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The time is 10am at the city of Hearthome, but Dia, Pearl, and Lady Berlitz have already risen for several hours, and are having their Super Contest special training outside Hotel Great Hearthome with their six Pokemon. Pearl creates a steady rhythm with a pair of castanets in hand, and counts 1-2-3 as Chimlord dances in front, but the Lady, Prinplup, Ponyta, Dia and Roo seem to be having a great deal of trouble following from behind. Next to them, Beh keeps stuffing food into its mouth, and Chatlord angrily whacks it on the head.

Pearl: Jump~ Front, front, right, left~ No! No noo noooo!!

Pearl furiously yells as Prinplup takes a wrong step, and crashes into Lady Berlitz and Ponyta. Pearl says they are not doing the right movements at all, and steps up to demonstrate the sequence himself. He remarks that Chimlord plays the role of the lead dancer in this turn, and everyone else should think of themselves as back dancers and mimic Chimlord's moves.

The boy flips out a book titled the 'Super Contest Perfect Guide', and decides to explain about contests once more. Pokemon Super Contests are events in which Pokemon compete with their charm, and judgment is based on three rounds of competitions. In the first round, the Visual Competition, coordinators dress up their Pokemon in Accessories to appeal to the judges. In the second round, the Dance Competition, Pokemon must stand in the center of the stage and dance in synchrony with the castanets' pace, either as the lead or back dancer, which is what was about to take place when the Lady accidentally stumbled onto the stage yesterday. In the third and last round, the Acting Competition, Pokemon demonstrate their charm through unleashing an assortment of moves, and the overall score of the three rounds will determine the winner.

That said, they actually have quite a lot of things to work on, and Pearl puts on a frown as he takes a look at his watch, stating that they have no more than 8 hours of time to deal with everything. Lady Berlitz voices her understanding, and says she shall do her best in practicing. Pearl sighs that he has no doubt the girl will be working hard, which is why he has decided to help, but hopes that she will also realize how impractical it is to think she can emerge victorious with a single day's practice, a belief he clearly saw in her eyes yesterday. Yet, the Lady asserts that she will accept nothing but coming on top and beating every other contestant, since she has bet her family name on it in front of a whole room of audience.

Pearl: (hollers) THAT IS WHY I DON'T UNDERSTAND IT AT ALL!!
Lady Berlitz: (yells back) WHAT IS THERE NOT TO UNDERSTAND!? MY FAMILY NAME IS OF GREAT IMPORTANCE!!
Pearl: (bewildered) IMPORTANT!? THAT ORDINARY NAME!?
Lady Berlitz: (furious) YOU... YOU SAID AN ORDINARY NAME!?

Dia plays little heed to the quarrel between his two companions, which has already become a typical trait of theirs, and decides to retrieve their Pokemon first. Just then, an odd-looking man who wears a suit and hat, with sunglasses and stick, walks up to the three, and wonders if it is Pokeballs that they are holding. The trio turns around to look at their unexpected speaker as Dia nods with a grin, and the odd little man immediately exclaims that they are truly remarkable people for possessing Pokemon so young.

Knowing her manners, Lady Berlitz thanks the man cordially with a bow, while Pearl gets confused as to whether possessing Pokemon at their age is a rare thing. Dia giggles that the man's beard seems to be fake and starts pulling on it, and the man winces with a yelp, remarking that they seem to be really extraordinary kids for not being shy around strangers.

The odd little man then says he is dying to see how their Pokemon look like, and without warning dives for the Pokeballs which Dia have left on the floor, taking Pearl by surprise. Prinplup, Chimlord and Roo instantly pop out, still dressed up in Accessories, and the man marvels that they are unbelievably magnificent. He decides to make the three trainers the premium members of his Pokemon Fan Club, and the trio puts on confused looks on their faces, clearly baffled by the unfamiliar name.

A few moments later, at the clubhouse of the Pokemon Fan Club, the odd little man greets his reception lady as he enters through the front door with Dia, Pearl and Lady Berlitz following behind him. The man hands a letter with a Pikachu stamp to the reception lady, telling her to deliver it to TV Jubilife's producer, Denis, and the trio gasps that it is a Pokemon Stamp.

