Professor Kukui is a character appearing in the anime series.
Professor Kukui is a young man with a muscular physique, who has dark eyes, black hair, a black man bun and a goatee. He wears a white hat with a rainbow decoration in the front. Professor Kukui also wears glasses with a teal frame, a white lab coat with rolled-up sleeves, gray baggy pants with a teal stripe and white drawstrings and some teal shoes with a white outline. Professor Kukui has a silver ring on his ring finger. Later, he wears a Z-Ring on his left arm.
As Masked Royal, Professor Kukui wears a wrestling outfit; black wrestling tights with a white trim which has three Poke Ball designs on each sides and white knee-high wrestling boots. He also wears a brown elbow band on his right elbow and two matching black wristbands with a white trim on his wrists. To complete the outfit, he wears a red flame designed wrestling mask with green and light blue coloring with blue designs at the back of his mask. At the end of "Z-Move Showdown!", his mask was shredded during the collision of his and Ash's Z-Moves and finally exposes his real face without his glasses and hat.
Professor Kukui is the teacher of the Pokémon School. He welcomes new students and has certain expectations from them, especially Ash. However, he also lets them help each other, if the situation calls for. His personality is cheerful, friendly and welcoming, but if it comes to doings - he is completely serious and calm. Often adds the names of moves to conversations, which reminds Samson Oak, who uses Pokémon-related puns.
As a disguised Masked Royal, and like Professor Sycamore, Kukui is an adept battler as he demonstrated his battling skills against three Trainers in a handicap as well as Ash and his friends with the use of his Incineroar, much like how Sycamore battles using his Garchomp.
Due to his secret double-life as both a teacher and a Pokémon Royal battler, Kukui sometimes strains his relationships with his students, friends and wife, Burnet. However, when it comes to critical situations against some powerful opponents outside his Masked Royal identity, Kukui has no choice but to reveal his battling prowess and makes them promise to hide his secret.
When he was young, Kukui usually watched Hala's battles while carrying a super move index book, accompanied by his Litten. Also, Kukui received a Firium Z from Totem Treverant, nicknamed Elder, when he and Litten helped it relieve its sneezing. One day, they encountered Ash and Torracat, who came from the future. Kukui was excited to see Ash's Z-Ring, and he and Litten watched Torracat use the Fire-type Z-Move: Inferno Overdrive. Kukui and Litten became ecstatic, and decided to challenge Ash, who was nicknamed the Move Kahuna by the latter, and Torracat to a battle. Though Ash intended to have Torracat lower its attack power, Kukui, who Ash called Roarie, wanted a real battle, as he didn't want to be treated like a kid. Kukui and Litten did their best in battle but were defeated by Torracat's Flame Charge and Fire Blast.
Although he was sad over the loss, Kukui quickly cheered up with Litten helping regain his confidences. Also, Kukui was given helpful advice from Ash as he told them that there was no shame in losing and to keep on trying until winning the next time. Kukui introduced Ash and Torrcat to all his wild Pokémon friends, who had been watching their battle, along with the Elder. When a rainstorm hit, the Elder gave everyone around them cover from it. Kukui was told by Ash about Gym Battles, Gym Badges and the Pokémon League which greatly inspired his goals in the future. After the rain stopped, Kukui and Ash saw that their Pokémon realized that a bunch of Cutiefly in Elder's branches were making it sneeze a lot. After drying the Cutiefly wings, Kukui witnessed Elder give Ash his own Firium Z for gratitude. Just as Kukui and Litten descended down from Elder to have a rematch with Ash and Torracat, the two disappeared, much to Kukui's and Litten's confusion.
Sometime later, Kukui attended the Pokémon School where he befriended Leo, who eventually became a famous DJ. Kukui befriended Guzma during his time as a student in the Pokémon School. He had a battle with him, won the battle, and commented that Guzma could do well if he would befriend his Golisopod. Elsewhere, Guzma was deeply frustrated that he could not defeat Professor Kukui, considering both Kukui and Guzma were Hala's apprentices. Unfortunately, Kukui and Guzma's friendship ended when he began to rebel against the traditions of the Alola region, like Kahuna Trials and Island Challenges, as well as the international tournament Pokémon Leagues. While Hala shook his head, Kukui tried to calm Guzma down, but he refused and claimed that he himself can surpass everything without Z-Moves then ran off. This tragedy caused both Kukui and Hala to blame themselves for not being there to support Guzma.
Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon
Professor Kukui was visiting his classroom when he encountered Mallow and Ash. He greeted them both and advised the latter to enjoy as much as the school had to offer. Later, he watched as Ash and Kiawe faced Team Skull grunts and was intrigued by how Ash dealt with them. After the grunts were defeated, Ash wondered about the Inferno Overdrive move Kiawe's Turtonator used. Kukui explained it was a Z-Move, which are protected by Island Guardians. He also informed him that one could obtain such a power by going through the Island Challenge, which excited Ash. Suddenly, Ash saw a strange Pokémon and described it, which Kukui realized it was Tapu Koko, the guardian of Melemele Island.
The next day, Kukui arrived to class and was surprised that Ash obtained the Z-Ring. Regardless, he asked of the other students to help Ash in the class and heard how Kiawe was teaching Ash about the Z-Moves. Later on, Ash was eating dinner with Professor Kukui, who explained that was the local delicacy, the Alolan Plate. Just as he turned around, Kukui was surprised Ash, as well as Pikachu and Rockruff, ate the dinner. He took a pause and called Mallow, approving of the surprise she and her friends were making for Ash. The next day, he watched as Ash was undergoing the challenges.
Samson asked if he would compete, to which Kukui confirmed, being Ash's last challenge. Just as the fourth challenge ended, Kukui approached Ash and explained he would battle him. Ash was thrilled, but since everyone was hungry, the group went to eat. During lunch, Tapu Koko arrived and snatched Ash's hat, then went into the forest. The group went after Ash and watched as his Pikachu battled Tapu Koko, and how Ash used the Z-Ring to use Gigavolt Havoc. After the battle, Ash decided to take on the Island Challenge, which Kukui approved of. The next day, Kukui gave Ash a Pokédex.
In order to activate the Pokédex, Kukui used a computer to summon Rotom, which entered the Pokédex. Kukui introduced himself and asked of Rotom to serve Ash whenever needed. Ash claimed how awesome Rotom was, a word which Rotom did not understood, so Kukui told Rotom that Ash praised it. Rotom also went to inspect Pikachu and see if if it bit when his tail was pulled. This caused Pikachu to electrocute it, Ash and Professor Kukui. Kukui and Ash arrived to class, where others saw the Rotom Pokédex. Kukui also let Ash go to catch Pokédex and asked of his friends to watch over him in the forest. Kukui went outside his house and informed Rotom, who was explaining about Rockruff, that Ash and Pikachu went off already. Eventually, Kukui came to class and told that the next day Lana will be the teacher for fishing and asked everyone to bring their fishing rods.
The next day, everyone boarded onto Wailmer and Lapras and went to an island, where Kukui watched how his students tried to catch sea Pokémon. After some attempts, Kukui blew a whistle, since it was time for a break. He also watched as Ash and Lana rescued the Wailmer and Lapras that Team Rocket stole and was happy that Lana's Popplio achieved in emitting a balloon to save the Pokémon. Since he was called by his colleagues to help in the lab, Kukui left Ash at his house. He commented his colleagues can argue a lot, but admitted he did as well. Later on, Kukui, after reading Ash's note about going shopping, went to the mall. There, Kukui found Ash and Sophocles and promised to take them to Mallow's family restaurant. The two started running, so Kukui followed them.
Professor Kukui and Ash were buying groceries when they found Litten. Ash and Pikachu ran off, but lost Litten. Kukui asked a woman at the marketplace about Litten, who visited her stand often, and was told it was Litten's daily routine. Ash was still furious about the sandwich that Litten took, but Kukui reminded he could always make another one, while the woman doubted Litten was a bad Pokémon. Later, Kukui was surprised to see Ash with scratches, since he managed to subdue Litten. Kukui took the class to the principal's office, where they had to choose which egg would they take care of. Kukui explained everyone had to watch over the egg, which was an important lesson they had to learn.
Ash decided to take on the Island Challenge to collect more Z-Crystals. Kukui was glad about Ash's determination, noting he had to take on the Island Kahuna's Grand Trial to obtain them. Rotom told Ash he had to defeat the Island Kahuna, too, which made Ash comment how fun that sounds. Kukui was surprised, replying such thinking could get Ash hurt. Nevertheless, after everyone finished their meal, Ash, Pikachu and Kukui went to the Island Kahuna, Hala. They noticed an accident on the road, which was caused by Rattata and Raticate. Fortunately, they encountered Hala and his Hariyama, who were collecting the logs. The road was soon cleared and, the next day, Ash, Kukui and Pikachu visited Hala. Ash had a talk with Hala, who asked of Ash how would he deal with the Rattata and Raticate problem without battling. Ash was uncertain, so Hala gave him some time to think of an answer. Kukui admitted he couldn't find a solution, either.
