Battling with Elegance and a Big Smile! (はフォッコVSマフォクシー！華麗なるパフォーマンスバトル！！ Fennekin VS Delphox! A Splendid Performance Battle!!) is the 16th episode of Pokémon the Series: XY Kalos Quest.
Pancham and Fennekin start fighting while training with Serena for their next Pokémon Showcase. When things go wrong, she inadvertently yells at them and questions whether or not she deserves to be a Performer. However Aria shows up and offers to teach her a thing or two about Performance Battling.. but mainly about how to rebound.
Ash, Bonnie and Serena watch Monsieur Pierre announce Shauna as the winner of the Coumarine City Showcase on television. He finishes the video by telling everyone they can expect great things from her soon. Bonnie comments that Shauna's become famous. Serena musters her resolve, determined to catch up with her. She receives Fennekin and Pancham from Nurse Joy and lets them out of their Poké Balls for training. Right before they start practice, they go over their routine. With Ash and Bonnie acting as the audience, they begin.
Fennekin and Pancham start off by running forward and balancing on their front paws before returning to Serena's side to dance alongside her in a quick array of twirls. They jump onto her shoulders and she catapults them off as they create beautiful trails of sparkles that follow them as they move through the air. When they land, Serena has Pancham jump as Fennekin launches a ring of fire its way. Pancham manages to pass through the ring, but gets his tail and behind burned. He manages to cool it off and starts arguing with Fennekin; the two are stopped by Serena who insists it was merely bad timing and that they do it again. They repeat the performance and this time Pancham successfully passes through the ring, but fails to stick his landing and accidentally lands on Fennekin. The two start arguing again and Pancham escalates the matter by jumping on Serena and taunting Fennekin from his perch. As Ash and Bonnie try to keep the peace, Pancham provokes Fennekin to the point where she launches Flamethrower at him to shut him up, but ends up burning Serena by accident! Pushed to the end of her rope, Serena snaps at them to cut it out and to take their practice more seriously. Ash calms her down a bit, saying the two of them feel just as bad about it as she does. Ashamed of herself for losing her temper, Serena tells Ash and Bonnie that she's going out for a bit as she wants some time alone to think. She apologizes and runs to take her leave, making Fennekin and Pancham sad they upset her, and worried as well.
Cut to a scene with Team Rocket. As James and Meowth fish, Jessie is angered Shauna won the Showcase instead of her. Meowth promises they'll do anything to help Jessie win this time. Jessie is pleased to hear this, thinking she will control Kalos after becoming the Queen. Meowth believes the Pokémon will follow her as well, but James is sceptical about it.
Serena observes herself in a store window, thinking herself a failure. A girl approaches her, thinking the hat behind the glass would look good on Serena, who is surprised and explains she was thinking of something else. The girl tells Serena she shouldn't make a gloomy face like that or else it'll stick to her. Serena smiles, pleasing the girl, who lets her know it's the secret to being a cute girl. The girl asks her to go shopping with her since it's boring to go alone. Serena feels she knows the girl; while it is clearly Aria, she introduces herself under an alias. She gets behind Serena and pushes her to the first boutique.
As "Arianna" tries some things on, she tells Serena she remembers her from the Coumarine Showcase. Serena asks if she saw the performance and she explains she saw it via PokéVision. Serena admits she feels like a failure at being a Performer, since today she yelled at her Pokémon. She explains to Arianna that her wish is to be a Performer like Aria. Arianna notes her gloomy face again, so she asks her which bracelet she should buy. Serena decides on the blue one, but Arianna cannot make up her mind, thinking she should also have the red one, making Serena smile a bit. Maria tells Serena her smile will make everyone happy, which makes Serena blush.
As Fennekin and Pancham wait for Serena to come back, Ash and Bonnie advise them to eat; they know the two of them are worried about Serena, but she'll be worried if they don't eat. Fennekin and Pancham acquiesce and join the other Pokémon. As the two of them relax, Bonnie worries about Clemont; she considers him clumsy, to which Ash replies he's probably working hard. The scene then cuts to the Lumiose Gym where Clemont and his Luxray defeat a trainer and his Treecko using Wild Charge. Clemont offers Sawyer some advice about how Treecko's last Razor Leaf was just a bit too late which allowed him and Luxray to counterattack. Sawyer writes the advice in his book and thanks him. Clemont clenches his fist together and thinks to Ash that he feels like he's starting to understand something.
Meanwhile, Serena and Arianna are sitting at a restaurant table eagerly waiting to try the food. Serena enjoys the taste but immediately thinks of Fennekin and Pancham. She sees a girl give her Furfrou a treat, and it licks her out of affection. Serena begins to cry, thinking her Pokémon don't want to perform with her anymore. Arianna knows Fennekin and Pancham like Serena, so she advises her to apologize to them. Serena sees the truth in what she says and decides to do so. Back at the creek, Jessie uses a whip to train Meowth and orders James to join in.
