Cilan is one of the three Gym Leaders of Striaton City Gym. In addition to his Gym Leader duties, he is also an A-class Pokémon Connoisseur; capable of seeing the compatibility and closeness between Pokémon and their trainers. After his defeat by Ash Ketchum, he decided to join the young trainer and Iris on their journey through the Unova region. His two brothers, Chili and Cress are also Gym Leaders.
He is a tall and slender young man with slicked back chartreuse green hair with a four-pointed tuft that sticks up, and grass green eyes. He wears a long sleeved white shirt under a black vest with two large gold buttons. He also wears black straight trousers, a white apron(when cooking), and flat brown shoes with golden buckles like his brothers do. He also wears a green bow-tie, which corresponds with his hair, eye colour and his specialisation in Grass-type Pokémon.
Cilan is a superbly eccentric boy. He enjoys the intricacies of life, making him cheerful almost all his parts in the anime. His connoisseur catchphrase is "It's evaluating time!". Furthermore, he often exclaims a paraphrased version of said catchphrase during varied situations. For example, when he was interrogating a Scrafty he declared "It's detective time!". Cilan is an empiricist. However, he is more open due to his adventures with Ash. Being a Gym Leader, Cilan is adept in battling his challengers and always aim to impart knowledge to challengers. He is also an excellent chef who always prepared food for the group. He always receives complements from Ash, Iris and the Pokémon. He is also shown to be an excellent detective. Both Stephan and Georgia have been impressed by Cilan's evaluating skills and even Burgundy (although she would never admit it out loud) acknowledges his skill as an A-class connoisseur.
In addition to being a connoisseur, Cilan is also a subway expert, a position which he dubs a "Metro Connoisseur." He shows not only an amazing amount of knowledge regarding subways and every detail related, but also takes pure delight in the efficiency and the overall control of the subway. This was proved when he marveled over a subway train exhibition, only to be dragged away from it by Meowth while shouting, "But I want to look at the pretty trains some more!".
When one of his Pokemon evolves, Cilan was extremely delightful and very excited as he excitedly yells "And that means! Evolution time has begun!" This was demonstrated when his Dwebble evolved into Crustle after it was struggling to keep up from a Gust attack from Jessie's Woobat, especially its newly learnt Rock Wrecker move when it was unleashed to attack Woobat by surprise.
Cilan battled and lost to Ash Ketchum when the young trainer challenged his gym. Impressed by Ash's fighting style and spirit, he joins Ash on his journey after asking him a humongous amount of questions about his experience raising his Pokémon. He then leaves his two brothers, Cress and Chili, to continue running the Gym in his absence. He gained a strong rival named Burgundy, who he defeated a while before joining Ash and co. During his travels in the episode, A Home for Dwebble!, Cilan witnessed a wild Dwebble crafting its rock shell as its home before it was stolen by three Dwebble bullies. He also became panicked when it accidentally hits his Pansage with a single rock on its head while Dwebble was aiming a Slash attack at Ash's Pikachu. After his Pansage recovered from its fever, Cilan made a bait for the three Dwebble using his Pokémon food, allowing Dwebble to attack each of them one by one. After Dwebble retrieved its home, it decided to join Cilan and he happily captures it. He also captured a Stunfisk while Ash also captures a Palpitoad while trying to get a weed as an antidote to remove the poison for their Pokémon. He also has a fear of Purrloin because a Purrloin attacked him when he was a kid. He tripped over it, and without a Pokémon to protect himself, he suffered a long and furious Fury Swipes from that Purrloin, which made him look slightly different from his brothers.
Cilan had the pleasure of battling the Subway Bosses Ingo and Emmet alongside Ash. He also helped his brother Chili find his own battle style. Apparently, he had a bone to pick with Skyla because of her giving out free gym badges to other trainers without actually battling them. Furious, Cilan challenged her to a battle, wanting to teach her how a true Gym Leader should be. Unfortunately, he lost to Skyla's Swanna at the end. Cilan also managed to cosplay as Elesa during the Bell of Wishes festival contest, but unfortunately he lost that as well. He also helped a little girl named Marigold select her partner Pokémon, a Foongus in Clash of the Connoisseurs!. He met Dawn in All for the Love of Meloetta! in which the two of them battled each other.
After the event of Team Rocket's Operation Tempest and Team Plasma, he went back to Professor Juniper's lab from which he and Iris decided to travel to Kanto with Ash. All of them traveled with addition of Alexa. They faced new challenges in each of the islands. However, after their adventure in Decolore Islands , he and Iris decided to stop traveling with Ash and they say their goodbyes as both himself and Iris travel to the Johto region by riding a train to Vermilion City.
In a special episode of BW, Cilan was travelling to Johto and he was seen fishing in the lake. He attempted to capture a reowned wild Gyarados , using Pansage in battle but the Gyarados deeply injured it. Cilan also met Brock who is now a Pokemon Doctor-in-training whom Ash and Dawn previously mentioned him on their journey. After Pansage's recovery, Cilan used it again to battle Gyarados who is now in rampage and to see this Gyarados was previously injured as well. His Pansage managed to calm it with Grass Whistle , allowing Brock to heal Gyarados's injury by spraying the grazed area with a Potion. After the incident, both Brock and Cilan parted ways and he nearly forgot to introduce his name to him much like the latter did before him.
