Princely Prodigy


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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).

Basic Stats

  • Name: Trip (Shootie)
  • Age: 10
  • Gender: male
  • Hometown: Nuvema Town
  • Goal: to defeat Alder and become Champion of the Unova region
  • Trainer Class: Ace Trainer (sprite used in the Japan-only B2W2 DLC)
  • Pokemon Team: Serperior (partner), Lampent, Vanillite, Conkeldurr, Frillish (Jellicent in the Japan-only B2W2 DLC)

History

Personality
Trip is a very reserved, studious, rather sarcastic, pragmatic, cynical, and ambitious young trainer aiming to defeat Alder and become Champion of the Unova region. He can act proud and haughty, sometimes getting quite full of himself (believing he can take defeat not one, but two Champions in a row, after a journey lasting half a year), but he's actually quite insecure (when he fails, he asks what he did wrong, believing he had to have made some mistake, rather than chalking it up to a lack of experience) and seeks acknowledgement. He is open to learning from others, but he's also very jaded and can be difficult to get through sometimes. He likes to help others and he does love his Pokemon, but he doesn't have much experience making friends; he's a bit socially awkward and was very shy even as a small child.

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).

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.
After this point, Trip no longer rejects Ash's friendliness and even starts to spend more time interacting with his Pokemon, especially Serperior, hoping to become someone worthy of Serperior's love.

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 imagined Ash hailed from. 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!
After getting his answers from Alder and learning not to rush his journey, Trip is polite, if still distant, to Ash, and even playfully asks him not to get defeated before facing him... when they last parted ways, he smiled fondly at Ash before leaving, instead of waving without looking back like before.

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.
While he doesn't interact much with Iris, their few interactions are quite funny, as she knows exactly how to press his buttons and rope him into battles with Ash (Iris loves to tease her friends by calling them childish... and Trip wants nothing more than to prove how mature he is!). He never seems to realize he's been tricked into a battle and thinks he's proving himself to them.

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.


(The Te wo Tsunagou (Let's Join Hands) ending animation implies Trip, having run into Ash and friends again, takes this picture of them just before they leave Unova.)

Appearances

Trivia

  • Trip's name in both versions sounds more like a nickname: Shootie comes from his photography hobby (as in "photoshoot"), Trip is short for "triple," a Southern nickname for a name ending in "the Third"/"III"... which fits the rich brat vibe he gives off in the Japanese version, but makes me think he'd have a Southern accent if this was the 4Kids dub. If it IS a nickname, his given name probably can't be more of a mouthful than Natural Harmonia Gropius, right?
  • Trip trains two of the Unova Pokemon with visible gender differences, Unfezant and Frillish.
  • Trip and Ash tend to have Pokemon of the same species, but opposite genders (Ash's Snivy is female, Trip's is male; Ash's Tranquill is female, Trip's Tranquill is male; Trip's Frillish is male, Ash... nearly gets consumed by a female Frillish.... never mind, that one doesn't count).
  • Trip wears two colours traditionally forbidden to commoners: purple and orange; purple is associated with the emperor, affluence, and arrogance, while orange was worn by the kuge aristocratic class in Japan (which was later eclipsed by the bushi/warlords). Purple's association with affluence and arrogance is also why so many of Ash's rivals wear it!
  • Speaking of bushi/warlords, Conkeldurr is based on them (its Japanese name, Robushin even sounds like "old warlord"), that bump on its head is based on their topknot hairstyles! While Trip's team is mostly based on aristocratic nobility, Conkeldurr is an example of military nobility. Georgia's theme is Dragon-slaying knights, and she also has a samurai-inspired Pokemon, the living armor Bisharp's bladed helmet is based on a kabuto, a samurai helmet!