The next day, as Ash was having a meal, Kukui read how yesterday's events were in the news. As the door bell rang, Ash and Kukui checked and greeted Officer Jenny, who had Gumshoos as her new partner. Jenny promised to give them a ride to Iki Town, but Kukui reminded her to give a certificate to Ash for helping her clear out the Rattata and Raticate. After Jenny dropped them at Iki Town, Kukui and Rotom waited as Hala and Ash prayed to Tapu Koko in the Ruins of Conflict. After they returned, Kukui asked if Ash knew how to utilize his Z-Move. Ash confirmed and was told he had only one shot of executing the Z-Move. Once the Grand Trial battle started, Kukui acted as the referee and wondered how Ash would deal with Hala's Crabrawler and Hariyama, due to their impressive strength. He and Hala were shocked by how Ash's Pikachu executed Breakneck Blitz and tossed Hariyama off the battlefield, winning the round. With Ash's victory, Kukui decided to throw a party for Ash in which they, along with Hala and Ash's classmates, attended to.
Kukui watched as Ash practiced the Z-Move and advised him to train with Rowlet. He was impressed by how Rowlet successfully executed Breakneck Blitz. Ash noted Rowlet was exhausted; Kukui reminded him if he continued to practice, they would feel less exhausted later on. They both greeted Kiawe, who was passing by. Ash was interested in what Kiawe was doing and was told he was running a ranch and had a lot of chores to do. Kiawe replied he had a lot of Pokémon on the ranch, which made Ash interested in visiting his home. Kukui reminded Ash he had to practice the Z-Moves, but was convinced that he'd help Kiawe and even battle him, considering he also had the Z-Ring. Thus, Kukui lent Ash the Poké Ride's Pelipper and bid him farewell.
Kukui and the class went to the beach. Rotom complained its data could be corrupt if it was soaked, but Kukui reminded it was a waterproof Pokémon. Kukui also wished Lillie's egg would hatch soon, to join the class's Pokémon to play with. After Ash and Kiawe returned from swimming, they reported having seen Mareanie, a Pokémon Kukui recalled being poisonous. As a part of their task, Kukui sent the class to observe the Pokémon habitats. Ash, who encountered Team Rocket, went back to Kukui, who had Lillie grab an antidote to cure Rowlet with. Kukui and Ash, who bought groceries, went to a restaurant. There, they were greeted by Noa. Kukui explained Noa was the winner of the previous year's Pokémon Pancake race, which Ash wanted to attend to. Noa brought them some pancakes, which Ash and Kukui ate, and even gave some to their Pokémon. On the day of the race, Kukui and Lillie wished their friends luck in the race, as they sat down to watch.
The following day, Samson and Professor Kukui came to the class, the former showing the egg, which started to glow. The egg hatched into a red Vulpix, who started playing with the class's Pokémon. Kukui was surprised Lillie's egg, which hatched into Alola Vulpix, hatched at the same time as Samson's Vulpix. To befriend the Alola Vulpix nicknamed Snowy, Kukui gave Lillie a Poké Ball. Snowy touched the Poké Ball and let itself be caught, which made Kukui note Lillie was a trainer from then on. However, Lillie still couldn't touch Snowy, so Kukui asked what kind of a trainer she would be, stating she should find the answer. The next day, Kukui and Samson saw that Lillie befriended Snowy and could touch it as well. As they came back to the house, Kukui and Ash found Rockruff, who returned to the house, injured. Kukui used a potion to heal Rockruff, stating Rockruff should've been watching over the house while they were gone.
As Ash came back home, Kukui installed the cameras around the house to watch over Rockruff. He also placed a doll to have Rockruff play with. Ash and Kukui came outside and watched through the cameras how Rockruff became hostile and attacked the toy, then fled. Ash and Kukui followed Rockruff, seeing it was actually training with wild Pokémon. They also watched as Rockruff unsuccessfully battled a Magmar, seeing that the former needed some exercise. The two encountered Rockruff, with Ash promising to train it. The following day, Kukui watched as Ash and Pikachu trained Rockruff, who learned how to use Rock Throw. The next night, Ash and Kukui watched as Rockruff managed to defeat Magmar. Kukui and Ash encountered Rockruff again, with Kukui stating Ash should catch it, as Rockruff looked up to Ash. Ash did so and continued to train Rockruff, but this time, Kukui and Rotom participated in the training as well.
Litten was reminded of Professor Kukui, who lived with Ash. Per Stoutland's proposal, Litten had to escort Popplio and Rowlet to Ash to Kukui's house. Kukui was watching an episode of Alola Detective Laki with Rotom. Both were shocked by the episode's plot. As Ash fell asleep, Kukui woke him up to remind him to go to bed, else he'd get a sore back. The next day, Rotom reported to Kukui Ash lost his Electrium Z and sent Rotom and Pikachu to find it. Kukui was in shock, but recalled that the crystal could be at the school's courtyard, as Ash and Kiawe were fighting there the day before. While Rotom was searching for the crystal, Kukui had the class go outside to train a bit. Eventually, Rotom returned and told the class that the crystal was stolen. Kukui told Rotom its acting as the detective Laki was escalating, but Rotom told him the thief was actually Kiawe. After it was discovered to have been in Rotom's wig and school was over, Rotom showed to Ash, Kiawe, and Kukui that it could record videos.
After Ash fought against Hiroki and his Mudbray, Kukui informed him that if the trainer grows stronger, the power of the Z-Moves increases as well. Ash decided to have a rematch with Tapu Koko, which made Kukui laugh for his determination. The next day, Kukui watched as Ash and Pikachu took on Tapu Koko. He noted how Pikachu was much faster, due to Sophocles' training. Despite this, he doubted Ash could win the battle, as Tapu Koko was quite cunning and even had its Discharge powered up with Electric Terrain, which was used through Electric Surge ability. Kukui noted that Tapu Koko actually came to fight Ash to check the power of the Z-Move. Like others, Kukui was shocked that Ash dived from a cliff to save Pikachu, but was relieved that Tapu Koko rescued both of them. While Ash and Pikachu were spending time on Treasure Island, Kukui was at his house. He was surprised that Rotom sneezed, as it explained someone must've mentioned its name. After Ash and Pikachu came back home, they told which Pokémon they saw. Kukui identified them to be Wimpod, a scavenger, and Tapu Lele, a Pokémon that was rare to be seen. Ash wanted to encounter Tapu Lele once more, but Kukui told him he had to be lucky enough to meet it.
Ash and Rotom came to the house, after encountering Litten. Rotom showed the video of Stoutland and Litten training, which made Kukui remark how their backs were bent, as if they were storing the energy for the attack. Kukui saw that Stoutland actually liked Litten a lot. Since Stoutland was weakened, Ash decided to stay with Litten to keep vigil over Stoutland. Kukui permitted him that, knowing that Litten had some faith in Ash. The next day, Kukui and Ash visited Litten under the bridge as it was raining after Stoutland went missing. Ash, who came home, told Kukui about his encounter with Palossand. Kukui was impressed that Ash managed to befriend Litten, who mastered the Fire Fang move, as Litten had a lot of trust in Ash. Seeing it was getting darker, Kukui came out of the house, only to encounter the giant Palossand.
Kukui came with his students to DJ Leo's concert, and wore a wig of Michael's hair, who was a part of the Alola Dugtrio DJ Leo owned. After attending the concert, Kukui and his students were glad about the concert. Just as they were walking home, Rotom was attacked, so everyone followed the figure that stole its wig, which turned out to be Alola Diglett. DJ Leo arrived, commenting they were not supposed to be beyond the fence but recognized Kukui as his former classmate. Later, DJ Leo took everyone into his house, as they all were Kukui's friends. Professor Kukui admitted to Leo that he didn't know it was his former classmate upstage and he changed a lot since their days as students at the Pokémon School. Leo told his story of meeting Jessica, Ashley, and Michael - the Alola Dugtrio.
The Alola Diglett the class met before appeared in the house and admired the Alola Dugtrio. Kukui took Rotom's wig and placed it on Alola Diglett, and DJ Leo made it as a member of his band. Everyone was glad and Kukui and the class went away, bidding Leo farewell. The next day, Kukui and Ash were shocked Leo was going out of business, as Jessica, Ashley, and Michael left him. Wondering what happened over the night, Ash and Kukui visited Leo, who told them a trio came and offered the Alola Dugtrio some new benefits. To find more out, Kukui, Ash, and Leo went after the Alola Dugtrio, finding it was taken by Team Rocket. With the Alola Dugtrio freed and Team Rocket defeated, Leo performed another concert, where he had Jessica, Ashley, and Michael switch places for the spotlight. Kukui was impressed, seeing Leo got the idea from the Tri Attack the Alola Dugtrio had used earlier.
