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Characters / Pokémon Gym Leaders: Galar

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The Gym Leaders in Galar; beating them grants the eight Badges necessary to enter the Galar League in Pokémon Sword and Shield.

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Appears in both games

    Milo (Yarrow) 

Milo / Yarrow (ヤロー yaroo)

The Gym Leader of Turrfield who specializes in Grass-type Pokémon. He has a kind heart and is well liked by the Trainers of his Gym. His credo is to always enjoy battles, and he specializes in endurance matches with his Grass-type Pokémon.

  • All There in the Manual: According to his page in the art book, he has a younger brother. It also shows that he's actually quite short despite being so well-built, being shorter than Nessa.
  • Caring Gardener: A kind and gentle farmer who loves his Grass Pokémon dearly.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: While his battle ranking among the major league gym leaders isn't the best, Milo himself is noted to be incredibly strong. His rare league card notes he easily rolls around hay rolls that each weigh over 770 pounds.
  • Goroawase Number: As seen in his concept art, Milo has the number 831 on his shorts, which in Japanese is code for "yasai", meaning "vegetables".
  • Guest-Star Party Member: In the first leg of the post-game, Milo joins you and Hop for one battle to take down a Dynamaxed Tsareena that has been running rampant in Turrfield Stadium.
  • Heroic Build: He's built like a brick house and is a sweet, caring guy who emphasizes understanding and happiness between Pokémon and their trainers.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Non-dysfunctional variant. Nessa's League card reveals that while Nessa might consider herself his rival, Milo believes that he himself is his biggest rival.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: While childish faces and hunky bodies are common on Pokémon's character designs, a combination of the two isn't.
  • Meaningful Name: "Milo" is derived from the species name of the common yarrow flower, Achillea millefolium, fitting for his status as the Grass-type Gym Leader. His English name is also a mishmash of "mill" and "silo", which process and store grain respectively.
  • Nice Hat: Wears a straw hat.
  • Running Gag: The people of Turffield state that Milo ends up chasing after rolling Wooloo very often... That also forces people to chase after him.
  • Signature Mon: Uses the Gossifleur line exclusively before picking up the Applin line, specifically Flapple or Appletun depending on the version, as his Gigantamax Pokémon for the rematches.
  • Skintone Sclerae: He has no whites in his eyes, just green in his pupils.
  • Super Strength: As befitting someone of his physical stature. The rolls of hay in his gym weigh over 770 pounds each, yet he can roll them easily.
  • Willfully Weak: His League Card notes that he instinctively holds back on people weaker than himself, which is one of the reasons he was chosen to be the first Gym Leader challengers face.

    Nessa (Rurina) 

Nessa / Rurina (ルリナ rurina)

The Gym Leader of Hulbury who specializes in Water-type Pokémon. Despite her calm and collected attitude, Nessa hides a competitive spirit and indomitable will.

  • Badass Armfold: Her default pose during a Gym Battle.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Thanks to her sporty swimsuit top which leaves a lot of her torso uncovered.
  • Fashion Model: When she's not Gym Leading, Nessa works as a fashion model.
  • Goroawase Number: Nessa has the number 049 on her shorts in her concept art, which in Japanese is code for "oyogu", meaning "to swim".
  • Guest-Star Party Member: In the first leg of the post-game, Nessa joins you and Hop for one battle to take down a Dynamaxed Gyarados that has been running rampant in Hulbury Stadium.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nessa comes off as boastful and arrogant (and she can be a bit of a Sore Loser), but she still gives her challengers credit for surpassing her and for their training skills.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Her English name, while coming from Irish mythology, is derived from Scotland's Loch Ness, fitting into how Galar is based on the UK and Nessa's status as the Water-type Gym Leader.
    • Her Japanese name comes from Cupid's Dart, a relative of the daisy that the Ancient Greeks used in love potions. Appropriate for a Ms. Fanservice.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She wears a very revealing uniform during Gym battles and works as a model outside of them.
  • Nice Shoes: Wears a pair sandals with inflatable life preserver rings attached to them.
  • Proud Beauty: She is quite proud of her popularity and good looks, even blowing a kiss to the audience at her Gym as they cheer her on during the entrance ceremony.
  • Sequence Breaking: In her rematches, she starts off with a Golisopod (a bulky Water/Bug type), who will switch out once its health is below half. Hit it with an attack that brings it to at least yellow (but not red) and she'll bring out a different Pokémon. Then she'll bring forth Golisopod again as her penultimate Pokémon before Drednaw. If you happened to defeat all of her Pokémon beforehand without her healing them, she'll heal her Golisopod. Do another attack to take it down and its ability will force it to switch out, bringing her to Drednaw - but without any introduction or music change (which usually happens when the Gym Leaders bring out their Signature Mon (but she will always Gigantamax it anyways). Cue taking out Drednaw, then her bringing forth Golisopod again, which gets the introduction and music change - which will probably be too weak to battle anyways.
  • She's Got Legs: They're long and well-toned. She shows them off quite deliberately when sending out her first Pokémon in battle, kicking one leg into the air all the way to her head similar to a baseball pitch build-up. Both her League Card and Rare League Card emphasize this well, with the latter having her wear a dress that exposes only her legs, which are crossed and face the camera. Concept art also has her doing a full split and noting she stretches like this daily to stay in shape, explaining how she's able to kick so high when throwing her Poke Ball.
  • Signature Mon: Drednaw, her highest level Pokémon and the subject of both Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing.
  • Sore Loser: She puts her hands on her head and expresses lots of frustration after losing against you in the gym battle, though she manages to get a handle of herself shortly after the initial loss.
  • Stepford Smiler: Justified; as a model, smiling for the camera regardless of how she's feeling is essential for her job. Though people worry that her Sore Loser tendencies would have an effect on her modeling career, she still gives them a perfect smile every time. Her Rare League Card makes it clear, however, that while in her Gym, Nessa is far more transparent with her emotions.
  • Unknown Rival: Her League Card mentions that she considers Milo to be her rival, whereas Milo believes himself to be his greatest rival.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Wears a sporty swimsuit. Justified, since she's both a model and the water-type Gym Leader.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: She does, to show that She's Got Legs
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has dark blue hair with lighter aqua streaks.


