Who Is Ash's Strongest Rival?

Who Is Ash’s Strongest Rival?

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Ever since his first adventures in the world of Pokémon, Ash Ketchum has been one of the best known and most popular anime characters. The adventures that he and his Pikachu, along with their friends, have had are known around the world and fans of the anime series still patiently wait for each new episode. And while Pokémon is much more than just the fights, Ash’s fights against other trainers have always been the more interesting aspect of the anime series. Ash was usually the more successful trainer, there were some heated battles through the course of the series.

In today’s article, we are going to analyze Ash’s 10 strongest rivals, ranking them from weakest to strongest. Enjoy!

Ash Ketchum’s 10 strongest rivals

10. Bea

Region (Generation): Galar (VIII)
Occupation: Stow-on-Side’s Gym Leader

Overview

Bea (known as Saitou in Japan) is the Gym Leader of the Stow-on-Side Gym, officially known as the Stow-on-Side Stadium. She specializes in Fighting-type Pokémon. She gives the Battle Badge to trainers who defeat her. In the Pokémon Shield game, Allister instead takes her place as the gym leader of Stow-on-Side.

Bea made her major series debut in “Solitary and Menacing!”. She first fought the Karate Master at the Fighting Dojo in Saffron City and won. Soon after, Ash challenged her to a fight in the World Coronation Series and she had a one-on-one with him. Using her Hawlucha and Grapploct to battle Ash’s Farfetch’d and Riolu, she emerged victorious without losing a single Pokémon, which increased her rank.

Bea has a flashback appearance in “Making Battles in the Sand!”. Bea reappeared again in “Octo-Gridlock at the Gym!”, where she was training with Chuck at Cianwood Gym when she received a challenge for a rematch from Ash. Bea accepted and used her Hitmontop and Grapploct to fight Pikachu and Riolu. This battle ended in a draw.

Bea has a strong and confident personality, having been trained in Galar karate by her father since she was very young. While showing proper discipline and etiquette in combat, Bea speaks openly and directly, calling Korrina “cocky” and pointing out Ash’s openings when she sees them.

Bea was extremely powerful and was able to defeat other fighting-type experts like Korrina and the Karate Master of the Kanto Fighting Dojo. Like Ash, Bea wants to win against Leon in the World Coronation Series to prove herself as the strongest trainer in the world. However, it turns out that Bea is less tough outside of combat, and she appears to have recognized Ash and his Riolu as rivals after battling for a draw at the “Octo-Gridlock at the Gym!”.

As in the games, Bea has a hidden love for sweets, enjoys eating Chuck’s complimentary sweets with her Pokémon, and also shares them with Ash’s own Pokémon.

Known Pokémon (in the anime):

File:701Hawlucha.pngFile:237Hitmontop.png
GrapploctHawluchaHitmontop
File:068Machamp.png
MachopMachokeMachamp
File:236Tyrogue.pngFile:559Scraggy.pngFile:675Pangoro.png
TyrogueScraggyPangoro
File:538Throh.pngFile:865Sirfetch'd.png
SawkThrohSirfetch’d

9. Barry

Region (Generation): Sinnoh (IV)
Occupation: Pokémon Trainer

Overview

Barry (known as Jun in Japan) is a recurring character who appeared in the Pokémon anime. He’s a Pokémon trainer from Twinleaf Town and one of Ash’s rivals. He first appeared in “Barry’s Busting Out All Over!”, where he intended to challenge Fantina for a fight at the gym, but he met Ash at the door of the Hearthome Gym instead. He challenged Ash to a fight to prove his training methods were wrong, but Ash emerged victorious.

After that, Barry stayed to see Ash challenge Fantina. At times he was skeptical of Ash’s strategy in combat, but at the end of the fight, he realized that his techniques were excellent. He later stated that if Ash could defeat Byron, whom Barry had previously defeated, he would be his rival. After staying with the group for the following episode, he left to train on Iron Island. When he reappeared, he and Ash put most of their differences aside and became friendly rivals.

