Unova characters

Unova characters DEFAULT
And here we go with the fifth generation of Pokemon games and their human characters. The fifth generation is interesting in that it's one of the two generations to really try to have a more elaborate, longer story and actually explore a bit more themes than just 'evil team tries to take over the world and capture a legendary Pokemon'. The two sets of games in this generation -- Black & White, as well as Black 2 & White 2 -- are interesting in that ever since Kanto and Johto, these are the only games that have ever technically been 'sequels' of each other instead of a remaster. And I feel like the fifth generation is one of the most contentious ones, with so many people swearing up and down that they're the best games Pokemon has ever put out, while some people swear up and down that they are the worst. I very rarely see any ratings that put Generation V in the middle of the pack, it's either considered a masterpiece or an abomination.

And... I don't think fifth generation is my favourite generation of games. My favourite is honestly probably the fourth. But fifth generation does have one of my favourite stories out there, even if it is admittedly a bit heavy-handed at times. As I mentioned before, I played both Sinnoh and Unova games in one huge 'catch up' month before the release of Pokemon XY, and it was also a time where I consumed a lot of information in one go -- the games, the manga, the new Pokemon, a bunch of online Nuzlocke comics... which is why a lot of information about the fifth generation didn't actually stick because there's a fair bit of information overload. I also never actually played any of the Unova games beyond the story modes, so I don't really have much of an opinion on any of its post-game characters. I might have to fix that soon, I could do a little reset of my old White 2 cartridge.

One thing to note about the fifth generation is that Unova is the first region in a mainline Pokemon series (Orre's cool, but it's considered quasi-canon by Nintendo, I feel) that is not set in a Japan-based region. So far, in the past generations, most of the characters are honestly very easily assumed to be ethnically and culturally Japanese other than a few specific exceptions that the games point out (Lt. Surge, Fantina, arguably Phoebe and Dahlia) but with Pokemon itself being an international franchise, it's interesting to have that in the back of our minds. Of course, they're all ultimately drawn in a very anime-esque art style, so it's really hard to note if any of the fair-skinned characters are supposed to be Japanese or Caucasian in ethnicity. It's not really going to matter, honestly, but it's interesting to note that it's with Unova that they're actively trying to be representative of non-Japanese countries.


Hilbert & Hilda
  • Position: Protagonist
  • Japanese Name: Touya & Touka
As usual, I really don't have a whole lot to say about Hilbert, the male protagonist of the first round of games, Black and White. He's wearing a distinctively lighter shade of blue, but the designs of the likes of Red, Ethan, Lucas and Hilbert over here all fall into what's more or less similar designs if you squint. Hilbert has a messier set of hair, I suppose, but I actually feel like he's easily the most forgettable of your playable avatars, I'm sorry. His female counterpart, Hilda, is a bit more memorable to me because while she's kind of a generic anime teenager, at least her black-and-white getup and her shorts make her distinct from all other Pokemon human designs. I'm not sure what the term for those little white dangly-bits on her shorts are, but that also helps to make her a bit more distinctive.


Nate & Rosa
  • Position: Protagonists
  • Japanese Name: Kyohei & Mei
Black 2 and White 2 take place a couple of years after the first round of generation 5 games, so your protagonist is just spoken of by some of the NPC's while you get to pick one of these two new kids to run around Unova. I was actually briefly around when B2/W2 news were starting to break, and I remembered that people were all speculating that B2/W2 will bring back diving or something since Nate and Rosa seem to be wearing some skin-tight bodysuit under their outfits. I mean, Rosa could just be fashionable and be wearing a skirt-over-pants deal, but Nate's definitely wearing some sort of weird bodysuit under that funky-looking jacket. That's really what made these two memorable. As usual, the female protagonist looks a lot more unique than the dude one -- the colour palette for her outfit and the Princess Leia hair-buns make for a far more memorable character design. Although Nate is probably kind of a bit more memorable? He's got hair over his hat and that weird baggy shorts over his maybe-bodysuit.


Cheren
  • Position: Rival (B/W); Gym Leader (B2/W2)
  • Japanese Name: Cheren
In the original Black/White, you get two rivals, and I remember them very vividly! Cheren is your first rival, this geeky kid with glasses and an almost suit-like jacket, and he's going to be the more 'serious' one of your two rivals, being a bit more analytical, picking the starter that's stronger against yours, and generally ends up being the smart, serious one. Black/White tries to have a 'truth vs. ideals' theme going on that I don't think is actually delivered all that well, but Cheren's meant to be your buddy whose worldview revolves around ideals, and his goals to become champion... but when he actually gets questioned about it, he doesn't actually know why he wants to be a champion or something. I do like Cheren.

He shows up in the B2/W2 games a bit older and having found a place for himself, serving as one of the early gym leaders and becomes a Normal-type gym leader, taking over from Lenora from the first set of Unova games. I think Cheren is the first time in the games that we actually get straight-up confirmation that, yes, the early-game gym leaders you fight with a level 10 Patrat don't actually use their 'proper' teams to fight, because when Cheren shows up later to either help you or to show up in the tournaments, he's packing higher-leveled Pokemon and in at least one 'memory link' battle he brings back his Haxorus/Gigalith team from the first games.


Bianca
  • Position: Rival (B/W), Professor's Aide (B2/W2)
  • Japanese Name: Bel
I've always been of the opinion that if given proper pacing and screentime, Bianca's story would actually be pretty heartbreaking and an awesome one to watch. Unfortunately, in the actual Black/White games it feels like a random tacked-on short cutscene that takes less than a minute to process. I'm not sure if the anime or manga actually broached the subject or not. See, where your chosen protagonist is the strong, silent type and Cheren's a smart kid who wants to battle and be a champion, Bianca is... she's a klutzy, clumsy overly-excited girl who constantly trips over herself and is the 'casual' of the bunch, picking the weaker option to your starter and builds an arguably less-competitive team than Cheren. But apparently, despite Bianca being mostly just kind of a ditz all over the place, she's actually hiding a secret -- she's basically running away from home against her stern father's objections to pursue her dream of becoming a Pokemon trainer. It's her 'truth', and I really do like that a lot... but, again, Bianca's story isn't necessarily handled particularly well in the game storyline. Her father eventually mellows out, though.

In B2/W2, Bianca ends up ditching that overly-long pencil skirt for something more practical, and she ends up becoming Professor Juniper's aide! As of the time of writing, in generation 8, it's a bit of a story beat that has been repeated a couple of times over -- even more if you count Gary Oak in the anime and Crystal in the manga -- but while she (and Cheren) aren't quite as memorable in the second set of games, Bianca finding a place for herself in Pokemon academia because she really isn't suited to (and didn't like) the battling stuff in the first set of games is a neat progression for her. Design-wise... I don't have much to say here. First-game Bianca is basically a huge amount of character tropes for a clumsy girl, and the second-game Bianca is a more confident getup. I really do like the combination of orange and green as colours, though.


N
  • Position: Team Plasma King
  • Japanese Name: N
I originally put N a lot lower on this coverage, alongside the rest of Team Plasma, before realizing that he actually fills the function of a rival as well. One of the biggest problems people had with the fifth-generation games is that your protagonist seems to be more or less along for the ride and it's N that is undergoing all of these huge character revelations and development, a perfectly reasonable criticism of the fifth-generation games. I don't think there's a lot of middle ground for N, really. You either really like him because you really like his story (I do) or you really hate him because he rambles on and on and on about over-the-top metaphysical discussion about truths and ideals and his place in the world and stuff. And, again, with better writing I feel like N would've been a lot more tolerable to the fandom as a character. It is Gamefreak's first real big attempt at making a more story-driven narrative, after all.

See, the villains of Black and White are Team Plasma, a cult-like organization that is preaching about Pokemon freedom and how Pokemon would be happier if they are released back into the wild. (A very interesting concept for the franchise that the games don't really delve deep into after introducing the concept) The apparent figurehead of this cult is the enigmatic N, a young man who truly believes that most humans will only abuse Pokemon. Most notably, in the four or five battles that you fight N in, he never really has a permanent team and seems to befriend and use any Pokemon from the nearby area, which is a very cool concept. Of course, as writers, you can't really condemn one of the central concepts of the game, so near the end of the game it turns out that N has been brainwashed and basically raised to be a 'puppet king' by his evil adoptive father Ghetsis, who's just trying to use N's message to put Team Plasma, and therefore Ghetsis, in power. The essential story of N, read through plot synopses or fan art comics (there are a lot of great Nuzlocke comics of the fifth generation that really made N feel great) end up being so interesting... but, again, in the games, N's story is bogged down with unnecessarily long-winded monologues.

N also ends up catching the opposite-game legendary, which I think is the first time the opposite-game legendary is actively involved in the other game? They do this again in Sword and Shield. Which means that the final boss fight against N (which replaces the first champion battle of the game) a lot more epic. In the second round of games, N and his legendary partner ends up basically sort of just being there as a plot device, not really doing a whole ton but show up in plot-relevant scenes. Ultimately, I do think that N's story in the first round of Black/White games is still a very solid one, and while his character design would be absolutely boring without that green hair, at least there's a neat bit of effort that went into him.

N's team, as mentioned above, varies depending on where you meet him since he uses 'buddies' he befriended from the nearby routes... but he also serves as the first champion you fight since he beat up the actual official champion, Alder, to prove his 'truth/ideal' is stronger. N uses the opposite-version mascot legendary against you, but also uses the region's two fosils, his childhood partner Zoroark and a bunch of utterly random boys like Klinklang and Vanniluxe. Again, if the game was a bit less confusing about N's stance on Pokeballs or trainers keeping Pokemon or whatever, I feel like it would've been a much better story.

Also, N's official name, which is absolutely mockable, is "Natural Harmonia Gropius". Yep, he's named "Gropius". I'm not going to make the obvious joke. 


Hugh
  • Position: Rival (B2/W2)
  • Japanese Name: Hyu

In B2/W2, you only get a single rival, Hugh. And I really want to say more about him, but I honestly don't remember a whole ton about him -- he started off his journey basically being an ill-mannered boy who is trying to hunt down his sister's stolen Purrloin, basically going on the closest thing that Pokemon can get to a journey of vengeance. It's an interesting way to bring back a more active, dickish rival that still remains more or less civil with your character. I don't really remember much of him, after being a dick to Team Plasma and helping you against them, I think you just help him get the Purrloin back and he sort of mellows out? Design-wise he's also kind of generic. If not for the clear lack of hat, I would've mistaken him for a first draft for a male protagonist. I know a lot of my friends like Hugh, though, so maybe it's just a matter of me really not paying attention to the plot of B2/W2 enough, or just latching on to Cheren and N a bit better? I still don't think much of him design-wise, though. 


Cilan, Chili, Cress
  • Position: Gym Leader
  • Japanese Name: Dent (Cilan); Pod (Chili); Corn (Cress)
  • Type Specialization: Grass (Cilan); Fire (Chili); Water (Cress)
We're done with the main rivals, and we're starting off with the gym leaders now. In Black and White, the first gym leaders you meet are these three triplets of Striaton City. They're colour-coded waiters, and I feel like there's a significant emphasis in Unova's gym leaders in showing that they have a visual design that really communicates their non-Pokemon-trainer profession. It's not entirely a factor that's new here, but it's something that I felt was pretty heavily emphasized in this generation.

