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Characters / Pokémon the Series: Black & White — Gym Leaders

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Unova Gym Leaders

     As a Whole 
  • Elemental Powers: They specialize in a specific Pokémon Type just like most Gym Leaders in the Pokémon World.
  • Large Ham: They sure love to emphasize their abilities and strengths.
  • Smug Super: They sound and act very show off and arrogant, even when compared to the usual portrait of Gym Leaders, with the exceptions of Marlon and Cheren.

     Striaton Gym

Voiced in Japanese by: Masakazu Morita (Pod), Makoto Ishii (Corn)
Voiced in English by: Lucien Dodge (Chili), Tom Wayland (Cress)
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Carlos Díaz (Chili), Manuel Díaz (Cress)

Cilan, Chili and Cress are a trio of Striaton City Gym Leaders, specializing in Grass, Fire and Water-types respectively. In this gym, the trainer has the freedom to choose one of the trio, and as long as they win, they will earn the Trio Badge.

As Cilan was impressed with Ash's improvisation during their gym battle, he accompanied him and left the gym to his other brother. For tropes specific to Cilan, see the Supporting Cast for Black and White.

General Tropes

  • Adapted Out: Neither of them have the Lillipup that they have in the games. The same goes for Cilan.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: Their English names (and Cilan's) all begin with a "C."
  • Big Eater: Chili, whose solution for resolving stress is to stuff his face with donuts. His Pansear also has the ability "Gluttony".
  • Birds of a Feather: Non-romantic, but Cilan determines that Chili and Pansear are perfect partners due to the many traits they share.
  • The Bus Came Back: Chili ends up encountering Ash's group in A Call for Brotherly Love!, after leaving his gym.
  • Berserk Button: Chili is really sensitive about people criticizing his battle tactics.
  • Can't Catch Up: This is acknowledged in BW058, when Chili is revealed to be suffering an inferiority complex, percieving himself as the weakest of the brothers due to having suffered a losing streak, expecially when Pansage circumvents his type disadvantage against Pansear with more balanced attacks. The gang helps him out by training Pansear to learn Solarbeam.
  • Curtains Match the Windows: They have elemental-colored eyes matching their elemental-colored hair.
  • A Day in the Limelight: BW058 focuses on Chili, who recently left Striation Gym to embark on his own journey, having lost confidence as a Gym Leader due to a series of losses.
  • Dishing Out Dirt:
    • Pansear can maneuver through the ground easily with Dig.
    • Panpour can use Mud Sport to lessen damage from super-effective Electric attacks.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Cress' Panpour's Double Team.
  • Elemental Hair Colors: Their hair are not only colored, but also styled according to the type they specialize in.
  • Elemental Powers: This Gym is unique in that it is shared with three different Type-specialists.
  • Energy Weapon: Pansear's Solarbeam (taught to it by Pansage).
  • Eyes Always Shut: Cress' Panpour.
  • Fiery Redhead: Chili
  • Freudian Trio: With all three brothers.
  • Green Thumb: Cilan specializes in Grass-type Pokeémon like Pansage. He's also the one who taught Chili's Pansear Solarbeam to get around Water-types.
  • Hot-Blooded: Chili to the extreme. Shared by his Pansear.
  • Large Ham: Chili, at times. Ironically, his brother Cilan can sometimes be even hammier.
  • Making a Splash: Cress specializes in Water-types like Panpour.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Cress' advice to Chili about his battle style, while necessary to help him improve, probably could have been delivered a little more delicately, something Cress guiltily admits to. Thankfully, Cilan manages to deliver the advice better and rectify the situation.
  • Playing with Fire: Chili uses Fire-type Pokémon like Pansear.
  • Out of Focus: While Chili gets some development and even his own focus episode later on, Cress goes largely underutilized.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Chili and Cress respectively. They even have hair colored that way!
    • Meanwhile, Cilan himself is blue to Chili, but red to Cress.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: They dress smartly as they serve customers as well as trainers.
  • Sibling Team: Along with Cilan (until he elects to travel awhile), the three of them share their duties at the Gym (which also doubles as a restaurant), allowing the challenger to select his or her opponent in a one-on-one Gym Battle.
  • The Stoic: Cress.
  • Take a Third Option: Ash requests the opportunity to battle all three Gym Leaders. Cress suggests a series of 3 one-on-one matches to determine whether Ash earns a badge (he beats Chili, loses to Cress, and then beats Cilan).
  • Third-Person Person: Cress in the original Japanese version - culturally and grammatically, doing so is regarded as a mannerism of femininity.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Of the triplets, Chili appears to lose the most battles - he was beaten by Trip using a disadvantaged Servine, for goodness sake, not to mention being (incidentally) the only person on record to have been defeated by Burgundy. Deconstructed when he develops an inferiority complex and runs away from the Gym, and it got even worse when Cilan and Pansage defeat his Pansear in BW058. However, it's subverted at the end of the episode when he finally defeats Ash's Oshawott.
    • Usually, Cress isn't shown to have lost a single battle. However, when Chili couldn't beat her, he eventually lost to Morana as well, who beat him using an OHKO attack despite his type advantage.

