Guiding an Awakening! (クチナシの大試練！ルガルガン覚醒！！ Nanu's Grand Trial! The Awakening of Lycanroc!) is the 34th episode of Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon - Ultra Adventures.
Nanu assigns Ash a Grand Trial. The trial involves defeating three Pokémon in a row using only a single Pokémon. Ash takes the Grand Trial on together with his Lycanroc, whom he just overcome stern training together.
Acerola arrives to a cave, wondering if "he" came there. She enters, seeing he didn't come, but becomes pleased when she sees a basket of fruit. She places her basket and comes to the field, where Nanu is. She is glad that he did act as an Island King to make a tribute for the Grand Trial, thinking he is a different man now. Nanu simply replies he wants this to be done quickly as possible. As the sun rises up, Nanu claims he is tired having to come to the altar, but believes it is good to do that some of the time. Ash places the Rockium-Z to the Z-Ring, and braces his Pokémon to victory. At the battlefield, Acerola wishes Ash luck before going to her position as the judge. Nanu declares the start of the Grand Trial, stating that both righteousness and malice should fuse to transcend evolution. Nanu explains Ash has to defeat three Pokémon, but using only one of his own.
Ash is displeased, while Rotom exclaims how unfair the sides are. Nanu replies he can just give up, while Acerola describes Nanu expects a great challenge from the Grand Trial. Ash kneels to Lycanroc, who accepts the challenge. Nanu is disturbed, believing Ash would give up. Ash claims Lycanroc wants revenge, and is motivated for the task. Nanu doubts that, thinking it is just Ash mixing this up with his feelings. Ash denies that, but Nanu questions him if he is prepared to battle to the fullest. Ash confirms this, so Nanu sends Krookodile, which Rotom notes it is the opponent Lycanroc lost to in the previous battle. Krookodile attempts to intimidate Lycanroc, who remains unfazed, so Nanu starts seeing that they did grow up a bit. With the battle starting off, Krookodile uses Mud-Slap. Lycanroc evades the attack, but falls into the Sand Tomb. Lycanroc fires Mud-Slap, which hits Lycanroc. With its fur tarnished, Lycanroc becomes furious.
Lycanroc jumps out of the Sand Tomb, but its rage disappears. Ash sighs, while Acerola is glad that the training with Tapu Bulu has paid off. Lycanroc shakes off the dirt, while Ash boasts they will win today. Nanu dares him to prove those words by showing such a battle. Ash goes to declare Accelerock, but remembers Krookodile used Counter to defeat Lycanroc. Instead, Lycanroc fires Rock Throw, which Krookodile negates by shaking the rocks with its tail off. Lycanroc repeats the move, but so does Krookodile. Nanu predicts Ash is afraid, since using Bite or Accelerock results in a close combat, and that can be stopped with Krookodile's Counter. Lycanroc avoids Krookodile's Crunch, and fires Rock Throw, which is stopped once more. Nanu is unamused by this boring battle, thinking Lycanroc is gutless that it does not want to risk the Counter move. Nanu reminds that battles are to show one's greatest strength, and reminds Ash did say he was prepared for these sort of things. Ash hesitates, but seeing Lycanroc's determination, casts his doubts away.
Lycanroc uses Accelerock. Krookodile goes to use Counter, but is pushed away, surprising Nanu how fast Lycanroc is. With a Rock Throw, Lycanroc defeats Krookodile. Nanu claims he really can do it. Ash blushes, but Nanu was referring to Lycanroc, which disappoints Ash. Still, the latter thanks Nanu for reminding the part about facing out the opponent with strongest power. Nanu is surprised, but becomes annoyed that he motivated Ash to fight. He pretends to have lied to lure Lycanroc into being hit by Counter. Ash gasps, while Acerola, who smiles, asks of Nanu to send the second Pokémon out. Nanu sends Sableye, thus starting the second stage of battle. Sableye fires Shadow Ball, but Lycanroc counters the attack with Rock Throw. With Shadow Sneak, Sableye inflicts some damage on Lycanroc. The latter retaliates with Bite and collides with Sableye's Shadow Claw. Just as Lycanroc goes to use Accelerock, it gets frozen in fear by Mean Look.
Lycanroc is unable to use Rock Throw, too, which allows Sableye to use Shadow Claw. Lycanroc attempts to retaliate with Bite, but Sabelye is out of reach for that attack. Sableye goes some steps back to use Shadow Sneak. Lycanroc becomes enraged, but Ash yells it to calm down. Getting hit by another Shadow Claw, Lycanroc starts evading the Shadow Claw attacks. Ash tries to command Lycanroc, but Nanu points out Lycanroc is evading the attacks while enraged, believing it is stronger this way. Ash explains Lycanroc does not listen to him while enraged, but Nanu doubts that. Sableye goes to use Shadow Claw, but Ash has Lycanroc use Stone Edge, which defeats Sableye. Lycanroc snaps out of its rage, and is praised by Ash, while Poipole snuggles with Pikachu for these victories. Nanu looks at the group, who praise Lycanroc, who is exhausted. Suddenly, Tapu Bulu flies above the group and drops a Sitrus Berry. Acerola asks Nanu can Ash feed Lycanroc with that. Nanu is displeased to see Tapu Bulu is interfering, but has to respect the Guardian Deity.