Sadly, though, Cilan, Chili and Cress are a lot less interesting than you would think in having three people hold the position of a gym leader simultaneously. They could've been a triple battle (which Black and White actually has as a feature) or a gauntlet where you have to defeat all three of them without resting or something... but you just fight whichever one of them corresponds to the type that's strong to your starter. They use the corresponding elemental monkey, and I believe that art director Ken Sugimori has gone on record on saying that the waiter triplets and the three elemental monkeys were more or less designed simultaneously. Cilan is most prominent for being one of Ash's traveling companions in the anime's Unova season, most memorable to me by his insistence of being a 'Poke-somellier' who describes every Pokemon with food-review terms. Otherwise these three are extremely forgettable to me -- they are reduced to irrelevant cameos in B2/W2 or the original Black and White's climax, and the most memorable thing about them to me is that there used to be a conspiracy that they're actually Team Plasma's Shadow Triad. (They're not). Ultimately, they could've done something interesting but they just gave us the bare basics for these guys.


Lenora
  • Position: Gym Leader
  • Japanese Name: Aloe
  • Type Specialization: Normal

The second gym leader you face in Black/White is the Normal-type gym leader Lenora. She's an archaeologist and her gym is a museum, and to reach Lenore you actually have to solve a bunch of riddles and clues in her gym. I always thought it's a bit weird that the archaeologist gym leader doesn't actually use Rock or Ground types, and instead uses her pet dog and her pet meerkat, but other than that she's pretty cool. By the time of B2/W2, Lenora has retired from being a gym leader to focus on being an archaeologist, and the role of a Normal-type gym leader is taken up by good ol' Cheren. 

Lenora is great for being one of the first NPCs in the Pokemon franchise to be a bit more diverse in terms of ethnicity, being black instead of maybe-tanned, butended up being the subject of a bit of controversy because her apron (which was intended to be part of her archaeologist getup) ended up sparking concern about her design alluding the mammy stereotype, leading to Lenora getting revise artwork showing her slinging the apron over her shoulder and having the apron edited out of the anime and manga altogether. Okay. 



Burgh
  • Position: Gym Leader
  • Japanese Name: Arty
  • Type Specialization: Bug
Oh, I like Burgh. He's a weirdo, being the gym leader of Castelia City, the 'big city' in Unova, and I do like his colour palette of green and bright pink. Burgh is a huge lover of bug Pokemon, and in Unova it means his team is made up of neat-looking buggies like Whirlipede and Leavanny... and he's also an artist, and I think he uses bug Pokemon as models. I really love that his bugs aren't even conventionally pretty bugs. His gym has these actually gross-looking giant honey walls, and I remembered them looking pretty gross. Like most of the gym leaders in Unova, you actually meet Burgh a couple of times outside of his gym, and you have to either find Burgh when he's looking for inspiration in Pinwheel forest, and all the gym leaders (bar the waiter triplets) actually show up to help you fight Team Plasma at the end. I really don't have much of an opinion on him, but he's neat.


Elesa
  • Position: Gym Leader
  • Japanese Name: Kamitsure
  • Type Specialization: Electric
Here's one of what I think is the fandom's favourite gym leaders from this generation, and unlike the rest of the gym leaders, Elesa actually receives two separate artworks because she radically changed her image between the events of Black/White and Black 2/White 2. Elsa's also a supermodel, which is her huge occupation thing for the game. And... and I like both of her designs! I'm not the most well-versed with women's clothing, but her original B/W design is one of those very flashy, chic outfits that look good on the runway but probably wouldn't be something you see in the street a lot. Which works great for a gym leader whose whole deal is being a model. Elesa's revamped design, though, is a fair bit more practical, I feel, and I do love how different her two styles look -- the original design with the yellow-and-black theme just really screams 'electric', whereas her second outfit is a bit more... derivative, I guess? She's always got the red-and-blue headphones, but her B2/W2 outfit added a lot more reds and blues onto her clothes and shoes. Either way, pretty neat-looking outfits.

I'm not entirely sure what those weird dangly wires on Elesa's first design is supposed to be, though. earphone jacks, I guess? It makes her look vaguely inspired by Electivire, which isn't a Pokemon you can find in Unova. Elesa's the gym leader of Nimbasa City, which is the big entertainment city and Unova's equivalent to Coney Island. And in Black and White, her gym is this insane roller-coaster ride... but in B2/W2 she's torn it all down and converted it into just a regular ol' runway. And while she looks like she's a cool, serious lady, turns out that she's actually the mentor figure that ended up intervening between Bianca and her father and convinces Bianca's dad to give her daughter's dreams a chance, and in an exclusive 'memory' scene in B2/W2, we learn that Elesa's actually trying really hard to change her image between B/W and B2/W2 to be a lot less reserved and like what people expect a lightning-wielding supermodel bombshell to be and end up exuding a new image that's more 'her' and make her career more fun. That's some character development I can get behind, and before doing this and reading up on these 'memory scenes' or whatever, I didn't even know that they had any real reason behind Elesa's change in appearance beyond 'she's a supermodel so of course she has a new outfit'. Okay!


Clay
  • Position: Gym Leader
  • Japanese Name: Yakon
  • Type Specialization: Ground
Y'know, while I did bitch about not really remembering anything about the Striaton triplets, at least their gimmick of being three waiter boys is memorable. I genuinely forgot Clay existed at all. He's a cowboy businessman whose gym has you descend down a bunch of levels into his mine. And... and that's honestly all there is about him, really. He's a bit more active in the events of the game, it seems, and he uses a bunch of ground-type Pokemon like Excadrill and Krokorok to presumably help him in the mining business, but he really is a character and a design that is wholly unmemorable to me, I'm sorry.


Skyla
  • Position: Gym Leader
  • Japanese Name: Huuro
  • Type Specialization: Flying
It's really hard to tell because her outfit doesn't actually emphasize her job as well as the other Unovan leaders, but Skyla's meant to be a pilot. And her gym in Mistralton City is an airport that she converts into this completely over-the-top, unsafe-looking hellscape of giant fans and cannons that shoot you around. Pokemon has had a history of gyms that feel like they would be a massive safety hazard, but among those I feel like Skyla's probably takes the cake. I guess those weird crisscrossing darker blue straps are like, a weird modified flight harness? I'm not sure how pilots work in the Pokemon world, so sure. She's a neat design, although I think her personality boils down to basically being kind of bubbly and energetic. I did remember finding her likable, and she's nowhere as forgettable as Clay. Oh, and her team's full of Flying-types... which I remembered to be a real pushover. Sorry, Skyla, when you're the sixth gym leader and a Flying-type expert, you get compared to Winona and where she's packing a dragon and a metal bird, all you bring are three of the region's weaker birds.


Brycen
  • Position: Gym Leader
  • Japanese Name: Hachiku
  • Type Specialization: Ice
On the surface, Brycen is really boring. He's an ice-type trainer wearing an ice-themed kimono and he has a weird mask. He's the super-stoic type, so his dialogue is stilted and pretty short. He doesn't really have any huge interaction with your character outside of his gym, and his Pokemon team is pretty forgettable, literally just consisting of the most obvious Ice-types in the ice-themed area.

But then come B2/W2, and the barely-noticeable detail that Brycen is a movie star that retired from acting after an injury ends up being expanded a lot. See, turns out that the super-serious, badass-but-boring martial arts master appearance that Brycen exuded in Black and White is actually more of a persona he hones to conceal his 'true identity' from others, something that is implied is because of him feeling really vulnerable and confused after his forced retirement. Which is when he comes back in Black 2/White 2, where Brycen retires from being a gym leader and goes back to acting to make movies in order to demonstraet the bond between humans and their Pokemon. And look at just how utterly hammy his in-game sprites for B2/W2 are! Brycen shows up in the "Poke-Star Studios" feature, which admittedly is one that I didn't play too much of, but I played enough to get to the point of seeing Brycen-Man. He shows up hamming it up, and his "Brycen-Man" role is totally like a superhero movie villain or like something out of Super Sentai. Whatever the case, I really do like the far more subtle yet relatable theme of characters like Bianca, Elesa and Brycen finding a place where they seem to be far, far more comfortable in between the time-skip, something the fifth generation games actually manage to tell a lot better than their supposed 'truth-and-ideals' high-concept principle or whatnot


Drayden
  • Position: Gym Leader
  • Japanese Name: Shaga
  • Type Specialization: Dragon
In order to make the two competing games a bit more different, the eighth city in the original Black/White is actually different. Sure, it's both called 'Opelucid City' and all the NPC's are the same, but depending on the version of the game you play, Opelucid City is either going to be a very technological-driven, futuristic city or a homely, traditional one. The gym leaders are also different, although unlike its successors, Black/White's just clearly testing the waters since Drayden and Iris's actual teams are the same.

You face off against Drayden as your final gym leader if you play Pokemon Black, and he's an old dude in a business suit with suspenders, but you never really notice all of that because of that mustache. Seriously, I can't ever take that trap-jaw mustache seriously, and whether it's the anime or the manga, that mustache is hilarious! It's not until the Pokemon Generations specials that Drayden's mustache actually ends up looking badass instead of goofy. Personality wise he's a likable badass old grandpa, particularly in Black 2/White 2 where he's the Opelucid gym leader regardless of which version you play, and being an old dragon master he ends up fighting Neo Team Plasma a lot in his city and giving a bunch of lore about the legendary dragon-type Kyurem.


Iris
  • Position: Gym Leader (B/W); Champion (B2/W2)
  • Japanese Name: Iris
  • Type Specialization: Dragon
In White, you fight Drayden's granddaughter Iris instead! Which isn't really that different from a game-play perspective, since both Drayden and Iris had the exact same Fraxure/Druddigon/Haxorus team, but you actually do meet Iris a lot earlier, around the time you were mucking around Burgh's city, and Iris ends up helping you and Bianca fight one of Team Plasma's dastardly plots. She's also extremely prominent in the anime where she joins up with Ash as one of his companions, and she has a cute Axew that 'nests' inside that huge hair of hers. I'm not sure how I feel about that aspect of her character. Again, it's neat to see some characters that are a bit more diverse in these games.

In Black 2/White 2, Iris had defeated the reigning champion Alder at some point between the games and has became a champion, and has gone full-on in making herself a pretty elaborate princess outfit. Apparently her grandpa Drayden picked it out for her, which I think is a lot funnier. I also think her hair looks a lot more sensible in this artwork too. I felt like it's kind of hilarious considering that the very next generation would include Fairy-types as the nemesis of Dragon-types, but even without that Iris has the whole storybook princess-and-dragons thing going on, except instead of a princess being held hostage by dragons Iris is the queen of her own dragon army.

I really didn't think much of Iris, really, in the first set of games, beyond being a likable supporting character, but I really like her team in B2/W2! She's still a Dragon-type trainer, and her team is still comprised of all the most powerful non-legendary dragons in Unova -- Hydreigon, Haxorus and Druddigon -- but the rest of her team are comprised of Pokemon that vaguely look draconic but are not dragon-types. The metal godzilla Aggron, and the dinosaur-based Archeops and Lapras. Very Generation I Lance, I approve! Iris's anime counterpart, by virtue of being a main character in the show, has this whole storyline of trying to work into being good enough to meet the standards expected of her as the Opelucid gym's successor, which sounds interesting, but I didn't really watch enough of the Best Wishes era of the anime.


