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Professor Kukui (Japanese: ククイ博士 Dr. Kukui) is a major supporting character of the Pokémon anime, who appeared in the Sun & Moon series. He is a Pokémon Professor in the Alola region and a teacher at the Pokémon School on Melemele Island. He is also the true identity of The Masked Royal (Japanese: ロイヤルマスク Royal Mask).
Professor Kukui at the age of five
Since his childhood, Kukui had been a fan of Pokémon moves, often observing Hala's battles to witness these attacks in action. He would follow the matches along with his Move Index guidebook. At some point, he befriended and later obtained a Litten, which originally belonged to his parents. The pair would often spend time in the forests of Melemele Island playing with all of the wild Pokémon. He also befriended a Totem Trevenant living in the forests and received a Firium Z after helping to relieve it of its sneezing. In addition, he is a childhood friend of Molayne and DJ Leo.
At the age of five, he met Ash, whom a Celebi had accidentally sent into the past. Due to Ash's mastery of Z-Moves, he started calling him the "Move Kahuna" (Japanese: ワザキング Move King) and asked to battle with him. Ash easily won the battle and taught the young Kukui, whom he started calling "Roarie" (Japanese: ガオ Gao) due to his Incineroar cap, that there was no shame in losing. He then proceeded to tell Kukui about his Gym and Pokémon League battles in other regions, inspiring Kukui's own ambitions. Soon, Ash was transported back to the present by Celebi, leaving both young boys unaware of each other's real names.
In League Offenders and Defenders!, Hala revealed that Kukui and Guzma were once his apprentices. However, the two had a falling-out after Guzma expressed beliefs that Z-Rings and Z-Moves were pointless. While Guzma abandoned his training and established Team Skull, Kukui continued to study under Hala.
Professor Kukui debuted in Alola to New Adventure!. He was first seen entering his classroom, where he was introduced to Ash, apparently not recognizing him from his youth. He later watched as Ash battled Team Skull and was impressed by his battling skills. After Team Skull's defeat, he told Ash about Z-Moves and the island challenge. Following Ash's decision to attend the Pokémon School, he allowed Ash to live with him during his stay in Alola. At the end of the next episode, he handed Ash a new Pokédex, which then got inhabited by a Rotom.
In Rocking Clawmark Hill!, he and Ash returned home one night, only to notice the absence of Rockruff. Rockruff soon returned injured, prompting Kukui to heal it with a Potion. Upon further investigation, they found out that it had been training on Clawmark Hill. After watching Ash train Rockruff, Kukui noticed the bond they had developed and encouraged Ash to catch Rockruff.
In Alola, Kanto!, Kukui accompanied his students and Samson Oak to Kanto for an extracurricular activity, where they visited Professor Oak's Laboratory. In the following episode, he and the others traveled to the Cerulean Gym, where his students battled Misty and Brock. Seeing these battles inspired him to realize his childhood dream an official Pokémon League in Alola.
In A Dream Encounter!, Kukui told Ash about Professor Burnet and her research on Ultra Wormholes. He later introduced her to him when she, along with the president of the Aether Foundation Lusamine, Faba, and Wicke, visited his home to meet Ash and Nebby. During his class's sleepover in A Dream Encounter!, Kukui began to bond with Burnet, who also stayed over at his house.
In Family Determination!, Kukui accompanied his students to the Altar of the Sunne on Poni Island to catch up with Lillie, who had ran away from home with her brother, Gladion, in search of a way to save Lusamine, who had been abducted by a Nihilego. Later, while watching Alola's guardian deities bless Nebby, he received a phone call for help from Professor Burnet and left to help her out. He soon witnessed Burnet and her Munchlax being surrounded by a group of Jangmo-o and Hakamo-o, but using his Braviary he was able to drive the Scaly Pokémon off. By the time the two professors returned to the altar though, Ash and the others had already ridden off on Nebby into an Ultra Wormhole. Kukui and Burnet stayed behind and waited until the group finally returned with Lusamine.
Professor Kukui and Professor Burnet about to get married
In The Professors' New Adventure!, during a walk on the beach with Burnet, Kukui proposed to her. A few days later, the wedding ceremony, which was arranged by his students, was held on the beach outside his house. Since their marriage, Burnet has moved in with Kukui and Ash.
