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Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to revisit a special couple from the most successful franchises in the history of anime and games. I am sure many have grown up with its minute, fluffy, cute and sometimes majestic, weird or lethal Pocket Monsters. Their original creator, Satoshi Tajiri, got inspired by the living creatures (particularly insects) that share the world with us, leaving a simple but enduring message: life is fascinating, the adventure starts out of your comfort zone, so… gotta catch them all!
Up at this time, the complex world of Pokemon emulates better and better its real world counterpart. Why, would you ask? Well, the original 151 Pokemon have multiplied over the decades, reaching over 700 species by now. What started as a humble 8bit game for the Gameboy console has expanded into a multiverse of video games, card games, manga, 19 films, several short films, a musical, a theme park and of course, an apparently never ending anime series. Who would have thought that a simple formula of a team of friends discovering and training critters to compete against other friends or enemies would make it this big into the world?
Still, this is an article about emotions and memories, so let’s go back to our couple. The protagonist of the Pokemon anime series, known as Ash Ketchum outside Japan, has had several human companions throughout his adventures. The team usually is made up by three, and at least one is a girl. And although Dawn, Serena, Miette and others have been considered as crushes for Ash, there is one fundamental girl to the story of our hero: Misty, the Water Pokemon trainer.
We know that she started the journey to become a professional Pokemon trainer and accompanied Ash for the largest number of episodes before taking the responsibility of her family’s Pokemon Gym in Cerulean City. It does not take too much intellect to notice that, when Ash parts ways with her, he is emotional. Best friend, you said? Come on, Ash! You two should have ended together! And here we have proof for that:
1. Because They Improved Their Talents Together
When these pair of lovebirds met, they were very inexperienced on Pokemon matters. Ash was just trying to get well with his first critter (Pikachu), who was uncooperative at the time. And so, Ash was actually running away from a flock of Spearows to protect Pikachu when they crashed over a clueless Misty, who was fishing on a river. He took her bike to keep running away and in the end, it was ruined by Pikachu’s thunder attack, so she kept following him around to make him pay her back.
What started like an incidental and electric encounter, ended up as an enduring relationship where they evolved together. Although Misty, belonging to a family who ran a Pokemon Gym, had more experience than Ash, she was deeply insecure at the beginning. Her older sisters were excellent at swimming and with their Pokemon, so she had to go a long way to win confidence on herself. But Ash was always there for her! Which brings us to our next reason…
2. Because of Their Complementary Personalities
If there is something Misty has that is obvious for everyone but her in the beginning, is maturity and rationality. When there is a crisis, the team can count on her, especially if there is water involved. Let’s not forget she saved Ash from drowning in Pokemon 2000.
As for Ash, have we ever encounter someone in the Pokemon world more enthusiastic and positive than him? Let’s remember the episode about The Legend of Dratini, where he is singing and marching. At the end of the song, Misty is also singing. That enthusiasm is contagious and healthy for our couple!
3. Because They Fight But Take Care of Each Other
Ash and Misty’s different personalities not always combine, of course. They have been fighting since the first day they met, after all. About directions, about the Pokemon… it does not matter if this creates more problems, like when they ignored Jigglypuff in the chapter The song of Jigglypuff.
But, as the Nurse Joy says in the episode Electric Shock Showdown!, when two people fight, it means they care about each other. Let’s remember the episode Challenge of the Samurai, where Misty warned Ash about danger. He did his proper part too in Beauty and the Beach, and who can forget that intense scene in the cave of Get Along, Little Pokemon? Injures sometimes are handy to create such situations 😉
4. Because They Also Show Jealousy
Yes, this pair is young and thus tends to show jealousy. Despite not being exactly handsome, Ash’s character has attracted several lady friends throughout the series and Misty has not kept calmed or composed about it. Although in the episode The School of Hard Knocks it’s not clear who she is jealous about, in the movie The Power of One, it’s obvious that she does not like the flirtations of Melody towards Ash. Also, when Latias kisses Ash on the cheek in the movie Pokemon Heroes, she is shocked.
Ash shows jealousy too, first in connection to a girl in the episode Princess vs. Princess, and later in connection to a boy in the episodes Navel Maneuvers and Misty meets her match. So, best friends? Yeah, right.
5. Because Their Pokemon Get Along Together
There is a popular saying that pets are similar to their owners. In particular, Pikachu and Togepi are one of the cutest pair of furry balls in the anime world. They eat together, drink together, bath together, sleep together, explore together, get happy together… you get it, right?
And, let’s not forget those times when Ash and Misty borrowed Pokemon from each other. A Pokemon is a very personal companion for a trainer, so not anyone is entitled to ask for that. Ash has borrowed Staryu and Psyduck in The Fire-ing Squad!, while Pikachu and Bulbasaur fought with Misty in the episode Princess vs. Princess. So, couples who borrow Pokemon should stay together!
Although the creator of Pokemon has stated that he would prefer to exclude romance from the show to focus on adventure, we can see signs all over the place that something is going on with our characters. So, maybe in the future, when they grow up a little, something might turn up. Some people say that childhood friends are the most important we will ever have, and in the case of Ash and Misty, they have gone through lots of adventures. So, let’s wait and hope for the best!
Which are your favorite Ash and Misty moments? Would you like to see more of them in future Pokemon episodes? We welcome all your comments and suggestions!