Roxie
  • Position: Gym Leader
  • Japanese Name: Homika
  • Type Specialization: Poison
Aw yiss Roxie! I loved Roxie. So in Black 2 and White 2, instead of starting in a pathway similar to the original Unova games, you start off in a completely different part of Unova, working Unova in a bit of a different direction, which is something that I actually found is absolutely cool and isn't something that has ever been done in the other 'enhanced editions' of the other Pokemon games. So you end up fighting Cheren first, and then you go into Virbank City and you fight Roxie, who is this little teenage kid who dresses in loud neon blue and pink, has an underground grunge band and you fight in the stage of said band. And I wouldn't have associated 'loud music' with poison-types, but it's just something that really fit, aesthetically if not thematically. Roxie's Pokemon are Koffing and Whirlipede (and in rematches, she's associated a lot with Garbodor as well) and I really can't articulate why a roly-poly centipede and a grinning gas-bag fits so well with a teenage punk rock star, but they do. Also, she has this hilarious little themeplaying in the background of her gym. It's glorious.

I also actually like Roxie's little 'quest' in the game that you have to do to progress. See, Roxie's arguing a lot with her dad when you meet her in Virbank City, because one of them is very, very angry at the other's job. Is it the dad being angry that his little girl is being a rockstar, a stereotypically frowned-upon job by traditional parents? Nope, it's actually Roxie that's giving her father an earful because her father, who's the captain of the boat that's supposed to take you to the mainland, is shirking his duties to try and audition a role as a movie star, and Roxie's angry that her dad's childish attempt at trying to 'double dip' like her is causing problems for the people of Virbank.


Marlon
  • Position: Gym Leader
  • Japanese Name: Shizui
  • Type Specialization: Water
Marlon is the final gym leader you face in Black 2/White 2, the gym leader of Humilau City. (The order goes Cheren-Roxie-Burgh-Elesa-Clay-Skyla-Drayden-Marlon in B2/W2) And the whole ponit of his character? He's such an airhead that he genuinely doesn't realize what's going on in the rest of Unova. And in B2/W2, the bad guy team is flying around in their flying ship, using their legendary-pokemon-powered giant ice cannon to freeze cities and cause havoc in the streets. Marlon doesn't really understand what's going on, and is baffled on whether Team Plasma are 'bad people' when they do come knocking on Humilau City. He's like, so carefree that even when he helps you to find Team Plasma's frigate, he shrugs it and buggers off because it's 'not his style' to judge whether people are bad or not. Okay, then. I guess he's supposed to be modeled after some sort of like, crab or clam-hunting fisherman? Sure. I didn't really care for him that much, and his boss fight is extremely easy for an eighth gym leader, but I did really like just how airheaded he is.


Shauntal
  • Position: Elite Four
  • Japanese Name: Shikimi
  • Type Specialization: Ghost

And here we are with Unova's Elite Four. Black/White is the first Elite Four where instead of a row of four rooms, you end up in a 'lobby' and you can challenge them in any order you want. I did find that Unova's Elite Four is probably one of my favourite ones to fight, due to the fun, rather spooky typings showcased in their members. The first one we're going to be talking about is Shauntal, the Ghost-type Elite Four, and the third Ghost-type Elite Four member we've seen after Agatha and Phoebe. Agatha was a stereotypical old hag and Phoebe was a surprisingly-not-what-you-expect hula dancer, and Shauntal's... one that's not as stereotypical as Agatha, but still very much themed in Ghost-types. She's got a vaguely Goth-inspired outfit, wears purples and blacks all over, looks like Velma Dinkley's cousin, and her profession as a writer even sort of fits with a 'spooky' theme, even if it's not strictly horror that she's writing. Unova's got a very fun selection of ghost-types, and honestly, Jellicent, Golurk, Cofagrigus and Chandelure all share a similar quality of looking spooky and goofy at the same time, exactly like Shauntal. 

I really love it that every time you face her, she's reading and writing a random excerpt from her  novels, which are written with some obviously over-the-top descriptions and stuff... and later on, we realize that Shauntal's actually writing novels about her friends and other famous people in Pokemon, like writing a James Bond style novel about Looker, a manly tragedy about Alder, and the conspiracy theory behind why Agatha and Bertha are two old women that looks so similar... God dang, Shauntal's a fanfiction writer. That's hilarious. 



Marshal
  • Position: Elite Four
  • Japanese Name: Renbu
  • Type Specialization: Fighting

Sadly, the Fighting-type Elite Four is... just another martial arts dude. Marshal is easily the most interesting out of the martial arts dude training martial arts Pokemon, by simple virtue that he's got real baggy pants and a very fun orange-and-blue colour vibe going on. It's a bit hard to tell since his collar's obscuring it, but Marshal's even got blue lipstick on! I'm not even sure if this appearance is supposed to be a homage to a certain Pokemon or not. Marshal's otherwise pretty boring, though, and his team of Fighting-pokemon are also boring (doesn't help that I'm not the biggest fan of Unova's Fighting-types). He's Alder's student, apparently, and several lines of dialogue in the games compares Marshal with Cheren because they are both obsessed with the search for power, but nothing really comes out of it. 


Grimsley
  • Position: Elite Four
  • Japanese Name: Giima
  • Type Specialization: Dark
The Dark-type gym leader is an absolutely stunning pretty-boy in a vaguely Dracula-esque outfit, with a lot of sharp hair bits and stuff. A very cool looking design, and while at this point a cool design is a dime a dozen, Grimsley also comes with an interesting backstory -- he's the son of a distinguished family that fell into ruin, and ended up developing a gambling addiction (which I don't think actually made it into the English localizations) before bouncing back up and ending up exuding this 'dark pretty-boy' aura. He uses Dark-type Pokemon, and while I didn't really pay too much attention to him when I played through generation 5, he does talk a bit about how 'a win is a win, a loss is a loss' no matter how you achieve it. Grimsley shows up two generations later in Alola, where he ditched his Castlevania cosplay for a kimono and he tosses coins and acts like a mysterious dude that helps you at one point in your journey in Sun and Moon. He's neat, but I really don't have much more to say about her.


Caitlin
  • Position: Elite Four
  • Japanese Name: Cattleya
  • Type Specialization: Psychic
Caitlin, though, is far, far more memorable! See, because unlike the rest of the characters in this game, Caitlin debuted a generation earlier! Remember Sinnoh's Battle Frontier? Where one of the facilities is a mansion where a rich, posh butler battled for you because the lady of the mansion can't be bothered to battle with mere peasants? Lady Caitlin here is that lady! And while in Sinnoh, she's reserved and quiet and had to rely on Darach to battle for her because she's afraid that her psychic powers will "erupt" if she gets angry after losing a battle. By the time Black/White rolls around Caitlin's grown into an extremely powerful psychic, having honed her skills in Unova. Again, it fits with the whole 'find your true self' theme that I feel is running through a lot of these characters.

I do really like Caitlin's dialogue, too. She doesn't suddenly turn out to be super-sweet and super-nice, and there's still a streak of upper-class twit snobbiness by calling you 'uncouth' or 'impudent' and hmph-ing all over the place, but she's otherwise very polite and accepts her loss with grace. Her design is also pretty hilariously over-the-top, with her having a dress, one of those poncho-capes or whatever... and then her hair, held up by those psychic butterfly hair-clips, acts as a larger poncho-cape.


Alder
  • Position: Champion
  • Japanese Name: Adeku
  • Type Specialization: N/A
I did remember not thinking too much about Alder when I first played through the game. He's a dude with a giant spiky hairdo, a very distinctive design and is clearly someone important, but mostly he just acts like a mentor to your character and Cheren. Basically, Alder is a carefree champion who is absolutely powerful, but frowns at the young Cheren and his own student Marshal's obsession with strength for strength's sake, and tells them to also enjoy the journey and the experience of becoming a trainer. Because, well, the uber-powerful Alder... had his first partner Pokemon die when he was a lot younger, with Alder blaming their 'mad pursuit of strength' for his partner's death... and he's clearly had his whole life-view turned around after that. It's not something that the game actually brings up all the time, and I think they only say it once or twice, but it really ends up giving Alder's words to Cheren and the like a lot more oomph. It's just such a shame that Alder's ultimate role in the story is basically to be a decoy champion -- in your first very story-driven run through the Elite Four, you go through the Elite Four... but turns out that Team Plasma has already taken over, Alder's been defeated, and you fight N instead, with Alder only really being available on rematches. That's a neat thing from a gameplay perspective.

I've also always found it interesting that while Alder doesn't have a type specialization per se, the most common type among his team is bug. His ace Pokemon (and the one he borrows the design of his hair from) is the mighty Volcarona (the offspring of his original, now-deceased Volcarona), he has the pair of evolves-when-traded bugs Escavalier and Accelgor... then the rest of his team is kind of random. Bouffalant and Druddigon are kinda menacing-looking single-stages, but then he's got the absolutely hilarious-looking Vanilluxe. In B2/W2, he swaps out Druddigon and Vanilluxe for Braviary and Conkeldurr. There's no real rhyme or reason to Alder's team, and I do like that -- I guess he's just really fighting with the Pokemon he likes and befriends the best. Ultimately, I didn't think I would have much to say about Alder, but turns out that I really did like him a fair bit. I just never really thought about him that much.


Professor Aurea Juniper & Cedric Juniper
  • Position: Pokemon Professor
  • Japanese Name: Araragi-hakase

Good lord, have we just finished the gym leaders and Elite Four? I didn't think I would have this much to say about Unova's characters, which goes to show that there's actually a fair bit about them, huh? I... I really don't have much to say about the actual regional professors. Which, to be fair, Itend to not really have much to say about any of them, but Professor Juniper is our first lady professor! She's not the only professor in Unova, because her dad, Cedric Juniper, also shows up a bit later in the story. Aurea is basically the Professor Juniper as far as the game is concerned, but otherwise I didn't really find the two of them particularly memorable. The game tosses us into the stories of Cheren, Bianca, N and the rest of the cast almost immediately that the professor basically sort of fizzles into the background. 

Team Plasma
And here we are with the evil team. Team Plasma, on paper (and in the manga, and in some fanfiction), is an amazing concept. We've always joked about PETA and Pokemon and the questionable ease that trainers can essentially 'enslave' a Pokemon. And Team Plasma's whole credo, of course, is to free Pokemonkind and humankind, because humans are terrible and stuff. And done well, they might actually be something that causes some interesting thought-provoking stories. But... in Black and White, a vast majority of Team Plasma's antics are just general stealing and hoodlum activity that they do in the name of 'liberation', which I suppose might be something that's meant to be a critique of a cult that thinks it's working for a higher cause. The thing is, the actual values posited by Team Plasma is actually intriguing and under a better writing team, the story of Team Plasma and N could actually be something interesting.

Of course, the whole thing gets bogged down with the Plasma grunts being generic thugs; N being rambling; and concept between Pokemon liberation and the bizarre cult-knights-sages-and-kings fantasy smorgasbord of random concepts end up making Team Plasma just feel like it's... kinda there. They're certainly memorable, and I appreciate them trying to give Plasma its own identity, but ultimately I feel like they could've done a lot more to make Team Plasma's story feel a bit more fleshed out. And, of course, any sort of intelligent debate about the ethics of capturing Pokemon ends when turns out that, hey, stop asking the hard questions, everything from the formation of Team Plasma and the creation of N as this empath has been part of Ghetsis's plans to steal the legendary dragon and rule Unova as king, cause mwa-ha-ha-evil.

