10 Best Gyms In The Pokemon Anime


Ash Ketchum has faced a lot of Gym Leaders over the course of his entire pokemon journey as he works to become a Pokémon Master. He’s overcome numerous obstacles and tough matchups to obtain the Gym Badges he needs to progress.



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While there are some challenges that he passes with flying colors, there are others that prove to be tougher tests of skill and resolve. The best Gyms not only give Ash a tough battle, but they are often run with professionalism or simply by a Gym Leader who knows what they are doing.

10 Norman Has Made The Petalburg Gym The Perfect Place For Friendly Competition

Whitney and her Miltank give the Normal typing a good showing during the Johto adventures, but Norman really ups it to another level in Ruby & Sapphire. The Petalburg Gym Leader only uses one evolution line in Slakoth, Vigoroth, and Slaking, but they all get to show off a variety of offensive moves.

The Petalburg Gym itself houses Norman, his wife, and Kenny the Gym’s assistant, as well as hosting the battlefield. There is also a greenhouse on the property, where Pokémon are welcome to relax. Norman is the father of Ash’s friends May and Max, making for a conflicted crowd during Ash and Norman’s Gym battle.

9 The Shalour Gym Is Inside Of The Impressive Tower Of Mastery

The Shalour Gym is located inside the Tower of Mastery, a well-known Kalos landmark. Not only does it look impressive, but it also has plenty of history rooted in Mega Evolution. The Gym itself is home to the tenacious Fighting-type specialist Korrina.

Korrina quickly becomes good friends with Ash, with the two having several battles over the course of the entire anime. The one that truly matters, however, takes place in the Shalour Gym where Ash’s Pikachu eventually beats Korrina’s prized Lucario. Korrina and Lucario are among Ash’s toughest opponents, a testament to a worthy Gym Leader.

8 Gardenia Has Turned The Eterna City Gym Into A Natural Marvel

Eterna City’s Gym Leader Gardenia comes across as one of the most likable characters introduced in the Sinnoh region. Her passion for Grass types is infectious and the enthusiasm brings out two great battles against Ash.

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While their first bout is an unofficial battle out in the Eterna Forest, their rematch is back at the Eterna Gym. This Gym is a large indoor garden with endless greenery making for the perfect Grass-type environment. The Eterna Gym is unique in the sense that it doesn’t have an official battlefield with outlines, instead keeping to the forest theme with an open clearing at the center.

7 The Icirrus Gym Is Another Tricky Ice-Type Battlefield

Ice-type Gyms are generally the best in terms of their presentation. They will often litter the battlefield with ice and rocks to give themselves a home advantage, while most other Gyms elect for standard clear arenas. The Icirrus Gym has a rink with chunks of ice scattered about.

Brycen is a tough Gym Leader to come up against, especially as he knows how to work the slippery conditions. In his battle against Ash, Brycen utilizes some powerful Ice types, with his Cryogonal and Beartic picking up an elimination each. He is only defeated by some stellar strategy on Ash’s part, as his Krokorok overcomes a serious type disadvantage to win.

6 The Cinnabar Island Gym Captures The Attention With Its Fiery Surroundings

The anime version of the Cinnabar Island Gym has numerous issues but still remains one of the series’ best. Blaine opens up a secret Gym that is hidden away, accepting challengers who manage to solve his riddles. This sense of mystery can work both ways. It may be cool, but it obviously leads to fewer challengers.

The Gym is located inside a volcano, which makes for a spectacular venue to see Fire types in action. Blaine and Ash’s first match is mostly forgettable, but the rematch between Magmar and Charizard is still one of the best battles of the entire anime. Blaine’s battling prowess is leagues above the other Kanto Gym Leaders, making the Cinnabar Island challenge the best in the region.

5 Juan’s Unique Battle Format Helps The Sootopolis Gym Stand Out From The Rest

In the anime, the Sootopolis Gym challenge has a unique premise. The Gym Leader Juan prides himself on the format, which consists of a double battle followed by a string of 1-on-1 bouts. At first glance, this format appears to be convoluted, but a 5-on-5 battle with a unique twist is how grand Gym battles should be.

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The contest even spans two episodes, which is rarely done with Gym battles. Pikachu deals the winning blow against Juan’s Milotic to cap off an engrossing affair. It’s a wonder that no other Gyms have tried to replicate this format in some way.

4 Clair Has Made The Blackthorn Gym The Ultimate Stage For Battling

Clair is another example of a strong Gym Leader being the eighth and final hurdle before the Pokémon League. Her ruthless Dragon types have helped her build up a formidable reputation for herself as the pride of Blackthorn City. The Gym itself is flexible in its setup, with a retractable roof catering for Flying-type showdowns and a pool for Water types.

To make this Gym even better, Clair is an experienced and formidable battler. She has Ash on the back foot before Team Rocket’s interruption and runs Ash close in their rematch.

3 Olympia Commands Her Spacey Gym With Authority

Ash’s challenge against the Anistar Gym Leader Olympia is borderline perfection. Not only is the contest itself an extremely tense and captivating double battle, but it takes place in an environment that boosts the space-like aesthetic. It has a high deep blue ceiling littered with stars, which serves as a perfect backdrop for this battle.

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Olympia’s Psychic types are able to thrive in this environment. The Meowstic duo utilize Future Sight, as well as other offensive, defensive and assisting moves. Olympia shows her experience as a Gym Leader as she actively incorporates the abilities of both of her Pokémon, in order to boost their performance further.

2 Roxie Turns The Virbank Gym Into A Rock Concert

Ash’s visit to the Virbank Gym produces one of the standout battles of the entire Unova campaign. Musician and Virbank Gym Leader Roxie brings a rocking show with her band in tow and a crowd watching on. The music gig-turned Pokémon battle has plenty of action to keep these fans entertained.

Roxie puts herself at a numerical disadvantage as she faces Ash with three Pokémon against his six. The fact that the battle still goes down to the wire is a testament to her skills as a Gym Leader. She gives the Poison typing one of its best showcases of the entire anime, even if Ash does emerge victorious.

1 Snowbelle Gym’s Intensely Icy Aesthetic & Wulfric’s Imposing Stature Go Together Nicely

Ash’s eighth and final Gym challenge in Kalos is located in Snowbelle City. The Gym Leader Wulfric is a huge man with a passion for battling that’s bigger than he is. He uses his powerful Pokémon to dismantle Ash on the first attempt before pushing him hard in the rematch. For Ash, these battles help him learn from his mistakes and connect with his Greninja.

The Snowbelle Gym itself is another Ice-type arena to utilize the type’s coolness and slippery environment. The look is even completed by Wulfric having a throne made of ice, which is just exceedingly cool.

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