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As hints and evidence for ships are mostly speculation, this page may contain personal points of view.
PokéShipping (Japanese: サトカス SatoKasu) is one of the many names given to the Ash/Misty coupling supported by many fans of the Pokémon anime. In the early years of the fandom, PokéShipping was the most popular ship in existence and it still maintains a strong following to this day.
At the beginning, Ash broke Misty's bike. Misty began to follow Ash to make sure he would pay off his debt to her. They bickered constantly, but, needless to say, their friendship grew stronger as the series progressed. They relied on each other not only for friendship, but for support as well.
Most other Shippers tend to agree that Misty's love for Ash is undeniable. This evidence became most prevalent during the Orange Season, long before it became occasional to set upon Ash a girl who becomes infatuated with him.
- Ash, willing to continue his journey alone, is followed by Misty. Upon noticing her pursuing him in Viridian Forest, Ash puts her on the spot and asks her, "Why are you still following me?" Misty sweatdrops and unconvincingly stutters back, "M...My bike! I'm holding you responsible for my bike!" in an insincere manner.
- Why she is following him is made apparent near the end of the episode where she says, "I've never known anyone like him. He really does love Pokémon." She does so in body language befitting that of an infatuated girl. Also, in her statement, it is pretty much implied that she has some sort of interest in knowing Ash, who, at this point, is someone she barely knows. Furthermore, in this and the next episode, Misty seems very eager to make physical (if not courtly) contact with Ash.
- Misty tells Daisy that she's back home because of Ash. The remark makes Daisy think Ash and Misty are a couple, which causes Misty to blush.
- While Ash and Brock fall into infatuation with Giselle, Misty gets mad. Some say that she was jealous because of Ash, others say that was because of Brock.
- At the beginning of the episode, Ash, Brock and Misty are walking through the mist on their way to Lavender Town and Brock says they should probably hold hands. Ash and Misty eagerly reply, "Okay!" The two of them hold hands and continue walking, but Brock, who came up with the idea isn't involved at all; Only Ash and Misty are holding hands. Also, when Brock grabs Pikachu's tail because he can't see through the mist, Pikachu fires an electric attack out of fear and Misty grabs onto Ash.
- Later, when Misty thought that Ash had died, she is driven to almost tears, but is interrupted by Ash who comes back to life and wipes her nose and blushes.
- Near the end of the episode, with Brock having left Ash and Misty to travel alone, James says, "I think we may have captured a pair of romantic creatures in our little cage," after which Jessie swoons and Meowth blurts out, "They're lovebirds!" Ash and Misty deny it all.
- The idea of Ash and Misty as a couple becomes a sub-theme throughout the subsequent Orange League Season, culminating into events in the 2nd movie.
- Danny, the Navel Island Gym Leader, quickly picks up on the nature of Ash and Misty's relationship during one of their arguments and says, "I can see the two of you are pretty close." After Misty asks what he meant by that, he replied, "What's that saying? 'You always hurt the one you love'..."
- After the Nidoran kiss and evolve, Tracey comments about whether the battle or the kiss made them evolve. The idea of kissing embarrasses Misty and provokes Ash to ask the question, "Do people change when they get kissed?" after which Misty answers to him, "Guess we'll have to find out ourselves..." Earlier in the episode, Tracey compared the interaction between the Nidoran's trainers to the relationship between Misty and Ash (although both vehemently deny it).
- Misty yells, "Be careful, Ash!" before he goes to save the Magnemite. Misty has done this on many occasions.
- This entire episode alone serves as conclusive evidence that Misty not only likes Ash but possibly has developed a case of young love for him. Rudy, the Trovita Island Gym Leader, has a case of "love at first sight" with Misty after she saves his sister, Mahri. After several advances from Rudy, Misty agrees to what is essentially an impromptu date with Rudy, leaving Ash and Tracey to themselves.
- According to accounts of the original Japanese version, during the dance after the date, Rudy not only asked Misty to stay on the island, but to marry him. What is significant here is that Misty was actually considering his proposal, evidenced by the fact that she didn't refuse him outright. Throughout Ash's gym battle with Rudy, Misty is clearly torn between deciding which boy meant more to her, finally rooting for Ash in the end as Squirtle is hit by a Thunderbolt from Rudy's Starmie. Rudy, in shock mutters, "She wants him."
