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The episode begins with the group sitting on rubber tire seats in a small park while May admires her new Contest Ribbon from Saffron City's recent Contest where she beat Harley. Ash is eager to stop sitting around and start getting on their way again so he can get to the next Frontier facility. May however, has other ideas and pulls out her information book and shows him a page containing details of a local restaurant that serves up delicious ramen and chinese noodles. May and Ash aren't the only ones that want to go somewhere, as Max shows them an advertisement in a magazine of his showing a Hitmonlee and a Hitmonchan fighting it out... an advertisement for the local fighting dojo, which allows for free observation.
The group decide to go get some of the delicious ramen that May seems to want so much, but they arrive to find a huge line of customers waiting to get some of the food themselves. Just then, a young girl named Tsugoyo appears out of the resaurant'sdoors pulling what appears to be Kyoutarou, the chef out with her. The two argue, and the girl drags Kyoutarou off. The customers shout as they walk away, demanding the ramen that they've been waiting for. May is also angry, as flames burn in her eyes as she sees her only chance of tasting some of the famous ramen being dragged away from her. Brock doesn't appear to care for the food however, as he looks on lovingly at Tsuguyo as she storms off with the young chef. May angrily asks Brock if he's with her in going to get the chef back, and Brock skips after her still dreaming of Tsuguyo.
Not far away, someone else is selling ramen. A single cart, decorated with large R symbols and golden Meowth heads stands proudly as Team Rocket look over it with pride. They happily think of all the money they're going to make from selling ramen, but then James points out... do any of them actually know how to make ramen? Jessie stops her excitement and says that she thought that James knew how to make it. James stares at her blankly, before looking at Meowth and saying that he thought Meowth knew how to make ramen. Meowth replies, saying that he thought that Jessie knew how to make it, meaning that neither one of them actually know how to make ramen and thus operate a ramen stand. Jessie screams at James, saying that their stand is totally useless. Just then, Ash and Max walk past behind them, oblivious to the three villains watching them and quickly plotting to steal Pikachu. Deciding to abandon their ramen stand, Team Rocket run off after the two boys. Meowth isn't so sure, and uselessly screams at Jesse at James as they vanish behind the corner.
Ash and Max arrive at the Fighting Dojo that Max told them about before, and stand in awe and its ancient structure. Ash calls out, saying hello and hoping to catch someone's attention inside the Dojo, but doesn't get any reply. Suddenly, the ground starts to shake and Ash and Max wonder if its an earthquake. Just then, an old man in karate gear leaps out of the dojo and lands in front of Ash skillfully. The man introduces himself as Hamaguri, and Ash and Max introduce themselves in return. Max then tells the karate master that Ash just got the best eight in the Hoenn League. Hamaguri is amazed at this, and steps back in surprise and asks Ash if that is true. Ash smiles and says that it is, and the man rubs his chin in interest. Hamaguri then circles around Ash, observing him and checking out his body as Ash looks on puzzled. The man then slaps Ash on the back, saying that maybe he's just what he's looking for and proceeds to push Ash straight into the dojo as Max runs behind wonder what's going on. Watchin all of this is Team Rocket, hanging from a tree and plotting their next move.
Inside the dojo, Ash, Pikachu and Max are hard and work waxing the floor using a single cloth each. The three become tired, but the man shouts at them, saying that the floor needs to be perfect for Pokemon Battles. Just then, Tsuguyo walks into the dojo still pulling along Kyoutarou. The old man recognises the chef, as May and Brock run in after them, May still wanting her ramen and Brock still wanting Tsuguyo. Max and Ash see their friends, and call over to them. May asks what they are doing, and Ash stares down at the floor wondering exactly what he is doing and why. Tsuguyo notices May for the first time, and her eyes widen in surprise as she recognises May from the Pokemon Contest that she saw on television. Brock the crawls over, trying to introduce himself. The girl ignores him however, running over to Hamajuri telling him that she's brought Kyoutarou with her. The old man stares at Kyoutarou bitterly, and the young chef storms over to him, and calls him father. The two argue, and before May can say aything, Ash suggests that they stay out of it, as it appears to be a family matter. Ksuguyo apologies to Ash and May for the fighting father and son, and explains to them why they are argueing. It seems that Hamajuri wants to retire from the dojo and hand the dojo over to his son. Kyoutarou however, is happy at his ramen shop and doesn't want to take over the dojo. Thus, the two constantly argue. As for why she is getting involved, she explains that she has a little crush on Kyoutarou.
Hamajuri tells Kyoutarou that he should take up his responsibilities and give up his ramen shop. May's eyes widen in horror at this however, as the thought of such delicious ramen going to waste. Brock tries to make a suggestion, but is ignored by everyone and the father and son continue to argue. Deciding that something should be done to settle this, Hamajuri challenges Kyoutarou to a Pokemon Battle. If Kyoutarou wins, he can stay at his ramen shop and won't be bothered again. If he wins though, Kyoutarou will give up his ramen shop and have to become leader of the dojo allowing him to retire in peace. Kyoutarou accepts, and they proceed to the battle arena.
