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Dawn (Japanese: ヒカリ Hikari) is a ten-year-old Pokémon Coordinator currently traveling through Sinnoh with Ash and Brock. Her goal is to become a great Pokémon Coordinator like her mother, Johanna. Her first Pokémon is a Piplup that she received from Professor Rowan in the first Diamond & Pearl series episode.
Dawn is notable for her confidence, since she is always looking towards the future rather than dwelling on her mistakes, although she has learned that this is not always enough. In the Japanese version, her catchphrase is, "Daijōbu!" Although not consistently translated in the English dub at first, she began to regularly use "No need to worry!". In stark contrast to May's inexperience and self-doubt at the start of the Advanced Generation series, Dawn was overly confident and assured in her own strength in the beginning.
Dawn in her contest dress
She began her journey with her Piplup. Unlike May, she knew from the beginning that she wanted to be a Coordinator. After meeting Ash and Brock, she decided to journey with them, as their experience would likely be helpful to her. Like Ash, she is lucky enough to have seen a legendary Pokémon at the start of her journey, the projected soul of Mesprit in Following a Maiden's Voyage!. She lost her first Contest in Arrival of a Rival and ended up getting support from her mother who told her to rely on her friends. Eventually, in her second official contest, Dawn narrowly beat her childhood rival Kenny to gain her first ribbon.
In Dawn's Early Night, when she competed in the Hearthome City Contest, she lost in the Appeal Round, making her the first of the main characters to lose a contest by losing the appeal round. In Team Shocker!, she lost the Appeal Round for second time in a row. This marked a notable change in Dawn's character. Previously, she had only occasionally been seen training for contests. After the second blow to her self-esteem, she didn't know what to do and was still very upset throughout Tanks for the Memories!. After this, she began to become more focused and regained her confidence after battling Maylene in Crossing the Battle Line!. Dawn began to practice in earnest and eventually was able to break her losing streak in Strategy With a Smile! and was able to win the Wallace Cup after narrowly defeating May in the final round. Dawn has since maintained her newfound focus and humility. After learning of the next contest in Celestic Town, she became very dedicated in her training, and actually overworked her Pokémon in A Lean Mean Team Rocket Machine!. Due to her hard work, she managed to win the contest in Battling the Generation Gap!. In A Breed Stampede!, her Mamoswine began to disobey her after evolving. Despite this, she is still eager to train it well.
While she is the only female main character not to have a sibling, she has two childhood friends that appeared in the anime, Kenny and Leona, both of whom call her sometimes Dee Dee (Japanese: ピカリ Pikari). Dawn has prevented them from telling Ash and Brock about the reason why she has this nickname. She seems to be closer to Leona than to Kenny. Kenny functions as a rival for Dawn alongside Zoey. Zoey also functions as a semi-mentor to Dawn and helped her recover from her second loss. All three are competing for their first time in the regional contests. Leona, however, challenges Gyms. She also seemed to be childhood friends with Barry when she was little, and was very upset that he didn't remember who she was.
Dawn is much more different than any of Ash's other friends. Dawn has more concern about her appearance, as she will not show herself to Ash or Brock until she feels that her appearance is perfect. That may be a reason why she decides to sleep inside a tent while the others sleep outside. However, she has recently been seen sleeping outside with the others, such as in Tears for Fears! Every time she's going to be on camera, she needs to take a moment to brush her hair before going on. In The Bells are Singing!, Dawn revealed that she was the one to design Buneary's vest (but also admitted that her mother was the one to sew it). In Arriving in Style!, she demonstrated her talent for designing again, sketching many different dresses for the Hearthome Collection, though she rejected all of them.
Also unlike Ash's other friends, Dawn has already crossed a lot of boundaries that have previously only been held by Ash. She saw the aforementioned legendary Pokémon prior to meeting Ash, and is the first main character to own an Template:Type2 Pokémon besides Ash. Having caught Buneary, Pachirisu, and Buizel, Dawn has captured more Pokémon in her first 35 episodes that any of the other main characters, aside from Ash. She is also the first main character besides Ash to have battled a member of the Elite Four, and the first of Ash's friends to have defeated a legendary Pokémon.
She had a bicycle, but like Misty's and May's bikes, Ash's Pikachu destroyed it with its Thunderbolt. However, she did not mention this to Ash until over 30 episodes after it happened. Johanna gave Dawn one of her old ribbons from her days as a coordinator as a gift for luck. She also had a large suitcase full of dresses, but her mother made her leave it at home due to its impracticality. She also has a Contest Pass for the Sinnoh region, and her contest cry is "Spotlight!" (U.S.), or "Charm up!" (Japan).
Since starting her journey, the Pokémon that Dawn acquire tend to be cute like her starter, Piplup. However, due to still being a rookie, she may have some rough spots on how to deal with her Pokémon properly. However, she still deeply cares for all her Pokémon, especially Piplup.
