PokéShipping (Japanese: サトカス SatoKasu) is historically one of the most prolific pairings within the Pokémon franchise, 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. The pair were being chased by a flock of Spearow, and 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 following him until he does. As the series progressed, the pair built 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 till he pays for her bike, in Ash Catches a Pokémon, she admires his deep love and care for Pokémon. She serves primarily as a teacher for Ash early on in their journey, explaining how the Badge system works to him, and even assisting him in battles and training. Even early on, 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. However, when the group does make it to Pokémon Tech, Misty gets frustrated when Ash and Brock become infatuated with Giselle.
At the end of The Ghost of Maiden's Peak, during the festival, Ash first sees Misty from his perspective, and common romantic tropes occur, such as a bubbly background and romantic harp strings. Misty then invites Ash to dance, which 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 to find Ash, they find his body, and Misty is shown 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 one 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 on, in the same scene, Misty is seen trying to free Ash, with Pikachu helping.
By the time Ash, Misty and Brock have reached Cinnabar Island, she'd even forgotten that she had started following Ash due to her bike's destruction, cementing that the two had developed a strong friendship. Misty continues supporting Ash as he battles through the Indigo Plateau Conference, and when he loses to Ritchie, attempts to cheer him up.
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 their relationship, which culminates in Misty admitting her feelings for Ash to herself in the second movie. Other characters also comment on their closeness, including 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 as 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 recognizes when other characters show an interest in Ash, Such as seen with Macy in Love, Pokémon Style. Macy invites Ash out to lunch. However, Misty interrupts saying that Ash is "booked," and later in the same scene, Macy questions Misty's right to interfere in Ash's personal affairs when she's not his girlfriend. Misty looks quite unimpressed as Macy continues to flirt with Ash.
When Misty, Ash, and Brock split up in Gotta Catch Ya Later!, Misty is initially upset the Ash doesn't seem to care that the three of them are going their own ways. However, by the episode's conclusion, when all three part ways and think back on their journey together, they're upset but concede that they will always be the best of friends. As a parting gift, Misty gives Ash a handkerchief which in Japan and other East Asian cultures, gifting a handkerchief is done 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 Sun & Moon series.
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 through his adventures.
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 inYou 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 his letter home to his mother that he writes in Epilogue: Wild Type, Ash recounts his adventures in the Orange Islands, and brief glimpses are shown of some of them. 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..." and "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 part of Project Shipping, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each couple in Pokémon.|