|“||Just give it up already. You know you can't beat me. You'll just get your Pokémon hurt for no reason.||„|
Gladion is the central antagonist of the 2016 3DS videogame Pokémon Sun and Moon and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon. He works as Team Skull's enforcer who hopes to stop the Aether Foundation's plan. He is Lillie's brother and Lusamine's son. His partner Pokémon is Type: Null.
In the anime, he is voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto in the Japanese version, and by Eddy Lee in the English dubbed version.
At first, Gladion appears to be a cold and harsh young boy. In contrast to his twin sister Lillie, Gladion doesn't mind Pokémon Battles and takes them very seriously. Also unlike Lillie, Gladion is very standoffish and prefers to do things alone. Gladion displays very few emotions, but is shown to be easily annoyed by Hau's loudness and positive attitude. In return, Hau and Rotom Dex find him scary, and dislike it when he shows up during their first few encounters.
Gladion also desires to get stronger, and views Pokémon battles as a way of achieving one's goals, unlike Hau, who just battles to have fun, another trait that Gladion dislikes about him. Guzma took advantage of Gladions desire to get stronger and manipulated him into becoming Team Skull’s Enforcer. Gladion accepted the job despite Team Skull being a group of villains, meaning that Gladion likely made some pretty bad choices by helping them commit crimes when they need him. However, it is never revealed exactly what type of things Gladion had helped Team Skull achieve, only that he was hired to carry out “small jobs”.
However, despite all of his flaws, Gladion is a kind and caring boy at heart. He care's about the well being of all Pokémon, and everyone in Alola. He especially cares for his twin sister Lillie, even turning his back on Team Skull after they kidnapped her and Cosmog (Nebby). He told The Player and Hau to protect Cosmog (Nebby) from Team Skull despite his ties with them, and the young trainer's reason to distrust him. He even forced Hau and The Player to come with him to Aether Paradise to save Lillie, despite their distrust towards him. During their storming on Aether Paradise, Gladion slowly begins warm up to The Player and Hau, and they along with RotomDex begin to trust him in return. He even battles alongside Hau and The Player to he passed Faba and the Aether Foundation Employees.
Gladion is shown to get hard on himself whenever he loses, but he does respect his opponents strength and the bond they share with their Pokémon. However, after being easily defeated by his former boss Guzma, Gladion began to question his own strength and if all the time he spent training to protect the ones he love was for nothing.
Gladion has a very strained relationship with his mother Lusamine, as her obsession with Ultra Beast drove him to run away from home shortly after stealing Type: Null. After this, Lusamine completly disowned him as her son and her mental state getting worse. Despite this, Gladion still urged her not to let her Ultra Beast obsession go too far and let the Ultra Beast destroy Alola, but she refused to listen to him. After Lusamine got trapped in the Ultra Beast World, he urged The Player and Lillie to save her, despite what her obsession with Ultra Beast made her become, meaning he still cares about his mother enough to save her from herself.
Both Gladion and Lillie have a loving relationship with Assistant Branch Chief Wicke, as she was the only one to look after them during their mothers Ultra Beast obsession, and they told only her that they were leaving. Wickets was delight to see Gladion after he returned to Aether Paradise with The Player and Hau. She is the only employee that didn't attack them at any point, and even informed them on Lillie's location. She call's Gladion "Master" and Lillie "Miss"!
Gladion is even shown to have an apologetic side shown after he carelessly drags The Player into a meaningless battle in a fit of anger. He even feel's remorseful after he ran away without telling Lillie anything, as well as leaving her in the hands of their horrible mother afterwards.
Gladion's bond with his Pokémon is obviously strong as three of his Pokémon Silvally, Lucario, and Crobat all evolve through friendship, and his other Pokémon evolve a different way than most others. Another reason to get stronger was to free Type: Null from it's restraints.
Even though he still doesn't consider him and The Player as friends, he no longer views him/her as an enemy either. He trusted The Player to look after Lillie and save his mother from the Ultra Beast World. He even proudly considers The Player as his rival, one of the few times he ever smiles.
Gladion was born two hours before Lillie as the son of Lusamine, the Aether Foundation's president, and Mohn. Both of his parents were researching about the Ultra Beasts that were rumored to exist in another dimension. The foundation eventually created their own Pokémon known as Type: Null, which was intended to be an anti-Ultra Beast fighting beast.
All was well when one day, his father Mohn suddently disappeared while researching the Ultra Beasts. This lead her mother on a desperate search for him. She eventually encountered the Ultra Beast known as Nihilego. The Ultra Beast corrupted Lusamine, which made her obsessed with the Ultra Beasts, and made her love Nihilego more than her own children.
No longer able to withstand Lusamine's abusive behavior, Gladion stole one of the Type: Null and fled the foundation. He was eventually hired as an enforcer for Team Skull.
The player first encounters Gladion in Route 5 where he just defeated the player's friend Hau in battle. Gladion criticizes Hau for seemingly not taking the battle seriously and seemingly enjoys his loss. He then challenges the player to a battle. After being defeated, Team Skull shows up and scolds Gladion for messing up their chance to steal the Totem Pokmon of Brooks Hills. Team Skull attempts to battle the player, but is stopped by Gladion. Before leaving, the grunts says that even though Guzma likes him, he is not and never will be a member of Team Skull. Gladion himself then leaves.
After his defeat, he later heads to the Battle Royal Dome. Originally attended to "bury his sorrow in the crowd", he was invited to take part in a Battle Royal match along with the player, Hau, and the Masked Royal. After the battle, Hau asked Gladion as to why he's here, to which Gladion responds by saying he was trying to get him and Type: Null stronger. He then promptly leaves.