Kukui's alter-ego, the Masked Royal, debuted in Pushing the Fiery Envelope!. When Ash and his classmates visited the Battle Royal Dome, Ash's Litten got agitated upon seeing Royal's Incineroar. This prompted him to invite Ash, along with Kiawe and Sophocles, to take part in a Battle Royal, which the Masked Royal easily won. Days later, after seeing Litten training to master Flame Charge, Kukui, dressed up again as the Masked Royal, showed up to have a one-on-one battle with Ash. During the battle, Litten evolved into Torracat and was able to perfect Flame Charge. Despite this, however, the battle ended in the Masked Royal's victory. Afterwards, the Masked Royal declared that he and Incineroar were now Torracat's rivals.
The Masked Royal reappeared in A Young Royal Flame Ignites!, where he faced a member of the Revengers, Mr. Electric, and his Electivire in a Battle Royal. However, due to interference Mad Magmar's Magmortar, Mr. Electric was disqualified. The Masked Royal then got challenged by Mad Magmar to a battle for the title of the strongest fighter, which he accepted. The next day, Kukui accompanied Burnet and his students to the Battle Royal Dome, but began feeling nervous as he had to take on his role as the Masked Royal without his identity being found out. After managing to sneak away, he was able to reach the ring in time, where his battle would begin. However, Mad Magmar played dirty again by having other members of the Revengers gang up on Incineroar until Ash's Torracat interfered. Teaming up with Torracat and Ash, the Masked Royal and Incineroar took on Mad Magmar and Mr. Electric and eventually managed to beat them, despite all the interference.
In Filling the Light with Darkness!, mysterious dark clouds appeared over Alola, leaving Kukui and all other adults tired and without motivation. Later, after this was resolved, Kukui met up the Ultra Guardians, Burnet, Lusamine, Faba, and Wicke inside the Ultra Guardians base, where he oversaw Lunala recovering. Later, when the Ultra Guardians left for Ultra Space with Lunala, Kukui and Faba volunteered to aid them. On Ten Carat Hill, he and Faba confronted Team Rocket's Matori Matrix by using their Pokémon to damage the team's airship and prevent them from entering the Ultra Wormhole. Afterwards, Kukui and Faba faced Gozu and his Mega Aggron in battle, but their Pokémon were swiftly beaten. In the next episode, Kukui asked Faba if he had more Pokémon, and the latter replied he did not. Thus, Kukui was forced to send out his Incineroar and perform its Z-Move, Malicious Moonsault, which managed to defeat Mega Aggron. However, this also caused him to reveal his secret identity to Faba, who in turn revealed that he was a big fan of the Masked Royal. Later, alongside Incineroar and Faba, Kukui joined the rest of Alola in showering Necrozma with Z-Power so it could return to its true form. After Necrozma returned to its Ultra form, Kukui watched as the Ultra Guardians, Nebby, and Lunala returned to Alola, alongside Faba, Burnet, Lusamine, and Wicke.
In Turning the Other Mask!, the Masked Royal announced a handshake event to be held on Melemele Island. When Ash and Burnet told Kukui they wanted him to go with them to the event, Kukui asked Molayne to help keep his Masked Royal identity a secret. The day of the event, Molayne prepared to change into the Masked Royal costume, only to be tied up by Faba and James, who had mistaken him for an imposter. When Mad Magmar came around looking for revenge, Faba donned the Masked Royal costume and tried to defeat him with Incineroar, only to be easily defeated. After freeing himself, Molayne had his Magneton shut the lights off, giving Kukui the time to slip back into his Masked Royal costume and defeat Mad Magmar.
In The Dealer of Destruction!, Kukui hosted a press conference at Aether Paradise, where he announced the formation of the first-ever Alola Pokémon League and revealed the stadium that was being constructed to host it, called Manalo. The next day, Guzma arrived at the Pokémon School and told Kukui that Alola didn't need a Pokémon League. When Ash challenged Guzma to a battle, Kukui refereed the match. The battle ended prematurely when Guzma's Golisopod returned to its Poké Ball due to Emergency Exit. As Guzma left, swearing to destroy the Alola League, Kukui confronted him, claiming that Guzma was running away like he did in the past with the island challenge and the Island Kahunas.
In Chasing Memories, Creating Dreams!, Kukui announced the completion of the Manalo Stadium to the people of Alola. He also revealed that the winner of the Alola League would get to have an exhibition match against the Masked Royal.
