PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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In gen 1, your character is based on Ash and your rival's is based on Gary, and since they are Trainer and Rival, you can choose their names.
In gen 2, Red is based on Ash, and did EVERYTHING you did in gen 1 (started in Pallet town, defeated Team Rocket, became the champion, etc)and has his Pokemon (Pikachu, Snorlax, Charizard). Blue is based on Gary (but have different hair and clothes), and did also everything your rival did in gen 1 (also started in Pallet town, became the champion) and has your rival's Pokemons.

So, why do they have these names, instead of Ash an Gary, or one of the developers' names?

Actually, Ash is based on Red and Gary is based on Blue. Games came first.

2 Answers

4 votes
Best answer

Seeing as how the games were created years before the Anime was created there WAS no Ash or Gary at the time. Red and Blue were simply you and your rival (the two names happen to be opposite as well).

But of course, using the names Red and Blue for two main characters in an Anime is a bit strange... so they made up new, more human names for the both of them - Ash and Gary

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3 votes

They are not meant to be the same characters. They are described as counterparts, something that does similar things of another.