Tsuguyo asks if they're really going to do this, and recites the battle rules, uninterested annoyed and that the bitterness between the two have gotten this far. Hamaguri sends out Hitmonlee, and Ash checks the Pokemon on his Pokedex. Kyoutarou responds by sending out Hitmonchan, which May checks on her Pokedex. As the two Pokemon face off, May shouts encouragement to Kyoutarou, telling him to do his best for the ramen. Tsujuyo begins the Pokemon battle, and Kyoutarou starts off by ordering Hitmonchan to use Mach Punch. Hitmonchan does so, sending a rapid fist which smacks straight into Hitmonlee and sending it flying back but not to the ground as Hitmonlee flips over and lands on its feet. Just as Hamaguri is about to order an attack, he stops and falls to the ground in pain as a sharp pain snaps in his back. The group stare in shock, and then run over to the fallen master as he sits on the ground, rubbing his hurt back. Tsyguyo tells him that he shouldn't push himself so hard, but Hamaguri tells her that t's nothing and that he's okay. At that moment, Ash steps forward and suggests that Hamaguri let him battle in his place since he's injured. Hamaguri agrees, but Kyoutarou objects, saying that Ash will be at a disadvantage since he won't be familiar with Hitmonlee and thus wouldn't be a fair battle. May then thrusts her hand in the air, saying that she'll battle in Kyoutarou's place to make the battle fair- Two trainers using two Pokemon that they haven't used before. The group look at her in shock, and May says that she'll battle... battle for the ramen! Tsuguyo tries to object, but Kyoutarou agrees and puts his hand on May's shoulder and tells her that he's happy for her to battle in his place.
Watching all of this is Team Rocket, who plan on stealing the two fighting Pokemon.
Back with the group, we find training with Hitmonlee against one of the dojo's Hariyama. The two Pokemon swap blows, and Ash orders Hitmonlee to use Hi Jump Kick which sends Hariyama flying backwards and straight on top of Team Rocket who are watching from a patch of nearby bushes. Hamaguri is impressed, and says that with Ash on his side, Kyoutarou will soon be in charge of the Gym. On the other side of the dojo, May is training with Hitmonchan against a Breloom while Brock, Tsuguyo and Kyoutarou are watching. Breloom uses Stun Spore, but May tells Hitmonchan to dodge and the spore ends up falling over Team Rocket who are hiding and watching this battle too. Breloom then rushes toward Hitmonchan and uses Sky Uppercut, and May tells Hitmonchan to use the attack also. Hitmonchan's speed overcomes Breloom however, as its Sky Uppercut hits first sending Breloom high into the air. May then tells Hitmonchan to use Mach Punch, which knocks out Breloom and down for the count. May celebrates, and Kyoutarou says tha she did great. Tsuguyo isn't so sure, and tells Kyoutarou that she doesn't care about the dojo... just him. She blushes, and the harsh reality washes over Brock as he feels rejection again.
Back inside the dojo, the battle is about to begin. Hamaguri shouts support at Ash, and Kyoutarou does the same for May. The two trainers face off, as do their Pokemon as Tsuguyo calls out the rules and begins the battle. Ash orders Hitmonlee to use Rolling Kick, and Hitmonlee leaps into the air. May responds by telling Hitmonchan to use Sky Uppercut. The two Pokemon leap at each other and their attacks hit each other at the same time, fist and feet smashing onto their faces. The two Pokemon are both sent flying back, and Hamaguri compliments Hitmonchan's Sky Uppercut. As the dust clears, May tells Hitmonchan to use Mach Punch and a fist flies toward Hitmonlee at a rapid pace. Ash counters just in time, and tells Hitmonlee to use Jump Kick to dodge and attack. Hitmonlee does so, jumping over the fist and leaping towards Hitmonchan and smashing its foot into the punching Pokemon's face and smashing it against the dojo wall. May asks Hitmonchan if its okay, and the Pokemon gets up and nods, ready to fight agan. May turns around to face Ash once more, and tells Hitmonchan to use Comet Punch. Hitmonchan runs towards Hitmonlee and fires off several fast punches which Hitmonlee manages to dodge for a while before getting hit several times over and sent sprawling back.
Ash asks Hitmonlee to get back up, and Hitmonlee does so, but May doesn't give it enough time to recover and orders another Mach Punch. The attack speeds forward and smashes Hitmonlee straight into the dojo wall, just like Hitmonchan had done prior to that. Max is surprised at how well May is doing, and Brock explains that she has a reason to fight as May becomes all fired up at the prospect of saving the battle ramen. Hitmonchan's speed allows it to dash towards Hitmonlee before it can counter, and May orders a full on attack. Ash screams a unheard attack at Hitmonlee, and the kicking Pokemon smashes its foot straight into Hitmonchan's face. Hitmonchan is sent flying back and lands on the floor as Hamaguri laughs thinking that the battle is won. Hitmnchan gets up however, and the two trainers face off. At that moment, both trainers order Focus Punch at the same time, and the two Pokemon charge up their attacks and rush towards eachother. Before the attacks can connect, an explosion stops both Pokemon in their tracks and causes the room to fill with smoke.
Team Rocket appear in a mecha, and recite their usual motto. As the smoke clears, Team Rocket's mecha is revealed: A huge bowl of noddles with wheels, chopsticks and a large net holding Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan. Just as Team Rocket are about to mistake, Tsuguyo steps forward and sends out her Hitmontop and orders the Pokemon to attack. Hitmontop does so, smashing into the mecha and releasing the captive Pokemon. She then tells it to attack again, this time smashing the top part of the mecha and revealing Team Rocket themselves. This gives Ash the chance he needs, and he tells Pikachu to use Thunderbolt which causes an explosion and sends Team Rocket blasting off again.
The group look on silently at the ruined wall of the dojo that Team Rocket broke through. Hamaguri sits down, saddened and thinks of all the hard work he'll have to do to repair the dojo and continue running it. Kyoutarou sits down also, and explains to the group his love of ramen, and how it started when his father cooked it for him when he was a child. The father and son come to an understanding, and Tsuguyo asks if maybe she could try some of this ramen, and suggests that they combine the dojo and the ramen shop into one. This idea seems to be accepeted, as the episode ends with the group enjoying some of Hamaguri's delicious ramen; the very ramen that he taught Kyoutarou to make.
Thanks to Alfonso for writing this for us
422: Pasta La Vista
422: Hand-to-Hand Fighting Dojo! Ash VS May!!
None of Consequence