Welcome to Princely Prodigy, my fanpage dedicated to Trip (Shootie), Ash's rival in the Black & White (Best Wishes!) series! He's not a very popular character, but he's genuinely one of my favourites (along with Iris from the same saga and Lillie from the Sun & Moon series), so I decided to dedicate this section of my site to him, even though I already have one for the whole series (see my Best Wishes! Appreciation section for more on the saga he's from).
Before his journey, Trip was a very studious child who studied battling endlessly before the journey and was a very big fan of Alder! we have seen a childhood memory of his that's very important to him:
He likes to document his journey in photographs and is almost always seen with his camera. He dresses in line with the popular fashion of the time of airing (2009-2010's fashion was weird, there really was a trend of layering bright blazers/jackets over neutral colours...), so fashion might be an interest. Ghost types seem to be his favourite, as he has two rather ominous ones that feed off spiritual energy.
He studied Pokemon battling extensively before his journey and has a very by-the-book battling style; he is easily thrown off by unorthodox battling styles. While his battling style can be harsh, bordering on cruel to opponents (such as having Serperior suffocate Pikachu until it nearly loses consciousness), Trip does not take unfair advantage of things like Oshawott's phobia, only taking pictures to point out to Ash why his attack keeps failing, before continuing the battle without taking advantage of it. He is also never abusive to his own Pokemon, he is only distant to them for much of his journey, prioritizing battling, and having a rather awkward and solitary nature... he is getting better at bonding with them by the end, but even before that, it's pointed out that Serperior loves him (and shown in how Serperior curls around him and mirrors his expressions at times), Trip cares about Vanillite's feelings, and Conkeldurr intimidates Ash when he gets close to Trip.
Trip's chosen partner Pokemon is the Regal Pokemon, Serperior (chosen as a Snivy, but it quickly evolves to Serperior early in the series) and his entire team's theme (with the exception of the babyish, ice-cream-like Vanillite) revolves around the theme of nobility and royalty (Serperior is based on knights and French royalty/nobility as depicted in Rose of Versailles, Conkeldurr's Japanese name is literally "old warlord," Frillish sports a crown and a frilled collar, Ghosts would then have crowns!, Tranquill is as much a pigeon as a pheasant (most likely based on a Mikado/Emperor pheasant... pheasants are also traditionally associated with the emperor), and Lampent will also sport a crown whenever it evolves into Chandelure.
Satoshi (Ash)'s manner of speaking in the Japanese version is rude and downright vulgar in cities (teenage boys who use "ore" to refer to themselves don't use it around their mothers in the cities... but in rural areas, like Masara/Pallet Town, this is completely acceptable). Conversely, Shootie (Trip) uses the rather boyish "boku" to refer to himself and a more formal speaking style (although nowhere approaching Lillie's highly grandiose "watakushi" and lady-like "desu wa" in Sun & Moon) that is much more polite and befitting higher class boys.
Like all major rivals, Trip's design incorporates purple (his backpack, belt, and in freeze-frames, even his black hoodie is stylized purple) to signify arrogance, as it was commonly only afforded and worn by royalty; Trip's design also incorporates a second colour forbidden to commoners in ancient China, orange. His pageboy hair style is also the standard European "prince" haircut in anime and manga (you can see examples of this in Dauphin of France Louis-Charles in Rose of Versailles, Prince Lilus in Ojou Alexandra, and even King Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum in the videogame Ni no Kuni II)... or even fairy tale adaptations, like The Legend of Snow White or World Fairy Tale Series.
Relationships [contains spoilers!]
Alder—the Unova Champion is Trip's childhood hero, who he always addresses politely as "Alder sir" (Adeku-san) he watched his televised matches and cherished the memory of meeting him in-person at a festival three years prior to his journey. The Alder of his memories was strong and confident and told him winning lots of battles was the most important thing and to grow up quickly so he can battle him... Trip took these words to heart, for better or worse. What was to Trip, a defining moment in his life, was probably just another day to the forgetful old Champion, who forgot Trip entirely... worse still, Alder's philosophy changed dramatically! Alder now cared more about enjoying life and bonding with Pokemon than endless battling and questioned if he ever gave Trip such advice.
The first time Ash meets Alder is the second time for Trip, and Alder is in a very bad state, sleep-deprived from wandering all night, he dozes off while battling and shows his uglier flaws (he's a womanizer!), Trip's idealized image of him is shattered. The path of prioritizing strength above all else which Trip began to question thanks to Ash in the Venipede incident, he quickly doubled back on, because of his disappointment at what he saw to be the end result of kindness and gentleness.
Quick to judge, Trip left in bitter disappointment, telling Ash he'll follow the path he believes is right... missing the chance to see Alder bravely stop a rampaging Pokemon with his own strength and gently remove the nail that injured it.
