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The episode begins early in the morning, with the sun shining brightly into the bedroom of a young girl that is just waking up on the dawn of one of the most important days of her life: The start of her adventures with Pokemon. The girl sleepily turns her alarm clock off, and then slips back under her warm bedsheets. After a short time, the girl, Dawn, pushes back her covers and opens the windows of her room to breath in the fresh clean air. Today, she will get her first Pokemon.
Sometime later, Dawn is already half-way dressed and is adjusting the clips in her hair in front of her mirror. A knock then comes at the door, and Dawn's mother calls and asks if she can come in. Dawn says that it's fine, and Dawn's mother comes in along with their pet, Glameow and the two exchange morning greetings. Dawn then bends over and says Good Morning to Glameow, who doesn't respond and slinks off to go lie on the young girl's bed. Downstairs, mother and daughter discuss Dawn's plans, and Dawn pulls out a postcard that she received from Professor Nanakamondo inviting her to his laboratory to pick up her first Pokemon. The postcard also contains a map to his lab, and pictures of the three Pokemon that she will be able to choose from. Dawn's mother wonders what Pokemon her daughter will choose, and Dawn looks over the pictures of the three Pokemon: Turtwig the Grass type, Chimchar the Fire type and Piplup the Water type. Dawn then comments that regardless, all three Pokemon wouldmake a good partner in her bid to become a Top Coordinator just like her mother.
The rest of the room is then shown, and we see several photos, awards and throphies that Dawn's mother had previously won when she was a Coordinator that competed in Contests. She then explains about the different paths that one can choose with Pokemon... a trainer, breeder, or a coordinator. After her mother's speech, Dawn then starts to daydream about how her contests will be like... she imagines herself in a huge open topped Contest Hall, wearing a beautiful dress. Then then sends out Chimchar and tells it to use Ember. Chimchar does so, bursting into flames and gliding around the Contest Hall. The fantasy scene ends, and we find Dawn standing in the front room of her house again, posing just like she was while she was fantasising. Her mother smiles and sweatdrops at her daughter's excitement.
Dawn then wonders what it'll be like using the Water type Piplup instead. Another fantasy starts, with Dawn wearing a pretty green dress this time, sending out Piplup. She orders it to use Bubblebeam, and Piplup fires lots of beautiful bubbles into the air, which explode and sends lots of sparkles raining down on the coordinator and her Pokemon while the crowd goes wild. Dawn then ponders the Grass type Pokemon Turtwig, this time wearing a tuxedo in her fantasy. Throwing some pink balls into the air, Dawn then tells Turtwig to use Razor Leaf on them, which splits all of them in half. As they slowly fall to the ground, both coordinator and Pokemon spin around gracefully, which is relfected in real life as Dawn spins and dances around the room. Her mother then reminds that she should probably go get a Pokemon and then think about such things, and Dawn smiles bashfully and agrees.
Outside, Dawn's mother calls her out, and Dawn walks out of the door with a large pink suitcase. Her mother asks what could possibly be inside it, and Dawn tells her that it's full of all the clothes that she's going to need for her journey and coordinating... her mother then opens the case, and disapprovingly pulls out a rather short frilly skirt and insists that she greatly limit what she's taking with her. After a short while, her mother presents her with a small rucksack which Dawn looks at rather sadly... she can't fit as many outfits in there! Finally agreeing, they head outside and Dawn's mother presents her daughter with an old, orange ribbon. Dawn asks what it is, and her mother explains that it's one of old ribbons, and that she should take it for good luck on her contest journey. Dawn thanks her happily, and then runs over to her bike. Her mother calls out and tells her to be careful on the way to Sandgem Town, and Dawn insists that she'll be okay. At that, she bids her mother fareell and rides out, her first step on her way to becoming a Pokemon Coordinator.
After sometime riding, Dawn eventually makes it to Sandgem Town and admires at how beautiful it is. She eventually makes it to what she thinks is the Pokemon lab she's supposed to be at, and opens the doors and asks for her Pokemon. However, when she opens her eyes, she finds that she's actually at a cafe with several people looking at her strangely. Realising her mistake, Dawn jumps back on her bike and rides faster through the town, worried that she'll miss out on her chance to get a Pokemon. After a long time of speeding around, not being able to find the lab, she eventually bumps into an old man. She apologises, and after some time talking, she realises that the old man is in fact Professor Nanakamondo. He walks off, and then asks if she's coming with him or not. After some hesitation, she follows him, pulling her bike along as she does so.
