Paul (Japanese: シンジ Shinji) is Ash's main rival from Sinnoh and a citizen of Veilstone City. He received his Starter (Turtwig) in Sandgem Town from Professor Rowan and has traveled through Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn. Unlike Ash, he is initially not a caring trainer. What he wants from his Pokémon is pure power and the trainers he faces to be strong. When he first meets Ash, he demands a 3-on-3 Battle. However, since Ash was still looking for Pikachu, Ash was unable to battle. This warranted some aggravation on Paul's part. Paul is also known to release his Pokémon if he deems them weak or useless. Some fans call him a "cold-hearted power monger", which seems somewhat appropriate because of his ambition and seeing his Pokémon as tools for his own glory. Paul is similar to the rival in Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver (who is often referred to as Silver).
Paul has mid-length purple hair and wears a purple jacket with navy blue sleeves, a blue undershirt, dark purple pants, and purple and navy sneakers with white soles.
Paul is commonly believed to be a grumpy, cold, callous, cantankerous, abusive, merciless, intelligent, heartless, rude, mean, and rather arrogant Trainer. He has no interest in being friends with anybody (especially not even his own Pokémon) and simply sees his Pokémon as tools to win battles. He is often annoyed and exasperated by Ash's actions, advice to treat his Pokémon nicely, and tendency to act like a child, and Paul seems to barely see their rivalry. He dislikes Ash's philosophies such as friendship and trust because he refuses to work hard to get stronger. He also dislikes training Pokémon hard to get stronger, preferring to only train ones that are already strong.
Although Paul maintained a bitter rivalry with Ash for the duration of the Sinnoh series, his hatred of Ash as a person peaked at the end of the first season of the Diamond and Pearl series, where the two were forced to team up in the Hearthome Tag Battle tournament. He treated Ash as a detriment rather than an ally, constantly telling him to stay out of his way and even having his Chimchar attack Ash's Turtwig at one point out of spite. When Paul released Chimchar and Ash subsequently caught it, he rudely told them that they deserved no better than each other: both were pathetic scum. After they won the tournament, Paul had no desire to keep the Soothe Bell prize. He gave it to Ash, but rather than handing the bell over, he violently threw it at Ash.
Paul rarely shows any emotions, especially not positive ones, and this affects his dealings with his Pokémon, which can be very harsh. On some occasions, however, he has been shown to lose his temper. An example of this was in A Pyramiding Rage when he let his anger get out of control during his battle with Brandon, which was because of his frustration of not being able to beat Brandon's Pokémon. Paul also almost never smiles, except for the occasional smirk, and a small chuckle when dealing with Ash.
Paul knowingly abused his Pokémon both physically and emotionally, the prime example being Chimchar. He at one point had all of his Pokémon attack it at once in hopes of activating Blaze. He would constantly tell it that it was "worthless" and "pathetic", which left a strong negative impression on Chimchar.
While Ash's previous major rival, Gary, would directly insult Ash and call him immature names like "loser", Paul would simply rudely say how poor of a trainer Ash was. Instead of being a bully, he is only rude to Ash due to viewing him as an inferior trainer, rather than as an inferior person like Gary does. Despite this, his rivalry with Ash was overall much more bitter than Gary's.
Despite his seemingly cruel nature, Paul can be polite when he wants to - especially towards authority figures, such as Cynthia and Nurse Joy. He also can acknowledge his opponent if he considers them to be a worthy opponent. An example of this is Roark, who he was very impressed by. He also seems to think a lot of his brother Reggie, despite once saying he had 'a big mouth'.
He also seems to enjoy seeing Ash get worked up. One example of this is in Chim - Charred! when he chuckled and said to Ash, "Man, you get worked up".
Paul's "catchphrase" of sorts is 'Pathetic' and tends to direct it at Ash when Ash does or says something that Paul finds irritating or childish. Paul's battle cry is "(Pokemon), stand by for battle!".
Towards the end of the saga, and especially after losing the battle to Ash in the Sinnoh League, Paul seems to reform somewhat and is shown thanking his Electivire for a good battle- something that he had never done prior to the three-part final battle. Paul was also impressed by how his former Pokémon Chimchar had become an Infernape and developed nicely after being in Ash's care and how well Ash had trained it and admitted as such after their final Sinnoh battle. Paul then decided to return to Snowpoint City to rechallenge Brandon and he bids farewell to Ash, although on more friendly terms. He also seems sad when he sees Ash lose to Tobias.
When Paul had just become a trainer, started his Pokémon journey and obtained his Turtwig, he went over from Sinnoh to Kanto to watch his brother Reggie battle against Pyramid King Brandon. Unfortunately, Reggie couldn't knock out any of Brandon's Pokémon and was easily defeated. He was shocked at his defeat. Brandon yelled at Reggie and asked him where his true inner strength was. This made Paul wonder about his own strength as a trainer, and from then on, he became obsessed with power. He secretly had been angry about his brother's defeat. He then apparently traveled through the Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn regions, but didn't win any of their leagues and returned to Sinnoh.
Once he returned to Sinnoh, he caught a Ninjask using his Elekid. Not long after he caught Ninjask, he watched a terrified wild Chimchar being chased by a pack of Zangoose. Chimchar got to an end of a cliff and was cornered by the Zangoose. Out of desperation and determination, Chimchar managed to produce a blaze-infused Flame Wheel (which impressed Paul) and scared the Zangoose away. Paul then approached the fire type and asked it to join his team, which Chimchar accepted. Chimchar would greatly regret this decision as Paul put it through extremely harsh training in order to activate Blaze again (as shown throughout the Diamond and Pearl series).
Paul watched Ash Ketchum capture a Starly with his Aipom prior to their first meeting and is unimpressed by him.
