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Wait, are Blue & Gary related in Pokemon?

Pokémon’s first rivals, Blue and Gary, are the same person, but they live two different lives due to the different continuities in which they live.


That Pokemon Franchise hosts many stories with many characters, but two of them, Blue and Gary, look so alike and fill roles so similar that many fans are asking if they are related or meant to be the same person. This confusion is understandable as both served as initial rivals for the main character and both were Professor Oak’s grandson. Blue and Gary’s case is very similar to Red and Ash’s; However, this one requires a little more thought to make the distinction easier.

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Blue is the first rival in the Pokemon game franchise and eventually becomes the champion of the Indigo League. However, Blue is soon dethroned by the player and eventually takes over as Viridian City’s Gym Leader. To Pokemon Red & Blue, Blue makes an appearance in later games to allow players to challenge him as one of the most influential coaches in the world. Gary is the first of Ash’s rivals in the anime series and remains so throughout the Kanto and Johto regions. However, after losing to Ash at the Silver Conference, Gary turns to his life’s goal of becoming a Pokémon Professor, and appears a few more times throughout the series to show his progress in that endeavor.

Related: Is Pokémon Yellow Canon? What it means for the Red & Blue timeline

Blue and Gary look exactly alike, which often raises questions about their relationship. The most likely answer is that they are the same person, but since they are in different continuities they may live different lives. This is similar to Ash and Red being the same people with different lives, but if Ash were a silent protagonist for an anime series, that would be a significant impediment to writing the show. Blue was quite a popular rival in the early games, so pouring his energy into the anime makes perfect sense to bring popularity to the series. This decision paid off as Gary continues to be one of Ash’s most important and popular rivals, having helped advance Ash and eventually showing his development when he defeated Gary.


Pokémon Blue and Gary: Same person, two different lives

The reason Gary had to live a different life from Blue was not only to separate the two, but also to balance his strength with Ash’s. Since the anime didn’t intend to have Ash become champion anytime soon, Ash’s character reflects that Gary succeeds where Ash fails. Since Gary hasn’t had much success in the league tournaments, it wouldn’t make sense for his character to make him a gym leader either. Part of the reason why Gary becomes a professor has to do with that and partly because the series wanted to include other rivals for Ash. Blue, on the other hand, needed to stay powerful and be one of the least annoying rivals Pokemonas the protagonists in the games are held at a much higher level of power.

Gary and Blue were almost certainly designed as the same person; However, since the game and anime had to develop separately, their characters also had to develop. Gary was at the mercy of Ash’s slow development, and while he could be stronger than Ash, he couldn’t be at the same level as Blue. In contrast, blue could be a super strong trainer, encouraging the player to keep growing and providing a fun challenge. Both characters have managed to become popular fan-favorite characters, so the differences Pokemon Gary and Blue hadn’t hurt their success.

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