Like a Meowth to a Flame (サイユウシティ到着！長靴をはいたニャース！？ Ever Grande City Arrival! Meowth in Boots!?) is the 34th episode of Pokémon: Advanced Battle.
The heroes arrive at Ever Grande City, the site of the Hoenn League. On May's request, they go around town for a noodle shop, but end up getting assaulted by a group of Murkrow. In that moment, a Meowth, wearing a hat and boots, attacks the Murkrow and disperses them. Its trainer, Tyson, greets the group, and adds that he is also a participant of the League. Moreover, he is also a torchbearer of the Moltres flame, which Team Rocket intends on stealing.
The heroes, on the ship, see Ever Grande City. Ash is excited to get into Hoenn League, and clenches his fist, for he still has one week left to train. May says he needs Champion's food: chicken noodle soup. May's friends are confused as what it is. Team Rocket follows them in the submarine, though James and Meowth are tired, for they have spent a lot of time inside the submarine. Jessie yells to them to go forward, as they will "have their highest score". The heroes walk down a street, looking for the noodles shop. May describes it to be one of the best restaurants in Hoenn, and while it is not a fancy restaurant, the food is quite tasty. She shows a book, which is about people becoming Connoisseurs for gourmet food. She is happy knowing that she will taste one of the best foods in Hoenn. She walks away, leaving the boys confused.
A moment later, in an alley, they do not find this restaurant. May tells them it is Noodle Nosh, and claims by simply wandering around, they should find even other shops. Her friends tell her there is nothing in the streets. A group of Murkrow observe them, and as Brock takes the book to read, one of the Murkrow snatches it. The other Murkrow begin to peck them, so Pikachu uses Thunderbolt to disperse the flock. However, more Murkrow charge, so Pikachu repeats its attack, but to no avail. Unexpectedly, a Meowth, dressed in a hat and boots, scratches the Murkrow. Its trainer comes and orders to use Fury Swipes, which forces the Murkrow to disperse. The heroes thank them for the assistance. The guy spots May's book, realizing they are headed to Noodle Nosh as well.
Later, inside the restaurant, the guy comments how small the world is, for he, like Ash, plans on entering the Hoenn League. He notes they are now rivals, which Ash confirms. The heroes mention to the guy, Tyson, that his Meowth is well trained. Tyson notices that his Meowth is eating Pokémon food: he tells Brock he is a great chef, as his Meowth is very picky about its food. Tyson explains his Meowth is powerful enough to evolve into Persian, but it must be too stubborn to do that. Tyson believes that Ash must be lucky to have a Pokémon Breeder friend like Brock. Ash confirms that, and adds Brock is also a great chef, which May and Max confirm. The group believes they can even invite Tyson over, to let him taste Brock's cooking. Tyson replies he is travelling for the Gym battles as well as for food, just like May does. May is amazed, seeing Tyson as his soulmate, and thinks she and Tyson should write a gourmet book.
Tyson is taken aback, and Max nervously adds that May just really likes food. As Tyson has eaten his food, he panics upon seeing how much time it is. He immediately comes out of the restauraunt, and rushes to urges Meowth to rush to the Pokémon Center. As he runs, he tells the heroes that he has to hold the torch. Max realizes that must be the legendary torch, which contains the flame of Moltres. Brock adds that must be a great idea to light the Pokémon League, and Tyson explains he is one of the torchrunners. There, Officer Jenny, Nurse Joy, Charles Goodshow and many other people are waiting. Nurse Joy assures Charles that it will be here soon, while Jenny braces her men. Team Rocket overhears this, as the flame from the torch is from Moltres. James sees what Jessie meant in the submarine: they plan to steal the torch and sell it to the collectors. Meowth thinks their boss would give them the promotion if they give the flame to him, as he'll find uses for it, like cooking lunch, making coffee or warm up his jacuzzi.
The officers ride on their vehicles to secure the flame. Charles is pleased that they are on time, as is Tyson, who reports that he is ready for his mission. Ash and Brock greet Goodshow, who is glad to see old acquaintances. Max recalls that Goodshow is the head of the Pokémon League, and asks how do they know him. Brock and Ash mention that they were torchrunners once as well. Goodshow identifies May, as he saw her on the TV broadcast of the Grand Festival. He adds that Norman's daughter should be terrific, which makes her and Max glad that he knows about their father. The ceremony begins, with Tyson carrying the torch, along with his Meowth beside him. Team Rocket's Meowth sees the other Meowth, and thinks he'd be there if he had such clothes. However, he goes with Jessie and James to commence their plan. The heroes want to go to the stadium, but as Charles' limousine arrives, he proposes that they could join him. The heroes are amazed, and accept his proposal.
