: Nakano Saito
: Naka, Sai
: 26 (27 when she goes on the Mega arc)
: Sun-kissed skin, she has shaved the sides of her head for an undercut to form a deathhawk (which is where the hair is longer from front to back), which she'll put up in a ponytail. Her hair is blonde, can be flipped either side as it's long enough, her eyes are light grey, and she is 5'06" (167.6 cm) and weighs 145 lbs (61.2 kg). She has pierced ears, a scar running from the middle of her cheek down her neck from a Pokemon's Slash attack that grazed her, and a scar on her stomach from when she attempted to stop a Horn Attack. She has scars on her body from training her Pokemon and using her body to block hits. Mixed lean muscle from casually working out on her journeys and training from her father.
: She usually wears a tank top in various colors, jean shorts, and black combat boots in hotter weather; a t-shirt of varying colors, a black jacket (for when it gets chilly or windy), jeans, and black combat boots in temperate weather; and a long-sleeved shirt of varying colors, heavy-duty jeans, and black winter boots in winter weather. She always has a brown backpack that's covered in floral pink and green flowers that holds all of her items. She also has a white and black checkered belt that houses her PokeBalls, and a white lab coat when out doing research in the lab and a camouflage jacket when she’s out on field research.
- Detail-Oriented, Compassionate, Caring / Sadistic, Direct, Goofy
- She makes sure she doesn’t miss anything.
- Stems from not wanting to be ignored like she was.
- Caring and responsible towards everyone, including those she’d rather hurt or leave alone.
- Innate, as she honestly couldn’t live with herself if she were to grievously injure someone. She’ll even go back to take care of someone’s injuries she caused if she weren’t still in shock from her disassociation or from what she’s done.
- Conflicts when she disassociates due to perceived trauma and adrenal stimulations, making her become more of who others perceived her as when she was younger: a sadistic monster who likes hurting others. Suffers from moral identity issues.
- Tries to be patient.
- Stems from times where she’s been impatient with herself, her friends, or her Pokémon, needlessly hurting others when she didn’t need to.
- Can be blunt when speaking to others.
- Stems from how she was taught and experiences dictated things went smoother when she didn’t beat around the bush.
- Can get too burnt out and depressed when working for too long.
- She already forgets to eat when she’s working, but without any breaks and burying herself in her work will cause interpersonal struggles between her Pokémon and humans other than her coworkers, who are rightfully worried for her. Stems from feeling like she has to prove herself (or others) that she’s a hardworking researcher.
- When comfortable or drunk, shows her true self more, who is someone who loves to have fun, physically affectionate, uncaring of others opinions of her, and super confident in herself.
- This other side of herself is hidden behind trauma when she was a child. This is built upon her want to be herself again and not worry anymore, her inhibitions completely melting away when drunk or comfortable.
- Helpful, Curious, Analytical, and Empathic Narrator
- Whether it be logic or emotion, she searches for a reason behind any statements, questions, and even body language. Prioritizes problems first and wants to help. Sometimes tries digging too deep and is wrong and/or gets too nosy and breaches boundaries unintentionally.
- She doesn’t want to leave any stone unturned due to fearing someone could be worse if she doesn’t at least see something. Sometimes recognizes when she shouldn’t butt in, but has a hard time keeping herself from helping others as she wishes others would have helped her.
- Hyper aware of others, herself, and her surroundings.
- Stems from hoping others pay attention to her when she needs help, and from past experiences of things having gone wrong.
- Dependent on how others perceive her
- Will become defensive if they view her negatively. Will do anything for them to change their view of her, including change or hurt herself.
- Stems from trauma of how others perceived her negatively for trying to force her tired Pichu to continue.
- Prioritizes her friends and research over herself, as she rarely ever had any friends who’ve stuck with her, and research is her life, becoming a workaholic.
- Craves personal interaction more so than her own health because nobody aside from her family really cared about her health beyond their own need to help her for something she could do.
- Chameleon-like in behavior - will fit and become a foil or similar to others in the group.
- More innate, as she struggles to find herself and who she is for her entire life, but it was exacerbated from the trauma. While she understands who she is while drunk could largely be herself in her truest state, it could also just be the alcohol talking or just impulsive behavior stemming from something she thinks is there. She doesn’t actually believe it’s herself.