Later, Barry announced his plans to participate in the upcoming Pokémon Ping Pong tournament and invited the group to take part in the competition. Later, when Dawn’s Piplup escaped from the Pokémon Center, he helped find him. It was also revealed in this episode that he is good friends with Dawn’s rival Kenny. He reappeared back into “Old Rivals, New Tricks!” watching Dawn and Kenny at the Sandalstraw Contest and telling Ash and Brock that it was his first time seeing a Pokémon Contest live.

Barry entered the Pokémon Ping Pong tournament with Empoleon as his partner Pokémon. He made it to the quarterfinals where he lost to famous ping pong player O. He returned home for the annual Twinleaf Festival. In “Historical Mystery Tour!”, Barry decided to fight Ash but he became side-tracked when he spotted a familiar Xatu. Ash, Dawn and Barry were all transported to Xatu’s Forest, a strange dimension that allowed them to relive one of their earliest memories, in Barry’s case, it was how he met his Heracross. On his return, he came across his father Palmer.

In “Challenging a Towering Figure!”, he entered the Festival Battle Challenge as part of the Twinleaf Festival in hopes that he would fight Palmer, but lost to Ash. Later, Barry fought Ash and his newly captured Gible. Barry won his first fight against Ash, but Ash didn’t take it harshly, praised Gible anyway and told him to listen next time. Barry celebrated his victory as he held up his ticket to challenge Fantina, but Gible bit his hand and ate the ticket.

Barry revealed that he had earned all of the badges necessary to attend the Sinnoh’s League Conference. He met Paul for the first time and challenged him to battle, but to his dismay, Paul refused and suggested that they fight Ash instead. Barry initially said Ash was not at his level as Ash was still one badge away from the Sinnoh League, but later agreed to fight him. He chose his Empoleon to face Ash’s Monferno. However, the battle was interrupted when Team Rocket attacked.

Barry appeared at the Lily of the Valley conference, where he was seen at the stadium with everyone else in attendance. He passed the preliminary round. He fought Paul in the third round of the tournament, and although he fought a tough battle and deployed two new Pokémon on his team, Skarmory and Hitmonlee, along with his partner Empoleon, he fell in front of the superior strength and tactics of Paul and his team. Then he stayed and watched Ash’s fights with Paul and Tobias and broke up with the group in “The Semi-Final Frontier!”, promising to reunite with them once again and become as strong as Ash.

Known Pokémon (in the anime):

File:395Empoleon.pngFile:398Staraptor.pngFile:407Roserade.png
EmpoleonStaraptorRoserade
File:214Heracross.pngFile:227Skarmory.pngFile:106Hitmonlee.png
HeracrossSkarmoryHitmonlee

8. Trip

Region (Generation): Unova (V)
Occupation: Pokémon Trainer

Overview

Trip (known as Shooty in Japan) is a recurring character who appeared in the Pokémon anime. He is a Pokémon trainer from Nuvema Town and Ash’s main competitor in Pokémon the Series: Black & White. Trip is a reluctant person who tends to keep his feelings to himself. He expressed his feelings in a manner similar to how Ash did when he first left his hometown.

His strategy is about planning ahead and completing the basics of Pokémon training. Compared to the other rivals in the Unova region, Trip is quite a long way off and prefers not to interact with them outside of combat. He has a teal digital camera that he uses to take pictures to illustrate his journey. He also has an Xtransceiver so he can keep in touch with battle clubs.

Trip tends to think very little of the Kanto region – which he calls “the boonies” – and anyone from there. He views Ash as a hillbilly who needs to return to the basics of Pokémon training. He’ll help him out every now and then, however, as he saw when he notified Ash that Oshawott’s Aqua Jet was uncontrollable because Oshawott had his eyes closed, and again when he pointed out Scraggy’s lack of mastery over his newly learned Focus Blast.

Despite his apparent apathy towards Ash and his generally low opinion of him as a trainer, Trip tends to be very attentive to Ash’s battles. Although Trip has just started out as a trainer, he is already employing a lot of strategies in his battles. He defeated Ash in all but two of their battles (the first one was a draw and the second one was won by Ash), though Ash is a much more experienced trainer.