Later, in Route 13, Gladion appears before the player and Hau and ask if they know anything about Cosmog. Surprised by the question, Hau acts coy, but this only makes Gladion realize they do know. He explains that Team Skull is after Cosmog because, although not a strong Pokémon itself, it can summon a powerful Pokémon which could cause destruction. He urges them to protect Cosmog, and then leaves, commenting how he has no idea how Team Skull was aware of its existence.
When Lillie is kidnapped by Team Skull at the Aether Paradise, Gladion overhears that Lillie had Cosmog all along. Both shocked and angry that player was unable to protect Lillie and Cosmog, he challenges them to a battle. After his defeat, he apologizes to the player for his actions. He then reveals that Team Skull has taken Lillie to Aether Paradise. He then takes you and Hau to there in order to rescue Lillie.
Gladion assists the player in battling the Aether Employees. He suggests searching the secret laboratories that are in the basement, but realizes the lift won't go down. In order to have access to the basement, Gladion instead takes the lift up, and is forced to battle alongside the player against Faba.
After Faba's defeat, Wicke appears and calls Gladion master, revealing that he has a history with the Aether Foundation. They then go down to the secret laboratories, with Gladion searching Secret Laboratory A while the player and Hau search Secret Laboratory B. Unfortunately, they find nothing.
They take the lift back up, and are later ambushed by Faba and numerous Aether Foundation Employees. The trio battles and defeats the Aether Foundation employees, with Gladion assisting the player during their battle with Faba. A defeated Faba gives the trio a key to further their search, then runs off.
Upon further investigating Aether Paradise, the trio discovered a line of Team Skull grunts along with their leader Guzma. Gladion rushes through the grunts and challenges Guzma to a battle. By the time the player got to them, however, Gladion is defeated, feeling like his efforts were for nothing. Guzma condenses him before turning his attention to the player and challenging them to a battle.
After Guzma was defeated, Gladion barges in and tried to convince Lusamine to stop her plans. During the conversion, it is revealed that Gladion, Lillie, and Lusamine are actually a family. Lusamine express anger at his children for "rejecting her love". She then forces Cosmog to create an Ultra Wormhole, which summons Nihilego before them. Several other wormholes appear throughout the Alola region in the process.
Gladion then comes up with a plan and attempts to stop them. Gladion takes on Nihilego while Hau takes on Guzma, leaving the player to battle Lusamine. After her defeat, however, Lusamine then disappears into the wormhole, with Guzma chasing after her.
Afterwards, Gladion gives the player a Master Ball and the Moon Flute/Sun flute so the player can find Solgaleo (Sun)/Lunala (Moon) in order to bring Lusamine home. He then takes the player and Lillie to Poni Island to look for the kahuna for assistance.
After Lusamine is finally stopped and brought home, Gladion appears at Mount Lanakila, graceful for the player's help. He once again challenges the player to a battle, and after being defeated, tells them he understands why Lillie thinks they are the best trainer.
After defeating the league, Gladion can be found at Aether Paradise, where he gives the player a Type: Null as thanks. He can also appear as one of the challenges for the Alola Champion title.
In the anime
Unlike in the games, Gladion appears to be slightly kinder in the anime. He is also not affiliated with Team Skull in any way.
Gladion's first appearance in the anime is in "Lillie's Egg-xhilarating Challenge!", where he was shown in a picture along with his mother Lusamine and sister Lillie.
He made his first appearance in person in "A Glaring Rivalry", where he had a battle against Tupp, Rapp and Zipp, but quickly defeated their Pokémon with Lycanroc's Stone Edge. He was seen having a battle against a Sailor's Blastoise and later had a battle against Ash and Rockruff but the battle was interrupted by Team Rocket. He was reunited with his sister Lillie.
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
Gladion first appears in the Sun & Moon chapter, where he seen as a participant in a festival tournament being held in Iki Town. He was initially absent while the placement of the participants was being determined, but comes back when the tournament starts, and reveals he was absent because he was investigating a crack in the sky (an Ultra Wormhole) that was sensed by his Type: Null.
In the first round's second match, Gladion's opponent is Hau, Island Kahuna Hala's grandson. During the battle, Gladion asks Hau why he chose to participate in the tournament, and assumes it was because he wants to surpass his grandfather. When Hau answers that he participated because he thought it would be fun, he tells him off and calls him weak. He eventually manages to defeat Hau, advancing him to the next round.
In the second round's second match, Gladion is up against Moon, who reveals that she saw the same kind of crack in the sky Gladion did, and asks him to tell her about it, to which he agrees on the condition that Moon can defeat him.
Powers and Abilities
Intelligence: Gladion has shown many times to be an intelligent boy. When Lillie was kidnapped by Team Skull, he knew that they taken her to Aether Paradise. Gladion even has some knowledge on Ultra Beast and Cosmog. In "Family Determination", Gladion knew that the Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio statues were deathtraps when Lillie though they would open a door, and corrected her when she though there was an invisible bridge in front of them. Though he does not prefer strategic battling, he instead believes in his Pokémon strength and luck. Shown in "A Glaring Rivalry", where he used his Lycanroc against a Sailor's Blastoise, despite the type disadvantage, and in Sun and Moon Adventures where he told his Porygon to use Zap Cannon on Moon's Mareanie despite Zap Cannon's low accuracy and Porygon's poisoned condition lowering it's accuracy even more. This worked and Moon lost the battle.
Strength: Despite his somewhat scrawny appearance, Gladion is quite strong as shown in "'A Dream Encounter", where he managed to keep his Type: Null from going outside even when it tried to resist him.
Skating: As shown in "Family Determination", Gladion is a fast and nimble Ice Skater, as seen when he skated across an ice field with a group Jangmo-o, Hakamo-o, and a Totem Kommo-o blocking him, and retrieved the Fairy Memory with little time to react.