- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Gladion from the Pokémon the Series anime. The mainstream version can be found here: Gladion (Pokémon).
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While somewhat similar to his video game counterpart, this version of Gladion is far more benevolent and less morally ambiguous.
He is voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto (who also voices Brendan in the Pokémon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire animated trailer and Katsuki Bakugo in My Hero Academia) in the Japanese version, and by Eddy Lee in the English version.
Like his mainstream counterpart, Gladion is a young boy with light blonde hair and green eyes. His hair is shaved on the sides with a ripped design carved into it, with long tousled bangs that cover his right eye.
He wears a gray hooded shirt with a red slash resembling a scar on it, a black undershirt with ripped sleeves, ripped black pants and red shoes with gray soles and black laces. He also has a red rectangular bag around his waist.
Ultra Guardian outfit
When Gladion joined with Ash and the group as Ultra Guardians, Gladion's suit was different than Ash's group. He wears a black and dark blue battle suit with a navy blue linings in each elbow, and a single red line on the front of his suit to match his red belt. At the back of his belt is gray, black, and dark blue knee-high battle boots. He also had an Ultra Guardian badge at the center of his suit.
Gladion is a serious and calm trainer, who is looking for worthy opponents in Pokémon battles for himself. Otherwise, he is a "lone wolf" who avoids meeting with his sister. Despite this, he is noted by others to still have a kind side, shown when he told his sister to take care of her Pokémon. While Gladion does not visit his sister often, he swore to protect her after her encounter with the Ultra Beast Nihilego.
Unlike his game counterpart, Gladion is much less grumpy and cynical towards others but has a much harder time accepting help from people and often needs persuasion from his sister Lillie. Most of the time, Gladion expresses very little emotions and speaks softly, but he does occasionally smile, such as when he saw his sister overcome her fear of touching Pokémon once and for all. Another example is when he along with Ash, Lillie, and their Classmates all reacted with shock when Tapu-Koko engulfed Ash's Z-Ring.
Much like Kiawe, Gladion is shown to be confident in his abilities as a Pokémon Trainer. Like when Tupp, Zip, and Rapp challenged him to a battle, he confidently send his Lycanroc out to battle their Pokémon with his Umbreon on the line. But he's shown to have a slightly arrogant side, shown when he yelled at the Guardians Deities of Alola out of impatience, and did not back down after Tapu-Koko glared at him to be patient. Before the incident the made Lillie afraid of touching Pokémon, Gladion was shown to much more cheerful and much less emotionally distant from the ones he loves. He even used to play happily with his sister all the time, and was even shown to be quite playful and mischievous at times. But he never shown any of these traits after the incident, as he became more dedicated to protecting Lillie from future incidents. He cares for the well being of Pokémon as well, and is hostile towards people to people who have abused them. This is shown through his interactions with the former Brach Chief Faba, as he covered up the incident behind Lillie's fear, and for putting a Limiter Helmet on the Silvally that saved Lillie from Nihilego. Gladion appears to resent his mother Lusamine, as her obsession with Ultra Beast lead to Lillie's fear of touching Pokémon and for remaining completely oblivious of the fact that Faba continued to cover up the incident for years. It wasn't until Gladion told her personally told her what happened that tragic day, and angerlily pointed out that she should've noticed her sudden strange phobia, causing Lusamine to feel extremely remorseful for everything the experience put Lillie through. After Nihilego's return, Gladion proves he is more than willing to protect his sister from danger, by letting Nihilego take him away before Lusamine pushed him out of the way and got taken instead.
Though following her abduction by Nihilego, Gladion and Lillie went through great lengths to get her back home safely. Gladion and Lillie's relationship with their mother seems to have improved after her rescue and safe return. Unlike most of Ash's main rivals, Gladions rivalry with Ash has been mutually respectful from start. After he learned that Ash got a Z-Ring from Tapu-Koko, and had battles with it, Gladion decided to have a battle with Ash to test his strength. Gladion eventually grew to trust Ash after he learned about Type: Null, and after being introduced to Nebby. He even told Ash about the incident that made Lillie afraid of touching Pokémon, and trusted him not to tell her. However, after after Nebby teleport Lillie to where he and Type: Null were and partly remembered the incident and became afraid of touching Snowy again, Gladion angrily blamed Ash in a fit of rage. Ash even thought that Gladion would attack him during the tounglashing conversation, with Lillie stated that it sounds like something he'd do. After witnessing Ash and Pikachu's Z-Move 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt, Gladion became much more dedicated to surpassing Ash and started to take on the Island Challenge himself.
Gladion's first appearance in the anime is in Lillie's Egg-xhilarating Challenge!, where he was shown in a picture along with his mother Lusamine and sister Lillie.
He made his first appearance in person in SM027 where he had a battle against Tupper, Zip, and Wrap, but quickly defeated their Pokémon with Lycanroc's Stone Edge.
He was seen having a battle against a Sailor's Blastoise and later had a battle against Ash and Rockruff but the battle was interrupted by Team Rocket. He was reunited with his sister Lillie.
Gladion battled against Ash in the Finals of the Alola League but was defeated after it was a close battle between his Lycanroc (Midnight Form) and Ash’s Lycanroc (Dusk Form) and Ash was crowned the first Pokémon Champion of the Alola Region.
- Gladion is the only rival to be related to one of Ash's traveling companions.
- Gladion is the second Pokémon Trainer with a female Umbreon, the first one is Johanna.