The Saffron Con (ポケモンコンテスト・ヤマブキ大会！！（前編） Pokémon Contest - Saffron Tournament!! (Part One)) is the 52nd episode of Pokémon: Advanced Battle.
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The gang came to Saffron City. Before the Contest, May sends her Pokémon to see the building, but Munchlax and Squirtle aren't interested. Max reminds her they have not been used in the Contest yet. She did not yet had lunch, as she wants to get all the ribbons before Drew has them. They do see that people enter the building, despite the Contest beginning tomorrow. May asks a person is the hall open, to which he confirms, as they go in to see the stage, to plan their strategies. They enter the building and see a giant, beautiful stage. Brock asks her which Pokémon she'll use, but begins to think.
They spot Vivian, the announcer from Hoenn Contests, but she looks different. She sends Espeon, to check the lights. Espeon uses Swift and follows with Psychic, controlling the attack. Espeon comes through the formation, which is a circle made of stars, showing its gracefulness. Squirtle seems charmed and goes at it. Squirtle uses Bubble and the sparkles come out of them. May takes Squirtle, but it struggles, leading Vivian to believe it wants to perform. May agrees, though they need to train first. May wonders why Vivian did not recognize her, as she was the announcer and awarded her with the ribbons in Hoenn, but the woman is Lillian, while her twin sister is Vivian - she acts as the announcer in Kanto region.
May does not know how the performance with Squirtle will turn out, but decides she won't use Skitty or Beautifly, as she wants the Pokémon she caught recently to perform. May hears from the intercom her Pokémon are okay and goes to get them, but is shocked when she sees Harley. Jessie, dressed in a dress, comes to qualify, but the receptionist tells her it is invalid. Jessie tells she is Empress Jessibella, but receptionist explains that is a Hoenn entry and needs a Kanto one. The receptionist gives her the card, so she qualifies for the Contest. She thinks they will win a lot of money when she becomes a top Coordinator, but Meowth reminds her she did not win a single ribbon and the response is that she kicks him in the head. She also wants James' Cacnea, telling him she needs a fresh start. Meowth thinks she might bond with Cacnea and win that ribbon. He brings Cacnea, who hugs him, so Meowth tells Jessie "that is the bond she needs".
Harley tells that he volunteers for the setting of the Contest. He tells that he gave his Cacturne to Joy, as it had fever, so realizing what he had been, started helping. He is here for the Contest, nonetheless, and tells May that in this Contest one can substitute Pokémon between the first and second round. Max tells her not to believe him, so Harley tells them he changed, but they all have doubts about that. Joy comes, so Harley asks if what he said was true, to which Joy confirms. Harley tells her these are his friends, to which Joy tells them Harley is a good help. Also, Joy tells her that she does not need to change her Pokémon between rounds if she does not want to. Joy tells that May's Pokémon are in excellent shape and any of them would be good to use in the Contest.
May decides to use Combusken and Squirtle for the Contest. Harley compliments her Pokémon, even if Max is still unsure to trust him. Harley asks if she has registered, to which May forgot, but Harley tells her she can register until 11 AM tomorrow. Jessie sends Cacnea, who is surprised to see her, so instead hugs James. Meowth tells Cacnea it needs to hug Jessie, as they need to stick to the program. Cacnea hugs her, and Jessie screams in pain. Harley tells he ran into Drew, so May also tells him they did as well. Jessie got Cacnea stuck in her hair, so the gang comes to see what's this about. A Chansey gets them both and pulls them to the operating room, so Joy calls Harley to help her. James and Meowth see the gang and the other people going to the Contest, so they plan to catch every Pokémon, so Jessie would succeed.
May wants to train, so Ash proposes a battle. May agrees, sending Squirtle to battle, but Pikachu and Squirtle are taken by Team Rocket. The gang does see Jessie is missing, but ignore that fact. Ash orders that Pikachu uses Thunder, but cancels, as Squirtle might get hit. Joy thinks Harley and her need to cut Jessie's hair, so Jessie is shocked. Joy sends Harley to get her friends for moral support. The Pokémon outside are taken one by one and go away. Harley sends Ariados, who uses Spider Web, stopping the balloon. May sends Combusken, who uses Sky Uppercut to free the Pokémon. Meowth is about to use Fury Swipes to get out, but Squirtle intervenes and uses Ice Beam, blasting them off. May is surprised to see Squirtle using that attack, though Brock tells her it might be a reward for support she gave to it.
Ash thanks her, but May tells it was Harley and Ariados who helped. May shakes hands and wishes Harley good luck in the Contest. In the night, Jessie is surprised to hear James and Meowth (almost) captured the Pokémon so she can win. She tells with her Cacnea she can win, nonetheless, even if her hair is shorter... Next day, May goes to register, but learns that she cannot compete, as the Hoenn card does not work in Kanto, as well as she is late for registration. May said that She was told that the Hoenn card would be legit, and the deadline was 11, not 10. The receptionist refused to let Her enter as She said the person was mistaken. May is very sad, as Harley built trust and lied to her (again). Lillian comes and asks the receptionist about the problem. She said that someone gave May false information about the Hoenn pass and deadline. Lillian tells the receptionist it was May who saved the Pokémon - without her, the Contest wouldn't be able to be started. The receptionist makes an exception and gives her the Kanto Contest card, the ribbon case and the registration for Saffron City's Contest. Lillian tells her she could give a good performance as a reward and goes away. Harley sees this, but promises to make sure the ribbon case stays empty.
- Featured Pokémon: Registeel, Regice, Regirock
- Brock tells that he cannot choose to love Vivian or Lillian, but in Hoenn, he didn't flirt with Vivian.
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