After a while, Goodshow points at the stadium: a huge set of buildings, with its own Pokémon Center. Goodshow explains it is there where they can find crucial information, and Brock advises Ash to sign up. Goodshow also adds they have a variety of shops, motivating Max to buy souveniers. May, however, wants to eat - even if she did already - as her book mentions the delicious Strawberry Cream pie. Max sees she is right, and his stomach begins to growl. At the Pokémon Center, Nurse Joy signs Ash up for the Hoenn League Championship. Max is amazed by the guidebook, so Ash lets him read it. He wonders where Brock is, to which May points out that he "is in haven": he is flirting with Nurse Joy-s and Officer Jenny-s, until Max pulls him away. Ash asks Nurse Joy to check if Morrison has checked in. Nurse Joy tells he has not registered yet, which makes Ash and May worried.
They spot on the screen that Tyson has made it through the gate. The commentator thinks Tyson must've prepared long for bearing the torch, but Ash adds that he is not the only one that trained. He reports to Prof. Oak, who is happy to hear that Ash has made it to Ever Grande City. He offers to give Ash the Pokémon he has left in his care, but Ash refuses. While Ash understands that his former team wants to see some action, he has decided to use the Pokémon he has encountered in Hoenn region, as they became a team fit for the championshp. Prof. Oak admits there is some wisdom in taking Pokémon not native to Hoenn region, but seeing Ash has made up his mind, he supports his tactic. Oak reminds he still supports Ash, who thanks him, and logs out.
Suddenly, a bell rings, alarming an emergency, for someone stole the torch. The heroes come outside and meet up with Tyson, who confirms the dire news. He explains just as he brought a torch, one of Officer Jenny-s saw a Moltres in the sky. As everyone was distracted, a Nurse Joy snatched the flame and ran off with that Officer Jenny. Tyson is quite angry at himself that the flame was stolen under his nose, but the heroes explain it is not his fault. They soon hear two Officer Jenny-s chasing down the false Joy and Jenny. One of the Officer Jenny-s makes a dangerous turn by speeding up by the bumpers and leaps away to stop them. However, the crooks turn towards the cliff and jump to the balloon, revealing to be Team Rocket.
Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, but Meowth unfolds an umbrella out and the attack redirects back to Pikachu. Jenny is about to bring her Blastoise, but Joy warns her it may put the fire out. As Team Rocket taunts them all, Tyson sends Metagross out, using Confusion to pull the balloon downwards. Meowth presses a button to power up the motor to make their getaway. Per Charles' advice, Ash sends Glalie, who uses Ice Beam to freeze Team Rocket, but keeping the flame intact. Ash jumps on the balloon and obtains the fire, but in that moment, Team Rocket unfreeze themselves. As the two sides pull the flame, it falls off the balloon, so Jessie throws Meowth to get it. Meowth takes the flame, but he continues to fall down into the ocean with that flame.
Tyson's Meowth jumps and gets the fire, while kicking Team Rocket's Meowth to the ground. Tyson's Meowth meows, which Team Rocket's Meowth interprets as that he is pathetic, angering him. In fact, Meowth calls his outfit a "cowboy complex". As Ash continues to fight James and Jessie, Tyson's Meowth dares Team Rocket's Meowth to take the torch. Team Rocket's Meowth is surprised a bit, but charges in with Fury Swipes, but misses. Tyson's Meowth uses Iron Tail, blasting Team Rocket's Meowth off, who yells out he is not through with him yet. Ash jumps off the balloon, and Metagross uses Confusion to pull him down safetly. Tyson's Meowth uses Thunderbolt, blasting Team Rocket off, who is in shock that it can use Thunderbolt as well.
Later on, Goodshow places the torch back on the pedestal. He applauds Ash and Tyson for their bravery and quick thinking, and the championship can continue as planned. Tyson admits Ash is a great trainer, and anticipates him competing. Ash feels the same way towards Tyson, and promise to have a great competition they won't forget.
- Tyson's Meowth is inspired by Puss in Boots.
- Featured Pokémon: Kingdra, Horsea, Marill, Misdreavus
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