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Nearing Petalburg City, itching for a family reunion and a Gym battle, Ash and co take a picnic break in the woods and discuss their plans. May and Max are mainly interested in showing off May’s new contest ribbons, and her lovely Beautifly and Skitty. Ash and Pikachu are confident about winning the badge, but Max gets a little upset at him for belittling his father, so he warns them that they aren’t as strong. Ash then takes out all his Pokemon to remind him…
Suddenly, Ash remembers that his team members other than Pikachu have yet to meet his newly evolved Grovyle. Especially Corphish, who seemed to be Treecko’s best friend, is now feeling rather uptight around it. Ash introduces it to Corphish and explains the situation, and Torkoal and Taillow congratulate it as well.
Now, Ash is planning a strategy to beat Norman. As he refreshes his memory, he remembers that hyperactive Vigoroth… and nothing else. He asks Max, but Max is just as clueless since he hasn’t watched him have a Gym battle before except that one time. But either way, he’d feel guilty giving Ash advice to beat his own father. He turns to May, but she’s at a loss for words as well.
Suddenly, Taillow comes down and drops an orange from a nearby tree. Ash thanks it, and they run to get more fruit. Corphish, eager to help as well, runs over and climbs up the tree, grabs two in its claws—and smashes them to a pulp. Unfortunately its claws are too strong to grip such fragile fruit. Next, Pikachu tries, but it has trouble getting up. Corphish hasn’t given up yet, so it tries knocking them down with a Bubblebeam, which fails and blasts the fruits to smithereens. Desperately, Corphish tries ramming into the tree to knock them down, but it won’t budge. Suddenly, Grovyle makes use of its new Leaf Blade technique, and rushes up to knock them down, successfully! As everyone congratulates Grovyle, suddenly a huge net comes down out of nowhere! I wonder what it could be!
Nope, sorry, nothing special here. As Team Rocket lift them up, the little yellow rat tries its electricity, even though it should know that they use shockproof nets by now. However, Corphish’s claws can’t seem to rip it either! From down there, Ash calls for Grovyle to use a Leaf Blade, which totals the net and frees them all. Another Bullet Seed to their face, plus a Leaf Blade tearing a big gash in the balloon sends them blasting off.
As everyone praises Grovyle—that is, everyone but Corphish, Corphish acts a little spacey instead and appears to be trying to calm them down. May suggests it could be jealous, but Brock has the idea that rather than being jealous, it feels Ash is a little shallow. Meaning, he favors Grovyle over it, because it’s at a higher stage. As Brock prepares some meals for them to settle down with, they all suddenly start to hear bongo drums in the distance. As they get nearer, a Ludicolo staggers toward them in a dancing pattern! Ash does some ‘Dex research, and learns that this is the evolved form of Lombre, and it’s the Carefree Pokemon, which has a habit of flailing and dancing about. Then, they notice that the drums aren’t coming from Ludicolo, but actually from a Mexican-style dressed man with bongo drums coming after it. As he plays them, he introduces himself as Pancho, and that the Ludicolo is his. He has a special talent of Pokemon dance collaboration, and can use the bongo drums to control Ludicolo’s motions. Brock then asks if he had it originally as a Lombre, and he explains he did, and that it evolves with a Water Stone. Brock then says he has a Lombre as well, as he lets it out to meet Ludicolo. They seem to get along fine, while Pancho notices that Lombre’s been trained pretty well.
Next Pancho notices the delicious sandwiches, and asks if anyone would like to battle him for them. As you probably expected, Ash jumps at the chance. As they get ready, Grovyle steps in, ready to battle. Corphish, however, stops it since it wants to battle as well. Since Corphish seems more eager to do it, Ash chooses it.
As the battle starts, Corphish goes for a Vicegrip, which is easily dodged by Ludicolo. Next Corphish uses a Bubblebeam, but Ludicolo’s fists start to glow for a Protect, which absorbs all the bubbles. An attempt at a CrabHammer attack from Corphish is once again easily dodged. Ash then tries to think fast of a way to go against its defense, but he just tries a CrabHammer again, which Ludicolo avoids by Double Team. Ash now has no other good strategy but to have it CrabHammer all of them, but as it does so, Ludicolo interrupts with a Focus Punch, hitting Corphish hard. It just barely manages to get up. Once again, they repeat the routine of Vicegrip, dodge, Bubblebeam, Protect, CrabHammer, Focus Punch, which weakens Corphish even more. Corphish tries one last CrabHammer, but Ludicolo blasts it to faintland with a Hyper Beam. Pancho takes the sandwiches, thanks them, and walks off with Ludicolo.
