|"Welcome to Ōban!"|
|Airdate:||July 7, 2006|
|Written by:||Jeffrey Paul Kearney,|
|Supervising Producer:||Savin Yeatman-Eiffel|
|Supervising Director:||Thomas Romain,|
|Story Editor:||Jeffrey Paul Kearney|
“Welcome to Ōban!” is the first episode of the Cycle Ōban, and the 14th of the overall series. It first aired on July 7, 2006.
At long last, the Earth Team has made it to Ōban, where the grand finals take place. Before proper introductions and reunions are made, the races immediately go underway. With new and old rivals to face, a new points rule for each round, and no time to study the courses, things are bound to be really intense for Molly as the race to the Ultimate Prize continues.
The Avatar's ship reaches Ōban, the planet at the center of the galaxy. Upon arriving at the Avatar's flying temple, Don, Koji, and Stan are shut out as the Avatar only wants to see Molly and Jordan. On their way to the courtyard, Molly and Jordan come across a monstrous alien creature who, surprisingly enough, is one of the nine finalists. Among the finalists is Prince Aikka. He forgives Molly for the incident in their race on Alwas, but still has a grudge against Jordan, and vice versa. The new competitors include Sul, a magician with powers like the Avatar, and General Kross of the Crog Imperium, Toros's replacement.
Satis has been promoted to Spokesman for the Avatar, and Ondai, who raced on Darwar, asks how Satis got to Ōban. Jordan ponders how Satis could have been on Alwas and Darwar simultaneously. Satis ignores the question and explains the rules of the race. There are to be be nine races total, each one in a different region, and all the pilots will race each other at the same time. The pilots gain points by flying through magical gates on the racetrack, First place is nine points, second is six, third is three. Killing each other in a race is also still forbidden, and Kross is the only pilot who complains about this rule.
The Temple takes off for the first race course, taking the nine teams' housing modules and ships with it. The pilots find their way through magic portal to their housing modules where their ship to activate their Star-Racer for the race. When the Temple arrives at a desert, all nine pilots and their ships are dropped from their modules. The Whizzing Arrow III is not equipped for a fall from such a high altitude. The lift reactors of the Arrow III must be activated to keep impact damage minimal. Molly and Jordan manage to find the first gate and catch up with Aikka. Kross, meanwhile, decides to punish Aikka for his friendship with the Earth Team and avalanches him. G'dar is injured, and Jordan detects a creature about to attack Aikka. Jordan shoots the creature, and Molly thinks that he's aiming for Aikka at first. In fact, Jordan has saved his life in return for Aikka beating Spirit for them on Alwas. In the end, however, the Earth Team ranks fifth in the race and receives no points. Ning and Skun are in fourth place, Kross is third, O is second, and Sul is first.
- Original French Title: Bienvenue sur Ōban
- Original French Air Date: July 7, 2006
- Japanese Title: ようこそオーバンへ！ (Yōkoso ōban e! Welcome to Ōban!)
- This is the first time Molly and Prince Aikka speak to each other since Agile Like Aikka, and the first time Jordan has spoken to him since Surprising like Super-Racer.
- The only new pilots whose names are revealed in this episode are Sul, Kross, O, Ning and Skun.