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The episode begins with Ash and Brock still in their hunt for Pikachu on Route 202, just after Ash caught his new Pokemon Starly. Dawn is also running Route 202, after being told that the trainer that Pikachu belongs to is trying to find her. Just they continue their search, Ash's new Starly stops and brings their attention to something it's just spotted. Ash wonders if it could be Pikachu, as a huge electric attack is seen on the horizon. Brock remarks that the power of the attack looks incredibly strong, and Ash is sure that it's Pikachu.
Elsewhere, we find that the attack is not coming from Pikachu at all, but instead an Elekid standing aside a rather mean looking trainer, wearing blue and with brown hair. The attacks are being aimed at several other Starly, which all are trying to get away from Elekid's powerful electric blasts. At that, the boy, Paul, throws a Pokeball at one of Starly, and is surprised when the ball doesn't work and the bird simply shrugs it off. Ash then appears on the scene, calling out to his Starly, the one Paul just tried to capture. Paul isn't impressed, and tells Ash that he should keep a closer eye on his Pokemon. Ash apologises, as Brock runs up beside him and remarks on the strong looking Elekid at Paul's side. Ash asks the boy if he's seen his Pikachu, and Paul says that he hasn't... the only Pokemon he's interested in at the moment is Starly. However, the only Starly he's interested in is one that knows the attack Aerial Ace. Ash is surprised at this, and asks what he means. At that, Paul puls out three Pokeballs and throws them into the air, and three Starly pop out and flutter down beside Elekid. He then pulls out his Pokedex and examines the three Pokemon to find out which ones know Aerial Ace. After the Pokedex has finished examining them, he finds that only one knows the attack, and then calls them all back to their Pokeballs and only puts the one knowing Aerial Ace to his belt.
He then holds the other two in his hands, and tells them that they just aren't good enough for his needs and that he's going to release them. Ash is surprised and angry at his actions, and tells him that he shouldn't go around catching Pokemon and releasing them just because it doesn't meet his expectations... such a thing is wrong, after all. Paul smirks and says that that is his business, which only angers Ash even more. However, he then invites Ash for a Pokemon battle, and Ash accepts. Ash then asks what the rules for the battle will be, and Paul tells him that they'll both use three Pokemon. Ash takes a sep back at this, realising that without Pikachu, he only has two Pokemon. Ash bashfully tells him that he only has two Pokemon, and Paul becomes annoyed and calls for Elekid to follow him as he walks off. Ash grits his teeth at what justg happened, before another powerful electric attack is seen just over the trees. Brock says that must be Pikachu judging by the power, and Ash agrees and the two run off to find the source.
Back with Dawn and Pikachu, we find Pikachu fighting against a huge Team Rocket mecha, but struggling due to the mecha's strong armor. The three Team Rocket members laugh from inside the mecha and tells Dawn and Pikachu that such attacks are useless against them and that they should just give up. Dawn asks what they even want with Pikachu, and Jessie smirks and tells her that such a strong Pikachu is perfect for Team Rocket's success. Meowth then fires out the mecha's long robotic arms to grab Pikachu, and Dawn tries to stop them by ordering Piplup to use Bubblebeam. The attack fails however, and the mecha's arms get Pikachu and pull it towards the mecha. Piplup uses Bubblebeam again, and James laughs at the small pengiun Pokemon as the attack fails once again. Piplup then, without order, runs towards the mecha and tries to smash it open with its beak, before being swatted away by the large metal hand. Jessie then laughs, and starts to try to frighten Dawn by waving the huge robot hands in fron of her and Piplup.