     Lenora (Aloe)

Voiced in Japanese by: Atsuko Tanaka
Voiced in English by: Norma Nongauza
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Laura Torres

  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Implied to be one.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Watchog's Low Kick.
  • Barrier Warrior: Herdier's Protect.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Shows up just in time to resolve the conflict in BW014
  • Confusion Fu: One of the reasons she's so difficult to fight in the anime is because her favorite strategy is to disorient trainers by destroying their strategies with a Roar and Mean Look combo. She is also one of the very few Gym Leaders allowed to substitute Pokémon during battle the same as her challengers are, which, again, allows her to use strategies not seen at other Gyms.
  • Meaningful Name: Lenora, as in normal types.
  • Non-Elemental: She specializes in Normal types
  • Shock and Awe: Watchog's Thunderbolt.
  • Soul Power: Watchog's Confuse Ray, and Lillipup and Herdier's Shadow Ball.
  • Stealth Mentor: She takes this approach when battling Ash, treating her battle with him like a test he needs to pass.
  • Token Minority: The only "black" Gym Leader, and fits the mammy stereotype pretty well - much of her artwork even features a matronly apron.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Just like in the games, Lenora is a very difficult fight for Ash. She curbstomps him without breaking a sweat, it takes an episode-long Training Montage just to get up to her level, and even then she's a tough battle.

     Burgh (Arti)

Voiced in Japanese by: Tōru Furuya
Voiced in English by: Billy Bob Thompson
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Daniel Lacy

  • Poisonous Person: Whirlipede's secondary type.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: His signature Pokémon, Leavanny, is from a species reknowned for its sewing ability. Burgh himself is a talented artist.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He does his best to both stop and help the Venipede in BW022, and manages to convince the mayor to give him a chance, while even talking Trip into assisting.

     Elesa (Kamitsure)

Voiced in Japanese by: Yumiko Kobayashi
Voiced in English by: Eileen Stevens
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Analiz Sánchez

