Ash Ketchum Love Interests In The Pokemon Franchise

The Pokémon anime has featured Ash traveling with various female companions over the years. A number of these girls have developed feelings or crushes on Ash during their adventures together.

Though Ash himself is mostly oblivious when it comes to romance, many fans enjoy speculating about which girl makes the best match for him as a potential love interest.

This list considers some of the major female characters who have journeyed alongside Ash, analyzing the strength of their bonds with him.

Misty | Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

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

By evaluating factors like compatibility, chemistry, and the depth of their relationships, we can explore which of Ash’s companions seems most suited to him as a partner.

Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

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

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

All The Love Interests Of Ash Ketchum In The Pokemon Franchise

Here is a list of all the female companions of Ash in the Pokemon 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 from the Ruby and Sapphire video games. When May and Ash first met, she had minimal experience with Pokémon.

As a result, Ash mentored May – not only about Pokémon battles but also on general Pokémon care and knowledge. Over time, May decided to become a Pokémon Coordinator instead of a Trainer – Coordinators compete in contests that showcase their Pokémon’s appearances and abilities.

May | Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

Though May and Ash had very different goals, they shared a close friendship and eagerly helped one another. Compared to their previous companion Misty, May displayed little overt 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 likely always remember Ash fondly for how much he taught her at the start of her Pokémon journey.

6. Lillie

Lillie is a student at the Pokémon School that Ash attends. She is based on a character from the Sun and Moon video games. Her mother is Lusamine, who plays a major role in those games’ storylines. As a result, Lillie spent a lot of time with Ash and was heavily involved in the plot of the Sun & Moon anime.

Lillie | Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

When Ash and Lillie first met, Lillie was afraid of Pokémon. Over time, Ash helped her become more comfortable around them.

This eventually led to Lillie getting her own Pokémon – an Alolan Vulpix named Snowy. With Ash’s guidance, Lillie worked hard and became a decent Pokémon battler, something she credits to his positive influence.

It is ambiguous if Lillie has romantic feelings for Ash. She certainly admires him, but her precise feelings remain unclear. It would not be shocking if she did like Ash as more than a friend, given how much time they spent together and how much he helped her.

5. Dawn

As Ash’s companion across the Sinnoh region, Dawn left her own mark as a unique personality among the line of female leads.

Based on the game protagonist for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Dawn quickly distinguished herself from predecessors Misty and May when she graciously moved past her destroyed bike rather than fume over it.

From the start, Dawn’s primary goal was becoming a Top Coordinator like her mother, giving her and the similarly driven Ash common ground in chasing ambitions.

Dawn | Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

Their mutual understanding led to a mostly smooth partnership, with Dawn even playfully dressing as a cheerleader during Ash’s gym battles as a sign of support. At times, Dawn showed hints of vanity regarding her appearance when around Ash.

However, any nascent romance ultimately gave way to a sibling-like rapport defined by teasing banter and unconditional support.

Dawn | Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

Where some girls pined in Ash’s shadow, Dawn stood on equal terms with him in pursuing dreams, lending empathy rather than longing. Their friendship transcended stereotypical gender roles.

Dashingly boyish Ash had finally found the yin to his yang – a confident, stylish girl who cheered him on as a peer rather than an admirer. An equal partnership borne of mutual encouragement.

4. Bianca

Bianca, an original character introduced in the fifth Pokémon movie, shares a charming yet complicated dynamic with Ash. Throughout the film, Ash joins forces with Bianca and the legendary Eon duo Latios and Latias to defend the idyllic city of Alto Mare from invasion.

Bianca | Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

However, complicating matters is Latias’s ability to perfectly transform into Bianca. On multiple occasions, it is unclear whether Ash is interacting with the real Bianca or actually Latias disguising herself as Bianca due to her apparent affection towards Ash.

Nonetheless, both the genuine Bianca and Latias-as-Bianca grow closer to Ash over the course of their perilous adventure. When the time came for Ash to depart, Bianca raced to see him off, where she suddenly planted a kiss on a stunned Ash’s lips.

But even this climactic moment contains tantalizing ambiguity – was it indeed Bianca or the playful Latias behind this bold kiss?

Bianca | Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

So while a connection emerges between Ash and Bianca, it remains shrouded in mystery, with Latias’s mimicking and longing further complicating the dynamic. Their relationship culminates in a farewell punctuated by surprise romance but leaves fans to wonder whether these feelings belonged to Bianca herself or the adoring legendary by her side.

