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XY096 : A Giga Battle with Mega Results!
Pokémon the Series: XY
XY098 : Dream a Little Dream from Me!
A Fiery Rite of Passage!
XY097   EP896
Shishiko and Kaenjishi! A Fiery Journey!!
First broadcast
Japan November 19, 2015
United States March 12, 2016
English themes
Opening Stand Tall
Japanese themes
Opening XY&Z
Ending プニちゃんのうた
Animation Team Kato
Screenplay 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
Storyboard 村野佑太 Yūta Murano
Assistant director 渡辺正彦 Masahiko Watanabe
Animation directors 直井由紀 Yuki Naoi
夏目久仁彦 Kunihiko Natsume
No additional credits are available at this time.

A Fiery Rite of Passage! (Japanese: シシコとカエンジシ!炎の旅立ち!! Shishiko and Kaenjishi! A Fiery Journey!!) is the 97th episode of Pokémon the Series: XY, and the 896th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on November 19, 2015 and in the United States on March 12, 2016.

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201



During their trek across a vast grassland, our heroes hear a powerful roar in the distance! It’s the leader of a Pyroar pride, who is sternly commanding a young Litleo to leave the pride and live on its own. Ash’s first instinct is to intervene, but after he realizes this is a necessary rite of passage, he convinces his friends to follow at a distance so they can keep an eye on Litleo.

Litleo’s journey is interrupted when Team Rocket swoops in to grab Pyroar, who has also been watching over the little one from a distance. Litleo is determined to stop Team Rocket, and finds the courage and strength to stand up to the villains. With a little help from our heroes, Team Rocket is sent blasting off again, and Pyroar is freed!

It looks like Litleo will be just fine on its own, so after saying goodbye to their new friend, our heroes are off once again to Snowbelle City!


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Ash and his friends' journey to the Snowbelle City Gym takes them through an immense grassland. After walking for a long time, Clemont is totally exhausted. Ash encourages his friend, mentioning that they might come across some cool Pokémon. Serena observes that Bonnie and Ash seem to have lots of energy. Bonnie wants Clemont to keep up, or he will get left behind! Ash's laughter is suddenly interrupted by a loud roar which startles everyone!

Serena asks if anyone knows what the sound was, and looks scared. After hearing it again, Bonnie observes that it was a Pokémon, and Ash runs to have a look, calling the rest of the group to join him. They have reached the top of a hill, and down below a pride of four Pyroar, three female and one male, and four Litleo can be seen. Suddenly, the male Pyroar looks angry and a Litleo cowers in fear. The female Pyroar and the other three Litleo walk off, leaving only these two.

The Litleo tiptoes back towards the Pyroar, who roars again angrily. Litleo appears to throw a tantrum. Pyroar is gritting his teeth menacingly. Defeated, Litleo bows its head. Pyroar stops roaring and Litleo runs to hug the larger Pokémon's leg. However Pyroar is not impressed and flicks his leg upwards, throwing Litleo some distance to land on its back painfully. The group of humans are shocked! Serena observes that they are having a fight, while Bonnie asks why. As if to answer, Ash scans both Pyroar and Litleo with his Pokédex. This reveals that Litleo must leave their pride, which Serena guesses is exactly what is happening here. Clemont and Bonnie are excited.

Undeterred, the Litleo runs back towards the Pyroar, falling flat on its face. Pyroar is stern, causing Litleo to throw a tantrum again. Serena and Bonnie wonder why Litleo won't leave. After Litleo's latest tantrum, Pyroar breathes fire to throw Litleo into the air! The group are really shocked again, especially Bonnie. As Litleo opens one eye timidly, Pyroar seems ready to attack again. Ash is compelled to do something and runs down the hill to intercede, leaving Serena worried. Ash and Pyroar face off.