Kabu (カブ kabu)

The Gym Leader of Motostoke who specializes in Fire-type Pokémon.

  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: His Centiskorch is this, being a giant flaming centipede. And then he Gigantamaxes it.
  • Boring, but Practical: How he feels about his fighting style: it's simple and straightforward, but can still pack a punch. However, he's still open to innovating new strategies, as brute force alone isn't enough to beat out stronger trainers.
  • Fireball Eyeballs: Gains these during his Gigantimax cutscene.
  • Goroawase Number: He bears the number 187, code "hibana", meaning "spark".
  • Guest-Star Party Member: In the first leg of the post-game, Kabu joins you and Hop for one battle to take down a Dynamaxed Torkoal that has been running rampant in Motostoke Stadium.
  • Large Ham: He does a lot of pointing and can come off as extravagant when he's heated up.
  • Meaningful Name: Kabu's name is from the Japanese for 'turnip', as the Galar Gym Leaders' have something of a fruit and vegetable theme. It also includes the Japanese for fire.
  • Mythology Gag: A Fire-type gym leader from Hoenn, just like Flannery.
  • Playing with Fire: A Fire-type Pokémon specialist.
  • Red Baron: "Man of Fire"
  • Signature Mon: Centiskorch.
  • Silver Fox: Has greying hair and appears to be an older bloke with lines on his face. However, he's still in good physical condition with a nice athletic build, along with having a handsome face. And his rare League Card that he gives to you in the post-game shows that when he was younger he didn't look much different to how he does - just with messier black hair and a younger face.
  • Something Completely Different: His gym challenge is all about wild Pokémon encounters. In an even further twist, you have to defeat or capture the opposing Pokémon without letting the other trainer on your side steal the finishing blow. You can keep any Pokémon you captured, too.
  • Threshold Guardian: Multiple characters comment how Kabu is the first real challenge of the Gym Challenge, with multiple Trainers dropping out of it due of them being unable to clear his challenge, let alone defeat him. He's aware of his reputation; after the player defeats him and starts to leave Motostoke, he makes a point of meeting them at the entrance of the city and seeing them off before they leave for Hammerlocke.
  • Token Minority: Explicitly stated to be from Hoenn, is the only Gym Leader to still keep his original Japanese name in the English localization, and looks notably Asian (as Hoenn is based off the Kyūshū region in Japan). This is despite people in the Hoenn games not looking distinctly Asian. It's even reflected in his team, which are all Pokémon based on Asian mythology - Ninetales (Kitsune), Arcanine (Komainu) and Centiskorch (Tiānlóng or Oomukade). The symbol on his trainer card depicts the x-shaped flame of a Centiskorch's face, but it's also stylized to resemble a Kabuto helmet of Japanese samurai.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: An in-universe example: Kabu is considered the first major roadblock in the Gym Challenge, with a lot of sub-par trainers failing to make it past him and giving up on their Challenge. In-game, he's the first gym leader whose team is composed wholly of fully evolved Pokemon, and his Centiscorch is the first Gigantamax Pokemon a player is likely to encounter.

    Opal (Poplar) 

Opal / Poplar (ポプラ popura)

The Gym Leader of Ballonlea who specializes in Fairy-type Pokémon. As one of the older Gym Leaders in the league, she wishes to retire and hand the position to someone else.

