From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Note: This page is under development, feel free to increase it in some detail.
During the course of the anime, many characters have appeared in opposition to Ash. Similar to games in virtually every region Ash meets a new rival and battle it several times during the course of the region.
Often an anime establishes three types of rivals in these areas:
Main Rival: Rival that usually wins the most battles and is finally defeated in battle in the main competition of the anime. Their attitudes are more rude and they usually stay one step ahead of Ash. Examples of this are Gary, Paul and Trip.
Ash's current rival: Trip
Rival friendly: character who generally tend to have attitudes more generally friendly and tend to be in the same level of battles of the protagonist. Examples are Barry, Morrison and Bianca.
Rival League: character who often appears to meet Ash soon after the final battle against the main rival at the Pokémon League, every battle so far resulted in defeat for Ash. Their example is Tobias, Harrison and Tyson.
The initial phase of anime stabilized only as Gary Oak rival for much of its course, but as the story continued in Johto way more characters entered. Misty also acted like rivals in many episodes, but it followed different goals.
- Main article: Gary Oak
Gary is the first rival of Ash (and possibly the biggest one so far). He is the grandson of Professor Oak and began his journey along with his Squirtle, with a few appearances in the Kanto region he is eventually defeated in the league and finished in the top 32.
During the Orange League saga he goes in search of training, after rediscovering Ash, he defeats Ash's Pikachu with his powerful Eevee (which later evolved into Umbreon ) and go to the Johto region.
They eventually battle for the Silver Conference where Ash is victorious after a tough battle because of this Gary decides to become a Pokémon researcher.
He makes brief appearances during the Battle Frontier saga of the anime, where he defeats Ash's Pikachu again with his newly acquired Electivire and continues its journey to the Sinnoh region, where it creates a kind of rivalry with the Pokémon Hunter J and tries to help by a order in the plans of Team Galactic.
As of Showdown at the Po-ké Corral, Gary has more than 200 Pokémon in his collection including more than one of the same species.
- Main article: Ritchie
Ritchie is a character that first appeared during the Indigo League arc, he and Ash team up to defeat the Rockets after they steal many Pokémon from trainers of the competition. They quickly become friends and soon after find out that it would face too, because the interference of Team Rocket and lack of control of his Charizard, Ash ends up being defeated in battle.
He appears again in the arch of Whirl Island where they both try to save a baby Lugia and a relative of the Team Rocket members.
His most recent appearance is in three episodes in Pokémon: Chronicles
- Main article: Casey
Casey is a beginner trainer from New Bark Town who first appeared in the early phase in Johto. In her first fight, it is completely defeated by Ash using only his Charizard.
Once again, she battles against Ash and his Pikachu where she put up a good fight only to be stopped by the actions of Team Rocket.
Both also competed in the Bug-Catching Contest where Ash wins the competition, yet it's he gives to her his newly captured Beedrill.
- Main article: Harrison
Native to the region of Hoenn, Harrison helped Ash rescue the flame of the Silver Conference that was with a wild Sneasel. After rescuing the flame, he captures the Sneasel with the help of his Blaziken.
He is a hard fight against Ash where he can beat Ash's Charizard despite the disadvantage of type with Blaziken.
After this, he decides to go to the Kanto region.
Although the saga Advance Generation anime has never created a rival to Ash himself, many characters during the course of the series acted as his rivals at some points.
- Main article: May
Although May has never been specifically treated as a rival in the anime, it has much in common with their counterparts of the games and manga, where she is the main rival of the male character in the game (or manga).
As in the games, her starter Pokémon has an advantage of the type of Ash's starter in the Hoenn region (Treecko), she also had several battles against Ash and is more notable for her last fight against Ash in Battle Frontier saga. She also competes in another kind of competition as opposed to Ash, similar to Sapphire in manga (but the manga is the opposite: Ruby is the Coordinator of the saga while Sapphire is the trainer who battles for badges).
- Main article: Morrison
Morrison first appears just before the Pokémon League in Hoenn region, he battles with his Beldum against Ash and Pikachu which results in a tie.
Shortly thereafter, Beldum evolves into a Metang in the competition.
He battles with Ash, in the beginning he battled in order to lose on purpose, but after Ash revolts, they battle at the same level.
- Main article: Rafe
Rafe is one of the main characters in Destiny Deoxys, much like other rivals, he acts in rude way to Ash. Them face off in a Tag Battle in Battle Tower of Larousse City, where he is victorious.
During the crisis in the city, he and Ash put their differences aside and join to help the city.
- Main article: Tyson
Tyson is a veteran trainer Ash and his friends find during the festivities for the start of the competition in Ever Grande City. His main Pokémon is a powerful Meowth that he found abandoned after a wild brawl against a Persian.