Ash tells Pyroar he is being too rough and should let Litleo stay a little longer. Pyroar appears to disagree. Meanwhile Serena and Clemont try to get Ash to stand down, but Ash can't just allow Litleo to get hurt. The next time Pyroar breathes fire, Ash asks Pikachu to use Thunderbolt. The lightning and fire type attacks collide with each other, cancelling each other out. Litleo, who had braced for impact, is now wondering what happened. Litleo looks up sadly at Pyroar, who turns and walks away.

As the smoke from the explosion clears, Ash and Pikachu are shocked to see that all the Pokémon have gone, except Litleo. The duo run to check whether Litleo is okay. While Ash has his arms around the Pokémon, the weak and disheartened Litleo suddenly springs to life, becoming quite excited and squirming around. Clemont reassures Litleo that the group are friends to the Pokémon. Just then, Bonnie and Serena notice that Litleo is hurt on its paw. Bonnie asks Clemont for help, who asks Litleo to allow him to treat the wound, and to calm down. But Litleo bites Clemont's arm, leaving Bonnie shocked and Serena almost unable to look. Clemont remains composed, telling Litleo it will be fine now. Litleo seems to calm down and be sorry, as Bonnie and Clemont observe.

Litleo's stomach rumbles, indicating that it is hungry. Serena has some Poké Puffs to offer to Litleo. Litleo seems to find them appetizing at first, but then, remembering Pyroar's attacks, loses its appetite. Serena wonders why it won't eat despite its hunger, while Bonnie theorizes Litleo is still in pain. As if to answer this, Litleo leaves the group and walks solemnly away. Bonnie tries to get Litleo to come back, but Ash tells her that Litleo is doing its best to learn how to be on its own. Bonnie states emphatically that she is worried about Litleo. Clemont suggests that the group could watch over Litleo from a distance instead. After some consideration, Bonnie approves the idea.

However, another group are also watching Litleo from a distance. At the top of another hill, Team Rocket and Jessie's have been observing the events. James asks Jessie if she saw that, and Jessie gives her view of Litleo as a "scaredy-Pokémon". However, Meowth comments that Litleo evolves into a Pyroar. The group discuss this, with James commenting on Pyroar's strength, Jessie approving, Meowth saying how Team Rocket could use a Pokémon like that, and the conclusion being that they should grow their team by one. Wobbuffet is also in agreement.

A disheartened Litleo walks through the grasslands, looking back at the scene of the earlier events. Suddenly, Litleo falls down a cliff, shocking Ash and friends, who have been watching. The group walk to the edge of the cliff, with Ash worrying if Litleo will be okay. Later, Litleo is walking through a rocky area, feeling sad, when it sees a large berry seemingly hovering in mid-air. Litleo is disappointed when, after trying to bite the berry, it floats away. A jump to get the berry just lands Litleo back on its head, leaving Litleo very frustrated. Team Rocket are revealed to be the ones behind the floating berry, with it being attached to a fishing rod. James feels that this activity is quite fun. Meowth seems to agree. But Jessie is not impressed, trying to get the others to hurry up. The group lower the berry again, expecting Litleo to take a good bite this time. Just then, a shadow appears over the group, unbeknownst to them. They are quite frustrated that the Litleo is taking so long to take the bait, as the shadow growls angrily. Meowth urges the shadow to be quiet, at which point he turns around to see its creator. His attempts to warn the group they have "company" are initially dismissed by James as loud noises which will scare Litleo away. However, when the group realise Meowth said "company", they turn around, and are shocked to see a Pyroar behind them. Jessie tries to get Pyroar to relax, classifying their work as "canyon fishing". James agrees, commenting on the success of their work. Pyroar is not pacified, and creates a big explosion, causing Team Rocket to be "charbroiled". Litleo is surprised, but carries on walking. Jessie comments on the "burning anger" which they have been the recipients of.

