In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.
Generations of Poke-Dudes
Fair is fair. Since we've already looked at the five best female companions to Pokémon protagonist Ash Ketchum, it's time we do the same with the guys. Many of us remember the classic and squinty Brock as the first fellow to join Ash, but there have been several since.
Are the poke-dudes we grew up with decades ago superior to the lads today's generation are watching? Uh.. we'll get to that. Well, for better or worse, this is the five best bros from the anime!
Coming into fifth place is Cilan from Pokémon: Best Wishes. This series adapted the Generation 5 video games (Pokémon Black and White) into a show where Ash traveled with companions Iris and Cilan.
Cilan works as a "Pokémon Connoisseur." Supposedly, Connoisseurs excel in judging the compatibility between a Pokémon and its owner. In reality, Connoisseurs excel in never shutting up. I know that sounds harsh, but in almost every scene he's in, Cilan rambles on and on about the "flavors" and "recipes" he perceives from various situations. I have nothing against silliness, but his outbursts aren't funny and just waste time.
Cilan's (few) strengths:
- Raises a few interesting Pokemon
- Not as immature as Iris
- Probably hasn't murdered anyone recently
Thi guy scares me. After all, his eyes are green. And I don't mean just his irises, I'm talking about his sclera (the part of your eye that should be white).
Never trust a man with demonic eyes.
4. Tracey Sketchit
Using Tracey's lastname, can you guess what he does? That's right, he travels the world to sketch Pokémon in his notebook.
Tracey temporarily replaced companion Brock in the Orange Islands season because Pokemon's creators feared American audiences would find Brock's design to be racist. Eventually, they realized Americans actually liked Brock, so he returned and Tracey left.
- Lucky enough to debut in one of the better seasons of Pokemon
- Also raises some interesting Pokemon (Scyther, and a sneak peek at the Generation 2 Marill)
- Actually has a last name (Cilan's is probably Souleater)
Tracey wasn't with Ash as long as most others, but he was a gentle and loyal friend, always dedicated to helping others. He's arguably a bit bland, but the lovably corny writing of the Orange Islands arc helps alleviate this.
3. Todd Snap
Todd joined Ash, Misty, and Brock for a couple adventures in the first season of Pokémon, and also appeared in some Johto episodes. As you can probably guess, Todd is a Pokémon Photographer, seeking to capture every Pokémon on film.
- Unique goal (he's not a Trainer, Breeder, or Contest performer)
- Also has a last name
- Stars in classic Nintendo 64 game Pokemon Snap
Todd may not have as much recognition as the other fellows here, but he offered a unique character and an early look at something other than battling in the world of Pokemon.
Clemont, from Pokémon X and Y, earns the silver medal today. Extraordinarily talented as a scientist, Clemont invents many wondrous invention despite his young age. He's even created a device to cross between dimensions.
- Intelligent and kind
- Surprisingly skilled battler
- Fleshed out; he's got self-esteem issues but also harbors a strong dedication to his younger sister and Ash
Additionally, Clement operates his own Pokémon Gym, easily earning him second place. However, another Gym Leader seizesthe gold medal today..
This twerp joined Ash, Brock, and May in the Advanced Generation series. Max is too young to raise Pokémon yet, so he spends his time studying them and critiquing battle tactics employed by Trainers.
Meh, cut him some slack since he's just a little kid, but he spent his screen-time bragging and criticizing, and being an obnoxious know-it-all.
He thankfully mellowed out over time, but there are certainly more enjoyable characters in Pokémon.
The real number one dude Ash encounters is..
Yep, in this case, you can't beat the classics. Ash's first buddy Brock was a well-developed and generally likable character. He ran a Pokémon Gym before deciding to travel with Ash, and hopes to gain training to become a Pokémon Breeder or Doctor.
Brock served as something of a mentor to Ash, teaching him to stay calm and act rational even in trying circumstances. Still, he had his emotional outbursts, a dry sense of humor, and he could never resist a pretty girl.
- Multi-layered character; he's a Gym Leader, mentor to Ash, big brother to several younger siblings, hopeless romantic, etc.
- Traveled with Ash longer than any companion (male or female)
- Offered some hilariously bad puns
As a Trainer, Brock utilized powerful Rock type Pokémon, but his real expertise lay in developing strategies and caring for Pokémon. Additionally, as a young teenager, Brock was forced to take care of his nine younger siblings after both his parents left them. Can you imagine trying to look after nine kids by yourself in your early teens? Thankfully, his father eventually returned, allowing Brock to journey with Ash.
Speaking of which, Brock has stayed with Ash longer than any other person, even Misty! As a loyal friend, dutiful elder sibling, and entertaining character, Brock remains the best supporting guy we've experienced in Pokemon.
This ends our countdown of the best bros Ash could ask for. Even though the Pokémon show is designed for kids, it's still nice when they take the efforts to present likable and complex individuals.
Each of the guys listed here have their own strengths, weaknesses, and insecurities that audiences of all ages can connect to.
