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As hints and evidence for ships are mostly speculation, this page may contain personal points of view.
Ash and Dawn holding hands
PearlShipping (Japanese: サトヒカ SatoHika) is the belief that Ash Ketchum and Dawn belong in a romantic relationship. This Ship is among the more popular anime-based Shippings, along with PokéShipping, AdvanceShipping, and ContestShipping. The name itself was coined from the belief Dawn's game persona would be linked to the Pearl name upon Diamond and Pearl's release, as was the case for Ruby and Sapphire, before much was known of either the anime saga or Dawn's character.
- Dawn feels Ash does not respect or acknowledge her, and both argue with each other throughout most of the episode. She challenges Nando to a battle, hoping to make Ash realize how good she is as a Trainer. In the end, after Nando manages to explain to them that there is no reason to argue, both apologize to one another and exchange a few very sentimental words, strengthening their new friendship.
- Dawn is having a bad hair day and has her Piplup fix her hair. Before fixing her hair, she refuses to let Ash see her for fear of having him judge her, or that she is simply being self-conscious. Afterward, she asks Ash if he would like his done, too.
- Dawn comments on how awesome Ash looks when making his appeal in the Jubilife Contest.
- Dawn dons a cheerleading outfit, and she and her Pokémon began cheering and dancing for Ash to win and thus giving him the confidence to earn his first gym badge in Sinnoh. Neither Misty nor May ever went to such lengths in any of Ash's battles; they usually sat on the side lines discussing if he would win, though they did plain-out cheer for him.
- Dawn sees Ash going off to train his Pokémon and follows for reasons unknown. In a later scene Dawn is inspired by Ash's training to do the same, but then starts crying about her recent Contest failure. When Ash approached her, she didn't want him to worry about it and played along with his assumption that she had dirt in her eyes. Then Ash says he is hungry and Dawn suggests that they get ice cream so that Ash wouldn't have to worry about her.
- Dawn talks to Maylene to try to convince her to take up Gym Leading again. Perhaps she does this because she can relate to it with her contest failures, but near the end of the conversation she admits she wonders if her Contests are holding Ash back, showing that she cares about his dreams almost more than her own.
- Ash claims the reason he won his new badge from Maylene was because of all the training Dawn did with Buizel when it was still hers. This causes Dawn to blush and she says, "Well, lets just say that I was going to do anything I could to see an awesome Gym Battle between Ash and Maylene!"
- At the start of the episode, Dawn comments on how Ash does very well in training his Pokémon and even saying: "Ash is incredible!" Also, when Contest Master Wallace mentions the importance of the love between the Trainers and their Pokémon, Dawn agrees and lookes at Ash, as if she just realized something that involves Ash. Ash looks back at Dawn and stares at her in confusion.
- Dawn is proud of Ash because he and Buizel were able to pull off the Aqua Jet-Ice Beam combo that Dawn attempted to perform with Buizel in A Stand-Up Sit-Down! (named Ice Aqua Jet), turning the opponent's Ice Beam against it.
- When Ash runs into Crasher Wake and falls to the ground, Dawn is concerned over Ash's well-being. In another scene, Dawn is so frightened by the appearance of the Croagunk, she hid behind Ash and held onto him.
- Dawn becomes worried that Ash's plan to get past the Psyduck would fail and that Ash would end up hurt.
- When Brock finishes packing, and tells Dawn that they're ready to go, she immediately volunteers to go and get Ash. Also, after that, Brock is seen with Happiny, saying that they'd be better off waiting around in the Pokémon Center until Ash and Dawn are done training.
- When Byron's Gym assistant says that Byron has the upper hand during Ash's gym battle, Dawn gets angry and says, "I am telling you you're wrong! Ash is going to win it for sure!" showing the confidence she has that he will win.
- When Ash asks Dawn what Pokémon she would be using in the upcoming Pokémon Contest, Dawn winks at him and says, "Well who do you think I would use?"