Ash and his friends are still watching Litleo as it walks through a canyon. As they run to keep up with Litleo at a distance, Pyroar is watching them! An exhausted Litleo puts one foot wrong and falls down yet another cliff, bouncing off a rock and tumbling down to injure its head. Bonnie wants to intervene again, but Ash stops her. Litleo picks up and keeps moving, which Pyroar seems to be impressed at. A montage of scenes show Litleo looking up at the sun through the branches of a tree, walking through the canyon, and striking a tree to get dew from the leaves. Litleo (who is still being watched by Ash and friends) still seems sad, but resolves to keep moving. Pyroar seems to sympathize. Just then, a gust of wind blows leaves from Pyroar's mane towards Litleo, causing the smaller Pokémon to look up happily, expecting to see Pyroar looking over him. But Pyroar has gone. Remembering the past scenes again, Litleo seems to realise something, and become more determined.

Still walking through the canyon, Litleo encounters a cliff edge, but smoothly jumps to the next cliff, watched by Ash and friends. Serena comments that Litleo has become wholly different from before. Bonnie comments on its increased speed. Clemont wonders why. Ash urges the group to move forward. Just then, Litleo jumps onto a loose rock, which starts to slide down the cliff. Serena is shocked, and Bonnie asks for Ash's help. Ash sends out his Frogadier to use his Frubbles to create an adhesive, sticking the loose rock to the mountain and saving Litleo. Litleo jumps off the rock onto the stable cliff, causing the rock to fall down while Litleo is safe. Litleo keeps walking on, its face looking more determined than ever. Ash and Serena are relieved, while Pyroar looks on, his expression hard to read.

Next, Litleo reaches a body of water which it needs to cross to continue. Litleo earnestly runs across it. Clemont notes that Fire-type Pokémon dislike water, while Bonnie worries if Litleo will be okay. Litleo is running, then walking, and then, when the water becomes too deep, starts to swim across the small lake, even going underwater at one point. The group are still worried, and Clemont calls on his Clemont's to use vines to pull Litleo to shore. Clemont praises Chespin, saying they got there just in time.

At that point, the group notice Pyroar observing the events down below. They realise he is the same Pyroar from earlier, and Serena wonders if he has been watching the whole time, with Clemont sure that he has.

Litleo climbs a large rock. Exhausted, it is suddenly energized again by the appearance of berries. Clemont explains that Litleo is being independent and hence has been looking for food on its own. Ash realises that this is why Litleo didn't eat Serena's snack. Litleo had been trying to get to this point all along, to regain its strength, as Clemont observes. At the top of the rock, Litleo notices Pyroar behind a nearby rock. The two Pokémon look at each other with mutual understanding. Pyroar appears to be emotionally moved when Litleo takes a bite of a berry on its own. The group discuss this, with Clemont thinking that Litleo knew Pyroar was keeping an eye on it (in response to a question from Ash), Serena deducing that Litleo was trying so hard this whole time in order to re-assure Pyroar of the former's independence, and Bonnie being amazed by Litleo. Pyroar jumps down from the cliff as Litleo savours its food.

Just then, Team Rocket turn up again in one of their mechas, the "Vavoominite Mark 4". They say that they were defeated before because they were caught with their guard down, but they won't be again. Meowth uses the mecha (which resembles a Charizard) to start a gust of wind with its mouth, sucking the Pyroar inside. Ash is not sure what will happen next, and Litleo is indignant. Team Rocket insists that Pyroar comes inside the mecha, and turns up the power. Pyroar is pulled inside, leaving Litleo screaming in distress. The gang (including Litleo) run forward to see what has happened, and see that Pyroar has been pulled into a transparent chamber in the mecha's tail. Ash urges them to stop and asks them to let Pyroar go. Jessie is not sure if Ash is serious. Team Rocket then recite their motto, which focusses on how powerful they will be with Pyroar in their team.

