Top 5 Pokémon Girls (From the Anime)
Alright, admit it. If you were born in the 90's like I was (or perhaps if you parented a kid then), there's a good chance you loved Pokémon. The games, the shows, the trading cards, the whole shebang. Veterans of the anime probably best remember the classic adventures of Ash, Misty, and Brock. Since then, Ash has met several new friends, explored many different lands, and somehow still manages to stay at 10 years of age. Have any of his new female companions topped original tomboy Misty by being more interesting, unique, and powerful? We'll find out by counting down the five best girls within the Pokemon anime!
Our first character is Ash's third female companion, from the Diamond and Pearl series, Dawn. Dawn's low on the list because she didn't add much to Pokémon. She's a new Pokémon Coordinator (someone who performs breathtaking acts with Pokémon rather than using them to battle), but we already had that with previous companion May. She's hardheaded and girly, and while there's nothing wrong with it, again we already experienced that with May. It doesn't help that Diamond and Pearl is one of the worst Pokémon series, with mediocre voice acting and stiff jokes (at least in the English dub). Thus, Dawn isn't my favorite, but she did impressively defeat May in a Pokémon Contest once, and her friendship with Ash is sweet.
Iris, Ash's fourth lady friend, is better portrayed in the video games than the anime. In the show, Pokémon Best Wishes, we see her frequently berate and insult Ash; her trademark saying is calling Ash a little kid. Not exactly the most supportive, are you, Iris? The reason she's number 4 instead of 5 is that she's actually a decent battler, and focuses on that instead of Pokémon Coordinating, like her two predecessors. She uses several strong Pokémon, specializing in fierce Dragon types, and has defeated Ash and Dawn as well as won a tournament. She demonstrates to kids that Pokémon battling isn't just for boys; girls can also become Pokémon Masters. By the way, I'll admit I'm no fashion expert, but Iris, what's up with your hair?
May, the second girl to travel with Ash, aspires to become the best Pokémon Coordinator ever. She joins Ash in the Advanced Generations series as an inexperienced Trainer, and he helps teach her how to care for Pokémon. May's unique in that she actually disliked Pokémon for awhile, and had little interest in raising them. Additionally, even when she warmed up to the creatures, she lacked confidence. Seeing her overcome her doubts and becoming a skilled Coordinator was all the more rewarding because of this. I'd recommend watching the English subbed version of Advanced Generations. However, if you go with the dub, you get to amusingly hear voice actress Veronica Taylor talk to herself constantly (she plays both Ash and May). Overall, May's not my favorite, but she's a worthy and interesting companion. Plus, she and I have basically the same reaction when someone tries to steal our food.
The first friend to join Ash, Misty was one of the original trio of protagonists. She raises Water type Pokémon, and proves a capable battler. She acts like a tomboy, but also shows a more sensitive side, which gives her some nice depth as a character. To top it all off, the series Misty stars in are the only ones that seem to be as good in English as they are in Japanese; most jokes and stories prove entertaining even in the dub. One of the few problems with Misty is that she eventually captures a baby Pokémon called Togepi, and starts to spend most of her time caring for it. This means the tough and capable Pokémon Trainer we knew largely makes way for a sideline cheerleader to support Ash. I know some fans will want her as number one, and I respect that, but for me there's one girl who tops even Misty.
* Technically, a younger girl named Bonnie becomes the fifth girl to join Ash, but we're not counting her because she's not old enough to raise Pokémon yet. Serena joins a few episodes later than Bonnie, but takes a larger role in X and Y.
** Pokémon Performers act and dress up with Pokémon to entertain audiences. They're pretty similar to Pokemon Coordinators.
In a way, Serena IS the original companion to Ash. No, she wasn't in the first Pokémon season, but she touchingly encountered and befriended Ash years before Misty did. Later, in Pokémon X and Y, she becomes the fifth* girl to travel with him. Ash's kindness to Serena causes her to develop a crush on him, and audiences can relate to her struggles to express her feelings. Like many of us, Serena isn't sure of what she wants to do with her life. Her mother wishes her to become a Pokémon Racer (similar to a real-world horse jockey), and we experience Serena disobey her parent's wishes, then eventually decide to become a Pokémon Performer**. Serena goes out of her way to support Ash, but we also see her grow and advance as her own character. For her quirkiness, empathetic nature, and depth, she's my favorite companion to Ash. To see her at her best, try to find the English sub of X and Y online. Oh, and Serena's so unconventional she got a new outfit and haircut in the middle of her show. That almost never happens in anime!
Which Pokemon girl do you prefer?See results without voting
This ends our top five list for Ash's greatest female followers. You know, I'm really struggling not to just call them his girlfriends, due to the implications. Regardless, even tough the Pokémon anime is definitely geared towards children, even adults and old fans can appreciate some of the depth, enchanting music, and diversity of more recent seasons. Maybe I'll revisit them one day with my own kids. Regardless, come back for more Pokémon trivia and countdowns!
And if you'd like an interactive experience, take a quiz to see which original Pokémon best suits you!
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