Pokemon Let's Go: is there a canon rival name and protagonist name?

We know how it goes. When a big RPG comes out and it tasks you with naming the main character, not everybody wants to come up with a name or use their own. Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let's Go Eevee are no different in this regard - they'll prompt you to name both your lead character and your rival, which has led to a flurry of searches and questions about what the canon name might be.

Things aren't as simple as they usually are, after all - originally Pokemon protagonists were often named after versions - like Pokemon trainers Red, Blue and Green, some of whom you might bump into in Pokemon Let's Go's Kanto adventures alongside the classic Kanto starter trio of Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. Some others renamed those guys after the anime characters, Ash and Gary. You can hardly call these guys Let's and Go or Pikachu and Eevee and these aren't the anime characters, so... do they have a canon name? Well... it's not as clear-cut as with the canon name of Persona 5's protagonist. But there is something of an answer if you're really stuck.

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Pokemon Let's Go Rival Name: the closest thing to canon

While there isn't actually a canon name in any medium for this new rival character yet, Nintendo has offered up at least something of a suggestion themselves: in pre-release material for Pokemon Let's Go, the rival character has been called Trace

Trace is a bit of a nicer rival than in other games. He's less antagonistic, and actually even helps you out throughout your adventure, offering up tips on where to go and even handing voer items to help make your life a little easier. You'll still do battle, however, and he'll pick the opposite of whatever Pokemon you choose - if you pick Pikachu he'll take Eevee and vice versa. 

What about the protagonist? Well, there's a name offered up by Nintendo there, too, though there's no clue as yet as to if this name will be regarded as canon long-term. There's two names:

  • The male protagonist is called Chase
  • The female protaognist is called Elaine

These names also made their debut in Nintendo's official E3 footage of the game pre-release, as streamed online. There doesn't appear to have any real direct meaning in the same way that Xavier and Yvonne did in Pokemon X and Y (X and Y, get it?) - but at least if you're struggling to come up with a name, there's these semi-official offerings. Once you've decided on a name, make sure you read up on our guide on the best nature for Pikachu and Eevee as your starter Pokemon.

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