Jeremy enjoys gaming when not working as a manager at the same college he graduated from.
Hey, ridicule us original Poké-fans all you want, but inwardly most of us kids had crushes on some of the prettiest (or "hottest", as our immature minds would crudely say) ladies throughout the Pokémon series, many being the various female gym leaders found throughout the regions. And really, it's not so weird to be attracted to fictional characters. Wish-fulfillment books like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey met with resounding success and inspired many fangirls, and likewise, we fellas also enjoy some eye candy. No worries, I promise we're not using any Metapod Harden/String Shot jokes today.
So, excluding Ash's anime traveling companions (we're examining the game depictions) here are the ten best-looking (or hottest, if you prefer) gym leaders in Pokémon!
Location: Cerulean City (Pokémon Red and Blue)
Specializes in: Water Pokémon
Prominently featured in the anime, Misty's game depiction is much like her screen self, a feisty tomboy favoring the Water-type. Being the second gym leader you battle in Kanto, her Starmie presents quite the challenge for any Trainer who didn't pick Bulbasaur as their starter. Depending on the generation you're playing, she'll give you either the TM (Technical Machine) for Bubblebeam (Red/Blue) or Water Pulse (FireRed/LeafGreen) upon defeat, both excellent moves considering how early they're obtained.
Misty's pretty enough to attract male attention both in and out of the video games; her reappearance in the Gold and Silver titles (set three years later) briefly reveal an unnamed boyfriend, a lucky guy whose mysterious identity has yet to be revealed.
Location: Celadon City (Pokémon Red and Blue)
Specializes in: Grass Pokémon
Kanto's fourth gym leader, dwelling in the supercity of Celadon, focuses on Grass Pokémon. With her dark air (oddly depicted as indigo in the anime), Japanese fashion style, and kind nature, Erika attracts many a gaze. And she's particularly fond of naps, something I can very much relate to. Her gym clashes are usually easy enough; she'll resist attacks from Bulbasaur and Squirtle, but have trouble against Fire-type Charmander, Bug-type Butterfree, or Flying-types such as Pidgeotto and Fearow. She gives useful TMs (Mega Drain or Giga Drain) upon losing that let you attack and regain health in the same turn.
Heck, Erika's so popular that outside her own gym is a man unabashedly gazing at the many gorgeous girls within. Guess Brock isn't Pokémon's only pervert, huh?
Location: Blackthorn City (Pokémon Gold and Silver)
Specializes in: Dragon Pokémon
Clair's a pretty cool gal. She's the final gym leader of Generation 2's Johto region, and she wields the ever-beloved Dragon-type. She's even said to hold her own against the Elite Four, with her only known loss (besides the player) being against her famous cousin Lance. In her first appearance, Clair also hilariously uses three of the same Pokémon (got enough Dragonairs there?) plus a Kingdra. Her bestowed TMs (DragonBreath and Dragon Pulse) are decent but nothing spectacular; as a type, Dragon functions better defensively anyway.
As impressive and attractive as Clair is (you rock that cape, girl), she's a bit of a sore loser and has trouble admitting defeat; you'll need to chase her into the Dragon's Den to collect your badge.
Location: Nimbasa City (Pokémon Black and White)
Specializes in: Electric Pokémon
Jumping all the way to Generation 5's Unova region, Elesa commands the fourth gym of the region with her Electric army. Because two of her Pokemon (Emolga) possess Flying as a second type, players can't rely on the Ground element (which Flying is immune to) like they tend to against other Electric gym leaders. Her Pokémon also know some surprising attacks, making her fight more challenging than it may appear.
Other than a lackluster TM (Volt Switch), what's not to love here? Elesa doubles as a fashion model when not leading her gym, has a fondness for bad puns (again, a girl after my own heart), and her easily-flustered nature is sure to be seen as cute by many suitors.
Location: Goldenrod City (Pokemon Gold and Silver)
Specializes in: Normal Pokémon
Next, a red-headed lass whose official description says it all: "the incredibly pretty girl!" Whitney serves as Johto's third gym leader, the first ever to brandish Normal types. Whitney acts quite the girly-girl, shedding tears upon losing, but let's face it guys—we're suckers for crying women. If you're still not convinced, just check out the useful TM she bestows players with: Attract.
Still, don't be fooled by Whitney's feminine nature—her infamous Miltank, who can heal itself with Milk Drink while laying on the hurt with Rollout, toppled many an unprepared contestant (it also demolished Ash's team in the anime).
