As this year’s E3 came to a close, I noticed one thing. Pokemon has a lot of Gyaru characters! I first noticed it in recent years with Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon. But then it got me thinking – how far back can I trace Gyaru in their games?
Being a huge fan of Pokemon, I had to get his personal opinion about Gyaru in the game series. Gals don’t always positive comments based on how we look or act. So here’s his response:
As a series that strives to appeal to as wide of an audience as possible–from children to grandparents– Pokemon is a series that constantly swings on a pendulum between these two extremes, similar to most modern cartoons and other video games.
This is especially more relevant in themes and character designs of more recent games; specifically, Pokemon Sun & Moon and its sequels deal with much more depth and creativity in the storytelling and characters in what I would assume is to appeal more to the adult side of the spectrum.
Looking at some character designs in particular–specifically, Olivia from Alola and Sonia from Galar– they are very intentionally designed to appear more “adult” than past characters, and while their ages are generally implied for the most part, it appears as though the popular Japanese style originating in the 70s known as “gyaru” seem to have seeped their way into these characters as the style’s motto of “get sexy and be wild” along with their less traditional and non-strict personalities.
For more traditional folks, seeing a “general audiences” franchise like Pokemon alongside the phrases “sexy” and “wild” is probably pretty jarring. However, it’s much more than that: rebellion towards society’s strict standards and an expression of their true selves in a dramatic breakaway style that is not only visually stunning but also carries with it some sexual stereotyping that would have a supposedly negative impact on the Pokemon series.
I personally believe that this is a completely appropriate representation that belongs in the Pokemon world, both to smash the negative preconceptions of the “gyaru” style as well as a method of nonconformity that could help both kids and adults discover who they are and how they want to live their life.
Thank you so much for your kind words! It’s so refreshing to hear good things about Gyaru, especially in regards to a video game. I’ve seen too many people take a negative view on Gyaru if they even have any thoughts about it.
Thanks to his help, I was able to put this list together, getting as many Gyaru characters (as well as those close enough) as possible within the Pokemon universe.
Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire: Flannery
First introduced in Ruby and Sapphire, Flannery is very reminiscent of old school Gyaru. She has wild hair and wears bell bottoms and cropped tops. In some pictures, she even appears to have a tan.
Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire: Shelly
In the original version of Ruby and Sapphire, Shelly has big red and curly hair and looks more of a Baika gal. In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, she’s seen more as Ora Ora.
Pokemon XD: Lovrina
Lovrina is another one I consider for old school. In the 90s and early 2000s, there were quite a few Gyaru that favored 60s style. Her boots remind me of the super tall go go boots a lot of gals used to wear.
Pokemon Heart, Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Platinum: Caitlin
Caitlin’s Platinum version reminds me very much of Hime style. As a matter of fact, this photo looks like a Princess Melody coord. She even has the big hair you would see in Hime!
Pokemon Platinum, Pokemon Heart Gold and Pokemon Soul Silver: Dahlia
Dahlia looks like she just walked out of Baby Shoop with this look. Especially with those pants! From her hair down to her shoes, she is so B-Gyaru.
Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2: Rosa
Rosa’s outfit faintly resembles Amekaji, specifically CO&LU. Just the shirt alone looks like something the brand would have made. And her shoes are just the right type for the style.
Pokemon X and Pokemon Y: Shauna
At first, I wasn’t too sure but I feel like she’s closest to Agejo. The color combination and the bows are definitely right for it. Though if I remember right she’s a younger character so it makes sense that her outfit is not as sexy as the style normally is.
Pokemon X and Pokemon Y: Malva
Malva’s look reminds me of my favorite style: Tsuyome. It looks very much like how D.I.A.’s clothes used to be. Love those pants!
Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon: Plumeria
One of my favorite characters from Sun and Moon, Plumeria, is more like a hybrid of different styles. She has the Bozosoku style with elements of Manba. Her attitude definitely matches the former though!
Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon: Olivia
Now, it could be just due to the setting of the game being in a place similar to Hawaii, but I would say Olivia’s look seems similar to the substyle Manba. At first glance she could be intimidating but she’s really sweet. And she’s an amazing rock-type trainer! I love her so much.
Pokemon Movie The Power of Us: Risa
Sadly, I have not seen this movie yet but every time I see this character, I can’t help but smile. With her colored hair, cute makeup and the way she styles her uniform, I would say she is Kogyaru. Just look at that hair! I would not mind trying to find a wig like that!
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield: Sonia
In the newest game entries recently introduced, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, the professor of the game has a granddaughter named Sonia. She was revealed prior to E3. Not much is known yet other than she’s also a researcher and a childhood friend of one of the characters. Her style falls along the lines of Onee.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield: Nessa
This cutie was introduced during the E3 Nintendo Direct. Water-type Gym Leader Nessa! She has gorgeous dark hair with blue streaks. I love how Gyaru-like and strong her eyemake is. With accessories and overall look, her style is very on-point with B-Gyaru.
This was fun! It makes me happy to see Gyaru in a more positive view. I’m also very grateful for all the game remakes so I didn’t have to figure out things with tiny pixel graphics. And I’m EXTREMELY grateful to my bro Bushando64 and his knowledge of Pokemon and working with me on this post!
Don’t forget to check out his channel on Twitch!
So what did you think? Do you think there were any Gyaru I missed? Thoughts on the ones I listed? Let me know in the comments!
[Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield]
♡ Status: Pre-Order
♡ Release Date: November 2019
♡ Sold: Physical stores and Online!
♡ Note: Depending where you pre-order the games from, there will be different bonuses!