However, he is less forgiving than Ash and takes losses more difficult. An example of this is that when he lost to Cilan, he took a picture of Cilan and Dwebble. When Cilan asked why he was doing this, Trip replied that he was recording this moment so he could remember his frustration. Trip also actively insults and is at most as mature as Ash, as shown during his childish banter with Ash during their third battle, along with when he elbowed Ash for Alder’s attention.

As a result of meeting Alder as a child and the promise he made to him, Trip saw strength as the most important thing to achieve his goals. As such, he found activities that would not increase his strength as unnecessary, as he saw when he left after his losses in the Club Battle and the Clubsplosion, even if he refused to fight Ash several times.

After his reunion with Alder and his disappointment with Alder’s reluctance, Trip began to find his own way to beat Alder and become a champion. During the Junior Cup, Trip had shown an increased level of confidence in his own abilities to the point of arrogance, believing he could defeat both Alder and Cynthia. However, after losing to Alder, he began to see the flaw in his views and, as such, had a change in his attitude.

This can be seen in “Curtain Up, Unova League!”, where we see him greet Ash and his friends with a friendlier approach than before and his changed attitudes being noticed by the other characters like Cilan and Iris. Along with his newer personality, he showed a real interest in fighting Ash, and with that, he stopped his previous tendencies to make fun of him. Despite his changed attitudes, he maintains his distance and prefers not to interact with the other rivals.

Known Pokémon (in the anime):

File:497Serperior.pngFile:520Tranquill.png
SerperiorTranquillFrillish
File:608Lampent.pngFile:582Vanillite.pngFile:534Conkeldurr.png
LampentVanilliteConkeldurr

7. Tyson

Region (Generation): Hoenn (III)
Occupation: Pokémon Trainer

Overview

Tyson (known as Tetsuya in Japan) is a recurring character who appeared in the Pokémon anime. He’s a Pokémon trainer from Mauville City and one of Ash’s rivals. Tyson first appeared in “Like a Meowth to a Flame”, where he rescued Ash and his friends from a Murkrow herd with his Meowth. They quickly became friends when it turned out they went to the same place for dinner and because Tyson has a certain fondness for food like May.

The group met with him while speaking to Charles Goodshow, where he found out that Ash and Brock were also torchbearers in the past. Later, Team Rocket, disguised as Officer Jenny and Nurse Joy, went to Tyson and ran away with the tournament’s Moltres torch. He warned Ash and the gang that they were running away with the torch and chasing after them. Tyson stopped her balloon using his Metagross’ Confusion.

His Meowth successfully took the torch from the speaking and ended the bad guys with Thunderbolt. In “Saved by the Beldum”, he came to Ash and Morrison’s rescue from Team Rocket’s pit traps. Once again his Meowth sent her away, but this time with an iron tail. He later fought Vivica and her Persian in the first round of the Ever Grande conference. Tyson took advantage of Meowth and won the round, only having to stop Meowth from attacking any further.

In “Shocks and Bonds”, Tyson competed against Johnny. By the time Ash and his friends arrived to watch the battle, Tyson’s Donphan and Johnny’s Blastoise were already off. Tyson defeated Johnny when Sceptile successfully used Solar Beam on Aggron. Then he watched the full battle between Ash and Katie.

Tyson defeated his opponent’s Rhydon with Meowth in “A Judgment Brawl” after Ash defeated Katie. He fought Ash in “Choose It or Lose It!” and “At the End of the Fray!”. Tyson was a very tough opponent for Ash as both sides relied on their last Pokémon, Pikachu and Meowth. After a long struggle, both sides struggled to get up. However, Meowth emerged as the only winner. Tyson congratulated Ash on a good fight.

Tyson then reached the final and won the Hoenn League Conference, where he had the chance to fight the Hoenn Elite Four. After the Ever Grande conference, he said goodbye to Ash and his friends as he left Ever Grande City on The Scheme Team.

Tyson is generally relaxed and humble. He regularly compliments others upon noting Brock’s skill as a Pokémon breeder after his picky Meowth liked Brock’s handcrafted food. He enjoys traveling back and forth between cities to get to the nearest gym and taking time to try out the local restaurants.