- Every time that Tracey and Ash need attention Misty comes to Ash first or expresses more concern for Ash.
- Misty finds a star map, and Ash says, "I know where the stars are, Misty." Misty giggles and blushes after that remark.
- When Old Man Shuckle gives Ash his medicine and the medicine explodes in Ash's stomach, Misty asks Old Man Shuckle what he gave Ash. He reveals that it was Pokémon medicine, and Misty gets really angry. She calms once Ash wakes up and says, "You know what? My stomach-ache is all gone!"
- When Misty introduces Ash to Nurse Joy, Joy quickly exclaims, "What a little cutie!" referring to Pikachu on Ash's head. But Misty and Brock mistakenly think she's referring to Ash. Brock is left completely shocked, but Misty not only gets shocked, but quickly develops the same jealous expression she displayed when Melody flirted with Ash.
- On this and many other occasions in the series, when Ash falls into Team Rocket's trap Misty (off camera) runs toward Ash and passionately grabs his arm to get him back to safety.
- After Temacu expresses her thoughts about marriage to Brock, Misty says to Ash, "You and I will be married someday too." And Ash nods his head without realizing what she had just said, and then shouts "WHOOA?" She could have easily meant that they would be married someday to different people, not necessarily to each other. However, this is a dub edit. In the original, Misty said, "Looks like she fell for Takeshi in first sight."
- While giving a pep talk to Brock about pursuing a possible relationship with Temacu, Misty says, "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..." She is not referring to Brock (much to the dismay of GymShippers), since she is openly encouraging Brock to pursue Temacu.
- When Macy first invites Ash out to lunch, Misty quickly cuts in between the two and comments that Ash is "booked". Later in the same scene, Macy question's Misty's right to interrupt in Ash's personal affairs when she's not his girlfriend. Misty looks quite unimpressed as Macy continues to flirt with Ash.
- The departure of Misty from the group is a very emotional affair. After all is said and done, Misty says to herself, "Well, Ash Ketchum, finally, I know how you feel about me".
- In this episode, Misty gives Ash her handkerchief. Apparently, in Japan that means that a girl cares for a boy.
- Misty got her own good-bye song (which completely left Brock out). Ash was pretty clueless about how upset Misty was when they found out she had to leave, but when they actually parted, he did say that she’s his best friend, and cried when they left.
- In the original version, Misty initially rejects Georgio because there is "someone else". Taking into account of Misty's evident feelings in the series prior to this episode, it can be inferred that Misty is making a reference to Ash.
- In this show, Misty yearns to tell her feelings for Ash, but is too afraid to tell him.
- Misty's Song is a song from the 2BA MASTER Soundtrack in which Misty sings that she loves Ash. She also says that she wants confess her love to Ash, this one of the strongest pieces of evidence for PokeShipping, though the canonicity of the track is unclear (there's nothing to specifically contradict it, but the song has never been used in the anime). It was written by Ken Cummings and directed by John Loeffler for the 2BA MASTER Soundtrack.
- Ash does not have a song for Misty.
- 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 " Hey Santa if you're really listenin' My wishlist has only one thing, Just gimme one dance with Ash, At the Pokémon Christmas bash!".
- Another song on the CD called Under the Mistletoe has Misty singing about how she wants Ash to know her feeling for him and about how she wants to meet Ash under the mistletoe. On the other hand, Ash is singing about how he hopes to not to be caught under the mistletoe, although at first he doesn't move away- many fans claim this is shipping from Ash's side. 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.
- Toi et Moi, the Japanese ending song of The Power of One, references PokéShipping several times, all from Misty's perspective; in particular, the reference to saving the one she loves from drowning (as in the movie.)
- He Drives Me Crazy is a song from Pokemon 3: The Ultimate Soundtrack that is sung from Misty's perspective, even though it was not sung by Rachael Lillis. This song highlights the feelings that Misty has but does not understand. Many PokéShippers regard this song as having undeniable proof of Misty's feelings for Ash.
