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 remain 10 years old. Have any of his new female companions topped original tomboy Misty? 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.
Strengths as a character:
- Kind but willing to stand up to injustice
- Actually defeated prior companion May in a Contest battle (usually, more-experienced original characters best new ones)
- Her Piplup brings all the boys to the yard
Dawn's low on the list because she didn't add much to Pokémon. She's hardheaded and girly, and while that's fine, we already experienced that with May.
It doesn't help that Diamond and Pearl is one of the lesser Pokémon series, with mediocre voice acting and stiff jokes (at least in the English dub). Thus, Dawn isn't my favorite, but she has her moments, and her friendship with Ash works well enough.
Iris, from Pokemon Best Wishes, snatches fourth place.
- Strong battler (has defeated both Ash and Dawn)
- Shows girls that Dragons (her signature type) aren't just for boys
- Doesn't give me nightmares like Best Wishes companion Cilan does
Despite these boons, throughout the show, we see her frequently berate and insult Ash; her trademark insult is calling Ash a little kid. Not exactly the most supportive, are you, Iris? Additionally, she has the misfortune of appearing in what most fans consider to be the weakest season, keeping her from rising any higher in the countdown.
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.
- Interestingly, didn't care for Pokemon much at first
- Grew exponentially as a Trainer and Coordinator thoughout the series
- Her inexperience helped show us as Ash's progress as a Trainer as he mentored her
Like most of the series, I'd recommend watching the English subbed version of Advanced Generations. However, if you go with the dub, you amusingly get to hear voice actress Veronica Taylor talk to herself (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.
- Active Trainer (not just a damsel in distress)
- Developed feelings for Ash
- Stars in arguably the best seasons of the show
- Contributes to lovably-bad jokes like this
I like Misty, but one of her few problems 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 gives way for a sideline cheerleader to support Ash, losing her spunk and charm.
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.
In a way, Serena IS the original companion to Ash. No, she wasn't in the first Pokémon season, but she encountered and befriended Ash years before Misty did.
- Has an old history with Ash, and her crush on him keeps things interesting
- Easy to relate with her struggle to find herself
- Actually changes her hair and outfit halfway through her season. Now that's rare in anime!
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. Pretty cool to see a realistic mother-daughter relationship explored. Okay, so this isn't Citizen Kane, but for Pokemon it's nice to see some extra layers of depth.
For her quirkiness, empathetic nature, and deveopment, she's my favorite companion to Ash.
Which Pokemon girl do you prefer?
You know, I'm really struggling not to just Ash's female companions his girlfriends, due to the implications.
Regardless, even though the Pokémon anime is geared towards children, even adults and old fans can appreciate some of the depth, charming music, and diversity of more recent seasons.
For now, feel free to vote for your favorite, and I'll see you at our next countdown!