He has a deep and personal relationship with his Pokémon, giving them encouraging conversations, and making an effort to spend time with them. In combat, Tyson is strict and quickly takes control of the situation. He is a tactical trainer who uses type advantages and brute force. Tyson was surprised by some of Ash’s unconventional methods and perseverance in At the End of the Fray. While confident in his abilities, he continues to improve his techniques by watching others fight.

Known Pokémon (in the anime):

File:376Metagross.pngFile:254Sceptile.png
MeowthMetagrossSceptile
File:232Donphan.pngFile:275Shiftry.pngFile:297Hariyama.png
DonphanShiftryHariyama

6. Cameron

Region (Generation): Unova (V)
Occupation: Pokémon Trainer

Overview

Cameron (known as Kotetsu in Japan) is a recurring character who appeared in the Pokémon anime. He’s a Pokémon trainer and one of Ash’s rivals in Pokémon the Series: Black & White. Cameron made his debut in “Goodbye, Junior Cup – Hello Adventure !”. He met Ash, Iris, Cilan and Dawn as they were leaving the Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup with his Riolu. He had planned to compete but was late.

He appeared later when the group said goodbye to Dawn. He announced that he would be competing in the Unova League, but missed his eighth badge because he thought that only seven badges were required to be able to participate. He also mistakenly thought that the league in Ecruteak City would be in Johto. Later on, Cameron challenged Marlon to a gym fight for a Wave badge. He used his Ferrothorn and Samurot to fight Marlon’s Jellicent and Mantine. Ultimately, Cameron and his Pokémon managed to beat Marlon and his Pokémon to earn the last badge Cameron needed to compete in the Unova League.

In “Curtain Up, Unova League !”, Cameron came to Vertress City to attend the Vertress conference and pitch his tent near the hotel for attendees to make sure he wasn’t late to sign in. Despite that, he heard of the announcement that the registration period had expired. Ash hurried with him to the registration desk, where Nurse Joy made an exception for him.

In the first round, he fought with his Ferrothorn against Kendrick and his Eelektross. The fight ended in “Mission: Defeat Your Rival!”, and he won so he could move on to the next round. In the same episode, it was announced that Cameron would face Bianca in the second round in a one-on-one. Cameron started with his Samurott against Bianca’s Escavalier. The Cavalry Pokémon was defeated pretty quickly, whereupon Bianca, much to everyone’s shock, sent out her Emboar.

After standing up to the super-effective Aqua Jet and Hydro Cannon, Emboar used Attract on Samurott, causing it to fall in love and soon be defeated. Next, Cameron chose Riolu, which Bianca thought was very cute. Despite the notable size difference, Riolu was able to defeat the Mega Fire Pig Pokémon, eliminating Bianca from the conference.

In “Strong Strategy Steals the Show!”, it was announced that he would fight Ash in the quarterfinals. The fight started at the end of the episode and continued in “Cameron’s Secret Weapon!”. Though Cameron accidentally handicapped himself by bringing five Pokémon instead of six (after mistakenly believing a full fight was five-on-five), he got off to a good start when his Hydreigon knocked out two of Ash’s Pokémon.

However, Ash used his Pignite to defeat both Hydreigon and Ferrothorn. Eventually, Ash defeated all of Cameron’s Pokémon except Riolu. At the end of the episode, Cameron’s Riolu evolved into a Lucario while fighting Ash’s Snivy. The fight continued in “A Unova League Evolution”, where Lucario managed to defeat first Snivy and later Pikachu, eliminating Ash from the conference. In the next round, Cameron fought Virgil but lost. Later, after the official ceremonies, Cameron said goodbye to Ash and his friends before going his own way.

