It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, rather it’s what’s on the inside what counts. With that said, let’s critique the fashion choices of ten year old children who collect monsters for sport. There are no shortage of Pokémon Trainers across the franchise’s games and anime. Modern games allow the player to change their avatar’s appearance creating a more personal kinship with the game. However, the older games had players adventure through an entire region with one pair of clothes. Some are good, some are bad, most are just red and blue. So which trainers in the series have the best designs? Let’s find out.
Red (Fire Red and Leaf Green)
The first Pokémon protagonist from 1996. Red is the original trainer from Kanto back in Pokémon Red and Blue. A simple yet effective design with the iconic red hat and jacket was made even better in the remakes. There’s a reason why this design made it into Smash Bros. Red’s remake design is perfect for the character. The brown hair allows him to differentiate himself from his anime counterpart Ash. The brighter red and blue coloring make him pop out more for fans. And it honestly feels like the definitive Pokémon trainer attire.
May (Ruby and Sapphire)
I really, really wanted to put Brendan on the list. However, I have to give the win to May from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. Red might be an over used color for male Pokémon Trainers. May is the one game female trainer to wear red and blue and make it work. Whereas Kris and Lyra’s outfits are fine, May’s outfit is perfect and fits her like a glove. The red hat with the white Poke-ball symbol on the side is great. In my opinion the darker blue works better for her than it does with Red. Again as much as I love Brendan. May has the better design and the best design out of anyone of Hoenn.
Elio (Sun and Moon)
The 3D Pokémon games allow the player to changer their avatar’s clothes. However, Elio’s default design is really strong and I decided to play through Sun wearing only this outfit. The black hat, blue stripped shirt, and aqua blue shoes work for the tropical Alola. It makes sense for a simpler design as the Sun and Moon protagonist is originally from the Kanto region. I’m not a fan at all of Elio or Selene’s outfits in the ultra games. So it makes me love Elio’s original design more.
Dawn (Diamond and Pearl)
Dawn is Ash’s best companion by a landslide and has the only good trainer design out of anyone in Sinnoh. While I really like the outfits for Pokemon Legends: Arceus. I’m not attached until I play the game. Dawn’s outfit from Diamond and Pearl was perfect. Her new look in Platinum was fine albeit uneeded. Game Freak got it right the first time with an excellent pink, black, and blue combination. It translated really well in the anime which is more than I can say for Unova.
Ethan (Gold, Silver, and Crystal)
Every guy trainer has to have red for some reason. That said, Ethan’s original design is my favorite out of any Pokémon Trainer. The red sweater with gold shorts is tacky and loveable at the same time. To me Ethan screams ’90s which is appropriate for the series. The backwards cap is cool and I personally believe his design bests fits his region. Compared to Kris, who I feel is not as strong of a design, Ethan captures the simple and effective look. Honorable shout out to rival Silver who I would argue has the best design and character out of any regular rival.
Rosa (Black 2 and White 2)
Rosa’s design is screaming with personality. Her cinnamon bun inspired hairstyle is eclectic and fun. Rosa also breaks away from the traditional pink and black outfit Game Freak gives every girl trainer with some added blue and yellow. While Hilbert is disappointing and Hilda is serviceable. Rosa’s outfit stands out from the rest. It was after Rosa that Game Freak started succeeding with girl trainer designs while the boys became lackluster to say the least.
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