  • Cool Horse: Zebstrika.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Has a gym full of (only) female fans that blush at the sight of her, cosplay as her, and constantly scream her name.
  • Genki Girl: Especially during battles. She's also in full Genki mode when she referees the match between Ash and Bianca's Father, shouting every now and then.
  • Glass Cannon - Tynamo (can be defeated with a well-powered offense, but one must first survive its raw power and speed).
  • Large Ham: Overlaps with Genki Girl.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Once she sees how powerful Pikachu is (taking out her Emolga with a single Quick Attack), the gloves come off.
  • Lightning Bruiser - Zebstrika (a test to see whether her opponent can last in the battle).
  • Meaningful Name: Elesa as in electricity.
  • Ms. Fanservice: In 2 occasions: The first is a screenshot that seems like she wasn't wearing stockings underneath. The second is Dawn's description of Elesa wearing very fashionable clothing.
  • Nice Girl: Extremely eccentric, but she's all around a sweet and caring young woman who tries to cheer up Bianca after her loss and loves her Pokémon and fans.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Tynamo.
  • Playing with Fire: Zebstrika's Flame Charge.
  • Poor, Predictable Rock: Similar like in the games, Elesa's Emolga is part-Flying-Type and thus is immune to Ground-Type attacks, countering both, Ground-Types and Grass-Types with Emolga's typing.
  • Shock and Awe: She specialises in Electric types.
  • Statuesque Stunner: For a fashion model, she may be considered the tallest female in the entire anime series. Observe. Here is a comparison height between Ash and company versus Elesa.
  • True Beauty Is on the Inside: After Ash beats her, Elesa admits that she'd gotten so caught up in showing off and dazzling with her Pokémon that she forgot about the importance of trainer and Pokémon being in sync with each other's feelings.
  • Wind from Beneath My Wings: Emolga's secondary type.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Her reaction when Ash only brought just 1 Pokémon in the battle after defeating Palpitoad, but allowed Ash to call an audible to get another Pokémon to continue.

     Clay (Yacon)

Voiced in Japanese by: Tsuguo Mogami
Voiced in English by: Sean Schemmel
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Humberto Vélez

  • One-Hit KO: Excadrill's Horn Drill. Less than useful against Roggenrola's "Sturdy" ability, however.
  • The Only One: To date, he's the only Ground Type Gym Leader Ash has gone up against.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He really did need those Revival Herbs, and so when Ash brought them from Milos Island he kept his word that he'd battle him. This is despite seeming grouchy and not believing Ash would be worth battling.
  • Self-Made Man: Clay reflects that when he was a child, he worked really hard to get where he is, but most contemporary youngsters expect to attain everything with shortcuts and cheap tricks. This is precisely why he considers Ash's Snivy using Attract to be unfair rather than strategic.
  • This Is a Drill: Excadrill

     Skyla (Fuuro)

Voiced in Japanese by: Kana Ueda
Voiced in English by: Sarah Natochenny
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Karla Falcón

  • Adaptational Jerkass: Downplayed. She's not an outright Jerkass, but she's very... arrogant and self-assured about her way of battling. Contrast the games, which present her as an outright Nice Girl.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Girl: She's very confident about the accuracy of her Air Battles, and gets very nasty if someone challenges her convictions. Even when Cilan gives her a hard time in battle, she declares she "was bored" and predicted everything (though she hadn't exactly). Her defeat by the hands of Ash, however, knocks her off her perch.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Her outfit exposes her midsection.
  • Blow You Away: Swoobat's Air Cutter & Gust, Unfezant's Air Slash and Swanna's Hurricane.
  • Bubble Gun: Swanna's Bubble Beam.
  • Defeat Means Respect: After Ash defeats her, she humbly admits she was wrong and vows to be a proper Gym Leader from then on. Tranquill's evolution in particular helped her realise that her belief in predictable outcomes is skewed.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Tranquill's evolution, which turned the tide of the battle (as well as revitalising her own passion for battle).
  • Early-Bird Cameo: A rather unusual one, in that she made her first anime appearance in the English opening of Season 15, the weekend before her first episode even aired in Japan.
  • Fiery Redhead: She's more passionate than quick-tempered.
  • Gender Flip: Her Unfezant is male in the anime, contrary to the female version in other continuities - noteworthy because of the gender dimorphism that already exists between female and male Unfezant.
    • This may be justified as Ash has a female Unfezant.
  • Genki Girl: She's very energetic. Just watch her entrance to Ash's battle with her! And the more the battle goes on, the more excited she gets!
  • Healing Factor: Swanna's Aqua Ring.
    • It allows Swanna to take Pikachu's electric attack so it seems to have been upgraded A LOT compared to the games.
  • It's All About Me: Gym battles were less important to her than her personal time to fly.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: BW068 shows that she's not really a bad person, but needed to realize that what was best for her wasn't necessarily best for everyone else. Even before then she's consistently polite and expresses delight at getting to battle another Gym Leader.
  • Making a Splash: Swanna's primary type.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Wears the very same outfit from the games - short shorts that expose her legs and a midriff-exposing pilot gear.
  • Non-Elemental: Unfezant's primary type.
  • Psychic Powers: Swoobat's primary type.
  • Smug Super: While not flat-out boastful, she's utterly self-assured.
  • Talking to Herself: Shares the same actress as Ash in the dub.
  • Tranquil Fury: Her grandfather, commenting on how she'd stated that she wouldn't allow her Swanna's beautiful wings to be tarnished (when Cilan's Stunfisk was attacking with Mud Shot), informs her that in his view, she's done just that by refusing to do her duty as Gym Leader. A tight frown crosses her face at the words, and it really looks like she's restraining the urge to scream at him (in the Japanese version, in fact, her response truly sounds like she's speaking through gritted teeth).
  • Wind from Beneath My Wings: She specializes in Flying types.

