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That's Just Swellow (初挑戦!空中競技・ポケリンガ!!, Beginning Challenge! Sky Match—Poké Ringer!!) is the 40th episode of Pokémon: Advanced Challenge.


As they arrive to Crossgate Town, the heroes learn there is a tournament involving Flying-type Pokémon. May, Ash and, surprisingly, James, enter the competition. Just as James and Ash advance to next rounds, Jessie and Meowth decide to make another attempt at stealing Pokémon.

Episode plot

On their way to Fortree City, the heroes stop at a village, Crossgate Town. They spot a Swablu, but with a ring in its mouth. Suddenly, a wind blasts it down, so Ash sends Taillow to rescue the Swablu. Taillow rescues Swablu, whose trainer approaches and thanks for rescuing it. He introduces himself as Shane. Max wonders what's that ring Swablu is holding, so Shane says it is for the PokéRinger competition. Shane explains the PokéRinger is a competition where a trainer with a Pokémon that can fly can compete. The Pokémon needs to grab the ring first and place it on a hook to win. Shane tells the competition will start today afternoon, so May decides to enter with her Beautifly and Ash with his Taillow. A screen displays the former winners of the PokéRinger contest, who are also honorary citizens of Crossgate Town. Shane also mentions that many of these winners are new to the competition. He also admits he is new to this competition and has just caught Swablu, but is determined to win.

Jessie and Meowth are skeptical about the reward and the tournament, but James remembers that he worked hard for these kind of competitions, which require talent and Pokémon's ability for an artistic style. He remembers working hard, but he discarded all that when he joined Team Rocket, until now, when he sees his master, the first Champion of the PokéRinger Contest. Meowth and Jessie are unamused, but James is determined to enter and win that contest. The screen randomly chooses 4 contestants. In A block, Shane is chosen among some unknown trainers. The B block consists Ash and some 3 other contestants, from which one is the champion, Volt. Ash wants to battle him, but the champ insults Ash, claiming he should just go back to his mommy. James also appears, but he won't fight Ash and May as a member of Team Rocket, but as a competitor. Lastly, in the C block, May, James and some 2 other contestants are in that group. James wishes May luck, but is displeased May is not afraid of him.

The A block team has its balloons released to begin the competition. Shane sends Swablu, while the others send Wingull, Yanma and Pelipper. Pelipper attacks with Water Gun, but Swablu gets through. Yanma uses Swift, but misses. Swablu goes up, surprising May and Ash, as he gave up on the ring. However, the other Pokémon are swept by the wind, for Shane knew the wind would blow them away. Swablu takes the ring and places on the hook, winning the round. Next, it is Ash, the champ and 2 other contestants. Ash sends Taillow, and the others send Golbat, Ninjask and Volbeat. Volbeat attacks with Thunder, immediately defeating Golbat and Ninjask. Taillow goes after the ring, while Volbeat attacks with Thunder, hitting Taillow. Miraculously, Taillow frees itself from the attack and gets the ring. Volbeat attacks with Thunder, but misses Taillow, but the ring falls down. Volbeat takes the ring, Taillow uses Wing Attack, hurting Volbeat, who drops the ring. Taillow takes the ring and places on the hook, so Ash wins. The champ is shocked to see "the punk" beat him.

The C block is also prepared to go compete. May sends Beautifly, James sends Dustox and the trainers release Crobat and Jumpluff. They all go after the ring, but Dustox gets the ring first. Beautifly attacks with Gust, blowing Jumpluff and Crobat, but in so doing, Dustox "rides" the wind and places the ring on the hook, so James wins. This surprises May and Beautifly, not fully realizing what just happened. Despite the clean victory, Ash feels Team Rocket is up to something. Meanwhile, Jessie and Meowth offer massage, but in reality, they want to capture the Pokémon. Taillow and Skarmory are in semi-finals. Skarmory has the ring already, but Taillow snatches the ring, places it on the hook and making Ash win the semi-finals. James and Shane are also going to compete, but wait until the wind calms down. When the ring goes up, both Pokémon go. Swablu is closer, but Dustox stops, surprising Ash. The sun blinds Swablu, who gets tackled by Dustox. Dustox gets the ring and places it on the hook, making James go to the finals.

Jessie and Meowth have captured the Pokémon, so Meowth needs to get James and get out. Meowth gives signals to James, but James signals that he needs to finish, for he is in the finals and will not leave. This makes Meowth furious, who claims James will play for that. Ash sends Taillow and James Dustox. Dustox attacks with Psybeam, damaging Taillow. Taillow frees itself from the attack and attacks with Wing Attack. Taillow goes after the ring, and so does Dustox. The wind is blowing, so Dustox goes away. Taillow is struck by the wind, which turns into a tornado. Dustox stays put, but Taillow goes inside the tornado to get the ring. Taillow tries to maintain flight, but is blown by the tornado. Ash encourages Taillow to get that ring, and suddenly, Taillow evolves into Swellow. Swellow has no difficulty flying inside the tornado, so charges after the ring. Swellow uses Wing Attack and spins around, negating the tornado and takes the ring. Dustox uses Poison Sting, hurting Swellow and getting the ring. Dustox is near the ring, but Swellow uses Wing Attack on the ring, throwing it on the hook, while Dustox crashes. Ash wins the competition, although James feels he disappointed his master.

Jessie and Meowth appear in the balloon with the stolen Pokémon. Swellow uses Wing Attack, cutting the net and setting the Pokémon free, while Pikachu blasts Team Rocket off with Thunderbolt. Shane sees Ash and Swellow make a really good team. Ash thanks the compliment and becomes the new honorary citizen of the Crossgate Town and is recorded as the winner of the PokéRinger competition.



Ash's Swellow


  • Featured Pokémon: Swampert, Marshtomp, Spheal, Golduck.
  • At the beginning of the episode, a classic Pokémon identification can be seen. In this episode, it is a Horsea.
  • The episode's title is a reference to the phrase "that's just swell".
  • This marks the first time James borrowed a Pokémon from Jessie, who usually borrows Pokémon from him.
  • This marks the first time Team Rocket's original theme is played since Hoenn Alone!, the last episode of the original series, making it the first time for it to feature in the Advance Generation series. It is also the first time that both the original and new themes are played in the same episode. However, note that the beginning of the original theme music appeared in RS014, RS020, and RS024.
  • This marks the first time James competes in a PokeRinger, but he loses to Ash in the final round. However, in Pursuing A Lofty Goal! in the Diamond and Pearl series, James competes in a PokeRinger competition for the second time while disguised but was easily eliminated early.


  • Instead of Wing Attack, Ash commands Taillow to use "Wing".
  • When all of Team Rocket's captured Pokémon were in a net, one of the Golbat looked like a Crobat.
  • While Shane is talking to Max about the competition, the man who is sitting behind him is slightly overlapping Shane.
  • The challengers were divided into three blocks, and from each one the winner moved to the semifinals. However, there were four semifinalists instead of three.
  • When the first round started, there were contestants from B-block (including Ash and Volt) instead A-block (with Shane) on the display board.
  • When the B-block group started Ash's balloon had a Pikachu instead of Taillow, the Pokémon he was using.