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Reason: Japanese voice actors for Paul's Ninjask and Gastrodon.
- This article is about the character from the Diamond & Pearl series. For the English voice actor credited as Ed Paul, see Ted Lewis.
- "Shinji" redirects here. For the character of the day that appeared in The Legend of Thunder!, see Shinji (Johto).
Paul (Japanese: シンジ Shinji) is a rival of Ash in the anime. He is from Veilstone City in Sinnoh. He was first seen at the end of Two Degrees of Separation, though his full introduction was in When Pokémon Worlds Collide!. He is Ash's first and main Diamond & Pearl series rival.
At the beginning it was assumed that Paul was a Trainer just starting out. However, this was proven false in Top-Down Training where he revealed that he had already traveled through Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn, participating in their respective Leagues but didn't win anything before returning to Sinnoh. In A Pyramiding Rage!, it was revealed that Kanto was the very first region he traveled through.
A Pyramiding Rage! revealed much about Paul's motivation as a Pokémon Trainer and more about his character. When Reggie was a roaming Pokémon Trainer, he had lost to Brandon. Reggie's loss to Brandon is what caused Paul to be so adamant about strength in battle. This single loss is also what caused Paul to become the callous person he was, and that was because of how his brother handled the loss. Instead of bearing the shame of his loss to Brandon, Reggie moved on with his life and put the loss behind him. Paul found this to be unacceptable, and he became disappointed of his brother. He challenged Brandon to a full battle in hopes that he would be able to do what his brother never could. However, Paul lost to Brandon without being able to knock out any of Brandon's Pokémon. Brandon says that this loss was because Paul was unable to control his emotions.
Following Reggie's suggestion in A Pyramiding Rage!, Paul battled Ash in a full battle in Pedal to the Mettle! and Evolving Strategies!. Here, he shows his true colors in battle and, despite Ash's Chimchar evolving into Monferno and three of Ash's Pokémon using the Counter Shield strategy, Paul won the match easily with only at a loss of two Pokémon overall, where one defeated half of Ash's team nearly single-handedly. He had his Pokémon use a broad variety of strategies, which he kept up his sleeve until this battle, such as tempting Ash to send his Staraptor up against his Torterra so he could attack it with Stone Edge, Electabuzz using Light Screen to aid its comrades, using his Ursaring against Ash's Pikachu so as to activate its Guts Ability, and his Magmortar using Rock Tomb to protect itself against Water-type attacks. As a result, his strategy of completely overwhelming and outsmarting Ash with his more powerful Pokémon team succeeded.
In Double-Time Battle Training!, it was revealed that Paul had earned the Mine Badge from Canalave Gym and, by doing so, had collected the eight Badges he required to enter the Sinnoh League.
Paul reappeared in Fighting Ire with Fire!, encountering Ash for the first time since their full battle. He also met his admirer Barry for the first time; however, Paul wasn't impressed by him and refused his offer for a battle, suggesting he battle Ash instead. He later watched the battle between Ash's Monferno and Barry's Empoleon and when Pikachu, Piplup and Empoleon were nearly crushed by one of Team Rocket's damaged mechas, he saved the three with the help of his Electabuzz. He then witnessed Monferno evolving into Infernape, who then saved Electabuzz and the other Pokémon from getting crushed. Paul was impressed by Infernape, and gained a little respect for Ash at how well he had raised it. When asked by Ash if they could have another full battle, Paul confirmed they would in the Sinnoh League, and that Reggie was looking forward to seeing it.
In An Old Family Blend!, he was shown in the stadium along with all the other competitors. In League Unleashed!, he passed the preliminary round. In Casting a Paul on Barry!, with his superior tactics and the superior power of his Pokémon, he defeated Barry in the third round. His next battle was against his rival Ash in Familiarity Breeds Strategy!, continuing into A Real Rival Rouser! and Battling a Thaw in Relations!. After a fierce battle, Paul was finally defeated, and he and Ash parted on good terms, Ash having earned Paul's respect. It also seems Paul may have decided to change somewhat, as when Electivire is defeated, he thanks it for a job well done, something that, up until that point, Paul never did, even if his Pokémon won. Afterwards, Paul states that his next intention is to return to Snowpoint City and re-challenge Brandon. He briefly appears in The Semi-Final Frontier!, seeing Ash lose to Tobias.
Privately commenting to Brock and Dawn on the battle between Ash and Paul, Cynthia predicts that they would both be entering the Champion League soon.
Paul makes a cameo appearance during the credits of Zoroark: Master of Illusions, where he is seen visiting a ruin with statues of Dialga and Palkia.