: Naka has stage fright, but it goes deeper than that. While it doesn’t rear its ugly head when she’s showing off what she knows to people she’s teaching, she feels like people are judging her when too many look at her while she's trying to enjoy a Pokemon battle - from how sadistic she seems and the way she treats her Pokemon, even when not during a fight. It stems from when she was in school. Presentations she excelled at, but when she was to do a mock battle with her Pichu, she kept pushing her Pichu, even if she seemed unable to fight. People began to speculate she wasn't sympathizing with her Pokemon, and thought she was abusing them. Why else would she tell a literal Baby Pokemon to continue the fight even though she was too hurt to continue? It was found out from egging Naka about this that she knew Pichu can do better in a fight, she just needs to push her limits. However, the kids took that as she was just being cruel and sadistic, and that even her perfectionist ways was going to end up getting her Pokemon killed. They bullied her anytime she got close to having a Pokemon battle, even as she got new Pokemon. Now, she can't handle a Pokemon battle when there's big group of people watching, and the trauma has stemmed into general stage fright when there are too many people looking at her whenever she's doing something that isn't about saving someone's life (as the adrenaline will cause her to forget about the audience, but it may make her hesitate). Because of this fear, it has prevented her from doing any gyms in Galar, and she’s staunchly avoided stadium tournaments, contests, or performances. To combat this, she tries to be more perfect to avoid criticism about how she treats her Pokémon, but this can cause her to fuss too much about how she’s perceived and may even freeze her in place. When her Pokemon act out of line, she feels as if she can't properly discipline or scold them, but she does it anyway. But it still embarrasses her deeply. If too many people label her as an abuser, she will lose her research, her standing in her career, and her general way of life. Even if irrational, it isn't unfounded. The fear of losing her work stems from this. Losing her work is like losing her life. It is her life. It was what she wanted to do as a career when she was younger, and she wasn’t going to let bullies tell her she couldn’t research Pokémon just because of her battling performance with her Pichu when she was eleven. However, because of her passion, she is just as afraid of losing it as she is afraid of losing her Pokémon. This shows though that she has the persistence to ignore the haters, she just needs to not let others opinions affect her and be true to herself.
: Born to Bansyou and Aria as a firstborn in Accumula Town, Unova, she was brought up in a loving family in a carefree yet hardworking city full of peace and song. Along with her younger brother, Mason, she was taught that perseverance, determination, patience, and hard work was what drove a person to do amazing things and she was rewarded as she learned these principles in life, being given a Pichu when she was ten as a way to graduate her to her new stage in her life - an attempt at getting her career started in research. She was a quick academic student, taking college classes after her academia life and learning about the mythos and theories of the legends and myths of the world and what concepts they were associated with. Not only that, but she was a wonderful socialite despite her tendency to take things literally and overanalyze everything, making her a favorite among many people. That was until her battle performance with her Pichu. She pushed the Baby Pokémon too hard, thinking she could do better and win, but she learned quickly that people were quick to label her as a horrible person for the way she forcefully projected her arrogant view of her Pokémon. It was just Naka’s perfectionism preventing her from ever wanting to lose and her stubbornness had her shamed. She lost the curated patience quickly, and her tolerance for being beaten and accosted shifted. This small-scale fame became widespread infamy on the school grounds of Unova, and she was quickly ignored or bullied. Losing all of her friends, she begged her family to move somewhere else, somewhere where she can restart anew.
They moved to Sinnoh, her parents wanting to give their daughter a fresh start. Not only did they need to move to Sinnoh for their daughter, but the next sumo wrestling competition was happening in Veilstone City and there was an opening to become a nurse in a hospital for humans in Jubilife City. They took a new home in Sandgem Town, giving themselves and their two children a city to ease themselves into. Sandgem Town was more rural than Accumula Town, but it wasn’t as loud or bustling as Jubilife, who they knew would have affected their children developmentally. It was a good call, because Naka and Mason began to integrate themselves into the life in Sandgem Town, and it was the perfect place for Naka to see Professor Rowan. After having a talk with Naka’s father and hearing how much she needed this career choice, she was given a scholarship by the aging professor to learn in a summer camp, and be taken on field trips to other regions to learn more and potentially catch any Pokémon. She felt like she was saved, further cementing how almost codependent she became to her research. In her travels around the world, she collected quite a few Pokémon, including an Eevee, Arrokuda, Hatenna, Diglett, Wishiwashi, and even resurrected a fossil to acquire an Aerodactyl. She was more excited she got new friends than worried about them ever fighting, even if they had the knack for it. Mainly because she wanted to prove everyone wrong who bullied her.