  • Behind the Black: Has a habit of "arriving" onto a scene via the camera panning slightly to one side to reveal her standing there the whole time, but characters sometimes jump in shock when this happens anyway.
  • Blatant Lies: There's no way you're only 16, Opal.
  • Cool Old Lady: She acts like a doting and slightly kooky grandmother, but she's also a bit of a trickster and always seems to know more than she lets on. And of course, she's a powerful Gym Leader with a lot of experience. Confirmed by her Gym's quizzes to be 88 years old (though she insists that quiz-takers say she's only 16), but she's gotten no less dangerous with age.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Not as crazy as most examples, but definitely very eccentric. Her quizzes tend to be trick questions with unintuitive answers, with at least one "correct answer" being completely false. When training Bede as her successor, her rare League Card says that she says the correct answer is something one has to eventually come up with after thinking about it.
  • Creepy Good: As a Fairy-type specialist, this is somewhat to be expected: her slight kookiness sometimes has an unsettling edge to it (usually emphasized with her eyes going eerily wide), but she's a benevolent figure.
  • The Fair Folk: A Fairy-type specialist. In fact her battle invokes the "mischievous" aspects of fairies, where she gives you a series of questions that try to trick you into picking the obvious answer instead of the "right" ones.
  • Feeling Their Age: When Opal is about to Gigantamax her Alcremie, she nearly falls over from the weight of carrying the giant Poké Ball. She also walks very slowly, moreso than any other character in the game.
  • Gag Nose: Easily the biggest in the series among the human characters.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Always sports a purple boa and various purple accessories, reflecting both her feminine appearance and her favorite color. As it turns out, despite how much she talks about the "pink" she likes to see in people, her actual favorite color is purple.
  • Goroawase Number: The back of her dress has the number 910, which is code for the English word "cute".
  • In-Series Nickname: According to her quiz, she's known as "the wizard".
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Never shown in-game, but the artbook shows what she looked like when she was younger, and indeed, she was quite stunning.
  • Life Drain: Her Pokémon know the move Draining Kiss and her Gigantamaxed Alcremie uses its G-Max move to restore its HP after dealing massive Fairy-type damage.
  • The Mentor: She decides to name Bede as her successor after his removal from the Gym Challenge.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Mentions her tea has "kicked in" when she sends out her last Pokémon.
  • Never Mess with Granny: A Cool Old Lady gym leader specializes in Fairy-Type.
  • Nice Hat: Has a fashionable hat with circular patterns on it.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: She wouldn't look out of place in a western cartoon.
  • Old Master: She's 88 years old and one of Galar's gym leaders, and has had the job for over 70 years, making her one of the strongest trainers in the region. She later takes up a teaching role to Bede, who succeeds her as the Ballonlea City gym leader.
  • Parasol of Prettiness: She carries a parasol with her everywhere she goes, emphasizing her femininity and grandmotherly appearance. She tosses it aside in alarm when she's defeated.
  • Passing the Torch: She wishes to hand over the reins of Gym Leader to someone else but also has set standards for the kind of person she is looking for (namely, lots of pink). She eventually settles on Bede, who succeeds her as the Ballonlea Gym Leader come the post-game, though she still continues to show up at the stadium. She says as much after her defeat that while it's not nice or wise to disrespect your elders, she also realizes that the older people must eventually step out of the spotlight for future generations to grow and build upward.
  • Pink Means Feminine: She's a kooky old lady who carries a Parasol of Prettiness and insists on adding pink to everything. Right before she sics her Gigantamaxed Alcremie on you, she tells you that she's going to add more pink to your life. This is used as a trick question during her Gym battle though — purple's her favorite color, pink is what she likes to see in other people.
  • Pretty in Mink: She wears a bushy purple boa to the stadium even while decked out in the standard gym uniform. This is a hint to her actual favorite color.
  • Signature Mon: Alcremie. Particularly the vanilla cream form.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Has a habit of appearing out of nowhere in her initial encounters despite her old age.
  • Troll: Opal claims she gives difficult quizzes to bring out people's true colors by forcing them into a corner. Most people think she does it just to screw with people.
  • The Unfought: Perhaps because she retired after giving Bede her position, she cannot be rematched in Champion Cup rematches, unlike the rest of the Gym Leaders.
  • Victory by Endurance: She specializes in this type of battling. Her Fairy-type Pokémon know the move Draining Kiss, which steals HP from her opponent to let her bulky Pokémon like Mawile outlast her foes. This is especially pronounced with her Gigantamaxed Alcremie, whose unique G-Max move restores its HP after use.
  • Younger Than They Look: Parodied by her quizzes, which has one question's "correct answer" being to say that she's 16 years old, despite actually being 88 instead of merely looking elderly. Giving the actual correct answer results in a penalty.

    Piers (Nezu) 

Piers / Nezu (ネズ nezu)

The Gym Leader of Spikemuth who specializes in Dark-type Pokémon.

