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Down to the Fiery Finish! (Pokémon the Series: XY)

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Down to the Fiery Finish!
The moment we’ve all been waiting for! (Ash loses) Ouch.
Series: Pokémon
Part of Season: 19
Episode Number: 930
Air Date: August 18, 2016 (Japan)
November 5, 2016 (United States)
Writer: Shinzō Fujita
Director: Masakatsu Iijima
Previous episode: Finals Not for the Faint-Hearted!
Next episode: A Towering Takeover!

"Down to the Fiery Finish!" (Japanese title: カロスリーグ優勝! サトシ頂上決戦!! Kalos League Victory! Satoshi's Ultimate Match!!) is and episode from Pokémon the Series: XY, it is the 38th episode of Pokémon the Series: XYZ, is the 131st episode of Pokémon the Series: XY, and the 930th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on August 18, 2016 and in the United States on November 5, 2016. It was heavily panned by audiences and fans alike and was regarded as one of the worst episode of the series.


As all eyes are on the continuing Kalos League final between Ash and Alain, Team Flare puts their plan into motion as panic fills Lumiose City.

Why The Fiery Finish's Extinguished By Alain

Ash loses again. That's gonna hurt.
  1. While not as bad as Kanto, Sinnoh and Unova, this is still a very infamous episode because Ash loses a Pokémon League, again.
  2. This continues the very cruel and bad trend of Ash losing in the Pokémon Leagues.
  3. As usual with these types of episodes, it is a very unfair and mean-spirited episode to Ash, and plain unnecessary.
  4. While Pikachu and Greninja have acceptable battles (due to Pikachu already fighting hard in the previous episode, and especially Greninja because of its hard-fought battle against Charizard despite losing), Goodra’s is not, as it is also a mean-spirited and very unfair episode towards him, as he loses to Alain’s Bisharp despite fighting hard, meaning that he never got a single win in the League (and no, the tie between him and Sawyer’s Slurpuff does not count).
  5. The advantages Greninja had over Charizard in this episode, which are the Water-Type advantage over Fire-Type and the unique Ash-Greninja sync ability are disregarded on their significance as Charizard still beats Greninja even though it underwent mega evolution.
    1. To be fair, when Charizard became Mega Charizard X, he is part dragon-type, which resits Water and as such, Charizard is nurture to Water-Type Moves, but the matter is still the same.
  6. Because of the previous time Ash loses, it feels like the writers treated this as a funny gag due to all of the previous times Ash loses, which is not true, as just like the previous cases, this is very heart-breaking and downright infuriating.
  7. False Advertising/Misleading Title: The Japanese title of the episode is very misleading as it says “Kalos League Victory, Ash’s Ultimate Match”, which implied that Ash was finally going to win a Pokémon league in Kalos but he does not, so you all can imagine how VERY ticked off fans are when they find out that Ash loses once again.
  8. This is another episode to show that you can’t win every tournament in real life, but that lesson has been completely driven to the ground due to the previous times Ash has lost, and this one is completely unfair, and fans were sick of seeing Ash lose again.
  9. Seeing Ash lose a Pokémon league again is very old, and it continues this infamous cliché.
  10. This episode is without a doubt the most slap in the face in the entire Pokémon series, Ash is in the finals, there was a three-part battle, and epic battle between Ash's Greninja and Alain's Mega Charizard X, Ash even had a good chance of winning and..... Ash still loses the League due to, well...conspiracy!
    • Even worse, Alain remains the only rival who Ash has never beaten.
    • Infact, this episode actually had the nerve to trick the FANS by showing Alain's Mega Charizard X tired out a bit, making it feel like he was gonna faint, only for Ash's Graninja to faint and lose his Ash-Graninja Form, which is nothing more than the episode given out one big middle finger to the fans.
  11. Bad Ending: During the ceremony, the vines of Team Flare’s experiment pop out, as Team Flare begins their plan, and the contorted Zygarde causes instant panic and chaos. Sure, normally endings like this would be exciting cliffhangers, and it could be awesome depending on your view. But seeing that this happened after Ash loses again, this was bad timing, and hence why this is a bad ending.
  12. This ended the Kalos League arc on a very sour note.
  13. The fact that Ash loses a Pokémon league for the sixth time in a row shows the writers of this anime refused to listen to the criticism from other episodes where Ash lost the league, including Friends and Foes Alike. It also shows that the writers are not capable of handling any criticism towards the show well.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The animation and voice acting are still good as usual.
  2. The characters, like Ash, Serena, Bonnie, Clemont, Jessie, James, and their Pokémon are still likable. Heck, this is even one of the few times Team Rocket’s Meowth is tolerable.
    • To be fair, Alain is still likable as well despite unfairly beating Ash. He also had an understandable motive for wanting to win, as he wanted to gain strength and complete Lysandre's Mega Evolution energy system in order to heal Chespie (Mairin’s Chespin) who was still in a coma and help Mairin smile again. He also enjoyed the battle he had with Ash, and he admitted that Ash was a great opponent because of Ash's excited attitude and eagerness to enjoy battles, and this caused Alain to truly enjoy the battles he’s had. He’s also very friendly towards Ash after beating him, and showing good sportsmanship, which Ash appreciated, and they both congratulated each other on a well fought battle and shakes hands as a sign of respect.
  3. The battle is still entertaining to watch, especially Alain's Charizard vs Ash's Greninja, as is one of the most epic battles in the entire series, even if Ash losing in the end is heartbreaking and stupid.
  4. Thankfully, this is, so far, the last time Ash lost in the Pokémon League Championship, as he later wins the Alola League in Sun and Moon.
    • This is likely due to the negative backlash this episode received.
  5. After the battle, the rest of the episode isn’t too bad and is decent.
  6. This episode sets up the events of the awesome five-part Team Flare arc, via the ending, even if the ending was bad and not good timing.


This Episode is the Most Controversial in Pokémon Anime History. Despite having average ratings from critics, like a 5.8/10 on IMDb, this was heavily panned by audiences and fans of the show due to the MASSIVE slap in the face ending. It is often considered one of the worst episodes of the show. Many fans have even stopped watching the anime altogether.


  • Due to the HUGE negative feedback Ash losing the League battle received by fans, this is the final time Ash loses the League.
  • The moment where Ash loses the Kalos League Finals in this episode was ranked by WatchMojo at number 1 on their video of Top 10 Anime Moments That Made Fans Rage Quit.



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