. Kukui declares Gladion's Lycanroc to be unable to battle and announces that the winner is Ash, making him the first official Alola League Champion. Ash is left speechless by the result, though Gladion affirms that Ash has indeed won the tournament and shakes his hand to congratulate him. Gladion suggests they battle again sometime, and Ash agrees to it.
Meanwhile, an underground Team Rocket is surprised to see that Ash has won the League. Jessie then asks James if their mecha is finished; James puts on the final bolt and confirms it. The trio cheers as they prepare to plunder the League of every single Pokémon, etching their names into the history of Alola. Elsewhere, at Bewear's den, the Oranguru robot is completely destroyed, while Stufful and Bewear are nowhere to be seen.
At night, the awards ceremony takes place, with Professor Burnet disappointed that Kukui isn't there to see Ash's big moment. The Masked Royal steps onto the stage, gives Ash his trophy, and congratulates him on becoming Champion. Ash thanks him and adds that he is excited for tomorrow's exhibition match. Just then, Wicke detects an Ultra Wormhole signal directly over Manalo Stadium. The wormhole appears and expands, before an Ultra Beast emerges from it. The creature crashes into the stadium field below and reveals itself to be a Guzzlord, much to Ash's alarm.
Ash holding the championship trophy
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
- Poké Problem: The last Pokémon standing in today's battle is...?
- The English dub was released on the iTunes Store in the United Kingdom on January 12, 2020, six days before the episode aired in the United States.
- The opening animation is updated to include Ash's Melmetal.
- Type: Wild is used as an insert song when Ash and Gladion reminisce about the history of the rivalry between their respective Lycanroc.
- This is the first and only time Ash beats Gladion in a battle, as previously, either Ash has lost against Gladion or their battle was interrupted.
- This marks the first time that Ash has won a Pokémon League Conference, as well as the first time he has won a game-original League.
- This episode has a number of similarities to Down to the Fiery Finish!, the previous time Ash reached the finals of a League Conference:
- Ash's final Pokémon has a unique form.
- The setting takes place in a newly constructed stadium.
- His opponent is a recurring rival whom Ash had yet to defeat once.
- The awards ceremony is interrupted by a major Pokémon attack.
- This episode features the following flashbacks of Ash's Lycanroc and Gladion's Lycanroc:
- This episode first aired just under a week shy of the twentieth anniversary of Ash's first Pokémon League victory.
- Also, Ash's League victories both take place in a setting that consists of a tropical archipelago featuring regional forms of Pokémon and is overseen by a team of four primary Trainers that must be battled in the lead-up to the main competition. However, unlike the Orange Crew, the Island Kahunas are not necessarily required to be battled in order to qualify for entry.
- During the Japanese Who's That Pokémon? segment, a more serious theme, based on There's Trouble!, is used instead of the normal title card jingle.
- Meowth, Jessie, James, and Wobbuffet all narrate the preview for the next episode.
- This episode's English dub title is a reference to the 1973 martial arts action film Enter the Dragon. This was also used for the title of a previous episode. Coincidentally, both episodes feature Ash winning a Pokémon League.
In other languages