The Boy From Pallet Town: Ash Ketchum (Satoshi) from Kanto to Kalos.
Kanto: The Rookie. Ash
starts as an excited but immature and naive 10 year old boy from Pallet Town. He’s not really much of a
trainer as much as he is a kid trying to be a trainer, and he’s always one step
behind everyone else, especially his rival Gary Oak. The hot-headedness and self-centered ego hinders his progress throughout his journey and he needs the guidance of Misty and Brock to help him
out along the way. Despite his flaws, Ash does have a kind and selfless heart when it comes to the well-being of Pokémon, putting his life on the line before his Pokémon in times of danger. Overtime, he gets a better handling of battles, but still has a lot to learn. Especially when his lucky winning streak runs out, and his neglect of handling his disobedient Charizard ends up costing him the Indigo League.
Orange Islands: The Learner. Ash is still immature as he was at the beginning of this arc, but he ends up taking a few humility
lessons and battles (such as Lorelei) to deflate his ego and make up for his loss in the Indigo League. His arc with Charizard
highlights this and his battle with Drake gives him his first real full 6 vs 6 battle. But while he may become better in terms of training and battles, so has Gary Oak, whose victory over Ash ignites an old
Johto: The Experienced. The early episodes highlight a contrast of power between him and those starting out in Johto such as Casey. The team he posses from the Kanto region could easily allow him to breeze through the Gyms without much trouble, but it has detrimental effects such as Charizard being unable to properly train to the next level with the lesser experienced Pokémon, and Ash relying on his old dependable Pokémon instead of training the new ones he caught. Ash is not exactly mature (still has a hot-temper and can be foolish) but he is
experienced enough to handle Gym battles without pity badges and is able to handle the League battles a lot better than before, culminating into beating his old-time rival Gary in a full battle. But
there are still trainers much more experienced than him such as Harrison, if only barely.
Bertha is known across Sinnoh as the maternal, elderly, wise figure of the Elite Four. Caring for both Pokemon and her colleagues–particularly the young Champion Cynthia–, Bertha’s renowned battle skills can come off as a surprise, as well as her tough and rough choice of Pokémon.
During our interview, she said that ever since she was younger she had a fondness for Ground types. She grew up around the mines of Oreburgh, before the caves were populated by mine workers, and played with the Ground and Rock types there. The wild Pokémon would protect her and she would protect them, and as she grew up she aspired to be a trainer using these Pokémon. When asked about her Pokémon, she said her Golem came from that very same mine. She then fondly elaborated on the rest of her team: she rescued her Gliscor from a predator as a Gligar and dug up the Razor Claw with which she evolved it just for it; she found her Hippowdon in a tunnel while doing archaeological research; she captured her “rambunctious Rhyperior with an attitude” while on a stroll in Victory Road. she received her Whiscash as a present for one of her more recent birthdays, which exact one she couldn’t recall, as an egg from the Hoenn region and is particularly affectionate towards it. Bertha then said, “I treat them all like children. I’ve never had children of my own. I’m a busy woman with no time. Raising Pokemon, batting trainers, managing the League and such, it’s all one busy job. And I love every minute of it. But I couldn’t be a good mother if I couldn’t be there for my children.”
When asked about her battling strategy, Bertha, smiling, said: “Oh, well every Trainer has their own unique way of doing things, and I’m no exception. And while I won’t disclose everything, because part of the Elite Four’s challenge is the mystery of what you’ll find, I’ll tell you and the listening trainers a thing or two. Most trainers who use ground types go for brute offense, but defense is a wise and often necessary asset. Instead of wasting your Pokemon’s energy and leaving them exhausted, observe your opponent. Watch their movements. See how their Pokémon act. Then I can trap them with a nasty quicksand trap or have my Pokémon dig underneath them.”
With much of her life relatively unknown by the public, we pried a bit, specifically asking about how she came to be in the Elite Four. Bertha said: “Oh, goodness, this was twenty years ago, in the prime of my youthful days… Lucian, I adore Lucian, he was a star, center of the spotlight Trainer back then who had just risen to fame and had been accepted into the Elite Four. I was a hopefully trainer then, maybe on the older side of the spectrum but with experienced skill. I had blazed through the other three, not to say it was an easy feat, and Lucian was my last opponent before the Champion. It was interesting. We were both patient and observant. We both kept our eyes on the other. And then so suddenly the room would flare into a explosion of sudden silent attacks, and then back to defense. I did lose unfortunately, but Lucian realized my talent and insisted I train with him. It’s because of him, really, that I’m here, and I’m grateful. To put it on record, yes, I have beaten him, multiple times. Now I win more often than not.”
If there’s one thing Bertha is not fond of, though, it’s the constant comparisons to Kanto Elite Four member Agatha. Bertha, when asked about the similarity, said: “As far as I’m concerned, we’re just two elderly women who are quite skilled in different ways–perhaps me moreso skilled. It’s not that much difficult to discern us ladies.”
As the interview came to a close, we asked Bertha how long she intended on staying in the Elite Four. She responded: “Well, is there reason for me to retire? I may be old, but my heart’s still in it. I enjoy every minute of what I do. I enjoy the victories and I enjoy the losses, because then I get to see new trainers rising up. I enjoy the adrenaline of the battle and everything else. Why would I retire? My age means nothing. As far as I’m concerned, I can go another twenty, thirty, forty years if I’m still kicking.”
(This interview is from a series of interviews with the Elite Four, brought to you by Jubilife TV)