Her academia life soon found her working as an intern for the research team under the professor’s guidance in Sinnoh, and she found that she loved just watching Pokémon. Earlier in her life, she found herself people-watching and passing judgments onto them because of how bitter she felt, but this felt fresh and new and exciting. She began to learn why not just Pokémon do the way they do, but people as well. And maybe, if she learned how those kids were who bullied her, she can understand where they were coming from and how to avoid that situation in the future. She was starting to see patterns, and the psychology of such fascinated her to start taking high school level lessons in psychology. After a couple years of working as an intern and making headway on her research and academia, she was allowed to travel Sinnoh and gain the badges. She obtained a rather rambunctious and impatient Chimchar to start her journey, but found herself walled soon after, even with the Pokémon she obtained from her field trips, who haven’t had time to be properly trained yet. But, she now had experience of being out in the wild alone and not on a field trip. After she turned sixteen, she was told to go to Kanto to aid in teaching a few kids who would be starting their journeys how to care for themselves, basic survival tips, and maybe help them find a career path. During this journey, not only did she catch a Paras, but she also learned how to train Pokémon properly from a battle-hungry kid who had been tutored under Blaine.
Refusing to do the gym challenge in Kanto, she completed her quest by getting the children situated enough in Kanto to start roaming around on their own, and she returned to Sinnoh to try at the gym challenge. After a couple years, she managed to obtain at least six of the eight badges. Because of her potential and her ability to train Pokémon and be relatively safe, Rowan suggested she work under Birch and do the gym challenge there to not only hone her skills, but do ecological study while she did the gym challenge. She received a Treecko when she got there, and captured a Lotad, Mudkip, and a female Snorunt throughout her travels. She managed to get all the eight badges despite some difficulties and harrowing adventures, but she finally felt far better to compete for the last two badges in Sinnoh. Returning to Sinnoh, that’s what she did.
Having obtained sixteen badges now and feeling like nothing could stop her twenty-one-year-old self with two teams - one for battle/protection and one for research - she began traveling the world in her new job. In Unova was when she found a Deino she took in, the capture of which had her realize the world outside of her passionate research was far colder and darker than she wanted to admit. This wasn’t just survival like she had been worrying about, this was the ethics and morals of humankind. How could she protect herself and others from people who could be so callous with a life? She began making her code, wishing not to become the monsters she saw as she found poachers along her research stints in Kalos and Kanto, the events of which caused the scars down her face and neck and on her stomach.
However, her constant workaholic nature caused her depression and anxiety to form as she continued to work. While her performance hasn’t suffered, her mental state starts to hit a thin line when she doesn’t take a break from her work. The most she had felt for now was burnout, but changed when she began her mega evolution journey.
Because of how close she was to Aero, she could have chosen Aerodactyl to work for mega evolution, but she felt closer with her Sceptile, Silenus, and he had an arguably bigger drive to gain strength than Aero. When he was a Treecko, he was so mild and logical that he wouldn’t even fight. He saw no point in getting stronger and it was just a waste of time if it was all for glory and trinket collecting. That was until he realized it was to protect others when he evolved into a Grovyle to protect his trainer from a band of overly aggressive Numel and Torkoal. While he didn’t beat them all, he did distract them long enough to help Naka get out of there. Since then, he takes training a bit seriously and doesn’t skip out. Naka understood his former point of view, but when she needed her Pokémon to be stronger so she can get badges to access areas she otherwise couldn’t without a lot of paperwork and get some protection from the dangerous Pokémon she’ll be researching, it was still annoying. Sometimes, she would yell or berate her Treecko, who saw Naka’s vocal frustrations as her being a kid who didn’t know better. Why should he fight for a girl who was about strength and an inherently selfish reason?
It turns out, she wasn’t about strength in and of itself. Naka only saw strength as a tool to further her career and as a shield or weapon to protect herself and others. On numerous occasions, she’s saved him, whether it be quick thinking commands, returning him to his ball where he was safe but left herself open, or diving into her Pokémon if pulling out a ball wasn’t faster than her lunge. She just wanted to make sure he was okay and would do anything to make sure he was okay, even sacrificing her own health. He finally evolved into a Sceptile when fighting Winona for the second time, using the trees to their advantage before fainting and leaving Winona’s team crippled enough for the rest of Naka’s team to finish off the gym leader and get her badge.
Feeling like she was doing more than she needed to and understanding that he now had the strength to be her guardian, he began protecting her more. One moment was when Naka was swimming with her Wishiwashi and Barraskewda to get to Sootopolis City, only to suddenly get attacked by a swarm of Carvanha and Sharpedo. Naka didn’t want to release her other Pokémon, but Silenus escaped his Pokéball to fend them off so Naka could flee back up to the surface, where she returned him and relaxed from the harrowing near-death scenario. Feeling like she could trust and respect him far more than she thought she could, she began treating him as more of a friend.