Personality and training
Paul's only concern in his Pokémon is of their strength in battle. He strongly dislikes weak Pokémon and has a habit of releasing them if they do not meet his high expectations. To this effect, Paul always checks new captures with his Pokédex to learn what moves they know and trains the Pokémon he keeps harshly to make them strong. He feels that bonding with Pokémon would only turn them into slackers. He also has a habit of scolding his Pokémon for losing to opponents he feels they could have beaten, especially Chimchar. He has also demonstrated similar behavior to Azumarill, Honchkrow and Ursaring.
As a person, he is very callous at times and even brutal, especially in battle and as a result, he has been shown to display very little emotion other than an occasional rough smile.
Sometimes, he gives some of his Pokémon to his brother, Reggie, for temporary training and caretaking, as revealed in Lost Leader Strategy!. Paul also disagrees with his brother for giving up on being a Pokémon Trainer after failing to get the Brave Symbol. He feels his brother's approach and view on this to be wrong. Reggie cares about his brother and ultimately loves him as brother but has no illusions about Paul's character. He openly admits sadly that Paul has always had a cruel streak.
Paul has been shown to have a certain degree of athleticism. In Different Strokes for Different Blokes, he and Chimchar were seen to be able to downwardly scale a cliff of a waterfall near Bewilder Forest by swinging and leaping from rocks and branches. This could indicate that Paul physically trains himself and not just his Pokémon.
Paul originally felt that Ash was a weak Trainer and could easily bring on his anger by stating it. Ash's very different attitude towards being friends with Pokémon also provided much fuel to their rivalry. Despite that, Paul barely recognized their rivalry and Ash as a Trainer and ignored his speeches about loving his Pokémon. However Paul's first hint of respect for Ash was in A Pyramiding Rage! when he was very surprised to hear that Ash had beaten Brandon in a Pokémon battle.
Although Paul found most of the Pokémon in Ash's party at the time to be weak, he had shown a particular interest in his Pikachu, as shown in A Gruff Act To Follow!, after Pikachu used Thunderbolt on Roark's Cranidos. Paul is also angered by how Ash "contradicts" himself by criticizing Paul's training methods and then uses similar ones, such as entering the Wallace Cup, despite Ash's motivations being clearly different than Paul's.
Paul appears to feel indifference to Dawn, showing that he didn't even bother to remember her name in A Gruff Act to Follow. However he talks to her about Ash in Familiarity Breeds Strategy!. Paul confesses his main problem with Ash is his talk about bringing out a Pokémon's inner strength and how any Pokémon has the potential to be strong reminds him a lot of Reggie. Paul shows mild respect as well as distaste towards Brock, probably because Brock supports Ash's view on Pokémon. Paul does show respect for his elders, such as Professor Rowan, Cynthia, Nurse Joy and Brandon. However it should be noted that keeping with his views of strong Pokémon and strong Trainers that he only respects actual Trainers with strong Pokémon. While he respects Professor Rowan and Nurse Joy for their wisdom and positions, he only respects Cynthia and Brandon for their abilities as Trainers. He is shown to have no respect for Gym Leaders who he feels are weak. While he was shown to respect Roark who he judged to be in the end a worthy opponent, he was openly rude and mean to Maylene.
Paul was impressed by Infernape, and gained a little respect for Ash at how well he had raised it. When asked by Ash if they could have another full battle, Paul confirmed they would in the Sinnoh League and that Reggie was looking forward to seeing it.
After a fierce battle in the Sinnoh League Tournament, Paul was finally defeated and he and Ash parted on good terms, Ash having earned Paul's respect. It also seems Paul may have decided to change somewhat, as when Electivire is defeated, he thanks it for a job well done, something that, up until that point, Paul never did, even if his Pokémon won.
As a result of Paul's selective team creation, his active team is composed of Pokémon that he deems to be powerful. Whilst the captures of Ursaring and Gliscor were shown in Different Strokes for Different Blokes and Riding the Winds of Change! respectively, and Ninjask's was revealed in a flashback during Glory Blaze!, his team has for the most part been captured off-screen. Several other Pokémon in his possession were captured on screen but later released.
This listing is of Paul's Pokémon as of the most recent Japanese episode and the ones used for the last full battle against Ash:
| Paul's Drapion first made its appearance in Familiarity Breeds Strategy!, where it battled against Ash's Buizel. Despite Buizel's efforts, using his Counter Shield, Drapion was able to defeat him in A Real Rival Rouser! with a combination of Pin Missile and Toxic Spikes. Drapion next battled Ash's Staraptor. It managed to dodge all of Staraptor's moves and used Pin Missile which threw Staraptor to the ground and caused it to get knocked out by Toxic Spikes.
