Top 5 Pokémon Girls (From the Anime)
The Pokemon Cartoon
Admit it. If you were born in the 90's like me, or if you parented a kid at the time, you probably know your Scythers from your Pidgeottos. The video games and trading cards contributed to the hype, but many of us youngsters especially enjoyed the original Pokemon cartoon.
Since the classic adventures between Ash, Misty, and Brock, Ash has met several new friends, explored many different lands, barely made a dent in his Pokedex list, and somehow managed to remain 10 years old. Throughout these journeys, have any of his new female companions topped original tomboy Misty? Find out by counting down the five best girls within the Pokemon anime!
Sinnoh-companion Dawn served as Ash's third female companion and debuted in the Diamond and Pearl show.
- Kind, but willing to stand up to injustice
- Actually defeated prior companion May in a Contest battle (usually, more-experienced characters best new ones)
- Her Piplup brings all the boys to the yard
She's hardheaded and girly, and while that's fine, we already experienced that with May. It doesn't help that Diamond and Pearl ranks lower in my favorite seasons of Pokemon, though I'll admit this may be due to me catching the English dub (go subbed whenever you can). Thus, Dawn isn't my favorite, but she does enjoy a sweet friendship with Ash, and I can definitely understand why some fans still favor her.
Dragon-Trainer Iris, from Pokemon Best Wishes and the Unova region, snatches fourth place.
- Proficient 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 arguably the weakest season of Pokemon.
Iris, you do you, but that hair must be costing you a fortune in shampoo bills.
May, the second girl to travel with Ash, aspires to become a champion Pokémon Coordinator. 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 showed us as Ash's prowess as a mentor
Like most of the series, I'd recommend watching the English subbed version of Advanced Generations. However, in the dub you amusingly get to hear voice actress Veronica Taylor talk to herself, as she plays both Ash and May.
Though we lamented at Misty's loss, May helped expand the Pokemon world by showing that not all its inhabits are in love with Pokemon, and we enjoyed watching May gradually warm up to the creatures alongside her Torchic. Plus, her connection to Gym Leader Norman (her father) introduced a intriguing conflict when Ash battled him; should she root for her friend or family? Unfortunately, May also brought along her little brother Max, an annoyance we do our best to forget.
Far from perfect, May is nonetheless a worthy and interesting companion.
The first friend to join Ash, Misty belonged to the original trio. She raised Water Pokémon and took place in several battles. Misty acts like a tomboy, but also harbors a more sensitive side, which adds some nice character depth.
- 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 she's not without fault. For instance, 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 gave way for a sideline cheerleader, 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 as we see in Pokemon X and Y, she encountered and befriended Ash years before Misty did.
- Has an old history with Ash, and her crush on him keeps things interesting
- Actually changes her hair and outfit halfway through her season, a rare feat 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 but Serena disobeys her mother's wishes, eventually deciding to become a Pokémon Performer. Pretty cool to see a realistic mother-daughter relationship explored. Okay, so this isn't Citizen Kane, but Pokemon fans appreciate it when the human characters serve as more than just generic molds to capture the Pokemon.
For her quirkiness, empathetic nature, and development, Serena is undoubtedly my Pokemon girl.
Which Pokemon girl do you prefer?
Even though the Pokémon anime is geared towards children, adults and old fans can nonetheless appreciate the depth, music, and diversity of more recent seasons. With new adventures on the horizon, plus the revamped formula courtesy of Pokemon Go, the future looks bright for Poke-fanatics.
But for now, feel free to vote for your favorite girl, and I'll see you at our next countdown!
Questions & Answers
Why does everyone hate Iris? I love her!
I'm glad you enjoy her. Try not to let others' opinions detract you from your own. I admit I caught more of Black and White in the English dub than sub (which typically isn't smart), and I recall Iris constantly berating Ash and generally being a nuisance.
Additionally, of all the shipping out there with the main girls, I'd argue there's the least evidence for an Ash-Iris, meaning there wasn't a romantic subplot for fans to follow. But again, you're more than entitled to your opinion, and even people who disagree (like myself) can admit Iris has some strengths.Helpful 2
Why isn't Misty the highest ranking?
Her relevance and growth basically halted once Togepi came along. She battled much less frequently and grew far less interesting, in my humble opinion.
Will you make a redo featuring the Alola Girls?
Thanks for the idea; maybe a few seasons from now I'll make a new female companion countdown.
If it helps, Mallow made it into my more-recent hottest gym leader ranking, linked to below.
Why does Serena from Pokemon always win?
She doesn't. Don't get me wrong, Serena does very well for someone so young, but she has her share of losses (she didn't win the championship).
She also has a spotty battle record, but that's understandable considering battling isn't her interest.
Will the character Serena have a storyline in Alola?
Old female protagonists have a history of making guest appearances in the next series, but given the new art style, this may be the anime to buck the trend, especially since we already got a Misty reappearance.
© 2015 Jeremy Gill