As Ash was overwhelmed by the homework, he told Kukui he was unable to finish it. Kukui doubted that, reminding Ash he was chosen by Samson Oak to do the presentation for the Visitation Day, to show other parents what they were learning. He gave advice to Ash to at least compare Alola and Kanto Pokémon for the presentation. The bell rang; Ash opened the door, and was shocked that his mother and Mimey came to see him. Delia introduced herself to Professor Kukui, and thanked him for taking care of her son. Kukui admitted it was fun to have Ash around, who was nervous his mom came to watch the presentation. After Delia met Ash's Pokémon, Kukui proposed having some tea. Ash went to make some, while Kukui continued talking with Delia.
Later, before the presentation began, Kukui welcomed everyone to the Visitation Day of the Pokémon School and gave Ash the spotlight for the presentation. However, he noticed Ash actually placed Rotom behind his back, who whispered to Ash what he should speak out loud. After Ash was overwhelmed by the info Rotom spoke to him, Kukui took Rotom out, praising it for the knowledge, then told Ash he should continue the presentation, with his own words. Ash spoke about his experience at the school, which impressed Kukui and others, too. Later on, Kukui and Samson saw how Delia, Ash, and his friends were cleaning up the mess Team Skull grunts made. Before Delia left to the airport, she asked of Kukui to continue taking care of her son and bid both him and Ash farewell.
Kukui asked of Kiawe and Ash to demonstrate the Z-Moves. They used the Z-Rings for their Turtonator and Pikachu, who executed Inferno Overdrive and Gigavolt Havoc. Since nobody saw other Z-Crystals, Kukui showed the class replicas of all of the Z-Crystals, whose types Rotom identified. Kukui was teaching class when Sophocles was wondering how he'd tell others he was moving far away. When Kukui asked him a question, Sophocles pretended to hear something, while Kukui was surprised he was distracted, even if the subject was about Electric-type Pokémon, Sophocles' favorite topic. Sophocles thought Kukui knew about Sophocles moving, but didn't want to say anything. Outside, Kukui made a relay race on Tauros. Before the race began, Kukui was surprised that Togedemaru started to cry and tackled Pikachu, though Sophocles claimed that's how Togedemaru expressed her happiness over Pikachu.
Ash witnessed Gladion battling a sailor and told this to Kukui. Rockruff started jumping and snuggling around Ash and Kukui, the latter noting Rockruff was happy to have seen Gladion's Lycanroc. Ash and Kukui were watching a Pokébase match. Ash was moved by the match he wanted to play the Pokébase, while Kukui smiled. The next day, Kukui announced to the class they would play Pokémon Base and introduced the teacher, the Pokébase player Oluolu. Everyone was amazed by Oluolu, who had been invited by Professor Kukui to teach the class. Soon, Kukui, Oluolu, and Samson became the commentators for the play the class, divided into two teams, and they began playing. Kukui also watched as Team Rocket joined in the play to obtain Oluolu's autograph, and told Team Rocket was out, since they failed to meet the objectives.
Kukui gave everyone an assignment to pick a partner (by choosing a colored stick) and exchange their Pokémon. Once everyone exchanged Pokémon, Kukui explained they had to take care of the exchanged Pokémon for two days. At his house, Kukui watched as Ash struggled to bond with Snowy. Two days later, Kukui noted how everyone had a good time with the exchanged Pokémon, seeing the assignments he gave were successful. He was also glad to see Lillie managed to touch Pikachu and hug him. Kukui announced the heroes would go to Akala Island for further lessons. This excited Ash, but Kukui warned him not to rush things over. After the class met Olivia, everyone went on a boat to Akala Island and bid Samson Oak farewell. On their way, Ash and Olivia found a Wailmer, stuck between rocks.
Once the class rescued the stuck Wailmer, Kukui continued on and, in the evening, reached Akala Island's Pokémon Center. Olivia and Kukui greeted the class, and they went to the stables. There, everyone chose a Stoutland to ride to find a treasure and return it to Olivia for examination. Once everyone chose their Stoutland and Olivia explained the rules, Kukui wished everyone good luck as they rode off. Kukui and Olivia watched how Lillie struggled to approach Stoutland. Kukui encouraged Lillie to continue, and reminded her how she succeeded in touching Pikachu and Snowy. In the end, Kukui showed the class how Lillie was able to touch Stoutland.
Kukui and the class visited the Wela Fire Festival, which he describes as a 100-year-old tradition. Seeing Olivia was placing a crown on a Pokémon, Kukui explained the crown boosts a Pokémon's power, and is most effective on Fire-type Pokémon. Hearing how Kiawe wished to have his grandfather attend the ceremony, Kukui thought his grandfather was still proud of him. During the ceremony, Kukui watched as a Marowak came and stole the crown. Olivia went to return the crown, but Kukui stopped her, since they needed to calm the people down first. The next day, after the crown was returned, Kukui came back to the festival, and Rotom took pictures of him and the rest of the class.
Ash dreamt how Kukui was the referee of the Grand Trial between him and Olivia. Later, he asked Olivia if he could face her in the Grand Trial, but was reminded by Kukui he had to pass the Trial first. Olivia gave everyone cards, showing an ingredient, and Kukui explained their task was to find that ingredient and return to cook the curry. Ash paired up with Mallow, obtained the ingredients and fought against Totem Lurantis, an achievement Kukui praised him for during dinner. The next day, Kukui was the referee for the Grand Trial. He was surprised at Rockruff's behavior, as it bit Ash, but noted the latter had a fiery passion to win. After the battle was over, Kukui declared Ash the winner, even if a moment later Rockruff fainted. Kukui explained to Ash that Rockruff was close to evolving, due to its aggressive behavior.
The next morning, Kukui and others were surprised that Ash was gone. Ash returned with Pikachu, and Kukui scolded him for going off on his own without telling anyone. Ash apologized, explaining that Rockruff was gone. Olivia said it was a normal thing for Rockruff to leave on its own before evolving, but Ash said Rockruff was hurt when he saw him, which surprised Kukui and others. The group went to search; Kukui, Olivia and Ash climbed a cliff, only to find a Yungoos running away with sparkles leaving behind. The trio went to Ruins of Life, where they saw two Lycanroc and Rockruff facing Tapu Lele. Kukui and Olivia watched as Ash confronted Tapu Lele, who made him and Lycanroc fall asleep.
The two watched as Tapu Lele absorbed the energies of Lycanroc and Ash, transferring them onto Rockruff, who evolved under the green light of the sun into a strange Lycanroc. Kukui explained that was the Dusk Form of Lycanroc, evolving under that rare phenomenon. The next day, the heroes, Kukui and Olivia sailed towards Melemele Island, and the former thought no matter how much they thought, the Pokémon world stil remained a mystery. As Ash had trouble having Lycanroc execute Continental Crush Z-Move, Kukui explained to him that Lycanroc had too much power it could not control, given it had recently evolved. Kukui suggested him to train with basic attacks, and announced to the class that they would be spending the afternoon training Pokémon moves.
Kukui was teaching class when Mallow explained she had to leave. Kukui remembered she had a TV presentation of her cafeteria, and let her go. Ash wished to go as well, and Kukui promised he could go later on, after the class was over. Kukui announced the class would be going to Kanto region. This excited Ash, who was told there would be special guests coming along. The class, along with Samson Oak, made a field trip to Kanto to meet Professor Oak, with Ash's friends Brock and Misty. At the end of the day, Kukui was also present during the reunion party. The next day, the group went to Cerulean City's Gym.
Kukui also introduced both Brock and Misty at the newly built Cerulean City Gym to his students. He announced the class would battle the two Gym Leaders, and explained if they win a battle, they would get a Gym Badge. During Kiawe's battle against Brock, Kukui explained about Mega Evolution, a type of evolution that transforms a Pokémon, and wears off after the battle. Kukui also laughed about Ash's strategy when his Pikachu was able to jump the water hurricane using both its Thunderbolt and Quick Attack as electric platforms, during Ash's battle with Misty. After the battle, he told them to keep the memory about the Pokémon battles. Before they returned back to Alola, Kukui thought of opening an Alola Pokémon League, after realizing his childhood dream.
