Gary Oak is Ash's very first rival. He is based on the character Green from the Pokemon video game series. Like his counterpart Blue, Gary hails from Pallet Town and is the grandson of renowned Pokemon researcher Professor Oak. Like Ash, Gary collected Gym badges and competed in Pokemon League tournaments; Kanto and Johto. At first, Gary was arrogant, always traveling with cheerleaders who called out his name and constantly teased Ash's group whenever they met. After losing to a more powerful opponent in the Indigo League, Gary dispenses with the cheerleaders and then becomes more open-minded. At the end of season 2 (Orange Islands), Ash and Gary have their first Pokemon battle in which Gary's Eevee beats Ash's Pikachu. When the battle is over, Gary starts on a new journey to Johto and this subsequently influences Ash to follow him there. After losing to Ash in the Johto League, Gary decides to pursue a career in Pokemon research, impeding his rivalry with Ash. Until his loss to Ash, Gary had always thought of Ash as a poor trainer but he eventually comes to accept him as his equal. After Ash defeats the Battle Frontier and comes back to Pallet Town, Gary and Ash have a battle between Gary's Sinnoh Pokémon, Electivire, and Ash's Pikachu. Electivire easily beats Pikachu, which inspires Ash to travel to Sinnoh. While in Sinnoh, Gary becomes a Pokémon researcher working with Professor Rowan. By this time, Ash and Gary have become more of friends than rivals and they even team up to protect Pokémon from Pokemon Hunter J. After working together to protect a group of Shieldon from Pokémon Hunter J, they both agree to remain "friends until the end." Gary appears in seasons 1-5 and 9-12. Gary's Japanese name, Shigeru Okido, is a reference to Shigeru Miyamoto, who mentored Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri.