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Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl (ポケットモンスターダイヤモンド&パール Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl) is the third Pokémon anime series that ran from 2006 to 2010 in Japan and from 2007 to 2011 in America. This region has Ash going through Sinnoh to take part in the Sinnoh League. Dawn, a Pokemon Coordinator, and Brock, returning once again from the previous series, are his companions. Along the way, they foil the plots of Team Galactic and Pokemon Hunter J.

English dub:

  • Season 10: Diamond & Pearl (Episodes 1-52)
  • Season 11: Diamond & Pearl: Battle Dimension (Episodes 53-104)
  • Season 12: Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles (Episodes 105-157)
  • Season 13: Diamond & Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors (Episodes 158-191)

Japanese version:

  • Sinnoh League (Episodes 1-191)

Specials:

  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon (Episodes 1-3)
  • Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs
  • Dawn and Brock After Sinnoh (Episodes 1-2)


This series provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A to C 
  • Adapted Out:
    • Cynthia's sister is a minor character who doesn't have a sprite of her own, but she still appears in the games. In the anime, the only relative of Cynthia to appear is her grandmother.
    • Sinnoh and Johto's Frontier Brains other than Palmer do not appear. Caitlin does appear in the Black & White series, albeit in her Unova Elite Four incarnation.
    • While Cyrus summoning both Dialga and Palkia is the climax of Pokémon Platinum, Giratina does not show up to abduct Cyrus and take him back to the Distortion World (or Reverse World, in the anime's case). In fact, Giratina doesn't show up in the Diamond & Pearl series beyond a quick illusion casted by a Mitchell's Murkrow in "Try for the Family Stone!" and a boss fantasy by Meowth in "Dealing With a Fierce Double Ditto Drama!".
  • An Aesop: The overarching one of this series seems to be finding that middle ground between The Power of Friendship and Might Makes Right. While friendship is powerful, it is often no match for real skill (Paul is completely dominant in his and Ash's rivalry for much of the arc), but at the same time, focusing solely on strength without taking care of your trainee's mental wellbeing can end up squandering potential and, at worst, end up inflicting serious emotional scars (which Chimchar is dealing with for much of the arc thanks to Paul's even more extreme methods to unlock his potential). Finding a good balance is needed if you want your trainee to reach their peak (Ash ultimately manages to unlock Infernape's true potential thanks to taking care of his emotional needs in addition to kicking up his own training when it comes to his Pokémon as a whole).
  • And I Must Scream:
    • Hunter J captures Pokémon by turning them into statues.
    • "Sandshrew's Locker!" features Mira, who has lost her Sandshrew after her town was flooded. The Pokémon was in the Poké Ball, deep under the water. If Ash and friends hadn't rescued it, who knows how much longer it would have stayed there.
  • Arc Villain:
    • Pokémon Hunter J serves as a recurring villain for Ash and friends in the absence of Team Galactic, first appearing in "Mutiny in the Bounty!", and then goes on to appear in more several episodes hunting down special Pokémon like an Aura Sphere Riolu and a Regigigas at Snowpoint Temple. Her last appearance coincides with the Team Galactic finale, where she is hired by Jupiter to capture the Lake Guardians for them, a bounty that proves to be her last.
    • Team Galactic did not make its presence known until "A Secret Sphere of Influence!", 36 episodes into the series. Despite this, they become a recurring antagonistic force for Ash and friends starting with "Enter Galactic!" and continue to make major moves in Celestic Town, Iron Island, and (of course) Mt. Coronet, where they attempt to control Dialga and Palkia.
  • Arm Cannon: Hunter J wears a petrifying cannon on her left arm.
  • Art Evolution: Starting with "Following A Maiden's Voyage", all episodes of Diamond & Pearl are done with 30 frames per second animation instead of the usual 24. This trend continues to future series until Sun & Moon, which reverts back to the 24 frames to better accommodate the new art and animation style.
  • Big Bad: Cyrus is the mastermind behind Team Galactic's activities, plotting to capture the Lake Guardians and forge Red Chains to control Dialga and Palkia for his bid of remaking a world without emotions. Not only is he the boss of Team Galactic, he also firmly establishes himself to be at the top of the villainous hierarchy in Sinnoh by hiring fellow recurring villain Hunter J to capture the Lake Guardians for him.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: A recurring theme between Ash and Paul is that they both raise valid points on how to raise their Pokemon, but are too stubborn for most of the series to acknowledge the other. Ash calls out Paul's nasty attitude and abusive treatment of Chimchar, while Paul calls out Ash's overreliance on blind faith, and neither of them will budge an inch. Both of them have to get curb-stomped in a Full Battle before they start rethinking their ways.
    • It's often established that neither Ash's compassion or Paul's ruthlessness are necessarily wrong, but simply work differently for different Trainers and Pokemon. Their respective Sinnoh aces demonstrate this pretty clearly: the aggressive Blood Knight Electivire meshes perfectly with Paul, while the kind-hearted, sensitive Chimchar works perfectly with Ash. As they mature, they gain respect for each other's beliefs, and are able to better balance the two extremes.
    • Chimchar in particular goes even further as a metaphor for this clash of ideals. Initially, Paul believed Chimchar's only worth was its exceptionally powerful (and unstable) Blaze ability, while Ash rejected Blaze entirely in favor of raising its natural strength. While Ash does succeed at greatly boosting Chimchar's power (and self-esteem), it becomes increasingly clear that he won't reach its full potential without mastering Blaze. The ultimate result with Infernape is a mix of the two beliefs: Ash effectively validates Paul by showing that Blaze was indeed the key to victory, but it's only through Ash's love and friendship that it was mastered in the first place.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • The series being named after its games internationally.
    • No longer being a part of broadcast television, but cable via Cartoon Network.
    • Ash's female traveling companion (Dawn) is not seen first out of the traveling companions. Ash met up with Brock first before both catching up to Dawn.
    • Ash's main rival appeared in other regions, albeit off-screen.
    • Ash owns a rival's former Pokemon.
    • Every Elite Four has appeared within that same series and before the conference.
    • Jessie finally ending her losing streak in Contests and winning ribbons.
    • Ash catches a pseudo-legendary Pokémon, or at least a member of its line, rather than simply befriending it and then letting it go.
    • Previous traveling companions battling current traveling companions.
  • Continuity Creep: This saga is significantly more story driven than the previous ones, with a wider array of Plot Threads, Call-Backs, and lasting buildup to the conclusions of its Story Arcs.