It then went up against Ash's Torterra, who felt the effect of Toxic Spikes upon being release from its Poké Ball. Torterra did manage to plant a few hits on Drapion but it regained the upper-hand after using Poison Fang. Torterra tried to recover with its Synthesis but was knocked out after being hit by Pin Missile. Paul then recalled Drapion after its third victory.
Later, Drapion was used to battle Ash's Gliscor. Unlike before, Gliscor proved too quick for Drapion to keep up with and it managed to attack with Giga Impact before Drapion could make a move. Still it put up a fight with Pin Missile. In the end, it was knocked out after being burned from Gliscor's Fire Fang in Battling a Thaw in Relations!. It was the third Pokémon called out by Paul in the battle, and the only one that was recalled by him during the entire battle.
Drapion's known moves are Pin Missile, Cross Poison, Toxic Spikes, and Poison Fang.
|| Familiarity Breeds Strategy!
| Voice actors
|| Unshō Ishizuka
|| Unshō Ishizuka
In Veilstone City, Reggie told Ash that Paul's "other Pokémon are here too" which may include his reserves. In Glory Blaze!, Paul mentions that he wanted Chimchar to become the most powerful out of all his Fire-type Pokémon. This could mean he has other Fire-type Pokémon besides Magmortar.
| Weavile made its first appearance in Top-Down Training!. It was used in a battle against Cynthia's Garchomp. Despite having a type-advantage, Weavile lost easily to Garchomp. It was also revealed in this episode that Paul caught Weavile while journeying through Hoenn, Johto and Kanto.
It was not seen again until Riding the Winds of Change! where Paul used it and Electabuzz to capture Gliscor, and again until Aiding the Enemy, where it was seen training with Torterra. It appeared again in Pedal to the Mettle!, where it was one of the battlers in Ash and Paul's full battle. It lost to Ash's Staraptor, despite the type-advantage.
It appeared again in Battling a Thaw in Relations! at Reggie's house, where it, along with Paul's Torterra, Ursaring and Honchkrow, was unhappy to find out Paul had lost.
Weavile's known moves are Blizzard, Ice Beam, Ice Shard, Swords Dance and Metal Claw.
|| Top-Down Training!
| Voice actors
|| Chinami Nishimura
|| Bill Rogers
It is implied that Paul has caught and released many more Pokémon than what has been shown on-screen.
- Main article: Paul's Chimchar
When Paul first saw Chimchar, it was being chased by a group of Zangoose. Paul was impressed with it and added it to his regular team. However, this first impression did not match up to Chimchar's normal abilities and so Paul regularly criticized it for being weak. After losing to Cynthia's Garchomp in Top-Down Training, Paul realized that Chimchar was not fulfilling his expectations. This culminated in the tag battle tournament arc where he was forced to battle alongside Ash. During a battle against a Zangoose and a Metagross, Chimchar was too scared to make any attack when caught in Zangoose's claws. After the battle, Paul released Chimchar in front of Ash, who then invited it to join him.
|| When Pokémon Worlds Collide!
| Voice actors
|| Megumi Hayashibara
|| Bill Rogers
Known Badges obtained
It can be assumed, if not confirmed, that Paul also has at least eight Badges each from Kanto, Johto and Hoenn, as he has entered all three of their league conferences.
Paul has competed in the following Pokémon League competitions:
- Paul was first revealed to the fandom through a CoroCoro scan that showed him alongside Ash and Dawn commanding a Chimchar. However, his name and role was not revealed until the following week and so he received the fan name "Nugai" (a pun derived from "new guy") during that time.
- Three of Ash's Pokémon have evolved while battling against Paul: Turtwig into Grotle, Staravia into Staraptor, and Chimchar into Monferno. Both Turtwig and Staravia evolved while battling Honchkrow.
- Paul is the first regular rival seen capturing a Pokémon on screen.
- Paul has been defeated onscreen three times, and each time three of his Pokémon debuted.
- Paul shares his Japanese name with that of Lake Verity.
- Paul has three Pokémon in common with Ash's original rival, Gary Oak: Electivire, Nidoking and Magmar.
- Paul has used a Pokémon of every type except for the Psychic-type and the Dragon-type.
- Paul is the only trainer to abandon one of Ash's Fire type Pokémon that has been seen more than once.
|| シンジ Shinji
|| Possibly from 真珠 shinju (pearl), a reference to Pokémon Pearl. Could also be named after 宮崎慎二 Shinji Miyazaki.
German, Latin America
|| Possibly from pearl.
|| Spanish adaptation of Paul.
|| 진철 Jincheol
|| Possibly from 진주 jinju (pearl).
|| 真司 Zhēnsī
|| From the name 真司 Shinji. Also similar to 真珠 zhēnzhū (pearl).
|| 真司 Jānsī
|| Same as Mandarin name.
Episodes focusing on Paul