Around the Whirlpool (うずまきれっとう！あらたなるちょうせん！！ Whirl Islands! The New Challenge!!) is the 1st episode of Pokémon: Master Quest.
After beating Chuck and earning the Storm Badge, Ash and co set sail for the Whirl Islands. But along the way they're pulled in by some fierce whirlpools caused by a submerged Pokémon. After being saved they meet again with Professor Elm, who informs them of the upcoming Whirl Cup event which Ash and Misty decide to compete in. Will this bring Misty one step closer to her goal of being a Water Pokémon Master?
As the heroes travel on the boat, Ash admires his badges, while Misty likes to know she is a step ahead of becoming a Water Pokémon Master. Suddenly, the heroes see a bunch of whirlpools. Jessie and James, disguised as waiters, give them drinks to calm down, telling them the captain is an experienced, knowledgeable man, while the ship is designed for max safety. As the heroes gaze upon the whirlpools, Team Rocket go to capture Pikachu. Suddenly, the boat moves, causing Team Rocket to use their net on Ash. They undisguised themselves and claim they are here for Pikachu and will not leave after they snuck on board. James thinks that these luxury boats have rooms for travelers, including them.
The heroes go away, so Jessie sends Arbok and James Weezing, who use Poison Sting and Smog. The heroes dodge, so Pikachu uses Thunderbolt. Wobbuffet uses Mirror Coat, causing an explosion, which makes Team Rocket blast off and the heroes to be thrown in the water. As the ship moves, the heroes are being pulled into the whirlpools. Misty sends Goldeen and Poliwhirl, while Ash Totodile to pull them out. However, the whirlpools pull them. A strange being passes by, changing the current of the whirlpool. As it passes away, a Corsola arrives and circles around them. A Tentacruel grabs them and carries them to a boat. The Corsola jumps to the man, who is Prof. Elm. Elm takes them in and is informed of their success. Misty adores Corsola, who saved them, as Elm caught it while doing research on these islands. Elm tells them of Captain Marius (who appears before them), who is the captain of this ship. The heroes introduce themselves to him.
The heroes see they approach the first of Whirl Islands, the Blue Point Isle, named due to a rock that navigates sailors to the island after a long journey. The heroes come to the Inland City, the largest port of Whirl Islands. They notice it is colorful, but are told it is due to Whirl Cup, a competition for Water Pokémon Trainers. Misty has her interest in this Cup, even if it starts the next month. Team Rocket come out of the sea and are exhausted. However, seeing the twerps here they get their confidence back. At the Center, Ash and Misty are registering for the Whirl Cup. Joy gives them a rule book, but Brock flirts saying she is always in his book. Corsola goes to a swimming pool, so Elm clarifies Corsola meets her Water Pokémon friends, since the pool is connected to the sea. Joy registers Ash and Misty for the Cup.
Ash and Misty see Brock taking notes from a trainer, who tells him that to keep a Water Pokémon's health it needs to be always moist. Captain Marius comes and asks what their dreams are. Brock tells he wants to be a breeder, Misty a Water Pokémon Expert, while Ash the Pokémon Master. Elm clarifies that the Whirl Cup's goal is to improve Water Pokémon. Misty sets her goal that she proves her sisters what a great Water Pokémon Expert she is by winning the cup. Ash wants to know the location of the Cup, so Elm points at the Red Rock Island, located between Silver Rock and Yellow Rock Island. Elm tells them there are many rounds and if one were to pass all of them, they'd be given the title of "Water Pokémon Alpha Omega", who would know the Water Pokémon very well. Team Rocket hear that these Water Pokémon are trained for battle and plan on capturing them.
The heroes ask Elm and Marius about the being they saw that changed the current. Marius claims he heard some rumors about mystery beings, while Elm is not surprised, since it was discovered the new Steel-type Pokémon exist. It is also known life came from sea. Marius tells them life started, then grew and expanded. The heroes follow this advice to achieve their dreams. Suddenly, they notice Team Rocket's balloon, which releases a net to capture the Water Pokémon from the Pokémon Center's pool. Team Rocket praise their success, though the heroes come to stop them. Jessie sends Arbok, while Misty Staryu, thinking it will be practice before the Whirl Cup. Staryu hits Arbok with Swift. Arbok dodges its Water Gun, retaliating with Poison Sting. Staryu is defeated, so Misty calls it back.
Psyduck comes out, who goes to help and jumps in the water. Misty calls it back, since Psyduck cannot swim. Pikachu goes to use Thunderbolt, but gets captured in a net. Elm's Corsola gets enraged and goes after Team Rocket. James sends Weezing, who uses Sludge, but misses. Arbok goes to attack, but gets tackled back to the balloon via Corsola's Tackle. Corsola uses Spike Cannon, cutting the nets and causing Team Rocket's balloon to be destroyed, blasting Team Rocket off. Seeing Corsola's ferocity, Elm decides to stay on Corsola's good side. Misty admires Corsola and hopes to catch one. During the night, the heroes contact Oak and tell him about the Whirl Islands and the mysterious Pokémon. Elm joins the conversation and shares his thoughts and findings.
Before saying goodbye, Elm and Marius advise the heroes to go to the Bluefinland ferry for Yellow Rock Island. Brock sees it on the map and decide to go there. Waving goodbye, the heroes continue the journey.
- The "Who's that Pokémon?" is Houndoom.
- Misty stated she wanted a Corsola of her own. She will catch one in "A Corsola Caper".
- This episode is the first episode to use the Pokémon: Master Quest subtitle.
- The English place names on the Whirl Island map move between shots, presumably due to them being superimposed over the original Japanese text.
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