Pearl wants to know who the man is, and the man proudly introduces himself as the greatest President of the Pokemon Fan Club, which is an organization founded on the cuteness of Pokemon, and aims to show the world their unique and magnificent charm. Having seen the way their Pokemon are dressed up with Accessories, he believes that they are making preparations to enter a contest, and says all contest participants share their goal in pursuing the ultimate charm of Pokemon.

With that, the little man strikes a pose and says they are therefore compatriots, and takes out a little box, which he calls the Poffin Case, to present to the trio. He states that the item stores Poffins they have made, and is easy to carry around with its hook which can be attached to a belt, allowing them to feed their Pokemon anytime they wish. He adds that although Accessories play a huge part in the Visual Competition round, a Pokemon's condition and feel are what the judges actually evaluate, which is why it is critical to feed Pokemon the right type of Poffins.

Dia begins to yawn at the President's long speech, and slowly falls asleep next to Beh and Roo who are already snoozing. Lady Berlitz wishes to know what Poffin really is, and the President is surprised that they have not heard of it. He explains that Poffins can raise a Pokemon's conditions and feel, and to put it short, they are snacks made from Berries. The word 'snack' causes Dia, Beh and Roo to bolt awake from their sleep, and the boy instantly drools at the thought of food like he usually does.

A while later, still at the Pokemon Fan Club clubhouse, Pearl has decided to practice Manzai.

Pearl: Speaking of Pokemon Conteeests!!
President: Speaking of Pokemon Contests!!
Pearl: A Pokemon's condition is very impooortant~
President: Very impooortant~
Pearl: (holds Chatlord) I'm hoping to heighten the condition of this Chatot, and thus I'm trying my best to raise it. Someday its coolness will reach the maxi...
President: No, no. (tilts Chatlord's head with walking stick) This Pokemon is in no condition for that condition!
Chatlord: (fumes and tries to attack)
Pearl: Calm down, Chatot!!

Pearl: I apologize for that. I shall dress it up with Accessories for a rating then.
President: (flips out Fashion Case) Oh, let me do that! (dresses up Chatlord)
President: What do you think?
Pearl: You have way overdressed it!! It is sweating now because of the heavy weight!
President: Oh, so the effect of an Accessory on sweating is acceleratory. No wonder it stiiinks~ (holds nose)
Pearl, Chatlord: (faint and blast off)
Pearl: (hollers) WHY AM I PRACTICING MANZAI WITH THE PRESIDENT!!?

The President says Pearl doesn't seem to have another choice, and looks out of the window towards the Poffin House situated opposite to their clubhouse. He remarks that his friend is currently engrossed in making Poffins, and Pearl peeks through the window glass next to the President to see what Dia is doing now.

Inside the Poffin House, Dia has put on an apron over his shirt and a toque on his head, and is stirring a piece of dough in the cooking pot as Beh and Roo watch expectantly from the side. He remarks that one must stir slowly in the beginning, and gradually speed up once the dough thickens until it takes form. He soon successfully creates a Poffin, and pinches off a little to take a bite. He splits the rest between Beh and Roo, and the three of them all agree that there is much room to improve, and they must do something about the smoothness. Dia decides to try again, and turns around to pick up a different combination of Berries from the table.

Back in the Pokemon Fan Club clubhouse, Pearl sees the dedication on Dia's face, and thinks to himself that his childhood companion really gets serious whenever it comes to food. He looks over to the video room behind him where Lady Berlitz and Prinplup are practicing their dance moves by watching previous recordings of contests in the past, and sees how determined they seem to be.

The President remarks that what Dia is working on shall handle the Visual part of the Super Contest, while the Lady's efforts will prepare for the Dance part, and his statement causes Pearl to bolt with a start. The boy realizes that he must also take the time to come up with tactics to deal with the Acting part in order to make things more efficient, and the President agrees that it will be a good idea. He states that time is no doubt running out on them, which is why the best strategy is to split the job, since the three of them are a trio to start with.

