10 beloved Pokemon trainers from the anime and manga, ranked

Misty holding Togepi, Ash, Pikachu, and Brock (Image via OLM Inc.)
Misty holding Togepi, Ash, Pikachu, and Brock (Image via OLM Inc.)

In the time since the first release of the Pokemon games, people have always been fascinated with the idea of one day becoming a trainer like their character. The anime and manga have given us a glance at what that life is like, with tons of great and beloved trainers.

But fans have some favorites, so in this list, we will show you some of the most beloved trainers in the anime and manga world of Pokemon. From the least loved to the one that has gained the most hearts.

Note: This list will be based on the author’s opinion and include five entries from both anime and manga. There will be spoilers from many Pokemon anime seasons and manga volumes.


Who are Pokemon's most beloved trainers?

10) Misty

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One of Ash’s original companions and best friends. Misty was the gym leader in Cerulean City when Ash came to get his second badge. Both became quick friends after a rocky start, and Misty has been one of Ash’s oldest friends ever since.

Fans have loved Misty since her debut back in the Kanto region, and even when she separated from Ash’s group to continue her career as a gym leader, fans never forgot about her. Every time she returns to the series, fans are excited to see her again.

Her water Pokemon team and her trusted Staryu by her side make her a formidable opponent to face, and her interactions with her Psyduck are hilarious. Because of all that, Misty will always be a fan-favorite trainer.


9) Sapphire

The daughter of Professor Birch, Sapphire is one of the most iconic trainers in the Pokemon Adventures manga. With a desire to fight so strong, she is almost wild and has an endearing personality.

Her team comprises solid and fierce fighters, and her partner Blaziken (Toro) is always there to battle by her side. Sapphire's aggressive nature is always present in every aspect of her life, and her team helps her show it.

Her encounter with Ruby when they were just kids led her to her love for fighting. Both complimented each other well throughout the series, making them a fantastic couple and Sapphire one of the fans' favorite trainers.


8) May

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May is one of Ash’s favorite companions to a lot of fans. Her initial fear of Pokemon was slowly overcome, allowing May to become one of the best coordinators.

Her Pokemon are always willing to help her win contests, and her Blaziken is one of the strongest Pokemon from her series. Also, like Misty with Psyduck, May had some cute and funny interactions with her Munchlax, who wants to eat everything in sight.

When May and her Pokemon took to the stage, fans knew the show was about to begin. With elegant and beautiful moves and unique designs during the coordination competitions. May quickly became one of Pokemon’s most loved trainers.


7) X

X is a prodigy that was pushed into solitude by the media. When he won a junior league tournament as a child, X was harassed because of his potential to become a gym leader or a member of the elite four. But after he became homeless thanks to the fight between Yvelat and Xerneas, he was taken on a journey by his childhood friend Y.

His Kangaskhan, Kanga, and her child Lil’ Kanga have been there since childhood, and his bonds with his other partners are so deep they are always willing to protect him.

X's power and ability as a trainer and his ability to Mega evolve more than once at a time have gotten him a spot as one of the strongest trainers in the manga. And allowed him to become one of the most beloved trainers inside it.


6) Serena

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Serena met Ash when they were kids during one of Professor Oak’s camps, and she has been inspired by him ever since, which led her to search for him during his trip to the Kalos region. Serena wasn't sure what she wanted to do during the journey until she was introduced to the concept of Pokemon showcase.

From that moment on, Serena’s goal was to become the Queen of Kalos, the top performer in the region, with the help of her Delphox and accompanies Ash is during his journey, trying to win as many showcases as she can.

Their chemistry showed during her time with Ash, giving us great moments where both inspired one another to become better. And her affection for him led her to confess her feelings with a cute and quick kiss before her departure.

Serena’s determination to be the best and her beautifully coordinated performances made her shine during her time with Ash and their friends. Serena is one of Ash's best companions and Pokemon’s most beloved trainers.

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5) Gold

A young and promising trainer when he sets out into the world, Gold is one of the strongest trainers in the manga and one of the fan favorites. His heroic instincts, paired with his unique and charming personality, made him a likable character from the very beginning.

With the help of his Typhlosion, Exbo, and the rest of his team, Gold has conquered every obstacle he has faced. He even saved the world by calming down Arceus, the Pokemon equivalent of a God.

Gold is like Red, a strong trainer with the drive to be the best and a heroic heart. He is always willing to help those in need and is never one to surrender. But unlike Red, Gold has moments where he is shown to be angry and flirty, allowing him to stand out and be his person. And one of Pokemon’s most beloved manga characters.


4) Brock

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Brock was the first gym leader Ash ever faced, and even when he won by outsmarting him instead of my strength, he was impressed. He would later become one of his companions, which would continue for a long time. Brock is Ash's longest companion, accompanying Ash from Kanto to Sinnoh.

His friendly nature, excellent humor, cooking skills, and selflessness made Brock one of the best characters from the original series, and the longer he continued to be with Ash, the more that statement came true.

Brock’s happy and flirty nature completely contradicted the harsh situation he was forced to grow up in. Both his parents disappeared from the lives of their many children, leaving Brock to take care of his multiple siblings.

Brock's good nature, calmness, and role as the mature and flirty older brother of every group he was a part of, making him one of Pokemon’s most beloved characters.


3) Blue

Blue is not only one of Pokemon's oldest characters but also one of the best and favorite trainers in the series. Blue is one of Red’s oldest friends and the grandson of Professor Oak, which made him a natural when it came to Pokemon.

He is calm and collected, and most of the time, profound and mysterious, which made him clash with his rival often during their first encounters. But with time, Blue found Red a loyal friend and a reason to become stronger, making him enjoy being around him and fighting him.

Blue has saved the world on multiple occasions with the help of Red and the other trainers in the manga series. Thanks to his incredibly formidable team and his partner Charizard, Blue faced the most vigorous and most dangerous opponents out there.

He has long been in the series, and the amazing feats he has achieved have made him a favorite for a long time. And his mature and sophisticated nature works perfectly as Red’s counterpart.


2) Ash

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It is no surprise that Ash is Pokemon’s most recognizable character. He started as a kid with a dream of becoming the best and only his disobedient Pikachu by his side. But Ash has proven time and time again why we believe he will someday be the best there ever was.

He has had thousands of adventures, and through them all, Ash has always kept a smiling and confident attitude, even when faced with defeat and impossible odds. Ash’s desire to be the best keeps pushing him to train and fight by traveling the world and meeting new friends and Pokemon.

Ash’s dream to become a Pokemon master was something many fans thought would never become a reality because of his multiple losses. But his fantastic display in the Alolan Pokemon League, and his proficiency during the Master Class tournament, have reminded fans why he is the most beloved trainer in all the Pokemon anime.


1) Red

A trainer who desires to be the best, a hero at heart, and a powerful trainer. Red is the face of the manga, the most well-known character when thinking about the series.

Red started the series as the second-best, always one step behind Blue. But his will and his dream of becoming the champion pushed him until he broke his limits, training to better himself.

He has been able to save the world on multiple occasions, some alone and some with help, but you can be sure that if Red is there, everything will be fine. He is the archetype of a hero, and while that makes him dull, many others cannot help but love him. That´s why Red is the most beloved trainer in the Pokemon manga.