Top 5 Pokémon Girls (From the Anime)

Pokemon Overview

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!


5. Dawn

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 | Source

4. Iris

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?


3. May

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.


2. Misty

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.


1. Serena

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!

Your Favorite

Which Pokemon girl do you prefer?

  • Misty.
  • May.
  • Dawn.
  • Iris.
  • Serena.
  • Don't forget Jesse from Team Rocket!
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!

More by this Author


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 21 months ago

Interesting hub. I must admit that I never got past the first pokémon series, but it's interesting to know that Ash gained quite a few companions along his journeys.

Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy Gill 21 months ago from Louisiana Author

You're not alone, Steven. A lot of fans left when Misty did. I wonder how things would have turned out if they'd kept her?

Mudkip979 20 months ago

Dawn is the best serena sucks waiting 60 episodes to see a watered down pokémon contest is not interesting

Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy Gill 20 months ago from Louisiana Author

We all have our own opinions, Mudkip; if you like Dawn best, that's perfectly fine. I believe that Serena has a lot of interesting character development, but she might not be for everyone.

Sal 18 months ago

Misty got boring in the Johto saga and most fans actually didn't care she left, beyond shippers or fanboys. May was probably the best for the reasons you mentioned and her funny personality, although Dawn was cool too.

Serena is a mixed bag, I like her crush on Ash but the writers barely do anything else with her. She almost feels like a more laid-back version of Dawn

nipster profile image

nipster 18 months ago

Misty, and May make great ships for Ash.

Wednoct 16 months ago

What the hell?! In what way is DP the worst series? Excuse me, but I think we didn't watch the same anime. DP is by far one of the best thanks to the large amount of character development: Ash wasn't a noob anymore and he learnt from his mistakes whenever he lost a battle. The only detrimental factor was the large amount of filler, but this is balanced with Dawn's side-story, which is (at least in the Japanese version) handled with the same degree of importance as Ash's plot. Which leads me to the next point: how on earth is Dawn worse than fricking Iris? I mean, shite, Iris is Misty 2.0 with an annoyance expansion pack! She can't be anything less than third!

However, I must say I've got no objections towards Serena; at first she was fourth in my list (Iris is dead last, of course) because while I liked her at first, I thought her character became shallow as episodes passed without her doing anything other than gushing over Ash. But damn, Serena quickly took the lead this year. Really quick.

My list:

5. Iris

4. Misty

2 & 3. A toss between Dawn and May. I like both of them almost equally.

1. Serena, so far.

Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy Gill 16 months ago from Louisiana Author

Take it easy, Wednoct. To each their own, right?

Personally, I found DP less interesting. Ash was basically the same as the previous season, Dawn was too similar to May, and the voice acting (at least in English) was awful. I'm not a big fan of Iris, but she was at least an attempt at something new, it just didn't play out well. But if you disagree, that's fine; we're all entitled to our own opinions.

Zad 16 months ago

Why do you keep saying a lot of fans left when Misty did? The reason the writers permamently dropped Misty and didn't bring her back is exactly because the majority of the fandom didn't care. May was more popular than Misty a decade ago, and that's why Misty was gradually phased out.

You really think the writers would have given Misty such an early permanent departure in the show if people wanted her back over May like Brock over Tracey? Of course not.

Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy Gill 16 months ago from Louisiana Author

Zad, I think in the long term, more fans would have stayed with the show if they'd kept her. But we can agree to disagree.

15-11-2002 12 months ago

Misty is the best

Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy Gill 12 months ago from Louisiana Author

Agreed, Misty was pretty awesome!

ClearWing 4 months ago

Good list!! Imo Best Pokégirls go

5. Iris - I haven't seen the Best Wishes series, so I can't say much about her.

4. Misty - Original Pokégirl but she didn't really do anything or changed much at all over the course of her journery with Ash. She began stalking him for a bike than forgot about it and became Ash's Co-Mentor alongside Brock but once Togepi came along she didn't do much. Ash had shown improvement from Kanto to Johto in terms of his skills as a trainer and didn't need her or Brock to hold his hand anymore. So without the mentor role she didn't do a lot and was pretty much just...there like a piece of furniture. She didn't work on her goal of being a Water Pokémon master much. She started off strong but got stale after a while. She may be the original Pokégirl but nostalgia can't save Misty here.