In Black 2/White 2, the knight-outfit Team Plasma are led by N and Sage Rood and there's basicalyl this huge 'civil war' ting where the knight-uniform Team Plasma are actually trying to redeem themselves after realizing that their method of 'steal them to free them' is wrong. I've always been neutral about Team Plasma as a whole -- I technically do like N's story of being fooled by his father figure who paints him up as a 'chosen one' and he gathers a cult and all that jazz, but the actual story of Team Plasma itself is kinda boring.

"Neo" Team Plasma
And in Black 2/White 2, the villains are still Team Plasma, but instead of dressing in huge, chunky knight outfits, they are like these ninja-pirates that run around in bodysuits, steal Pokemon, ride a giant flying metal ship and also have those mouth-covering scarves.

And I do mean ninja, because the Shadow Triad (third gif from the left, called "Dark Trinity" in Japan) are the replacements of the 'admins' of previous games. The Shadow Triad showed up in Black and White as basically a way for the game to railroad your character into meeting N or Ghetsis, basically acting as N's bodyguards-cum-handlers, allowing the charismatic N to spread the good word of Team Plasma while actually being loyal to Ghetsis. The Shadow Triad, surprisingly, are the most associated with Pawniard and Bisharp, and only sometimes use ninja-themed Pokemon like Absol and Accelgor. Neo Team Plasma is a sleek team, but ultimately they're basically reduced to generic villains.


Ghetsis
  • Position: Team Plasma Leader
  • Japanese Name: Gechisu (G-Cis)

And here's Ghetsis, the true big bad of the game. You initially meet Ghetsis as one of the random 'Seven Sages', old men that pretend to be priests of the cult that exists to help out the new king N... but hey, turns out that Ghetsis and his totally unique-looking combination of green hair and cyborg monocle is far more imporant than the other sages, who share the same model. Who knew? Ghetsis is N's adoptive father, picking him up when he realized the kid had an impeccable way with Pokemon and realizes that he can be a figurehead for his cult. Again, turns out that everything Team Plasma did in Black and White is all due to his designs, not to make N king or whatever, but because he's a bad guy who wants to rule everyone by being the only person with Pokemon in Unova. Ambitious... but also kinda dumb. Still, I'm not really going to complain since it's ultimately kind of a solid story, and maybe if/when I get to finishing the Adventures manga's take on the fifth generation, I might have different opinions. He serves as the true final boss of the first Black/White game, using a small army of creepy-looking, fully-evolved Pokemon with his ace being a Hydreigon. 

And then he is revealed to be the mastermind of Black 2/White 2's story, where he plans to combine Kyurem and either Reshiram or Zekrom into this abomination form that he will use as a superweapon to freeze all of Unova. He's... he's not particularly interesting now that the 'evil adoptive dad' twist has been done and played with. An interesting concept, but not one I particularly am fond of. In general I do think that while Black/White does have pacing and monologue problems, it has a solid story it wants to tell whreeas B2/W2 feels a bit more messy and simplified. 

What I am fond of, though, is Ghetsis's look. His original look with that absolutely wacky cloak with eyeballs and the fancy orange-and-purple decals... plus he's got a ring of castle walls around his shoulders. He literally fancies himself a castle! And in B2/W2, his slimmer black cloak is very cool, with those eye designs all over it, and he has a cane-sword for some reason. Very shonen anime main villain with his design. I like him. 


The Seven Sages: Rood, Zinzolin, Gorm, Bronius, Ryoku, Giallo

  • Position: Team Plasma Seven Sages
  • Japanese Name: Rood (Rood), Vio (Zinzolin), Azula (Gorm), Sumra (Bronius), Ryokushi (Ryoku), Giallo (Giallo)

One thing I feel that could've made this bit better would be making the Seven Sages actual minibosses you fight. You meet all seven of them through your journey as they spearhead different Team Plasma efforts, but they all have the same model with different colours , none of them really fight you, and they all spout the same bullshit that, in this amount of quantity, ends up making Black/White's script extra-cumbersome. Maybe cutting and trimming these down into a single character, or giving most of their dialogue to N and Ghetsis, would've worked a lot better. And, hey, maybe making them boss fights? Make them like an analogue of the gym leaders? They could've been neat, but ultimately they're forgettable, and are basically a fetch quest for the post-game.

In B2/W2, Sage Rood is notable for being the only one to hang out with N's faction of reformed Team Plasma, and he fights you in a mock battle before giving you a Zorua. Zinzolin, meanwhile, ends up being a recurring villain that's basically the main field commander of Neo Team Plasma, and is so much more memorable because he keeps showing up through the game. Hilariously, in B/W, Zinzolin was nearly killed when he got locked in an ice room, but apparently in B2/W2 he has truly embraced iciness and uses a small army of Cryogonals to fight. Okay. 


Anthea & Concordia
  • Position: Team Plasma
  • Japanese Name: Verbena & Helena
Ehhhh. They are two ladies, I guess? They're N's caretakers and surrogate sisters or moms or something, and they look peaceful and stuff, but ultimately they're just there as the token good guys in N's life. I kinda think they're a bit redundant to the plot, really.

Colress
  • Position: Team Plasma
  • Japanese Name: Achroma

I like Colress more than I probably should. He's a weird scientist who shows up in Black 2/White 2, seemingly in a role that's comparable to someone like Charon -- a scientist who uses SCIENCE! to further Team Plasma's ambitions because he's evil. He's basically the fake figurehead of Neo Team Plasma, until it's revealed that Ghetsis is still around and calling the shots, and then it's revealed that Colress doesn't give a shit about Ghetsis (who he thinks is a dick) and just wants to SCIENCE! and ends up helping your protagonist. Again, the idea of a character that's "colourless" or "achromatic" on the sliding scale of morality is an interesting one, but Colress ends up coming off as basically changing sides only when the plot wants him to. Which is kind of what he is. At least his bizarre 'internet explorer logo gone wild' hairdo is probably one of the most memorable designs in Pokemon. 

In a neat bit of character progression, Colress shows up in the Generation VII games in Alola, equipped with a particularly hilariously uncomfortable-looking computer-wrist-gauntlets. While his dialogue was a bit more ambivalent in B2/W2, Colress would tell your character in Alola that he realizes that the true source of power is the bond between Pokemon and humans... and becasue, hey, Z-moves and Mega Evolution and friendship evolutions actually exist in the Pokemon world, as cheesy as it is, it's kind of true. Colress basically ends up being reduced to a smart ally that loses a lot of his morally-ambiguous allegiance, but the writing's a fair bit better and Colress in Generation VII comes off as a lot more fun as an ex-villain who has seen the light. And, well, his memorable design doesn't hurt either. 

Colress sort of specializes in Steel-types, being the most associated with the Magnemite, Klink and Beldum lines... but it's more accurate to say that he's basically using a sci-fi team, since the rest of his Pokemon would include the likes of Rotom, Beheeyem, the Porygon line, Alolan Muk and basically anything that has to do with artificial or sci-fi themes. That's cool.  


Fennel
  • Position: Dream World Researcher
  • Japanese Name: Makomo
Again, anyone who gets official art is fair game. I don't have much to say about Fennel, you help her out in researching the Munna in a 'dream yard', and she's essentially your entry-way to generation 5's attempt at huge internet connectivity, the Dream World. They actually tried to rationalize what, in-universe, the internet dimension is, that's cute. Fennel's a bit of a scatterbrain, I think.


Ingo & Emmet
  • Position: Battle Train Subway Bosses
  • Japanese Name: Nobori & Kudari

I remember seeing these two in the manga and going 'oh, huh, they made up new characters for the manga' before looking them up and finding out that, nope, Ingo and Emmet are actual characters in the game, and the bosses of the 'Battle Train', Unova's answer to the various Battle Towers in other games. These twins, the Subway Bosses Ingo and Emmet, have generic 'I will battle, let's have a good time, oh you beat me, that's neat' lines. Their design are vaguely based on train conductors, although I'm not sure train conductors have their coats flay out into this weird shape that Ingo and Emmet has. Their faces are also weird, almost... robotic? Purposefully simple? 

Their team basically consists of mostly powerful Pokemon found in Unova, although briefly glancing at their team tey seem to have a fondness for Pokemon that are Steel-type and Electric-type (Excadrill, Durant, Eelektross, Galvantula), which I guess makes sense on a train. Of course, one of the most often repeat members of their party is good ol' Klinklang, which makes so much sense on a train. Garbodor shows up often, too, so I'm just going to assume the people on the Battle Train are filthy. This is an American subway, after all. 


Benga
  • Position: Bonus Boss
  • Japanese Name: Banjiro

This dude is Alder's grandkid, and he's the boss of the Battle Tower (or Treehollow, depending on your version), a different Battle Tower facility exclusive to Black 2/White 2. He looks a bit like a punk and I thought he's going to be a generic, annoying hot-head, but he seems like a pretty chill guy. He's basically a small Alder, except instead of a huge traveling Jedi poncho, Benga has a bunch of wooden sticks strapped to his back. He's training, see. It's not obvious from his design, but he actually seems to be a Dragon-type specialist. His team differs between Black 2 and White 2, but he always has a Volcarona (like his dad), a legendary dragon (either Latias or Latios) and a pseudo-legendary (either Dragonite or Garchomp). And when you win, he gives you a shiny baby dragon pseudo-legendary. The only thing he owns that's not a dragon is just the Volcarona, and that's because of his daddy. Not a whole ton to say here other than talking about his team, I honestly get the feeling that they shunted Benga in at the last minute.

That's it for Unova. And... and there's a lot to unpack here. I feel like at its core, Unova probably has one of the strongest stories in a main-line Pokemon game. But the rambling, padded-out Black/White ended up with a story that doesn't live up to its full potential, while B2/W2, while great at showing us what happened to our characters from the first Unova games after a couple of years, didn't quite have a solid story to stand behind. I do find myself really appreciating generation 5 a lot more despite not really liking them when they first came out, and a good chunk of it has to do with really sitting down and appreciating the characters a bit more. Next up, though... generation 6, and I have a feeling that my reactions there will kind of be the opposite of what I had in generation 4 and 5. We'll see.

More trainer classes! I, uh, have to eat my words from the previous part, because there's a lot of new classes in Generation V. A lot of them, I feel, are added in to sell the vibe of the more metropolitan Unova, as well as some tropes that are a bit more American than Japanese, I suppose. 

The Backpacker (Bakkupakka) is one that made a lot of reappearances in subsequent generations, and it's actually ended up as a neat way for the Generation VII and VIII games to have an excuse to have tourists from other regions show up and either fight with or offer to trade Pokemon from other regions. In Unova, the Backpackers are just sort of there because, well, backpacking is something that's a bit more common in the Western world, I believe. they were kind of forgettable before, but in later generations they basically become an excuse or them to have characters show up with Pokemon from other regions. 

The Preschooler (Enji; Kindergarten Kid) is here because... Youngsters aren't young enough, I guess? It's surprising that they actually had a fair amount of mileage out of this, with the Preschooler showing up in all but the latest generation. They basically replace the Poke Kids and usually use unevolved or baby Pokemon. Makes sense. I really like the sixth generation of Preschoolers running around with little Pokemon dolls of their own, that's cute. 

