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Harley (Japanese: ハーリー Harley) is a recurring character of the Pokémon anime. He is a Pokémon Coordinator from Slateport City and one of May's rivals. He first appeared in A Cacturne for the Worse.
Harley made his debut appearance in A Cacturne for the Worse as one of the Coordinators entering the Izabe Island Pokémon Contest. When he first met May, he was annoyed at her for several petty reasons: she was not familiar with his Cacturne, she called it "scary", and she said the cookies he offered her were "not half bad". Later, the two competed in the Izabe Contest. In the Appeals Round, Harley said that he didn't want anyone to talk during the performance of his Cacturne. After that round, in an attempt to publicly humiliate May, he played a recording of Max recalling a time when May was younger and became stuck in water with a swarm of Tentacool. May was embarrassed, but managed to defeat Harley and Cacturne with the help of her Bulbasaur.
Harley and May met up again in Slateport City for the Hoenn Grand Festival during the episodes Hi Ho Silver Wind!, Deceit and Assist, and Rhapsody in Drew. Harley pretended that he was friends with May, and she initially believed him. He gave her bad advice on purpose hoping she would fail to pass the first round of the Grand Festival. Meanwhile, Drew watched Harley, noticing how he tricked May. Later, May realized Harley's ploy, and soon the two were to battle once again. This time, it was Harley's Cacturne and Banette versus May's Bulbasaur and Beautifly. May won this battle as well, and progressed further into the tournament.
Harley's next appearance was in Saffron City during the episodes The Saffron Con and A Hurdle for Squirtle. This time, he met May in the Pokémon Center, where he stated he was working as an assistant to Nurse Joy in gratitude for her healing his Cacturne. He stated that he was sorry and that he was working hard to make up for things. All of it was a lie in order to fool May once again. After gaining May's trust, he told her that she could use her Hoenn Contest Pass to compete in Kanto Pokémon Contests. This nearly left May out of the Saffron Contest. However, Lilian Meridian gave her a Kanto Contest Pass and a Ribbon case in thanks for her help in repelling Team Rocket when they raided the Pokémon Center.
Harley competed in the Saffron Contest using Cacturne for the appeals and Ariados for the battles. He defeated Jessie who entered with Wobbuffet, but was defeated by May and her Squirtle in the finals.
The next time he appeared was in Harley Rides Again, where he competed in the Wisteria Contest. In the first round, he used Ariados's Spider Web to surround the stage with its web, similar to the previous Contest. He then asked it to entangle itself with its web and use Scary Face, scaring everyone. He then used his Octillery against May's Munchlax in battle. After utilizing Octazooka, Sludge Bomb and Rest, he managed to defeat May.
He appeared again in New Plot, Odd Lot! and Going for Choke!. This time after learning that May needed one more Ribbon to enter the Grand Festival, he devised a plan to prevent this. To do this, he enlisted the help of Team Rocket, promising to help Jessie win and having James and Meowth help him sabotage May behind the scenes. However Ash, Brock, Max and Drew got wind of this and thwarted his plan.
In New Plot, Odd Lot!, it was also mentioned that part of Harley's hate for May came from when a girl who looked like May ate his food when he was younger.
Harley appeared again in May, We Harley Drew’d Ya!, Thinning the Hoard, and Channeling the Battle Zone, where he competed in the Kanto Grand Festival. In the Appeals Round, he used his Banette while dressed up as May, asking himself to be called Mayley. He used Cacturne and Wigglytuff against Munchlax and Eevee, but both defeated his Pokémon.
The final major appearance he had was in The Unbeatable Lightness of Seeing where he simply watched May and Drew have a practice Contest Battle. At the end of the episode, he revealed that he was also going to compete in Contests in the Johto region. He also invited Jessie to do the same, but she denied, saying she still wanted to stay in Team Rocket. Because of this, he got mad at her. He then sent out his Cacturne to battle her. As she was searching for a Pokémon to use, Harley asked Cacturne to use Bullet Seed, sending Team Rocket flying with Jessie still looking for a Pokémon.
He has Contest Passes to compete in Hoenn, Kanto, and presumably Johto as well.
In A Full Course Tag Battle!, he and Wigglytuff appeared in a flashback. Then Harley, Solidad and Drew made a cameo appearance in Staging a Heroes' Welcome!, watching May performing in the Wallace Cup from TV.
Harley crossdressing as May
Harley has a rather peculiar personality. He is undeniably flamboyant, wearing an outfit similar in appearance to Cacturne. He has very effeminate mannerisms, which include wiggling his hips as he walks, talking with a high voice, and using アタシ atashi, the Japanese feminine version of I. He also has a tendency to use English words intermixed with his normal Japanese speech; for example, he calls Cacturne and Banette "my buddies" and tells May "good morning". In the Latin-American dub, this is replaced by using Latin-American slang and allusions to local urban culture; for example, he sings a song by the Mexican showman Juan Gabriel in the Grand Festival, as his Octillery dances in the flames. Another example of his feminine side is seen in May, We Harley Drew'd Ya!, where he cross-dresses as May, calling himself "Mayley" (Japanese: ハリカ Harika), much to May's embarrassment and Solidad's amusement. He is old friends with Solidad, as she said so herself.
Harley is a conniving character with little to no regard for anybody but himself and his Pokémon. He tends to get personal vendettas against people for the smallest of reasons. For example, his vendetta against May began after they first met, when she said she had never heard of Cacturne before, that Cacturne was "scary", and that his cookies were "not half bad"; however, the supposed "real" reason he started to dislike her was because she looks just like a classmate who stole his last snack when he was a small child. He keeps photos of people that he has grudges against in a photo album and tends to inflict humiliation to try to get the better of an opponent, showing sadistic pleasure when he does. This is evident when he pretended to be friends with Max in order to get him to tell an embarrassing story about May only to record it and play it during a Contest. Finally, as evidenced by his Contest performances, Harley shows no qualms in using dirty tactics to win.