Unfortunately Ash’s hopes are down now that he lost the battle, but Brock suggests that it was probably for the best, since Corphish seemed really desperate to battle, given that Corphish looks angrier than ever now. To add to their problems, they have no more sandwiches and they’re starving, but Brock can easily solve that and offers to whip up another batch, which they gladly appriciate. Just then, Corphish regains conciousness—and wanders off into the bushes! While Ash sends Taillow out to look for it, they then realize yet another reason for Corphish to be angry. That being when Ash picked Grovyle first, giving it another reason to suspect favorism.
Meanwhile, while Pancho and Ludicolo enjoy their snack, they also practice their dance-to-the-drums collaboration. Corphish hears it from nearby in the woods, and quickly approaches them. Pancho recognizes it as that same Corphish his Ludicolo beat, and wonders what its doing there. He offers it one of the sandwiches, but it refuses. Then it waves its claws, and Pancho gets the message that it wants to battle.
While Team Rocket spy on Corphish and Ludicolo, they’re certainly impressed by Ludicolo’s dancing skills, and the fact that it beat Corphish. And who would have guessed they want to steal Ludicolo? Let alone give it to the boss to use for DANCING entertainment? I guess they don’t give up, regardless of how cheesy their plans are. As they make their moves, a puff of smoke scares them off, and chases Pancho and Ludicolo to the cliff, where a net traps them! Somehow that net is attached to their balloon, which they somehow got to in the sky in a matter of seconds, when they were in the bushes before. Corphish tries saving them with the Bubblebeam, but nothing happens. Next it tries jumping on a tree branch straight to the net, which it desperately pries at. When that doesn’t work, Corphish thinks fast and uses the old fashioned trick of jumping up to the balloon and breaking it with its claw, sending them blasting off. However, it keeps its grip, since Pancho and Ludicolo go with it!
When they land, they land near Ash and co (since there is nowhere else “significant”), while Pancho, Ludicolo, and Corphish break free! Ash welcomes them back, but Team Rocket don’t give up. So Ash, taking Brock’s advice, decides to give Corphish a shot at fighting them off. As they send out Cacnea and Seviper, Corphish deals them some damage via Bubblebeam. When they try to attack with Bite and Needle Arm, Corphish quickly stops them both with its Vicegrip. Then, Cacnea tries Pin Missile, but Corphish evades it with a Harden, and attacks with CrabHammer. A final strong Bubblebeam sends them blasting off.
While Pancho says his thanks, he was also indeed impressed by Corphish’s wrath, when Ludicolo made it seem like a little shrimp. With that, as well as saving them, he agrees to share the food he won from them, since it was all thanks to Corphish they were saved. As they all sit down and relax and have a meal, Corphish seems to have gotten its wish—it is now the center of attention! Hah, we’ll see how long that will last. Grovyle, on the other hand, is a little nervous since it was partly its fault. But as Corphish approaches Grovyle, they shake hands and call a truce.
But Ash isn’t done yet. Now that Corphish got its wish, he wants to try to battle Ludicolo again, using a different Pokemon. Torkoal seems to have not battled in a while, so he gives it a shot. Torkoal starts off with a Flamethrower, which Ludicolo easily dodges. Ludicolo tries the Focus Punch, but Torkoal avoids it by hiding with an Iron Defense. Next, Ludicolo uses a Double Team, so Torkoal uses the trick of sending a Flamethrower all over the place, and eventually hits the real Ludicolo.
And as the battle continues, Ash still has his high hopes up about finally reaching Petalburg City and winning the next badge!
Thanks To Spinazak For Writing this for us
343: Go Go Ludicolo!
343: Dancing Battle! Ludicolo!
Between Verdanturf and Petalburg
Corphish becomes Jealous of Grovyle