I'm going to group the Clerk / Office Worker (Bijinseuman / OL; Businessman / Office Lady) together. A lot of the Pokemon trainer classes has always been associated with their job, but, again, in Unova I feel like they're just looking down through a list of jobs in a children's 'My First Guide to Jobs' book and checking every single one of them off the list. Clerk and Office Worker are probably the most relatable one, though. I really like how funky the Galarian versions of them behave, and I do like the bit of subversion where it's the middle-aged dude that's doing a selfie in his pose.  This is another trainer class that's basically just 'whatever we want to program the team as', I think. 

Again, we have more jobs. The Janitor (Seisoin; Cleaner) is neat because it has a very themed pool of Pokemon it draws from. Either it's Pokemon that's obsessed with cleaning (Minccino, Trubbish, Alolan Grimer) or Pokemon that can survive the toxic wastes of cleaning (Trubbish and Grimer again; Koffing). I do really like it when there's thought put into these, and, well, in a world where snakes can spit acid and piles of ambulatory sludge exist, I guess the Janitors have to be prepared when someone's Snorlax or Gulpin has an accident, huh? 

Could you guess that there's a sports stadium in Unova? Because, hey, you can fight the Hoopster (Basuke Senshu; Basketball Player), who is a basketball. All the athletes are daily-respawning trainers in Nimbasa's courts, and they use completely random Pokemon. Of course the basketball is red and white. 

Baseball represent with the Infielder (Yakyu Senshu; Baseball Player), who of course is holding a Pokeball. 

Oh, hey, a sport I actually play, the Smasher (Tenisu Pureiya; Tennis Player) plays tennis! With a Pokeball. 

To not offend the international market, the translators cleverly didn't specify 'football' or 'soccer' with the Striker (Sakka Senshu; Soccer Player). Who, of course, is using a Pokeball-themed ball. 

And American Football is represented with the Linebacker (Futubora; Footballer)... and it's hard to tell, but the ball is also Pokeball-coloured. I am very unenthused with sports in real life, so I really have nothing to say here. It's nice to see new sprites, though. 

Oh yeah, we also have Backers (Fan Kurabu; Fan Club). Can I say how nice it is to have it not just be reduced to nothing but female cheerleaders? There are plenty of dudes that also cheer their favourites in the sports field. 

Oh yeah, we have  the Dancer (Dansa). It's not a hard-and-fast rule, but in Unova and Alola especially, they tend to have Pokemon that can be linked to dancing in some way. I do like that they're sort of tailored to the region they show up in. A little stereotypical, perhaps, but it's still neat to get the vibe of the region. 

Unova's Musician (Myujishan) is boring. Galar's musician, on the other hand, looks so over-the-top silly, like someone who's perhaps trying a bit too hard to make it in the scene. He's confident, though, and I feel like I should cheer him on!

Speaking of professions... we've got the Doctor (Dokuta)! Doctors will beat up your Pokemon, too, but if you beat them, they'll become a free healing station for the long route. They make a glorious return in Sword and Shield, with the male doctor looking extremely dead-man-walking which is accurate to real-life doctors. And the female doctor looks absolutely refreshed and on-point, which... is also accurate to some real-life doctors. 

The Nurse (Nasu) basically fits the same role a the Doctor does, using healing Pokemon (mostly Audino) and offering healing services after you've bested her. Hey, it took 5 generations but finally you can fight Nurse Joy!

The Pilot (Pairotto) is yet another job-turned-trainer. Presumably these are Skyla's gym grunts? I do not remember them at all. 

And we have the Depot Agent, later known as Rail Staff (Tetsudoin; Railroad Staff). I certainly don't remember fighting them in Sword and Shield, but they show up there. Makes sense, of course, since Galar and Unova both have trains. 

Aaaare we done yet? We're almost done. Lots of new sprites for new jobs. We've got the Nursery Aide (Hoikushi; Kindergarten Teacher), to round up those preschoolers running around causing a ruckus. Unfortunately, they mostly just use random pink-blob Pokemon and only one of them uses Leavanny. Boo!

More jobs! The Baker (Bekari) gives you like free healing items after you beat her, I believe. 

The Harlequin (Kuraun; Clown) is not to be confused with last generation's Clown (Pierrot in Japanese versions). They are part of a side-quest in Castelia City where you have to track them down to get... something. A HM or a Pokenav equivalent or something. And with that we're done. A lot of Unova's classes don't make it outside the DS era, mostly because... well, Generation VI had to do a lot of work converting assets into 3D, making new Pokemon, trainer and environment models, and for the most part this will mean a significant decrease in the trainer classes. Which is good for me, because the actual characters will get a bit more fleshed out from here on out.

Sours: http://blackjackrants.blogspot.com/2020/07/reviewing-pokemons-human-characters_6.html

Pokémon: The 10 Best Black & White Characters, Ranked

Pokémon Black and White was a series that was loved by many fans because of its complete reboot of the franchise and how many Pokémon it introduced. However, sometimes fans overlook all the great characters that were present in generation 5 because of other things that overshadow them, such as all of the new Pokémon and Unova region itself. There are some fascinating characters from generation 5 that added new dynamics to the franchise in the way that players interacted with other people.

RELATED: Pokémon: The 10 Smartest Psychic-Types

This list will rank every major character from generation 5 and how they fare against each other in terms of personality. Read on further to see the best characters from Pokémon Black and White ranked by personality and how popular they were.

10 Drayden

Drayden was the final gym leader for players to face in Pokémon Black and White. Drayden is very difficult to defeat and raises Dragon-type Pokémon and could easily take down a player that wasn't prepared with either Ice or Dragon-type Pokémon by their side.

Drayden's personality was very stern and angry in appearance, but he seems to have a good heart if the player gets to know him better. Because of this enjoyable gym battle and his unique personality, Drayden deserves a spot on this list.

9 Cilan

Cilan was a hit-or-miss character for many fans of the franchise because of his food metaphors and other gimmicks. He was present in the games but only for a brief battle. Cilan's main cameo in the franchise was within the anime.

RELATED: Pokémon: The 10 Scariest Psychic-Types

Although many fans found him somewhat annoying, Cilan added a nice substitute for Brock and helped continue on the franchise after losing such a major character. Ash also seems to love this character, which is another reason why he gets a spot on this list.

8 Trip

Trip provided a new rival for Ash within the anime, and he helped replace Paul, who was a very good rival for Ash in the Diamond and Pearl anime. Although Trip wasn't quite as intense as Paul in terms of Pokémon training, he had the same general personality and would be considered the opposite of Ash.

Trip also had a bunch of strong Pokémon that were fun to watch on screen, such as Serperior, which is a great reason that he needs to be on this list!

7 Bianca

Bianca wasn't just a unique character; she was also extremely funny. She was present in both the video games and the anime, and her personality was very similar between the two.

RELATED: Pokémon: Which Electric-Type You Are Based On Your Zodiac

Bianca would show up at the most satirical moments in the Black and White anime, and she acted as the player's friend within the games. It would be great if Bianca came back and battled trainers in a future generation or maybe even as a gym leader in the Unova region.

6 Professor Juniper

Professor Juniper provided a fresh outlook on the ever-present professor characters that fans meet at the beginning of every generation. She was the first female professor, which helped add some diversity to the professor circle, and although she was quite different from the other ones, the developers still kept her name based off of a plant.

It would be nice for professor Juniper to come back in the future because fans seemed to respond to her appearance in both the anime and video games very well. Juniper was the type of professor that would always have a smile on her face and be helpful towards the trainers that she was mentoring!

5 Iris

Iris was present in both the anime as one of Ash's traveling companions and in the video games as a major character for players to battle. In Pokémon Black and White 2, Iris was even the champion of the entire Unova region, and that gave her major fame among the Pokémon fan base.

RELATED: 10 Fighting-Type Pokémon That Make No Sense

Iris was one of Ash's traveling companions in the 4th generation and although some fans found her annoying because of her signature catchphrase "You're such a kid!" she added a different dynamic because of her goal to become the strongest Dragon-type trainer of all time!

4 Ghetsis

Ghetsis was the leader of the evil team in Unova, and players got to meet him multiple times if they finished the games. Being the Giovanni of another region can be a hard thing to live up to; however, Ghetsis happened to do it very well.

The main goal of Team Plasma, which was the team that Ghetsis belonged to, was to free the enslaved Pokémon because the world was unfair. It also seems that Ghetsis had a goal for himself that would not benefit Pokémon, and those twists and turns throughout the story made this character even more interesting.

3 Cheren

Similar to Bianca, Cheren was a character that traveled alongside the player in Black and White and appeared in the sequel to aid the player throughout their journey.

Cheren wasn't quite as satirical as Bianca; however, he was more of the anchor character of the group adding a more serious touch to the player's travels. Many players enjoyed battling this character because he provided a challenge and a point set in the game for them to test their skills. Because of all these things, it's no doubt that Cheren deserves a high spot on this list!

2 Looker

Looker was a unique character because he was a police officer that was trying to bust Team Plasma. Looker would travel the Unova region and stay undercover to get intel on Team Plasma and their members.

There were numerous times that the player teamed up with Looker so that they could eventually take down the evil team, and this kind of dynamic had never been seen in the Pokémon franchise at that point. Looker was a very innovative character, and fans hope that they get to see him more in future games because he would fit perfectly in another region, trying to take down the evil team!

1 N

N was a mysterious character that appeared both in the video games and the anime. The most notable thing about this person is that Pokémon raised him, and then Team Plasma raised him to eventually become the king of the organization itself.

However, to some extent, it seems that he rejected these ideas and wanted to become his own person,  protecting Pokémon, which he loves so much. N's gentle personality made him one of the best characters to be introduced into the franchise to date and he is definitely one of the best generation 5 characters ever!

NEXT: The 10 Weakest Kanto Pokémon, Ranked

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Someone Made Squid Game Into A PS1 Game

Squid Game has now been recreated in Roblox, Fortnite, and also on PS1. Well, sort of.

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About The Author
Michael Caruso (576 Articles Published)

Michael is a writer, game-player, and VR enthusiast. He has been a hobby writer all his life and is now a content writer for TheGamer among other gaming websites. He is passionate about writing content that will entertain and share knowledge about his favorite games. An aspiring writer, Michael is just trying to share his passion for video games with the world.

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Black and White

Pokémoncharacters Index(Pokémon Types, Recurring Pokémon Archetypes)
Pokémon Family Species:Gen I (Bulbasaur to Parasect / Venonat to Cloyster / Gastly to Miltank / Magikarp to Mew) | Gen II (Chikorita to Granbull / Qwilfish to Celebi) | Gen III (Treecko to Sharpedo / Wailmer to Deoxys) | Gen IV | Gen V (Victini to Zoroark / Minccino to Genesect) | Gen VI (Chespin to Hawlucha / Dedenne to Volcanion) | Gen VII (Rowlet to Comfey / Oranguru to Melmetal / Ultra Beasts) | Gen VIII (Grookey to Hatterene / Impidimp to Calyrex) | Glitches
Pokémon Human Characters:Protagonists And Rivals (Kanto / Johto / Hoenn / Sinnoh / Unova / Kalos / Alola / Galar) | Professors | Gym Leaders (Kanto / Johto / Hoenn / Sinnoh / Unova / Kalos / Galar) | Trial Captains and Kahunas | Elite Four | Champions
Pokémon Villain Teams:Team Rocket / Team Aqua/Magma / Team Galactic / Team Plasma / Team Flare / Team Skull / Team Yell
Frontier Brains And Other Facility Heads | Trainer Classes | Other NPCs (Aether Foundation / Ultra Recon Squad / Macro Cosmos)

The protagonists and rivals of Pokémon Black and White and its sequel Pokémon Black 2 and White 2.