     Brycen (Hachiku)

Voiced in Japanese by: Nobuo Tobita
Voiced in English by: Benjamin Becker
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Diego Ángeles

  • Action Hero: In his movies, but also in "Real Life".
  • An Ice Person: He specializes in Ice-types.
  • Badass Normal: Shown by his training regiment with Beartic in BW078.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Not only was he an Action Hero in movies, he's an accomplished martial artist — the man can shatter boulders with his bare fist, for Heaven's sake!
  • Bears Are Bad News: Beartic, his strongest Pokémon, though only in the Gym battle.
  • Bruce Lee Clone: Aside from being a martial arts film star, his movie titles are parodies of Bruce Lee's movies.
  • Noodle Incident: The accident on the set of his fourth movie, which convinced him to quit making movies and go back to training with his Beartic.
  • Psychic Powers: Crygonal's Reflect.
  • Poor, Predictable Rock: His Beartic knows Brine, a Water-Type move to counter Fire-Type Pokémon, as well as the Flying-Type move Aerial Ace to counter Fighting-Type Pokémon. Ash's Pignite being a Fire/Fighting-Type, he gets defeated by both of Beartic's moves.
  • Soul Power: Vanillish's Astonish.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Cryogonal's Rapid Spin.
  • Warrior Monk: Dresses the part, and he's also a genuinely tough guy.
  • Worthy Opponent: For Krokorok, who was psyched to battle his team.

     Roxie (Homika)

Voiced in Japanese by: Eri Kitamura
Voiced in English by: Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Mireya Mendoza

  • Adaptational Badass: She's only the second Gym Leader in the games, whereas in the anime Ash earned his final badge from her (though this is mainly because she was introduced after the other Gym Leaders). In addition, she allows Ash to use six Pokémon against three of hers, and she justifies her confidence by defeating five of his team during the battle.
  • Adapted Out: Sort of. She has a Grimer in the games, but only in challenge mode. In the anime, it's replaced with Garbodor.
  • Badass Adorable: Apparently, she puts herself on a 6-on-3 disadvantage regularly...Yikes! Plus, she's pretty cute.
    • Even before Ash is headed towards the Gym for his match, a lot of Pokémon were being admitted to the Center in Virbank City specifically because she was kicking their asses. Notably, the scene is similar to something we saw way back on the first season, before Ash went to face Lt. Surge in the Vermilion City Gymnote .
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Scolipede.
  • Combat Pragmatist: She utilizes attacks with a good chance of poisoning the opposition, making up for her lesser numbers in the battle. In fact, a lot of the poisoning attacks are aimed at the face to assure poisoning with the added bonus of throwing them off.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Scolipede's Rock Tomb.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: She made her anime debut in a two-part special which aired in Japan the week prior to the release of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 (her first game appearance).
  • Energy Weapon: Garbodor's Hyper Beam.
  • Honor Before Reason: She doesn't take advantage of Pignite's poisoning by Scolipede, giving it a Pecha Berry before sending out her strongest Pokémon, Garbodor. It just shows how she's both a good sport and a tough opponent.
  • Lead Bassist: In addition to being Gym Leader, she's also the bassist/vocalist of Koffing and the Toxics.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Scolipede's Screech.
  • Mascot Mook: Koffing is an In-Universe one for her band.
  • Playing with Fire: Koffing's Will-O-Wisp.
  • Poisonous Person: She's a Poison-type trainer.
  • Worthy Opponent: She does see Ash as this while their battle go on. The fact Ash kept shilling her a lot during the battle not only boosts her already big Large Ham tendencies, but makes her took a shining on him.
  • Youthful Freckles: Though they're only visible close-up.

