Pokemon Scarlet & Violet players shocked after bullied character wins popularity contest

Noelle Corbett
Official art for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet's Teal Mask DLC

Japanese gaming magazine Nintendo DREAM has released the results of its Pokemon Scarlet and Violet character popularity contest, and players are surprised by the outcome.

Now that Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are complete with last year’s The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC, players are looking back at their Paldean adventures and the friends they made along the way.

While the Gen 9 games have had their controversies, one generally praised aspect is the characters. From standout designs to interesting development, Scarlet and Violet introduced some great characters like the tragic rival Arven and the relatable everyman Larry.

A newly released Nintendo DREAM poll, translated and shared to a ResetEra forum, gives us a good idea of where Paldea’s cast stands in the eyes of fans, though many were surprised by who came out on top.

Though the full results are only available in the magazine, the poster was able to share the top 10 and some other highlights

The top 10 is as follows:

  • 10: Iono
  • 9: Grusha
  • 8: Larry
  • 7: Nemona
  • 6: Drayton
  • 5: Julianna/Florian (player characters)
  • 4: Carmine
  • 3: Rika
  • 2: Arven
  • 1: Kieran

Honorable mentions include Raifort (20th), Professor Turo (36th), and Professor Sada (37th).

In number 1 is Kieran, one of the major characters from the DLC. Kieran gets quite the arc between The Teal Mask and The Indigo Disk, going from a shy young boy who idolizes Ogerpon to a power-crazed bully hellbent on proving his strength.

At the end of The Indigo Disk, Kieran realizes the error of his ways and reconciles with the player and his sister Carmine – though not before trying to steal the Legendary Terapagos for himself.

Kieran’s behavior and edgy redesign have made him controversial among fans. While many sympathize with him as a shy outsider who feels overlooked and goes too far when trying to prove himself, others find him annoying and immature.

Some have even gone out of their way to taunt Kieran, using Ogerpon against him and finding other ways to one-up him.

Unsurprisingly, reactions to Kieran’s victory are split. Serebii’s Joe Merrick joked, “Kieran won something,” referencing the character’s constant losses to Scarlet and Violet’s player character.

One player commented on the forum post saying, “Kieran being number one is a travesty,” with another saying they were “legitimately gobsmacked” to see him win.

Others expressed disappointment that their favorite characters did not win or rank higher and frustration that the silent protagonists made it into the top 5.

It is important to note that a poll like this is a very small snapshot of the fandom, as it was limited to Nintendo DREAM readers. According to some stats shared, 74.7% of participants were female, and just under half were between the ages of 21 and 30.