Paul (Japanese: シンジ Shinji) is Ash's main rival from Sinnoh, and a citizen of Veilstone City. He received his Starter (Turtwig) in Sandgem Town from Professor Rowan and has traveled through Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn. Unlike Ash, he is initially not a caring trainer. What he wants from his Pokémon is pure power and the trainers he faces to be strong. When he first meets Ash, he demands a 3-on-3 Battle. However, since Ash was still looking for Pikachu, Ash was unable to battle. This warranted some aggravation on Paul's part. Paul is also known to release his Pokémon if he deems them weak or useless. Some fans call him a "cold-hearted power monger", which seems somewhat appropriate because of his ambition and seeing his Pokémon as tools for his own glory. Paul is similar to the rival in Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver (who is often referred to as Silver).
Paul is a grumpy, cold, callous, and rather arrogant trainer. He has no interest in being friends with anybody (especially not even his own Pokémon), and simply sees his Pokémon as tools to win battles. He is often annoyed and exasperated by Ash's actions and tendency to act like a child, and Paul seems to barely see their rivalry.
Paul rarely shows any emotions, and this affects his dealings with his Pokémon, which can be very harsh. On some occasions, however, he has been shown to lose his temper. An example of this was in A Pyramiding Rage, when he let his anger get out of control during his battle with Brandon, which was because of his frustration of not being able to beat Brandon's Pokémon. Paul also almost never smiles, except for the occasional smirk, and a small chuckle when dealing with Ash.
While Ash's previous major rival, Gary, would directly insult Ash and call him immature names like "loser", Paul would simply rudely say how poor of a trainer Ash was. Instead of being a bully, he is only rude to Ash due to viewing him as an inferior trainer, rather than as an inferior person like Gary does.
Despite his seemingly cruel nature, Paul can be polite when he wants to - especially towards authority figures, such as Cynthia and Nurse Joy. He also can acknowledge his opponent if he considers them to be a worthy opponent. An example of this is Roark, who he was very impressed by. He also seems to think a lot of his brother Reggie, despite once saying he had 'a big mouth'.
He also seems to enjoy seeing Ash get worked up. One example of this is in Chim - Charred!, when he chuckled and said to Ash, "Man, you get worked up".
Paul's "catchphrase" of sorts is 'Pathetic', and tends to direct it at Ash when Ash does or says something that Paul finds irritating or childish. Paul's battle cry is "Stand by for battle!".
Towards the end of the saga, and especially after losing the battle to Ash in the Sinnoh League, Paul seems to reform somewhat and is shown congratulating Electivire on a job well done - something that he had never done prior to the three-part final battle. Paul was also impressed by how his former Pokémon Chimchar had become an Infernape and developed nicely after being in Ash's care and how well Ash had trained it, and admitted as such after their final Sinnoh battle. Paul then decided to return to Snowpoint City to rechallenge Brandon and he bids farewell to Ash, although on more friendly terms. He also seems sad when he sees Ash lose to Tobias.
When Paul had just become a trainer, started his Pokémon journey and obtained his Turtwig, he went over from Sinnoh to Kanto to watch his brother Reggie battle against Pyramid King Brandon. Unfortunately, Reggie couldn't knock out any of Brandon's Pokémon and was easily defeated. Brandon yelled at Reggie and asked him where his true inner strength was. This made Paul wonder about his own strength as a trainer, and from then on, he became obsessed with power. He then apparently traveled through the Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn regions, didn't win any of their leagues and then returned to Sinnoh.
Once he returned to Sinnoh, he caught a Ninjask using his Elekid. Not long after he caught Ninjask, he watched a terrified wild Chimchar being chased by a pack of Zangoose. Chimchar got to an end of a cliff and was cornered by the Zangoose. Out of desperation and determination, Chimchar managed to produce a blaze-infused Flame Wheel (which impressed Paul) and scared the Zangoose away. Paul then approached the fire type and asked it to join his team, which Chimchar accepted. Chimchar would greatly regret this decision as Paul put it through extremely harsh training in order to activate Blaze again (as shown throughout the Diamond and Pearl series).
Paul watched Ash Ketchum capture a Starly with his Aipom prior to their first meeting and is unimpressed by him.