    Tropes D to G 
  • Darker and Edgier: As mentioned above and below, Paul's abuse of his Pokémon, Hunter J's ruthlessness, and the cataclysmic nature of Team Galactic's grand scheme make this series more dramatic and violent than its predecessors.
  • Decomposite Character: Harley's old role is effectively split between Ursula and Nando, with the former getting his personality (being a mean-spirited Coordinator who regularly harasses one of Ash's female traveling companions) and the latter being very similar to him in appearance, voice, and mannerisms.
  • Deconstruction: The series-long rivalry between Ash and Paul is one of The Power of Friendship and the All-Loving Hero. Ash's empathy and bonds with his Pokemon has caused him to become exceedingly irrational in battle, never planning ahead and thinking he can overcome any matchup just by believing in himself. Ash's kindness also leads him to befriending weaker specimens that he stubbornly insists are just as strong as any other, only to be proven wrong time and again.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: After Ash's crushing loss to Paul at Lake Acuity, and a good amount of soul-searching, Ash begins to reconstruct himself. He finally swallows his pride and admits that Paul has a point about his battling style; while he still sticks to his belief in friendship, he works harder to battle more intelligently and learn from his mistakes. In the end, Ash proves a strong bond can make a difference—as long as Ash stops relying exclusively on it to win battles, resulting in his victory over Paul at the Sinnoh League.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Tobias, the trainer who ultimately defeats Ash in the Lily of the Valley Conference, has Darkrai and Latios at his disposal. No explanation is given as to how he got these rare and powerful Pokémon or who he is exactly. He's simply there to quickly knock Ash out of the tournament in a blaze of glory (as Ash is the only trainer who is able to defeat two of Tobias's overpowered team where everyone else couldn't even defeat one).
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu:
    • J captures the Lake Trio...but Mespirit and Uxie fired off their Future Sight that hits her ship and kills her and her crew.
    • Palkia and Dialga are not happy that Cyrus tried to control them and after he jumps into the small universe he had them make, they obliterate it with Spacial Rend and Roar of Time.
  • End of an Age: In many ways, the end of this series marks the end of the anime's classic era. From the art style changes, to the new soundtrack, to Brock's departure as a companion, and the wildly fluctuating portrayals of Ash and Team Rocket, every series since has taken the anime in very different directions compared to the relative consistency of the original series to Sinnoh. The Sinnoh League is also the last time Ash uses any of his older Pokemon (besides Charizard) in battle.
  • Establishing Series Moment: The first three episodes of Diamond & Pearl (which initially aired together as a TV special) establish the character arcs and dynamics that define the rest of the series. More specifically:
  • Evil Poacher: J is a cutthroat Pokémon hunter who tracks down and captures Pokémon for her clients at the black market, not caring if the Pokémon target in question already has an owner. What makes her unique from the other poachers is her advanced technology (which includes a blaster that can turn living things into statues) that puts Team Rocket to shame, and her sociopathic personality.
  • Expy: It's been noted that Chimchar's whole arc parallels that of Gohan's from Dragon Ball. Introduced as a 'child' who can output extreme power when push comes to shove, ends up undergoing severe psychological trauma thanks to being put in dangerous situations, slowly maturing and growing over the story before finally coming into their own at the end. Infernape unlocking his true potential when facing Paul at the League even has similarities to Gohan unlocking Super Saiyan 2 against Cell. To cap it off, Infernape was based on Sun Wukong, from which Saiyans share their original creation basis.
  • Foil: Paul to Ash. While Ash believes in The Power of Friendship, journeys because he loves the adventure and is kind and helpful to others, Paul believes only in pure power and raw stats, is a trainer only to win and looks down upon anyone he considers weaker than himself. These fundamental differences are what make up the basis of their rivalry and animosity towards one another.
  • French Maid Outfit: The "Tanks for the Memories!" episode sees the gang helping out at a Maid Cafe because the joint was temporarily understaffed (Brock was training one of the maids working there). This results in Dawn, Ash (again!) and even some of their mons dressing up in these outfits.
  • Graceful Landing, Clumsy Landing: In one of Ash and Paul's first encounters, Paul and Chimchar effortlessly scale their way down a cliff by leaping onto rocks and hanging branches. This is contrasted with Ash and Turtwig who fall head-first into the water.