     Marlon (Shizui)

Voiced in Japanese by: Yuji Ueda
Voiced in English by: Ted Lewis (as Ed Paul)
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Víctor Ugarte

  • Adapted Out: He doesn't have a Carracosta like in the games. He does have a Wailord, but he doesn't use it in the battle against Cameron.
  • The Unfought: Well, for Ash who already has 8 badges. He was Cameron's opponent instead.
  • The Worf Effect: Cameron defeats him without much difficulty, despite Marlon being a powerful Gym Leader. This is presumably to display just how powerful Cameron's team (especially Samurott) is.

     Drayden (Shaga)

Voiced in Japanese by: Masaki Terasoma
Voiced in English by: Mike Pollock
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: José Luis Orozco

  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Sort of - while nobody was surprised that Iris battled Drayden again, everyone expected Ash to win his 8th Badge at Opelucid Gym rather than at Virbank Gym.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Haxorus' Rock Smash.
  • The Bus Came Back: He returns alongside Iris in JN064 where he meets Ash and Goh at the stadium to prepare Ash for his battle against Iris.
  • Dragon Tamer: Specializes in training Dragon-type Pokémon.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Made his first appearance in Iris' flashback during BW034.
  • Extra-ore-dinary: Druddigon's Flash Cannon.
  • Fauxshadowing: The final slot in Ash's Badge case is at one point seen to be shaped to hold the Legend Badge, the badge which Drayden gives out. But Opelucid Gym turns out to be closed on short notice, and Ash battles Roxie for his final Unova Badge instead. Then the 2nd Japanese opening featured Drayden, and he made a two-episode appearance.
    • What's amusing about this is how Ash's Badge Cases (both Sinnoh and Unova) have slots shaped specifically for certain badges - despite the fact that in the anime, there are more than 8 Gyms and therefore no specific selection of badges to be earned for League participation.
  • Me's a Crowd: Druddigon's Double Team.
  • Token Motivational Nemesis: Non-villainous variant — his presence played an important role in defining who Iris and Excadrill became. He and Iris have a rematch at the Opelucid Gym, and he wins a 2nd time (although this time, Excadrill pulls a tie against the Haxorus which originally defeated it).
  • The Unfought: Ash has not fought him and has no reason to, because he obtained his 8th Badge from Roxie instead.
    • "Unfought" to Ash; to Iris it's a completely different story.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: He handed Iris and Excadrill their first ever defeat, breaking their 99-battle winning streak. In their 2-on-2 rematch in BW101, he wins again — despite Excadrill tying with Haxorus, Druddigon was still standing despite Dragonite's best efforts.


Voiced in Japanese by: Takuya Eguchi
Voiced in English by: Todd Haberkorn
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Arturo Castañeda

  • Curtains Match the Window: Black hair, black eyes.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Which mostly makes up for his lack of a presence beyond the Gym Leader role in the anime.
  • Demoted to Extra: Considering his noteworthy role in the games. Also, when Ash meets him, he's already in his Gym Leader position of Black 2/White 2, rather than a friendly rival in the same capacity as Bianca - as such, when Ash and Cheren battle, it's just a friendly battle rather than a full-fledged Gym Badge battle as Ash had already gotten the Basic Badge (along with the other seven needed to enter the Unova League) from Lenora.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Throughout the episode, he's unsure of himself and his worth as a Gym Leader due to being new to the business. Yet his students absolutely adore and look up to him.
  • Non-Elemental: Presumed to use Normal-types like Herdier, just like in the games.

Alternative Title(s): Pokemon Black And White Anime Gym Leaders