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Why is Sabrina a gym leader if she dislikes battling?


Well-Known Member
Jul 25, 2004
Reaction score
  1. She/Her
In Pokemon RBY and every remake after--including Masters--Sabrina states that she dislikes battling. Why, then, is she not only a gym leader, but one who beat the Fighting Dojo into losing its gym status? If Saffron decided to have only one gym, this would have been a perfect opportunity for her to bow out and stop engaging in the battles she supposedly dislikes. So why did she stay? And why did she even become a gym leader in the first place?

My only guess is that this is a reference to giri--Pokemon is a Japanese game, after all. It's possible that Sabrina feels like she can't give up her position, because that would be letting down her gym trainers, the city, and maybe the region. Either that, or the position of gym leader is forced upon people in Kanto. None of the games actually explain the process of becoming a gym leader, huh?

So what do you think? Why does Sabrina continue her position as gym leader if she dislikes battling? And how do people become gym leaders in the first place?
In the anime, Gym Leaders can and do abdicate their positions, but anime Sabrina and games Sabrina are two very different characters, so we can't exactly draw on that for Sabrina's motivations.

I think, as you said, that Sabrina continues to be a Gym Leader out of obligation. If that obligation is self-imposed, my theory is that Sabrina feels like she's the only one she can trust to fulfill the role of Gym Leader to her satisfaction. She felt that the previous Gym Leader was failing in his role, and not knowing anyone else who could do it better, took it upon herself to do what she felt needed to be done. It's a "if you want something done properly, you have to do it yourself" kind of situation, I think, and she, as of the present moment in canon, has not met anyone she feels is suited to be her successor.

Or maybe the Pokémon League or some such organization saw talent in Sabrina, raised her to be a powerful Trainer, and when the League felt that the previous Gym Leader was failing, sent Sabrina in to take his place, with Sabrina having little say in the whole matter. We do have some precedent (so to speak) for a situation like that with Larry and Geeta.
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