When Trip entered the Junior Cup and had his dream battle against Alder, Alder was powerful and focused, while Trip's confidence was quickly unraveling. He asked what Trip was fighting for and Trip said it was to prove his strength to Alder. Afterwards, Alder reassured Trip about his insecurities and answered his earlier question, saying he believed loyalty and trust were more important than strength. These answers seemed to put Trip at ease and restored his respect for Alder, while acknowledging his flawed nature.
Ash—Trip meets Ash on Ash's first day in the Unova region, which also happened to be Trip's first day of his Pokemon journey! Trip starts off rude to Ash for being from Kanto and particularly rural Pallet town and for having an uncouth manner of speaking (this is clearer in the Japanese version, Satoshi/Ash's speaking style is acceptable in rural areas among lower classes, it sounds quite offensive to upperclass city folk), as well as just being put off by his friendliness and naive optimism, such as his belief in peaceful negotation as opposed to violent means, which seemed to Trip incompatible with the real world... or at least with life in Unova as opposed to whatever idyllic countryside he imagines Ash hailed from. He is very rude and condescending to him at first.
While he initially dislikes Ash's concern for him, he does attempt to advise Ash and points out weak points he needs to work on.
While Trip did get in the way of Ash and friends' attempts to peacefully communicate with the Venipede stampede and thought Ash's self-sacrificing nature was pointless, when he saw that Ash's means did bring results, he wordlessly assisted Ash by saving his Pidove (which happily evolved into a Tranquill after being saved by Trip's own Tranquill), and joined his side. This experience led Trip to question his philosophy on Pokemon battling, the one he learned from Alder three years ago, leading him to ask Alder if strength and winning Pokemon battles really was the most important thing to a Pokemon trainer.
Although Trip likes to imagine himself a logical and rational adult, he is, in truth, as childish as Ash in some respects, but masks it... most of the time. He elbows and shoves Ash to get to Alder first, and when Ash shoves him, he shoves back, and they have to be broken up by Alder!
Iris— Trip first interacts with Iris the third time he runs into Ash and, although he's initially confused by her illogical fear of Vanillite and tells her off for hurting its feelings, he's instantly curious about her after learning she's from the Village of Dragons! He does awkwardly take picttures of her without asking, which Iris tries to tell him isn't exactly polite.
Cilan— Trip likewise does not interact very much with Cilan, but he respects him as a Gym Leader of the Striaton Gym and, in the Japanese version, politely addresses him as "Dent-san" (comparable to "Mr. Cilan"). Similarly to Iris, he does look thoroughly bored and slightly irritated by Cilan's drawn-out mid-battle Evaluations (Tasting Time!) and Connoiseur (Sommelier) shenanigans.
Despite having limited appearances in series and being rather uninvested in the rivalry outside of a moral clash (making this a very one-sided rivalry for much of the series!), Trip is designed and portrayed as the main rival of Best Wishes! (Black & White.) He was also was backwards adapted into the videogames, which the previous anime-original rival, Paul, wasn't! Sadly, these game appearances are Japan-only.
Why do I like Trip so much? [contains spoilers]
It's a fair question! He's a minor character, although he's framed as Ash's main BW! rival, he's easily outshined by a whole cast of brighter, louder, and funnier characters, so, why...? Or why not a more successful, veteran rival like Paul? (Actually, I was a big fan of him snd his brother Reggie during DP's run!)
Firstly, it was actually because of his low-key persona that I didn't give him much mind, like most people, but when we started getting some insight to how his mind works, I couldn't help but be fascinated! things like his icy pragmatism and ends-justifies-the-means mindset (yet all for a good cause and all because he's too jaded to believe in peaceful means working, even at his young age...) in the Venipede episode and the fact that he even takes photographs to remember his losses and frustrations to motivate him to keep going (his match with Cilan)... he's interesting!
I have always loved the characters others tended to hate. I noticed what folks didn't pay much mind to and related to them... my oldest fansite was dedicated to Jessie of Team Rocket! She was my first favourite, then came Harley, the Veilstone brothers, Trip, and lastly, Lillie! Although I have a soft spot for nearly every single BW! rival, my second place is probably Georgia with Burgundy as a close third. ^^
Lastly, Trip makes me feel very nostalgic, he reminds me of a lot of my favourite literary characters growing up! Definitely the first one would have to be Draco Malfoy, given that it was Harry Potter that got me into reading for fun. Snooty, stuck-up blondes, associated with snakes (I love snakes!! 🐍), that look down on the protagonist, but could have been friends if things went a bit differently (namelt, if they weren't raised to be so prejudiced!)... the fact that Harry and Draco's sons are super close makes me happy. ;3;