The Bonds of Evolution! (Japanese: チャンピオン・カルネ登場！霧の中のメガサーナイト！！ Champion Diantha Appears! Mega Gardevoir in the Mist!!) is the 28th episode of Pokémon the Series: XY.
Upon arriving in the next town, Ash learns that the Kalos Region Champion Diantha will be holding an exhibition match, but he misses out on the sign up deadline. He heads to Professor Sycamore's lab, being tasked to help in his research on Mega Evolution, when he meets Diantha there by chance. She allows him a friendly match, Pikachu against her Gardevoir, and she shows she knows what Mega Evolution is.
The heroes see an advertisement of a battle. They decide to watch this event. Serena notices one of the challengers is Diantha, making Serena, Clemont and Bonnie excited. Ash wonders who she is, making his friends annoyed he does not know it is. They explain she is the Champion of Kalos region, as well as a famous actress. Serena admires her, while Ash is determined to battle her, while Bonnie thinks of proposing her for Clemont. They run off to see this exhibition match. They enter the arena, but see many people want to meet Diantha, but are declined from the staff. However, Sycamore secretly takes the heroes in. Clemont realizes Sycamore has gone out of the lab to research Mega Evolution. Sycamore confirms this, as he came to analyze Diantha's Gardevoir, which can Mega Evolve. The heroes are psyched and Ash goes to meet her. However, she comes out of her room and greets everyone.
Diantha admits she won't leave Sycamore her Key Stone, for it represents the bond between her and Gardevoir and is strengthened by Mega Evolution. Sycamore asks for some compromise, so Diantha lets him know should she come to Lumiose City, she will visit him. Diantha's assistant, Kathi Lee, declines this, since Diantha has too many tasks and jobs to complete and pushes Sycamore out of the way. Diantha asks of them to watch her battle and leaves with Kathie. Later, the heroes watch as Diantha comes to the stadium with Magnus, her challenger. Ash asks Sycamore about the Key Stone. Sycamore replies the trainer holds the Key Stone, while the Pokémon the Mega Stone. The trainer needs to activate the Key Stone to trigger Mega Evolution. Diantha sends Gardevoir and Serena notices it has a Mega Stone, which Sycamore names it as Gardevoirite. However, he notes that the trainer and the Pokémon need to have a strong bond as well for Mega Evolution to work.
Team Rocket also came to the stadium and plan on catching Gardevoir, capable of Mega Evolution. Magnus sends Absol and the battle starts. Absol goes to bite Gardevoir, though Diantha winks to Gardevoir, who dodges. Absol tries to attack it using Quick Attack, but Gardevoir is too elusive. Sycamore thinks their bond is quite strong for these effects. Absol uses Psycho Cut, but Gardevoir retaliates with Shadow Ball, negating the attack and hitting Absol. Absol uses Perish Song, so Gardevoir uses Moonblast to defeat Absol. The heroes are amazed, for Diantha did not even Mega Evolve Gardevoir. The heroes go to visit Diantha again, but the security replies she has gone to shoot a movie. Serena advises they could eat some gateau in this town. The heroes agree to, but when they come to the store, see it has a long line. Serena and Bonnie go through the line.
Later, they return with one slice. Ash goes to eat it, but Serena scolds him, for it is for all of them. Clemont's eyeglasses shine, as he introduces the newest invention, a machine that will slice this gateau into exact four pieces. Suddenly, they hear a woman asking for gateau, but the storekeeper replies they don't have it. The heroes invite the woman to share gateau, making the woman glad, who reveals herself as Diantha. Clemont activates the machine and manages to cut the pieces perfectly. They all eat and are amazed by this flavor. Diantha is also amazed, since she loves sweets and always takes an opportunity to taste some. Clemont thinks working as a Champion and actress must be hard, but Diantha replies she loves both jobs. Bonnie asks Diantha to be Clemont's bride, thinking she could encourage him to become braver, but Clemont takes offense to that. Ash asks Diantha for a battle, but is reminded this is Diantha's free time. Diantha admits she normally does not do unofficial matches, but since she liked gateau, will make an exception. Sycamore arrives and would also watch this battle.
Ash uses Pikachu against Diantha's Gardevoir. Pikachu starts with Iron Tail, but misses. Pikachu uses Quick Attack, but Gardevoir is too elusive. Pikachu uses Electro Ball, but Gardevoir dodges this attack, including Thunderbolt. Gardevoir uses Shadow Ball, hitting Pikachu, so Ash runs to catch it and bashes into a tree. Diantha feels Ash is a good trainer to rescue Pikachu like that. Suddenly, Gardevoir is captured by Team Rocket. Gardevoir uses Shadow Ball to bust out, but the cage is too strong. Jessie throws another cube, releasing smoke and distracting everyone as they leave. Diantha remains calm, knowing where Gardevoir is. Diantha tells them one day, when she was making a movie, a fog appeared, making Diantha lost among the mountains. However, her Key Stone glowed and she managed to find Gardevoir, while her crew arrived. She tells them Gardevoir was left to her manager, but managed to find Diantha.
The heroes think it is the bond that allowed Diantha to find Gardevoir. They see Team Rocket's balloon in the distance. Team Rocket laughs, for they may get a big promotion by bringing Gardevoir to the boss. Diantha lets the heroes stay, as she walks to Team Rocket and demands Gardevoir back. Team Rocket refuses, so Diantha triggers her Key Stone and Mega Evolves Gardevoir into Mega Gardevoir. The heroes are amazed, while Sycamore documents all of this. Mega Gardevoir uses Shadow Ball and repeats it, breaking out of the cage. Team Rocket attempts to leave, but Mega Gardevoir blasts them off using Moonblast. Mega Gardevoir returns to Gardevoir, as Sycamore explains after the battle, the Mega Evolution wears off. A helicopter arrives to transport Diantha away.
Before leaving, Diantha admits she had fun with the heroes. The heroes wonder if they will see her again, for Diantha has to go for her next movie. Sycamore thanks Diantha for the info he got, while Ash asks Diantha for a rematch one day. Diantha sees Ash as ambitious person, but makes this promise. The heroes wave farewell as Diantha's helicopter flies off.
- "Who's That Pokémon?": Gardevoir (US)
- "Pokémon Quiz": Gardevoir (JP)
- This episode aired in the UK earlier than the US.
- Similar to The Mandarin Island Miss Match, Tracey and Misty, like Clemont, Serena and Bonnie, admire the Elite Four member, Lorelei, but Ash did not know of either of them. Also, both featured an exhibition match and battled Ash.
- Also, like Ash Versus The Champion!, Ash battles the Champion, Alder.