Except Cilan and Max; they're mostly just grating. And if you're wondering why only two of the fellows here actually have a last name.. well, the Pokemon world is a mysterious place.
Questions & Answers
Question: I like Brock very much as he is a great supporting character for Ash but why doesn't Ash remember Brock in the Pokemon XY series?
Answer: It's not so much that Ash forgets his old friends as he doesn't mention them because he's too occupied with his new adventures.
If it helps, Ash, Brock, and Misty were reunited in the Sun and Moon series.
Brilliana on July 19, 2020:
I was so sad when the entire XY/XYZ series got over, I really wish it would've been extended or maybe they could've placed the characters in the Alola region I think XYZ was the best season. ( Even more then red and blue) Kanto.
unicorn butter sticks on February 03, 2017:
i really like Ash but my 2nd is clemont 3rd is cilan my 4th is james my 5th is brock
Clembot on November 12, 2016:
My list is..
ClearWing on July 23, 2016:
I won't make an essay for this one like I did the Pokégirls. Good list by the way.
5. Max - I didn't like him. He was a smart ass, know it all that got on my nerves. Like you said: Max was pretty arrogant with his knowledge of Pokémon and often rubbed it in his sisters face (or the faces of a lot of other people). While Clemont is more humble with his knowledge of Pokémon.
4. Cilan - Like Iris, I can't say much since I haven't seen the Best Wishes series.
3. Tracey - Meh, he didn't stand out to me really. He was just there and didn't accomplish much or be of much help to Ash that I remember.
This is where it was hard to pick a winner and runner up.
2. Brock *[GASP, the audience boos]* - Yes, almighty Brock is #2. Don't get me wrong I do like Brock but what I don't like is flanderization. At first he served as Ash's Co-Mentor with Misty and was like the cool big brother to him but the same with Misty, he didn't do much once Ash had shown he didn't need him or Misty helping him anymore. He may have gave Ash a few suggestions here and there but nothing really major. Ash took up the mantle of being May's mentor, and Dawn didn't really need much guidance since she had knowledge of the basics of Pokémon unlike May. Brock didn't do much in Johto, less in Hoenn, and even less in Sinnoh. I do like that he changed his goal from Pokémon Breeder to Pokémon Doctor since in the time he spent with the cast he showcased he was better off a Doctor or Professor rather than a breeder but aside from the last minute change in goals he didn't do much. IT IS funny whenever he hits on other girls constantly but that running gag for me got old after Johto and became less funny as time went on. I like Brock but a few other factors hinder him from securing the #1 Position for me even though oh so many people would gladly give it to him.
1. Clemont - What can I say? I LOVE Clemont. Imo the entire XY gang is great and is by far my favorite group Ash has ever traveled with. Clemont like Brock is gym leader and has as much knowledge of Pokémon as he does but he sort of feels more like an equal to Ash than superior like Brock was. He's humble, and began traveling with Ash to gain more confidence and come out of his shell a bit more admiring Ash's confidence, even temporarily leaving the group to return to his gym and reflect on his travels and train to give Ash a battle worthy of being called a "Gym Battle". Clemont is absolutely HILAROUS when revealing his inventions and starts chewing the scenery like no tomorrow only for it to fail and explode in his face (with humorous reactions to boot). Even though Bonnie's running gag of finding him a wife is the same as Brock's running gag of hitting on girls I actually think it's funnier when Bonnie and Clemont are doing this. But regardless Clemon is my favorite male character to have traveled with Ash.
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on August 13, 2015:
I'm doing well, hope you and your family are too! Back in the day, Brock could usually get a laugh or two each episode, he was definitely a classic.
Missy Smith from Florida on August 09, 2015:
So, hello Jeremy, how are you? I enjoyed this. I don't pretend to be an expert on Pokemon, but I certainly know a bit about the characters since my stepson watched and was a big Pokemon fan, and now my son is as well. My son was the inspiration for writing the one Pokemon article I wrote on my page.
I notice a few of these characters from watching with my kids, and I have to admit; I always cherish the originals in everything, even in the super hero world of characters such as Batman and Robin. So, of course, I love squinty eyed Brock. :) I do know a bit about Clemont and Cilan as well, but Brock...he will be my favorite, as long as I watch and know of Pokemon. :)
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on March 27, 2015:
Cheers, Chris. The original show is now outdated, but still a blast to watch.
Krzysztof Willman from Parlin, New Jersey on March 27, 2015:
This article gives me major nostalgic feelings. I remember watching the first couple seasons and Brock was always one of my favorites. It's amazing how long the series has held up and is constantly evolving like the shows Pokémon. Great read.
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on March 22, 2015:
Thank you! I too have many fond memories of watching Pokémon. It's nice to see how Pokémon has spanned multiple generations; my own little brothers view it now just like I used to.
Korneliya Yonkova from Cork, Ireland on March 22, 2015:
Awesome hub. I was watching the pokemons because of my little daughters and now you reminded me of that awesome moments :)