Ash Ketchum Love Interests In The Pokemon Franchise


The Pokémon anime depicts Ash traveling with various female companions over the years. Many of these girls have developed feelings or crushes on Ash during their adventure together.

Although Ash himself is mostly clueless when it comes to romance, many fans enjoy guessing which girl is the best match for him as a potential lover.

This list considers some of the major female characters who have traveled with Ash, and analyzes the strength of their relationships with him.

Misty Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

While the connections range from platonic to vaguely romantic, these girls share a meaningful friendship and rapport with Ash.

By evaluating factors such as compatibility, chemistry, and the depth of their relationships, we can find out which of Ash's partners feels best suits him as a partner.

Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

Of course, interests and chemistry are subjective, so reasonable minds may disagree. But examining Ash's travels sheds light on his closest friends and most heartfelt bonds – precious relationships built on trust, encouragement, and years of shared experience.

Analyzing these relationships leads to a fascinating discussion about an iconic anime character.

All of Ash Ketchum's love interests in the Pokémon franchise

Here is a list of all of Ash's female companions in the Pokémon franchise.

7. May

May traveled with Ash during the third generation Pokémon anime series, which took place in the Hoenn region. Her character is based on the female playable protagonist of the Ruby and Sapphire video games. When May and Ash first met, they had little experience with Pokémon.

As a result, Ash gives May advice – not only about Pokémon battles but also about general Pokémon care and knowledge. Over time, May decided to become a Pokémon Coordinator rather than a Trainer – Coordinators compete in competitions that showcase their Pokémon's appearance and abilities.

May Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

Although May and Ash had very different goals, they still had a close friendship and eagerly helped each other. Compared to her previous partner Misty, May displays little romantic interest in Ash during their journey.

Unfortunately, after she stopped traveling with Ash, May made very few appearances in the Pokémon anime. But she will always remember Ash for how much he taught her at the beginning of her Pokémon journey.

6. Lily

Lily is a student at the Pokémon school that Ash attends. He is based on a character from the Sun and Moon video game. His mother is Lusamine, who plays a major role in the story of those games. As a result, Lily spent a lot of time with Ash and was heavily involved in the story of the Sun and Moon anime.

Lily Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

When Ash and Lily first met, Lily was afraid of Pokémon. Over time, Ash helped him become more comfortable with them.

This eventually led to Lily getting her own Pokémon – an Alolan Vulpix named Snowy. With Ash's guidance, Lily worked hard and became a good Pokémon battler, which she credits to his positive influence.

It is unclear whether Lily has romantic feelings for Ash. She certainly admires him, but her exact feelings remain unclear. It wouldn't be shocking if she liked Ash as more than a friend, considering how much time they spent together and how much he helped her.

5. dawn

As Ash's companion throughout the Sinnoh region, Dawn made her mark as a unique personality among the female leads.

Based on the game protagonists from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Dawn quickly differentiates herself from predecessors Misty and May when she moves gracefully rather than angrily over her destroyed bike.

From the beginning, Dawn's primary goal was to become a top Coordinator like her mother, giving her and the similarly driven Ash an equal footing from which to pursue ambitions.

dawn | Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

Their mutual understanding led to a mostly comfortable partnership, with Dawn even dressing as a cheerleader during Ash's gym battles as a sign of support. At times, Dawn shows signs of arrogance about her appearance when around Ash.

However, any budding romance eventually gives way to a brother-sister-like relationship, defined by teasing banter and unconditional support.

dawn | Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

While some girls lived in Ash's shadow, Dawn stood on equal footing with her in pursuing dreams, offering sympathy rather than longing. Their friendship went beyond stereotypical gender roles.

The quick-witted boyish Ash finally finds the yin to his yang – a confident, stylish girl who cheers him on as a peer rather than a fan. Equal partnership arising from mutual encouragement.

4. Bianca

Bianca, an original character introduced in the fifth Pokémon film, shares a charming but complicated dynamic with Ash. Throughout the film, Ash teams up with Bianca and the famous Aeon duo Latios and Latias to save the idyllic town of Alto Mare from invasion.

Bianca Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

However, complicating matters is Latias' ability to completely transform into Bianca. On several occasions, it is unclear whether Ash is interacting with the real Bianca or whether Latias is actually disguising herself as Bianca due to her obvious affection for Ash.

Nonetheless, both the real Bianca and Latias-as-Bianca grow close to Ash during their dangerous adventure. When it was time for Ash to leave, Bianca rushed to see him off, where she suddenly planted a kiss on the stunned Ash's lips.