Paul and his Elekid then meet Ash face to face for the first time and tells him he saw him catch Starly and he'd be better trying to catch the best Starly he could. Ash sarcastically replies 'You can tell which one's the strongest?'
Paul says 'Of course' and releases three Starly (to Ash and Brock's surprise). Paul explains that you can scan Pokémon you catch on your Pokédex. He decides to keep the Starly with Aerial ace and releases the other two (much to Ash's horror). When Paul says that they were useless, it makes Ash angry and he says 'You know what? Any Pokémon can be strong if you train them'.
Paul challenges Ash to a 3-on-3 battle, but Ash declines since he only has Aipom and Starly with him. Paul is disgusted by this, calls Ash 'pathetic' and leaves with his Elekid
Later on, when Ash has got Pikachu back and has changed into his Sinnoh clothes, he walks out of Professor Rowan's lab with Brock, Dawn and the professor to find Paul standing at a tree, waiting for him. He asks him for the battle he requested earlier, and Ash now gladly accepts his challenge. Paul's Starly manages to defeat Ash's with aerial ace. Paul however, decides to release Starly since it doesn't meet his standards- much to Ash's annoyance. Next up its Ash's Aipom vs Paul's Chimchar.
Paul is shown watching Ash battle Conway. Once Conway is defeated, the Sinnoh League board shuffles and Ash and Paul look at each other as they realize they are to battle each other next. Later on, Paul walks up to Ash with his Electivire.
Paul is shown to have watched the battle between Ash and Tobias on TV. He looks sad, sighs and then walks away.
8 Unknown Badges
8 Unknown Badges
8 Unknown Badges
Pokémon League Status
- Indigo Plateau Conference (Indigo League): Unknown but did not win
- Silver Conference (Johto League): Unknown but did not win
- Ever Grande Conference (Hoenn League): Unknown but did not win
- Lily of the Valley Conference (Sinnoh League) Lost to Ash: Top 8
- Hearthome Tag Battle: Champion (with Ash)
- PokéRinger - Squallville: Runner-Up (Loses to Ash)
- Paul's appearance and personality is heavily based on Silver's; at first some fans assumed that he was the anime counterpart of Silver. This was proven false because Silver already had appeared in the anime before Paul. However, the appearance was brief, so Paul may be a remake of Silver the way Lyra is Kris's game remake.
- Strangely enough, Paul's hometown is Veilstone City, which is also where Team Galactic's base was set up. Also interesting to note is that, in the games, you can only evolve Murkrow by use of the Dusk Stone, which is only available inside of said base.
- Oddly, out of almost all the battles Paul and Ash were in, Paul was the victor, making him a lot stronger than Ash. However, Paul couldn't defeat Brandon the Pyramid King (while Ash could) because Paul fought out of anger.
- Although a Pokédex is often red or pink, Paul's Pokédex is black.
- Paul smiled when he lost to Ash in the Sinnoh League.
- Paul and Ash share the dream of becoming the world's best Pokémon Trainer.
- Paul is the only named trainer to own an East Sea Gastrodon.
- Paul has owned several Pokémon that Ash owns: Torterra, Gliscor, Starly, and Chimchar (the same Chimchar as Ash).
- Paul has never seen Ash without his hat.
- Paul is the kind of trainer who doesn't let any entry hazards stop him from making substitutions.
- Paul was supposed to have his own episode, just like Dawn and Brock did. It involved Paul returning back to Snowpoint City for his rematch with Brandon while Zoey watches his battle. However, because of the number of fans who dislike Paul for the kind of person he is, or rather was, an episode involving him hasn't been made.
- Despite this, Paul has been praised by fans as one of Ash's strongest rivals.
- Paul is seen in the ending credits of Decolora Adventures, holding hands with Gary and Luke.
- Unlike the original owners of Charmander(Damian) and Tepig(Shamus), Paul didn't try getting Chimchar back despite witnessing its power. This could be Paul's own act of kindness, as it shows that Paul truly acknowledges Chimchar's growth as Infernape, unlike the other trainers who wanted their abandoned Pokémon for their power.
- Paul also didn't lie or fake a kind farewell to his Chimchar, like Charmander and Tepig, but instead demanded that Chimchar leave in a harsh voice.
- Unlike Tepig and Charmander's owners, who put their Pokémon in a life-threatening condition and left them for dead, Paul simply released Chimchar.