    Tropes H to M 
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Empathy toward your partners and believing in yourself is not a match for actual skill. Thinking that it is will only lead to humiliation, as Ash learns repeatedly against Paul.
  • The Heavy: Pokémon Hunter J is technically a poacher hired by rich clients to capture rare Pokémon for them but her frequent encounters with Ash and friends has made her into one of the more personal enemies that our heroes have faced, perhaps more so than even Team Galactic.
  • Honor Before Reason: Another of Ash's shortcomings that's highly on display in this series is that he repeatedly insists that his Pokemon have to win in the way that makes them the most happy, whether they're disregarding type matchups or simply defending their egos. Paul frequently takes advantage of this by goading Ash into unwinnable matchups, with his Pokemon's will to win just getting them injured even worse.
  • Irony: The Sinnoh League is full of it. Each of Ash's four rivals, as well as Ash himself, is defeated in an ironic way.
    • Nando mainly uses Bug-type Pokémon on his team, training a Kricketune, Armaldo and Kricketot. His Kricketune is defeated by another Bug-type, Ash's Heracross. Also, it was Ash (as well as Dawn) who convinced him to go for Gym Battles in the first place.
    • Conway's preferred battle tactic is to devise elaborate strategies beforehand. Ash defeats him with a combination of luck (Gible finally perfecting Draco Meteor) and last-minute improvisation (Gible trapping Shuckle in its mouth and biting Dusknoir's hand to nullify Shadow Punch).
    • Barry idolizes and admires Paul greatly. Despite trying very hard and even making use of clever strategies such as having Skarmory set up Spikes and taking advantage of Empoleon's Torrent, a far cry from his usual "Attack! Attack! Attack!" battle style, he suffers a Curb-Stomp Battle at Paul's hands, 3-0.
    • Paul only uses the strongest Pokémon and rejects any that don't live up to his high standards. The Infernape that he put through Training from Hell as a Chimchar, threw out for supposedly being "weak," and was subsequently adopted and raised by Ash, the Trainer he derided for treating Pokémon as friends rather than tools, ultimately proved victorious over his perfectly-trained Electivire.
    • By the end of Sinnoh, Ash had become easily the strongest and most strategic he'd ever been up to that point, and he makes to the top 4 for the first time ever after finally defeating Paul. Despite this, in terms of strict numbers, his 6-2 loss to Tobias is by far the worst Pokémon League loss he's ever suffered. It's also tied for his worst loss in general with a rather ironic battle: his battle with Paul at Lake Acuity, the guy he'd just defeated.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • Paul is Ash's rival in the Sinnoh region, and the one who causes Ash and his Pokémon the most grief. He is the polar opposite of Ash in terms of ideals and methods, especially when it came to Chimchar, and his strength as a trainer enables him to give Ash his most devastating defeats in the entire series. Even Ash's personal rival, Gary Oak, was only a friendly Smug Snake compared to the soul-crushing battler that is Paul. It is because of Paul that Ash treats the Sinnoh League as something more than just a casual opportunity for the championship unlike the other Leagues he has partaken.
    • Pokémon Hunter J may have appeared early in the series, but her sociopathic personality and ruthless methods signify that Diamond & Pearl is not playing around with tame villains like in the previous series; an appetizer for the more serious, impeding Team Galactic conflict.
    • Cyrus's debut in the Team Galactic two-parter, "Losing Its Lustrous!" and "Double Team Turnover!", marks Team Galactic formally transitioning to Arc Villain status. Ash and friends lose the Lustrous Orb to them, and they worry of what Team Galactic is going to do next. It is also made clear by the end of "Double Team Turnover!" that Team Galactic is hiring Pokémon hunters to go after the Lake Guardians, elevating the unaffiliated J into a major player of the Team Galactic finale.
  • Mistaken for Brooding: In "Tears for Fears!", Chimchar wails Tears of Joy after Ash praises him for doing his best in a practice session. Ash is confused by his reaction and seems to think he's sad, but Brock points out that Chimchar is just releasing everything he's been holding back because he wasn't allowed to display any huge emotions around Paul (his former trainer who was abusive to him).
  • Myth Arc: Based around the region's Time-Space Legend featuring Dialga and Palkia, the Legendary Lake Trio Pokémon and their mysterious connection to Ash, Dawn and Brock, and the machinations of Team Galactic as it attempts to use this legend and its Pokémon to create a new world for themselves that will replace the old one. Strangely, despite starting in the first episode (where Dawn catches sight of Mesprit), it concludes in episode 151, leaving 40 episodes still left to go.