Known Pokémon (in the anime):

File:448Lucario.pngFile:598Ferrothorn.pngFile:503Samurott.png
LucarioFerrothornSamurott
File:635Hydreigon.pngFile:581Swanna.pngFile:505Watchog.png
HydreigonSwannaWatchog

5. Gladion

Region (Generation): Alola (VII)
Occupation: Pokémon Trainer, Team Skull member

Overview

Gladion (known as Glazio in Japan) is a recurring character who appeared in the Pokémon anime. He is Lillie’s older brother and Ash’s main competitor in Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon. When Gladion first showed up, he was distant from his sister because he blamed himself for why Lillie couldn’t touch Pokémon. He’s an impatient person, as was shown in “Revealing the Stuff of Legend!”, when he urged the protective deities to hurry while they waited to save his mother.

He also has a temper, like in “Mission: Total Recall!”, where he can be seen harshly berating Ash for accidentally reactivating Lillie’s traumatic fear of Pokémon due to his negligence with Nebby. Nonetheless, Gladion quickly recognized Ash’s potential as a trainer and after defeating Ash’s Lycanroc in “A Masked Warning!”, he thanked Ash for giving Silvally the opportunity to train.

He was also motivated to take on the island’s challenge after Ash and Pikachu performed a 10,000,000 volts Thunderbolt. When he first saw Poipole, he quickly raised his guard as Poipole was an ultra-beast. Like in “Showdown on Poni Island!”, Gladion has enough confidence in his Pokémon to have them fight each other, to train without giving them any command. He’ll also be happy if his Pokémon does well, as he demonstrated when he congratulated Lycanroc with a punch after defeating Ash’s Lycanroc.

Gladion’s fighting style is generally more calculated than Ash’s. In the fight with Silvally, Gladion will make good use of his RKS system to keep it at an advantage. However, Gladion and his Pokémon began to adopt more of Ash’s unconventional strategies after recognizing Kanto’s trainer as his rival.

In “Imitation Is the Most Sincere Form of Strategy!”, Gladion and Lycanroc countered James and Mareanie’s Black Hole Eclipse using the same strategy Ash and his Lycanroc used in their big trial against Nanu, even though they weren’t there to see it. As shown in “Enter the Champion!”, Gladion and Lycanroc could also find a counter against the confusion caused by Outrage.

Known Pokémon (in the anime):

File:197Umbreon.pngFile:745Lycanroc-Midnight.png
UmbreonLycanroc
File:773Silvally.pngFile:571Zoroark.png
SilvallyZoroark

4. Gary Oak

Region (Generation): Kanto (I)
Occupation: Pokémon Researcher (formerly Trainer)

Overview

Gary Oak (known as Shigeru Okido in Japan) is a recurring character who appeared in the Pokémon anime. He is a Pokémon researcher from Pallet Town and the grandson of Professor Oak. He is a childhood friend and former rival of Ash Ketchum. The day he began his Pokémon journey, he emerged as an arrogant trainer, much like his video game version, Blue. His chosen starter Pokémon was Squirtle, which was actually the same Pokémon Ash initially wanted to start with.

He even had a group of cheerleaders who cheered him on in all of his battles and went so far as to cry when he lost. He didn’t go on his travels like most trainers; instead, he had his own sporty red convertible with a driver. Gary loved it when he got the chance to make fun of Ash by bragging about how far behind Ash was compared to him.

His training style at the time was to catch a lot of Pokémon and use the strongest, as a stark contrast to Ash, who was focused on building a bond with his Pokémon. His arrogance continued over time during Ash’s journey in Kanto, until he challenged Viridian City Leader Giovanni to a Pokémon battle for his last (but unnecessary) badge in “The Battle of the Badge”, where he was defeated by Mewtwo was brutally defeated.

However, this did not change his arrogance. It would take a loss to Melissa later in the Pokémon League before he finally realized he urgently needed to change. After his loss, Gary would become more polite and respectful of others and would no longer show any of his arrogant and extravagant tendencies from the past. This change in attitude would continue to make itself felt during his few appearances during the Johto season.

As Ash’s first and longest rival, it would turn out that his relationship and rivalry with Ash played a crucial role in his evolution as a trainer. Despite his low opinion of Ash, Gary would make sure to demonstrate his superiority in every possible way during his previous appearances. The duo’s dynamic would change fundamentally once Gary was abruptly eliminated at the Indigo Plateau Conference. Gary got humble and stopped being arrogant and antagonistic towards Ash, though he still teased him at times.

