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In ''[[SM131|The Battlefield of Truth and Love!]]'', James used Mareanie against Jessie and Wobbuffet, but resigned himself to defeat and took a halfhearted approach to the match. When Mareanie became locked in a stalemate with Wobbuffet, James advised her to throw the match by pretending to be defeated. However, her resolve to continue battling inspired James to take the fight more seriously, and his newfound determination to win allowed Mareanie to defeat Wobbuffet with a relentless {{m|Spike Cannon}} barrage. James subsequently advanced to the second round, where he was set to face {{an|Gladion}}.
In ''[[SM132|Imitation isIs the Sincerest Form of Strategy!]]'', Jessie gave James the trio's [[Z-Power Ring]] to be used in his battle against Gladion, telling him not to lose. Remembering his motivation to reach the Masked Royal in the Manalo Conference's {{wp|exhibition game|exhibition match}}, James and Mareanie resolved to give it their best in the battle. In the match, Mareanie was getting badly beaten up by [[Gladion's Lycanroc]], so James decided to perform {{m|Black Hole Eclipse}}. However, Gladion countered it with {{m|Continental Crush}}, before dealing the finishing blow on Mareanie. Despite James's fear of being scolded by Jessie for his loss, she instead comforted him, and the trio returned to selling donuts.
====Pokémon League====
James has competed in the following [[Pokémon League Conference]]s:
* [[Manalo Conference]] - Top 8 (as "Jamesio" in ''[[SM132|Imitation isIs the Sincerest Form of Strategy!]]'')
====Pokémon competitions====