Ash is exasperated at yet another appearance from Team Rocket. Jessie orders Pikachu to also be captured. Meowth drives the mecha forwards, skidding to the right to knock Pikachu away from the rest of the group. Litleo is still looking indignant, as Pyroar tries to escape, and calls down to Litleo, who becomes even more angry. Meowth turns on the air sucking control again, which causes Pikachu to be sucked closer and closer to the mecha's mouth, as Ash encourages Pikachu to hang on. Pikachu is doing a good job at resisting, so Jessie asks Meowth to turn up the power, which he duly does. Pikachu is struggling more to resist. Suddenly, a fire blast comes seemingly from nowhere to hit the mecha, shocking everyone, and Team Rocket wonder where it came from. Litleo is shown to be growling nearby, and Ash deduces that it was Litleo who caused the blast. Pyroar calls down again. However, a rather annoyed James steers the mecha's tail to hit Litleo hard, and knocking it hard into the air. Pyroar is shocked and upset. Ash and the group check if Litleo is okay.

Pyroar uses Overheat (as Clemont explains in response to Ash) which lasts for some time, leading Team Rocket to mega evolve their mecha. This causes fire to shoot out of the mouth of the mecha, which Ash and friends narrowly avoid. Meowth explains that "Mega Overheat" takes Pyroar's fire and shoots it back into the world. Bonnie tries to calm Pyroar down, but Ash protects her as it is too dangerous. Clemont observes that Pyroar is too angry to think. Ash asks Frogadier to use Water Pulse, which cancels out one jet of fire but allows another to hit the Pokémon dead on. Ash points out the urgency of finding a new solution, but Serena speaks for the group when she wonders how they can do that. As if to respond, Litleo jumps out and runs towards the mecha, with Ash and Pikachu calling after it in fear for its safety.

Team Rocket are prepared to fire the flames directly at Litleo, calling the smaller Pokémon "sweet". However Litleo just jumps into the flames, leaving Ash's group shocked. Litleo struggles to bear the pain but manages to keep walking forward, at Team Rocket's horror. Jessie is particularly amazed at Litleo's new-found courage. Ash and Serena wonder how this is possible, and Clemont explains that it's because Litleo is trying to get to Pyroar. Bonnie calls after Litleo in encouragement. Litleo calls to Pyroar, who is still angry. Ash's group all encourage Pyroar to listen, and Litleo shouts more loudly. Pyroar calms down, and Litleo is revealed to have reached Pyroar's chamber. Ash's group celebrate. Clemont says that Pyroar has finally listened.

The villains are feeling ill, in fear now for their safety. Ash has Frogadier slash open the cage using Cut. As a result, Litleo and Pyroar fall out and land on the rocky ground. Pyroar and Litleo seem happy at their strengthened bond. With that, Ash commands Pikachu to fire a signature Thunderbolt, with Litleo & Pyroar joining in with a double Flamethrower finish to send Jessie, James and Meowth blasting off once again, destroying the mecha, with Team Rocket lamenting their suntan without a beach.

As the heroes land back down to the ground, the remaining trainers greet Litleo and Pyroar after the villains' mecha have been destroyed. Litleo seems happy and Pyroar seems reflective. Litleo seems proud of itself in front of Pyroar, and the gang are happy at Litleo's new-found independence. Litleo and Pyroar bow before one another.

Later, Litleo is seen walking into the grasslands alone, with Pyroar and the trainers (and their Pokémon) saying goodbye, and Bonnie hoping to see Litleo again. Litleo is very happy at their sentiment. Ash, Serena and Pyroar are glad that Litleo will be a great Pyroar in the future. Litleo will have the strength to overcome many things in the future, by tackling things head-on. Afterwards the heroes continue on their journey, with the spirit of Litleo in their hearts.

Major events

For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.


Pokémon debuts



Pokémon Quiz


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Litleo (US and international)
Pokémon Quiz: Litleo (Japan)


The title card segment focuses on Ash for this episode


  • When Ash takes out his Pokédex, it is already open. However, when it is pointed at Pyroar, it opens up again.

Dub edits

In other languages

XY096 : A Giga Battle with Mega Results!
Pokémon the Series: XY
XY098 : Dream a Little Dream from Me!
Project Anime logo.png This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.