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    General Tropes (Black and White

  • But Now I Must Go: Offscreen one in between Black and White and the sequels where s/he leaves Unova to find N.
  • The Cameo: You team up with the character you didn't pick during Tag Battles in the Battle Subway, but they don't appear in a plot-relevant capacity.
  • The Chosen One: N seems to believe so, considering them a "hero of legend" much like himself, and Zekrom/Reshiram confirms it.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Hilbert is identified as the protagonist in Masters, having been looking for N after Black & White.
  • Demoted to Extra: Out of all of the protagonists in the series, these two have had the least spotlight. Their intended cameos in Black 2 and White 2 were Dummied Out, they were the first pair of protagonists (Green notwithstanding) to not appear in even so much as a cameo in the show or movies, and as mentioned above the character you didn't pick is, unlike in almost every other main-series game, just a regular NPC you can tag up with in the Battle Subway. They do have the honor of being the only protagonist since Red to be mentioned by more than one person in a future game though, and contribute to the plot of it in some form.
  • Declaration of Protection: With Bianca, as her father asks Hilbert/Hilda to protect her after he's convinced to stop trying to stop her from traveling through the Unova region.
  • Disappeared Dad: As the protagonist. Interestingly enough, if you check out the television in their room before choosing your starter, it mentions their father bought it. He never appears in the game, though.
  • Dragon Tamer:
    • Apart from any other Dragon-types Hilbert/Hilda may catch, they end up canonically awakening and catching the dragon opposing N's (Reshiram in Black, Zekrom in White) and are accepted as a fellow hero of legend by them.
    • As a partner in the Battle Subway, their offensive-team includes the Dragon-type Haxorus.
  • Eye-Obscuring Hat: Their battle sprites appear to purposely invoke Red by having their hats obscure their eyes at first, for reasons unknown.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: With N, as it's lightly implied that N has feelings for the main character.
  • The Ghost: In the sequels. They are referenced here and there, but are nowhere to be found.
  • The Hero: Black and White heavily emphasizes their role as the hero in the story more than normal, to the point that they are to capture the plot-relevant Legendary of the specific game version (Reshiram in Black, Zekrom in White) to oppose N's.
  • I Will Find You: Hilda/Hilbert (depending on who you played in the first game) is said to be out of Unova looking for N during the events of the second games.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: If Memory Link is enabled, the Player Character's name is this in the sequel games.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • For the players, Hilbert means "magnificent in battle" or "battle bright." Hilda means "Battle Maiden." Tōya and Tōko come from "fight" (which makes their English names fitting), "transparent" or "untainted" which establishes their role as the middle and leader of the group.
    • For the rivals, Cheren and Bianca mean roughly black and white respectively.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Their characterization as an NPC implies this, as they're polite and supportive.
    • Cut content from Black 2 and White 2 had them be even more of this, with their character being a Humble Hero and Graceful Loser.
  • Nice Hat: It's a simple, standard cap worn in a straight way, reminiscent of Red's original Nice Hat.
  • Older Than They Look: In Masters Hilbert and Hilda use their designs from Black and White even though Cheren using his Gym Leader design and Rosa being a Trainer show that Black 2 and White 2 has already happened. As a result, even though Hilbert and Hilda are the same age as Cheren they look a couple years younger than him.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: N thinks they're the hero of legend and wants to fight them with the legendary Pokémon.
  • Pale Females, Dark Males: Not literally, but invoked by their theme naming. Hilbert (Black), Nate (Black 2), and Cheren all go with Black. Hilda (White), Rosa (White 2), and Bianca are all associated with White. Hugh adds some color by being a pun on hue, as the odd man out with no distaff counterpart.
  • Power Trio: The player is The Kirk between the calm and focused Cheren, and the kind and open-hearted Bianca. Bianca and Cheren respect Hilbert/Hilda as the best battler among them, and as the person who always seems to know what they are doing.
  • Put on a Bus: In Black 2 and White 2 (instead of a Previous Player-Character Cameo). According to their mother, they left Unova to search for N.
  • Ship Tease: With N in both their game and the sequel, regardless of gender. In the first game, they're instrumental in bringing about N's Character Development and he gains a strong fascination towards them due to the fact that they don't fit the mold of a Pokémon trainer as he's been raised to see it (i.e., cruel and abusive individuals who only see Pokémon as tools). Taken further in the sequel, wherein N mentions that "there's a trainer who he wants to tell how he feels" (with the context of the whole situation meaning that he could only be talking about the previous game's player character) and Hilda/Hilbert has flat out left Unova just to find him.
  • Suddenly Voiced:
    • When you enter Dragonspiral Tower, what appears to be internal dialogue states that "Something's... going wild at the top of the tower...?" Additionally, when Tornadus/Thundurus first appear and they're invited into the old lady's house on Route 7, they seem to mention that the soup is "delicious" and "jam-packed with vegetables."
    • NPC Hilbert and Hilda also speak.
    • Dialogue in the cut Black 2 and White 2 Tournament had them speaking in a Humble Hero and Graceful Loser fashion.

      "I just lucked into winning... Isn't that how it felt?"

    • Hilbert and Hilda are fully voiced with dialogue and personalities in Pokémon Masters.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: The player character of either gender along with Cheren and Bianca.

    Hilbert (Tōya) 

Hilbert / Tōya (トウヤ touya)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Black_White_boy_4252.png

Voiced by: Griffin Burns (Pokémon Masters - EN), Junko Minagawa (Pokémon Masters - JP)

The male main character of Pokémon Black and White. Hilbert is a teenager who lives in Nuvema Town, as do his Childhood Friends, Cheren and Bianca. He will receive a starter Pokémon and a Pokédex from Professor Juniper. After setting off on his Pokémon journey at the same time as Cheren and Bianca, Hilbert will at some point be asked by Fennel to do some sort of quest; in return for its completion, Hilbert will receive a C-Gear.

As well as encountering and battling his childhood friends at various points during his journey, Hilbert will also meet a man known as N, who wishes to create separate worlds for humans and Pokémon. In order to achieve his goals, he and Hilbert will battle several times during the course of the game. Hilbert also battles Team Plasma at various stages of his journey. Ultimately, Hilbert is recognized as a hero by Reshiram or Zekrom, depending on the version.

If not chosen as the player, Hilbert appears as the player's partner in the Battle Subway when choosing to ride the Multi-Train.

His version name is Black, as indicated by Adventures and his promo name Blair.


  • The All-American Boy: Middle Example. Generally because Unova is based in North America. From what can be assumed about his personality or from his NPC appearance, he's an Everyman teenager from a small town, naive but charming and always polite. It's also implied he acts like an older brother to his friends, especially for Bianca and some other NPCs in the game.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: With N, when teaming up with him in Masters.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Seems to be intended to have this kind of relationship with Bianca and occasionally Cheren (despite both of them being the same age).
  • Color Motif: Red, white and blue, baby! In addition, his outfit is highlighted with black.
  • Death Glare: In the Game Freak art set clearfile, Hilbert gives this to Ghetsis in his introduction about Pokémon.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
  • Hot-Blooded: Not necessarily in the games (in fact, the official website and Coro Coro magazine called him "Smart", Japanese Engrish for "Sophisticated" or "Cool tempered"), but in five manga adaptations he is definitely Hot-Blooded.
  • Like Father, Like Son: In Masters, the Oshawott he has with him hatched from an egg he got at the daycare and is actually the child of a Samurott he has. Hilbert states he has the second Oshawott so that he becomes a Samurott like his first one.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • His NPC Canon Name Hilbert is a Spear Counterpart to the female trainer's Hilda. The 'Hil' means 'battle.'
    • His promotional name Blair sounds like Black, and means field or battlefield.
  • Never Got To Say Good Bye: Non-lethal example. In Masters, the reason why he wants to meet up with N is because he wants to scold him for leaving so suddenly without a word without letting Hilbert say good bye after the events of Black & White. N apologizes for that and, in a Call-Back to the last scene in the games complete with a closeup of N's face, says "See you soon" instead.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Bianca, when he's the player character.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Downplayed and Zigzagged. Cheren's very insecure about himself and has the more feminine figure of the two, while Hilbert's (implied to be) much more confident and relaxed with his goals of life, though Cheren tends to be portrayed as a jerk and Hilbert as nice in their dynamic. In Adventures he play this trope straight. And also he with N in same way.
  • Signature Mon: In the manga adaptations he has been seen with all three of the Unova starters, but Tepig stands out the most, being his starter in three different series. That being said, in Pokémon Masters his partner Pokémon is Oshawott. Likewise, he's been depicted with both of the main Tao dragons in different media; for example, his Pokémon Adventures counterpart uses Reshiram, while he uses Zekrom in Pokémon Generations.
  • Spear Counterpart: To Hilda. Their default names are gender flips of each other in both Japanese and English, and he was designed after Hilda to complement her.
  • Sore Loser: Downplayed. In Pokémon Masters, he admits to the player that he's a bit of a sore loser but he doesn't let it show because he thinks it's childish. His character description also indicates that he hates losing.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: With Cheren and Bianca if he's the main character. In contrast to Cheren, Hilbert will always be certain and justified in his goals, and Cheren will become slightly frustrated with his own shortcomings compared to his friend.

    Hilda (Touko) 

Hilda / Touko (トウコ touko)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Black_White_girl_2898.png

Voiced by: Erica Mendez (Pokémon Masters - EN), Mariko Nagai (Pokémon Masters - JP)

The female main character of Pokémon Black and White. Hilda is a teenager who lives in Nuvema Town, as do her Childhood Friends, Cheren and Bianca. She will receive a starter Pokémon and a Pokédex from Professor Juniper. After setting off on her Pokémon journey at the same time as Cheren and Bianca, Hilda will at some point be asked by Fennel to do some sort of quest; in return for its completion, Hilda will receive a C-Gear.

As well as encountering and battling her childhood friends at various points during his journey, Hilda will also meet a man known as N, who wishes to create separate worlds for humans and Pokémon. In order to achieve his goals, he and Hilda will battle several times during the course of the game. Hilda also battles Team Plasma at various stages of her journey. Ultimately, Hilda is recognized as a heroine by Reshiram or Zekrom, depending on the version.

If not chosen as the player, Hilda appears as the player's partner in the Battle Subway when choosing to ride the Multi-Train.

Her version name is White, as indicated by Adventures and her promo name Whitlea.