Serena returns to the Pokémon Center at sunset and Ash tells her how Fennekin and Pancham were sad and worried about her. As they hug her Serena apologizes to her Pokémon, telling them she needed to be with them. Arianna walks up to Serena, glad she made up with them. Ash and Bonnie introduce themselves to Maria and the latter takes advantage of a golden opportunity: Bonnie asks Arianna to be Clemont's wife. Since Clemont is away at the Gym, Serena takes his place in scolding Bonnie, who doesn't listen and continues to egg Arianna on about marrying her brother.
Arianna asks Serena for a double battle, since she may learn a new thing or two, and Serena accepts. Maria sends out Aromatisse and Delphox against Fennekin and Pancham. Serena orders Fennekin to use Scratch, but Aromatisse blocks it with Reflect while Delphox uses Mystical Fire, burning Pancham's rump. Bonnie notices the grace with which Delphox and Aromatisse battle. Maria asks Serena about their performance, telling Serena for the first time that she is a Performer. Serena has Pancham use Stone Edge on Aromatisse, but it's still blocked by Reflect. Arianna tells Serena both Pokémon need to attack at once and cooperate; if they attack one at a time they won't accomplish anything. Serena has Pancham use Stone Edge again, but this time the stones serve as a means for Fennekin to jump up to where Reflect can't reach. Now in position, Fennekin uses Flamethrower; Arianna has Delphox counter it with its own Flamethrower. The two identical attacks collide, but since Delphox's is stronger the tide quickly shifts in its favor, knocking Fennekin to the ground. Arianna has Aromatisse use Charge Beam, but Pancham intervenes to protect Fennekin using Dark Pulse. Feeling cornered, Serena is unsure what to do before remembering what Arianna told her earlier about her smile. She smiles, assuring her Pokémon it will be all right since they're her precious partners. Fennekin is profoundly touched. Standing up on all fours, she begins to glow and change shape, growing over two feet in height until she's a head shorter then Serena. Her two front legs become arms, her shoulders gain tufts of fluff and her hind legs turn black. Most noticeably, a stick emerges out of her tail to serve as her wand.
The light fades on Serena's newly-evolved Braixen. Serena is pleased and Arianna tells her Braixen evolved because she was able to link her heart with her. Filled to the brim with new confidence, Serena has Braixen and Pancham use Flamethrower and Dark Pulse, landing a successful double hit on Maria's Pokémon and creating a lovely display of fireworks on the side. Arianna announces that the gloves are off now. Serena nods in agreement, saying the same goes for her too. The air crackles with tension as the two combatants prepare for the final showdown... which comes to nothing as Arianna's phone rings, ruining the moment completely. Arianna answers and apologizes to Serena, saying she has to go. She recalls her Pokémon, tells Serena to never forget her smile and bids them farewell.
Next day, as Ash gets stoked to face Clemont, the gang watches Aria's latest performance. Serena sees Aria strike an identical pose to one Maria struck the day before and realizes she just got to spend the day with her idol as Arianna and Aria are one and the same. Now closer than ever to her Pokémon and promising to be as good as Aria, Serena runs out of the Pokémon Center with her friends behind her for the second time, her spirits back on high.
- "Pokémon Quiz": Aromatisse (JP)
- "Who's that Pokémon?": Treecko (US)
- This episode bears a small similarity with "Evolution by Fire!":
- In this episode, Serena entered a Double Battle using her Fire-starter Fennekin, while her opponent, Aria, had its fully-evolved form Delphox, just like Ash battled with Tepig against Shamus and its fully-evolved form Emboar.
- Fennekin was partnered with Pancham, who had type-disadvantage against both opposing Pokémon, just like Snivy when she was partnered with Tepig.
- In the middle of the battle, Fennekin evolved into Braixen out of the trust between herself and her trainer, similar to how Tepig evolved into Pignite.
- Aria's disguise as Arianna is topped off by wearing glasses; while this was unintentional on the part of the animators, it is reminiscent of DC Comics, in which Superman's civilian guise of Clark Kent is also completed in this manner.
- More to the point, the main characters fail to see through Aria's disguise when she is wearing her glasses; Comedians have long poked fun at Lois Lane and other supporting characters in the Superman mythology for not figuring out that Clark Kent is just Superman wearing glasses.
- This is the second time the anime version of AZ's theme is heard in the series. The last time was in A Showcase Debut!.
In the original, Clemont stated that Treecko knows Razor Leaf, which is a move Treecko cannot normally learn. However, in the English dub, Clemont stated Treecko knows Mega Drain, which is a move Treecko can learn.
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