  • Anti-Villain: Villain in name only. He never showed up as a villainous figure despite being the "leader" of Team Yell, and he never consented to the grunts (who were actually his gym trainers) barricading Spikemuth so nobody except Marnie would complete the badges. Having already believed that nobody wants to fight him because of Spikemuth being a backwater town without Dynamax energy, this only added to his fear that he and his town will just fade into obscurity.
    • The reasons behind him forming Team Yell is also a mix of both good and bad reasoning, as he does truly love his sister and partly formed the team so that they could cheer her on and boost her confidence. On the other hand, Marnie never asked for him to do this, and it turns out that a reason he wanted her confidence boosted was so that she could abandon her Champion aspirations and replace him as Gym Leader because he's that convinced he's doing a miserable job at it. Ultimately, Marnie does so, but only after the Champion Cup is finished and on her own terms rather than his.
  • Badass Normal: Due to Spikemuth lacking a power spot and his arena being structurally-incapable of hosting Dynamax battles anyway, his battles are fought traditionally. Even without this physical limitation, Piers refuses to ever Dynamax his own Pokémon out of principle. Despite this, hes one of the toughest Gym Leaders in Galar and Raihan even comments that Piers regular Pokémon still almost managed to take down his Gigantimaxed Duraludon during the Champions' Tournament.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He cares a lot for his little sister in his own way. When Dynamaxed Pokémon start appearing all over the Galar region in the post-game, his mind will always wander to Marnie's safety even if the locations of the giant Pokémon are nowhere near Spikemuth.
  • Bishōnen: Although he is currently dressed like punk-rockstar singer, his younger self shown in his rare league card looks quite handsome without any eyeshadows on his face, including his very big long spiky ponytail.
  • Breaking Old Trends: Piers is the first Gym Leader to represent the Dark-type in twenty long years and six generations since its introduction.
  • British Rockstar: His primary design motif is modeled after British rock musicians, complete with a radical fashion sense and a Northern accent. His Gym Battle theme is even a rock song, despite the other Gym Leaders' battles being accompanied by electronic music.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Has Team Yell's "Y" symbol adorned on his shirt, painted on his gym's battlefield, and on one of the walls as a large neon light... because it's his symbol, and Team Yell are part of the Gym. The similarity between both symbols can be seen as early as Motostoke, where Piers' Gym symbol is on a banner of the Motostoke Gym.
  • Brutal Honesty: One of Piers's defining traits is his tendency to never mince words; if something comes to mind, he'll immediately put it into words. For instance, he never loses an opportunity to remark on Hop's recklessness, and unlike the other Gym Leaders (who invite you to call them if you need their help), he will ask you to not call him again since, from his experience, it's never for anything good.
  • Calling Your Attacks: He has tendency to reveal his strategy early on, which translates to him revealing what move or ability his Pokémon has when he sends them out.
  • Character Tics: According to his concept art, he has a tendency to fiddle with his accessories. This includes his choker in his main artwork.
  • Climax Boss: As the "leader" of Team Yell, his battle serves to uncover Marnie's motivations and Team Yell's very own nature (they're just Gym Trainers). The battle itself features an unique song that's distinct from the usual Gym Leader theme, and there's an uncharacteristic focus on Piers' Pokémon that makes the fight feel more dramatic than it is, presumably due to this being the very first Dark-type gym in the series.
  • Cool Big Bro: To Marnie. It doesn't get much cooler than a big brother who founded an entire villainous team just to cheer for his little sister.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite his intimidating appearance, he's very affable and down-to-earth. In fact, he ends up being one of the most proactive non-protagonist characters, helping the player both indirectly and directly in the final act of the main scenario and the beginning of the post-game scenario, respectively.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's either rocking out like a maniac, or apathetic and snarky. When he becomes the main ally of the post-game quest, it's clear that he's less here to be extra firepower and more to just throw endless jabs at everything that's going on.
  • Emo Teen: Vague Age is in effect with him, but Piers is a glum and sardonic young man with a fairly low opinion of himself.
  • The Fettered: Piers refuses to Dynamax his Pokémon, believing he can defeat the opponent with his team through skill and strength alone. It's not all talk either; he gets quite far against the other Gym Leaders in the Finals only losing to Raihan, with even Raihan admitting that the match against Piers was a close one.
  • Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind: His overall design, from his pale skin, to the spikes, to all the contrasting colors, makes him look similar to a villain team member which, considering the fact he's the leader of Team Yell, is likely very intentional, or at least an aggressively hammy rocker. However, despite his looks, he turns out to actually be pretty nice, down-to-earth, and overall relatable once you interact with him.
  • Goroawase Number: His number 061, can be read as "warui", which can be translated to English as "bad".
  • Guest-Star Party Member: In the first leg of the post-game, Piers joins you and Hop to take down Dynamaxed Pokémon that have been running rampant in the other stadiums.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: When the player first encounters him, he mentions that he figured that nobody was coming to challenge him because wasn't that great of a Gym Leader (in truth, Team Yell barricaded the entrance) and later says to Marnie that she won't learn anything from watching him lose. With that said, when it's time to battle, he has no issues talking down to the player to get the crowd pumping.
  • Interface Spoiler: His gym's connection to Team Yell can be given away the moment the player tries to edit their online Trainer Card as the "Dark Gym" and "Team Yell" logos (which are both the same symbol rotated at a different angle) are both available as icons.
  • Large and in Charge: Piers towers over the rest of his gym.
  • Lean and Mean: He's noticeably skinnier than most characters, and the leader of Team Yell packing a bunch of powerful Dark-type Pokémon. This is partially averted though, as he's a pretty decent guy.
  • Looks Like Cesare: Relatively tall and gangly with deeply under-shadowed eyes and black-and-white hair.
  • Monster Brother, Cutie Sister: Subverted. Piers' appearance is far more gangly and intimidating compared to Marnie's, but he's much more laidback than he looks.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: His design motif is that of a rock star and his ace is a Pokémon based on Gene Simmons of KISS.
  • Oop North: Like all characters from Spikemuth, his dialogue indicates he has a Yorkshire accent, though his is much less prominent than Marnie's.
  • Passing the Torch: Like Opal, Piers wants to retire after the Champion Cup, though in his case it's so he can focus on his music. This ends up Zig-Zagged, as Marnie flatly refuses in the main storyline while she's still competing for the Championship, but does take the gym over in the post-game after she discovers that she's very good at leading Team Yell (the Spikemuth Gym trainers) and quite enjoys it.
  • Signature Mon: Obstagoon, to the point of getting a special introduction mid-battle by Piers himself. It even gets its own cutscene when it uses Throat Chop.
  • Skunk Stripe: His hair is a spectrum of black and white. Fittingly, he even has a Skuntank. His Rare League Card shows that he had this even when he first started his journey as a Trainer.
  • Something Completely Different: Piers' gym is the only one to not be hosted in a stadium and is therefore not a place where Dynamaxing is possible. Ironically, this makes it an inversion in the meta-sense as his battle functions as a return to the standard gym battles of previous Pokémon games.
  • Useless Useful Spell: In all battles, Piers' Obstagoon has no recoil moves to take advantage of Reckless.
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • Of all the Gym Leaders, Piers is the only one who lacks the means to use Dynamaxing; and when he's in a Stadium where he can use it, he actively refuses to. With that said, as befitting of the penultimate Gym Leader, he can still put up quite a fight without it. Even Raihan, the only Trainer that could be considered Leon's rival, finds him a very tough opponent even with his use of Dynamax and Piers's abstention of it.
    • Something to be worth noting is how much attention Piers brings to his strategy. He points out that his Malamar has Contrary and that his Scrafty has Intimidate (which is only available as a hidden ability). He has Toxic and Sucker Punch for his Skuntank. He may be calling out his strategy, but it's worth noting that his team looks like something you'd see in a competitive team, and thus is more difficult to handle.
    • It becomes even more pronounced when one takes into account that Gym Leader positions are explicitly stated to be ranked based on power, meaning that Piers, as the seventh Gym Leader, is technically the third-strongest trainer in all of Galar, right behind Raihan and Leon.
  • Walking Spoiler: There's a good reason he's the only Gym Leader to not show up during the Gym Challenge's opening ceremony. Talking about him in length gives away the fact that Marnie is his younger sister and Team Yell isn't a villainous organization due to all of them being his Gym Trainers.