Watching the little man walk away, it suddenly dawns on Pearl that the man must have seen their quarrel in front of the hotel, and gone through the trouble to get them to work as a team. Feeling touched, he knows that he has no time to waste, and quickly flips out his guidebook on Super Contests to work up a good and effective sequence of move combos. And so, as Dia gets busy over the stove, Lady Berlitz strives to improve her dance moves, and Pearl diligently scribbles down all his ideas on a notebook.

Evening soon arrives in Sinnoh. At the Pokemon Super Contest Hall, Lady Berlitz strolls into the building with Pearl and the Fan Club President, and registers herself at the counter lady. Pearl notices the many unfriendly eyes glaring at them from the crowd, and realizes that the disapproval Lady Berlitz received yesterday has apparently persisted among the people. However, he sees that the Lady remains poised, and is barely bothered by the hostility and negative emotions. In fact, she is exuding such grace and elegance that it almost seems as if she is truly a lady.

Arriving at the corridor which leads to the contestants' quarters, Lady Berlitz stops in front of the Normal Rank entrance, and remarks that it is where she should be going since it is her first time of participation. Pearl and the President wish her good luck, and decide to head over to the audience stand.

Pearl grins that it certainly feels great to actually be able to watch and support from the inside instead of being kicked out like they were during the gym challenges, and wonders why Dia still hasn't arrived since the contest shall begin shortly. The President says Dia has told him that he still has something to make at the Poffin House, and Pearl gets curious as to what it could be since he has already completed the Poffins and given them to the Lady. The two continue to chat as they make their way down the corridor to the audience stand, and pass by the Master Rank quarters where a young woman with purple haired tied up in buns and another girl with long orange hair are entering.

Meanwhile, at the Normal Rank quarters, Lady Berlitz takes out her Poffin Case, and takes out a Poffin to feed Prinplup. Behind her, a Pachirisu sneaks up on the Fashion Case she has left unattended on the table, and puts on a devilish grin as it opens up the box.

A few moments later, the four contestants stand on the stage next to their participating Pokemon, and Lady Berlitz sees that she is up against Lady Renee who owns Bucky the Pachirisu, Battle Girl Marissa with Choppy the Machop, and Parasol Lady Tiffany who is entering with Batty the Zubat. The announcer welcomes everyone to the Normal Rank Coolness contest, and proceeds to commence the first round of judgment, the Visual Competition, in which the contestants must accessorize their Pokemon to match a given theme.

Lady Berlitz is grateful that she has sorted out her Accessories according to themes, and carefully opens her Fashion Case. However, what she sees causes her to gasp in horror. Just then, the announcer states that the theme has been decided to be the Shapely, and says the coordinators will have 60 seconds to dress up their Pokemon, starting from that very moment.

At the judges' stand, Keira remarks that Lady Berlitz's Prinplup has a rather nice Feel, and another judge, Jordan, comments that its best Condition seems to be coolness. Sitting between the two, Dexter the head judge takes a good look at the water penguin, and sees that it has apparently been fed with some quality Poffins. If his guess is correct, they are most likely blended from the Shuka, Tanga and Babiri Berries. The thing is, such a combination isn't easy to prepare, and he wonders who the Poffin maker could be.

Up in the audience stand, Pearl puts on a big grin, and says Prinplup appears to be receiving quite a good review from the head of judges in the Visual department. He is delighted that Dia's hard work in Poffin making has paid off, and wants to know what the President thinks. The little man agrees, but points out that something seems wrong with the Lady.

Indeed, Lady Berlitz is currently deeply troubled as she looks at the mess within her Fashion Case. Earlier that day, she has sorted her many Accessories, which are contained in little capsules, according to various themes, but for some reason, everything is scattered and tossed together inside the box right now. The girl steals a glance around as cold sweat begins to run down her forehead, and starts to wonder if someone to trying to thwart her from winning.

