Red is a boy with pale brown hair, gray eyes, wearing a red and white cap, and adorning a red sleeveless jacket with a white collar and stripe, black undershirt, baggy blue jeans with black, red and white running shoes.
Red is a cheerful trainer, who cares about Pokémon and has a lot of curiosity in learning about them. He is shown weak in the start of his journey as compared to Blue in the short film but he gains knowledge about Pokémon by time to time and then defeats Blue in the end at the Pokémon League and becomes the champion. He wants to fill up the Pokedex for Professor Oak in order to fulfill Professor Oak's life long dream.
It starts off with Red and Blue, his rival, going to Professor Oak's lab to receive a PokéDex, Poké Balls, and their first starter Pokémon. Blue lets Red choose first. Red chooses a Charmander because it is a Fire-type like he is named after. Blue chooses Squirtle. Oak asks them to fill the Pokédex with the 149 known Pokémon and they excitingly accept the task. Red sees a Pidgey but fails to capture it and finds out that in order to fill the Pokédex he must capture all 149 Pokémon. He then sees and captures his first Pokémon, Rattata. Soon he captures Spearow, Caterpie, and Pidgey. While fighting a trainer who has a Nidoran♀, he attempts to capture that as well but finds out that he can only capture wild Pokémon and the trainer tells him where he caught that Pokémon. While walking towards that area he finds Blue again and they battle 1 on 1. Blue wins the battle. Afterwards, Red is confronted by Brock, who tells him that Pokémon and their trainers need to grow stronger together and tells him to begin challenging the Gym Leaders.
Red heals his Pokémon and heads to Pewter City to challenge the Gym Leader, who turns out to be Brock. Brock only uses two of his Pokémon, Geodude and Onix, while Red uses five of his Pokémon: Charmander, Spearow, Rattata, Metapod, and Nidoran♂. Red ends up winning and receives his first Gym badge. Red buys a "rare" Magikarp from a salesman for $500. He then goes through Mt. Moon and gets the Helix Fossil and also beats the Team Rocket members there, and another at Cerulean City. He was able to take down Misty and Lt. Surge to win his second and third badges. Sometime during this, his Charmander evolved into Charmeleon. He received the TM Dig, the HM Cut, a bike, and an Old Rod during his travels. He had captured 42 Pokémon at this time.
After traveling through the Rock Tunnel, Red arrives at Lavender Town. While he was healing his Pokémon at the Pokémon Center, he overhears stories about ghosts in Pokémon Tower. Before heading there, he stops by the Pokémon House as the Nurse requested. He sees many abandoned Pokémon, including a Cubone whose mother was killed by Team Rocket and was rescued by Mr. Fuji, the owner of the Pokémon house. Red finds out Mr. Fuji had gone missing after going to Pokémon Tower and decides to go looking for him. Blue overhears this and decides to go too. Red takes on the ghost with Charmeleon but cannot defeat it until Blue comes and gives him the Silph Scope, which reveals the ghost to be Cubone's mother. Cubone then comes and hugs its mother who disappears after seeing that her son is all right. Red then uses Jolteon to defeat Team Rocket and save Mr. Fuji, who gives Red a Pokéflute and a box of unknown gems. Red then sets out for the next town on his adventure.
Red and Charmeleon defeat Erika's Vileplume and win the Rainbow Badge. He finds a secret Team Rocket base in the same city and infiltrates it. He battles Team Rocket, releases all the Pokémon there and meets the leader of Team Rocket, Giovanni. He later finds, wakes up, battles and captures a sleeping Snorlax. He receives the Good Rod from the brother of the guy that gave him the Old Rod and uses it to capture a Psyduck. Red defeats the ninja Gym Leader Koga and gets the 5th Gym Badge. After countless battles, his Charmeleon evolves into Charizard. Red had captured 65 Pokémon at this time. Red and Blue find a woman and help her escape from Team Rocket. She tells them about the Master Ball project and that Team Rocket's using Pokémon as test subjects to experiment on. Red orders Blue to tell the police while he storms Silph Co. and frees the Pokémon. A scientist he frees thanks him and gives him his Lapras. He meets Giovanni again, who battles Red's Charizard with his Nidoqueen and wins before escaping with the rest of Team Rocket.