At his home, Kukui informed Ash about Professor Burnet on TV, who researched Ultra Wormholes. When Kukui arrived to school, he was surprised to see Ash absent. Ash later arrived with a cloud-like creature the class nicknamed as Nebby. Kukui was also present when Lillie's mother Lusamine, Professor Burnet, Wicke and Faba arrived at his house by helicopter and discussed about the Aether Foundation and the Ultra Beasts. Kukui introduced Ash to Professor Burnet, and claimed the former was a trustworthy trainer to look after Nebby. Before going to school, Kukui reminded Ash they would be working with clay. After preparing themselves, they went to school. Near the school, Kukui noticed Ash was hungry and wanted to buy some donuts, but the two moved on. During class, Kukui had everyone make a sculpture of their out of clay, and made his critique on some of the works. Suddenly, Nebby started using its ability to warp people away, which Kukui noticed to be Teleport. However, Nebby did not return Ash and Pikachu, so the group split to find the two.
Kukui and Ash let Professor Burnet analyze Nebby. After Burnet finished the checkup, Ash thought she could join in the sleepover. Kukui doubted that, since Burnet was a busy person, but Burnet explained she did not have any chores for the day, and agreed in staying for the night. Regardless, Kukui apologized to Burnet for being dragged into this, who did not mind the sleepover at all. After the children played hide-and-seek with Nebby, Burnet and Kukui joined in for a game with Rotom, to mimic Z-Move poses, based on Rotom's dial spins. The game was cut when Kiawe accidentally had Turtonator unleash Inferno Overdrive.
Kukui, Sophocles, Lana and Kiawe cleaned the room up, and watched the TV afterwards, featuring a PokéBase match. With others having prepared the dinner, the group sat to eat the food, but Munchlax ate the meals. Without further ado, Kukui went with Burnet to do some shopping for food. Burnet apologized for the lack of dinner to Kukui, who reminded she just helped out. Burnet thanked him, for the children, who were behaving well, were reminding her about her childhood. After everyone had dinner, Kukui briefly spoke with Burnet before going to bed. The next day, Kukui bid everyone farewell, as they went back to their homes.
Later, at school, Kukui was shocked to hear Lillie started to fear Pokémon, including her Snowy. They encouraged her to touch Snowy, and despite her failure, they commended her for trying. Once Lillie returned, Kukui was glad to hear that she got over her fear Pokémon, and could hug any Pokémon. The class went outside, where Kukui skipped over the rope, and explained the trainer and Pokémon need to skip over the rope, to be in sync. He and Rotom rotated the rope, which Ash and Pikachu skipped, with Kukui warning the former not to be careless. Kukui let other Pokémon skip over the rope. The game was stopped when Ash saw Nebby was not in his backpack, and everyone saw Nebby warping Faba away. Kukui and others watched as Ash, Lillie and Gladion boarded on a plane to Aether Paradise.
The next day, Kukui and Lillie's butler, Hobbes, came to the classroom, only to see Lillie was not there, either. The two told Lillie had gone missing, which made Kukui believe they went to the Altar of the Sunne. To think of the next course of action, the group went to Hala, who told them about the legend of the Guardian Deities battling the Ultra Beasts. Bearing in mind Solgaleo could open the Ultra Wormhole, through which Lillie's mother went through, Kukui and the class went to Altar of the Sunne. They arrived in time to help Gladion and Lillie evade the rubble falling on them, and swore to help them in rescuing Lusamine.
Kukui believed the Tapu Guardians of Alola, as well as Solgaleo and Lunala, entrusted Ash with Nebby. Before he could continue, he got a call from Professor Burnet. He went to her, and counted on "his partner". He found Professor Burnet and Munchlax overwhelmed by the Hakamo-o and Kommo-o. In order to protect them, Kukui sent Braviary, who used Brave Bird. After the battle, Kukui and Burnet saw the children went through the Ultra Wormhole on their own. Kukui helped Burnet set the equipment, who blasted out a marker, to help the children come back from the Ultra Wormhole. After a while, Kukui and Burnet saw the Ultra Wormhole opening, and were glad the children succeeded in rescuing Lusamine.
After Lusamine had been rescued, Kukui noted the class' friendship has been improved, before going into the classroom as a teacher. At the beach, Kukui was walking with Professor Burnet, who was amazed by Ash's coolness. She wanted to meet the heroes, but Kukui admited he wanted to see her, too. The two noted they had lot in common, and noted they had something on their mind. Burnet let Kukui speak, who was slightly embarrassed. Burnet pointed at Kukui, shouting "I choose you!", while Kukui opened a Poké Ball, showing a ring, which made Burnet blush. The two told Ash and Rotom they would get married.
Ash told the news of the marriage at school the following day, and when Kukui arrived at the class, he noticed everyone was unusually calm. One morning, Ash woke Kukui up, who ignored him, since that day there was no school. Ash had Rowlet use Peck on Professor Kukui, who stood up and saw Professor Burnet in a gown. Kukui was surprised, seeing his students made preparations for the wedding. Soon, in a suit, Kukui sent Braviary, as his partner to accompany him to the altar, while Burnet was accompanied by her Munchlax. Kukui walked to the altar with Burnet, with Samson Oak speaking out their vows. Kukui and Burnet placed rings on their fingers, officially becoming a husband and wife. The two had fun at the wedding party, and noted Solgaleo in the sky, proclaiming it was "their Nebby".
With Burnet living with Professor Kukui, the latter had Ash tell his wife that breakfast was ready. After everyone had breakfast, Burnet realized she forgot about the business trip. Kukui promised to help her pack up, while Ash bid them farewell, as he went to school. At school, Kukui had Ash and Kiawe battle until Komala fell off the school's bell tower. Kukui gave some leaves to Komala, explaining to the class it is food that keeps Komala asleep. Samson appeared to explain Komala just had a bad dream. A Jigglypuff appeared and sang its song, making everyone asleep. Jigglypuff became furious and wrote scribbles on everyone's faces but Komala. Kukui, Samson and the class spent time in figuring out why Komala's face was not scribed upon, and found out that Komala just evaded Jigglypuff.
Ash went to tell his Pokémon he and the professors were leaving, but Burnet shushed him, while Kukui doubted anything could happen while they went to do some shopping. When they returned, they were surprised to see a washing machine. The delivery man arrived, and explained the error and took the washing machine away. Ash found Rotom on the floor, whom Kukui activated and started behaving strangely. Ash was surprised Rotom behaved unusually, but Rotom dismissed that, thinking that was just Rotom's behavior after rebooting. Kukui, Ash and Burnet were walking at the beach, and encountered Team Rocket's Mareanie, who was quite sad, which prompted them to took her inside their house.
Hala joined the class in travelling to Mount Lanakila on Ula'ula Island, since he wished to have his Crabrawler evolve here. There, Kukui reminded the group Snowy's egg was found here. Due to the cold environment, Hala, Kukui and Kiawe braced themselves to endure the cold, but wore winter clothes once they started sneezing. Rotom spotted an Alolan Sandshrew, and Kukui pointed out lots of Pokémon could not be found anywhere in Alola but here. The group watched Hala's Crabrawler fighting a Sneasel and evolving into a Crabominable. Afterwards, the group went to see the venue for the PokéSled, and Kukui explained they could train for that tournament. He watched others try sledding down, and was concerned when Lillie fell down and nearly injured herself. The next day, he watched the tournament returning to Melemele Island.
Professor Kukui was teaching the class about the difference between Kanto Vulpix and its Alolan variant. Suddenly, Komala started ringing the bell, and Samson came in, which made Kukui realize that Lusamine called. Due to this emergency, Kukui lifted the blackboard and opened a passage for the class, who had a mission as Ultra Guardians. After the Ultra Guardians captured Buzzwole, Kukui was with his wife, Lusamine and Wicke. He noted Buzzwole was a strong Pokémon before it went through the Ultra Wormhole. Kukui bought some sweets from a sale, but was surprised that Ash gave all of it to his Pokémon.
Kukui, posing as Masked Royal battled three Trainers in a handicap, using his Incineroar at the Battle Royal Dome. His Incineroar used Malicious Moonsault Z-Move, to defeat Machamp, Decidueye and Primarina. He also announced a public challenge to all trainers, to have them face him. The next day, Ash's Litten went into the ring, as Kukui sent Incineroar. Litten was eager to fight the latter, and even noticed who Masked Royal really was. Ash rushed to get Litten off the stage, but Masked Royal decided to take him, Sophocles and Kiawe as his challengers. While Incineroar managed to easily defeat Sophocles' Charjabug and Kiawe's Marowak with Darkest Lariat, Ash's Litten was persistent to defeat it. Masked Royal noted that Litten saw they were holding back.
