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Paul being repulsive was the point, since you're expected to root for Ash (the protagonist).
I have this theory that Chimchar suffers from PTSD because if the Zangoose. No wonder Chimchar started crying in that tag battle. Paul didn't seem to have considered that.
Paul was like your average competitive player, only keeping the strong Pokémon And Releasing the rest. The problem is that unlike the games, where Pokémon are just numbers and stats that you collect, the anime treats Pokémon as living breathing creatures.
I don't know the exact definitions, but I think the main characters are Ash + Pikachu + compagnons + TR (I wish Bulbapedia had an article about this). The protagonist has always been Ash (even tough Dawn was a co-start in DP).