A Pokémon Coordinator (Japanese: ポケモンコーディネーター Pokémon Coordinator) is a person who raises Pokémon to compete in Pokémon Contests, by feeding them snacks used to enhance their appearances and teaching them moves designed for particular appeals.
Originating in the Hoenn region, Pokémon coordinating is based on showing off Pokémon in visually impressive ways. It also refers to the act of raising Pokémon particularly for Pokémon Contests, rather than for regular battles. As a result, it provides Trainers with an alternative to the Badge-collecting quest, giving them a different look at the many charms of Pokémon, as well as a distinct method for interacting with them. Trainers who focus in this area are called Pokémon Coordinators.
Coordinators typically concern themselves with the outward appearances of their Pokémon. Because of this, they tend to give them special, condition-enhancing treats made out of Berries that keep them looking good. They also concentrate on the movesets of their Pokémon, teaching them appealing, attention-grabbing attacks that can be easily combined to grant them additional points when used in Pokémon Contests. Like Trainers, Coordinators are also responsible for their Pokémon's overall health and well-being.
In all forms of Pokémon media, a Coordinator's Pokémon journey is focused on gathering a certain number of Contest Ribbons by competing in regional Pokémon Contests. In order to earn a Ribbon, they must compete against other Coordinators in different rounds of judging. A Contest Pass is usually required for entering these competitions. Additionally, in the Sinnoh region, Coordinators generally wear formal attire or costume to compete.
It is not uncommon for seasoned Trainers, such as Wallace, to become interested in Pokémon Contests. Other Trainers, such as Nando, dedicate themselves to raise a team that can perform well in Pokémon Contests and Gym battles, collecting both Ribbons and Badges.
In the games
In some of the core series Pokémon games, players may choose to focus on raising Pokémon for the exclusive purpose of doing well in contests, making them part-time Coordinators. In order to increase their chances of winning Ribbons, they have to maximize one particular condition of their Pokémon and prioritize the contest properties when selecting the moves they will teach them, since battle properties, such as power and accuracy, have no effect in contests.
They are able to enter their Pokémon in five different categories, namely Coolness, Beauty, Cuteness, Cleverness, and Toughness. Each category has four ranks, but the Normal Rank is the only one unlocked at the start. For the higher ranks, they must first win the previous rank to participate. During a contest, they compete against three other Coordinators to determine which of them has the most appealing Pokémon. At the conclusion of judging, the best-performing Pokémon is declared the winner. In Generations III and IV, the Pokémon receives a Ribbon according to the category and rank they won. In Generation VI, a Ribbon is only awarded to Pokémon who have won in the Master Rank.
In Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, a Pokémon Contest has two stages of judging, primary and secondary. In the primary judging, competing Coordinators present their Pokémon before the audience. To prepare their Pokémon for this stage, they must feed them Pokéblocks compatible with their Natures, as the audience members evaluate the Pokémon's condition and sheen. In the secondary judging, Coordinators showcase their Pokémon's moves in five rounds. They need to plan appeals carefully to earn the most attention of the Judge and excite the audience. In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, although some changes have been made, the basic proceedings remain largely the same.
In Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, Pokémon Super Contests are divided into three stages, each stage focusing on a different skill. In the Visual Competition, Coordinators have to dress up their high-condition Pokémon in theme-appropriate Accessories within the 60-second time limit. Contest preparations include raising their Pokémon's condition and sheen with Poffins. In the second stage, known as the Dance Competition, Coordinators command their Pokémon to dance according to the rhythm, either as lead or back dancer. The third and final stage is the Acting Competition, where Coordinators display the appeal of their Pokémon's moves for judging in four rounds.
To date, the only time the term "Coordinator" was used in the games was in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, by a girl in an apartment in Hearthome City.
In the anime
In the Pokémon anime, Coordinators first appeared in All Things Bright and Beautifly!, with the introduction of Pokémon Contests in Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire. However, before that, many Trainers were seen raising their Pokémon to execute their attacks in an appealing way as well as teaching them how to battle in a stylish manner. In this canon, Coordinators go on stage to present their Pokémon in two rounds, the Performance Stage and the Battle Stage. Because of this, they have to train Pokémon for both appeals and battles.
They travel across one or more regions, competing in Pokémon Contests and collecting Ribbons with the goal of winning the Grand Festival to receive the Ribbon Cup and the title of Top Coordinator. In a similar way to how a Pokémon Trainer needs to collect eight Gym Badges to participate in the Pokémon League Conference, a Pokémon Coordinator needs to garner five Contest Ribbons to compete in the Grand Festival. However, since a Pokémon Contest is an event that occurs within a given period of time, Coordinators get just one chance to earn a certain Ribbon.
During the Performance Stage, Coordinators need to showcase their Pokémon's charms in order to appeal to the judges, by displaying an array of moves that bring out the very best in their Pokémon while captivating the audience with showiness. The second round consists of single-elimination Contest Battles, where Coordinators and Pokémon are judged on the style of their moves and the way they are able to dodge their opponents' attacks. In a competition featuring the Double Performance format, Coordinators are required to show off two Pokémon at once.
When they are entering a Pokémon Contest for the first time, Coordinators are given a regional Contest Pass and a Ribbon case. These items are also provided when Coordinators move to another region, since a Contest Pass can only be used to enter competitions held in the region in which it was originally obtained. Because their Pokémon have to make a good first impression right out of the Poké Ball, Coordinators in Sinnoh are also supplied upon registration with a Ball Capsule and a few Seals, which can be used to create a showy entrance.
In the manga
Since its introduction, the concept of Pokémon coordinating has appeared in multiple Pokémon manga series. In addition to the characters who have been shown to raise Pokémon especially to compete in Pokémon Contests, there are those that have entered these events just for fun and excitement. The following is a list of manga featuring characters who fall into the class of Coordinators:
- Ash & Pikachu
- Pokémon Adventures
- Pokémon Chamo-Chamo ☆ Pretty ♪
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure!
- Pokémon Ruby-Sapphire
- See also: List of Pokémon Coordinators
- For Different Strokes for Different Blokes, Professor Oak's Big Pokémon Encyclopedia is about Pokémon Coordinators. He writes this senryū about them: 「ポケモンと うつくしくあれ コーディネーター」 "Being beautiful with Pokémon; that is a Coordinator."
In other languages
Pokéblocks • Poffins
Cool • Beautiful • Cute • Clever • Tough
Appeal • Battle • Dance • Visual
Contest • Super Contest
Coordinator • Contest Hall • Contest Pass
The Grand Festival
Kanto • Hoenn • Sinnoh
Top Coordinator • Ribbon Cup
Combinations • Opponents (III • IV • VI) • Double Performance • Jamming
Ribbons (list) • Stickers • Ball Capsules • Ranks • Judges • Announcers • Wallace Cup
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