Howdy! Hope y'all are well! Following my latest Pokémon Pure Good Proposal and in honor of the upcoming Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes, we have Lucas and Dawn from the same games. I think they're also worth consideration for the category, so let's get into this proposal now!
WHAT IS POKÉMON? WHAT'S THE WORK?
Pokémon is a series of Japanese role-playing video games originating with Pokémon Red and Blue versions released in 1995. They center around a child on their Pokémon journey; their quest to capture every single Pokémon in their region and to defeat the strongest trainers to become the Pokémon League Champion. The original games were very successful, and spawned a media franchise consisting of more video games, manga, anime, a trading card game, and other merchandise. Pokémon is very loved and well-known throughout the world, and is the highest grossing media franchise of all time.
WHO ARE LUCAS AND DAWN? WHAT HAVE THEY DONE?
Lucas and Dawn are the main protagonists of the fourth generation of Pokémon games, Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl versions, and later Pokémon Platinum version as well. If one selects their gender as male at the beginning of the game, they'll play as Lucas and Dawn will be their rival and vice versa. In other words, I'll refer to them by their roles, so either The Player or The Rival, but keep in mind this is either of them.
After the player and their friend Barry are investigating the lake one day to try and spot a red Gyarados, they encounter the Pokémon Professor Rowan, who is with his assistant, your rival. The player and Barry examine Rowan's briefcase that he left behind once they're attacked by a wild Pokémon, and they select the Pokémon from Pokéballs that are within it in order to defend themselves. The briefcase is returned to the professor, but Rowan becomes aware of the bond that was formed between the player and their Pokémon they used, and he allows them to keep the Pokémon and embark on a quest to complete an encyclopedic device known as a Pokédex and to become a Pokémon trainer.
Rowan gets attacked by a criminal organization known as Team Galactic, but is saved by the player. Throughout the game, the player encounters Team Galactic several times; they are fought at Valley Windworks, where they are attempting to harness the power of they energy generated there to use as an asset for their schemes. Team Galactic eventually captures Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie, the Lake Guardians, and traps them inside their laboratories at their HQ to extract energy from them to create the Red Chain, which is capable of controlling the legendary Pokémon known as Dialga and Palkia, dragons who can control time and space respectively (with which one they try to control depends on which version is being played).
The player rescues and frees the lake trio, but Team Galactic's leader, Cyrus, summons Dialga/Palkia, with his ultimate goal being to use their power to destroy and recreate the entire universe to rule as it's lord. Dialga/Palkia's power begins to distort the Sinnoh region, which leads to Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie to try to prevent serious harm from the dragons. The rival teams up with the player and defeats the final administrators from Team Galactic, and the player then defeats Cyrus and defeats/captures the legendary Pokémon, with Cyrus stating he isn't finished with his goals yet, and he vows to return despite not being seen again.
In Pokémon Platinum, Cryrus duplicates the power of Red Chain to control both Dialga and Palkia to cause serious instability towards the universe, and summoning another legendary Pokémon known as Giratina who draws Cyrus into an alternate realm known as the Distortion World to prevent space and time from being destroyed. The player then follows to make sure that a hole that Giratina ripped open in space-time doesn't destroy the continuum.
The player defeats/captures Giratina with Cyrus choosing to stay in the Distortion World. Throughout the player's journey, they defeated Gym Leaders and collected Gym Badges. With them, they are allowed to enter the Pokémon League, which they end up winning by defeating the champion Cynthia and become the new champion.
While Lucas doesn't have much of a role in the anime, Dawn does. Dawn was an upcoming Pokémon coordinator who wasn't sure if she could trust Pokémon at first, but after she saved her first Pokémon, Piplup, from a raid of angry Pokémon, the two of them became friends, not unlike how Ash and Pikachu became friends.
After meeting Ash and Brock, Dawn decided to travel with them, to learn more about herself and Pokémon, to grow as a person and Pokémon coordinator. Along with helping people with Ash and Brock, Dawn began entering contests after obtaining a contest pass in Jubilife City.
In her first contest, Dawn actually lost to her rival named Zoey. Following her defeat, Dawn called her mother, upset from the situation, but her mother instructed Dawn to invest her trust into her friends and Pokémon instead of her. Dawn went on to defeat her childhood friend Kenny in her second contest and earn her first contest ribbon.
Dawn went on to become close friends with Zoey, and the two practiced their skills with one another to prepare for upcoming Pokémon contests. Dawn also eventually ended up facing her own mother in a Pokémon contest after she returned home. Her mother ended up victorious, but her mother was still impressed by Dawn's skill and the return home helped Dawn focus and restored her determination.
Aside from Pokémon contests, Dawn has traveled with Ash and Brock helping many people along the way, and she was willing to battle in order to do the right thing and stop Team Rocket.
ADMIRABLE STANDARD? DO LUCAS AND DAWN STAND OUT?
Yes, absolutely. In the games, they help many people during their journey, treat their Pokémon well, stop Team Galactic multiple times, and rescue many places that Team Galactic took over. But the thing that really does it for me is the fact that they saved the entire universe from Cyrus and Team Galactic by stopping the legendary Pokémon that he was going to use to destroy and recreate it, and as a rival they also directly help in stopping him. A few of the Pokémon protagonists have saved the world, but saving the entire universe in my opinion is definitely enough for them to stand out even in an admirable standard such as Pokémon's.
As for the anime, Dawn also stands out as one of the most friendly and kind major supporting characters that always cares for her friends and Pokémon and in general being one of the more level-headed characters. She is a major character in the show, and so naturally she's of the ones that do the most, including stopping Team Rocket the most and helping the most people among other examples. Not to mention the fact that like in the games, Cyrus in the anime was also going to use the legendary Pokémon to try to destroy and recreate the universe as well, and Dawn helped to prevent that, which in my opinion is extremely heroic even by the series's standards.
MITIGATING FACTORS? REASONS LUCAS AND DAWN CAN'T QUALIFY?
None. Lucas and Dawn as the players are nothing but kind, selfless, and help as much as they can with no expectancy for reward. And although they don't show much personality when you play as them, they still help people and even the universe just because it's the right thing to do. And as the player's rival, they are portrayed as very kind and friendly and again, simply help out of their own desire to do good.
As for Dawn in the anime, she really doesn't have any either other than occasionally bicker with Ash on very trivial matters and they never go too far by any means.
And screen time isn't an issue for either since in both cases they are the main/major characters so they get plenty of screen time and of course their most heroic acts are on screen.
Like with Brendan and May, I believe Lucas and Dawn should qualify for the Pure Good category as well, but I'm interested in y'all's thoughts, so please share down below. As always, thanks for reading and have a great day!