Hey, what are youre thoughts on the gym leaders? I always have fun thinking what they could do in Pokemon society
Well, there seem to be basically three things Gym Leaders do in a community: they test and certify trainers wanting to challenge the Pokémon League, they provide instruction and a learning environment to junior trainers, and they solve people’s Pokémon-related problems. Most of them – with some notable exceptions, particularly in Kanto – are pillars of the community, well-known and generally trusted. The last few generations, particularly V and what I’ve seen so far of VII (if we say that the Captains are basically equivalent to Gym Leaders), have been making a very deliberate effort to show that most Gym Leaders also have “day jobs” in addition to their Pokémon-related responsibilities – Cilan and his brothers run a restaurant, Clay is a mining tycoon, Viola is a photographer, Clemont is an electrical engineer, Ilima is a painter, etc. So it might well be that, in some regions at least, Gym Leaders actually work as volunteers. These are people who just care so much about Pokémon training that they will devote a significant portion of their own free time to running what is basically an entire sports facility (or, in Alola, administering trials) so that members of the community can learn more about it. Which I think is pretty neat.