Litten used Fire Fang to attack, but was stopped by Incineroar, and defeated by its Bulk Up and Throat Chop combo. After Litten was defeated by his Incineroar, Kukui watched Ash and his Pokémon train Litten. He later faced Ash and his Litten, stating they were just jogging around before encountering them. The two sides had a rematch, and Masked Royal reminded Ash to train harder to win. In frustration, Litten struggled not to get defeated as it evolved into Torracat. Despite its evolution and its newly-learned Flame Charge, Torracat eventually got defeated by Incineroar, who used the same finishing combo. Still, the Masked Royal admitted it was a good battle, and expected another rematch at the Battle Dome. That night, Professor Burnet was impressed on Masked Royal's actions, and wanted Kukui to meet him, which made the latter nervous.
Kukui was at the classroom when he heard Ash confronting the Passimian, and explained their organization. The next day, he went to teach the class, but was surprised the way Ash behaved. After being told he wanted to become a Passimian to help Melemele Greens regain their leadership, Kukui was fine with that as long as he didn't disturb the class. Kukui oversaw the training of the class when they encountered Ilima, who came to the Pokémon School. Kukui was surprised to see Ilima, and a moment later, he and Samson Oak spoke with him. Ilima spoke of his adventures in Kalos, which motivated Kukui to open the Alola Pokémon League, and invited Ilima to take part in it.
Kukui took the class for some Poké-Ping Pong with Ilima, who taught the class about the sport. After explaining the rules, Kukui brought the equipment for the class to train. The next day, after Ilima won the sport tournament, Kukui and the class bid him farewell, as he sailed away. Sophocles held a presentation about the Hokulani Observatory and Molayne, who was Kukui's best friend. Ash wanted to go to the observatory, while Kukui praised Sophocles for the presentation. At the end of the day, when Ash caught Poipole, Kukui and Burnet were pleased, thinking of Poipole and the rest as a big family. Some time later, as Komala rang the bell, Kukui asked of the class to enter their Ultra Guardians outfits, for an emergency.
Kukui was at the classroom when a Dewpider went past by him. The class explained more about the Dewpider, and Kukui believed that it recently left its nest, and was searching for a place of its own, to become a "king of its castle". Thus, the class followed Dewpider around, to see its progress, but without interfering, for this was the way of the nature that they should not disturb. They followed it to a lake, where Dewpider confronted a Surskit. In the end, Kukui and others were glad to see that Surskit evolved into a Masquerain and left Dewpider the lake to settle in.
Kukui announced he was close to opening the Alola Pokémon League. The class was motivated in helping Kukui, while Ash decided to go to Ula'ula Island for more training. There, Tapu Bulu helped Ash in calming Lycanroc's rage down, by making it remember the times it spent as a Rockruff with the professor and the rest. Meanwhile, Kukui was teaching class about Mimikyu. They remembered that Team Rocket had one, and Kukui mentioned they were mostly seen on Ula'ula Island. The rest of the class also wondered about Ash's progress on the island. After Ash returning to Melemele Island, Kukui was about to teach the class, but a distress call made him open the chamber to the Ultra Guardians' base instead. Later, he told the heroes that many people saw their fireworks display to soothe down Blacephalon and Xurkitree, and were asked to make that performance once again.
The class went to Ula'ula Island's Hokulani Observatorym, where they met Molayne, Sophocles' cousin and Kukui's best friend. Molayne led the class for a tour around the observatory. As the children went to sleep, Molayne was curious how much Kukui would teach the children about Minior. Kukui replied he wanted them to learn as much as they can, even about Minior's negative side. The next day, Kukui and the rest watched as the Minior faded into dust. Ash thought they could do something to prevent this, but Molayne denied, for that Minior's lifespan was short, and Kukui added it was for the best that they befriended a Minior before it passed away. Masked Royal battled Mr. Electric and his Electivire, who were members of the Revengers, at the Battle Dome. His Incineroar went to attack, but its leg was held by Mr. Electric. While Incineroar broke free and attacked Electivire, Mad Magmar and his Magmortar entered the ring. Due to breaking the rules, both Mr. Electric and Mad Magmar were disquallified, though Masked Royal was not pleased by the way he won. Mad Magmar demanded a rematch, which Masked Royal accepted.
At the locker room, Masked Royal took off his mask, and noted he and Incineroar had to be present at the battle tomorrow. Kukui returned home, and encountered his wife and Ash making his signature pose. Kukui made the pose, too, and Burnet noticed how good his pose was, thinking he was training in secret. Much to his surprise, Burnet and Ash invited Kukui to watch Masked Royal's match. The next day, after the trio met up with Ash's classmates at the dome, everyone took their seats. As Kukui snuck off, Ash spotted him, whom Kukui told that he had to buy some groceries. In secret, Kukui quickly put his mask on and dashed towards the arena to confront Mad Magmar. However, his Incineroar was surrounded by Revengers' Pokémon, and attacked it. Ash's Torracat entered the arena and tried to fight them off to even the odds. They soon saw Viren, who came out of his golden car, announcing he'd buy the stadium to get Masked Royal's champion title.
Ash was not pleased about this, so he was invited by Masked Royal to come and join the fight. Ash accepted, and placed on the colorful mask, becoming "Ash Royal". Ash's Torracat and Masked Royal's Incineroar switched places to fight against the Revengers. As they were gaining the advantage, the Revengers held their Pokémon from outside the ring. Ash's classmates dashed in to stop the Revengers, which motivated Masked Royal to continue fighting honoruably. With a Malicious Moonsault, Incineroar defeated the Revengers. Viren attempted to cheat by sending Pangoro, who was blown onto Viren by Torracat and Incineroar's attacks. Masked Royal and Ash won the battle, and made the victory pose. Ash was motivated to have a rematch with Masked Royal someday, who accepted the challenge. However, the latter ran off, and returned back to his wife and the rest as Professor Kukui. However, he got scolded by his wife for missing the match.
Kukui, at the classroom, tasked the children to dance with their Pokémon. He permitted additional props, but reminded that they had three days to finish the task. A day later, he observed the heroes' attempts to dance. He advised Lillie to have Snowy use Pokémon moves as well, which gave Lana an idea. As Kiawe tried to use fire to dance with Marowak, his hair was lit, and Kukui advised him to be careful with that, and saw Mallow had a good potential with performing the traditional Alolan dance: Alola Hula. The next day, Kukui led the heroes to a hall, where they would perform their dance in front of Moani, who was a professional dancer. However, Team Rocket interfered with the event by capturing everyone in cages, but Mallow's Steenee evolved into a Tsareena and rescued everyone.
Kukui introduced the class to Faba, who was on behalf of Lusamine to promote science. He introduced a machine that could shrink items and make them regrow big. However, he had troule configuring the machine, and ended up shrinking Ash, Sophocles and Lillie. Kukui was angry at Faba, and tried to get him to fix the problem, but Faba was still troubled by the machine's configurations. While the trio grew back, as the effects of the machine expired, Kukui became troubled when Faba's machine caused Sophocles' Togedemaru to become gigantic. Ash went with Kukui and Burnet to do some shopping. On their way home, they encountered a girl, who was drawing some pictures. Poipole became interested in her paintings, which Burnet was fond of. As the girl stated that her Ribombee told her that Poipole was feeling love, Kukui noted that the girl and Ribombee must be synchronized, and Burnet believed the flower aura allowed the girl to recognize what Ribombee was telling her.
The next day, Ash, Kukui and Burnet contacted Aether Foundation, to tell them about Poipole's feelings. Lusamine told them to continue taking notes of Poipole's behavior, and Burnet exclaimed "Ult-roger!" with Ash and Kukui. At the end of the day, the group saw Poipole's painting on the ceiling, which Ash recognized as the Blinding One. However, neither Kukui nor Burnet knew why did it draw a painting of it at that time. Kukui had the class jump across a vaulting horse, and was impressed by the children's progress. Later, Ash, Kukui and Burnet were walking through the city, and the latter laughed when Kukui told her that Ash wanted to jump over 30 levels of a vaulting horse. The next day, Kukui was alerted that an Ultra Beast was right in front of their school. Since the Ultra Guardians could not catch this Stakataka, Kukui believed they could go rest and try another day. The next day, Kukui warned the group of an Ultra Aura presence. Eventually, Stakataka was captured, and Kukui watched as it returned through the Ultra Wormhole at the Pokémon School.
On a cloudy day, Kukui was feeling down, along with his wife. Ash became surprised, seeing that Kukui buttoned up his coat, which was not a normal behavior for him. He eventually arrived to school, and greeted everyone with "Hey everyone" instead of the usual "Alola". Kukui felt sluggish, and let the children open the door for the Ultra Guardians base when the distress call was ringing. Kukui was resting with Prinicipal Oak at school, until the Blinding One retreated through an Ultra Wormhole with Solgaleo. At that moment, Samson Oak and Kukui felt their energy restored, and awaited the Ultra Guardians' return. They were surprised to see Lunala in the treatement room, as it was wounded during the battle against the Blinding One. With the rising concern of Team Rocket's elite unit, the Matori Matrix, Kukui and the rest of the adults left the children to discuss how to deal with that enemy.
