By Brandon Yeo
Cilan and Iris and two supporting characters in the new Pokemon Black and White series or Pokemon Best Wishes (Japanese). I personally only watch the Japanese series, however I doubt there is much difference between the two in terms of their lines.
In contrast to the effectiveness of the supporting characters in the last few series, I believe that Cilan especially has carried out his role sufficiently well. When I first saw Cilan, I thought he would be a bore, his role in this series progressing towards his aim of being a Pokemon Sommelier, but as the time passed, this notion changed rapidly. He indeed plays a large role in many of the episodes, especially that which involves all sort of activities such as fishing, watching movies and investigation. He brings up much comic as well being “Sommeliers” of all sorts and this is evident especially in the episode as Iris and Cilan aims to solve the mystery of the haunted museum . He attempts to prove his scientific method correct by making all sorts of nonsensical claims with regards to science making him seem brilliant but it is all just exaggeration. Thus, his ability to bring comic to the series is something much of the other supporting characters are not able to do. The plot development of Ash is clearly linked with that of Cilan, being the first Gym leader he defeats as well as Cilan teaching him much of the new Unova region.
However, Iris on the other hand, doesn’t seem to contribute much. The most common line would probably that Ash is so childish and this is constantly repeated throughout the many episodes, making her a really boring character. The only thing amazing about her is probably her athletic abilities of tree hopping which really nobody can compete with.
However, there has been attempts to develop her character, even in the episode when she attempts to reunite with her Excadrill which has lost trust in her as well as her dream of becoming a “Dragon Master”. Such things provide viewers with the possibility that this character will become increasingly more interesting as the time passes. Although we are introduced of her goal to train Axew into a Haxorus, this has hardly been touched on and this is one of the main problems with her characters. Unlike Cilan, she hardly helps to progress the plot or support the main character. Although, with the possible hints that has been given, perhaps she will become more interesting.
At this point however, Cilan seems to be doing a great job in progressing the plot and creating much comedy, making him a relatively effective supporting character. Perhaps the reason for Iris’s lack of substance is due to the fact that she hasn’t been given much chance to develop her aims and thus there could still be much improvement in Iris’s character in the future.