Paul and his Elekid then meet Ash face to face for the first time and tells him he saw him catch Starly and he'd be better trying to catch the best Starly he could. Ash sarcastically replies 'You can tell which one's the strongest?'
Paul says 'Of course' and releases two out of the three Starly he caught (to Ash and Brock's surprise). Paul explains that you can scan Pokémon he catch on his Pokédex. He decides to keep the Starly with Aerial Ace and releases the other two because all the other two knew were Tackle and Sand Attack(much to Ash's horror). When Paul says that they were useless, it makes Ash angry and he says 'You know what? Any Pokémon can be strong if you train them'.
Paul challenges Ash to a 3-on-3 battle, but Ash declines since he only has Aipom and Starly with him. Paul is disgusted by this, calls Ash 'pathetic' and leaves with his Elekid.
Later on, when Ash has got Pikachu back and has changed into his Sinnoh clothes, he walks out of Professor Rowan's lab with Brock, Dawn and the professor to find Paul standing at a tree, waiting for him. He asks him for the battle he requested earlier, and Ash now gladly accepts his challenge. Paul's Starly manages to defeat Ash's with Aerial Ace. The battle ends in a tie and Paul, however, decides to release Starly since it doesn't meet his standards- much to Ash's annoyance.
Paul has been wanting to beat Brandon to avenge Reggie's defeat. Ash and friends found out why he was obsessed with power. He finally challenged Brandon and tried to avenge Reggie's defeat, but he lost because he was blinded by anger.
Paul is shown watching Ash battle Conway. Once Conway is defeated, the Sinnoh League board shuffles and Ash and Paul look at each other as they realize they are to battle each other next. Later on, Paul walks up to Ash with his Electivire.
After Ash defeated Paul, Paul gained respect for Ash and his Infernape; although Cynthia noted that Ash and Paul will never truly be friends, their last conversation was on mutually respectful terms. Paul left Lily of the Valley because he wasn't interested in staying here, he just wanted to have a rematch with Brandon at Snowpoint City.
Paul is shown to have watched the battle between Ash and Tobias on TV. He looks sad, sighs and then walks away.
8 Unknown Badges
8 Unknown Badges
8 Unknown Badges
Pokémon League Status
- Indigo Plateau Conference (Indigo League): Unknown but did not win
- Silver Conference (Johto League): Unknown but did not win
- Ever Grande Conference (Hoenn League): Unknown but did not win
- Lily of the Valley Conference (Sinnoh League) Lost to Ash: Top 8
- Hearthome Tag Battle: Champion (with Ash)
- PokéRinger - Squallville: Runner-Up (Loses to Ash)
- Hindi: Amit Diondyi (Cartoon Network dub)
- Paul's appearance and personality are heavily based on Silver's; at first, some fans assumed that he was the anime counterpart of Silver. This was proven false because Silver already had appeared in the anime before Paul. However, the appearance was brief, so Paul may be a remake of Silver the way Lyra is Kris's game remake.
- Strangely enough, Paul's hometown is Veilstone City, which is also where Team Galactic's base was set up. Also interesting to note is that, in the games, you can only evolve Murkrow by use of the Dusk Stone, which is only available inside of said base.
- Oddly, out of almost all the battles Paul and Ash were in, Paul was the victor, making him a lot stronger than Ash. However, Paul couldn't defeat Brandon the Pyramid King (while Ash could) because Paul fought out of anger.
- Out of all of the anime's major antagonistic rivals (Gary, Trip, and himself), Paul is the only one whose hatred of Ash was mutual. Ash would attempt to be friendly with Gary and later Trip, whereas he would frequently voice his dislike of Paul, getting visibly angry whenever he saw him and insulting him behind his back, calling him such things as a "creep" and a "jerk".
- Although a Pokédex is often red or pink, Paul's Pokédex is black.
- Paul smiled when he lost to Ash in the Sinnoh League.
- Paul and Ash share the dream of becoming the world's best Pokémon Trainer.
- Paul is the only named trainer to own an East Sea Gastrodon.
- Paul has owned several Pokémon that Ash owns: Torterra, Gliscor, Starly, and Chimchar (the same Chimchar as Ash).
- Paul shares his japanese name with that of Lake Verity.
- Paul has never seen Ash without his hat.
- Paul is the kind of trainer who doesn't let any entry hazards stop him from making substitutions.
- Paul was supposed to have his own episode, just like Dawn and Brock did. It involved Paul returning back to Snowpoint City for his rematch with Brandon while Zoey watches his battle.
- Despite this, Paul has been praised by fans as Ash's strongest rival.
- Paul is seen in the ending credits of Decolora Adventures, holding hands with Gary and Luke.
- Unlike the original owners of Charmander (Damian) and Tepig (Shamus), Paul didn't try getting Chimchar back despite witnessing its power. This could be Paul's own act of kindness, as it shows that Paul truly acknowledges Chimchar's growth as Infernape, unlike the other trainers who wanted their abandoned Pokémon for their power.
- Paul also didn't lie or fake a kind farewell to his Chimchar, like Charmander and Tepig, but instead demanded that Chimchar leave in a harsh voice.
- Unlike Tepig and Charmander's owners, who put their Pokémon in a life-threatening condition and left them for dead, Paul simply released Chimchar.
- Paul is the first known former owner of a Fire-type starter Pokémon to have a tragic past, relating to the defeat of his brother Reggie at the hands of Pyramid King Brandon.
- There was one league Paul didn’t do that Ash did do and that was competing in the Orange League in the Orange Islands.
- The only Normal-type moves Paul uses with his Pokémon are Protect, Secret Power, Hyper Beam, Slash, Swords Dance, Double-Edge, Guillotine, Body Slam and Giga Impact.
- Paul doesn't have a Pokémon of the Dragon and Psychic types.