Cilan's latest appearance is in the special episode of the XY series, The Ultimate Duo! Clemont and Cilan! where he travels to Lumiose City in the Kalos Region to enter a fishing tournament. Cilan meets Clemont who is the Gym Leader of the Lumiose City along with his younger sister, Bonnie . Cilan remarks Clemont that it is not fishing and it was a bad joke when he uses his fishing invention. He even demonstrating his evaluation skills for fishing method much to Clemont's surprise and also dislikes Clemont's love of science to which Clemont tries to be defensive and wants to know who he is. Cilan finally introduced himself to them and also teaches Bonnie how to fish which she had caught a Clawitzer who uses Aqua Jet at them. Cilan releases his Stunfisk to use Mud Shot on it who escapes the attack. Both Clemont and Bonnie are thankful to Cilan and his Stunfisk for saving them as the fishing tournament is over. Cilan finally tells them that he came to visit to the Prism Tower because he was a tower connoissieur and became surprised to know that Clemont is a Gym Leader which he finally introduced himself and Bonnie to him and Cilan also reveals to them that he is the Gym Leader of Striaton City much to Clemont's excitement since they are both Gym Leaders in their respective cities. To Cilan's excitement, he had seen the map of the subway at the Lumiose City finally demonstrating his actions for being a metro connoissieur. While Cilan explains about the automaton train, Bonnie eventually enters the empty train much to their horrible shock as the train moves and Clemont tries to chase it but fail. Arriving at the control room, the managers tells them that the controls of the train are malfunctioning and most trains are moving by itself. Cilan knows if there is no control in all trains this cause a big accident. After the trains are recovered thanks to Clemont's solution for finding out the problem, Cilan decides to aid Clemont in rescuing Bonnie inside the train. Cilan finally instructs Bonnie to press the red switch then later the blue switch. Cilan realizes that the train is ineffective until he continues to instruct Bonnie to pull the lever to stop the train which Bonnie successfully do it. Cilan and Clemont drives through the subway trolley to find Bonnie inside the train while Clemont uses his Aipom Arm to pull the switch. Upon reaching into the train, they discovered the hole in the wall until someone manage to move the train by itself. They chase the moving train, both remembered Ash when he shows his bravery, determination and risking his life on the line to save his Pokemon. This makes them both teaming up each other. Cilan instructs Bonnie to open the emergency door while Clemont uses his rocket bait in Cilan's fishing rod so that Cilan will catch Bonnie at her back while being carried by Clemont's Aipom Arm finally rescuing her. Cilan finally reveals while demosntrating his detective skills that a wild Eelektross is behind for getting the train move by using its Plasma Shower on the roof of the train so that all of the system controls of the trains are getting out of control. Bonnie eventually recognizes the sound earlier until the wild Eelektross attacks them with Plasma Shower. Clemont releases Chespin to use Pin Missile which it manages to hit it. Upon unleashing its Shock Claw, Cilan prompts to release Pansage to team up with Clemont's Chespin to unleash their Vine Whip . Cilan finally evaluates the wild Eelektross's condition which it uses Dedenne to use its Nuzzle to remove the excess of its electricity which it successfully do it.
After the incident, they finally released Eelektross into the water way before proceeding through the Prism Tower. Cilan was amazed to see the tower in sunset and they are reminded of someone they wanted to meet as a friend. Afterwards, Cilan continues to travel by going through the Master Tower and he finally parted ways with Clemont and Bonnie.
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- English: Jason Griffith
- Japanese: Mamoru Miyano
- Italian: Davide Albano
- Dutch: Jurjen van Loon
- Mandarin: Yu Zhengsheng
- Finnish: Petrus Kähkönen
- Brazilian Portuguese: Alex Minei
- Spanish: Fernando Cabrera
- Latin America Spanish: Bruno Coronel
- Don George Battle Tournament: Top 8 [Loses to Luke]
- Donamite: Top 8 [Loses to Stephan]
- Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup; Top 4 [Loses to Trip]
- Brock and Cilan have some similarities. They are both gym leaders of the first gym in their region who eventually travel with Ash hoping to reach new heights in their nurturing careers. They are both great chefs and seemed to be the group navigators. The only major difference is that Cilan does not flirt like Brock does with almost every female he meets. However, some girls actually took an interest in Cilan and his brothers, Chili and Cress, as seen in Triple Leaders, Team Threats! and Dreams by the Yard Full! when the girls in the restaurant stared at them dreamily and cheered them on during Ash's gym battle.
- Cilan has multiple brothers like Brock, but Cilan and his brothers are fraternal triplets.
- It is revealed in BW046 that Cilan has a fear of Purrloin, when he stated that one of them did something terrible to him to which he refused to talk about as he doesn't want to remember it. His fear is also shown in the beginning of MS014, BW080. However, he revealed his story with the Purrloin to Ash and Iris at the end of BW125, Cilan and the Case of the Purrloin Witness, although the exact story was not revealed to fans just yet.
- Cilan's name derives from Cilantro, a plant sometimes used as a seasoning.
- Cilan's Japanese voice is Miyano Mamoru, who also voiced Riku in the Kingdom Hearts series, Light Yagami in the Death Note anime, Tamaki Suoh in the Ouran High School Host Club anime, Death the Kid in the Soul Eater anime, Ling Yao in the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood anime, Ignis in Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Shin Kamiya in the movie Tekken: Blood Vengeance.
- Cilan's English voice actor, Jason Griffith is best known for voicing the main protagonist, Sonic the Hedgehog and his rival and anti-hero, Shadow the Hedgehog in the anime, Sonic X and the late 2000's of the Sonic video game series until 2010 where he was replaced by both Roger Craig Smith and Kirk Thornton respectively as their current voices in English in later Sonic games.
- Interestingly, Cilan's accent when speaking to Ash and Iris is much like Sonic.