3. Melody

Melody made her debut in the second Pokémon movie as a free-spirited maiden on the Orange Islands selected to perform in a legendary festival, though she lacked enthusiasm for the role initially.

Melody | Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

But her attitude shifted when the raven-haired Ash arrived, and she impulsively greeted him with a kiss, immediately sparking tension with the jealous Misty.

Melody’s bold, playful personality contrasted with Misty’s protective streak over Ash. The two even indirectly trade barbs about their mutual interest in the oblivious trainer. However, they soon bonded over helping Ash fulfill an ancient prophecy and save their land.

Melody | Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

Throughout the film, Melody outright flirts with Ash and makes no secret of her strong attraction towards him, positioning herself as a romantic rival to Misty.

Her competitiveness and confidence in expressing her feelings stood out from the usual subtle dynamic between Ash and her female companions.

Unfortunately for fans of this fiery island maiden, Melody disappeared from the anime after the movie’s climax just as abruptly as she had entered. But she left an impression as a brief yet memorably ardent admirer in Ash’s ever-growing list of adoring girls.

2. Misty

As the first female companion to join Ash on his journey, Misty occupies a special place in fans’ hearts. Throughout their Kanto and Johto travels, there are hints Misty has a crush on the dense trainer. She frequently gets jealous when other girls like Melody catch Ash’s attention, signaling her deeper affection.

Misty | Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

The English dub especially played up Misty’s romantic longing, adding fuel to fans’ speculation. An image song exclusive to the dub even has Misty openly singing about her feelings for Ash, making them unambiguous.

So for Western viewers, Misty became the prototypical “childhood sweetheart” figure among Ash’s female friends.

However, much like with Serena, any reciprocation of Misty’s feelings goes over oblivious Ash’s head. Despite Misty reuniting with Ash in the final episodes, their relationship sees no meaningful progression.

Misty | Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

The writers leave it eternally tentative – a wistful what-if where the demonstrative girl harbors a one-sided affection for the boy too distracted by Pokémon to notice. It’s an innocent “will they, won’t they” dynamic that resonates through nostalgia rather than resolution.

1. Serena

Ash and Serena have a history that spans beyond their journey together in the XY region. They first crossed paths as children at a summer camp organized by Professor Oak.

When Serena hurt her knee, Ash selflessly came to her aid and helped bandage her injury. Though it was a small act of kindness, Serena held onto the memory over the years.

Serena | Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

She was pleasantly surprised when she recognized that the courageous boy from camp was none other than Ash when they were reunited.

Unlike some of Ash’s other female companions, Serena was clearly intended as a potential love interest from the start.

Ash’s determination and perseverance inspired Serena to find her own dream and break away from her controlling mother’s narrow ambitions.

Their bond went both ways, too – when Ash was disheartened after losing an important gym battle, Serena was there to uplift his spirits.

Serena admires Ash’s optimism and empathy. And Ash found a compassionate friend who believed in him through failure and self-doubt.

Their history of childhood friendship adds depth, and Serena’s feelings hint at an innocent first love.

Serena | Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

Of all his traveling partners, Serena shares the most heartwarming connection with the earnest boy who once selflessly rushed to her side.

When the time came for Ash and Serena to part ways, Serena worked up the courage to kiss Ash before departing to Hoenn to pursue Pokemon Contests.

As dense as ever, Ash seemed oblivious to her affectionate gesture. However, the kiss was Serena’s way of finally making her feelings for him clear after traveling together in Kalos.

Of all Ash’s female companions, Serena has the strongest evidence supporting a reciprocated romance. Yet Ash has always been depicted as more focused on his Pokemon journey than relationships.

Serena | Pokemon (Credits: Satoshi Tajiri)

His character resets with each new region as well, never allowing meaningful bonds to fully mature on-screen. So despite Serena’s moments of tenderness suggesting young love, the writers never elevated any of Ash’s connections to an official status.

Now that Ash has stepped back from the protagonist role after decades, it seems his confirmed bachelor lifestyle will continue with no long-term partner.

The eternal boy chasing his dreams has outgrown the possibility of an on-screen romance. So while Serena shares the sweetest chemistry with Ash, fans must be content leaving their potential love open-ended as Ash wanders the Pokemon world forever young, ever adventuring.

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