In the audience stand, the wealthy woman who wears a fur coat giggles devilishly as she sees the girl's anxious look, and says it is a punishment for wearing jewelry which are even more expensive than hers at such a young age. Her companion, the woman with top-brand glasses, snickers in agreement, and states that it will be a disgrace to the entire city of Hearthome if they allow spoilt brat like her to just swoop in and claim victory in a contest. The truth is, she has already bought out the three other contestants on stage, and every single one of them will make an effort to stump and hinder the girl throughout the whole contest.

Soon, Lady Berlitz's three competitors have finished accessorizing their Pokemon, and each shoots an evil grin at her as they stand and wait. The announcer voices his bemusement as to why Lady Berlitz still hasn't dressed up her Prinplup, and says there are less than 30 seconds left. Baffled by the empty look on the Lady's face, Pearl yells at the top of his voice from the audience stand, and hollers that she must quickly equip Prinplup with Accessories to fit the Shapely theme.

Pearl's deafening cry snaps Lady Berlitz out of her trance, and she hurriedly picks out the matching Accessories, including the Silk Veil, the Mystic Drop, the Humming Note, Glitter Powder and a Flag. She manages to put everything on Prinplup just as the counter strikes zero, and the two wear a fretful expression as the judgments are made.

Dexter, Keira and Jordan tap onto the heart-shaped panels in front of them to grade each contestant, and the announcer states that the individual scores will be revealed at the very end of the contest. Pearl remarks that the Lady had a very close moment, and says although she managed to make it, her confidence has clearly been swayed. The President lets out a sigh as he puts on a worried look, and hopes that everything will be all right.

A few minutes later, the announcer commences the second round, the Dance Competition, and Prinplup is set to perform as a lead dancer in the last turn. Unfortunately, Lady Berlitz's three competitors hardly let her rest, and continue to make things difficult for her during this round. While Bucky the Pachirisu takes lead, it deliberately wiggles its thick tail towards Prinplup's direction, and trips it several times. After Choppy the Machop swaps in next, it swings its two arms about, and constantly whacks Prinplup on the face. Having sustained a number of intentional assaults, Prinplup gradually becomes agitated, and when it finally steps up as the lead dancer, it can barely maintain the poise it has developed through the special training, and keeps screwing up its steps.

Soon, the second round is called to an end, and the announcer gives everyone a 15-minute break. Pearl fails to understand why the Lady doesn't seem to act herself at all, and is upset that Dia still hasn't arrived. He tells the President that he must go speak with the girl, and rushes down from the audience stand. Sitting near the front row, the two rich women praise the three other contestants on stage, and tell them to keep doing the same in the third round.

Pearl finds his way into the backstage, and sees the Lady slumping against a chair while Prinplup angrily kicks at the wall. The boy flips out his notebook as he dashes over, and hopes to go through the planned moveset he has designed for her in the Acting Competition once more. However, the Lady moans that she cannot go on any further, and puts on a disheartened look as she voices her wish to quit. Her remark causes Pearl to gasp in disbelief, and he demands to know why.

Lady Berlitz grimaces that someone seems to be thwarting her on purpose, and Pearl immediately argues that it wouldn't matter because they have fully prepared themselves during their training, and should be able to stand their own ground. Yet, the Lady doesn't care even if she sounds unreasonable, and says she has already made up her mind. Pearl grits his teeth to hold back his anger, trying hard not to explode, and finally yells that she can do what she wants before bolting out from the room.

Watching the boy storm away, Lady Berlitz takes Prinplup by the hand, and remarks that they should perhaps find the contest staff and tell them about their decision to quit. The two begin heading for the backdoor when it suddenly opens on its own, and the girl looks up to see Dia standing at the doorway next to Beh and Roo, holding a plate which is under a stainless steel cover.

Still in his chef outfit, Dia is delighted that he has managed to arrive before the third round starts, and merrily places the plate on a table. The Lady believes that he has come to cheer for her, and sighs that it is already too late. But before she could give her explanation, Dia says he has not exactly come for that, and grins that he has brought along something he made at the Poffin House. Lady Berlitz scoffs that Poffins are supposed to be eaten before the contest, and will not affect the judgment anymore at this stage. However, Dia once again says she is mistaken, and explains that the food he made this time was meant for her.

