Pokémon trainers generally resolve their differences with Pokémon battles, but Brycen from Unova proved a fist to the face is just as effective.
All conflicts in the Pokémon video games are resolved with Pokémon battles, as that’s the entire point of the franchise. This might make it seem like human-to-human conflict is nonexistent in the modern Pokémon world, but there’s been at least one instance when a Pokémon trainer has decided to just beat up their opponent with their own two hands.
The Pokémon world is close to a utopia; children can travel the land without fear of being harmed, and the darker aspects of human nature don’t exist. There are villains in Pokémon‘s world, but these are cartoonish at most and are almost always easily defeated. The Pokédex has its fair share of disturbing stories, too, like Cacturne hunting people in the desert, or Froslass keeping frozen statues of its prey, but these are things spoken of in myth and legend, rather than seen by the player.
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The villains of the Pokémon world give up after being defeated in a Pokémon battle. Characters like Team Rocket’s Giovanni laid down their arms and relinquished their evil ways after a child’s Pokémon beat theirs, in a manner that fits the age rating of the series. But what if Giovanni ordered his goons to beat up Red and leave him on the street outside of the Viridian City Gym? It’s unlikely that it would happen, but there is a precedent for a human character deciding to abandon Pokémon battling and just karate his way to victory: Unova Gym Leader Brycen did exactly that in the Pokémon Generations animated series.
When Pokémon’s Gym Leader Brycen Beat Up Team Plasma
The Pokémon Generations animated series was composed of eighteen different shorts, showing scenes from throughout the history of the series. These included Blue defeating the Elite Four and police hunting down Giovanni after his defeat at the hands of Red. The thirteenth episode of Pokémon Generations focused on the events of Pokémon Black and White, with Team Plasma attempting to take over the Unova region. Iris shows up to stop them, but she is hopelessly outnumbered. She receives backup in the form of the Unova Gym Leaders, and they face off against Team Plasma.
Brycen is the Ice-type Gym Leader of Pokémon Black and White, though he steps down in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 to return to his acting career. He joins Iris in Pokémon Generations, and he decides to forego the whole Pokémon battling thing. With the fate of the Unova region at stake, Brycen beats up Team Plasma’s grunts with his martial arts skills, even though his Beartic is already making short work of their Pokémon. To be fair, Team Plasma shouldn’t expect to attempt a hostile takeover of an entire region without a few slaps to the face. Still, Brycen’s actions mark one of the few times the series has shown a human fighting other humans directly, skipping the main objective of the Pokémon franchise in favor of going full Bruce Lee on his opponents. Perhaps this makes him the best Gym Leader of all.
Next: How & Why Pokémon Should Reintroduce The Safari Zone
Source: Pokémon Generations
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