Few franchises can earnestly compete with Dragon Ball in terms of popularity, but Pokémon is a rare exception and both of these series were gateway anime that helped expose American audiences to this different animation medium.
Dragon Ball has kept its audience entertained for so long through unbelievable battles and thrilling transformations, but it’s also done exceptional work with the eclectic cast of characters that it’s brought to life. The heroes in Dragon Ball have very different goals than the characters in Pokémon, but there are certain figures who perfectly fit the mold of Pokémon master and would quickly rise the ranks of the world’s top trainers.
10 Goten’s Youth, Curiosity, And Compassion Are All Assets For A Pokémon Trainer
It’s certainly not a prerequisite that a Pokémon trainer needs to be a precocious child, but that paradigm gets reinforced through Ash and his youthful companions that slowly take over the Pokémon world. In this sense, Dragon Ball’s Goten is the closest in disposition to Ash and it’s not hard to picture him excelling in the territory.
Goten has an impressive work ethic at a young age, a natural curiosity towards competition, and he doesn’t seem to have any problems with animals. Strangely enough, Goten’s mastering over the precision process of fusion speaks to his discipline and ability to succeed as a Pokémon trainer.
9 Master Roshi Has Decades Of Knowledge, Experience, And A Connection With Animals
Master Roshi may not immediately seem like the most empathetic character in Dragon Ball, but beyond the rough edges is a kind soul and a brilliant mind. Roshi has led a prolific life that’s allowed him to both master and pioneer a lot of crucial skills that could translate to ingenuity in Pokémon battles.
While it may seem superficial, Roshi also has a pet turtle who’s usually by his side and doesn’t feel unlike a Tirtouga or a Lapras. Roshi’s ability to keep Turtle safe and cater to his needs points towards a top Pokémon trainer.
8 Yamcha And Puar Embody The Trainer And Pokémon Dynamic
Yamcha has become the universe’s perpetual punching bag in Dragon Ball and he’s spent more time as a punchline than a legitimate martial artist. The degradation of Yamcha’s character is disappointing, but one dynamic that’s been consistent is that his anthropomorphic partner, Puar, is never far behind.
Puar is an oddity from the Dragon Ball world and it feels like the character could easily qualify as a Pokémon. As a result, Yamcha’s enduring friendship with Puar and their ability to grow together as a team definitely feels indicative of a Pokémon’s relationship with their trainer.
7 Hercule’s Connections With Creatures Is The Exaggerated Character’s Greatest Strength
Hercule Satan isn’t the best person to turn to when it comes to strength, and the reputation that he’s earned is steeped in theatrics and showmanship. Hercule’s inflated sense of ego has definitely become a liability for the character in Dragon Ball, but it’s not nearly so destructive in the Pokémon world.
Furthermore, one of Hercule’s more redeeming traits is the tender relationship that he forms with Buu, not to mention how close he is with his pet dog, Bee. Bee and Buu aren’t dissimilar from certain Pokémon and Hercule’s protective, understanding nature would come out for these creatures.
6 Trunks Is A Natural Fit To Be A Pokémon Trainer With A Rigid Work Ethic To Fall Back On
Trunks is another one of the younger characters in Dragon Ball who has made a strong mark as an individual, but is unfortunately held up to the difficult standard that’s been set by his older future counterpart. Trunks is a curious child instead of a moody swordfighter, but this makes him even more fitting for the field of Pokémon battles.
Trunks so often works in tandem with Goten, but it seems like Trunks might be the more successful of the two young Pokémon trainers due to the rigorous ordeals that Vegeta would have instilled in his son.
5 Bulma’s Genius Would Help Her Dominate Through Pokémon’s Mechanics
Bulma is easily one of the most important characters in the Dragon Ball universe even though her battle contributions are practically nonexistent. Bulma’s greatest strength lies in her genius intellect and her inventions have irrevocably changed the world. Bulma’s ability to decipher foreign languages, like Namekian, speaks towards her curious personality.
Bulma seems like someone who would be fascinated by the type advantages and weaknesses behind Pokémon and be able to curate the perfect team as a result. Bulma’s brains in the Pokémon world would turn her into a Professor Oak-like figure.
4 King Kai Has Developed An Important Bond With His Animal Partners
King Kai is one of the most important mentors Goku has trained under in Dragon Ball. The Saiyan would have never gotten as far as he has without the use of the Spirit Bomb. King Kai, as a Kai, demands natural respect, but he’s been turned into a bit of a joke through the fact that characters consistently fail to bring him back to life with the Dragon Balls.
King Kai’s wisdom and outside of the box thinking are assets with Pokémon, but his relationship and dominion over Bubbles and Gregory definitely come across as parallel to the bond that a trainer has with their Pokémon.
3 Cabba’s Convictions Make Him A Natural For Pokémon Conquest
Dragon Ball has been limited for many years when it comes to new Saiyans who can suddenly enter the picture, but the franchise finds a legitimate means to achieve this through Dragon Ball Super’s multiverse.
Cabba, Kale, and Caulifla from Universe 6 all have their distinct advantages and hurdles as characters, but Cabba feels like the most appropriate pick to be a Pokémon trainer. Cabba’s desire to train under Vegeta and maximize his abilities aligns with the values of a dedicated Pokémon trainer who will do whatever is necessary to grow and be the best.
2 Broly’s Ability To Work With Animals And Survive With Their Help Brings Pokémon To Mind
Broly, the Legendary Super Saiyan, first enters Dragon Ball Z as a destructive powerhouse who doesn’t have much characterization beyond his unbridled strength and vicious desire for revenge. Dragon Ball Super: Broly makes some simple, but fundamental, differences to the character and this take on Broly is someone who would thrive as a Pokémon master.
Broly gets manipulated into a deadly weapon, but his lonely childhood on Vampa features him forming a sweet bond with a beast named Ba. Broly’s earlier days when he and Ba hunt and survive together feels like it could be pulled right out of the Pokémon universe.
1 Goku’s Infinite Desire To Learn And Grow Speaks To Top Trainer Material
Goku is the strongest character in Dragon Ball and the best person to turn to when it comes to physical strength and last-minute transformative epiphanies. The physical strength of a Pokémon trainer is completely incidental, but Goku is still someone who actively searches for knowledge and new ways to improve himself.
The Pokémon world is full of mysteries and the best trainers are the ones who seek answers to these secrets. Goku’s naivety can get the better of him at times, but humility is also a crucial component in growing as a Pokémon trainer.