Despite Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s mixed reception, one area of the games that have received universal praise is their cast. There’s no shortage of memorable characters in this latest Pokémon outing, each with unique personalities. There are so many good characters, in fact, that it’s tough to whittle them down to the top ten—but that doesn’t mean we won’t try.
You can tell Game Freak did their homework when developing Iono. She captures the spirit of influencer culture to a T—for better or worse. Her “electric” personality perfectly compliments her colorful design. Said personality, however, can be a tad overbearing over a prolonged period, keeping her at the bottom of our list. She’s a gem of a character, but only in small doses.
She may not know how to make a decent sandwich (though she sure does try), but you can’t say she doesn’t have enthusiasm as a teacher and Pokemon trainer. Her boundless energy and passion for fitness is infectious, almost making you want to accept her offer to run three miles with her. Almost.
Far from being a generic, unchanging school nurse NPC, Miriam spends the game pursuing her own hopes and dreams, using her nursing job as a stepping stone to joining the teaching ranks herself and seeing the player pursuing their goals with such vigor lights a fire under her, convincing her to do the same. You can’t help but cheer for her when she reveals that she finally passed her teacher exam.
Miraidon & Koraidon
Scarlet and Violet might be the first Pokémon games where the Pokémon feel like characters in their own right, particularly Miraidon and Koraidon. Their animalistic desire for food, akin to a pet begging for table scraps, is adorable, and seeing them fight against their fears, stepping up to save the world during the game’s climax, is nothing short of inspiring. Oh, and did I mention they also make great bicycles?
He’s an art teacher, Elite Four member, dragon master—and, most importantly, one of your biggest cheerleaders. Despite his tremendous strength as a Pokemon trainer, he wants to see his students and opponents surpass him. He’s so emotionally invested in their growth, in fact, that he’ll devolve into fits of inelegant blubbering whenever they achieve a goal or do something especially praiseworthy. All teachers should strive to have his attitude.
Clavell certainly looks like your typical stuffy, no-nonsense educator type, but as the game gets underway, it quickly becomes clear he’s anything but. He’s not a jokester by any stretch, but he is friendly, good-natured, and wants nothing more than to support and connect with his students, going so far as to adopt a (hilariously bad) youthful persona to infiltrate Team Star.
In many ways, Larry is the antithesis of your typical Pokemon character. He’s not enthusiastic, doesn’t wear a crazy outfit, or even really does anything interesting. He’s the kind of average joe you’d meet in real life, and therein lies his charm. Larry is your relatable everyman, overworked and underpaid, working multiple jobs as a gym leader, salaryman, and Elite Four member just to make ends meet. At the same time, he sees the value in living simply, and there’s a particular poignancy to that.
Arven starts off pretty abrasive toward the player, but quickly warms up to them as they begin their adventure to take down the titan Pokemon. When the true motivation behind his journey is revealed—to save his beloved doggo—he immediately shoots up the ranks to become the game’s most endearing character. That’s to say nothing of the late-game revelations regarding his past trauma as the child of a neglectful professor parent. By the game’s end, you gotta love the guy.
Penny is, admittedly, a bit of a slow burn. Her reserved nature prevents her from displaying any character for most of the game, but once we learn more about her interests and ambitions during the Team Star takedown, she begins to let her personality shine through—and it’s worth the wait. She has a snarky remark for just about every character and situation during the endgame, and her incomparable sass makes her possibly the game’s funniest character. It just goes to show never to prejudge the quiet ones.
It’s no question why fans have dubbed Nemona the “Goku” of Pokemon. Like many rivals before her, she lives for challenging characters to Pokémon battles at super inconvenient times. However, what elevates her as a character is her self-awareness, knowing when to reel in her enthusiasm and recognizing that battling has its time and place. It’s a hard line to tread, but Nemona pulls it off like the champ she is.
Who are your favorite characters from Pokemon Scarlet and Violet? Let us know the comments below.