Even PokéShippers will admit that Ash has not shown any overt proof of liking Misty beyond the already established platonic feelings. This reality often provokes Shippers opposed to PokéShipping—namely PalletShippers—to question Ash's sexual orientation, as well.
Naturally, PokéShippers believe Ash is heterosexual, and that he is capable of liking Misty. Furthermore, the theory also extends to the possible belief that Ash does love Misty, but is not mature enough to realize it. This idea is supported by the fact that Ash tends to act somewhat jealous when another guy shows interest in Misty or vice-versa, and the flirtatious tone of some of their teasing. This theory explains their bickering (to cover up how they really feel about each other) and it can be argued that Ash displays real feelings for Misty when she is vulnerable or scared.
- When Misty shows up, holding a beach ball along with her bathing suit on, Ash comments on how Misty looks like a girl for once. Later, when Moe yells at the group, Ash quickly hides behind Misty and holds her by the shoulders.
- Ash does a double take when Misty appears with her hair down and dressed in a formal kimono. Upon seeing her, the camera switches to his perspective, the bubbly background usually associated with passionate moments is used, romantic harp strings are played, and Misty's surprised facial expression clearly shows she is being looked at with interest. Also, the entire theme of the episode was romance-oriented, so it's only logical to assume this scene between Ash and Misty is as well.
- When Misty goes missing, Ash expresses extreme concern.
- Ash, thinking Misty is entering the Princess Festival Contest to take a picture with the movie star host, gets a little jealous, groaning with his arms crossed, "You must really want that picture with Fiorello...". Surprisingly, Misty reassures him she's only doing it for the doll set. Ash, whether he's aware of it or not, feels threatened by the presence of another male in Misty's life. Also, when Misty was dressed in a kimono during the contest, Ash stared at her and said, "Ohhh...", but so did Brock.
- Climbing Navel Island's central mountain, Misty tells Danny the gym leader to be extra careful. Seeing how much concern Misty is giving to Danny, Ash with the same jealous expression yells, "What's she so worried about him for?!". He's distracted so much by Misty's little crush on Danny that he loses his concentration and falls down the mountain a bit. Much like his behavior in "Princess vs. Princess", another male getting Misty's attention seems to bother him. When Danny states, "What do they say, you always hurt the one you love?" Misty and Ash become extremely embarrassed. As Danny walks off, Misty runs up to him and says, "Oh, you've got it all wrong. I'd never get involved with a little kid like him. I prefer the more mature, intellectual type." Ash seems very disappointed after hearing that.
- As the rain storm approaches and as Misty is unable to walk, Ash grabs Misty by the hand, arm and the rest of her body and leads her towards the cave. Afterwords, he stares at her with care in his eyes.
- Rudy moves in to court Misty after she helps rescue his younger sister, Mahri. Ash is clearly put out by Rudy's behavior, and jealous when Misty is flattered by the attention. When Rudy compliments Misty about her beautiful eyes during his attack test, Ash gets distracted and accidentally calls Charizard. Rudy invites Misty to dinner, and Ash is shocked when she accepts and appears unhappy when she leaves. Later on, during the battle against Ash, Rudy says, "I dedicate this match to Misty, the woman who saved my sister and stole my heart." Ash doesn't seem very happy and sarcastically replies, "That's all nice but I'm the one who's going to win the match." He gets a little antagonized with Misty when she tells him to beat Rudy, telling her he's not stupid, as if her recent behavior had upset and unsettled him.
- After Rudy presents Ash with his badge, he gives Misty some flowers, accepting her decision to stay with Ash. More importantly, he says, "I hope you know you're a very lucky guy, Ash." Ash cluelessly replies, "Lucky? What do you mean?" Rudy laughs and says, "You'll see some day." Ash just frowns in confusion. This incident supports the theory that Ash loves Misty, but he doesn't quite realize it yet. This is one of the stronger hints given that Misty and Ash may someday end up together.
- Ash expresses his horror when Misty is scared by illusions of Bug Pokemon, and gets angry with Hoothoot for running away, because it is the only one who can 'save Misty.'
