Dawn Of A New Era! (Japanese: ポッチャマ対スボミー！ヒカリ初バトル！！ Piplup VS Budew! Dawn's First Battle!!) is the 4th episode of Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl.
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
This cannot be more true for Dawn as she now has Ash, a trainer with many victories, 28 badges and a winner's trophy under his belt and Brock, the Pewter Gym Leader traveling with her now. As she was about to capture a Buneary, she makes mistakes which Ash points out and suddenly she smacks Ash with her Poké Ball. Soon they get into a big fight about it (Doesn't this sound familiar) and (as usual) Brock is in the middle of it. They soon notice the sun being extremely bright and find the cause: A Budew that belongs to a wandering minstrel named Nando, who just started his own journey. As a token of good will he offers Dawn a chance to battle him. How will she fair for her first battle and will she ever get along with Ash?
Dawn is about to capture a Buneary. However, she forgot to enlarge her Poké Ball, so Ash reminds her of this. Dawn throws her Ball, but accidentally throws it on Ash. Dawn begins to argue with Ash and the Buneary goes away. Ash and Dawn continue to argue whose fault that was. Brock is annoyed with this and suddenly, they see some light. Brock tells it is a move named Sunny Day to raise a Fire-type Pokémon's powers. A Budew approaches them and they see its owner, a poet. The heroes introduce themselves and the man is a bard named Nando, who brings joy to everyone where he travels. Dawn has an idea - she will prove Ash she is powerful by battling Nando.
Nando asks Dawn is she wants to win the Sinnoh League, though she tells she is actually for the Grand Festival. Nando now knows they could have a Contest Battle. Team Rocket sees and hear that and Jessie plans to win the Contests. Dawn sends Piplup, who charges to peck. Budew evades and retaliates with Bullet Seed, however Piplup dodges. Piplup uses BubbleBeam, but since it is a Water-type attack, it does not make much damage. Budew uses SolarBeam, so Piplup goes to cancel it with Peck, but Budew is faster and defeats Piplup by launching the attack. Brock thinks the Sunny Day must have caused more damage on Piplup for this. Nando is impressed by Dawn's first battle and wishes her luck. Jessie thinks she could have defeated her, but they need to get Pikachu first.
Dawn is feeling sad for not capturing a Pokémon or even winning a battle. Brock sees there is a Pokémon Center nearby, making Dawn happy she can sleep in a bed. Brock sends Bonsly and says he only got Bonsly, as he left the others in Pewter Gym. Dawn now learns Brock is Pewter City's Gym Leader in Kanto. At the Pokémon Center, Dawn mistakes the Nurse Joy to be the same one in Sandgem Towm, but that was her sister - Brock shows her the Joy family. Brock flirts with Nurse Joy, making Dawn confused, as he was flirting with Officer Jenny. Dawn contacts her mom, who is relieved to see her with her new friends. Also, she wishes luck in Ash's Gym battles and logs out. Joy asks Ash is he registered for the Sinnoh League to which he did not. So, Joy takes his Pokédex and analyzes its info and in a moment, he is registered. Dawn also wants to register for the Contests, but Joy tells her she needs to do it in Contest buildings instead.
A group of children come to give their Pokémon to Joy to watch over them, including a Turtwig, Chimchar and a Prinplup. Also, she is approached by Nando. Nando receives his Budew back, takes it and goes away. Joy says Nando does not know if he should choose Contests or Gym Battles to be working on. Dawn and Ash bicker what path should he choose and run off to hear what will his decision be. Brock follows them as well. Ash, Brock and Dawn wander, but even Starly did not see Nando. Ash tells Dawn they will have to camp for the night, as the Pokémon Center is far from here. Brock tells they do not think of the consequences of their actions. Suddenly, Team Rocket (disguised) present their inn. Suddenly, the wind blows and it is obvious it was just some carton and their disguises fall down.
James sends Carnivine and Dawn her Piplup. Piplup uses Bubblebeam, but amazingly, Carnivine "eats" it. Carnivine goes to bite, but is taken back by Budew, who blasts them off with a Bullet Seed. Nando comes to see if they are unhurt. Ash and Dawn tell they came looking for him. Nando is still in dilemma, while Ash and Dawn bicker. Nando calms them down and hears the forest sing - a group of Pokémon sing. Dawn apologizes to Ash for rude behavior and Ash does the same to Dawn. Ash recalls he saw a Ho-Oh before he left Kanto and Dawn also recalls seeing something in Lake Verity. Nando recites a poem and Ash wants Nando to battle him, so he does. Next day, the battle starts - Pikachu uses Quick Attack and Budew goes to stop him with Bullet Seed, but misses. Budew uses Mega Drain, stealing Pikachu's life force. Pikachu pushes it back with a Thunderbolt.
However, Budew evolves into a Roselia. Roselia uses Sunny Day and uses SolarBeam. Roselia fires, but Pikachu jumps and evades, then uses Iron Tail, defeating Roselia. Nando recalls it back and tells his decision - he will compete in the Sinnoh League and Sinnoh Grand Festival. Nando goes away, while Brock, Ash and Dawn continue their journey.
- Brock revealing he only had one Pokémon with him was similar to what happened in AG004: You Never Can Taillow.
- As per tradition, Ash never gets along with the female protagonist, in this case, Dawn.