List of major anime ships

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Within the Pokémon anime, there are several times that certain emphasis is focused on two characters more than others and this can lead to fans imagining characters being in a relationship together. These can develop deeper over several seasons or arcs of the show or even be entirely based on individual episodes. The majority of these ships are based around Ash and his friends, or rival pairings within the series.

Main cast ships

Ash taking care of Brock

Ash x Brock

Commonly referred to as BoulderShipping (Japanese: サトタケ SatoTake), referring to the Boulder Badge that Brock gives to Trainers upon his defeat.

Serving as Ash's longest travelling companion the Brock and Ash have a long history together, from the Original series in Kanto through to Sinnoh in the Diamond and Pearl series (with the exception of the Orange Archipelago arc). Many of their interactions that BoulderShippers support revolves around the two characters caring for each other when sick or injured, such as in Sick Daze or A Meteoric Rise to Excellence!. They are shown to work well together as well in Tag Battles, speaking to the strength of their relationship, as seen in Grating Spaces! and A Full Course Tag Battle!.

Ash and Dawn holding hands in The Rise of Darkrai

Ash x Dawn

Commonly known as PearlShipping (Japanese: サトヒカ SatoHika), which originates from the belief that Dawn's game persona would be linked to the Pearl name upon Diamond and Pearl's release before much was known about either the anime saga or Dawn's character.

Travelling with Ash through the Sinnoh region, it was through a lot of guidance from Ash and Brock that Dawn was able to develop into a capable Trainer. PearlShippers commonly cite the many similarities between the two characters first journeys across their respective region, highlighting, in particular, the similarities in their Pokémon's behavior towards them, such as Piplup and Pikachu's initial mistrust of their partner, and the issues that they had getting their Charizard and Mamoswine to obey them after evolving. In the Japanese version, it features one of the first opening theme duets in the form of High Touch!, which is sung by Ash and Dawn's voice actors. This theme is frequently used as background music in moments of victory between the two, specifically highlighting the significance of a high five between them and the importance it has on their relationship.

Iris and Ash

Ash x Iris

Commonly known as NegaiShipping (Japanese: サトアイ SatoAi), with Negai meaning ‘wish', linking to Pokémon the Series: Black & White.

Although their relationship started off rocky with a lot of fighting, throughout the series, Iris came to trust Ash. As well as this, she was the first female traveling companion to follow Ash of her own accord, and not due to her bike being destroyed or being invited along on his journey. Cilan, a Connoisseur has noted on several different occasions that Ash and Iris give off an interesting flavor when they are together and have also pointed out their similarities. This usually causes them to lash out at him aggressively in disagreement.

Ash and Lana hanging out in Yo, Ho, Ho! Go, Popplio!

Ash x Lana

Commonly known as BlueAngelShipping (Japanese: サトスイ SatoSui), referring to the color of Lana's hair and her calm and gentle personality.

Ash and Lana are good friends, helping teach each others Pokémon and building upon the skills together as can be seen in Yo, Ho, Ho! Go, Popplio!. Multiple times over the course of the Sun and Moon series it was questioned by others as to whether they were a couple, such as Harper and Sarah in Yo, Ho, Ho! Go, Popplio! and Olivia in Big Sky, Small Fry!.

Ash and Lillie in Lillie's room at Aether Paradise

Ash x Lillie

Commonly known as AureliaShipping (Japanese: サトリー SatoRī) where Aurelia is derived from the jellyfish species Aurelia aurita, in reference to Lillie's resemblance to Nihilego.

Ash and Lillie both joined the Pokémon School at the same time, quickly bonding with each other and their classmates. Ash admires Lillie's knowledge on Pokémon of the Alola region, and it was thanks to him that she was able to overcome her fear of touching Pokémon. In the opening theme Alola!! the two are parallelled as well with Ash being used to symbolise the sun and Lille to symbolize the moon.

Ash and May with the ribbon halves

Ash x May

Commonly known as AdvanceShipping (Japanese: サトハル SatoHaru), named for the anime series based in Hoenn Pokémon Advanced.

May is Ash's first full time female companion after Misty left as a main character and accompanied him across both Hoenn and Kanto. She is a Coordinator and the first companion of his to have a frequently visited goal in the series, aiming to win the Grand Festival. Throughout the series, characters mistakenly believed they were a couple as seen primarily in The Bicker The Better. Their companionship is cemented during the ending of the Terracotta Town Contest in Home is Where the Start Is where the final battle results in a draw and they split the winning ribbon.