At that however, Ash and Brock appear on the scene and Ash orders Aipom to use Swift and Starly to use Gust. Everyone, including Team Rocket is shocked to see Ash, and Jessie uses the metal hands of the mecha to knock Ash down. Brock tells Ash to be careful, and Ash says he won't stop until he gets Pikachu back. Team Rocket then come out of the mecha on a large raising platform, and proceed to recite a brand new motto before making the mecha pose with them at the end. James then presses a switch on a remote, which sends several of the mecha's hands speeding towards Ash. Ash dodges, rebounds on a tree before swinging off it to land on one of the metal arms and climbing up. James tries to make Ash fall off, but while doing so, makes the mecha punch itself. At that moment, the whole thing starts to malfuction and break down, releasing black smoke and electric shocks from around the body. Brock tells everyone to get down, just as the mecha explodes and sends Team Rocket blasting off again
When the smoke clears, Dawn and Brock get up and look at the remains of the destroyed mecha. Brock calls out to them, as does Dawn just as Ash emerges from the rubble along with Pikachu. The two hug, and Pikachu greets Aipom who runs over, and Starly as Ash introduces the two Pokemon to eachother. Dawn is happy that Pikachu was able to find its trainer, as Ash walks over to her and tells her that he's Ash, from Pallet Town. Brock then slides over and eagerly tells Dawn that his name is Brock. Dawn says that she's pleased to meet them, and then introduces her partner Piplup. Ash checks the Pokemon on his Pokedex, and asks if Piplup is alright after battling against Team Rocket's mecha. Dawn says that Piplup is alright, and Piplup itself agrees... before spinning around and falling down in sheer equastion. Brock drops down to the ground and takes Piplup into his arms, before spraying Piplup with a Potion. Dawn apologises for putting Piplup through such an ordeal, but Piplup doesn't seemto mind and smiles at her. Brock then offers to do the same for Pikachu, and Ash thanks him.
Sometime later, we find the three trainers at a phone box making a video call to Professor Nanakamondo. Ash and Dawn explain what happened, and the Professor tells them that he's happy that everything worked out okay. He then tells Ash that he recently recieved a call from his mother, and that Ash should come back to his lab straight away.Ash wonders what it could have been about, but agrees to visit him anyway. Elsewhere however, Paul and Elekid look over the remains of the Team Rocket mecha.
Back on the road, Brock is telling Dawn that he's a Pokemon Breeder, and Dawn tells him that that's really cool. Just then, the Officer Jenny which helped Ash from before rides up on her motorbike and greets Ash. Ash greets her back, as does Brock who grabs her arm and proclaims his love for her beauty. Sometime after that, Ash, Dawn and Brock have made it back to Professor Nanakamondo's lab, where the Professor presents Ash with a package that he recieved from Ash's mother. Upon opening it, he finds a whole new outfit and backpack for him that his mother made herself. He then puts it on, and calls her to thank her for sending him such an awesome and needed gift. He then tells her that he's going to be entering the Sinnoh League, and Delia wishes him luck. She then tells Ash to call Professor Oak to let him know if Pikachu is alright, and Ash looks guilty as he forgot all about it. He then calls Professor Oak as asked, nd tells him that he got Pikachu back, and it was all thanks to Dawn.
Dawn intrduces herself, and Oak notes that she must be a starting trainer, and wishes her luck on her journey. Dawn thanks him, as Nanakamondo walks up behind them and the two Professors exchange greetings. The three trainers walk off as the two Professors talk, and Ash explains to Dawn that he's going to enter the Sinnoh League, as Brock pulls out a handbook which explains where all the Gyms in Sinnoh are. Dawn then tells him that her dream is to be a Top Coordinator, and enter Contests. Ash clicks his fingers, and suggests that maybe Dawn come with them. Brock agrees, as Aipom, Starly and Piplup walk over to them. Ash and Dawn call their Pokemon back, and Dawn asks why he didn't call Pikachu back to a ball too. Ash tells her that Pikachu never goes inside a Pokeball as it hates it and so travels outside with him.