- Dawn stated that she wanted to enter Ambipom in the Sandalstraw Contest so it could win it for both her and Ash.
- When Ash is feeling upset when all his Pokémon are badly injured he runs off, and Dawn tries to follow him, but is stopped by Brock. So in order to cheer up Ash after his confidence goes down, Dawn puts on a show for him. Ash didn't know why Dawn was doing the show at first, but Nurse Joy whispered to him that she was doing it to make him and his Pokémon feel better.
- When Ash, Dawn, Brock, Khoury, and Lyra are trapped in a room at the Valley Windworks, Lyra asks Dawn if Ash is her boyfriend. She quickly denies it, bewildered at the question. Lyra goes on, while trapped, about Ash's apparent strong points, putting Ash in a light Dawn likely hadn't seen before.
- After Ash falls into a Trapinch's Arena Trap, Dawn gets so worried about him that she starts to argue with him. While they were arguing, Lyra thinks to herself how nice it is that both Ash and Dawn care about each other so much. Also, Dawn gets startled when Lyra talks about Khoury being her boyfriend.
- After the conclusion of the Grand Festival, Zoey asks Dawn if she can join her back to Snowpoint City. She declines, saying she has something to do. After that, Zoey assumes that Dawn will be cheering Ash on for his upcoming battles, which she confirms.
- Before Ash and Brock leaves, Dawn asks Ash for a final high-five as a farewell along with Pikachu and Piplup doing high-five as well.
- Dawn is dressed in a cheerleading outfit to cheer Ash on. When she starts cheering with her Pokémon, Ash notices this and said, "Geez, thanks Dawn." As he said this, he had a big grin on his face.
- Ash calms her nerves after she had made what she thought was a bad appeal, and even used her frequent catchphrase, "No need to worry!" (Japanese: "Daijōbu!") to console her and gave her a caring and loving look.
- Ash signs Dawn up in the Hearthome Tag Battle Tournament to cheer her up after her recent Contest loss. When he tells her, she is against it because she thought she wouldn't do well, but Ash claims he thinks she would do great. He also tells her to try her best. When she agrees, he raises his hand with a big grin on his face to give her a high five.
Ash showing emotion over Dawn's second contest loss
- Ash is deeply saddened when Dawn lost in the appeal round for the second time. After the loss, "Jessalina" walks up to her and tells her to leave. Dawn tells "Jessalina" she wants to stay. The camera then turns to her slightly shaking fist. The camera then shoots over to Ash's face. The brown in his eyes can be seen, and this usually only happens when Ash is very upset. He then lowers his head, and hides his eyes behind his hat.
- Ash said the reason he won his new badge from Maylene was because of all the training Dawn did with Buizel when it was still hers. This caused Dawn to blush and she said, "Thanks, but it was all worth it to see an amazing battle between you and Maylene, Ash." This made Ash smile widely at her.
- During the Croagunk Festival, Ash asks Dawn to dance.
- When Ash and Dawn climb onto Team Rocket's robot, he falls off and screams her name twice, once while he fell and again when he lost sight of her.
- Dawn makes a comment about how Ash should treat his Pokémon like Gary does and Ash becomes furious. Some PearlShippers consider that to be jealousy of Dawn's supposed feelings for Gary.
- When Dawn becomes frustrated with designing her outfits for the collection, Ash comments on how all her designs are amazing and she should do her best.
- When Brock comments on how great Conway is with his Venonat, Ash begins to get worried and yells, "'Kay Dawn, hang in there!" Later, Ash was extremely happy that Dawn won the prize for being closest to her Pokémon.
- Ash saves Dawn by putting his arm around her waist and pushing her to safety, protecting her from her Piloswine after it went charging at her for more Poffins.
- When Ursula insults Dawn, Dawn becomes mad but as soon as she is about to say something to Ursula as she leaves, Ash yells at her telling her that Dawn is a much better Coordinator and Trainer than she is.