At the time of the Silver Conference, Ash and Gary would have a more amicable relationship with each other while maintaining a sense of rivalry. After his loss to Ash, Gary graciously accepted his loss and gave him half the Pokéball, symbolizing the end of their rivalry and the renewal of their friendship. Even after he ended his rivalry with Ash, Gary continued to affect Ash and his further journey and continued to serve as a motivation while helping him at times.

Known Pokémon (in the anime):

File:009Blastoise.pngFile:197Umbreon.pngFile:466Electivire.png
BlastoiseUmbreonElectivire
File:098Krabby.pngFile:034Nidoking.pngFile:031Nidoqueen.png
KrabbyNidokingNidoqueen
File:059Arcanine.pngFile:085Dodrio.pngFile:126Magmar.png
ArcanineDodrioMagmar
File:212Scizor.pngFile:076Golem.pngFile:127Pinsir.png
ScizorGolemPinsir
File:065Alakazam.pngFile:229Houndoom.pngFile:022Fearow.png
AlakazamHoundoomFearow
File:230Kingdra.pngFile:227Skarmory.pngFile:142Aerodactyl.png
KingdraSkarmoryAerodactyl (temporary)

3. Ritchie

Region (Generation): Kanto (I)
Occupation: Pokémon Trainer

Overview

Ritchie (known as Hiroshi in Japan), also spelled Richie, is a recurring character who appeared in the Pokémon anime. He is a Pokémon trainer from Frodomar City and a rival of Ash. He first appeared in “A Friend In Deed” and quickly befriended his Indigo Plateau Conference competitor Ash Ketchum in an elevator. When the elevator went out, he plugged a device into Ash’s Pikachu and let the elevator run again. Ritchie met Ash outside again.

While Team Rocket Trainer had Trainers put in their Poké Balls in a sack, Ritchie discovered their scheme and he and Ash went after them. The two could not catch up with Team Rocket and camped out until the next day. Ritchie saw tire tracks and led them to Team Rocket’s van. As he walked in, he was spotted by Team Rocket and the trio held him and Ash trapped in the van. They escaped using the Poké Balls taken from Team Rocket.

Their friendship led to problems in “Friend or Foe Alike”, as the two competed against each other in the next round of the League. Ritchie was waiting for Ash on the battlefield, though Ash couldn’t get there immediately due to Team Rocket’s interference. Their match began when Ash was finally able to arrive. Ritchie won the match as Ash’s Charizard ultimately refused to fight Sparky and instead took a nap on the battlefield.

Despite losing to Assunta in the next battle, Ritchie made it into the top 8 of the League. Sometime after the League, and when Ash and his friends went to Johto, Ritchie was intrigued by a mysterious Pokémon found in the Whirl Islands that turned out to be Lugia. Ritchie reunited with Ash and friends on the Ogi Isle, starting in “The Mystery is History”. After Butch and Cassidy discovered a baby Lugia with Oliver, they attacked with their Pokémon, and Ritchie and Ash defended the baby Lugia with their Pokémon.

Their actions caused Butch and Cassidy to withdraw until a submarine was later dispatched to catch the child Lugia. In “A Parent Trapped!”, Ritchie told the parent, Lugia, what happened to the child, Lugia, which led to her briefly attacking them. Ritchie and the group later found the child in a cage on a base. Ritchie and Ash fought Butch and Cassidy to stop them. They were badly beaten and their parent, Lugia, was captured.

In “A Promise is a Promise”, Oliver freed Ritchie and the group from the cage. Ritchie and Ash took on Butch, Cassidy, and a few Team Rocket Grunts with their Pokémon and swept through them easily. They went into the room where the child Lugia was being held, but were stopped by Dr. Namba. Ritchie and Ash fought him with their Pikachu. Ritchie was also able to destroy the controller of the rage machine that was causing Dr. Namba’s Electabuzz and defeat the Rocket scientist. With both Lugia reunited, Ritchie remained on the island with Oliver, to continue exploring the Whirl Islands, while Ash and his friends departed to Olivine City.