  • Boobs-and-Butt Pose: Downplayed with her Kotobukiya figure and its art.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Has shades of this. She lives in Nuvema Town which is an Expy of parts of Brooklyn, although she's more a badass than violent. Pokémon Masters depicts her as highly competitive and impulsive, but she doesn't get hotheaded towards other people often.
  • Color Motif: She's usually associated with the color pink since it's apparent in her outfit and a lot of her gear are the same color. Helps that if she's the main character, the background of the her Xtransceiver will be pink.
  • Cool Big Sis: Seems to be intended to be seen as this toward Bianca and Cheren, though they're the same age as her.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Hilbert. Their names are even Gender Flips of each other.
  • Epic Fail: In Masters, she practically knows nothing about N despite being aware of who Team Plasma was, leading Hilbert and Cheren to bring her up to speed.
  • Exposed to the Elements: During the winter months and whenever she pays the Cold Storage a visit. Especially noteworthy in the latter case, as the Workers there are all wearing protective clothing and Cheren and Zinzolin won't stop griping about how cold it is.
  • Hair Antennae: On her ponytail. Shown a bit more in this official art of a Battle Subway scene.
  • Hartman Hips: While being pretty slim, her hips are noticeably wider than her waist and shoulders. Her appearance in Masters makes her wide hips more evident.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: To Bianca, when she's the player character.
  • Informed Ability: Played for Laughs in Masters. Hilda claims that she can be intimidating with her "game face" on, and demonstrates this for the player, but even when trying to look serious she's still cute as a button.
  • The Lad-ette: While this was a popular fan interpretation of her personality for years based on her design, Pokémon Masters depicts her as this, as she's more headstrong, competitive and (allegedly) intimidating than many of the other female Trainers (but is still very kind), and has a stronger voice to match with slightly boyish inflection. This is reflected in her choice of partner, with the adorable Tepig evolving into the brutish, macho Emboar.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: In Masters, the girl has no idea who N even was to the point that Hilbert and Cheren are forced to explain his lengthy story and his involvement with Team Plasma to her and the player. Justified due to both N having a closer relationship with Hilbert and her battle maniac attitude distracting her too much.
  • The McCoy: Pokémon Masters characterizes her as enthusiastic and impulsive, preferring to act on opportunities before she loses them. She's also directly contrasted with a Spock, Roxanne, who prefers careful study. This is played up in gameplay as her kit involves having the Tepig line rush down her opponents with Flare Blitz, using the line's high HP and healing skills to keep them from succumbing to recoil damage.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Her NPC Canon Name Hilda is a Distaff Counterpart to the male trainer's Hilbert. The 'Hil' means 'battle.' Fittingly, in Masters, her passion for battles is so high that she wonders if her game face scares other trainers.
    • Her promotional name Whitlea sounds like White, and coincidentally also means white clearing or field.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Cheren, as the player character.
  • Signature Mon: Snivy or Tepig. In the manga she has both (though Tepig later ditches her and she gets the Snivy line later instead). Her Kotobukiya figure is paired with a Tepig, which also serves as her partner in Masters, while a Pokémon Center merchandise line from 2016 pairs her with Snivy.note It's worth noting that Tepig may have been given to her in Masters to avoid redundancy with Rosa's Snivy. Unlike Hilbert and N, she's barely been seen with one of the Tao dragons in media outside the games,note mostly by virtue of barely appearing in the first place, with the dragons reserved for the Hilbert-N rivalry though out of the two, she seems to favor Reshiram as it was featured on her official sprite sticker sheet while Hilbert got Zekrom.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: When she's the main character, her mother has her eye and hair color. They even have the same pose while talking through the Xtransceiver.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to Bianca's Girly Girl, at least if her design is any indication; she wears shorts, a black vest, and hiking boots, while Bianca has more overtly feminine mannerisms and clothes.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: A part of her design that stands out, her ponytail together with her outfit gives her a more tomboyish vibe than previous and subsequent heroines.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: At least, her design seems to suggest so. She wears more outdoorsy clothes like shorts, hiking boots, a black vest and baseball cap, but many of her clothes and accessories have a bit of pink on them. In Masters, she has a headstrong and competitive personality, but has moments of typical girlishness.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: With Cheren and Bianca. Hilda will serve as a sharp contrast to Bianca, being the more competent and confident of the two.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Courtesy of Erica Mendez, Hilda's voice in Masters makes her sound around 17 or 18. Downplayed, as unlike most other Pokémon protagonists, she is a teenager in the first place.
  • Your Size May Vary: In Pokémon Adventures, Hilda's counterpart White is taller than Rosa's counterpart Whitley. In Pokémon Masters however, Hilda is about the same height as Rosa.

    Cheren 

Cheren (チェレン cheren)

One of the two rivalsin Black and White. Cheren is an intelligent and competitive trainer who is utterly focused on becoming the Pokémon League Champion. However, he only seeks to become the Champion for its own sake, and over time this motive is called into question. He eventually becomes a Gym Leader in Black 2 and White 2.

For information on Cheren, check the Pokémon Gym Leaders Character Page.

    Bianca (Bel) 

Bianca / Bel (ベル beru)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bianca2_2220.png
Black/White 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bianca_pokemon_bw.png

Voiced by: Eileen Stevens (EN) (B2W2 Promo - EN), Ayana Taketatsu (B2W2 Promo - JP), Erika Harlacher (Pokémon Masters - EN)

One of the two rivals in Black and White. Bianca is a ditzy and idealistic young trainer who is more interested in just travelling with her Pokémon than competitive battling. She uses her journey as a Coming-of-Age Story, discovering what she wants to do with her life. In Black 2 and White 2 she decides to research Pokémon and becomes Professor Juniper's aide.


  • The Ditz: She often can't find her way around many cities.
  • Dumb Blonde: She is described as a bit of an unreliable airhead, though it's more just clumsy than outright dumb.
  • Badass Adorable: Although she's not as interested in battling as her friends, she's still a very powerful and very cute young Trainer, especially in the sequels.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • If you use the Memory Link function in Black 2 and White 2 with a copy of Black or White, she'll use her team from those games, including her starter and elemental monkey, in a battle on Route 1. Unlike other bonuses, this is a one-time battle.
    • She appears in the Black 2 and White 2's World Tournament, despite not being a Gym Leader, using a team based on her role as Juniper's aide.
  • Break the Cutie: Right from the start, her father almost completely prevents her from going on her journey. She tries her best and still loses to the player, and then her Munna is stolen by Team Plasma (it's given back later), causing her to feel weak. Later, in Nimbasa, her father goes all the way there to attempt to drag the poor girl back home. Thank goodness for Elesa's interference.
  • Character Development: Initially was a very excitable girl who tried to find something to do in life. A Time Skip later, she's more put together with a few traces of her reckless self coming up at times.
  • Childhood Friends: With Cheren and either Hilda or Hilbert.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • In Black and White, Bianca's team by endgame can easily be more robust, well-balanced, and have a more efficient movepool than Cheren's, despite the fact that Bianca is functionally a Pokémon hobbyist (later going into the non-combat side of Pokémon husbandry) and Cheren is dead-set on becoming the next Champion and is all about the battles.
    • She's in the Pokémon World Tournament, in the Gym Leader tournaments, putting her up as one of the best Trainers in the world. A random NPC that gives you info on your opponents outright says that she's a powerful trainer.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: So very much. It even shows in her battle sprites, which show her just about to trip and fall as she pulls out her Poké Ball (Black/White) or cheers (Black 2/White 2).
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: The point of her character development. She doesn't know what she wants out of life, but eventually decides to help out Professor Juniper.
  • Dragon Tamer: In Black and White 2 she has the Dragon-type Fraxure on her team for battles at the Pokémon World Tournament.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: It's gotten longer in Black 2 and White 2, apparently to make her look older.
  • Forehead of Doom: Not commented on, but her hairstyle greatly emphasizes it.
  • Friend to All Living Things:
    • All of her Pokémon in the Memory Link battle know Return, a move that powers up the more the user likes their trainer. In the World Tournament, only her Stoutland uses Return.
    • In Black 2 and White 2, you can call her on the Xtransceiver to have her rate your Pokémon's happiness (she even refers to them as your "little darlings.")
    • She decides to become a Pokémon Researcher, which she's making good on in Black 2 and White 2 as Juniper's aide.
  • Genius Ditz: She ends up having a pretty good team in the end of Black and White and is one of your possible opponents in the Pokémon World Tournament
  • Genki Girl: Usually, anyway, unless she'stroubled.
  • Girlish Pigtails: They aren't really pigtails, but the swept-up parts of her hair seem to evoke this.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: At the end of Black and White, she calls upon the Gym Leaders to hold off the Sages at N's Castle.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The goal Bianca ends up deciding on in the end of Black and White.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: During the first visit at Reversal Mountain in Black 2 and White 2 till you get to the main room and leave through Undella Town.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Bianca has blonde hair and is one of the heroes.
  • Hartman Hips: More prominent in her Black and White attire. Her hips are wider than her shoulders.
  • Leitmotif: Masters gives her a unique remix of the rival battle theme from Black & White, though it gives it a cutesy theme in-between to fit her personality.
  • Meganekko: For some reason, she gained glasses between the two years. People joke that she stole them from Cheren, or at least received them from him in some manner. note It might be a justification to the Cute Clumsy Girl above. She might be near-sighted.
  • Nice Hat: Now with a ribbon on the side.
  • Overprotective Dad: He didn't want her to go on her journey, and actually shows up to try to take her home!
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: She's actually a rather competent trainer in her own right as she's capable of holding on her own against Gym Leaders in the PWT. However, Hilbert/Hilda, Cheren and N end up being much more powerful than her by the end of BW.
  • Plucky Girl: Don't think anything's going to stop her from finding her own dream. Not losing in battles, not having her Pokémon stolen, not even her dad's interference. Hell, she doesn't even back down or flinch during their conversation in Nimbasa City!
  • The Pollyanna: She stays optimistic and cheerful no matter how many times she is bested by the player.
  • The Rival: Despite sharing this trope with Cheren, their character development in that regard is very different. Bianca starts her journey without many expectations or hopes to become anything, and discovers her abilities as her journey progresses.
  • Ship Tease: Her glasses in Black 2 and White 2 look an awful lot like Cheren's, and Cheren himself is no longer wearing glasses, implying that she's either wearing his glasses or picked out a pair of glasses that matched his exactly.
  • Shrinking Violet: Somewhat. While she's usually perfectly outgoing, she is also shown to be frightened pretty easily. It doesn't help that her father is constantly worrying over her journey, and his sheltering of her all her life probably caused her insecurities to start with.
  • Signature Mon: In the first pair of Unova games, her starter choice is the one that's weak to yours. For the sequels, her ace Pokémon is Musharna instead, to avoid giving her a canon starter choice. That said, she does use all three starter lines in the Driftveil and World Leaders tournaments as a nod to her role as the one who gives you the Starter Mon. If you link your old game to the sequel game, she'll challenge you with her old team, starter and all.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is her Japanese name spelled Beru, Bel, Bell, or Belle? Because of this, her German name is Bell, Italian is Belle and Spanish is Bel.
  • Stocking Filler: She wears orange tights under her dress in the first game.
  • Theme Naming: Her Japanese name, Bel, is Slavic for "white"; her English name is Italian for the same. The female player character's promotional name also related to white.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to Hilda's Tomboy, at least if her design is any indication; Compared to Hilda's shorts, black vest, and hiking boots, Bianca has more overtly feminine mannerisms and clothes.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: She's constantly looking on the bright side of things. Cheren is a little annoyed by this near the end, where she's still being bubbly despite the possible threat of N beating the Pokémon League ahead.