(Bonnie): She's actually developed and mature really well over the course of XY(Z). Plus she's adorable and that Brock-Esques Running Gag of hers is a combination of cute and hilarious.

3. Dawn or May - I'll start with May: She started as a bit of a selfish character not even liking Pokémon and using them as an excuse to travel the world, but she found coordinating along the way. She was inexperienced and naïve and a bit selfish like I said but she grew into a good trainer in her own right, better coordinator, and wound up adoring Pokémon when her travels with Ash ended. She did have moments when she developed a big head/ego and a loss would be required to set her straight but she was still great. Plus I like the dynamic she had with Ash forming a strong Student-Mentor bond with him.

2. Dawn or May: She already knew what she wanted to do and had lots of confidence to do so which ultimately caused her defeat at two separate contest back to back which shook up her confidence and made her skip a contest or two I believe. Afterwards she changed up her entire approach to contest and ultimately found greater success than May ever did as a coordinator. Her Pokémon didn't have much personality aside from Piplup & Mamoswine but that's about it. Dawn's dynamic with Ash is probably my favorite of Ash and all of the other Pokégirls. I loved how they were best friends or having a relationship akin to that twin siblings.

1. Serena - I can't say enough good things about her. There's more to Serena than a girl who has a crush on Ash. At first before finding her goal she didn't much aside from try to get Ash's attention but after deciding to be a performer she's shown more character development than most of the other girls that have traveled with Ash. I know I said the dynamic of Ash and Dawn is my favorite of the Pokégirls but I think Serena ties with Dawn for my favorite dynamic a Pokégirl has with Ash. Not because I ship the two (Admittedly I'm a HUGE amourshipper and I'm proud to be)!! Imo the relationship of Ash and Serena is imo the most heartwarming of the girls and Ash. I love their interactions how they motivate each other to go the extra mile: Ash is Serena's prime inspiration and his never give attitude was instilled into her and has saved her from defeat multiple times or it gave her strength to press on forward. Serena has been a key motivator for Ash this time around and does seem to motivate Ash more than previous girls did. Alexa outright said Serena was an unexpected source of inspiration Ash needed to get him going after he was defeated by Viola. At that point he was questioning how he would defeat her and seemed to be on the break of giving up but Serena TWICE motivated him enough to win that battle, again with Korrina, and more recently with Wulfric where the one and only argument they had took a big toll on them both but ultimately snapped Ash out of the worst depression he's ever been in and helped him remember why he REALLY became a trainer than master Ash-Greninja since their argument helped clear his head of all the negativity he had dwelling in it at the time. Serena is my favorite Pokégirl hands down.

Hi 4 months ago

Serena sucks and i wish she cjoked on strawberries and nutella!!!! Shes a brat who is obsessed with Ash! A jerk to her pokemon! And her haircut sucks balls she also looks stupid when she blushes!!!!!!!!!!! GAAAAAAHHHH CHOKE ON NUTELLA SERENA!!!!!!!!!!!!

foxy 3 months ago

i hate misty, im re watching the anime form the very beginning and shes awful, she barely battles, half of the time all she does is insult ash or brock or starts to hurt the feelings of pokemon around her and even when she's told she's hurting their feelings she doesnt care. She tells ash how to be a better trainer or how bad hes doing but she has no right when she doesnt fight with her pokemon or train them the majority of the time during the series and then during johto all she does is look after togepi while still commenting on what ash does and even then she only got togepi because when it was hatching she snatched it off ash and so then she was the first thing togepi saw. i find myself just calling her a bit of a bitch half of the time because she isnt even helpful, not even during the team rocket battles, i dont understand why people think shes the best

Dash 2 months ago

Hmm, interesting list - You made some interesting points, although I think there's a few things to add:

6) Iris - Yep: unsupportive, bad style, no chemistry with other characters. Plus while the writers were trying to do something different, her background and goals are all very vague, and while we see her go after them, there's nothing real tangable to say where she's going, aside from becoming better. All in all, there's no real reason for her to be there.

