The Pokémon anime is a beloved mainstay of international entertainment. It's one of the most widely watched, widely loved anime ever put to screen. It retains countless loyal viewers after its 20+ years and 20+ films. It's undeniably a classic.
Yet there are a few things about it that are pretty weird. And beyond weird: just questionable. Sure, there are strange creative decisions and odd scenes that defy logic in the Pokémon universe, but fans can overlook those. What really stands out are the moments so absurd they boggle the mind.
The Pokémon anime has tons of classic characters, from Ash and his circulating party to the "villainous" Team Rocket — but there are many, MANY other weird characters out there. These are just ten of the strangest characters to appear on Pokémon. (Trust me, with thousands of episodes of this series, there are enough strange Pokémon characters to fuel a hundred of these lists. These are just 10 that REALLY stand out.)
Jessebelle is easily the closest the Pokémon anime ever came to being a little too dark for its own good. Team Rocket mainstay James comes from a rich family, but he ran away from it all to escape this insane monster who enjoys sending her Vileplume after James. She enjoys drugging James with her Pokémon's powders, and, when that fails, she likes to use a bull-whip on him to beat him into submission.
Oh, and she looks like Team Rocket's Jessie, so yeah.
She's played off as a joke, but Jessebelle is a distinctly abusive psycho who gets excited at the prospect of whipping an unconscious boy.
Casey is a reoccurring character in the Pokémon anime — and proof that Pokémon fights aren't the only sporting events people in this world like. A huge baseball fan, she never is seen outside of her baseball attire, often capturing Pokémon that in some way remind her of the team.
She would be an odd character for that reason alone, but she actually appears quite a few times throughout the anime. She's a low-key fan favorite, in part because she selected Chikorita as her starter from Professor Elm, and Chikorita is just objectively the best Johto Starter.
8 That Entire Rich People's Club that Kept a Hypno Around
Hypno is undoubtedly one of the most unsettling Pokémon around. It is stated in his various Pokédex entries that he enjoys luring children away to feast upon their slumbering dreams. However, what's weirder than a Hypno acting on their own is a cabal of adults who use Hypno to help them sleep.
Early on in the Kanto arc, Ash encounters a Hypno that hypnotizes children into thinking they're Pokémon. The Pokémon is owned by a club of wealthy people who use the Hypno as a sedative. The children are hypnotized as a result of this process. But none of these adults — not one — noticed all the children acting like Pokémon around them? Are they that clueless? Or are they just too rich to care?
7 The Eevee Brothers
The Eevee Brothers are pretty iconic in this series. They're a trio of brothers — and a fourth kid — who each take pride in which evolution their personal Eevees made. They're so proud of this they stylized their entire aesthetic after either Flareon, Jolteon, or Vaporeon.
But what makes them awful is how their entire community seems to embrace them as sort of a pinnacle of what is expected. When their kid brother kinda just loves his Eevee and doesn't want to forcibly change it for them, they all just start bullying him over it. What a bunch of jerks with no fashion sense!
6 The Ghost of Maiden's Peak
The Pokémon franchise has lots and lots of ghosts. There are even Ghost Type Pokémon (as everyone knows). But while the games often slip in one haunting ghost moment or two, there are very few legitimate human ghosts in the Pokémon anime.
Except for the Ghost of Maiden's Peak, who...barely appears. Supposedly, she is a woman whose lover died in a war, but she waited by a cliff for him to return for so long she physically turned into stone. However, while she was real and did turn into a ghost, at some point she made a deal with a Gastly (who apparently could speak English) to just keep the legend alive by pretending to be her, luring men off a cliff, all while also pretending to be a crazy old woman who could "stop" the ghost from taking them. Oh, and this is also the same character who brought us Venastoise — the first Pokémon fusion (actually an illusion, but whatever).
Oh, and Brock has a crush on her. Because of course he does.
Tommy is Pokémon's answer to Tarzan. He's a kid whose family lost him in a disaster. He found himself in the Safari Zone, and ended up being raised by Kangaskhan.
He's a wild boy who hits people with clubs. He swings on vines, lives in a pouch, and is convinced he is actually a Pokémon. And later on his parents pretend to be Kangaskhan so they can be a family. In the wild.
It's weird but unforgettable.
4 Seymour the Scientist/Oswald
Early on in the anime, Ash and friends encounter a scientist named Seymour, who is convinced that Pokémon are aliens — in particular, Clefairy. They go on an adventure, see evidence that Clefairy may in fact be aliens, but then things just sorta...move on.
Dozens of episodes later, Ash and friends encounter a totally different scientist named Oswald, who is also convinced that Pokémon are aliens. Only this time they encounter Clefairies trying to travel into space on a flying saucer.
The weird thing about these characters? They were both kind of right. As fans would learn years and years later, many Pokémon are aliens. God in that universe is a Pokémon who created the Earth. There are alien creatures like Deoxys who travel on meteorites. But these two characters are just written off as nut-balls even though they were right all along!
Duplica is another popular reoccurring character...who is just incredibly strange when you put even a few seconds of thought into her as a character. She's a master of mimicking whose Ditto can't replicate faces quite right. As time goes on, Ditto learns to perfectly transform, which leads Duplica to become successful at her performances.
The odd thing about Duplica is that her story is so unforgettable that people forget that Ditto is supposed to transform perfectly. When official merchandise featuring Ditto as other Pokémon came out, the merch all sported the face of Duplica's Ditto. This is a character so profoundly unforgettable and unusual that it overshadowed real Pokémon lore!
Tobias is what gaming fans would call "OP." Tobias exists as proof that the Pokémon Universe will never let Ash become Pokémon champion. He is to Ash like Doomsday is to Superman: he comes out of nowhere, is absurdly powerful, and, after he destroys our hero, disappears into the ether.
Tobias is a trainer who models himself after his signature Pokémon: Darkrai. His other Pokémon that we see is a Latios. In case you aren't aware, these are both Legendary Pokémon. And one, Darkrai, creates fear and night terrors just by existing near you. And Tobias just keeps him in a ball on his pocket!
After Ash finally defeats his Sinnoh rival, Paul, he confronts Tobias in a battle. Tobias only uses two of his Pokémon, because Ash can only just manage to defeat his Darkrai. You'd think a trainer who can tame at least two Legendary Pokémon would be important, but no! He just...leaves, never to be heard from again. What even???
Anyone who grew up with the Pokémon anime when it first aired probably remembers the pants-wetting dread they felt when they first encountered Sabrina.
Sabrina is a psychic gym leader perfectly in sync with her psychic Pokémon. When she was a kid, she used her psychic abilities to destroy houses, turn her mother into a doll, and manifest all the childlike joy inside her soul into a profoundly unsettling doll. And that's BEFORE she shrinks Ash and friends to the size of toys, turns Brock and Misty into toys, and uses her abilities to essentially inflict horror and terror on Ash.
Many human characters have unusual abilities in the Pokémon anime, but none have shown this level of power. None can just trap people's souls into little toys like Sabrina. The world of Pokémon should feel grateful that Sabrina is just a gym leader. If she wanted to, she could break the will of the whole Pokémon world with the power of her mind alone.