    Raihan (Kibana) 

Raihan / Kibana (キバナ kibana)

The Gym Leader of Hammerlocke. Although primarily a Dragon-type trainer, he focuses on using weather conditions. To incorporate the strategy, he foregoes having a mono-type team in favor of including Pokémon with abilities that set up weather. He views himself as the greatest rival to the current champion, Leon.

  • Almighty Janitor: His league cards note that he's powerful enough to easily become the champion of another region. However he insists on remaining in the same League as Leon, causing him to plateau as the eighth gym leader.
  • Animal Motif: Dragons. His hoodie has a different-colored section of fabric on the stomach that evokes a scaley underbelly, while the inside of the hood is red and lined with triangles of white fabric, evoking a dragon's maw. He also has pointy teeth and slightly slit-looking pupils.
  • Camera Fiend: His primary use of his Rotom Phone is to take selfies wherever and whenever he wants, as he takes some sort of picture in practically all his animations. Additionally, his league cards note that he used to only post defeat selfies before moving on to uploading shots of his daily life to social media.
  • Cute Little Fangs: He has a noticeable fang when he grins, befitting his dragon motif.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Though a Dragon-type specialist, his Gym battle also emphasizes Rock and Ground types to exploit Sandstorm.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When he walks onto the pitch during gym orientation, he waves to his fans - and then pauses to whip out his phone and get a selfie.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Subtle, but in his (heart embossed) rare league card there's a guy in the crowd giving him the exact same lovestruck stare as many of his female fans.
  • Goroawase Number: He's got the number 241, code for "tsuyoi", meaning "strong".
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: Zig-Zagged. He has two non-Dragon-type Pokémon and is the first Gym Leader since Diamond and Pearlnote  whose team features Pokémon of a different type than his specialty (his first team features a Sandaconda and a Gigalith, which are Ground and Rock typed respectively). But his ace is one, and his retooled team in Single battles is mostly composed of Dragon-types (with the lone exception of his first: a Torkoal, which is Fire only).
  • Mythology Gag: Much like another Dragon-type user, it's not uncommon for him to do a large roar with his arms up when his Pokémon attack.
  • The Rival: He has a fierce ongoing rivalry with Leon, the current reigning champion. Notably, Leon also shares this sentiment, greatly respecting Raihan and viewing him as a Worthy Opponent.
  • Selfie Fiend: He's constantly taking selfies at every opportunity, such as when he walks onto the pitch during gym orientation, right before the player starts their battle with him, and - perhaps most egregiously of all - right as he's about to throw his Gigantamaxed Poké Ball and unleash his giant Pokémon.
  • Signature Mon: Duraludon, which can Gigantamax.
  • Something Completely Different: His gym is entirely focused on double battles, making him the first Gym Leader to have this as his Gym's gimmick since Tate and Liza in Generation 3. Unlike Tate and Liza however, his Gym is entirely built around the format, with both the trainers and Raihan himself using techniques in line with official competitive Pokémon formats. Not only that, but his Gym focus on weather setting and combinations is a first for the series.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Not only is he handsome and has dark skin, his in-game model also shows that he is a few heads taller than the protagonist and is even slightly taller than Leon.
  • Weather Manipulation: Both Raihan and his Gym Trainers all use Pokémon that can change the weather through abilities and moves to play to their Pokémon's strengths. He even has cutscenes in-battle when he changes the weather and will compliment the player if they change the weather themselves. His first team is entirely built around Sandstorm, but he revamps his team before the Champion's Cup to set both Sun and Sand.
  • Worthy Opponent: After you defeat Leon, Raihan views you this way, considering you as his newest rival. He is said to be aiming to get stronger in order to defeat you someday.


Exclusive to Sword

    Bea (Saitō) 

Bea / Saitō (サイトウ saitou)

The Pokémon Sword exclusive Gym Leader of Stow-on-Side who specializes in Fighting-type Pokémon. Bea is a prodigy in Galar karate, carrying on its century-old traditions and techniques. She is known for being stoic and rarely showing her emotions, and her battle style remains very precise even when backed into a corner.

  • Amazonian Beauty: She's got well-defined abs that are emphasized by her skintight leotard, along with stout legs and strong arms. She also wears a cute hair bow, and her special League Card emphasizes how pretty she looks even when just cracking a smile.
  • Animal Motif: Her hair-bow resembles a Tepig's ears.
  • Artistic License – Martial Arts: She specializes in a style called "Galar Karate", but her fighting stances are that of a Muay Thai Kickboxer.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Specializes in Fighting-type Pokémon while she herself is very much a sternly disciplined bruiser.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Like most martial artists throughout the franchise, she goes barefoot. Though it's only for her gym uniform; the official artbook shows that she does wear shoes with her school clothes. They appear to match the uniform, implying it's her prefernce to not wear them with it.
  • Foil: To her Shield counterpart Allister. Bea is a tall, tan, muscular female trainer who specializes in the Physically oriented Fighting type, whereas Allister is a short, pale, scrawny male trainer who specializes in the Specially oriented Ghost type. Additionally, Bea is known for rarely showing emotion, while Allister is known for being incredibly shy.
  • Goroawase Number: As seen in her concept art, Bea has the number 193 on her shorts, which in Japanese is code for "ikusa", meaning "fight", perfect for the Fighting-type Gym Leader.
  • Hartman Hips: She has a well-built body with a chiseled but slender physique. The one exception are her hips, which are shown to especially wide compared to the rest of her body in concept art showing her in just her leotard. Justified, as her legs are more stout than her arms, lending themselves to her wider hips.
  • Hidden Depths: Bea shares the same Stow-and-Side Gym Challenge with Allister, which is basically the Disneyland tea cups attraction but with an added twist. While it is understandable for Allister given his visible age, the fact that Bea has the same challenge, along with her League Card mentioning she has a hidden Sweet Tooth, implies that the stoic martial artist may have childish tendencies of her own.
  • Leotard of Power: She appears to be wearing a very form-fitting black leotard under her shirt and shorts. Confirmed by concept art, showing that it's tight enough for her exact figure to be physical - likely why she covers it up with her shirt and shorts.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Her name in Japanese and English derives from "bean". Likewise, the former can also mean "to fight" while the latter can be read as a diminutive of "beat".
    • Beans are also, as far as vegetables go, an excellent source of protein - ideal for a physically fit Fighting specialist.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Is the only female character in the whole series to have visibly defined muscles, particularly her abs showing through her leotard.
  • Signature Mon: Her Machamp, which she uses to Gigantamax.
  • Sweet Tooth: According to her League Card, she is noted to have one. Unfortunately, this added attention has made enjoying them more difficult in public.
  • The Stoic: As befitting of a martial arts practitioner, she rarely expresses her emotions to maintain a steady state of focus. Her Rare League Card speculates that it is the result of strict training from her parents.
  • Version-Exclusive Content: Can only be fought in a Major League in Sword, taking Allister's spot.
  • When She Smiles: Being The Stoic, her smiles are noted to be a rarity, though she will sport a genuine smile upon defeat by the player. She also smiles in the picture on her Rare League Card, which speculates as to why Bea rarely smiles at all.
  • Younger Than They Look: Downplayed. While she appears to be a young adult, concept art depicting her in school clothes suggests that she might actually be a teenager.

