As Pokémon trainers, our ascent to Champion status in the video game franchise is practically foretold. The gym leaders along the way, meanwhile, are supposed to be the best in the world — so you gotta imagine that these people feel something when they get beat. And while some leaders take defeat gracefully, some of them seem likely to struggle with their failure and perhaps doubt themselves in the future. Gym leaders are, after all, merely human.
This isn’t something we ever see in the games, but it’s the entire premise behind the latest short for Pokémon: Twilight Wings. Here, fighting-type specialist Bea from Pokémon Sword gets bested by Leon, the Galar champion. Dismayed, Bea takes some time off from her gym to go and train in the desert. She’s determined to better herself, which is an admirable goal, except she might take it a little too far here.
My favorite part had to be when Bea takes on a Machamp in hand-to-hand combat. She may have lost to Leon, but man, she’s a trooper.
And as a bonus: The end of the short might tease something from the upcoming Sword and Shield expansions.