Okay, as you all know, I LOVE Pokemon Sun and Moon. I feel the game is well-done, has a really good story (Rivaling Black and White‘s main story), and a good challenge with the good ‘ol Pokemon gameplay.
One thing I feel Pokemon Sun and Moon did better than most other games in the series is the characters. A major complaint about Pokemon X and Y were that the characters were quite bland and static compared to the more in-depth cast of Black and White. Well, I feel that gen 7 here fixes that, and let’s talk about one of my favorite characters in Pokemon history: Professor Kukui.
We all know about the professors in Pokemon: Normally the people who give you your starter, and are very knowledgeable in the field of Pokemon. While some of them are known for their nostalgic values, they’re normally… Not very memorable. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t flat-out FORGETTABLE, but I just feel their personalities aren’t as fleshed-out.
And then came Professor Kukui: The professor of the Alola Region and former Pokemon battler. This guy stuck out of people’s minds the moment he first showed up. Unlike most professors, he’s much more well-versed in Pokemon battling, seeing as he took on the Kanto league prior to becoming a Professor. Apparently, the man managed to battle Lance!
Seeing as he studies Pokemon moves, he apparently actively takes hits from them too! Seeing as some Pokemon moves can inflict quite a large amount of damage, the guy has guts.
Now, I bet you’re all wondering: How does he have this much endurance? Well,
(Spoilers for Pokemon Sun and Moon coming up!)
He doubles as a freaking PRO WRESTLER. No, seriously. He doubles as a Pro-Wrestler type figure known as the “Masked Royal”! Okay? That’s awesome. Even funnier is that he constantly denies it, even though it’s so obvious that the first option you’re given when you encounter Kukui as the “Masked Royal”, you can remark “…Professor?” at him.
Surprisingly enough (Okay, maybe not), Kukui’s married to Professor Burnet, an unexpected character, given that she first appeared in a spin-off game, of all things. While this is worth noting, I’d also like to point out how kindly they treat Lillie, who, at that point in time, is essentially their adopted daughter.
Both Kukui and Burnet take care of Lillie very well, and act more like her parents than her actual mother, Lusamine, who emotionally abused Lillie before she ran away with the Nebby that won’t get in the bag.
He’s a supportive and kind man, not without flaws, mind you. He’s very eccentric, seeing as he’s both a Professor and Pro-Wrestler, and almost always can get an odd look every now and again.
But you know what makes him even more awesome?
He’s the FINAL BATTLE OF THE MAIN STORY. Yep, you heard that correct. For the first time in Pokemon history, we have the Professor as the final boss! …Okay, sort of. It’s possible Professor Kukui’s battle is a reference to Professor Oak, who was originally planned to serve as the final battle before you become champion. This battle can be accessed via the (in)famous Missingno glitch.
Even so, Kukui puts up a pretty good challenge too. As he once battled before, it makes sense that he’s a veteran, and his Pokemon all have perfect IVs, just like how a competitive Pokemon player would (normally) have. Not only that, but his AI is actually pretty good (for the most part). The big challenge about Kukui is his Lycanroc (midday form), which can use Stealth Rock to damage any Pokemon that’s switched out. It doesn’t sound that bad at first.
Kukui also has a Braviary, which can use Whirlwind to forcibly switch out the members of your team. If you didn’t deal with Kukui’s Lycanroc quickly, then you’re gonna have a- Wait, that got old. Er, bad experience.
‘Cause that happened to me. Don’t worry, I still won. Kukui’s battle is wonderful, and it doesn’t help that the music is amazing too.
Overall, Kukui is easily my favorite Professor in the Pokemon series. He has a fun personality, is a caring man underneath, and serves as a wonderful sendoff to Pokemon Sun and Moon‘s main story.
…But wait, there’s one character I love more than Kukui… And we’ll save her for next time.