    Tropes N to W 
  • No-Harm Requirement: The gang had to deal with Hunter J who was an Evil Poacher that poached Pokémon, whether they were owned or rare, and sold them clients via a black market. To ensure maximum pay for her quarry, she would zap the Pokémon with a petrification ray and seal them in clear pods.
  • Secret Pet Plot: As a child growing up in Snowpoint City, Zoey found Glameow and tried taking care of it, but her parents wouldn't let her have it on account of her not being a Pokémon trainer. Zoey was able to get Candice, a teacher at the local academy and Snowpoint's Gym Leader, to help her raise it in secret.
  • Shout-Out: The English title for episode 53, "Tears for Fears!", references the British progressive pop band of the same name.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: This saga did this a few times, playing absurdly epic and dramatic music as the backdrop for chasing Pachirisu around for several minutes, or Team Rocket's evolution machine sputtering out repeatedly.
  • Team Rocket Wins: Despite being arguably the height of their laughing stock status, Team Rocket actually started pulling darkhorse victories in this series, successfully stealing a Pokemon the twerps weakened for themselves along with Jesse breaking her losing streak in the Sinnoh contests and making it to the quarter finals. This was also the series to really demonstrate the trio's far greater competence in legitimate businesses.
  • Textual Celebrity Resemblance: The episode "Arriving In Style" is about dressing Pokémon in costumes. The "famous fashion designer Hermione" looks a lot like iconic costume designer Edith Head.
  • Third-Option Adaptation: Like in Pokémon Platinum, Cyrus aims to summon both Dialga and Palkia to remake the world in his own image. Unlike that game, however, Giratina does not show up to take him to the Distortion World. Instead Cyrus jumps into the small universe he has created, disappearing before Dialga and Palkia destroy it out of rage. Meanwhile Ash and friends team up with the Lake Guardians to calm down the Temporal and Spatial Pokémon before they could destroy the Sinnoh region.
  • Training the Pet: In "Tanks for the Memories!", Autumn has a very lazy Miltank named Ilta, who just ignores everything she says. As Ilta has been recently caught, Brock notes that she needs more time to get used to Autumn and helps Autumn train Ilta. By the end of it, Ilta comes to like Autumn after the latter saves her from a swarm of Beedrill.
  • Unexpected Kindness: In "Tears for Fears!", Chimchar keeps having flashbacks of the times Paul berated him for losing battles, as well as when Paul abandoned him for failing to live up to his standards. When he loses a practice round to Buizel and Ash picks him up, he's visibly anticipating the worst and clearly expects Ash to tell him off. To his surprise, Ash praises him for being so good at battling. Chimchar is so touched that he breaks down in Tears of Joy.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show:
    • Pokémon Hunter J is perhaps one of the most ruthless villains that ever debuted in the anime, capturing Pokémon with her petrification ray instead of the usual nets and cages, as well as being willing to kill anyone to accomplish her goals, including children and her own men. It is telling that she is one of the few characters that is implied to have been killed off in her final appearance because of how horrible she is by the show's standards.
    • Team Galactic may seem to be your standard villainous team at first glance, but their goal of deliberately destroying and remaking the world through Dialga and Palkia puts them above all their predecessors; especially with their cold-hearted boss, Cyrus, who is more than willing to abandon them once he obtains his world.
    • While not outright a villain, Paul is easily the darkest rival in all the franchise. Not only is he extremely cold and spiteful, but his whole training methods also carry an uncomfortable tone of animal abuse to them.
  • Willfully Weak: Addressed: Ash admits he could just bring a team of his best Pokemon to fight Paul in the Sinnoh League, but he wants to prove a point by beating him with his Sinnoh team specifically. This almost bites him in the ass when it turns out Paul accounted for that and used a team composed of both reserves and already-used mons of him to counter that and almost defeat Ash at the League.
  • Worst. Whatever. Ever!: The Japanese title for one episode translates to "The Worst Togepi Ever!" The English dub changed it to "Where No Togepi Has Gone Before".


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Team Shocker!

Jessie wins her first ever contest, finally breaking her losing streak at contests, and giving Team Rocket a legitimate win.

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