Episode #287 - Gonna Rule The School!
Ash and friends are sightseeing in Rustboro City when Max finds a frightened Poliwag. He reassures it until the owner arrives, a young teacher named Roxanne. A redheaded boy starts an argument, saying that their trip is ruined, but Roxanne calms him down and says they have to get back to school. She's a teacher at the Pokemon Academy, where younger children learn about Pokemon. Max wants to see it, although Ash wants to get to his Gym battle. Fortunately Roxanne says the Gym is right next to the school.
The kids are given a tour of the academy, including Pokemon Contest classes (which May likes) and battling classes (which Ash likes). Finally they reach the beginner class where Max wants to go.
Team Rocket is sightseeing in town also, and they come up with a plan to open a souvenir shop and get rich. Professor Oak himself is giving a lecture to the beginner class by videophone. Ash learns that Roxanne is in fact the Gym Leader. She has to teach her class though, so he agrees to put off the battle for a day. The redheaded boy Tommy quizzes Max and gets angry when Max knows all the correct answers. Roxanne reminds him that the purpose of the class is to grow together, not to compete. Max is invited to attend a full day of class. He suggests that May come too, but every time someone mentions the Gym battle she gets uncomfortable.
Later they see a room containing many PokeBalls. These are specially trained Pokemon that will obey anyone in the Academy who uses them to practise with. Outside, Team Rocket is using a device to listen through the wall, and they get an idea to steal the PokeBalls. That evening, Ash and Pikachu work on the Iron Tail attack some more.
The next day, Max goes to class and makes friends with Anita. She doesn't really want to be here but her parents made her come. Another boy, Kenny, is afraid of Pokemon and doesn't want to touch them. Brock and Ash wonder where May is but she's at the Pokemon Contest class.
Roxanne introduces Ash and Brock and asks them to let out their Pokemon for the class. Ash shows Pikachu to Kenny and says they're best friends. He encourages Kenny to pet Pikachu, but as Kenny reaches out, Tommy "accidentally" steps on a Poliwag, which shoots water everywhere and makes Kenny scared again. Max gets angry.
May rejoins Brock and Ash outside just as Roxanne gives Tommy and Max a choice of PokeBalls for a battle. Tommy gets a Magby, and goes on the offensive right away, while Max stays on the defensive with a Poliwag. Before they can finish the battle, an alarm goes off. The Academy's PokeBalls have been stolen by Team Rocket, who are in a huge Wurmple-shaped tank!
Pikachu tries to zap them, but the tank is electric-proof. Brock and May send out Forretress and Wurmple, but the Team Rocket Pokemon overpower them! Then Kenny of all people comes up with a plan for Max and Poliwag to distract the evildoers while Tommy and Magby make the tank too hot to handle. Anita gets in on the action by having her Pidgey cut down the bag of PokeBalls. Finally, Roxanne steps in with a Geodude and sends Team Rocket blasting off.
Kenny is happy, and has overcome his fear of Pokemon. Max and Tommy exchange compliments, and the children are all friendly now. Brock says he's impressed with Roxanne's Geodude and warns Ash to watch out during his Gym match.