As the Ultra Guardians followed Lunala to the Ultra Wormhole, Faba and Professor Kukui teamed up to confront the Matori Matrix, to prevent them reaching the wormhole. They had their Pokémon - Hypno, Braviary and Alakazam - attack their aircraft, making it descend down, as they swore they would not let them cross through the portal. Gozu of the Matori Matrix sent Aggron and Mega Evolved it, powering it up to defeat all of Professor Kukui and Faba's Pokémon in one hit. Although Faba and Kukui are overpowered by one of Team Rocket's Mega Aggron, Kukui asked of Faba not to tell everyone of their friends about his secret life, revealing himself to be the true identity of famous Masked Royal. Faba showed he was a big fan of the Masked Royal, who defeated Team Rocket's Mega Aggron with a Z-Move by Kukui's Incineroar. To help Necrozma, Faba, Kukui and Incineroar shared some of their Ultra Aura. In the end, the group watched as the Ultra Guardians returned from their mission.
After he defeated the Mad Magmar, Masked Royal announced to everyone he'd make a tour around the towns, to promote the Battle Royal. He went into the changing room, and taking off his mask, Kukui praised Incineroar for the victory. When he returned home, he was surprised by Ash and Burnet, who had watched his battle as Masked Royal. In fact, they wanted to take Kukui to the event with Masked Royal. Kukui agreed, but became nervous. Kukui turned to Molayne at Hokulani Observatory for help, for Kukui had to be at the Melemele Island's shopping mall both as a Masked Royal, and as a husband to Professor Burnet. Molayne laughed at first, but was surprised that Burnet still didn't knew Kukui was the Masked Royal, despite a lot of clues around. Kukui felt he'd disappoint Burnet if she knew the identity.
To help his friend, Molayne decided to swap roles with the Masked Royal, thus allowing Professor Kukui to be with his wife, who would shake hands with the (fake) Masked Royal. Kukui was pleased, and Molayne reminded the importance of helping friends in need. At the day of the event, Masked Royal made a presentation of a battle, and after that, started shaking hands with his fans. When Burnet approached him, Masked Royal announced a quick break and went to the changing rooms. He soon met up with Molayne, and passed him his mask, and regrouped with Burnet and Ash. However, Mad Magmar appeared and demanded a rematch, which annoyed Kukui.
Faba, who knew his identity, with James' help had Molayne gagged, and entered the ring with Masked Royal's Incineroar. Faba was quickly defeated, which made Kukui even more annoyed. However, the lights went out, due to Molayne's Magneton, so Kukui quickly put on his mask to confront Mad Magmar and defeat him with Incineroar's Z-Move. After that, Masked Royal made his victory pose, and helped Burnet back on her feet, which made her blush. At the end of the day, Kukui came back to Burnet and Ash. While the former was disappointed that Kukui could not meet the Masked Royal, she still admired the Masked Royal, and exclaimed how she loves him as a fan, which made Kukui blush.
As the class performed a drama play, Kukui was in charge of the lighting of the play, and watched the play as well. At his house, Kukui was terrified, as he saw that his wife, who went to the Aether Paradise, forgot her lunch. Since Kukui would soon have to visit the Pokémon Battle Conference, Ash decided to deliver Burnet the lunch himself. Kukui let others go into the forest to study Pokémon habitats, by searching and studying feathers. Much to the class's surprise, Ash was quite eager to search for some feathers, and asked Kukui what happened a day ago. Kukui, however, told them that Rotom was leaving to star in Alola Detective Laki series.
Back at the house, Ash told Burnet and Kukui about Hau, and how they'd have a rematch. Kukui noted Rowlet was motivated for the next fight, and Burnet suggested learning a new move. In fact, she was excited to see when Masked Royal taught his Incineroar to use Cross Chop. As she went to mention how Incineroar replaced that move with Brick Break, Kukui stopped her, reminding they had to focus on Ash's Rowlet, and thought they could start their training all over. Outside their house, Burnet was meditating with Professor Kukui. Ash joined them, and Burnet reminded it was important to bond with nature, and to pay attention to the land, sky, forest and seas of Alola, as well as the Pokémon of the region, which were its spirit. At evening, Burnet and Kukui watched the fireworks festival with Ash's friends, as well as Olivia, Brock and Misty, the latter two which visited Alola for a brief time.
Professor Kukui went with the class to Poni Island. There, he reminded that everyone had to complete their project, a task they wanted to fulfill. He met up with Nurse Joy, and explained his students would be in her care for a few days. The class thought there was nothing much for Kukui to do, and thought he could return to Melemele Island. Kukui decided to do so, and reminded that they had one week to fulfill their assignments. The heroes acknowledged that, and Kukui became proud of them, until he saw Ash falling into water. There, in a mist, Ash and Torracat encountered Stoutland. Ash remembered that he and Kukui saw as it passed away, but shrug it off. As the deadline passed away, Kukui returned to Poni Island to pick up the children. He was pleased to hear that everyone had completed their projects, and sailed away with them back to Melemele Island.
When Kahili visited the school, Kukui and others recognized her as the professional PokéGolf player. When the heroes wanted of her to teach them how to play PokéGolf, Kukui noticed Kahili being gloom, and reminded the children they should not make the woman unconfortable. However, Kahili, with the help of her Toucannon, nicknamed Touckey, decided to comply with the heroes' request, Kukui accompanied the class to a golf course for a PokéGolf tournament. Kukui was teaching the class about electronics, and told the heroes they should dismantle the electronics he provided to learn how they work. Suddenly, they were visited by strange Pokémon, which neither Kukui nor Rotom could identify. The class spent time observing these Pokémon's behaviors. Later, Ash and Kukui, at the latter's house, contacted Professor Oak, to report the discovery of new Pokémon species.
Kukui and Burnet were at the house when Ash contacted Professor Oak for the discovery of a new species: Meltan. Oak made some new discoveries, and counted on the trio for more analysis on Meltan. The two went to school, where Kukui announced a day where the class would battle each other. In the middle of the night, Kukui woke Ash up, as there was a distress call for the Ultra Guardians. The next morning, Kukui applauded the heroes had done a good job with the Ultra Beast, knowing it was night time when they confronted it. Later on, he watched as the Aether Foundation team returned the Ultra Beast, Pheromosa, to its home. At Aether Paradise, Professor Kukui invited many people to attend his speech. It was there when he, along with the Island Kahuna and Lusamine, unveiled the construction site of the Alola Pokémon League. In fact, Kukui respected the idea of having a tournament of battles, similar to an Alola tradition where trainers, upon finishing their Island Pilgrimage, would fight in a final battle atop Mount Lanakila.
He later came back to his house, where Burnet and Ash admitted they were very impressed by his speech. Kukui, however, became nervous to hear about Ash's imagination that Masked Royal would participate in the League, too. Sometime later, Kukui was teaching the class when Tupp, Rapp and Zipp called upon him, daring him to a battle. He came down, and stopped when he saw Guzma. The heroes came, too, while Plumeria announced a special match between Kukui and Guzma, as the latter promised to destroy the former. In fact, Guzma, referring to the League, found it amusing for Kukui to replace traditions. However, he didn't want the concept of the Pokémon League, to have trainers battle each other to prove who's the strongest one, thinking everyone else was very weak.
In fact, Guzma claimed he was the strongest around. Kukui dared Guzma to simply enter the League and prove those words, but Guzma was not amused. Kukui noted that Guzma had not changed at all, who decided to fight Ash instead, noting he was just like Kukui. At the end of the battle, Guzma's Golisopod went back to its Poké Ball. Kukui thought Guzma was surrendering, but the latter simply stated that he would not fight a battle where the outcome was obvious, as Ash's Pikachu was close to fainting. Before he left, Kukui told Guzma he was once again running away, just like he did with his Island Kahuna and the Island Pilgrimage.
Kukui and Rotom were pleased to see Ash and his Pokémon having breakfast. Ash told that his Meltan was after the frying pan, which shocked Kukui, as Burnet would be very disappointed to hear another of her frying pans were ruined. Ash smiled, as he actually saved one of them, but as he wondered where Burnet was, Kukui replied she was doing work at Aether Paradise. Later, when Lillie discovered her father's Z-Ring, Kukui and the class visited Hala, who spoke about Lillie's father, Mohn. Kukui was motivated by Hala's story to battle Mohn someday, and thought they could make a celebration when he would return. Thus, Kukui and the rest encouraged Lillie to ask Hala about using the Z-Ring, and watched as she attempted to have Snowy unleash a Z-Move. Kukui was writing on the blackboard, when Sophocles' Vikavolt snuck up behind him. Though this was to prepare Sophocles for the upcoming Vikavolt Race, Kukui was still disturbed by Vikavolt's close presence.