The Ultimate Gym Leader
After Saffron City, Red challenges Sabrina and defeats her Alakazam with Haunter. He beats the Karate Master and wins his Hitmonlee. He and Lapras travel to Cinnabar Island where Red goes to the Pokémon Mansion and reads about Mew and Mewtwo. He then battles and defeats Blaine. After hearing that the Viridian City Gym Leader - the strongest of them all - has returned, Red decides to challenge him. He arrives just as Blue walks away, having already beaten the Gym Leader. Red challenges the leader who turns out to be Giovanni. Red is shocked that Team Rocket owns a Gym. Comparing Giovanni to the other Gym Leaders he battled, Red angrily points out that unlike Giovanni, the other Gym Leaders actually loved their Pokémon. Giovanni disregards his rebuke. Red declares that he no longer wants a Gym battle, but wants to fight him for all the things he did to Pokémon worldwide. Giovanni then grabs two Ultra Balls and accepts the battle. He uses Rhyhorn and defeats Red's Victreebel, Kabutops, Snorlax and Jolteon. Red's Hitmonlee manages to take Rhyhorn down, fainting in the process. With both of them down to their last Pokémon, Giovanni uses Rhydon and Red calls out Charizard, who's able to defeat Rhydon despite the type disadvantage. Giovanni offers Red the badge, but he refuses to take anything from the Rocket leader. Reminded of the Trainer he used to be from observing Red during their battle, Giovanni disbands Team Rocket so that the badge would be from the Viridian City Gym Leader rather than the gang's boss. Accepting this, Red takes the badge.
The Pokémon League
After making it through Victory Road, Red battles and defeats the Elite Four, using Jolteon, Scyther, Dodrio, Lapras, Persian and Charizard. Lance was about to announce him Champion but revealed there was one more Trainer he had to fight: Blue, who'd defeated Lance and became the Champion. Blue sends out Pidgeot first while Red uses Jolteon. Jolteon defeats Pidgeot. Red's Scyther battles Blue's Alakazam and they both faint. Blue's Rhydon is defeated by Red's Lapras, who is defeated by Arcanine. Red's Dodrio gets defeated by Blue's Exeggutor, but Blue's Exeggutor is later defeated by Persian. Jolteon is defeated by Blastoise and Red is down to one Pokémon: Charizard, who he sends out for the last round. Charizard and Blastoise battle it out until the end in which Charizard wins. Oak then appears, naming Red the Champion and putting him and his Pokémon in the Hall of Fame.
Red continues to complete the Pokédex, capturing the Legendary Birds Zapdos, Articuno and Moltres. Once he captures all 149 Pokémon, Red finds out Blue was seriously injured by an unknown Pokémon and sets out to capture it in Cerulean Cave. The Pokémon is Mewtwo who proves to be especially powerful, defeating all of Red's Pokémon one by one, including the Legendary Bird Articuno, leaving Red with only Charizard remaining. Charizard and Mewtwo go at it and Mewtwo knocks both Pokémon and Trainer into the waters nearby. As he and Charizard sink towards the bottom, Red notices that Charizard hasn't given up yet. As he and Charizard float towards each other, the Mega Stones given to him by Mr. Fuji start to glow in Red's pocket. Red takes the Mega Stones out and sees Charizard glow with them. The two appear to converge in the water, causing a huge blast.
Out of the water emerges Charizard, having Mega Evolved into a new form, Mega Charizard X, via the power of the Mega Stones. Red then pits Mega Charizard X against Mewtwo, the former now powerful enough to match the latter. Red acknowledges that Mega Charizard X is of the same strength as Mewtwo, and tries to capture it with an Ultra Ball. Mewtwo breaks out of the Ultra Ball, and the battle resumes. After a quick yet intense battle, Red has Mega Charizard X finish Mewtwo off with a final Mega Punch, slamming Mewtwo into a nearby stalagmite. Taking the chance, Red throws an Ultra Ball at Mewtwo. The Ball slows and stops, emitting stars, indicating a successful capture. Red happily embraces Charizard for a job well done.
Having now captured all 150 Pokémon, Red returns to Professor Oak's laboratory where he eats cake with Oak, the assistant and Blue, who expresses jealousy that he wasn't the one to capture Mewtwo. Red then remembers reading that Mewtwo was the child of another Pokemon, Mew, and arrives at the conclusion that there's a 151st Pokémon in existence. Standing up from the table, Red announces he has to find Mew, presumably to capture it and add it to the Pokédex.
- Red caught more Pokémon than any other character from any Pokémon anime, having a record total of 150 captures.
- Although Gary from the original anime series mentions capturing over 200 Pokémon, most of those are doubles.
- It is interesting to note that the Mega Stones that Red uses are introduced in the sixth generation, where there are 719 Pokémon. However, due to the fact that the generation that Red is mainly from Generation I only has 151 Pokémon, Red has "caught" all of the Pokemon (with the exception of Mew).
- Red's name means "One with red hair"