With that, he opens up the stainless steel cover to reveal a round cream pie, and slices a piece out for Lady Berlitz while Beh hands her a fork. Stunned by the unexpected surprise, the Lady simply stares at the dessert, and Dia urges her to eat it before the contest gets resumed. The girl hesitates a little, but decides that there is nothing to lose, and picks up the plate to slowly start eating.

Dia puts on a grin, and says he fully understands the Lady's fear and anxiety of being on stage, since he has performed in so many Manzai conferences together with Pearl before. He knows how scary it can be to stand in front of a whole room of people and act, how one gets nervous, gets afraid of losing, and must face the pressure and hostility from fellow competitors and the spectators. However, he always reminds himself that at the end of the day, there is only one message he wishes to convey to his audience, and that is to show them how happy he is.

Having heard Dia's little speech, Lady Berlitz suddenly doesn't feel so bad anymore, and begins reevaluating her attitude towards the contest. She finishes the slice of cream pie and thanks Dia for the tasty dessert, and the boy giggles that eating delicious food not only makes one happy but also opens up their hearts and eases their mind.

At that moment, an announcement comes on to call back the contestants on stage for the Acting Competition, and Lady Berlitz hands the plate back to Dia with a cheerful look, ready to take on the challenge once more, and knowing what she ought to do this time. Behind her, Prinplup senses the shift of emotions in its trainer, and experiences a similar feeling of rejuvenation.

Later, when it is finally Lady Berlitz's turn to perform, she keeps a joyful expression on her face as she voices her instructions to Prinplup. The water penguin gleefully edges its body forward, and steadily blows out a stream of bubbles from its beak until they fill the entire stage. Its graceful appeal takes everyone by surprise, and Dexter gawks at the Pokemon in amusement as he rewards it two hearts, while the audience begins to stand and applaud, much to the two snobbish women's horror and bewilderment.

The truth is, Lady Berlitz has finally remembered what contests are all about. In the past, she has read a book which explained the origin of contests, and the event apparently started out as a gathering to appreciate the glory of Pokemon. As an opportunity for Pokemon lovers to meet and be happy, the essence is no other than happiness itself. When a Pokemon feels happy, its trainer becomes happy, and this simple joy is what contests are originally created for.

Dia makes his way to the audience stand to join Pearl and the President, and sees Prinplup unleash a sensational Metal Claw just in time, which earns it an additional two hearts and causes the announcer to gasp in amazement. The whole room starts cheering in unison to support Lady Berlitz, and Prinplup elegantly delivers an Ice Beam before winding up its performance with a Peck, both moves earning it a considerable number of hearts.

Dexter stands up from his seat, and exclaims at the very well thought-out moveset, with Bubble and Metal Claw to raise the crowd's excitement, a foremost Ice Beam to escalate it further, and finally a Peck, which is a coolness move, to bring everything to a stylish close. On top of that, the girl and the Prinplup are genuinely happy, and the three judges all agree that the happiness originates from her heart and not faked through acting.

The announcer calls for everyone to hold their breaths as each contestant's points are added up and displayed on the scoreboard. Lady Berlitz's score bar continues to climb, and finally surpasses her three competitors, earning her the number one spot. The announcer declares the Lady as the winner, and the entire room roars with excitement through a standing ovation, their deafening cheers drowning out the girl's first name in the announcement even.

Lady Berlitz and Prinplup beam with joy and disbelief as they hug one another, and the three other coordinators on stage clutch their fists in rage at their failed attempt to stump the girl. In the audience stand, the two rich women storm out of their seats in fury, and the announcer comments on how the booing yesterday miraculously turned into cheering today, signifying the Lady's success in winning everyone over. Dia, Pearl and the President jump around merrily in circles at their seats and rejoice at the girl's victory, while Beh, Roo and Chimlord keep their mouths busy with Dia's cream pie.

