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220px-Tracey debut
Tracey Sketchit is a Pokémon watcher and a former traveling companion of Ash from the Orange Islands saga of the anime.

History

Tracey first appeared in The Lost Lapras when he came upon Ash getting ready to battle three otherTrainers. He was impressed by the condition of Ash's Pikachu and decided to take notes. He got to know Ash and Misty better after he helped them save an injured Lapras. After hearing that Ash and Misty knewProfessor Oak, his hero, Tracey decided to invite himself to the group.

Tracey displayed some of his Pokémon watching skills in In the Pink, where he took some time to observe apink Rhyhorn. He was able to watch it and sketch it without it noticing him at all until Ash approached it.

In Tracey Gets Bugged, he expressed that his favorite type of Pokémon was Bug-type Pokémon, much to Misty's dislike. During their time on Murcott Island, the group came upon an elderly and injured Scyther. Tracey ended up building a strong bond with Scyther and was able to defeat Team Rocket. In the end, Tracey decided to add Scyther to his team.

While on their way to Pummelo Stadium, Tracey got to meet one of his idols, Dr. Quackenpoker, a Pokémon watcher who specialized in researching Magikarp. Tracey picked up a few pointers from the older watcher and got to count how many Magikarp evolved into Gyarados.

Character

In general, Tracey is a gentle person, and has a hard time saying no to anyone, especially to girls. In A Date With Delcatty, he took care of Misty's chores and helped Daisy with various tasks around the Cerulean Gym.

Tracey is a lot like Brock in many aspects. He has a broad knowledge about Pokémon and this has helped him and his friends in their journey many times along the way. Also, similarly to Brock, he seems to have a soft spot for pretty girls, but to a much less extreme degree. He seems to have some standards as he tends to be more drawn towards women who exhibit strength and courage rather than just any pretty girl he sees. Also, he is more self-conscious and doesn't go overboard about them as Brock does, expressing his interest by simply drawing them.

There have been rare incidents where Tracey was seen losing his temper. In The Lost Lapras, Misty comments that she doesn't know how famous Professor Oak is and Tracey barks back at her, saying that Professor Oak is the most respected researcher on the entire planet. Another time this happened was in Journey to the Starting Line, when a boy named Gilbert said that he wouldn't want to have the annoyance of raising a Pokémon himself. Angered, Tracey yelled at him saying that training Pokémon was the most important part of being a Pokémon Trainer. He also lost his temper in A Tent Situation, desperate to go see Professor Oak, where he yelled at Ash, Misty, and Brock for babbling, and again in Showdown at the Oak Corral, when the Magikarp Salesman tried to sell him a Magikarp.

Tracey's Pokémon watching usually involves him observing a Pokémon and sketching it. He has special binoculars that allow him to take measurements of a Pokémon that is far away. Tracey also has unnaturally good eyesight, as seen in The Joy of Pokémon, where he was able to tell that the person paddling past them at a high speed was Nurse Joy. He was also able to tell that her arms were wider than other Nurse Joys after seeing her for only a split second.

Tracey has some tricks of the trade when it comes to Pokémon watching. To avoid being detected by the Pokémon he is observing, he always makes sure that he approaches it from downwind to avoid his scent being picked up by his subject. He also changes his breathing rhythm to match the Pokémon's so that he will not be heard.

He also has the unique ability to know what move a Pokémon is going to use just by the way it moves about. This was seen when he knew James's Victreebel was going to use Razor Leaf while battling with his Scyther in Tracey Gets Bugged.

Like Tracey admires Professor Oak, Max seems to have an admiration for him. He complimented Tracey on his artwork and told him how lucky he was to be working with Professor Oak, and even wished that he could draw Pokémon one day. 

Trivia

  • Tracey has spent the least amount of episodes traveling with Ash out of all his traveling companions, accompanying him only through the Orange Islands arc (EP084-EP116).
    • Despite this, Tracey has appeared in more Japanese opening sequences after his retirement from the main cast than any of Ash's other friends with a total of 10. He is featured in 11 overall which places him just behind Brock who is featured in 12.
  • Tracey is the only one of Ash's friends with an officially revealed last name.
  • Tracey is the only main protagonist who has not had their hometown revealed.
  • Though most of the main characters have carried a Pokémon Egg with them, some multiple times, Tracey is the only main character whose Pokémon actually produced an Egg.
  • If the Egg of Misty's Azurill does not count, Tracey has only owned Pokémon from the first two generations.
  • In the Japanese version of the anime, Tracey's sketchbook has a Poké Ball symbol on the bottom right-hand corner and some writing in the top left-hand corner. This is painted out in the dub.
  • None of Tracey's Pokémon know moves introduced later than Generation I.
  • Tracey is the only main male protagonist who has not had any relatives revealed.
  • Tracey is Ash's only traveling companion not to be based on an in-game character.
  • Tracey is the only one of Ash's friends that owns Pokémon that has not battled against Ash.
  • Tracey is the first of Ash's friends who isn't a Gym Leader or related to one, and to date, he is also the only one of Ash's male friends to have this status.

Interview with Hidaka about Tracey's creation

There had been some debate between members of the fanbase in regards to why Tracey was created, as well as why he replaced Brock, and vice versa. In an interview with former Pokémon anime director and storyboard artist Masamitsu Hidaka, he stated his own reason why Tracey was created and why he replaced Brock. He (or rather, his translator) revealed that the true reason they replaced Brock is because, once they realized Pokémon was going to go global, there was a chance that Americans, if not anyone else outside of Japan, would view Brock as a racist stereotype because of his eyes (even though there wasn't an actual complaint yet). So they created a "tall, white, Anglo-looking character to replace him, just to be on the safe side". They later replaced him with Brock again once they realized that no one really cared as to what Brock looks like, and actually enjoyed his character. This also may explain why Tracey was never included in The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga.

However, this was only stated by Hidaka and not by any other staff member.

Screenshots

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