In Enter the Champion!, Kukui, as the Masked Royal, handed Ash a trophy as a recognition of him winning the Alola League. However, the award ceremony was interrupted by a Guzzlord emerging from an Ultra Wormhole. In the next episode, Ash and Royal battled another Guzzlord, a giant, Shiny one, which was endangering the Manalo Stadium docks. During the battle, Ash's Poipole, having evolved into Naganadel since Ash parted ways with it, arrived through a wormhole of its own. With Naganadel's help, Royal was able to help Ash perform a double Gigavolt Havoc that sent Guzzlord through Naganadel's Ultra Wormhole and back into Ultra Space. However, the shock-wave caused by the Z-Moves and Guzzlord's attack colliding caused the Royal's mask to be blown away, revealing his true identity to Ash.
In Exhibition Unmasked!, the rest of Alola learned of Kukui's secret identity as the Masked Royal, but Ash still insisted on battling Kukui. The next day, the exhibition match began and an undisguised Kukui sent out Incineroar to face Ash, who started with Torracat. During the battle, Torracat powered itself up by absorbing Incineroar's Blast Burn, but it was unable to fully control the flames, forcing Ash to switch it out for Lycanroc. When Lycanroc used the shards of its broken Stone Edge to injure Incineroar, Kukui switched it out for his Braviary.
In A Full Battle Bounty!, the battle continued, with Braviary managing to defeat Lycanroc before losing to Rowlet. Kukui then sent out his Venusaur, who was able to defeat Rowlet before losing to Torracat. Kukui then sent out his Empoleon, who briefly battled Pikachu before losing to Melmetal. Kukui then sent out Lucario to battle Naganadel.
In Fiery Surprises!, though Lucario and Naganadel were evenly matched at first, Lucario was eventually defeated. Ash then recalled Naganadel and brought out Torracat to fight Incineroar. After several fierce exchanges, both sides went for Inferno Overdrive, creating a massive fireball at the center of the field. Both Torracat and Incineroar leaped into the blaze to land a final blow, with their collision causing a massive explosion. When the smoke cleared, both Pokémon were on their feet at first, but Incineroar eventually collapsed. The energy that Torracat built up caused it to evolve into an Incineroar itself, but the combination of the strain of evolving and its exhaustion setting in caused it to faint as well. Kukui prepared to summon his final Pokémon, but suddenly, Tapu Koko appeared and knocked the Poké Ball from his hand. Wanting to team up with Kukui to battle Ash, Tapu Koko became Kukui's temporary sixth Pokémon.
In From Z to Shining Z!, Tapu Koko engaged in a blindingly fast aerial battle with Naganadel. Eventually, however, Naganadel was defeated by the guardian deity, leaving Ash with just Pikachu. After the two Electric types exchanged some attacks, Tapu Koko expressed that it wanted to perform a Z-Move with Kukui. When Kukui said he had already used his Z-Move for the battle, Tapu Koko called the other guardian deities to the stadium, and the four restored Z-Power for both Ash and Kukui. Tapu Koko then handed Kukui a Tapunium Z, a legendary Z-Crystal for the guardian deities' exclusive Z-Move, Guardian of Alola. Both Kukui and Ash agreed to go all out in their battle. As Kukui and Tapu Koko performed their Z-Move, Ash's Electrium Z transformed into a Pikashunium Z, allowing Ash and Pikachu to respond with their own signature Z-Move, 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt. Eventually, Pikachu's Z-Move proved to be superior to Guardian of Alola and managed to defeat Tapu Koko, ending the exhibition match in Ash's victory. Kukui thanked both Tapu Koko and Ash for the great battle and declared the Manalo Conference a success.
In SM146, Ash, following his decision to start traveling around the world, said goodbye to Kukui and Burnet, leaving all of the Pokémon he caught in Alola under their care. Sometime later, Kukui and Burnet were revealed to be expecting a child.
Ash and Rotom
discovering the Masked Royal's true identity
Professor Kukui is a fairly serious, but friendly and upbeat character. He usually likes to add the names of moves into conversations every now and then, much like how Samson Oak uses Pokémon-related puns. He also tends to break from his serious and calm attitude, as shown in Crystal-Clear Sleuthing!, when he was completely shocked at the notion that Kiawe had stolen Ash's missing Electrium Z. Like Rotom Pokédex, he enjoys watching the television show Alolan Detective Laki and try to figure out who the culprit is during the episode. Much like his use of move names when he talks, he was shown to find it funny that the viewers assumed that the Rockruff which he befriended was actually his. The fact that Professor Kukui befriended the stray Rockruff, when he came upon the Pokémon, who had recently been attacked with Teeter Dance and decided to nurture it, shows that he is also a friendly and hospitable person.
