Yet at the same time he fills the niche of the shoujo-type character that Ash's past coordinator friends had previously filled, which quite honestly, seemed fairly obvious from his introduction. If you want to say he fills the "obvious" niche Brock fills, then I can say he fills the "obvious" niche the female coordinators have filled just as easily, except he's not being hated by Dawn fans for somewhat taking her role.He fills the obvious niche Brock does, caretaker of the group, cooks food, generally acts as the voice of reason. However other than that its pretty obvious he's his own character.
The point being, as this article illustrates, is that Cilan and Iris aren't merely a replacement Brock and [insert female trainer] respectively, and, to act as you have been, claiming that character X had substituted character A and character Y for character B is a bit of a shallow comparison.
On the article itself:
I'd like to argue that that it can, considering that race itself is just a figment of our imagination, so if Brock fits the criteria of stereotypical 'black' features for a fictional character in the minds of the population, then he's as black as any multi-racial dark skinned individual in people's minds. The whole idea of compartmentalization is that we simplify things, so Brock's nonexistant anime race is simplified.and the fandom continues to ignore that our perception of "race" cannot apply to a fictional world and compartmentalize away
In any case, I too found the article quite good.