Known Pokémon (in the anime):

File:Ritchie Sparky.pngFile:005Charmeleon.pngFile:012Butterfree.png
Sparky (Pikachu)Zippo (Charmeleon)Happy (Butterfree)
File:247Pupitar.pngFile:276Taillow.png?
Cruise (Pupitar)Rose (Taillow)TBC

2. Alain

Region (Generation): Kalos (VI)
Occupation: Pokémon Trainer

Overview

Alain (known as Alan in Japan) is a recurring character who appeared in the Pokémon anime. He is a Pokémon Trainer seeking to defeat all Mega-Evolved Pokémon using his Mega Charizard X. He initially appears as the main character of the Mega Evolution Specials side-series, working under the instruction of Lysandre to collect Mega Evolution energy. He later appears in the XY&Z arc of Pokémon the Series: XY as a rival to Ash.

Alain is shown to usually be focused on his goals, yet often exhibits aloof behavior and can wander off in thought. He at first seems to push others away from him, but he helped Mairin capture Flabébé with hints on strategy. He does, however, have a close bond with his Charizard, and has become accustomed to Mairin’s companionship as shown in “Mega Evolution Special II”. Alain doggedly pursues his goal of becoming the strongest, often ignoring the concern of others and inadvertently causing distress and further concern among those that care most for him.

Alain has a tendency to push away the people he wants to protect. During his time working at Professor Sycamore’s lab, Alain was much more cheerful than he is in the present. While he has distanced himself from Professor Sycamore, it is clear he is still concerned about his safety, something that he fully admitted to his former mentor while at the Kalos League. His character took a darker turn at the end of “Mega Evolution Special IV”.

Blaming himself for Chespie’s falling into a comatose state because of his pushing Mairin away, he became disgusted with himself and began obsessively pursuing the completion of Lysandre’s Mega Evolution energy system. His goal thus became to gain strength and complete the system in order to heal Chespie and help Mairin smile again. To meet this end, he worked with Mable and Aliana in their mission to capture Z2, succeeding in distracting Z2 long enough for the Team Flare Scientists to weaken it.

Alain is a good sport, and is shown to take his losses well. When he wins battles, he likewise congratulates his opponents on putting up a good fight, which is how he befriends Ash. When he loses, he doesn’t let it bother him, instead devoting himself to train even harder. By the time of the Kalos League, however, Alain’s attitude had become more serious and cold, as the only thing he really cared about was proving that he was the strongest Trainer.

Although showing brief glimpses of amusement in his battle with Trevor, after thoroughly defeating him, he would resume with his cold and serious demeanor. Likewise, when Remo failed to give him a real challenge, Alain just expressed indifference to the battle and, as in his battle with Trevor, left the arena without congratulating or praising his opponents as he would have in the past, further enforcing how obsessed he had become with gaining strength and battling fiercely competitive battles.

However, despite this darker persona, Alain still showed signs of his old self when talking with Charizard about how he was genuinely looking forward to his battle with Ash in the finals. He would afterwards open up to Professor Sycamore and explain his motivations, reaffirming his desire to become stronger in order to protect his friends or anyone he is closest to in the process.

During his battle with Ash, Alain admitted to himself that Ash’s excited attitude and eagerness to enjoy battles are what made him such a great opponent, and that battling Ash made him truly enjoy the battles themselves, causing him to lose track of time. Alain views Ash not only as a rival, but as a close friend, and he values his friendship with him just like he does for Mairin.

However, their relationship nearly took a turn for the worst when he was forced to let Team Flare take Ash and his Pokémon captive. Because of his betrayal, Alain was too ashamed to even talk to him. However, he eventually realized the error of his ways after hearing Ash explain that he doesn’t care about what he has done in the past or the present.

Also, it seems that he takes some inspiration from Ash, since he competed in the Kalos League because of him. Also, Ash helped him understand what was wrong with his ways, and helped him start over from zero by going on a new journey with Mairin to find his own Key Stone and Mega Stone to call his own.