Harley tended to use nicknames for May behind her back. The first was Meno-chan (English equivalent: Miss Tent) after embarrassing her with the Tentacool story. The second was Kamo-chan, referring to the word often used at the end of May's sentences in Japanese that can imply unsureness. In English, he calls her various cutesy pet-names, including "gingerbread-cookie".
Harley seems to take immense pride in his Pokémon, so much so in fact that he dresses up in clothing modeled after his signature Pokémon, Cacturne. None of Harley's Pokémon share a particular type, but they all have one attribute in common: they can be quite menacing in Contests, even the normally cute Wigglytuff.
This listing is of Harley's known Pokémon:
| Banette debuted in the Hoenn Grand Festival when it was Harley's turn to perform on stage during the appeal round. Banette's entrance was one that horrifies the audience. Banette performed a combination of Will-O-Wisp and Thunder. As a result, Harley was able to move on to the Double Battle round. During that round, Banette was sent out along with Cacturne to battle May, where they were defeated by both Bulbasaur and Beautifly, eliminating Harley from the competition.
Banette reappeared in New Plot, Odd Lot! where Harley lends it to Jessie for the Mulberry City Contest in an attempt to prevent May from getting her final Ribbon. It was officially used in the battle round where it went up against May's Squirtle in the final match. As Banette was Harley's Pokémon, it was told to use Frustration continually. Since all Banette did was repeatedly use the attack, this resulted in a loss for Jessie and the plan of having May not get her fifth Ribbon failed.
In May, We Harley Drew'd Ya!, Harley uses it in the Kanto Grand Festival and appeals with a Will-O-Wisp, moving Harley to the next round.
Banette's known moves are Will-O-Wisp, Thunder, Screech, Torment, and Frustration.
|| Deceit and Assist
| Voice actors
|| Ikue Ohtani
|| Darren Dunstan
| Ariados first appeared in The Saffron Con where it tried to stop Team Rocket from getting away with the Pokémon caught in their mecha. In the following episode, Ariados was used in the battle round of where it went up against Jessie's Wobbuffet. Even though Wobbuffet's Counter and Mirror Coat would have been successful on Ariados, Harley was reluctant to have Ariados attack first and Wobbuffet only had moves that would deflect attacks back at the opponent. Since neither of them made a move, both were issued a yellow card, decreasing the points by half. Before another one was issued, Ariados starts to launch a String Shot at Wobbuffet, rendering it useless. Ariados defeats Wobbuffet by controlling it to move like a puppet. It then went on to defeat various opponents such as a Walrein. In the final match, it went up against May's Squirtle. Even though it was Squirtle's first Contest, Ariados ends up getting defeated.
Ariados reappears in Harley Rides Again, performing in the appeals round of the Wisteria Town Contest. Harley gives Ariados to James and Team Rocket in New Plot, Odd Lot! to interfere with May's performance at the Mulberry City Contest. It shot an invisible web from above at both May and her Combusken while they were appealing. However, this was proven to be unsuccessful as Combusken's Fire Spin went through the web and burned Ariados.
Ariados's known moves are Spider Web, String Shot, Scary Face, Double-Edge and Shadow Ball*.
|| The Saffron Con
| Voice actors
|| Katsuyuki Konishi
|| Eric Stuart
| Wigglytuff's first appearance was in Thinning the Hoard!, where it was used in the Double Battle round of the Kanto Grand Festival. It battled alongside Harley's Cacturne against May's Eevee and Munchlax. Even though Cacturne was defeated, Wigglytuff was still a match for Eevee and Munchlax as it had the capability to expand its rubber-like body. Their attacks were rendered useless on Wigglytuff. After learning from Lilian that Wigglytuff was the Balloon Pokémon, May quickly thought of a plan to utilize this to her advantage. She had her Eevee shoot a Shadow Ball and Munchlax destroy the attack, which resulted in an explosion, making Wigglytuff lose its balance. Wigglytuff was eventually defeated by May's Munchlax's Focus Punch, with the help of Eevee.
Wigglytuff reappeared in A Full Course Tag Battle!, during May's flashback of Drew and Harley. She mentions that she can't beat either of them yet.
Harley's Wigglytuff is rather different from the other Pokémon of this species. It has a purple glare across its face, which is probably an attempt to make Wigglytuff fit the 'evil' stereotype of Harley's Pokémon.
Wigglytuff's known moves are Body Slam and DoubleSlap.
|| Thinning the Hoard!
| Voice actors
|| Yumi Tōma
|| Michele Knotz
Harley's Ribbons from Kanto
This listing is of the Ribbons Harley has obtained in the Hoenn region:
This listing is of the Ribbons Harley has obtained in the Kanto region:
Grand Festival ranking
Harley has competed in the following Grand Festivals:
Harley has competed in the following Pokémon Contests:
- Harley's name may be derived from and could be a corruption of 針 "needle", referring to his signature Pokémon.
- In the original Japanese version of the anime, one of Harley's reasons for disliking May is her over-usage of the word "kamo", which is a word that can be added to the ends of sentences when the speaker wants to show uncertainty. Harley is annoyed by this way of speaking and is convinced that May does it to make herself sound cute and harmless, not because she is actually unsure of what she says.
||May be corruption of 針 hari.
||From his Japanese name.
||Transliteration of his Japanese name.
||Transliteration of his Japanese name.