- As soon as Ash found out that Dawn fell in the river, he became extremely worried about her and continued to be concerned about her until he found Dawn again. Meanwhile, Brock didn't show nearly as much concern as Ash did.
- When Dawn puts on a show for Ash and his Pokémon, Ash does not know why, so Nurse Joy tells him that it is to cheer up him and all his Pokémon. When she tells him this, he gives Dawn a weird look as if to say, "Is this true?" Dawn gives him a smile and a wink, saying yes and starts the show. As the show progresses, Ash and his Pokémon are enjoying themselves very much.
- When Lyra invites Dawn up for a battle with her Chikorita, Ash yells, "Yeah, go Dawn!" and pushes her by the shoulder up on the podium.
- During this episode Lyra is trying to make Dawn and Khoury a couple; she does this by staying close to Ash the entire episode. However, when the gang is in the cave, Ash and the others get separated by a flock of Zubat. When this happened, Dawn was seen by herself scared and alone with her Piplup. Soon after, Ash is seen running up to Dawn to save her and calling out her name.
- Throughout the episode, Ash continually states Dawn is awesome and "number one."
- In this episode, Ash is seen giving Dawn many kind gestures. First, when Dawn fainted, Ash gives her some warm milk to make her feel better. Here Ash tells her how worried he was about her. His kind words touch Dawn and she thinks that he is being really sweet to her. Second, during the contest, Brock was worried that Dawn's performance wouldn't go to well, but Ash tells him that he believes in Dawn. Finally, after the first round of the contest, Ash runs into the contestant area (Brock behind) and tells her that she was awesome and that her Pokemon were a great pair. These words touch Dawn again and they high five. At the end of the episode, Ursula comments on how close Ash and Dawn are together.
- In the beginning of the episode when Dawn tries on the princess outfit, Ash has a visibly stunned face while staring at Dawn and comments on how great it looks on her. Also, Ash was the only one to show concern about how Dawn was doing in the castle.
- Unlike Misty, May, and Iris, Dawn asks in a straightforward manner to come along with Ash in When Pokémon Worlds Collide! rather than coming up with some reason to hide her intentions. In return, Ash accepts her request. While Ash felt some obligation to Misty and May due to Pikachu ruining their bike, Iris invited herself.
- Since Mounting a Coordinator Assault!, Ash and Dawn are often seen exchanging high fives whenever one of them accomplishes something, which might possibly portray a deep friendship, as Ash has rarely ever given a high five to anyone else on the show.
- Dawn's Buneary has a crush on Ash's Pikachu. This could be a sign that Dawn may have a crush on Ash, since Professor Oak and Brock have said in the past that Pokémon represent the feelings of their masters and when two Pokémon fall in love, there is a good chance the Trainers will too. It is to be pointed out that Buneary developed this crush before Dawn caught it. The claim has also been refuted at various points during the series, so the feelings of the Pokémon are not always definitive to the feelings of the Trainers.
- So far, Ash has watched all of Dawn's Contests. He did not do this with May because he would sometimes be training his Pokémon instead of watching her.
- Dawn is the source of some of the moves and strategies used in battle by Ash, which include Ice Aqua Jet & Spin. Ash watching Dawn's Contest may (in part) be so he can learn new things to apply in battle.
- One of the movie posters for Giratina and the Sky Warrior depicts Pikachu and Piplup sitting on Ash's and Dawn's heads, respectively. Some fans have pointed out that the distance portrayed between Dawn and Ash is very small. However, other fans point out how Ash's hair, which can usually be seen from the sides of his hat, is not present. This may mean the Trainers are not really wearing their hats.
- A Domino's Pizza Kids 2008 Commercial in Japan features Ash and Dawn, as well as some Pokémon.
- The opening is sung by Ash and Dawn. The lyrics show how close their friendship is to each other and their Pokémon. But, mainly to each other.