5) Bonnie - She's great in providing the comic relief, has a great character, develops massively, and while she isn't on any sort of mission, she ends up being important, saving the world from destruction.

Her real strength though is her love for Pokemon, which really shines through at different points.

Heck if anyone needs to replace Ash as the 10-year-old main character, then Bonnie's a good candidate.

4) May - Yup, you said it

3) Misty - Yup, nothing to add

2) Serena - Yes she is great! I do have a couple of very slight issues though. Firstly the English VA is terrible for her. Secondly the start of the series didn't play out very well for her. She started off as just as a sideline character, much like Misty. While there's nothing wrong with that, it does make her one of the less focused characters.

1) Dawn - I sort of see what you're saying with her not adding anything, but then if you look at the DP series, there's already a large amount added to get used to. She becomes the new rookie of the journey; the person new to everything so that newcomers can learn about the series. They gave her her own episode a the start just so that we could be introduced to things, and in that sense she becomes the main character, allowing Ash to have a rougher storyline that doesn't reset.

This presents probably the best dynamic of the series because her and Ash don't have to fight for space. While she is just as big a character as Ash, she never pulls him away from his dream and they often learn from each other and whatnot - They have great chemistry, from both having really headstrong, determined characters.

Blaze Arcane 2 months ago

Serena is the best love it or hate it the only person who had love for ash

Sudowoodo 2 months ago

As someone who has yet to watch past Johto, though I have started watching again, and will try:

The removal of Misty was disappointing to me, and finding out about it from Japan while watching Johto made me not want to finish Johto, but the real reason I never finished Johto was that after about episode 200 the series really started to diminish in quality. I think Misty not winning the Whirl Cup in Johto was the thing that really annoyed me, and probably all Misty fans; especially, in light of Ash (a complete joke and novice of a trainer) winning the Orange League.

The series' biggest flaw is the battling, because there is no consistency or logic behind it. At least in Kanto many of Ash's gym wins were explained to be out of pity and dumb luck. Every fan has certainly been annoyed every time one of Ash's pokemon takes over ten hits and then beats the opponent's pokemon with one direct hit, or Ash's pokemon dodges everything. Making Ash's pokemon Mary Sues was very stupid on the writers' part. The series as a whole would have had better longevity, and have been a better compliment to the games, if Ash's pokemon skills matched someone like Gary Oak, who actually catches the pokemon he encounters, and whose pokemon seem evolved and experienced enough to beat each gym.

Dawn 7 weeks ago




4.serena and iris

Anon 3 weeks ago

I don't get all this love that Serena gets?

To me she's a bit... unbearable

She's a bit annoying and dare I say it, Mary-Sueish?

She feels like fanservice because people have wanted someone to have a canon crush on Ash for so longg


Heres my list (Don't kill me)

5. May: never watched Advance, sorry

4. Serena: *^^

3. Dawn: Almost wanted to Ship Pearlshipping

2. Iris: Your such a kid for disagreeing

1. Misty: It's called nostalgia. Also I'm a sucker for Red Head tsunderes


It's a shame I dislike Serena because I reallY like Clemont.

(Geekchicshipping is slowly eating at me tho)

Amourshipper 3 weeks ago

I love serene and ash. There are great together.

My list is..

1. Serena

2. May

3. Dawn

4. Iris

5. Misty

A+S=AMOUR 3 weeks ago

I am I love with ash and Serena. There great together.

My list...

5. Iris

4. Misty



1. Serena

Serena is my favorite.

#1 Negaishipper 10 days ago

Nice characters bore me, Iris and Misty for the win!

I don't really like Serena for the same reasons as 'Anon' and May and Dawn are basically the same in my book (Heaps of the lists have them tied (hint hint))

My list would be similar to 'Anon's but at the same time not really

1. Iris = Sure she doesn't have much character development but I still enjoy watching her on her journey and I can't genuinely say that about most of the other Pokegirls for some reason.

2. Misty = ^

3. May and Dawn = They are the same. May has a bit more development than Dawn so I'd probably put her above Dawn if I had to but... I don't have to.

4. May and Dawn = ^

5. Serena = Hence 'Anon's point.

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