Location: Laverre City (Pokémon X and Y)
Specializes in: Fairy Pokémon
Harnessing Generation 6's new Fairy-type, Valeria resides in Kalos despite being native to Johto. We've got plenty to love about her: she adores fashion, used to work as a model, and cosplays pretty much 24/7. Beyond that, her big eyes, dark hairy, and all-around girly pink aura warm many an admirer's heart.
Her battle may not present the greatest challenge, and her relinquished TM (Dazzling Gleam) could be better, but Valerie herself leaves a fond impression.
Location: Olivine City (Pokémon Gold and Silver)
Specializes in: Steel Pokémon
Unlike most gym leaders, Jasmine actually interacts with the world around her rather than lay idle in a gym all day. In Gold and Silver, she (and the player) cares for an ill Ampharos, helping restore it to health, and in her Diamond/Pearl appearance, she provides the player with the Waterfall HM, crucial to the exploration of Sinnoh.
She also employs the Steel-type, arguably the best defensive element in the game, although her Pokémon's weak techniques make the fight manageable (Rock Throw, really, Steelix?). All-in-all, she's a kind, pretty, and hard-working Trainer who manages to be both feminine and imposing.
Location: Saffron City (Pokémon Red and Blue)
Specializes in: Psychic Pokémon
If you prefer capable women over teary-eyed crybabies, Sabrina's your gal. Saffron City used to house two official gyms before she ruthlessly stripped the Fighting-type dojo (which her Psychic squad trumps) of their status. In addition, her team is no joke, consisting of many speedy attackers (Kadabra, Alakazam) who hit hard and can replenish their health with the Recover technique.
She initially gives the TM Psywave upon defeat, but in later games surrenders the more-useful Calm Mind. Either way, Sabrina is a strong-minded (literally) and accomplished battler whose different outfits proves she's surprisingly skilled in both conservative and casual fashion.
Location: Akala Island (Pokémon Sun and Moon)
Specializes in: Grass Pokémon
The Generation 7 games, set in the tropics of Alola, feature "trial captains" instead of gym leaders, including the tan-skinned green-haired Mallow. Another Grass-using girl (maybe that's a poor choice of words), Mallow contrasts Erika's tranquil serenity with sparkling energy, possessing an optimism that's hard not to love. She's also rocking the big eyes and single-tooth smile that cartoons use to make girls extra cute.
Additionally, Mallow harnesses a diverse team, blending some Ghost and Fairy elements into her arrangement. According to the expansive Pokémon wiki, Bulbapedia, her age ranges somewhere between 11–19, making your crush on her either incredibly creepy or adequately socially-acceptable. Watch out for that jailbait, boys!
Location: Mistralton City (Pokémon Black and White)
Specializes in: Flying Pokémon
A gym leader whose own name is a pun on her airborne affiliations, Skyla's red hair, blue eyes, and rather skimpy outfit attract more than enough attention. Trust me, even Google Safe Search couldn't save my image-obtaining from some of the weird fantasies people have about her. She also possesses a great personality, blending the enthusiasm of Mallow with the focus of Clair.
Additionally, she's well-liked among her colleagues, sharing a close friendship with fellow Unovan Elesa, and can take a loss gracefully. And—yikes, is that a holster she's wearing on her leg? Sure, it's empty now, but odds are good this girl packs some heat.
With gorgeous gals like these, it's no wonder Pokémon is so popular among male youth. Although some may find it odd to be attracted to fictional animated characters, remember that many Pokémon players are budding youths, still exploring their newfound sexuality; I doubt many of us could say we were completely rational during the hormone rushes accompanying puberty.
But before this turns into a sex-ed class, vote for your favorite gym leader, and I'll see you at our next Pokémon review!
Questions & Answers
Question: Where is Flannery, Pokemon gym leader?
Answer: I never quite saw her appeal as much as most fans, but hey, different strokes for different folks.
© 2018 Jeremy Gill
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on April 28, 2020:
Nessa's definitely awesome (I'll have to update this list at some point), and has her own episode in Pokémon: Twilight Wings.
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on April 27, 2020:
I would say Nessa from Pokemon Sword and Shield is the hottest female gym leader of them all!
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on March 19, 2020:
A little, but I'm not certified or anything : )
I think many fans, male and female, developed crushed on Pokemon's gym leaders, so I hope you don't feel like an outsider.
Tfufuuf on March 19, 2020:
Man, have you studied psychology? I came to know from you that not only me have got crushes with Pokémon female characters.