Professor Kukui went to class, and became impressed that everyone in the class had a Z-Ring. Since Mallow, Lillie and Sophocles had a lot to learn about Z-Moves, Kukui suggested they could spend the day to practice Z-Move poses. Ash wanted to train, too, stating that they had to prepare themselves for the Alola League. Kukui saw his point, and noted that he, Kiawe and Lana had to know which Pokémon, and which Z-Move they could use in the heat of battle, which inspired the trio. Later, Kukui went to check up on Sophocles, Mallow and Lillie, and believed the trio to be doing well in their training. Professor Kukui was glad that the girls were doing some training for Z-Moves. He noted Lana has decided to enter the Alola League, who convinced Mallow and Lillie to do the same. He also visited the guys, from whom Sophocles had trouble in executing the Z-Move. He tried to analyze his mistakes, but Kukui thought he needed more training to figure that out. As the girls decided to hang around Lillie's mansion, while the guys wanted to camp out to train for the Alola League, Kukui pushed them to do their best.
Kukui had the class show makiwara, a type of object used to test sharpness of swords. He thought the class would do well to test the sharpness of their Pokémon's moves, though admitted that even the most experienced sword masters had trouble of slashing through the makiwara. Suddenly, the makiwara was cut down for "no apparent reason"; Lillie and Mallow reported they also saw their garden trees and cabbage being sliced, too. As Kukui tried to think what could be the cause, the bell rang for the call of the Ultra Guardians. Later on, Samson Oak and Professor Kukui, after being told about the meteor that would fall onto their school, ran towards the Ultra Guardians. They warned them of the danger, and asked of them to leave the school, too, but the Ultra Guardians refused, and went to destroy the meteor before it could collide.
While at home, Kukui was shown a picture of him as a kid and Incineroar when it was a Litten by Professor Burnet. Kukui was excited to see his old super move index when Professor Burnet told him that she found while cleaning that closet. Also, Kukui told his wife about how he brought his index with himself everywhere when he was kid. When Professor Burnet questioned Litten in the photo, Kukui told her that Pokémon belonged to his parents. Looking at the photo, Kukui muttered "Rory". Later, Kukui was in his lab, looking at his childhood memories, until Ash, who came from the past, to tell him that lunch was ready. Kukui was at Manalo Stadium, shouting out in happiness that his childhood dream to form the League was complete. He made a TV broadcast, announcing that the Alola Pokémon League would soon start, and invited all the trainers to participate. Moreover, he showed a special trainer, who would battle the first Alola Champion in a special battle: Masked Royal. The latter asked of everyone to enjoy the Pokémon League, and made a pose with his Incineroar.
Kukui welcomed his class to Manalo Stadium. Ash wanted to know if they could battle right away at the stadium, but Kukui prevented him from so. Since he had lots of work, Kukui let the children explore the rest of the island. Later, Kukui went with Hala and the girls, encountering Guzma and Team Skull grunts. Kukui and Guzma frowned at each other, but the latter reminded that Kukui invited him to the Pokémon League. Kukui permitted Guzma to enter, who swore that Kukui would regret saying those words. He also promised to crush Kukui's dream: once Guzma would become the champion, he'd cancel the Alola Pokémon League forever. Kukui was frustrated, while Guzma left with Team Skull. Ash felt inspired to prevent Guzma from destroying the League, which inspired Hala and Kukui, making them glad about such actions. During the evening, Kukui opened the Alola Pokémon League, and hoped everyone would have a great time while having battles. Kukui also let Masked Royal announce the rules on the screen: the preliminary round would feature Battle Royals, where only 16 teams could advance to the next round.
Professor Kukui was at the Manalo Stadium with many participants. He told the participants that he was overjoyed to see many trainers having gathered at the Battle Royal, and officially opened the Pokémon League. During the tournament, Kukui became silent when he saw Guzma, whose Scizor defeated a Jangmo-o. Kukui watched the first round of the Pokémon League. After Lana and Mallow battled, he noted the two fought great. He continued watching the first round battles, and wondered which Pokémon would Kiawe send against the Ghost-type user, Acerola. Kiawe sent Marowak against Gengar, which made Kukui note that Ghost-type moves were effective against Ghost-type Pokémon, and assumed the match wouldn't last long. He also watched Lillie battle Gladion, and was surprised when she had Snowy use Subzero Slammer Z-Move.
Kukui was eager to see Gladion's fight against Jamexio, and wondered what kind of a battle would it be. When Ash was supposed to face Hau, Kukui was concerened where the former was. Once the two boys arrived, Kukui became relieved, and began watching their battle. He continued watching the battle, and was concerned when Ash lost. However, Hala pointed out that Rowlet merely fell asleep, so Ash and Hau resumed the battle, with the latter had won. Later, Kukui was also watching the match between Sophocles and Kiawe. Kukui as glad to see that the two friends enjoyed the battle, as it got concluded with Kiawe's victory. Upon seeing Guzma, Kukui stopped smiling, as Guzma glared at him after defeating Lana. Professor Kukui was among the audience watching the semi-finals, featuring Gladion and Kiawe.
Kukui wondered who would be the first one to attack, as it would determine the outcome. He was amazed by Gladion's quick thinking to equip Silvally with Fire Memory, which let it endure the Inferno Overdrive Z-Move. After Gladion won the battle, Kukui went to Nanu, reminding it was his turn to be the referee. Nanu commented Ash was a crazy kid to face against Guzma, while Kukui asked of Nanu to judge fairly. Nanu was hoping this won't be a match with any problems, and Kukui hoped that, too. He was watching Ash's battle against Guzma, and wondered what the former would do. Profesor Kukui approached Hala, who commented Guzma hasn't changed a bit. At the end of the battle, Guzma went to leave the stadium. Kukui was nevertheless pleased of Guzma's progress, and expected of him to participate at the next year's Pokémon League, but Guzma remained silent as he walked away. The next morning, Kukui was standing at the stadium. He expected an amazing final battle from both Ash and Gladion.
Professor Kukui, Burnet and Ash were waiting for Professor Oak and Ash's mother at the docks. The two sides greeted each other, and showed Ash's Meltan. Oak was intrigued, and suddenly, Meltan emitted sound waves to gather the other Meltan. Kukui and others watched as Ash's Meltan merged with the other ones, evolving into a Melmetal. Melmetal displayed its new move, bashing its claws into the water, which Kukui dubbed it to be Double Iron Bash. The next day, Kukui went to the battlefield, as he was the referee for the finals. He had Ash and Gladion sent their Pokémon out in the 3-on-3 battle, and Kukui expected of both to have a fair match. Professor Kukui continued being the referee of the battle. Upon Ash's Lycanroc defeating Gladion's Lycanroc, Kukui smiled for a moment, and declared Ash as the winner of the battle. That evening later, Kukui, as the Masked Royal, went to the stage to give Ash the Championship Cup. Ash was pleased, and expected a good match from the Masked Royal, who felt the same. However, the two were surprised when the Ultra Beast, Guzzlord, arrived from an Ultra Wormhole.
Masked Royal was in shock to witness Guzzlord, and muttered it was as Ash had spoken about earlier. Ash wondered how did he know about that, since he was never present around. Masked Royal was in panic, and claimed Kukui had told him in order to keep his identity safe. As the Island Kahuna arrived to confront Guzzlord, Masked Royal and the rest of the participants went to evacuate the audience. At the docks, Masked Royal and Ash witnessed a large white Guzzlord having emerged from the Ultra Wormhole. They aimed to defeat it and send it back to the portal, so Masked Royal sent Lucario to fight it off, while Pikachu used Electroweb to trap it. Lucario went to slam Guzzlord away, who released itself from the web and hit Lucario away.
Masked Royal was displeased, and stated he had no Electric-type Pokémon that could trap Guzzlord. In that moment, the Ultra Wormhole closed, but from a portal, a Naganadel appeared. Ash realized this was the Poipole that he befriended and caught, which only evolved, and it used Thunderbolt on Guzzlord to fight it off. Without further ado, Masked Royal and Ash passed Z-Power to Naganadel and Pikachu, having them use double Gigavolt Havoc Z-Moves that blasted Guzzlord through the portal, which closed soon after, and Masked Royal's mask was blown away. As everyone started cheering, Ash and his Pokémon were shocked to see Kukui, who was actually Masked Royal the entire time, to which Kukui started to panic, too.