This listing is of Dawn's Pokémon as of the most recent Japanese episode:
- Ambipom: Given to Ō for training.
In the TCG
This listing is of cards mentioning or featuring Dawn or her Pokémon in the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
- Dawn's name is a reference to Diamond, as Paul references Pearl. "Dawn" may also be a reference to "Hikari," which means "light"--dawn is essentially the day's first light.
- Like May, she has her own ending theme song, titled 君のそばで 〜ヒカリのテーマ〜 By Your Side ~Hikari's Theme~. It is the first ending of the Diamond & Pearl anime. The song is performed by グリン Grin.
- On the Pokémon Learning League website, her clothing has been altered so that her white undershirt has sleeves and she is wearing black stockings or tights.
- Dawn is the first Pokémon Trainer introduced as a novice to not have a Template:Type2 Pokémon be her first evolution, as Ash's first evolving Pokémon was Caterpie, and May's was Wurmple. Dawn's first evolving Pokémon was Aipom.
- The only Pokémon on Dawn's team that have evolved so far are part of a Generation II evolution family.
- Dawn's Latin American Spanish dub actress, Gaby Ugarte, is the sister of Xóchitl Ugarte, Misty's Latin American Spanish voice actress. Interestingly, the two characters haven't met yet.
- Dawn's Japanese name is Hikari, and her rival's is Nozomi. The Hikari and the Nozomi are two Shinkansen "bullet train" lines. The Nozomi is faster than the Hikari, possibly symbolizing that Zoey is farther along in her coordinating skills than Dawn. It should also be noted that they go the opposite direction.
- All of Dawn's Pokémon (and those she has owned in the past) draw parallels with one or more of Ash's or May's Pokémon - excluding Ash's Buizel and Dawn's Ambipom, who are currently owned by Ash or were owned by Ash previously.
- Dawn's Piplup is similar to Ash's Pikachu in that it is Dawn's first Pokémon and that it is always out of its Poké Ball.
- Dawn's Buneary is like May's Beautifly in that Dawn had wanted to (and in Dawn's case, actually attempted to) capture one in an episode before they actually managed to. It is also their first capture.
- Dawn's Pachirisu is a parallel to May's Skitty, in that it is often hyper and needs to be calmed down (with a Poffin or toy respectively). It is also Dawn's second capture.
- Dawn's Mamoswine draws parallels to both May's Munchlax as a Swinub, in that it lives to eat, and Ash's Charizard in that it was respectful of its Trainer in its basic form, but disobeyed in its second and third form. It is also similar in that it evolved from its second form to its final form within less than five episodes from evolving. Both Ash's Charizard, Dawn's Mamoswine and May's Munchlax were all the Trainer's fifth captures within their career.
Similarities to Ash
- Out of all of Ash's friends, Dawn is the only one so far to have her debut episode dedicated completely to herself. Unlike other debut episodes, Ash didn't appear until the last minute. Also in that episode, she saw a legendary Pokémon similar to how Ash did at the start of his journey.
- She is the only main character aside from Ash to challenge an official Pokémon Gym from the games, and the first of Ash's friends to compete in an official Gym Battle in the main series since Showdown at Pewter City and The Water Flowers of Cerulean City, where Brock battled Ash and Misty battled Ash respectively.
- Counting Gym Leaders of any sort (regardless of game appearance), Dawn is only the second main character other than Ash to do this, as Misty challenged Dorian in Just Add Water.
- Dawn is the second main character to have three Pokémon to disobey her: Piplup, Pachirisu and Mamoswine. Ash's were Pikachu, Primeape, and Charizard.
- Recently, whenever she wins a Ribbon, she proudly expresses her victory in a manner similar to Ash when he wins Badges.
- Like Ash, she has a mother who lives by herself with a Pokémon of her own, with no information whatsoever about her father, mirroring Delia Ketchum and her Mr. Mime.
- Like Ash, Dawn has a childhood rival named Kenny who calls her by the nickname "Dee-dee" (Japanese: ピカリ Pikari). Ash's childhood rival Gary calls him by the nickname "Ashy-boy" (Japanese: サトシくん Satoshi-kun).
- Like Ash, she has an Template:Type2 Pokémon that is based off of a rodent.
|| ヒカリ Hikari
|| From 光, light.
|| May be a reference to Hikari, as dawn is essentially the day's first light.
|| Literally means dawn.
|| A reference to lux lucid, Latin for light.
|| From luce, Italian for light.
|| This may be from a gag that the Spanish dubbers did in switching Dawn's and May's names around. Notice Dawn's Spanish name, Maya, is closer to May, while May's Spanish name is Aura, which translates into "dawn."
|| 나빛나 Na Bit-Na
|| When read as a sentence, it means I shine.
| Chinese (Taiwan)
|| 小光 Xiǎo Guāng
|| From 光 hikari, light. Literally "small light".
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