    Gordie (Makuwa) 

Gordie / Makuwa (マクワ makuwa)

The Pokémon Sword exclusive Gym Leader of Circhester who specializes in Rock-type Pokémon. He's also Melony's son.

  • Acrofatic: He's the most heavyset of the gym leaders, and also has the physical prowess to pull off a backflip while throwing his Poké Ball.
  • Badass Back: He spends his entire fight looking over his shoulder at you.
  • Big Beautiful Man: A heavy and handsome Pokémon trainer fawned over by fangirls. He probably inherited this appearance from his mother.
  • The Cameo: In Shield, he briefly appears in Melony's rare League card.
  • Cool Shades: To go along with his blazer, Gordie wears a stylish pair of blue-tinted sunglasses. The only time he's seen without them is in his rare League Card.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Of the rock variety.
  • Family Theme Naming: Combined with Punny Name, Gordie comes from gourd and his mum's name is Melony, or just Melon in the original Japanese. His Japanese name is based on the makuwa uri, or oriental melon.
  • Foil: To his Shield exclusive mother Melony. Both specialize in types known for their hardiness, however Gordie is a cocky show-off while Melony is stoic and to the point with hints of affection.
  • Goroawase Number: His number is 188, which can be read as "iwaba", "rock wall".
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: The official artbook shows that he has four other siblings — a younger sister and three younger brothers.
  • Meaningful Name: The stocky and tall man is named after a stocky and tall plant. Also a lot of gourds tend to have a bitter unpleasant taste, and while Gordie isn't a bad guy he is certainly smug and rude.
  • Moe: An In-Universe example: his League Card reveals that his fans find the contrast between his cocky, crowd-pleasing attitude and his Sore Loser side to be endearing.
  • Signature Mon: His highest level Pokémon is a Coalossal that can Gigantamax.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Zigzagged, as he has to wear his uniform in the Gym, but he wears a stylish blazer over his jersey in addition to a few sharp-looking accessories. One trainer in his Gym also comments that he's very stylish so we can only assume his regular manner of dress is very fashionable.
  • Sore Loser: His League Card heavily implies him to be one of these with regards to his habit of shutting himself in the locker room after defeats. Amusingly, his fans find this more endearing than anything. He actually keeps his composure when losing to the player, but his dialogue betrays the fact that he's not exactly thrilled.
    "I just want to climb into a hole...Well, I guess it'd be more like falling from here."
  • Stone Wall: He uses a Shuckle as part of his team, which can take a lot of hits.
  • Version-Exclusive Content: The Sword counterpart to his mother Melony.

Exclusive to Shield

    Allister (Onion) 

Allister / Onion (オニオン onion)

The Pokémon Shield exclusive Gym Leader of Stow-on-Side who specializes in Ghost-type Pokémon, a position he achieved at a young age. He's extremely shy and fearful, so he hides his face with a mask when around other people. Allister rarely appears in public and apparently spends most of his time around ruins or in cemeteries.