- When Misty, Pikachu, and Wilhelmina's Marill are lost on an island and the others go to find them, Ash mutters, "Don't worry, we'll find Misty," not even mentioning Marill or his beloved Pikachu.
- Prior to Misty's battle, Ash wakes up to find Misty staring out the window. They have a little talk and after that, Ash continues to gaze at Misty silently.
- Ash is feeling down about losing but regains his confidence back when he receives gifts from his mother and his friends. He especially shows off Misty's special lure to Pikachu with a big smile on his face.
- In this episode when Ash and the others are fishing Ash uses the special lure Misty made for him, and when Dawn asked if she could use it Ash refused causing them both to argue, but while they were distracted a Buizel came and took their lure's causing Ash to get panicked and with all his determination he planned to get the lure back, once it was returned he seemed very happy and relieved.
- When Mewtwo throws Ash back with its psychic powers, Misty quickly runs up to him and asks if he's okay (Brock only stays put). At the ending, there's a scene of Ash, Misty, and Brock sleeping in their sleeping bags. Ash and Misty are placed conveniently near each other, while Brock's position is relatively away from them.
- In the Japanese trailer of the film, there was a scene cut in the dub. When Ash jumps down the cliff to save his Pikachu, Misty tries to follow him but Tracey holds her back. Misty looks completely distressed, as can be seen by her tears.
- P2K, otherwise known as 'The Power of One', or 'Revelation Lugia' is the conclusion to everything related to Misty's love for Ash in the Orange Season. In this movie, Misty gets competition in the form of Melody, the Festival Maiden of the Legend Ceremony. Melody, upon greeting our heroes, immediately comes up to Ash and plants a kiss on his cheek, provoking a glare of jealousy from Misty. Also, after Melody's performance at the festival party, she quickly kneels in front of Ash and grabs hold of his arm, provoking Misty to gasp and growl again in subdued jealousy.
- Also, upon being called Ash's girlfriend, Misty blushes uncontrollably.
- Near the end, Misty openly admits to Melody that Ash is "her burden" and goes off to rescue him in Melody's place, stating that he'll never be alone as he'll always have her, which Melody respects (due to the constant debating between her and Misty of Misty liking Ash throughout the movie).
- When our heroes are running from a Pokémon, Misty trips along the way. Ash (and Brock) run back to help her. They get to safety, at least for a little while, and all of a sudden some Pokémon appear to attack them. Ash runs in front of her and spreads his arms out to protect Misty.
- When Bianca/Latias kissed Ash on the dock, Misty was so shocked that not only did she develop the same jealous expression seen in the series, but she also dropped her Togepi.
- On the last day of the comet's showing, Max is disappointed that he will have to part with Jirachi. Ash sits down with him by the river and reassures him that Jirachi will always will be in his heart. Ash tells him, "I had a really good friend, and I miss her every day." Many people would think this would be Misty. However this is in the dub only and can be argued. In the original, he only implies that he had many friends he needed to say goodbye to, not particularly a her.
- In the Spanish language version, Ash says, "Sabes, yo extraño mucho a mi mejor amiga." It means I really miss my best friend. He could very well be referring to Misty.
For those already convinced about PokéShipping, there do exist events which suggest inconclusively, something along the lines of romance. But the difference between hints and proofs are that proofs are essentially ironclad and undebatable in contemporary debate, whereas hints are quite debatable, and are open to interpretation. The following is a listing of some that are considered to be debatable hints, all of which vary in strength and worth.
- Misty is surprisingly eager to start a Pokémon-sharing relationship with Ash in this episode and gets very upset when Ash refuses. Later, while Ash is charging up Pikachu's electric sacs, Misty again offers help to Ash and gets snubbed. She then grumbles and says, "What do I care..." and runs off. Misty somewhat admits by her behavior and dialogue that she's really interested in getting to know him better.
- Misty, at the beginning of this episode, continually keeps mentioning how "romantic" the surroundings are. She continues to do this not only in this episode, but subsequent episodes as well.
