Under the Pledging Tree! (サトシとセレナの初デート！誓いの樹とプレゼント！！ Ash and Serena's First Date! The Oath Tree and the Present!!) is the 11th episode of Pokémon the Series: XY Kalos Quest.
Coumarine City holds an annual festival to celebrate the bond between trainer and Pokémon. However when Ash has trouble deciding on a present for his Pokémon, Serena helps inspire him while present shopping.
At the Pokémon Center, Serena registers for the Showcase. Nurse Joy confirms she is a Performer, so Serena asks Pancham and Fennekin to do their best. She still feels she needs some practice, though Ash encourages her to go on. They go outside and see each and every building decorated. Ramos appears, telling them these are preparations for the festival. He recites them a story a man and his Skiddo traveled the lands and bonded with each other. They came to this place and spent their lives happily ever after. The man celebrated the friendship by giving his Skiddo a small plant as a present. The plant was seeded and grew into the largest tree in Coumarine City, called the Pledging Tree. Ramos points to the tree, in which his Gym is. He explains the festival of giving these presents deepens the bond between trainer and Pokémon under that tree. Ramos tells them the trainers buy the presents and place them under the tree and give them to their Pokémon at night. The gang decides to get presents for their Pokémon too.
Ramos departs to go decorate the tree. Serena has her sight on the shopping street while Clemont elects to remain at the Pokémon Center to make his present himself. Bonnie teases him about creating another failure, to which he protests that he doesn't always fail. Ash and Serena decide to leave their Pokémon with Bonnie as they want to keep their presents a secret from their Pokémon. As Ash and Serena go into town on their own, the latter notices this and thinks to herself that it feels like she's on a date. She nervously tries to hold Ash's hand, but fails as she cannot grasp up the courage to do so. Meanwhile, Team Rocket have been eavesdropping and learn about the festival, to which they plan on stealing everyone's Pokémon along with the presents.
Ash and Serena take the monorail and marvel at the landscape. Soon they are at the shopping street. While Serena sees some clothing, Ash points at a statue and thinks Pikachu would like it, but is told it is too big. While she gazes upon some jewelry, he finds a nice hat, but realizes its poor potential when she asks him who would wear it. As Serena sees something nice, Ash tells her he is going off to look for a bit on his own and runs off, making her pout as she hoped to spend the entire day together with him as just the two of them. She walks for a bit and notices an elegant dress in one of the shop windowsills, thinking something like it would be perfect for her Showcase.
Meanwhile, Bonnie has the Pokémon stand in line so she can groom them, promising teatime and Poké Puffs after this is done. She notices Goomy having a spell of weakness and hurriedly fetches some water for it to drink. Chespin accidentally steps on Pancham's foot, and while at first he tries to avoid it, they end up fighting. After breaking them up, Bonnie realizes how tough it can be to watch over all of them.
As Ash walks through town contemplating a suitable gift, a vendor offers him several Macho Braces, a Rocky Helmet, a Substitute doll and a Sprinklotad. The weight of all these objects in his arms causes Ash to fall on his back. He buys nothing, as none of the vendor's suggestions seem like good gifts. Still not knowing what to buy, he realizes buying presents is hard.
A few hours later Serena walks out of a store with a bag containing materials for her presents. She meets up with Ash back at the monorail station, the latter still thinking over what to buy. They enter the station; as Ash passes through the turnstile, a container of confetti opens on him; he is congratulated and given a prize by three employees of the monorail company for being the millionth person to enter the station. On the return journey, Serena begs Ash to let her see what he got, and he opens the box to see his prize is a length of blue ribbon; though a lovely one, Ash is more concerned that he still doesn't have a present for his Pokemon. Serena tells him they would be happy with anything he gives them. She clues him in by asking him what he would like to get as a gift as his Pokémon take after him (meaning they share his traits). Ash suddenly brightens up with an idea of what to get and thanks Serena for her trouble. At the terminus, he runs out of the monorail, telling Serena to go without him. He runs into the woods, turns his hat backwards and sets to work.
Serena returns to the Center to start working on her present. When asked, she explains Ash went off to find a present on his own. Bonnie is dejected as she thinks she can't give the Pokémon a present since she is not a trainer yet. Serena replies that's not true and encourages Bonnie to make one regardless. Bonnie decides to draw them a portrait and lines them up. The girls start work on their presents while Clemont finishes up on his. As Ash works on his present back in the forest, he encounters a wild Dunsparce. Once again however, he fails as he has no Poké Balls. As the Dunsparce departs, Ash gets himself back to work.
Later, as Bonnie, Clemont and Serena marvel at the decorations, Ash returns with a sack over his shoulder, with his present complete. They make their way to the Pledging Tree and place the presents among the other trainers'. As Ramos prepares to begin the ceremony, a vacuum suddenly emerges and begins sucking up all the presents. Frogadier senses something, climbs up the tree and uses Water Pulse on the vacuum and to expose Team Rocket, who fall to the ground. They quickly stand up and Meowth begins to suck up all the Pokémon. Pikachu's Iron Tail cuts the hose, shutting down the vacuum. Jessie calls out Pumpkaboo to attack with Shadow Ball, which is countered by another Water Pulse from Frogadier. James calls out Inkay to use Psybeam, which is shot down by Bunnellby's Mud Shot. The gang finishes Team Rocket off with a Flamethrower, Thunderbolt and Pin Missile combination from Fennekin, Pikachu and Chespin and retrieve everyone's presents. After the countdown, Ramos turns on the lights on the Vow Tree and everyone stands to marvel at how beautiful it is.
Present time: Bonnie gives the Pokémon her portrait of them, amazing Dedenne; Serena gives a ribbon to Fennekin and new sunglasses to Pancham; Clemont uses a key to switch on his present, a music box displaying Bunnelby, Chespin and Luxio, making them smile; and Ash gives his Pokémon a horde of berries he collected and tells them that tonight they may eat all they want. The next tree over, Team Rocket, after getting blasted off, is displeased they are defeated. Meowth notices a present hanging from a branch and Jessie and James explain that it's his, giving presents to their Pokémon too as thanks, since they lead them into trouble every so often. Wobbuffet, Meowth, Inkay and Pumpkaboo are touched at Jessie and James' rare moment of thoughtfulness and dogpile them with love which breaks the branch and makes them fall to the ground.
After everyone gave their presents, the gang notices one last present with Serena's name on the label. She opens it and is wowed by a beautiful red dress. Nurse Joy tells her it was sent to the Pokémon Center and she was asked to place it there to surprise her. At the Center, Serena contacts her mother who sent her the dress: She is touched at her mother's support of her dream and her mother wishes her luck for the Showcase.
The gang hears fireworks going off and stand to watch them. As everyone watches the pyrotechnics, Ash gets Serena's attention and gives her the prize ribbon he got as a present, as a thank-you for helping him come up with something to get his Pokémon. Overjoyed, Serena eagerly accepts his gift, promising to cherish it.
- "ALREADY?!" - Jessie
- "WE'RE BLASTING OFF PREMATURELY!" - James and Meowth
- "Pokémon Quiz": Dunsparce (JP)
- "Who's that Pokémon?": Dunsparce (US)
- Like Serena, Dawn also got a dress from her mother to compete in a Contest in Mounting A Coordinator Assault!.
- This is the second time Ash fails to catch a Dunsparce: the first was in The Path That Leads to Goodbye!.
- The registration process for the Pokémon Showcase is exactly the same as for the Pokémon League, suggesting both competitions are around the same level of renown, at least in Kalos.
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