Known Pokémon (in the anime):

File:006Charizard.pngFile:376Metagross.pngFile:248Tyranitar.png
CharizardMetagrossTyranitar
File:461Weavile.pngFile:625Bisharp.png
WeavileBisharpUnfezant

1. Paul

Region (Generation): Sinnoh (IV)
Occupation: Pokémon Trainer

Overview

Paul (known as Shinji in Japan) is a recurring character who appeared in the Pokémon anime. He is a Pokémon Trainer from Veilstone City who was first seen at the end of “Two Degrees of Separation!”, though his full introduction was in “When Pokémon Worlds Collide!”. He is Ash’s main Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl rival.

Paul’s only concern in his Pokémon is of their strength in battle. He strongly dislikes weak Pokémon and has a tendency of releasing them if they do not meet his expectations. To this effect, Paul always checks new captures with his Pokédex to learn what moves they know and trains the Pokémon he keeps harshly to make them strong. He feels that bonding with Pokémon would only turn them into slackers.

He has a habit of scolding his Pokémon for losing to opponents he feels they could have beaten, especially Chimchar. He has also demonstrated similar behavior to Azumarill, Honchkrow and Ursaring. However, after losing to Brandon, he begins to treat them less harshly; while he still doesn’t show affection, he is not shown scolding his Pokémon for losing like he did previously.

Furthermore, after his loss to Ash in “Battling a Thaw in Relations!”, he thanked his Electivire for its efforts, something he previously did very rarely, even when his Pokémon won. Paul can be very callous and even brutal, especially in battle. As a result, he has been shown to display very little emotion other than an occasional rough smile when dealing with Ash. As revealed in “Lost Leader Strategy!”, Paul occasionally gives some of his Pokémon to his brother Reggie for temporary training and caretaking.

He disagrees with his brother for giving up on being a Pokémon Trainer after failing to get the Brave Symbol from Brandon and feels his brother’s approach and view on this to be wrong. Paul originally felt that Ash was a weak Trainer when they first met. Ash’s very different attitude towards Pokémon also provided much fuel to their rivalry. Despite that, Paul barely recognized Ash as a serious Trainer and a rival, often ignoring his speeches about loving Pokémon.

However, Paul’s first hint of respect for Ash was shown in “A Pyramiding Rage!”, when he was very surprised to hear that Ash had won his own Brave Symbol from Brandon in a Pokémon battle. Notably, after this discovery and his subsequent defeat at the hands of Brandon, Paul would cease his more cruel tendencies, becoming more subdued and focused. While still being at odds with Ash, he would no longer mock his abilities as a Trainer.

His change in attitude was shown after his victories against Ash and Barry, where, despite their losses, he would not dismiss their efforts. After a long, tough battle in Sinnoh’s Pokémon League Conference, Paul ended up losing to Ash, and in doing so, gained respect for him and ended their bitter rivalry. Paul appears to feel indifference to Dawn, showing that he didn’t even bother to remember her name in “A Gruff Act to Follow”.

However, he talks to her about Ash in “Familiarity Breeds Strategy!”, confessing his main problem with Ash is his talk about bringing out a Pokémon’s inner strength through his bond with them and how any Pokémon has the potential to be strong reminds him a lot of Reggie. Paul shows mild respect as well as distaste towards Brock, probably because Brock supports Ash’s view on Pokémon.

Paul does show respect for his elders, such as Professor Rowan, Cynthia, Nurse Joy, and Brandon. While he respects Professor Rowan and Nurse Joy for their wisdom and positions, he only respects Cynthia and Brandon for their abilities as Trainers. He is shown to have no respect for Gym Leaders who he feels are weak. For example, he was shown to respect Roark whom he judged to be a worthy opponent in the end, but he was openly rude and mean to Maylene.

Known Pokémon (in the anime):

File:466Electivire.pngFile:291Ninjask.pngFile:306Aggron.png
ElectivireNinjaskAggron
File:452Drapion.pngFile:478Froslass.png
GastrodonDrapionFroslass

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