- At the outskirts of Cerulean City, Misty attempts to dissuade Ash from going into the city by tempting him to go to Vermilion City. She does so by mentioning the "neat Pokémon, the yachts pulling into the harbor, and a spot way up on a hill where you can sit and watch a romantic sunset". The mentioning of a romantic scene subtly suggests what she might have intended for all along, especially with how many times she's talked about romantic things in previous episodes.
- After Nurse Joy breaks up an argument between the two of them, she comments that they say when two people fight, they really care about each other; although Ash and Misty instantly reject the idea, they are both blushing slightly when they turn away from the other.
- When Ash enters the tower alone to try and catch a Ghost Pokémon, and is subsequently briefly separated from his body, Misty is the first one of her and Brock to express concern about how long Ash and Pikachu are taking inside. When Ash hovers beside her in his ghost form and lifts her in the air, Misty is the only one who can hear him despite Brock standing only a foot or so away from her, potentially hinting at a closer bond between the two. Also, before Ash and Pikachu return to their bodies, Misty is visibly near to tears as she pleads for Ash to wake up, and blushes immensely when he wakes up and greets her.
- Misty, unaware that Ash is disguised as a girl among the crowd and using the same girlish demeanor she used in "Ash Catches A Pokémon", dreamily admits to the group, "I wish Ash would've heard that story..." She openly is expressing a desire for Ash's presence.
- Also, during Ash's gym battle with Erika, the girls in the crowd start acknowledging Ash's skill and how much more impressive he is than he looks, provoking Misty to smile with reassurance.
- At the beginning of the episode, Ash is marching and singing. Misty is right behind him and longingly stares at him until they reach the Safari Zone warden's house. After Ash sings out his last lines, Misty imitates his enthusiasm and sings her own lines as well. Of course, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
- Also, later in the episode, when Ash is about to dive in the water to grab the bomb that Team Rocket threw in there, Misty stops him, and says that it is too dangerous. Although this hint is under debate simply because it could be merely her worrying for Ash, ( as a friend would do ), she also sends down her Starmie to save Ash after he is down there for too long. And afterward, when he comes back up, Misty smiles and is thrilled that he is alive, with a blush apparent.
- Misty goes into perhaps the most extreme fits of blushing in the history of the series, all provoked by a simple compliment from Ash about her skimpy stage outfit. No one blushes like that out of mere embarrassment. She clearly holds Ash's opinion of her in exclusive priority.
- As Jigglypuff begins singing in the woods, Ash and Brock are standing next to each other while Pikachu and Misty are sitting a couple feet away. After Jigglypuff is done singing, Brock and Pikachu are sprawled out asleep by themselves while Misty and Ash are slumped against each other. It might not have meant anything if the two were already standing by each other, in which case it would have just been convenient, but they weren't. Either they moved into this position because they are very comfortable with each other, or the director(s) might have just thrown this in to plant an idea. It is also interesting to note that when they wake up, Misty comments, "What a nice nap."
- At the end of this episode, Ash tells Misty how amazing she was at her performance of the underwater play. Misty disproportionately calls Ash's comments "sweet talk" and reminds him of the bike he owes her, something she supposedly forgot about back on Cinnabar Island.
- Upon arriving at the Xanadu Nursery, Brock spies on a pretty girl behind the window, after which Ash comes to look and says he doesn't see a pretty girl. Misty then says, "Just turn around" and giggles, clearly addressing Ash. Ash then jokes about her hallucinating, then starts chuckling.
- Ash, finally spotting a Gloom behind the window, asks Brock if "he's getting 'misty' over a gloom," This causes Misty to pull Ash's mouth wide with her fingers and ask him what is he saying about her, mistaking Ash's 'misty' comment with herself. Both seem to be blushing in the midst of their playfulness.
- While watching Ash's match on the grass field in the spectator stands with Brock, Misty becomes particularly vocal whenever Brock shows signs of attraction for Ash's current opponent Jeanette Fisher, yelling at Brock to remember whose side he is meant to be on. She also feels sorry for Ash when his mother and Professor Oak show up to tell him that all of Pallet Town is now rooting for him, recognising the increased pressure this will put Ash under.
- At the beginning of the episode, Ash and Misty are surprisingly close to one another while tending to their Pokémon. Brock on the other hand is away from them asleep behind a tree.
