April 6-7, 2024
Supa-Star Eric Stuart is one of anime’s most loved voiceover actors, portraying a slew of characters across Pokémon throughout the first eight seasons of the show, including Squirtle and Team Rocket’s James.
However, one of the most important of Stuart’s characters was undoubtedly Brock, the one-time Pewter City Gym Leader who becomes Ash Ketchum’s longest running travelling companion and a fan favourite for many.
Let’s take a look at some of Brock’s best moments from the anime’s early seasons to determine just how integral to the franchise he is.
A Gym Leader with hidden depths
After his first defeat at Brock’s hands, Ash learns more about the Gym Leader’s home life from a mysterious man named Flint. Brock has put his own dreams on hold to help care for his nine younger siblings. This establishes a soft side that becomes a key part of Brock’s character.
Presenting Ash with the Boulder Badge
Believing his victory over Brock to be unfair due to the Gym’s broken sprinklers weakening Onix, Ash refuses the Boulder Badge. After deciding to travel with him, however, Brock presents Ash with the badge anyway, as Brock had learnt a lot from their battle. This teaches Ash the important lesson that winning isn’t everything.
An endless, hopeless love
A popular running joke in Pokémon is Brock’s tendency to fall hopelessly in love with any beautiful woman he meets. Most notably, the numerous Officer Jennys and Nurse Joys of the world. He is one of the only characters able to tell the identical Joys and Jennys apart from one another. In Pokémon: The First Movie, Brock is the first to notice that Mewtwo’s hypnotised servant is actually the missing Nurse Joy from a nearby town.
Brock catches a Zubat
In the episode Clefairy and the Moon Stone, Ash and co. are chased from a cave by a large flock of Zubats. A few scenes later, Brock reveals that he managed to catch one. Zubat then helps Ash’s Butterfree in sending Team Rocket blasting off again!
Battling the giant Tentacruel
Brock participates in the battle to save Hutber Port from a giant rampaging Tentacruel. Brock’s Zubat carried Ash’s Squirtle into battle, a scene which eventually became a meme when fans realised Zubat has no arms.
Brock and Vulpix
Brock’s dream of becoming a Pokémon breeder is given a boost when a girl named Susie places her prize-winning Vulpix into his care. Brock becomes devoted to Vulpix, often seen brushing and doting on the Pokémon, proving just how much he cares about Pokémon. Susie is impressed with Brock’s treatment of Vulpix when it is eventually returned to her.
Ash’s loss to Ritchie is one of the anime’s most memorable, heart-wrenching moments. Brock becomes an important part of this moment when he explains exactly why Charizard is refusing to battle Sparky, Ritchie’s Pikachu.
Don’t say that name!
Brock briefly leaves Ash and Misty to become an assistant to Professor Ivy. However, upon returning to Pallet Town, Ash finds Brock living in his house, helping Ash’s mother with housekeeping. Whenever anyone asks him what happened or mentions Professor Ivy, Brock, in a new running joke, becomes catatonic.
Battling Molly Hale
In the third Pokémon movie, Brock stays to battle Molly Hale while Ash and Misty go ahead to rescue Delia Ketchum, Ash’s mother. Brock loses but gains Ash a good head start.
In the episode The Little Big Horn, Brock is the only one to realise that a stampeding herd of Stantler is actually an illusion created by an injured Stantler fawn. After nursing the Stantler back to health and rescuing it from being kidnapped by Team Rocket, Brock returns it to its herd.
Golbat to Crobat
In one episode, Ash’s Noctowl and Brock’s Golbat are the only Pokémon to avoid the hypnotic effects of some artefacts stolen by Team Rocket’s Jessie. Golbat is unable to keep up with the escaping villains, until Brock calls out in support, prompting it to evolve into Crobat. Crobat defeats Team Rocket and rescues the other Pokémon.
Brock becomes instrumental to a number of Ash’s victories during Johto’s Silver Conference. It is he who arranges for the arrival of Ash’s Squirtle and later, his Charizard, to help Ash in some tough battles.
Saving the Pewter City Gym
Brock returns to Pewter City to find that his mother is trying to turn the gym into a Water-type gym. Brock challenges her for the gym’s future and wins. He leaves most of his Pokémon with his brother, Forrest, encouraging him to carry on the legacy of Pewter as a Rock-type Gym.
Brock to the Rescue
After his brief trip home, Brock, with only Forretress for company, sets off for the Hoenn Region, hoping to catch up with Ash. In one of his greatest ever entrances, Brock arrives just in time to save Ash, May, and Max from a flock of angry Taillow.
Early in the group’s Hoenn adventures, Brock meets and eventually wins the trust of a stubborn Mudkip. Using his Lotad, Brock helps Mudkip rescue a group of baby Mudkip from Team Rocket. Mudkip then decides to join Brock, becoming the first starter Pokémon that Brock has owned in the anime.
Brock the Wing-man
In the episode Once in a Mawile, Brock becomes enamoured with a trainer named Samantha. Samantha’s Mawile is interested in Brock’s Lombre. While Lombre doesn’t seem interested, Brock tries to encourage it, in hopes of helping his own chances with Samantha. Lombre finally does show affection for Mawile when it evolves into Ludicolo to save her from Team Rocket. Unfortunately, Mawile immediately dumps the cheery Ludicolo for a Psyduck – it only liked Lombre when he was dopey looking. Samantha and Mawile depart, leaving both Brock and his Pokémon heartbroken.
These are just a few of Brock’s greatest moments. Fans have plenty of time to catch up on many more before Eric Stuart hits Supanova Comic Con & Gaming Sydney (21–23 June) and Perth (29-30 June).