As always, when a new Pokémon game comes out, fans are mostly focused on the adorable pocket monsters themselves. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are no exception – the games add approximately 100 new ‘mons to the franchise, including the powerful Paradox Pokémon, the adorable starters Fuecoco, Quaxly, and Sprigatito, and many more. But these Paldean Pokémon aren’t the only ones joining the beloved franchise. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet also brought with them many new human characters, in the form of gym leaders, Team Star bosses, teachers at Naranja and Uva Academy, and more.

So, with so much focus usually on the Pokémon, it’s time to give the human cast of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet some time to shine. Here are five characters from the Generation 9 games that struck a chord with fans for their looks, personalities, battle gimmicks, meme potential, and more:

Larry

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Larry is the Normal-type Gym Leader of the Paldea region as well as a member of the Elite Four, which the protagonist must face in order to claim the rank of Champion. In addition to both of these positions, he holds down a third job as a salaryman working for an unspecified company. It’s no surprise at all that Larry is constantly exhausted, doesn’t show much enthusiasm for Pokémon battling, and enjoys nothing more than sitting down for a meal after work at his favorite restaurant. With many longtime fans of the Pokémon series getting older themselves, Larry has been dubbed one of the series’ most relatable characters.

Arven

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Arven is one of the three student characters who the protagonist meets while studying at Naranja or Uva Academy. An upperclassman, Arven is interested in cooking and asks the protagonist to help him locate the five rare Herba Mystica by defeating the enormous Titan Pokémon. He quickly became popular among fans due to his complicated backstory, connection with the game’s lore, and adorable relationship with his beloved Pokémon, Mabosstiff. Arven can be fought as an opponent later in the story, and he also proves to be a competent Pokémon Trainer who will give unprepared players quite the surprise!

Rika

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Another member of Paldea’s Elite Four, Rika is well-liked for both her unique appearance and her friendly but businesslike personality. Rika wears an elegant suit and has an androgynous design, which was quickly noticed by many LGBTQ+ fans of the series. She was seen by many as a step forward towards the addition of more gender-non-conforming characters in the Pokémon series. Rika’s popularity only grew when it was found that she gives the protagonist a completely serious job interview-styled questionnaire that they must pass before challenging the Elite Four – an unexpected and quite humorous stop on the path to victory!

Brassius

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After eight generations of cheerful, upbeat Grass-type Gym Leaders, it was time for something new – and Brassius more than delivered. Embodying the “thorny” side of the Grass type, Brassius is a tortured artist who sees Pokémon battling as just another way to create art. Despite his dour demeanor, he is encouraging and supportive towards the player, seeing them as a fellow artist in the making.

Players who progress further in the game can even learn more about this Gym Leader’s backstory, including his deep and heartwarming relationship with Hassel, the Academy’s art teacher. Visitors to Artazon Town should also stop by and check out “Surrendering Sunflora,” his most famous sculpture, which depicts the sunflower-like Pokémon expressing an unusually sombre mood.

The Teachers

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With so much of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s pre-game press focused on rival Nemona, Professors Sada and Turo, the Gym Leaders, and of course the bosses of Team Star, few fans guessed that the teachers of Naranja and Uva Academy would turn out to be so popular. Luckily, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet made the good decision to make the teachers more than just figures who stood at the head of the class and lectured. Players can bond with their teachers through “friendship events” and even engage them in Pokémon battles once they’ve completed the game’s main story.

While all of the teachers have their fans, some of the most popular include Jacq, the biology teacher and inventor of the Pokedex, the aforementioned art teacher Hassel, and Ms. Tyme, whose friendly attitude hides a surprisingly hardcore past.

Which human characters have you enjoyed the most in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet? Were you a fan of the teachers, the Gym Leaders, Team Star, or someone else entirely? Comment below and let us know!

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