After the rest of the his students, including Gladion and Hau, Kukui apologized for keeping his Masked Royal identity a secret from everyone. This made Ash more excited, due to knowing that he would battle Masked Royal as Kukui in the exhibition match. Wanting to see how much Ash's team has grown, Kukui suggested to Ash a full six-on-six battle for their exhibition match, which Ash accepted as he recalled Naganadel. Kukui let Ash keep Naganadel, since it was a part of their Alolan family. Before the match, Kukui and Incineroar were mediating until he sensed his wife's presence. Burnet admitted she was disappointed for not having uncovered Kukui's identity as Masked Royal before, considering he was her husband and she was his greatest fan. Kukui was told by his wife that he should give everyone a good battle which made him very happy.
As Kukui arrived to the battlefield to confront Ash, Hala let the two sides know he would be expecting a great battle from the two in the six-on-six match. The two sides shook hands and took their positions on the battlefield, and sent Incineroar and Torracat to battle one another. Kukui knew Ash would use Torracat, and noticed the latter's power started to incrase. During the battle, Torracat attempted to circle around Incineroar and execute a Flame Charge to boost its speed, but got hit away by Throat Chop. Incineroar got slightly hit by Torracat's Fire Blast, whom Incineroar used to hit Torracat, too. Much to Kukui's shock, Torracat absorbed the Fire Blast attack into its bell, but could not contain it for too long, to which Ash called him back. Kukui became intrigued, and Ash sent Lycanroc, who dealt some damage to his ace Pokémon with Stone Edge. At that point, Kukui recalled Incineroar into its Poké Ball, then sent out Braviary to battle.
Kukui was impressed by Ash, whose Lycanroc deflected Braviary's attack with Counter, even more so when he survived Braviary's Sky Drop. When Ash's Rowlet defeated Braviary, Kukui sent out Venusaur, and boasted about its flower, which trapped Rowlet. Kukui dared Ash to have Rowlet escape the flower, and much to his shock, Rowlet did so by discarding its cloak. As Rowlet was defeated, Ash's Torracat was sent out to quickly defeat Venusaur; Kukui believed Ash simply let Torracat out to see if it could continue the battle, after absorbing Blast Burn. He sent out an Empoleon, and explained it was a tough opponent, who travelled the oceans to research sea currents. Since Pikachu had trouble battling it, Ash sent Melmetal - Kukui anticipated this Pokémon, which he had little knowledge of. Melmetal resisted Empoleon's Whirlpool and slammed it to Kukui, who bashed into a wall.
Despite getting hit, Kukui was nevertheless pleased to have this battle, for it pitted his strategy against Ash, and the outcome was not clear to either of them. He and Ash announced they would use their full power to battle one another. His Incineroar quickly defeated Melmetal, and then Kukui sent Lucario to battle Ash's Naganadel. Kukui noted this would be a fun battle. Much like Melmetal, Kukui noted Naganadel was a Pokémon he knew little about. His Lucario intercepted Naganadel's attacks, until the latter clashed with X-Scissor with Close Combat, allowing Naganadel to defeat it with Dragon Pulse at close range. Kukui remarked Ash was using his tactic, which was had been used by Incineroar to defeat Melmetal. At any rate, Kukui sent Incineroar to battle its rival, Torracat. Torracat managed to inflict some serious damage to Incineroar, which impressed Kukui as to how much power Torracat had.
Still, due to its size, Incineroar grabbed Torracat by its head, and Kukui wondered how would they get out of the situation. Incineroar used Throat Chop, which blew Torracat away. As the two sides' Blaze ability was activated, Kukui and Ash passed Z-Power to their Pokémon to unleash Inferno Overdrive Z-Moves, which collided. Inside, the two sides used Throat Chop and Revenge. After the explosion cleared, Kukui was in shock to see his Incineroar having been defeated. Moreover, he and Ash witnessed as the latter's Torracat evolved into an Incineroar, but a moment later, he fainted from exhaustion. Kukui went to use his final Pokémon, but at that point, Tapu Koko appeared. Ash realized it wanted to battle him, so Kukui permitted Tapu Koko to be its partner in this battle.
Kukui let Tapu Koko be his partner, but reminded they had to win this battle. Tapu Koko endured some of Naganadel's attacks with X-Scissor, and retaliated with Dazzling Gleam. Upon Naganadel using Dragon Pulse, Kukui became surprised, as Tapu Koko was immune to that attack. Instead, Naganadel targeted the attack on the ground, raising dust so Tapu Koko would be distracted. Tapu Koko got hit by X-Scissor, but it overpowered Naganadel with Discharge and defeated it. Kukui high-fived Tapu Koko, while Ash sent Pikachu out. Pikachu valiantly fought Tapu Koko, using Iron Tail to slam it, while intercepting Nature's Madness with Electroweb. After the two used Thunderbolt and Discharge, Kukui applauded Ash, remarking his strength. Ash smiled, while Pikachu jumped around happily that their efforts were recognized. Suddenly, Tapu Koko pointed at Kukui's Z-Ring, wishing of him to execute a Z-Move. Kukui apologized, for he already used the Z-Move when Incineroar was sent out.
He and Ash listened as Tapu Koko started singing, summoning the other three Guardian Deities, who spread their glitter around, thus enabling Ash and Kukui to use the Z-Rings a second time. Moreover, Tapu Koko summoned a special Z-Crystal for Kukui to use. Kukui smiled, and accepted Tapu Koko's request. Kukui passed the Z-Power to Tapu Koko, summoning a yellow giant to use Guardian of Alola Z-Move. As the Z-Move went to attack Pikachu, Ash had the latter use its special Z-Move, 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt, which pushed away Tapu Koko's Z-Move. The attacks collided, and Pikachu pushed away Tapu Koko. After the explosion, Tapu Koko floated to the ground and fainted. With the help of Tapu Lele, both sides' health were restored. Kukui thanked Tapu Koko for its efforts, and Ash, too, for having such a magnificent battle, and congratulated the Champion. Ash thanked Kukui, who remarked this was a wonderful League, and pat Ash's head, for he was the best. Ash smiled, and took that compliment, stating Kukui was correct about that.
After the Pokémon League was over, Kukui was having breakfast with Ash and Burnet. He and Ash were amused to see Melmetal eating a giant metal beam as breakfast. Suddenly, Naganadel stormed outside, and the rest followed it to see an Ultra Wormhole opening. Ash, Burnet and Kukui bid farewell to Naganadel, who went through the portal, assisted with Pikachu's flashy Thunderbolt. At school, Kukui was teaching the class, and asked them of their goals for the vacation. As Kiawe announced his goal was to battle Ash, as they couldn't have done that in the Pokémon League, Kukui split the two boys, who were very determined to start their battle. After school was over, Kukui and Ash were walking back to their house. Kukui noticed something wrong with Ash, who still had no idea what to do. He asked Kukui for advice, who replied that he needed to figure out on his own. Ash was disappointed, but Kukui reminded he was the Champion of Alola region, after all, which made Ash a bit motivated.
On the last day of the Pokémon School, Kukui wished everyone luck in pursuing their dreams during their vacations. That evening, Ash and Rotom had a small trip with Solgaleo, by facing an Ultra Beast beyond an Ultra Wormhole. Kukui quickly took Ash and Rotom to Aether Foundation, and Rotom's findings amazed Wicke, Faba and Professor Burnet. Later on, Kukui, along with his friends and colleagues, bid farewell to Lusamine, Lillie and Gladion, who went to find Mohn by tracking Magearna's beam. Before their departure Rotom took picture of the entire group. Moments later, Kukui and Burnet drove Ash to the airport, as his wish was to fly back to Kanto to start a new journey. Before Ash departed, Kukui and Burnet hugged Ash, and reminded that they would always be available to support him. Ash thanked them, and went to the gate, leaving his Alola Pokémon team (except Pikachu) for the professors to take care of. Some time later, Kukui was tending to his wife, who had a large belly, indicating that she's pregnant.
Pokémon Journeys: The Series
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Taking care of
- Unlike other regional Professors from the anime, Professor Kukui is not shown to be giving out starter Pokémon.
- His wrestling appearance bears a strong resemblance to El Fuerte in the Street Fighter series and the real life WWE superstar Rey Mysterio. His wrestling attire resembles the main outfit worn by the real life WWE superstar Kofi Kingston.
- In "A Young Royal Flame Ignites!" while teaming up with Ash as Royal Ash, they reference the real life professional wrestling tag team in WWE called The Lucha Dragons which consists of both Sin Cara and Kalisto.
- In the movie Matilda Miss Honey and Matilda, have a mother-daughter relationship with each other. Just like Professor Kukui and Ash, have a father-son relationship with each other too.
- When he was unmasked in "Z-Move Showdown!", Kukui references the fight between Sin Cara and his fake self who turned out to be Hunico in disguise. Unlike Kukui, he was unmasked during the collision of he and Ash's Z-Moves.