In the Pokemon anime, the characters of the gym leaders get expanded upon, which is good for most of them, but not for others.
Some of these gym leaders simply fail to be as interesting as others. In other cases, they can provoke viewers to anger from their encounters with Ash Ketchum and his beloved Pikachu.
This is still a difficult debate, though, since there are so many gym leaders adored by different fans for all sorts of reasons. These five gym leaders definitely became the least popular:
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the opinion of the writer.
Five least popular gym leaders from the Pokemon anime
#5 - Gardenia
For the most part, Gardenia is a friendly presence in the Pokemon anime. She has a high passion for Grass-type Pokemon and seeks out difficult challenges from her gym opponents.
Of all Pokemon to become fans of, though, why Cacnea? Gardenia teams up with James of Team Rocket and then offers to train Cacnea for him. An odd choice, to say the least.
#4 - Brycen
As a movie star, Brycen is a legend for sure. His role as a gym leader, though, may not live up to the reputation as much. After all the training he did in the mountains outside Icirrus City, he still apparently couldn’t beat Ash’s Krookodile with his team entirely made of Ice-type Pokemon.
Yes, there are many battles that don’t make sense in the Pokemon anime, but that battle probably takes the cake.
#3 - Lt. Surge
Any fan of Pikachu probably isn’t a Lt. Surge fan. During his battle against Ash, his goal is to prove that Raichu, Pikachu’s evolution, is the better Pokemon (which, of course, logically is correct because Raichu gets better stats).
Ash proves to him, however, that Pikachu can still hold up to Raichu based on pure determination and ingenuity. In fact, Ash gets handed a Thunderstone halfway through the episode but then decides he doesn’t need to evolve Pikachu to get the Thunder Badge.
#2 - Faulkner
It’s tough to like a character as arrogant as Faulkner. Not only is he a little condescending, but he is insulted by the suggestion that Electric-type Pokemon have an advantage over his Flying-type Pokemon.
He beats Ash in round one of their gym battle, though, because Ash’s Chikorita had a type disadvantage, but that didn’t appear to change Faulkner’s philosophy.
#1 - Whitney
As infuriating as her battle was in Pokemon Gold and Silver, the same can be said for her appearance in the anime. Ash is put in a position to win the gym battle, but he, like so many other people who played the Generation II games, lost to Rollout spam.
In the next episode, Ash challenges Whitney to a causal match outside her gym, but it ends up being his team against Miltank alone. He wins by having Pikachu dig a trench World War One style, and Whitney still gives him the badge. So, technically, he never really beat Whitney in the typical gym battle format.