But this climactic moment also contains lingering ambiguity – was it really Bianca or the playful Latias behind this daring kiss?

Bianca Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

So when a relationship emerges between Ash and Bianca, it remains shrouded in mystery, with Latias's duplicity and lust making this dynamic all the more complex. Their relationship ends with a surprising romance, but fans wonder if these feelings belonged to Bianca herself or to the legend next to her.

3. Melody

Melody made her debut in the second Pokémon film as a free-spirited young woman on Orange Island who was chosen to perform at a famous festival, though she initially lacked enthusiasm for the role.

Melody Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

But her attitude changed when the dark-haired Ash arrived and he greeted her with an enthusiastic kiss, causing immediate tension with a jealous Misty.

Melody's adventurous, playful personality was a contrast to Misty's protective nature towards Ash. The two even indirectly make sarcastic remarks about their mutual interest in the oblivious instructor. However, they soon unite to help Ash fulfill an ancient prophecy and save their land.

Melody Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

Throughout the film, Melody flirts with Ash all the way and does not hide her strong attraction towards him, establishing herself as Misty's romantic rival.

Her competitiveness and confidence in expressing her emotions stood out from the usual subtle dynamics between Ash and his female teammates.

Unfortunately for fans of this fiery island maiden, Melody disappeared from the anime after the film's climax as suddenly as she entered. But she left her mark on Ash's growing list of beloved girls as a brief but memorable ardent admirer.

2. foggy

As the first female companion to join Ash on his journey, Misty holds a special place in fans' hearts. During their travels to Kanto and Johto, there are hints that Misty has a crush on the Dense trainer. She is often jealous when other girls, such as Melody, receive Ash's attention, which is a sign of her deep affection.

Misty Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

The English dub specifically featured Misty's romantic interest, leading to fan speculation. An image song composed specifically for the dub has Misty openly singing about her feelings for Ash, making them explicit.

Therefore for Western audiences, Misty became the ideal “childhood girlfriend” among Ash's female friends.

However, like Serena, any reciprocity of Misty's feelings slips from Ash's mind, oblivious. Despite Misty reuniting with Ash in the final episode, there does not seem to be any meaningful progress in their relationship.

Misty Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

The writers leave it as a fluke forever – what would have been a tragedy, where the demonstrative girl has unrequited affection for the boy who is too distracted by the Pokémon to even notice. It's an innocent “will they, won't they” dynamic that resonates through nostalgia rather than resolution.

1. Serena

Ash and Serena's history extends beyond their journey together into the XY region. They first met each other as children at a summer camp organized by Professor Oak.

When Serena injured her knee, Ash selflessly came to her aid and helped bandage her injury. Although it was a small act of kindness, Serena remembered it for years.

Serena Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

When they met again she was pleasantly surprised when she recognized that the adventurous boy from the camp was none other than Ash.

Unlike some of Ash's other female companions, Serena was clearly targeted as a potential girlfriend from the beginning.

Ash's determination and perseverance inspires Serena to find her dream and move away from her controlling mother's narrow ambitions.

Their bond also went both ways – when Ash was down after losing an important gym battle, Serena was there to cheer him on.

Serena admires Ash's optimism and empathy. And Ash found a kind friend who believed in him despite failure and self-doubt.

The history of their childhood friendship adds depth, and Serena's feelings point to an innocent first love.

Serena Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

Of all her traveling companions, Serena shares the most heartwarming bond with the honest boy who once selflessly ran toward her.

When it came time for Ash and Serena to part ways, Serena mustered up the courage to kiss Ash before leaving for Hoenn for the Pokémon Contest.

Dense as ever, Ash seemed oblivious to her affectionate gesture. However, the kiss was Serena's way of finally making her feelings clear to him after they traveled together in Kalos.

Of all of Ash's female companions, Serena has the strongest evidence supporting mutual romance. Yet Ash has always been portrayed as more focused on his Pokémon journey than relationships.

Serena Pokemon (Credit: Satoshi Tajiri)

His character also melds with each new territory, never allowing meaningful relationships to fully mature on screen. So despite Serena's moments of tenderness hinting at young love, the writers never gave any of Ash's relationships official status.

Now that Ashe has stepped back from the lead role after decades, it looks like his staid bachelor lifestyle will continue without a long-term partner.

The eternal boy chasing his dreams has transcended the possibility of on-screen romance. So while Serena shares the sweetest chemistry with Ash, fans should be satisfied with their potential love being left out in the open as Ash remains forever young, always adventuring in the world of Pokémon.


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