Inside Professor Nanakamondo's lab, we find his assistants watching the three starter Pokemon eat as they ponder what Pokemon will be chosen. Two more assistants walk in, with a Starly and its evolved form sitting on a stretcher. While the two assistants who were watching the three starter Pokemon are distracted, Chimchar grabs Piplup's last pieces of food and eats them. Piplup starts to shout angrily at Chimchar, who simply wakes its behind at the angry Pokemon, not bothered at all. Piplup unleashes a Bubblebeam attack, which Chimchar dodges while swinging and jumping around the lab. While jumping about, Chimchar stupidly jumps on Staraptor's head which angers the two bird Pokemon as well as Piplup. Soon all the Pokemon are fighting apart from Turtwig, who continues to peacefully eat its food, not noticing the fighting going on around it. One of the assistants tries to get Staraptor to do something, and the bird starts to flap its wings and create a huge gust inside the room which causes everything tobe blown over and scattered.
The sheer power of the attack causes the windows of the lab to break and smash open, which allows Starly and Staraptor to fly away, and for Chimchar to escape from the confines of the lab. The lab assistants all decide that they must go after the Pokemon, but before they can head out of the door, Professor Nanakamondo and Dawn walk in, and the assistant's faces drop because the lab is in such a state. They all scream apologises at the Professor, and explain what happened. The only Pokemon left is Turtwig, who looks rather scared of the Professor and goes back to eating after stopping to look up. Dawn offers to try to get the Pokemon back, and Professor Nanakamondo is surprised and asks why. Dawn explains that she is here to get her first Pokemon, and if two of them have got away, she has to get them back before she can choose one. Professor Nanakamondo agrees, and Dawn heads out on her search.
Outside, we find Dawn looking around, trying to spot the escaped Pokemon. Just then, Chimchar drops down from a tree, and Piplup appears out of the grass and starts to attack it with Bubblebeam. Dawn calls out to Piplup and tells it to stop, but the penguin Pokemon refuses to listen and fires off a Bubblebeam at Dawn herself. She manages to dodge out of the way in time, but when the smoke from the attack clears, both Pokemon are already running away into a small collection of trees. Dawn runs after them, and after sometime, hears Piplup call out to her. She looks around, and then looks up to find the Pokemon in question all tied up and stuck to a huge web, along with several other Pokemon, including Dunsparce, Ninjask, Pidgey, Rattata and Weedle. Dawn wonders what could have possibly have made the web, and her answer soon drops down and fires off a Sludge Bomb attack which sends her stumbling back: Ariados. Not pleased to see someone invading its territory, Ariados crawls through the trees aroud her and keeps on firing off Sludge Bombs. Thinking of a plan, Dawn shouts out to the spider Pokemon and starts to run off, with Ariados following her. Eventually Dawn circles around, and stops right in front of Ariados' web.
Piplup looks at her confused, and Dawn turns around and winks at the trapped Pokemon and tells it everything will be alright. Ariados then fires off another Sludge Bomb, which Dawn dodges. The attack hits the ground, causing a minor explosion which knocks Piplup out of Ariados' webbing. Dawn grabs the falling Pokemon, and runs away from a very angry Ariados. Piplup is still frustrated, and screams and struggles to get out of Dawn's arms, before Dawn slips and both go sliding down a small hill and into a whole bunch of bushes. Dawn walks out of the bushes, and introduces herself to Piplup, explaining that she just became a Pokemon Trainer today. Piplup isn't impressed, and uses Peck on Dawn's face which causes the young girl to drop it. Piplup continues to screeh loudly, and Dawn asks what the Pokemon's problem is. At that, Piplup's stomach starts to grumble, revealing the fact that Piplup is incredibly hungry after not being able to finish off its meal earlier and after all the running around it has had to do. The Pokemon blushes, and Dawn offers it some Pokemon food, which Piplup cheekily turns its nose up at and sticks its tongue out at the young trainer.