- Upon reunion, Ash and Misty exclaim each other's names in joy while the camera focuses on their faces. What's interesting to note is how the scripting and animation seem to focus just on their reunion alone.
- When Ash finally arrives home after his travels in Hoenn, he finds Misty at his house. She makes a point of being there, specifically so that she could see Ash as soon as he arrived back from Hoenn even though she apparently has no idea how soon exactly he would be returning. For all she knew, she could have been expecting a wait spanning multiple weeks.
- Azurill is a good excuse to go down there but it does not explain her behavior:
- Why did she stay at Ash's mother's house, and not at Oak's laboratory?
- Why was she waiting at Ash's mother's house for days and days for Ash's arrival, especially given that they didn't know exactly how long Ash would take to return?
- Why was she so concerned about getting to see Ash as soon as he arrived?
- How can her somewhat wistfully delivered line of how Ash is the same as always be explained?
- Why couldn't she have simply delayed her trip down there until Ash had already arrived?
Misty and Delia, featured on the Queen of Hearts Card in the tenth Japanese OP, Spurt!
- In the fifth and final opening theme song for the Japanese Advanced Generation Pokémon anime series, Misty was shown in a "Queen of Hearts" card together with Delia Ketchum. One could say the two girls in the card likely represent the more important females in Ash's life.
- This song includes hints from both. Ash sings about that he is happy tonight and Misty sings about she knows she will meet her true mistletoe. Later during this song, Misty comments that she and Ash stand under the mistletoe. Also, both sing they want to tell something to St. Nicholas.
- Misty constantly yelled at and insulted Ash through out the show, and is an example of the hiding of feelings for children of that age, however depending on how much older they have gotten since they had met, this may or may not be a very big clue.
- Every time that Ash has a near-death-experience or Misty thinks that Ash is dead, she expresses extreme sorrow, almost to the extent of sobbing.
PokéShipping, as with many of the more popular Ships, is known by a variety of different names. Following the emergence of PokéShipping from amongst these as the de-facto standard, the other names have become associated with certain groups within the PokéShipping fandom, or certain methods of shipping. A prominent few are detailed below.
- GakiShipping - An early term coined around the same time as TwerpShipping, the name was originally meant to be descriptive of both Ash & Misty being gakis (Gaki being a somewhat rude way to refer to a child in Japanese), but has since evolved to describe the actual shipper, and is now used only in an insulting manner towards shippers (not necessarily just PokéShippers) who use flimsy evidence to support their position, or otherwise act childish, especially when referring to their supported 'ships.
- SatoKasu - The original (Japanese) term for the ship, using the standard Japanese naming method of combining the first 2 characters from each characters name, starting with the dominant character.
- SakaShipping - Another early name for the pairing, from Satoshi and Kasumi.
- BikeShipping - this name refers to Ash and Pikachu breaking Misty's bike, and is among the least used of all names for this pairing.
- SushiShipping - from Kasumi and Satoshi. Combining portions of the characters' names to form words was common early on, but now is hardly ever used.
- TwerpShipping - The original (English) name for the ship, the term is currently used primarily only amongst users on TRHQ, and by those who primarily associate themselves with RocketShippingShipping.
- AAML - Standing for Ash And Misty Love. Also AAMRN, Ash And Misty Romance Novel.
- Ash and Misty are the only characters who were shown bleeding in an episode: Misty in Wake up! Snorlax! and Ash in Tears For Fears!.
- The both of them have held hands a couple of times in the series and when they do, the camera focuses on their hands for a moment.
- Ash's Pikachu and Misty's Togetic, as a Togepi, are seen being carried around by their Trainers. These two Pokémon never reside in a Poké Ball. Misty also carries around her Azurill, as well (though it should be noted that her Azurill was implied to have been placed in a Poké Ball offscreen sometime after returning to the gym, as evidenced by her Azurill not being present at all in The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon).
- They both used a Lure Ball to capture their Template:Type2 Pokémon, Totodile and Corsola, in the Johto region.
- They have battled against each other twice for the ownership of a Pokémon: Togepi and Totodile.