Pearl: We need a verse to celebrate the victory, Dia!!
Dia: Sure, Pearl! Speaking of conteeests~!!
Pearl: What is the reward for winning?
Dia: (flips out a pair of mittens) This one.
Pearl: Mitten?
Dia: No? (flips out a toy piston) So... this one.
Pearl: Piston? Shouldn't it be a ribbon!? (grabs both items and smacks them on Dia's face)
President: You two are so funny~

The fur coat woman voices her anger as she and her companion walk out of the room, and the top-brand glasses woman scoffs that not only the contestants but also the spectators of the Normal Rank are of a lower class. She sneers that only the Master Rank contests are worth watching, and the fur coat woman agrees that they need something of higher class to cleanse their eyes. With that, the two head for the Master Rank contest hall, unaware of a pair of watchful eyes behind them.

Later, at the Master Rank contest hall, the crowd gasps in exclamation as one of the famous contestants, known as the charming soulful dancer, appears on stage with her Drifblim in a colorful explosion of smoke. The young woman, who wears a long purple dress and has her hair tied up into four buns at the back of her head, takes out a pair of castanets, and begins clapping a rhythm as she twirls with Drifblim, describing her Pokemon as cool, cute, smart, tough, and most of all beautiful. However, she adds, certain people in the room now clearly have not so beautiful hearts.

Without warning, Drifblim floats over to where the fur coat and top-brand glasses women are sitting, and hoists them up into the air with its two arms, much to their shock and terror. The soulful dancer remarks that she shall send them to where they belong, and her Mismagius giggles as Drifblim takes the snobbish women out through the backdoor and dumps them into the trashcan. Apparently, Mismagius was the one who spied on the two women, and reported their evil deeds to its trainer.

Back at the Normal Rank contest hall, it is time for the prize presentation ceremony. The announcer once again congratulates Lady Berlitz for winning, but the girl suddenly requests a short pause, and hurriedly steps off stage. She rushes up the stairs along the audience stand to where Pearl and Dia are, and without a word grabs them both by the arm to bring them back on stage. Pearl and Dia bolt in surprise and wonder what is going on, and Dia nearly chokes on his cream pie when the Lady tells the judges that there are three of them who will receive the prize.

Dexter puts on a baffled look and wants to know what she means, and Lady Berlitz replies that her victory did not solely come from her efforts but resulted from their collaboration as a trio. Pearl is confused as to what Lady Berlitz is doing, and the girl explains that she has been wanting to do that for a long time, but Pearl and Dia were always kicked outside during her gym challenges, and it is the first time that she can share with them the glory which they have helped her achieve. Next to her, Prinplup receives the Super Contest Normal Rank Cool Ribbon, and pins it in front of its chest as Chimlord and Roo stand close and share the joy of their companion's victory...

(Original Japanese Jokes)

  1. In the first half of the Manzai verse, Pearl says he is putting strenuous efforts in raising Chatlord, hoping that 'Itsu no hi ka Kaakoyosa no condition ga saikou no tokoro made takamatte', which means 'one day its coolness condition will reach the maximum'. The President disagrees, and says 'Kono Perap jya sonna hi ha kondeshon', which means 'Such a day will not arrive for this Chatot'. The pun is the word 'Kondeshon' (will not come), which is phonetically similar to the word 'Kondishon' (condition).
  2. In the second half, the President overdresses Chatlord, and Pearl says he has put on too many Accessories, causing it to be 'Omosugite Ooasekaitemasuyo', which means 'sweating profusely because they are too heavy'. The President then replies 'Accessory tsukesugite asekusarii', which means 'putting on too much Accessory makes one sweat'. The pun is on the word 'Akusesorii' (Accessory), which is phonetically similar to the word 'Asekusarii' (sweat).
  3. In the Pearl and Dia's celebratory Manzai verse, Pearl wants to know what is the prize of winning a contest, and Dia first takes out a pan (Obon), followed by a pair of pants (Zubon). Pearl grabs the items and whacks Dia, correcting him that it should be a Ribbon (Ribon). The joke is on the phonetic resemblance of Obon (pan) and Zubon (pants) to Ribon (Ribbon).

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



351: VS Pachirisu


Volume 31