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Ash and Pikachu goodra hawlucha Serena braixen pancham Bonnie
1818 The Moment of Lumiose Truth

866 ミアレジム戦!サトシVSシトロン!! Miare Gym Battle! Satoshi VS Citron!!

Wherein Ash demonstrates why nerds will always lose to dumb jocks.

Clemont chespin bunnelby heliolisk luxray clembot meyer

Last week, Ash and friends returned to Lumiose City in order for our dim-witted hero to battle Clemont for his fifth Kalos gym badge. Unfortunately, inept police work by Officer Jenny got in the way, but now the time has finally, finally come for the showdown in Lumiose City!

 meyer Meyer is back! Kalos' most infamous absentee dad has apparently taken some time off from his busy schedule of not caring for his children and moonlighting as a superhero to watch his son perform his duties as a gym leader – apparently for the first time! Is he even rooting for Clemont? ("Make a man out of my nancy-boy, Ash!")

 clemont and bunnelby So Clement, the leader of an Electric-type gym, is leading off with Bunnelby – a Normal type with access to multiple Ground-type moves. How is that fair?

bunnelby battle bunnelby battle bunnelby battle

 Betting against Pikachu in any given gym battle is a losing proposition

flash flash  Flash? Seriously? What are you, a first-generation Abra?

ash knows stuff I have to say, everyone looks seriously surprised that Ash actually reasoned something out. But then again, it's not every day that you get to witness an idiot savant in action, I guess.

hawlucha vs heliolisk hawlucha vs heliolisk hawlucha vs heliolisk

 More importantly, Ash's Mexican wrestler bird kicked the crap out of Clemont's electrified sun lizard, so our dim-witted hero officially has the Lumiose City gym leader on the ropes, with a sweep in sight!

luxray thunder fang Unfortunately for Pikachu, Luxray eats lightning and shits thunder.

enter the dragon Enter the Dragon.

goodra rain dance Ash using his head for the second time in one battle?! Rain Dance both removes Goodra's paralysis and the effects of Luxray's Electric Terrain! Unfortunately, it also makes Thunder – the ultimate Electric attack – 100% accurate. Obviously Clemont knows this and will be quick to exploit it to his advantage.

 ...or he'll just use Swift. Who's the genius now, Clemont?

goodra bide goodra bide goodra bide  Now THAT was a Bide that even Brock would be proud of! I like how Ash is just calmly and cockily standing there as Goodra absorbs damage thinking, "wow this match is great and all, but I guess it's time to wrap it up and get my badge now."

leave the gym to clembot So, having failed in his duty to defend the honor of the Lumiose Gym, Clemont is willing to once again abandon his responsibilities (like father like son!) and travel across the French countryside with his mentally-challenged messiah from Pallet Town. Clembot is more than happy to assume the responsibilities of battling gym challengers for his erstwhile master. After all, having recently disposed of its evil mechanical twin, Clembot undoubtedly plans to use the data it collects from the Pokemon trainers it encounters to perfect its own battle strategies until it is finally an unstoppable killing machine! Kill all humans!

Final thoughts: Clemont actually managed to hold his own against Ash, which was surprising considering how little strength we've seen him exhibit in the Pokemon department so far this series. Usually Ash embarrasses a regional gym leader (or two) and then they join his traveling party, so it was kind of interesting to see this different dynamic play out in Kalos. I have to say, I really like Ash having a Dragon-type in Goodra. I feel like it gives his team the kind of instant muscle that Ash hasn't had since Charizard (not a true dragon, I know) was roaming the sidelines. Could this be the generation when Ash finally, finally, overcomes his Pokemon League slump? Probably not, but if Ash can add/evolve a few more studs onto his bench (or bring back old ones – Charizard, Snorlax, mega Sceptile...), who knows?

4 Staryu