PokéShipping (Japanese: サトカス SatoKasu) is the ship between Ash Ketchum and Misty and is historically one of the most prolific pairings within the Pokémon franchise, alongside AmourShipping and RocketShipping, to the point that it is even named after the franchise. It is also one of the few pairings that has been officially recognized by The Pokémon Company and can be followed across many of the anime adaptations, including the manga and novelizations.
Ash and Misty first encountered each other in Pokémon, I Choose You!. Misty was fishing in a river, and she hooked Ash and his injured Pikachu who had been chased by a flock of Spearow. After pointing Ash in the direction of the nearest Pokémon Center, he borrowed her bicycle. They reunited in Pokémon Emergency when Misty arrived at the Pokémon Center with her broken bicycle, demanding that Ash pay her back, saying she'd continue to follow him until he does. As the series progressed, the pair developed a strong bond and had many adventures together, with Misty being the primary female protagonist through the Kanto region, the Orange Archipelago and the Johto region with Ash. Misty continues to make reappearances in subsequent series as well since her departure.
Despite Misty's initial insistence that she is only following Ash until he pays for her bike, in Ash Catches a Pokémon, she admires his deep love and care for Pokémon. Early on in their journey, she primarily serves as a tutor to Ash, explaining how the Badge system works, even assisting him in battles and training. From the beginning, she is happy to offer her own Pokémon to support Ash in his battles, such as seen in Showdown in Pewter City.
Despite Misty's best efforts to convince Ash to pass by Cerulean City, when they do make it, Misty's sister, Daisy, questions if the pair of them have become a couple, which embarrasses Misty. And, when the group reaches Pokémon Tech, Misty becomes frustrated with Ash and Brock when the pair become infatuated with Giselle.
At the end of The Ghost of Maiden's Peak, during the festival, Ash begins to see Misty in a different light, and common romantic tropes occur, such as a bubbly background and romantic harp strings. When Misty invites Ash to dance, he happily accepts by taking her hand. The pair are shown holding hands again during The Tower of Terror while traversing the mist on their way to Lavender Town. When Ash decides to investigate the tower alone, he is knocked out by a falling chandelier. Outside, Misty voices her concerns to Brock about letting Ash and Pikachu enter the tower alone. When the pair go inside and find Ash unconscious, Misty is visibly upset, holding Ash in her arms before he regains consciousness. Misty and Ash continue to remain very protective of each other, always showing concern at any risk of injury and supporting each other through their hardships and battles throughout the series.
During a scene from The Bridge Bike Gang, Brock unknowingly pins Ash to his seat at the Pokémon Center and Misty has a frightened look on her face. Later, in the same scene, Misty is seen trying to free Ash, with Pikachu's help.
By the time Ash, Misty and Brock reach Cinnabar Island, she'd forgotten that she started to follow Ash because of her bike, indication that the two had developed a strong friendship. Misty continues supporting Ash as he battles through the Indigo Plateau Conference, and attempts to cheer him up when he loses to Ritchie, before losing her temper with him.
Ash, Misty, and Brock travel onwards to the Orange Archipelago, with Brock leaving them early on to help at Professor Ivy's laboratory. During Poké Ball Peril, Team Rocket comment that they've caught "a pair of very romantic creatures" and how Misty and Ash are "lovebirds," which they both deny. A sub-theme during this arc is the closeness of their relationship, culminating in Misty admitting to herself her feelings for Ash in the second movie. Other characters who also comment on their closeness include Danny, the Navel Island Gym Leader, Tracey and Melody.
The events of Misty Meets Her Match, are another key episode that people supporting PokéShipping point to, despite Rudy's interest in Misty and their impromptu date, she continues to cheer for Ash in their gym battle. Recognizing her feelings for Ash at the culmination of their battle, Rudy comments to himself that "She wants him."
During The Heartbreak of Brock, while giving Brock a pep talk about pursuing a relationship with Temacu, Misty responds, "Take it from me, it's a lot easier to like someone who likes you than to like someone who doesn't." Brock then asks her, "How do you know?", after which Misty gasps, blushes, then coyly replies, "Well, that's...what I've heard...".
Misty notices when others show an interest in Ash, such as in Love, Pokémon Style when Macy invites Ash out to lunch, interrupting her saying that Ash is "booked." Later in the same scene, Macy questions Misty's right to interfere in Ash's personal affairs as she's not his girlfriend. Misty looks quite unimpressed as Macy continues flirting with Ash.
When Misty, Ash and Brock split up in Gotta Catch Ya Later!, initially she is upset that Ash doesn't seem to care that the three of them will be going their own ways. However, by the episode's conclusion, as they think back on their journey together, they're all upset, but concede they will always be the best of friends. As a parting gift, Misty gives Ash a handkerchief, which is customary in Japan and other East Asian cultures, to "wipe away tears" when someone leaves your life (e.g. a death, a breakup, or saying goodbye to a good friend).
Post Original Series
After their initial adventure, the pair are always excited to see each other and continue traveling together for short lengths. This is seen during their time together at the Mirage Kingdom in Hoenn, traveling to the Battle Factory in Kanto or reuniting when they meet up during the series, Sun & Moon series. This is last seen in their final reunion in A Fated Face-Off!, where the two not only reunite but engage in large amounts of friendly banter before traveling together again one last time from this episode until The Rainbow and the Pokémon Master!, alongside Brock.
Ash also has a special lure featuring Misty's likeness that he received as a gift from her and has been seen using it on numerous occasions, carrying it with him throughout his adventures. He notably replaces it with Cilan's lure in A Fated Face Off! in front of Misty, and jokingly insists Cilan's lure is superior, provoking the latter.
In the manga series The Electric Tale of Pikachu, based on the anime, Ash has a canonical crush on Gary's older sister, May. However, he occasionally shows attraction towards Misty as well. When Misty learns about Daisy Oak, she teases Ash about being attracted to older women and wonders if she should be careful (she is 12 in this adaptation).
Over the course of the manga, their interest in each other is played up, including in Play Misty For Me where Ash finds Misty eye-catching, especially when he first sees her in her Gym uniform, which happens to be a swimsuit. In the same chapter, Misty's sisters tease her about being attracted to younger men.
For the adaption of the Trovita Island Gym battle against Rudy in You Bet Your Wife, when Rudy proposes to Misty, Ash calls him a "creep" and tells him that "if you want Misty, you'll have to go through me first!". Misty blushes and wonders if Ash is in love with her, and seems disappointed when Ash goes on to politely ask Rudy for a formal badge challenge.
In Epilogue: Wild Type, in a letter he writes home to his mother, Ash recounts his adventures in the Orange Islands and brief glimpses are shown. These include a panel with Ash and Misty facing each other, blushing furiously, in the scene, Ash asks, "Which jacuzzi...was this?". In the letter, Ash describes this moment as "some other stuff too..." saying "I can't tell Mom about that!".
- Misty's Song is a song from the Pokémon 2.B.A. Master soundtrack in which Misty sings about her feelings for Ash but is afraid she'll be rejected, culminating in her saying that she loves him.
- On the Pokémon Christmas Bash CD, there are two songs that show strong evidence of her feelings towards Ash.
- The first song on the CD entitled Pokémon Christmas Bash has the three main characters along with Team Rocket singing about what they want for Christmas. In Misty's stanza, she sings about how the only thing on her wishlist is a dance with Ash.
- Another song on the CD called Under the Mistletoe has Misty singing about how she wants Ash to know her feelings for him and how she wants to meet Ash under the mistletoe. On the other hand, Ash is singing about how he hopes not to be caught under the mistletoe. Near the song's end, after leaving Ash feeling paranoid about the mistletoe, Misty has got Ash under the mistletoe. Ash realizes this, freaks out, and runs off to eat more cookies while leaving Misty wondering what his problem is.
- He Drives Me Crazy is a song from Totally Pokémon and Pokémon 3: The Ultimate Soundtrack that is sung from Misty's perspective, although it was not sung by Rachael Lillis. This song highlights the feelings that Misty has but does not understand.
- It Takes Two is a song used to advertise Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. Mostly in reference to the new Double Battle feature, but it features Ash and Misty singing about how well they work as a team.
Takeshi Shudō's novelization contains numerous scenes and internal character monologues that were not in the anime, and several of these relate to Ash and Misty's relationship. These monologues include Misty reflecting on her romantic fantasies of the ideal man and compares Ash unfavorably to that fantasy while acknowledging that Ash is the first boy she's spent a significant amount of time with.
In Chapter 2 of the second volume, Ash and Misty encounter an old man in the archaeological museum outside Pewter City, who asks Misty if she is Ash's girlfriend. Over Misty's furious objections, the old man compares her and Ash to a Nidorina and Nidorino and even tells her that she is "well-matched" with Ash.
In this show, it is explicitly stated that Misty has feelings for Ash and wants to tell him, but that she is too scared.
In the final opening theme song for the Japanese Advanced Generation series, Misty was shown in a "Queen of Hearts" card together with Delia Ketchum. Under cartomancy, the Queen of Hearts card was meant to universally represent the mother and future wife of an individual.
- Shippers' Paradise on Bulbagarden Forums
|This article is a part of Project Fandom, a Bulbapedia Project that aims to write comprehensive articles on every aspect of the Pokémon Fandom.|