Professor Kukui is a skilled Pokémon Trainer, and as the Masked Royal, he is able to handle battling multiple Pokémon at once in Battle Royals. The Masked Royal is the Battle Royal Dome's star Trainer, having a known record win streak of at least 21 victories. Despite some comically close calls, no one has been able to discern the Masked Royal's true identity. The only exceptions are his longtime friend Molayne; Faba, who realized the truth after Kukui blew his cover in front of him; and Ash's Torracat, who was able to recognize him from his scent, and later, Ash himself, along with Pikachu, Rotom, and Naganadel in the aftermath of the battle with the giant Shiny Guzzlord. As of Exhibition Unmasked!, all of the Alola region knows of Kukui's double identity.
This listing is of Kukui's known Pokémon in the anime:
This article is missing information on this character's Japanese voice actor.
You can help by adding this information.
|| Braviary ♂
| Professor Kukui's Braviary first appeared in Revealing the Stuff of Legend!, where he used him to help Professor Burnet escape from a group of Jangmo-o and Hakamo-o at the Vast Poni Canyon.
In The Professors' New Adventure!, Braviary attended the wedding of Professor Kukui and Professor Burnet as Kukui's partner Pokémon.
In The Prism Between Light and Darkness!, Braviary attacked Team Rocket's helicopter. He then battled Gozu alongside Faba's Alakazam and Hypno, only to be knocked out by Gozu's Mega Aggron's Heavy Slam.
Braviary appeared in a flashback in The Wisdom Not to Run!, where he was seen defeating Guzma's Golisopod.
Kukui used Braviary in his Full Battle with Ash in Exhibition Unmasked! and A Full Battle Bounty!. He defeated Ash's Lycanroc, but lost to his Rowlet.
Braviary's known moves are Brave Bird, Rock Slide, Sky Drop, Steel Wing, and Superpower.
|| Revealing the Stuff of Legend!
| Voice actors
|| Ryan Nicolls
Professor Kukui is in possession of a sixth Pokémon, as its Poké Ball was seen in Fiery Surprises!. However, Tapu Koko slapped its Poké Ball away before it could be sent out, making Kukui's sixth Pokémon unknown.
| Elder (Japanese: オー爺 Ohjī) was a Totem Trevenant that Professor Kukui befriended when he was young. It gave him a Firium Z after he began his Pokémon journey. It was revealed that, sometime after the young Professor Kukui met Ash, Trevenant had passed away and now appears as an ordinary tree.
None of Trevenant's moves are known.
|| A Timeless Encounter!
|| Forest Pokémon
| In his youth, Professor Kukui befriended a multitude of wild Pokémon that live in a forest on Melemele Island.
None of the Pokémon's moves are known.
|| A Timeless Encounter!
At his house
Ash left the remainder of his Alolan party with Professor Kukui in SM146 as he set out to travel the world.
- Professor Kukui is the only Professor not shown giving out any starter Pokémon in the anime.
- Professor Kukui's Lucario is the only Lucario with a named Trainer in the anime that has not used Aura Sphere.
- Similarly, it is also the only Lucario to be shown using a move, other than Aura Sphere, that contains the word はどう hadō in its Japanese name which can be translated as either wave or aura.
- Professor Kukui has more known Pokémon on hand than any other Professor in the anime.
|| ククイ博士 Dr. Kukui
|| From kukui (Hawaiian for the candlenut, the state tree of Hawaii)
| English, German,
| Professor Kukui
|| Same as Japanese name
|| Professeur Euphorbe
|| From euphorbe (spurge). Both the candlenut and the spurges are in the Euphorbiaceae family.
|| 쿠쿠이박사 Kukui-baksa
|| Transliteration of Japanese name
| Chinese (Mandarin)
|| 庫庫伊博士 / 库库伊博士 Dr. Kùkùyī
|| Transliteration of Japanese name
| Chinese (Cantonese)
|| 庫庫伊博士 Dr. Fufuyī
|| Mandarin-based transliteration of Japanese name
| Spanish, Czech, Polish
|| Profesor Kukui
|| From English name
|| Professori Kukui
|| From English name
| Brazilian Portuguese
|| Professor Nogueira
|| From nogueira-de-iguape (candlenut). Nogueira is also a common Brazilian surname.
|| Профессор Кекеи Professor Kekei
|| Similar to English name
|| Giáo sư Kukui
|| Same as Japanese name
|| Profesör Kukui
|| From English name