He battles against Ash for the eighth position in the championship and wins after a tough battle. Then it is shown that he proved to be the winner of the competition.
Diamond and Pearl
Diamond and Pearl is so far the series where most rivals have been created for the main characters of anime. In addition to Ash's rivals, most Dawn's rivals battled against Ash several times at one point or another in the anime.
- Main article: Paul
Paul is a veteran trainer to Veilstone City, much of his rivalry with Ash was due to their attitudes with their Pokémon. While Paul would rather focus on brute strength and heavy workouts for his Pokémon, Ash was the opposite of that which caused many fights between them.
Paul is the trainer's original of Ash's Chimchar who was released after failing to meet their expectations during the tournament in Tag Battle Hearthome City.
Despite his starter being a Turtwig (which evolved to Torterra well before Diamond and Pearl), the main Pokémon he owned in the Sinnoh region is a Electivire that he's coached since it was an Elekid and was used in the last battle against Ash in the Lily of the Valley Conference.
- Main article: Barry
Barry is a fan of Paul Ash and Dawn are in the city of Hearthome during the journey. He has several battles against Ash during the phase of the Diamond & Pearl, a native of Twinleaf he also is a son of Palmer, one of the Sinnoh Frontier Brains.
During the competition he battles against his idol Paul, but loses to him.
- Main article: Conway
Conway is a partner of Dawn during the competition of double battles in the city of Hearthome. Thanks to his experience both were the finals, where faces Ash and Paul but loses the battle much of this thanks to the evolution of Paul's Elekid.
He appears again during the summer school arc.
His last appearances were at the League where he confronts Ash once again, but lost again after a hard battle.
- Main article: Nando
Nando appears at the beginning of the journey in Sinnoh, after battling with Ash and Dawn decides to become a coordinator in addition to going after badges to qualify for the Pokémon League.
He is the first opponent that Ash faces during the competition.
It is unknown what the starter Pokémon Nando owns..
- Main article: Tobias
Tobias is a very powerful Pokémon trainer who appeared during the Lily of the Valley Conference arc. Very little is known of him, he managed to defeat all the gym leaders in the region of Sinnoh with just only your Darkrai. He faces Ash in The Semi-Final Frontier! vying for a top four position in the competition, he manages to defeat three of Ash's Pokémon only with Darkrai and finally falls after fighting against Ash's Sceptile, then he uses his Latios that defeated the rest of Ash's team falling only to Ash's Pikachu ending winning the match.
After that he wins the next match and becomes the champion of the competition.
Best Wishes/Black & White
Similar to the original series (in the Kanto region, specifically) is the first time that Ash's rival is mainly a beginner trainer. From Minccino-Neat and Tidy!, is also introduced one of these two rivals presents in games Black and White.
- Main article: Trip
Trip is the main rival of Best Wishes, despite being a rookie trainer, he defeats Ash's Pikachu in his first battle, much of this is due to the effect caused by Zekrom into Pikachu.
He battles Ash again in A Rival Battle for Club Champ! in a battle 5x5, he lost only two Pokémon into battle and win several Ash's Pokémon with one blow.
He reappears again in the arc in the town of Castellia.
Trip is a fan of Alder, which he watched a Pokémon battle when he was younger and had contact with his idol, which inspired him to train hard and strong following with the intention of facing his idol.
- Main article: Bianca
Bianca is a beginner trainer who first appeared in Minccino-Neat and Tidy!, she is sent by Professor Juniper to deliver a badge case to Ash. She quickly becomes friends with the characters and joins the group in Emolga the Irresistible!, later she made an attempt to capture one wild Emolga and leaves the group in the next episode to try to win more badges.
She reappears in the arc of Club Battle's tournament, as one of the participants, but is defeated in his first match. She appears again in several episodes during the Ash's journey in Unova region.
- Main article: Stephan
Stephan is a trainer Ash and his friends meet during the trip to find Nimbasa City. His main Pokémon is a Zebstrika that first appeared as a Blitzle. He reappears in the arc of the Club Battle's tournament, as one of the participants.
- Gary and Paul notably are the only ones Ash's rivals that appeared in a movie in person: Gary appears in a flashback of his fight against Giovanni and Mewtwo in the first movie and Paul walking into a location appears similar statues of Dialga and Palkia present in the city of Solaceon during the credits in the thirteenth movie.
- However, most rivals of Ash in the Sinnoh region appear in static images during the credits of the thirteenth film.
- Similar to that, disregarding the counterparts of the main games, Gary and Ritchie are the only rivals who appeared in one game in the series himself and also the manga-based anime.
- All main rivals battled Ash's Pikachu in their first battle against Ash.