With Lycanroc recovered, Nanu sends his final Pokémon, an Alolan Persian, commenting he would've hoped the Grand Trial would've been finished by now. Rotom comments it is as big as a Totem Pokémon. This does not change Ash's enthusiasm to win. The final stage starts, as Nanu's Persian uses Power Gem. Lycanroc is hit and fires Stone Edge, which wounds Persian. Nanu admits Lycanroc is well-trained, but claims it could've done that without Ash around. He claims it does not need Ash, and could grow stronger without its trainer around. Ash is upset to hear such words, but Nanu exclaims a Pokémon has to choose its trainer as well. Ash realizes Nanu is telling him that he is not worthy to have Lycanroc by his side. Ash states Lycanroc was with him since it was a Rockruff. Ash tells that they worked hard, even after it evolved, but Nanu thinks that "needless" friendship is restricting Lycanroc to do better. Ash, in fury, questions "needless" friendship, while Nanu shows that fury of his will be his doom, and belittles Ash that he is an unworthy trainer. Nanu grins to have upset Ash, and has Persian use Dark Pulse.
Ash snaps out of his fury, as Rotom comments he was distracted to have Lycanroc take the damage. Lycanroc recovers from the attack, an ability Nanu attributes to its rage. Lycanroc uses Accelerock, but is hurt by Dark Pulse. Nanu questions Lycanroc, since it should be able to shake that attack off. Lycanroc does so, but gets hurt by another Dark Pulse. Ash wonders why is Persian repeating the same move, but sees Lycanroc has become enraged again. Ash sees Nanu's strategy was to infuriate them. Nanu confirms this, since Lycanroc does not listen to Ash this way, which gives Nanu an advantage. Ash refuses to let Nanu win in this, and yells at Lycanroc to snap out of it. Nanu continues belittling Ash being a worthless trainer, who yells out he is Lycanroc's partner. With Ash distracted, Persian uses Night Slash, which hits Lycanroc. Ash exclaims that was not a fair move, but Nanu does not care, since he is a Dark-type Pokémon user. Nanu has Persian finish Lycanroc off, whom Ash asks to calm down.
Lycanroc turns around and tackles Ash, knocking him off the stage and surprising everyone. Ash looks into Lycanroc's red eyes, realizing it is not blinded by fury, but because it grew in power. He sees Lycanroc actually managed to control this power, and Ash apologizes for not noticing this earlier. Ash admits he was a fool to pay attention to Nanu's insults, and strokes Lycanroc. Ash is ready to continue, but Nanu reminds winning the Grand Trial is not easy. Persian uses Night Slash, though Lycanroc narrowly dodges the attacks. Lycanroc intercepts Persian's Night Slash, and blows it away with its new move, Counter. Nanu is amused, admitting he didn't anticipate the moment he'd have to use his Z-Crystal. Nanu places the latter on the Z-Ring, activating it and passing the Z-Power to Persian, who uses Black Hole Eclipse Z-Move. Ash responds to this with a Z-Move of his own: he uses the Z-Crystal to pass the Z-Power onto Lycanroc, who uses the Z-Move Continental Crush. The attacks collide, negating each other.
Boulders fall onto Persian, who becomes distracted. With Accelerock, Lycanroc quickly defeats Persian. Lycanroc's red eyes fade away, as it and Ash have won the battle. Ash hugs with Lycanroc, while Pikachu, who snuggles with Poipole, accidentally emits electricity out. Nanu calls Persian back, and notes Ash won the Grand Trial, whom Acerola congratulates. Nanu takes out a Darkium-Z, but notes Ash isn't the type of guy that'd use that. Ash is disappointed, but is given a different Z-Crystal, a Lycanium-Z. Ash is amazed and makes the victory pose with the Lycanium-Z. The group hears a sound, and looks up that Tapu Bulu is making that. It drops another Sitrus Berry to Lycanroc, who eats it. Later, Acerola waves to Ash to visit Ula'ula Island one day. Ash waves goodbye to her, and invites her to visit the Pokémon School one day. Nanu, at a corner, admits Ash is an interesting guy. Acerola points out he could've greeted Ash, too, but Nanu replies that is not his style. Still, Acerola feels that Nanu had a great time during the battle. Nanu admits he could not lazy off, and had to give his very best.
Ash braces his Pokémon to continue on, and even clear the next Grand Trial, as they sail away.
As they sail away, Ash wonders what is Lycanroc's special Z-Move. Rotom describes it is Splintered Stormshards. Rotom makes the pose of that Z-Move, which but Ash fails to make that pose.
- "Who's That Pokémon?:" Alolan Persian (JA), Sableye (EN).
- The Poké Problem segment hosted by Ash asks which one of Pokémon does Nanu use as his final Pokémon in today's episode. The correct answer is the green answer, Alolan Persian. The other answers are Sableye (blue), Mimi-tan (red), and Krookodile (yellow).
- This segment was not shown in the original broadcast, instead, Zeraora event was shown.
- When Nanu's Sableye uses Mean Look on Ash's Lycanroc, Lycanroc reverse to a coloration pretty similar with its Shiny Form for a second.
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