    General Tropes (Black 2 and White 2

  • Anime Hair: Their hairstyles are much more conspicuous than previous main characters, that a Plasma Grunt even derisively compares the rival's to a Qwilfish. Despite it being traditional for protagonists to have a hat, they instead both have visors for their massive hair.
  • Badass Adorable: More emphasis on the adorable part, but still as badass as the other protagonists.
  • Best Friend: The chosen player shares a close, brotherly friendship with Hugh.
  • Dragon Tamer: Just like Hilbert and Hilda before them, the one you don't pick is your partner on the Battle Subway, and they can have the Dragon-type Haxorus on their offense-based team.
  • Expy: They bare a striking resemblance to their predecessors Hilbert and Hilda.
  • Implied Love Interest: This is the situation between Rosa/Nate and Curtis/Yancy. It's obvious that Curtis/Yancy has developed a major crush on Rosa/Nate, and if you follow his/her Sidequest Sidestory to its conclusion, the two eventually have a Ferris Wheel Date Moment together.
  • Meaningful Name: Their English and Japanese names both come from the word "resonate".
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Their pupils are as white as their sclerae.
  • Renaissance Man: More so than any other protagonist. If you do everything in the game, then besides being a master trainer, they're also a star actor/actress, manager of the Join Avenue, and champion of the World Tournament.

    Nate (Kyōhei) 

Nate / Kyōhei (キョウヘイ kyouhei)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Black_2_White_2_Kyouhei_3329.png

Voiced by: Tom Wayland (B2W2 Promo - EN), Miyu Irino (B2W2 Promo - JP), Miyuki Kobori (Pokémon Masters - JP)

Nate is a young boy living in Aspertia City with his childhood friend Hugh. At the start of the game, he sets off with Hugh to collect his first Pokémon. They then go their separate ways and he starts his journey across the Unova region.

If the player chooses Rosa, Nate will appear in game as an NPC, first met in Nimbasa City. He will join the player in a Tag Battle against Emmet and Ingo. Afterwards, he will give the player the Vs. Recorder.

The most prominent incarnation to Nate is Blake from Pokémon Adventures and in addition, Arata from Pocket Monsters B2 W2 ~ A New Legend ~


  • Cry Cute: Prone to this during Masters in the "Father or Foe" story event. He feels a great deal of sorrow towards N's strained relationship with his only father figure and wishes for N to be on better terms with Ghetsis.
  • Meaningful Appearance: In contrast to Hugh's Red Eyes, Nate's brown eyes imply he is the more agreeable, level headed of the duo.
  • Signature Mon: Emboar from the animated trailer, being the starter he chose. In both the mangas he chose the Oshawott line, however. In Masters, since all three Unova starters are already used by Hilbert, Hilda, and Rosa, his partner Pokémon is Braviary, referencing either: one of his possible Pokémon as a Battle Subway partner, a static encounter with Braviary in White 2, or simply a nod to Unova's Eagleland inspiration.
  • The Smart Guy: His approach to double battles as an NPC in the Battle Subway.
  • Spear Counterpart: To Rosa.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Shares facial features in common with his mother.

    Rosa (Mei) 

Rosa / Mei (メイ mei)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Black_2_White_2_Mei_4534.png

Voiced by: Lisa Ortiz (B2W2 Promo - EN), Aki Toyosaki (B2W2 Promo, Pokémon Masters - JP), Kayli Mills (Pokémon Masters - EN)

Rosa is a young girl living in Aspertia City with her childhood friend Hugh. At the start of the game, she sets off with Hugh to collect her first Pokémon. They then go their separate ways and she starts her journey across the Unova region.

If the player chooses Nate, Rosa will appear in game as an NPC, first met in Nimbasa City. She will join the player in a Tag Battle against Emmet and Ingo. Afterwards, she will give the player the Vs. Recorder.


  • Breakout Character: Rosa has had a growing fanbase since her first appearance in Pokémon Black and White 2, and while this has resulted in her getting a number of merchandise pieces, it was not until Pokémon Masters that she was truly put into the spotlight. In Masters, she is not only featured in the title screen art, but also serves as a major character in the Main Story, as well as a recurring presence in the game's story events, and was both one of the first recruitable characters and one of the first to receive an alternate outfit and partner Pokémon. All of this has served to further increase her popularity.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Nate.
  • Dreadful Musician: In Omakes, even Meloetta can't stand her singing voice.
  • Genki Girl: She's very energetic as an NPC in the Battle Subway and in Pokémon Masters. In the latter, she wonders if the fresh oxygen that Grass-type Pokémon always give off may be a factor for her abundant energy.
  • Girly Girl: Her design is more traditionally feminine compared to her predecessor Hilda.
  • Hot-Blooded: If the promo trailer is any indication, she's very energetic. Her sprite implies it too, and it's part of her characterization in Masters.
  • Memetic Hand Gesture: A certain thinking pose with her cupping her chin has been adopted as a character tic of hers since trailers and screencaps of Masters have been released.
  • Ojou Ringlets: Wears this hairstyle as a princess.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: The princess costume she wears in the Pokéstar Studios movie "Mystery Doors of the Magical Land".
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: The princess dress she wears at the Pokestar studios is pink.
  • Rapunzel Hair: The twintails hanging under her hair buns goes down almost to her waist. Imagine how long it would be if she undid the buns...
  • Ship Tease: A bit with the player character in Masters. Her Holiday variant in Masters has her, quite nervously, ask the player what their favorite cake flavor is and, speaking to her after she says that, has her say that she may not have a gift for them yet, but she will.
  • Signature Mon: Serperior in the animated trailer, which would fit in with the games since she would have the Snivy line if as the protagonist Nate chose Tepig. She also gets the Snivy line in a Kotobukiya figure and Pokémon Masters.
  • Stock Shōnen Hero: A female example in Masters, despite looking like the quintessential Stock Shoujo Heroine. She's Hot-Blooded, caring, loves to train and battle, and can be slow on the uptake. She sometimes even acts as The Hero herself, partially as a stand-in for the Heroic Mime player character in cutscenes, but also as a major viewpoint for both the main story and story events.
  • Tights Under Shorts: She wears culottes over her tights.

    Hugh (Hyu) 

Hugh / Hyu (ヒュウ hyuu)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Black_2_White_2_Hugh_6620.png

Voiced by: Sean Schemmel (B2W2 Promo - EN), Junko Minagawa (B2W2 Promo - JP)

The Rival in Black and White 2. Hugh is a Hot-Blooded young man with a serious grudge against Team Plasma, who stole his little sister's Purrlion years ago. To take revenge on them, he raised a Pokémon from an egg and became a trainer. Though he is usually cool and calm, he goes berserk when confronted by a member of Team Plasma.


  • Anti-Hero Substitute: To Cheren and Bianca, though they're still around.
  • Artificial Brilliance: When you're teaming up with him in a Double Battle, Hugh can sometimes be seen taking advantage of the player's Pokémon's abilities. For example, he will use a Fire-type attack on your Pokémon if it has Flash Fire to power up your moves, or a Water-type attack to heal your Pokémon if it has Water Absorb.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Notable in that unlike all previous rivals, you spend much more time fighting alongside Hugh than against him.
  • Berserk Button: He pretty much flips out the instant he sees a member of Team Plasma, both new and old. At one point when you enter Driftveil City, he just rushes onto the scene and slaps/shoves/punches/otherwise physically assaults a grunt like it's nothing. Part of his Character Development is about outgrowing this.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He cares heavily about his little sister and is said to be doting towards her. He also despises Team Plasma because they kidnapped her Purrloin. In a way, he also is this to the Player Character themselves throughout the journey through assuring they are never alone taking on Team Plasma and encourages you along the way.
  • Black-and-White Insanity: One of his main flaws is his refusal to acknowledge the original Team Plasma's Heel–Face Turn. He finally starts to overcome this outlook near the end of the game.
  • Catchphrase: "I'm about to unleash my rage!" / "You're about to feel my rage!"
  • Character Development: Hugh starts off as an Ideal Hero, kind and supportive of the Player Character. His only flaw is that he refuses to forgive Team Plasma for, years ago, having stolen his sister's Purrloin. He is dragged down and blinded by this hatred, but finally comes to terms with the fact that former villains can redeem themselves. Hugh finds peace, and continues to care for his sister's Purrloin-turned-Liepard, even though it was raised and influenced by Team Plasma, knowing it is still good at heart.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Only if you're playing on Challenge Mode, but there his Pokémon's levels when he's battling against you are higher than when he's an ally, leading to one point where his Pokémon's levels actually go down within a short span of time.
  • Dragon Tamer: From his sixth battle onwards, he has the Ground/Dragon Flygon on his team.
  • Face of a Thug: Despite having a design that brings jerkass rivals such as Blue and Silver to mind, he is generally calm and friendly. His bad side is only shown towards Team Plasma and those he believed was in his way.
  • Forgiveness: His personal struggle is learning to let go of his hatred for the former Plasma members and move on.
  • Friendly Rivalry: At no point in the game does he ever challenge you for the sake of beating you and proving himself superior. As your best friend, he offers to battle you in order to test your Pokémons' strength, and after losing, shows complete confidence in your abilities and encourages you to continue on your quest to become the Unova champion.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: He travels around with your for short periods at several points (such as Castelia Sewers), even participating in Tag Battles with you.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take that much to get him angry. Simply the entire existence of Team Plasma will send him into a rage.
  • Heroic BSoD: After finding out that his sister's Purrloin has evolved into a Liepard and will now only obey the Shadow Triad.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Nate when he's the player character.
  • Hot-Blooded: He is very passionate, especially when it comes to beating the hell out of Team Plasma.
  • It's Personal: Chases Team Plasma because they kidnapped his little sister's Purrloin.
  • It Was a Gift: When Zinzolin of Team Plasma asks Hugh why he is so fixated on finding his sister's Purrloin, Hugh answers that it was caught for her by their late grandfather.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: He is willing to go to violent lengths in order to get the justice his sister deserves.
  • Large Ham: Hugh will make the extra effort to let everyone know when he is about to unleash his rage.
  • Meaningful Name: Hue, as in color, fits in with a number of other color based names. Particularly it forms a trio with its generation, 'black, white, and color'.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his flaws, he ultimately seems to admire the protagonist and cares for his Pokémon. In fact, he actually apologizes several times for dragging the player character into his quest to take down Team Plasma. He also wants to see the protagonist become the Unova Champion.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Rosa when she's the player character.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Oddly enough, his Xtransceiver is pink, which contrasts with the red and yellow ones Rosa and Nate possess, respectively.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: His tendency to pursue and tear through Plasma members to get his sister's Purrloin back has resulted in a number of them becoming terrified of him.

    "H-he's terrifying! He can't be human!"

  • Schrödinger's Gun: He's had his starter Pokémon for a bit before the game even starts, but what it turns out to be always has the type advantage against the one you picked.
  • Signature Mon: Ingame, his ace Pokémon is the starter that has the type advantage over whichever starter you picked. In the animated trailer, since Nate's Pokémon of choice is Emboar, Hugh's is appropriately Samurott.
  • Two Words: Added Emphasis: Call him before you reach Reversal Mountain to know where he is.

    Hugh: One word: Reversal Mountain. Oh wait, that's two words...

  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: It's dark blue.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Calls out Clay for blindly trusting Rood and his followers. However, he in turns gets this from Clay, who points out that you need to learn to respect other people's differing perspectives instead of blindly condemning them — especially when they're trying to redeem themselves for their past misdeeds.

Sours: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/PokemonProtagonistsAndRivalsUnova
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