Paul (Japanese: シンジ Shinji) is a recurring character in the Pokémon anime. He is a Pokémon Trainer from Veilstone City who was first seen at the end of Two Degrees of Separation!, though his full introduction was in When Pokémon Worlds Collide!. He is Ash's main Diamond & Pearl series rival. He has a very Darwinistic approach to training, where he only cares about powerful Pokemon and releases any that don't fit his standard. He is the opposite of Ash and his brother Reggie
Paul has a rotating lineup of Pokemon most of the time in the anime and on top of loving powerful Pokemon, Paul is very intelligent most of the time when it comes to battling as he uses surprising tactics and calculations. His Starter was A Turtwig
His Pokémon include Torterra, Electrive, Weavile, Honchkrow, Usaring, Magmortar, Gliscor, Aggron, Gastrodon, Drapion, Ninjask, Froslass, Nidoking and Hairyama
Paul's only concern in his Pokémon is of their strength in battle. He strongly dislikes weak Pokémon and has a tendency of releasingthem if they do not meet his expectations. To this effect, Paul always checks new captures with his Pokédex to learn what movesthey know and trains the Pokémon he keeps harshly to make them strong. He feels that bonding with Pokémon would only turn them into slackers. He has a habit of scolding his Pokémon for losing to opponents he feels they could have beaten, especially Chimchar. He has also demonstrated similar behavior to Azumarill, Honchkrow and Ursaring.
Paul can be very callous and even brutal, especially in battle. As a result, he has been shown to display very little emotion other than an occasional rough smile when dealing with Ash. He has also been shown to have a certain degree of athleticism, as seen in Different Strokes for Different Blokes when he and Chimchar were able to downwardly scale a cliff of a waterfall near Bewilder Forest by swinging and leaping from rocks and branches. His catchphrase when calling out Pokémon is "<Pokémon>, standby for battle!".
As revealed in Lost Leader Strategy!, Paul occasionally gives some of his Pokémon to his brother Reggie for temporary training and caretaking. He disagrees with his brother for giving up on being a Pokémon Trainer after failing to get the Brave Symbol and feels his brother's approach and view on this to be wrong.
Paul originally felt that Ash was a weak Trainer when they first met, as shown with the capture of Starly when he questioned Ash about how strong Starly was. Ash's very different attitude towards Pokémon also provided much fuel to their rivalry. Despite that, Paul barely recognized Ash as a serious Trainer and a rival, often ignoring his speeches about loving Pokémon. However, Paul's first hint of respect for Ash was shown in A Pyramiding Rage!, when he was very surprised to hear that Ash had beaten Brandon in a Pokémon battle. After a long, tough battle in Sinnoh's Pokémon League Conference, Paul ended up losing to Ash, and in doing so, gained respect for him and ended their bitter rivalry.
Although Paul found most of the Pokémon in Ash's party at the time to be weak, he had shown a particular interest in his Pikachu, as shown in A Gruff Act To Follow!. Paul was also angered by how Ash "contradicts" himself by criticizing Paul's training methods and then using similar ones, such as entering the Wallace Cup, despite Ash's motivations being clearly different than Paul's.
Paul appears to feel indifference to Dawn, showing that he didn't even bother to remember her name in A Gruff Act to Follow. However, he talks to her about Ash in Familiarity Breeds Strategy!, confessing his main problem with Ash is his talk about bringing out a Pokémon's inner strength through his bond with them and how any Pokémon has the potential to be strong reminds him a lot of Reggie. Paul shows mild respect as well as distaste towards Brock, probably because Brock supports Ash's view on Pokémon. Paul does show respect for his elders, such as Professor Rowan, Cynthia, Nurse Joy and Brandon. While he respects Professor Rowan and Nurse Joy for their wisdom and positions, he only respects Cynthia and Brandon for their abilities as Trainers. He is shown to have no respect for Gym Leaders who he feels are weak. For example, he was shown to respect Roark whom he judged to be a worthy opponent in the end, but he was openly rude and mean to Maylene.
Chronicles of Great New Empire
After his defeat against the hands of Ash Ketchum in the Sinnoh League finals, Paul returned to a normal life. Suddenly, he is angrily shocked that many of the Pokemon trainers and creatures were quickly killed by the hands of Great New Empire. After all of his strong Pokemon were killed, he is approached by Jeffero. In the end, Paul was killed when Jeffero uses his bare hands to snap off his neck for good.