"Oh hello there, sport! I just thought I'd get dressed up for this dandy celebration." — Professor KukuiProfessor Kukui is the resident professor of the Alola region.
Kukui's appearance is drastically different from USUM due to his Buddyization. Most notably, he wears a shirt, blue tie, and a green sweater vest (the same shade as the accents of his original outfit). He also replaced his shorts and sandals with slacks and loafers. His hair is released from his bun and carefully styled without his hat. He still retains his wedding ring.
Kukui has become a much more fatherly character, treating the younger characters like his a protective parent. He takes a lot fewer risks than before his Buddyization and encourages others to do the same. He is unshakably polite to everyone he meets.
Team Buddy ReturnsEdit
At some point before the story begins, Professor Kukui went to Team Buddy's spa and was consequentially Buddyized. He has also been working with the Aether Foundation in order to create the AetherDex, though it's unknown whether he started before or after his Buddyization.
Sirius/Stella first meet Kukui at the festival in Iki Town. Hau and Hala are completely thrown by Kukui's new style and attitude, though Hala hides his confusion better and asks him about his time in the spa. Kukui sings the spa's praises and pushes Hala, Sirius/Stella, Hau, and Ulani into going, even saying that he plans on taking Burnet there later. At Hala's reminder, he invites Ulani and Sirius/Stella to his lab in order to pick up something. As he leaves, he stops and greets everyone he passes.
When Ulani and Sirius/Stella go to Kukui's lab, he greets them and offers some pink malasadas he made. He ignores Ulani's rude attitude and updates the AetherDex for them. Before he lets the two leave, he warns them that they should stay away from Ultra Wormholes for their own safety. When Ulani questions why he wouldn't want to go and research the Ultra Beasts that come out of there (as Kukui studies Pokémon moves), but he dismisses it as being too boorish for him. He leaves Sirius/Stella in order to read to the local Pyukumuku and sends the two on their way.
Kukui appears with Ulani in Heahea City after she ran off to get help during her and Sirius's/Stella's confrontation with Mr. Buddy. Kukui takes everything in stride, even saying that Ulani and Sirius/Stella should be nice to bad guys like Buddy. He then tries to convince Buddy to come with him to meet with Team Buddy and join them, but as the former leader, Buddy knows not to trust such an invitation. After Buddy runs off, Kukui thanks Sirius/Stella and Ulani for their help, invites them to go meet his wife Burnet, and leaves to track down Buddy.
- In Team Buddy Returns Kukui is voiced by Michael Kempf