- While Dawn battled a revived Aerodactyl, Ash is fascinated with Piplup and Buneary's new dodging tactic that he asks Dawn to help him practice for his rematch. He then has Pikachu, Aipom, and Turtwig use them in O'er the Rampardos We Watched in his rematch with Roark, again in Getting the Pre-Contest Titters in his match against Kenny, and a few other times since, the tactic becoming a regular (if not frequent) feature in Ash's strategy.
- When Ash and Dawn were in the submarine, they saw a school of Luvdisc. Some PearlShippers consider this a hint because Luvdisc's Pokédex entry says if two people see a school of Luvdisc, they will be blessed with eternal love (however, there's been long-debated discrepancies about how much the anime and the game are relatable, and should not be taken at face value. Also, AdvanceShippers have a similar hint from the ninth movie).
- When Darkrai first appears in front of Ash and company, Dawn runs over to Ash's side. Several other scenes feature Dawn reacting to Ash's predicaments: when Ash is about to fall off the tower, Dawn rushes over to save him. When Ash saves her from falling of the platform, Dawn looks at him with a thankful expression on her face and is holding his hand. And when Ash begins to cry, believing he lost Darkrai, Dawn looks at him with a worried expression and begins to cry as well.
- When Ash tries to defeat Marcus, he has trouble beating Heatran and Bronzong. As soon as they both attack Pikachu, Dawn and her Piplup protect Ash and Pikachu, and help him fight. During this time, Brock is not with Dawn and Ash but with Sheena and Damos.
- When both Ash and Dawn are falling off the tower together, Ash holds Dawn tight so that she doesn't leave him.
Other movie hints
- Throughout most promotional posters of Diamond & Pearl movies, Brock seemed to be excluded, leaving only Ash and Dawn in them.
- Both Ash and Dawn have owned Pokémon that refused to obey them at one point (Ash's Pikachu, Charizard, and Primeape, and Dawn's Buizel and Mamoswine).
- Both also have a Pokémon they caught in its earliest form, which began to disobey them after evolving once, and then evolved again rather quickly. Eventually, both Pokémon started obeying their Trainers (however, it took Ash's Charizard longer to obey than Dawn's Mamoswine).
- They both released the second Pokémon they caught: Ash released Pidgeot and Dawn released Pachirisu. However, Dawn recaptured Pachirisu and Ash said he would come back for Pidgeot (though he has yet to do so).
- Dawn is the only main character in the series, aside from Ash, who owns an Electric Pokémon.
- Ash and Dawn are the only main characters to trade Pokémon with each other: Ash's Aipom for Dawn's Buizel.
- In Doc Brock!, Pachirisu becomes ill from having too much electricity, which also happened to Ash's Pikachu between Hoenn Alone! and Get the Show on the Road!.
- Just like Ash's Bulbasaur, Dawn's Piplup stopped evolving in the middle of the evolution process.
- Both own a Cyndaquil.
- Both released a fully evolved Pokémon from their current team for training during the the Diamond and Pearl saga.
- Both are part of a two-evolution family and their base forms relate to Generation II.
- In Camping It Up!, Dawn rented an affectionate Grimer whose behavior is similar to that of Ash's Muk.
- In Get your Rotom Running, while communicating with Professor Oak, Grotle and Piloswine tackles Ash and Dawn down with affection.
- These two are newly evolved Stage 2 Pokémon.
- Both Ash and Dawn have a parent that is their role model: Ash wants to be a Pokémon master like his dad and Dawn wants to be a top Coordinator like her mom.
- Both Ash and Dawn have a primate Pokémon in training. Ash's Primeape is training for the Pokémon Grand Prix, while Dawn's Ambipom is in training for Pokémon Ping-Pong.
- AADL, occasionally used, standing for Ash And Dawn Love.
- ShinouShipping; please note that this name conflicts with FortuneShipping, the pairing of Lucas and Dawn in the games, also referred to as ShinouShipping.
- Sakari, also occasionally seen, a name taken from Satoshi and Hikari.
- SatoHika which is taken from Satoshi and Hikari.
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