10 Best Characters From the Pokémon Anime Who Aren’t In the Games

For many people, the Pokémon anime was their introduction to the franchise. Unlike the games, where the player assumes control of the protagonist, the anime follows Ash Ketcham in his never-ending quest to become a Pokémon master. In his mind, that means battling against as many powerful Pokémon trainers as he can.


Related: The 10 Best Pokémon Movies Ranked By IMDbSince the anime exists to help promote the games, naturally Ash meets in-game gym leaders, champions, and rivals. However, the anime has created plenty of original characters.

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Officer JennyOfficer Jenny in her Black & White outfit

One of the oldest characters and recurring jokes in the anime is Officer Jenny, a name shared among every single female police officer in the Kanto region. Originally they were all part of an extended family, yet somehow more identical Jennys appear in the following region Ash visits. They’re usually accompanied by canine Pokémon, like Growlithe and Manectric.

Related: 10 Most Popular Pokémon From the Original 151, According To RedditRegardless of the region, each Officer Jenny does her best to uphold the law and bring those who would abuse Pokémon to justice. Oftentimes this involves teaming up with Ash and his friends, who are more than happy to help. Other extended identical families have appeared over the years, but Jenny pulls it off best thanks to how active her job forces her to be in the plot.

Delia KetchumDelia Ketchum as she appears in the Pokemon Black & White

No matter how far he goes in his adventures, Ash always makes sure to keep in touch with his mother in Pallet Town. A former student of Professor Oak, she always makes sure that Ash has everything he needs to succeed as a trainer. Whenever he partakes in a Pokémon tournament, she’s watching from home with Oak and her Mr. Mime.

Related: 10 of the Strangest and Most Bizarre PokémonDelia is the supportive parent we all hope to have: encouraging while also not afraid to be direct when needed. A few times in the series, Ash’s friends have even commented that she could be a good trainer if she ever wanted to. Amusingly, Delia has always shared the same voice actor as Ash: Veronica Taylor from 1998 to 2006, and Sarah Natochenny from 2007 to the present day.

Jessie & James

Team Rocket is an organization whose goal is to capture the strongest Pokémon and use them in organized crime. Their most prominent members are Jessie and James, a duo who, with their talking Meowth partner, have made it their life’s goal to steal Ash’s Pikachu. They hope this will impress their boss, Giovani, and promote them.

Related: How the Pink Ranger, Team Rocket, and Jigglypuff Helped Forge My Queer IdentityThe Team Rocket trio has appeared in every season of the anime. This is thanks to their catchy motto, their endless perseverance, and the tragic backstories given to each of them that flesh them out beyond simple comic relief. Jessie and James would appear in Pokémon Yellow due to this popularity, as well as the remakes Let’s Go, PIkachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!

CaseyCasey during her match with Ash in Pokémon Johto Journeys

One of the first people Ash met upon arriving in the Johto region is Casey. Named after the poem,“Mighty Casey At the Bat”, she and her family share a love for the Electabuzz baseball team and won’t hesitate to sing their praise at any chance. She started her Pokémon journey with a Chikorita.

Casey stands out thanks to her youth and enthusiasm, which is compared to Ash when he started. Though she loves her Chikorita, her ultimate goal is to catch a team of yellow and black Pokémon to match her baseball team. She appeared as the main character in a few episodes of the side-story anthologies, Pokémon Chronicles

PaulPaul as he appears in Pokémon Journeys

Ash’s original long-term rival was Gary Oak, but after their final match in the Johto league, Gary decided to become a Pokémon professor like his grandfather, Oak. In Diamond and Pearl, Ash found a new rival in Paul. Unlike Ash, who sees the value in all Pokémon, Paul seemed to only care about having the perfect team.

Related: What Kind of Pokémon Are You Based on Your Zodiac Sign?Paul’s perfectionism stems from watching his older brother lose in the Battle Frontier, which drove him to succeed where his brother failed. However, his methods of reaching that idea of perfectionism drive him to put his Pokémon through rigorous training. Thankfully he toned it down after some important losses, and his final battle with Ash became one of the series’ best.

Pokémon Hunter JPokémon Hunter J commanding her Salamence to attack

While a major theme of the franchise is people and Pokémon living together as friends and companions, there are always those who will seek to abuse others for a profit. In the Pokémon world, that means capturing rare and powerful Pokémon to sell on the black market. Several of these hunters had appeared before the Diamond and Pearl era, but Hunter J easily became the most distinguished.

J quickly made an impact thanks to her advanced technology, including an arm-canon that can petrify targets, and how ruthless and pragmatic she is while on the job. Her signature Pokémon, Salamence, is a fitting choice, as European dragons symbolize power and greed. She is also one of the few characters in the anime who might have died, after her ship was damaged capturing the lake trio of Uxie, Azelf, and Mesprit.

MeyerMeyer with his Ampharos in Pokemon X & Y

Meyer is the father of the Lumios Trainer gym leader, Clemont, and his little sister, Bonnie. While both of them travel with Ash across Kalos, Meyer tends to an electronics shop with his trusty Ampharos partner. However, whenever the city is threatened, he dons the identity of Balziken Mask to defend it.

Most parents to Ash’s companions don’t do much outside of watch from the sidelines, so it’s refreshing that Meyer proves helpful several times through the Kalos arc. The superhero identity allows him to take part in some of the more intense action scenes. When he’s not saving the city, he’s also a good parent who encourages his kids to find their own adventures and happiness.

Alain

First appearing in the Mega Evolution specials of the X&Y anime, Alain is a student of Professor Sycamore who was hired by the businessman Lysandre to study and harness Mega Evolution. To that end, Alain battled as many Mega Pokémon as he could. Later, while pursuing the legendary Pokémon Zygarde, Alain met Ash and the two became friends and rivals.

Alain’s determination and drive to protect those he loves are his strongest traits. He thought that helping Lysandre would protect Sycamore and prevent his own research on Mega Evolution from being used for evil, and he went after Zygarde to save the Chespin of his friend and traveling companion, Marnie. Unfortunately, that same drive to protect causes him to him distance himself from those he loves.

SawyerSawyer from the Pokémon X and Y anime

After picking a Treeko as his starter, Sawyer set off on his own Pokémon journey. He had an influential meeting with the champion of the Hoen region, Steven Stone, which prompted him to leave Hoenn for Kalos. There, he ran into Ash, and despite losing their first battle, became determined to grow strong and win their next.

Sawyer’s growth is one of the best among Ash’s rivals. He starts off eager to write down notes after each loss but soon develops his own style of training based on the various experiences he’s had. His bond with Treeko even becomes strong enough that he was able to Mega Evolve it as a Sceptile.

GohGoh with his Sobble

Ash’s current travelling companion began his journey when he discovered the mythical Pokémon, Mew, at a summer camp. He vowed one day to catch Mew, and so joined up with Ash to travel the world with him. While Ash battles his way to the top, Goh wants to catch one of every Pokémon.

Goh’s enthusiasm for catching Pokémon is infectious, especially to long-term fans who have had to put up with Ash catching only a handful of Pokémon in every region. What’s more, he legitimately cares for all of his catches. Several episodes have Goh looking after his extra Pokémon or helping his main partners, like Scorbunny and Sobble, overcome their individual flaws.

NEXT: 10 Times the Pokémon Anime Broke Our Heart

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