  • Animal Motif: A subtle one, in that his mask resembles a Galarian Corsola's shell.
  • Beauty Mark: His rare trainer card shows that he has one under his lip, although since he's wearing a mask most of the time, you can't normally see it.
  • Bishōnen: He's got a very feminine face behind the mask, as revealed by his rare trainer card. Somewhat justified given his implied young age.
  • Child Prodigy: According to the description in the official Pokémon Twitter, he became a trainer at a young age, and appears to be the youngest Gym Leader in Galar so far.
  • Cool Mask: Wears a white mask with holes similar to that of either a skull or the face of a kodama, a Japanese tree spirit. We actually get to see what he looks like without it in post-game when he gives you his rare League Card showing it.
  • Creepy Child: Gives off this vibe, with his pre-battle poses and purple eyes shining behind his mask... though he's also described as being really shy.
  • "Darkness von Gothick" Name: Fitting for a shy Ghost-type user, "Allister" is both old-fashioned and evocative of the occultist Aleister Crowley.
  • Detect Evil: According to the artbook, his Idiot Hair acts like a dowsing rod towards ghosts.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Has really pale skin mixed with unkept black hair to add to his ghostly persona.
  • Foil: To his Sword counterpart Bea. Allister is a short, pale, scrawny male trainer who specializes in the Specially oriented Ghost type, whereas Bea is a tall, tan, muscular female trainer who specializes in the Physically oriented Fighting type. Additionally, Allister is known for being incredibly shy, while Bea is known for rarely showing emotion.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Whether or not they are actually glowing is unclear, but the contrast between his mask and his eyes gives this effect whenever they are visible.
  • Goroawase Number: Allister has the number 291 on his shorts, which in Japanese is code for "nikui", meaning "hateful".
  • I See Dead People: He claims to have the ability to see deceased Ghost-type Pokémon, but no one knows for sure if this is true. That his hair physically reacts like a dowsing rod to the presence of ghosts would seem to support it though.
  • Limp and Livid: His Creepy Child persona extends to his posture.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Allister comes from Alistair, a name associated with warriors with one of its meanings being "The one who repels men". An appropriate name for someone who controls ghost-type Pokemón. Likewise, he shares his name with the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley.
    • In keeping with the Galar Gym Leaders' fruit and vegetable Theme Naming, Allium is the genus of onions, garlic and chives, which are often credited with protection from evil spirits. His Japanese name is literally Onion, which in turn includes the term "Oni".
  • Shout-Out: His mask resembles that of a Shy Guy.
  • Shrinking Violet: He is described as being really shy, rarely making public appearances and hiding behind a mask when around other people.
  • Signature Mon: Gengar is his stongest Pokémon and the one he Gigantamaxes. However his design takes some elements from Cursola (his mask and the back of his suspenders) as well.
  • Soul Power: The resident Ghost-type expert.
  • The Southpaw: According to the guidebook he is left-handed which is reflected by him wearing his glove on said hand.
  • Supernatural Is Purple: Whenever his eyes are visible they glow in purple which his rare league card confirms to be his actual eye colour. Given his specialty in ghost types and their connection to the supernatural it's really fitting.
  • Token Mini-Moe: The youngest Gym Leader in Galar, and rather adorable, if in a rather unsettling way.
  • Version-Exclusive Content: Can only be fought in a Major League in Shield, taking Bea's spot.

    Melony (Melon) 

Melony / Melon (メロン meron)

The Pokémon Shield exclusive Gym Leader of Circhester who specializes in Ice-type Pokémon. She's also Gordie's mother.

  • Acrofatic: Not to the same degree as her son, but she still jumps high into the air before throwing her Poke Ball during a Gym Match.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Her Rare League card features her teasing an annoyed Gordie.
  • An Ice Person: Specializes in Ice-type Pokémon.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: A fairly tall woman with large curves, long silver hair, and a gentle sweet face.
  • Family Theme Naming: Her name is Melony (just plain Melon in Japanese) while her son is named Gordie, from gourd.
  • Foil: To her Sword exclusive son Gordie. They both specialize in types known for their hardiness, however Melony is stoic and to the point with hints of affection while Gordie is a cocky show off.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: In Shield, Melony wanted Gordie to inherit her position as Circhester's Ice-type Gym Leader, but he wanted to raise Rock-types instead. Their fighting divided the entire town and ended with Gordie going off on his own. The two haven't seen each other much since then, although Melony is rumored to be in his fan club. In Sword, it's not clear if a similar incident occurred, or if Melony was ever even a Gym Leader.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Her top doesn't do a lot to hide her figure. Justified, as a cosy sweater that fit her shoulders and waist so well probably would stretch a bit to accommodate her bust.
  • Goroawase Number: She's got the number 361, which is code for "samui", meaning "cold".
  • Happily Married: While her husband is not directly mentioned, Melony proudly wearing a ring on her left hand, and her having five kids of various ages, implies this.
  • Meaningful Name: Jokes about her bust aside, her name signifies both her round full body and her mostly sweet nature. Melony also happens to sound very similar to "melody," likely in reference to how her Signature Mon, Lapras, is known for its sweet singing voice. Finally, her name and her specialization in Ice-type Pokémon could be a reference to the wax gourd, which is also known as a winter melon.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Downplayed, but her left eye is partially covered by a large lock of silvery hair.
  • Signature Mon: Her highest level Pokémon is a Lapras that can Gigantamax.
  • Skunk Stripe: Has a darker grey streak in her light grey hair.
  • Standard Status Effects: Most of her Pokémon pack Icy Wind, which slows the target down. This is designed to compensate for her team's low to mediocre Speed.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She tends to flip between being a cool-headed, stoic ice queen and a motherly, affectionate lady.
  • Sweater Girl: Wears a form-fitting white sweater that highlights her curves.
  • Version-Exclusive Content: The Shield counterpart to her son Gordie.


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