Brock is mostly a good dude, but my prevailing memories of the Pokemon trainer across the classic anime centre on how much of a wrong’un he is. Whether he’s referring to onigiri as jelly donuts or using a frying pan as a drying pan, the Rock gym leader is constantly performing actions that paint him as a less than honorable gentleman.
Granted, I imagine many of these unusual comments came down to 4Kid’s woeful localisation, which often trivialized the original narrative or streamlined certain aspects so it appealed to a younger international audience. That makes total sense, and almost makes looking back at Brock’s character all the more hilarious so many years later.
Nostalgia is a beautiful thing, and from my small amounts of research it appears that Brock goes to some wonderful places throughout the anime’s ongoing run, becoming a responsible mentor and worthwhile trainer that supports his friends through thick and thin. But the Brock I know, the one I watched as achild before going to school in the morning, that guy is a one way ticket to Cancel Town. One dodgy tweet away from being shunned forever.
Brock has a thing for women. He’s a simp beyond compare, forming heart eyes and falling head over heels for the likes of Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny multiple times throughout the original series. Now I also love a girl in uniform, but come on my dude, they’re involved in professions where they have to deal with unruly sleazebags all the time, they don’t need you waltzing along and stinking up the place until Misty appears to drag you away. All of this becomes extra weird when you delve into the Wiki mines and discover he’s only 15.
Remember his book populated with girls? I’m serious, Brock keeps a small notebook on his person that you’d assume is a normal journal for documenting Pokemon or chronicling his thoughts, but instead it’s dedicated to his love for the finer things in life. I suppose it’s the modern equivalent of Tinder or just Googling boobies before your parents can catch you, but Brock keeping a book like this purely to objectify women and point out what he finds so appealing is mighty gross. I’m not too sure that would fly today.
This is a character who has the potential to be one of the region’s brightest sparks, yet he so often lets his ulterior motives show that he’s willing to befriend Pokemon and become an altruistic figure in modern society just so he can get some ass. That’s a conquest to be respected in a troubled kinda way, and I can understand why young viewers respected him so many decades ago - thanks to such a passionate attitude towards women and a positive outlook on his career. When the show doesn’t stand in its own way to make silly jokes, it’s still amazing, yet 4Kids was content with toying with the source material for a quick joke instead of respecting what the original story hoped to achieve.
Brock eventually meets Olivia in the Pokemon Sun & Moon anime, another trainer who specialises in Rock ‘mons and bears the same level of romantic determination as our faithful ol’ simp. They go perfectly together, with Brock immediately becoming infatuated with the character as he makes whimsical comments and remarks on her personality and appearance. To the show’s credit, they look wonderful together, and it isn’t afraid to tease a potential relationship or even a confession that will see Brock abandon his lecherous ways and finally settle down. I’m a hopeless romantic, so I was on board within moments.
When Brock gets on his knees to profess his feelings and a blush appears across Olivia’s cheeks it’s hard not to smile. It’s a sign of growth for the character that took us literal decades to see. No more doodling about women in your creepy little sex book, get out there and flirt like a real man. Well you aren’t a man really, you’re 15. Goodness me anime is so weird, someone help me out of this rabbit hole. #CancelBrock2021
Nine days to go and a few copies are already out in the wild.