Ash has returned to Pallet Town to find a reunion of friends! May stops by Ash's house, but Ash has left for Professor Oak's lab where Max, Misty and Tracey are getting to know a trio of Kanto Starter Pokemon. Max upsets the Squirtle which goes running to May just as she arrives with Ash's mother. May wants to know what Max is doing there when he should be at home--it seems he's a guest of Professor Birch who enters with Professor Oak and Ash in tow.
As everyone takes this opportunity to discuss their plans for the future and meet Ash's other Pokemon, Team Rocket shows up to ruin the fun with their new Sucker for Punishment, a giant vaccuming robot! Ash calls on his old pal Snorlax to knock Team Rocket down a notch, and with the help of May, Misty and Tracey, Team Rocket's plan to nab Pikachu is foiled once again.
With that excitement over, Ash prepares to depart for the Battle Factory. Glalie and Torkoal will stay behind, but Phanpy wants to tag along for the trip. As for May, her Beautifly and Skitty are living the good life at home, but her new friend Squirtle makes a perfect addition to her team. Misty will travel with her friends on her way home too, and they just can't leave without Brock, who catches up to them as they're leaving Pallet Town! Together again, our interpid group of Trainers sets off in search of another adventure.