The three trainers plus Nanakamondo then walk outside the lab, and Ash is shocked when he sees Paul leaning on a tree in front of the lab. Paul introduces himself , and asks Ash if he's ready for a Pokemon Battle yet. Ash smiles and looks over to Pikachu and tells Paul that he is, before introducing himself as Ash from Pallet Town, with a wish to be a Pokemon Master. The two square off, and Paul starts the trash talk, which angers Ash who sends out Starly as his first Pokemon. Paul then sends out his own Starly, and Brock begins the battle. Ash orders Starly to use Quick Attack, which Paul's dodges. Paul's Starly then smashes into Ash's, and Ash then tells his own to use Aerial Ace. Paul counters by ordering Double Team, which generates several clone images of Starly. Ash's Starly is confused, and Paul dives behind it and knocks into it once again, sending Starly down to the ground and knocked out. Ash calls his bird back, and tells it that it did great and deserves a good rest. Shiji does the same, but clearly isn't impressed by Starly's performance despite its victory. Ash then sends out Aipom, and Paul sends out his own monkey, Chimchar. Ash checks Chimchar on his Pokedex, before telling Aipom to use Swift attack. Paul counters by ordering Ember, and the two attacks collide and explode on contact.
Ash then tells Aipom to use Focus Punch, but its focusing is stopped when Paul tells Chimchar to use Flame Wheel to damage and cancel the attack out. Dawn asks what happened, and Nanakamondo explains that Focus Punch needs time to focus before attacking... however, if the user is attacked, the attack stops powering up. Ash then orders Aipom to use Double Team, and Paul tells Chimchar to use Ember. The Ember's flames spread out and destroy all of Aipom's clones, and the real Aipom is then subjected to a several swipes from Chimchar's claws. Aipom then jumps back, and Ash tells it to use Focus Punch again. Paul repeats his call for Flame Wheel, hoping to stop the attack once moe. Ash tells Aipom to jump in the air just as Chimchar is about to hit it, which allows the attack time to charge up. Ash then shouts for Aipom to use the attack, which it does, sending Aipom's large tail crashing down on Chimchar's head. At that, the fire monkey Pokemon is knocked out, and the two trainers both recall their Pokemon.
Ash kneels down and tells Pikachu that it is up next, as Paul sends out his electric Pokemon, Elekid. Ash starts things off by ordering Pikachu to use Thunderbolt, but Elekid simply absorbs the attack. Now it's Paul's turn, as he tells Elekid to use Thunder. Elekid revolves its arms and fires off a huge electric bolt at Pikachu, who takes the attack also without taking too much damage. Ash then tells Pikachu to use its most powerful attack, Volt Tackle. Paul appears to have been predicting this, and tells Elekid to use Protect to stop the attack. Pikachu is sent flying back, and Dawn asks why Pikachu took damage. Nanakamondo explains that while Volt Tackle is a deadly attack against enemy Pokemon, it can also damage the user and inflict recoil damage to whoever is using it.
Pikachu gets up however, and Ash tells it to use Iron Tail. Pikachu jumps towards Elekid, and the two exchange blows for some time, before Elekid manages to land a Thunderpunch attack. However, the strain of the battle takes its oll on both Pokemon, and Pikachu and Elekid fall down at the same time, defeated. Brock announces that the battle was a tie, and that overall, the whole 3 against 3 battle was also a tie, with both trainers with One Win, One Loss and One Draw. Ash takes Pikachu into his arms, as Paul walks over to him. Paul looks down at Ash, before pulling a Pokeball from his belt and releasing his last remaining Starly. Ash asks what he did that for, and Paul tells him that such a weak Pokemon is of no interest to him... he's only looking for strong Pokemon. He then bows to Professor Nanakamondo, before walking off. Ash stares at the arrogant trainer, gritting his teeth at such disrepect to Pokemon.
The episode ends with Ash and Pikachu both staring down at what could be their newest rival.
Thanks to Alfonso for writing this for us
471: When Pokémon Worlds Collide
471: Rival Battle! 3 VS 3!
Ash finds Pikachu
Ash, Brock & Dawn meet up and decide to travel through Sinnoh
Ash meets his new rival Paul and challenges him to a battle that ends in a draw
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