Just then, an Ariados drops down at her, causing both trainer and Pokemon to scream out in surprise. Ariados then uses Poison Sting, which sends Dawn stumbling back. Falling down, Dawn then looks up to see a huge web hanging above them containing many Ariados eager to avenge the earlier Ariados' loss. Dawn and Piplup attempt to run off, and the Ariados fire off several String Shot attacks which bars off all the exits that Dawn could have taken. The Ariados then fire off more Poison Sting attacks, which Dawn manages to dodge. However, the force of jumping around knocks the Pokemon food Dawn had from before out of her bag and onto the ground. This gives Dawn an idea, and she explains to Piplup that she's going to throw the food at the Ariados. When she does, Piplup is to fire off a Bubblebeam at the String Shot bars surrounding them. Piplup nods, and Dawn throws the Pokemon food, which the spider Pokemon all snap up and eat. While they do so, Piplup fires off a Bubblebeam which breaks theString Shot. Just as it looks like they can escape, one of the Ariados fires off another String Shot which wraps around Dawn's leg and makes her fall over, trapped. Dawn tells Piplup to go while it can, and that she'll be okay by herself. Piplup doesn't want to leave its new friend however, and stands bravely in front of Dawn, focusing its energy and recieving all the Poison Sting attacks that the Ariados send at it. After more barrages of Sludge Bomb and Poison Sting, Piplup begins to let off a purple light.
After that, the light turns into pure white, and Piplup unleashes a huge Bide attack after taking so much damage, and the attack destroys all the webs and blasts off all the Ariados, Team Rocket style. Dawn thanks Piplup for saving her, and Piplup breathes heavily before falling back into Dawn's hands in sheer exhaustion. The two soon arrive at a beautiful lake, and Dawn offers some food to Piplup after its stomach begins to grumble again. Hearing the sound above, Dawn looks up to see Starly and Staraptor flying high, carrying Chimchar back to the lab. Dawn smiles, now knowing that all the Pokemon are found. At that moment however, a cool breeze starts to blow across the lake, and the lake starts to ripple slightly. Dawn and Piplup look over the lake, wondering what could possibly be happening. After not long, a mysterious waterty outline of the Pokemon, Emuritto, appears above the lake's surface before vanishing into midair. Before heading back to the lab, Dawn continues to stare over the lake and wonders if that could possibly have been a Pokemon. And if so, what sort?
Back inside Professor Nanakamondo's lab, we find that most of the damage has been repaired and that all of the Pokemon have been returned safely. Professor Nanakamondo asks what Pokemon she will choose, and one of his assistants presents a tray to her, containing a pink Pokedex and several Pokeballs for her to capture Pokemon with. Professor Nanakamondo then briefly explains the three Pokemon on offer, who all pose to their possible future trainer. Dawn says that she's already decided, and picks Piplup, much to Chimchar's shock. Dawn and Piplup all stare happily at eachother, before Dawn calls Piplup inside its Pokeball.
Outside of the lab, Professor Nanakamondo and his assistants all bid Dawn off as she rides away on her journey, with her new Pokemon Piplup.
Elsewhere however, as Dawn rides away from a town, Ash is just arriving into one on the ferry from Kanto. Ash is excited to be entering Sinnoh, and wonders what new Pokemon and friends he'll meet. Also on the ferry is Team Rocket, who all watch while hidden. Sometime after the ferry hits port, Ash calls Professor Oak and Tracey who are happy to hear Ash arrived safely. Professor Oak notices that Ash took Aipom with him, and says that Tracey was worried where it had gone. He then offers to send Aipom's Pokeball to Ash, who thanks him. Flying above them however, are Team Rocket in their Meowth balloon. James fires out a huge rubber hand from a bazooka, which grabs Pikachu and takes it straight into a glass cage inside their balloon. Ash runs after them, but the balloon continues to float higher and higher. Back with Team Rocket, Jessie and Meowth begin to argue, and Meowth jumps to attack Jessie, who protects herself with Wobbuffet. The power of Wobbuffet's counter causes the balloon to explode, and sends Pkachu falling to the ground and Team Rocket blasting off for the first time in the Sinnoh region.
The episode ends with Ash running after the falling Pikachu, and Dawn riding to her next destination.
Thanks to Alfonso for writing this for us
469: Following a Maiden Voyage!
469: Begin! From Twinleaf Town to Sandgem Town!
Dawn gets her starter Pokémon, Piplup
Ash is seperated from Pikachu
Dawn sees the legendary Pokémon, Emuritto