Jeremy enjoys gaming when not helping manage the college he graduated from.
Hey, ridicule us original Poké-fans all you want, but 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 of these characters were 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 10 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 are 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.
How to Defeat Misty
In Generation 1 and the Generation 3 remakes, Misty uses a Staryu and and a Starmie. The powerful Starmie is where most players run into trouble. It uses strong Water-type moves like Bubblebeam or Water Pulse. If you selected Bulbasaur as your starter, the battle should be relatively easy with your access to Grass-type moves. If you don't have a Bulbasaur, catching a Grass-type Pokémon like Oddish or Bellsprout could help. A Pikachu from Viridian Forest could also be helpful with its Electric-type moves, although this Pokémon is a bit rare to find.
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 she'll have trouble against the 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?
How to Defeat Erika
Erika shouldn't cause too much trouble for players. Her Grass Pokémon have a relatively wide range of weaknesses. If you selected Charmander as your starter, you could easily win with Fire-type moves. A Flying-type Pokémon like Pidgeotto, Pidgeot, or Fearow could also be effective. If you don't have a Charmander, you could catch a Growlithe or Vulpix. Just be cautious of moves like Sleep Powder and Poison Powder.
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.
How to Defeat Clair
As the final gym leader in Johto, you will need a strong team going into this battle. Your team should be around the high 30s to low 40s in terms of level. The three Dragonairs could be dispatched with some Ice-type moves. A Lapras could be helpful here. Keep in mind that one of the Dragonairs knows Thunderbolt. The Kingdra could be challenging since it will only be weak to Dragon-type moves, which could be difficult to come by at this point in the game. Use your strongest Pokémon that can withstand Water and Dragon moves.
If you are playing the HeartGold and SoulSilver remakes, Clair will replace one of her Dragonairs with a Gyarados. A strong Electric-type Pokémon could handle this opponent.
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.
How to Defeat Elesa
As previously stated, Elesa's two Emolgas will be immune to Ground-type moves thanks to being a Flying-type. You could still utilize Rock moves against these Pokémon. Be wary that all of Elesa's Pokémon know Volt Switch, which deals damage and switches Pokémon. Her Zebstrika could be defeated with Ground-type moves. Be careful if you are using a Grass-type for its resistance to Electric-type moves; Zebstrika knows Flame Charge.
In Black 2 and White 2, Elesa replaces an Emolga with a Flaffy. It will be weak to Ground-type moves, but it can paralyze your Pokémon with Thunder Wave.
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 like 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).
How to Defeat Whitney
Whitney is infamous in the series for having one of the toughest battles in the game. Her Clefairy should be easy to beat, but her Miltank is a real challenge. If your Pokémon is male, Attract will prevent it from attacking. Rollout deals more damage over each turn, and Stomp can cause flinching. Even if you do manage to deal some damage, Miltank can recover its HP with Milk Drink.
If you are struggling to overcome this beast of a Normal-type Pokémon, you could obtain a Machop in a trade from the Goldenrod Department Store (you will need to offer a Drowzee). This Fighting-type Pokémon can be effective against Miltank.
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.
How to Defeat Valerie
Valerie shouldn't be too difficult to defeat. Her Fairy Pokémon could be dispatched by Poison or Steel moves. However, her Mawile needs to be taken down with Fire or Ground moves.
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.
How to Defeat Jasmine
Jasmine uses two Magnemites and a Steelix. Any Fire, Ground, or Fighting moves can easily beat her team. Steelix also has an additional weakness to Water-type moves. A Quagsire that knows Earthquake could be effective in this battle.
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, she 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.
How to Defeat Sabrina
Sabrina can be a bit difficult in the Generation 1 games. This is due to Psychic-type Pokémon not having any real weaknesses. They're technically weak to Bug and Ghost moves, but the Generation 1 games lacked any powerful moves from those types. Your best bet is to use your most powerful Pokémon. Avoid using any Fighting or Poison Pokémon.
Beating Sabrina in the Generation 3 remakes should be a bit easier since you will have access to stronger Ghost and Bug moves.
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!
How to Defeat Mallow
Your best bet against Mallow's team of Grass Pokémon is to use Fire or Flying Pokémon. Avoid using Ground or Water Pokémon; her team has strong Grass-type moves like Mega Drain and Magical Leaf.
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.
How to Defeat Skyla
Skyla's team consists of a Swoobat, Unfezant, and Swanna. A good Electric-type Pokémon could handle this team. A Rock-type Pokemon could also be effective, but watch out for Swanna and its Bubble Beam.
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.