Ash and Misty holding hands in The Ghost of Maiden's Peak

Ash x Misty

Main article: PokéShipping

Commonly known as PokéShipping (Japanese: サトカス SatoKasu), originating from it being one of the first introduced ships within the anime. It has a strong history within the show and the surrounding media and adaptations.

Valentine's Day poster with Ash and Serena

Ash x Serena

Main article: AmourShipping

Commonly known as AmourShipping (Japanese: サトセレ SatoSere), deriving from the French word for love, the region that Kalos is based on. This ship gained a lot of attention due to the revelation of the two characters knowing each other since their childhood. This was further assisted when the characters went their separate ways and it is heavily implied a kiss occurred between them.

May and Brock

Brock x May

Commonly known as ShoppingShipping (Japanese: タケハル TakeHaru), originating from the fact that Brock and May both enjoy shopping together. This was seen in Taming of the Shroomish and The Spheal of Approval.

Jessie and James choose flight over fight in Watt's with Wattson?

Jessie x James

Main article: RocketShipping

Commonly known as RocketShipping (Japanese: コジムサ KojiMusa), based upon their careers as Team Rocket members. This ship has a lot of implied and creator confirmed evidence regarding it that appears in the other adaptations of the anime.

Brock pulling Misty's ear

Misty x Brock

Commonly known as GymShipping (Japanese: タケカス TakeKasu) as both Misty and Brock are Gym Leaders.

Misty and Brock have shared many adventures with Ash over the course of the Pokémon series. As a result, they've also had many close moments, such as in Mystery at the Lighthouse where the two of them waltzed to Dragonite's music, or in Snow Way Out! when they found a hot spring when they were separated from Ash. During the Johto arc of the anime, a running gag is developed where Brock, whenever confessing his feelings toward a female character, is pulled back into line by Misty.

Misty and Tracey holding hands

Misty x Tracey

Commonly known as OrangeShipping (Japanese: ケンカス KenKasu), named for the second English series where Tracey debuted.

This pairing whilst given some evidence during the Orange Archipelago arc, mostly in their admiration of each other's knowledge and abilities, had their relationship primarily showcased in the Side Story episodes. Both Casey and Sakura mistook them for being a couple in their respective episodes. Daisy also asked Tracey to play a prince, opposite Misty as a mermaid, in a production by the Cerulean Gym. Tracey, gave Misty an Egg that contained an Azurill to hatch and care for. Finally, in The Dream Continues! when Ash is looking for Tracey, Professor Oak tells him that he is currently visiting Misty.

Clemont showing an invention off to Serena

Serena x Clemont

Commonly known as GeekChicShipping (Japanese: シトセレ CitSere) named after the geek chic fashion trend, and reflects their personalities: Clemont is geeky and Serena is chic.

Serena and Clemont share a very positive friendship, with Clemont excited to teach and show Serena new things and Serena showing a lot of kindness and generosity in return. When Meyer, Clemont's father, meets Serena in Clemont's Got a Secret!, he teased Clemont by calling her his “beautiful girlfriend”. Clemont also trusts Serena enough to leave Bonnie in her care when he has to leave the group temporarily during The Future Is Now, Thanks to Determination!. In Party Dancecapades!, Serena asks Clemont to be her date to the party and invites him to dance.

Rival ships

Ash and Gary in The Battle of the Badge

Ash x Gary

Commonly known as PalletShipping (Japanese: シゲサト ShigeSato), as both characters originate from Pallet Town.

The pair have always had a rivalry with Gary frequently poking fun at Ash and bragging about his victories over Ash. Whereas Ash's drive and determination derive heavily from his rivalry with Gary. To the point where early on in the series Ash actually follows Gary to new regions, even after he decides to start being a Pokémon Researcher. Delia and Professor Oak also comment during the Silver Conference that the two share a very close friendship. This is solidified by the matching broken Poké Ball halves they share.

Burgundy and Cilan

Cilan x Burgundy

Commonly known as SommelierShipping (Japanese: デンカベ DenCabe), named for the Japanese name of their specialization as Pokémon Connoisseurs.

Burgundy considers Cilan to be one of her biggest rivals, determined to one day better him in competition, both as a Trainer and as a Connoisseur. Despite her abrasiveness, Cilan has been shown to be nothing but pleasant to her even when the ire is directed towards him. In Battling Authority Once Again!, Georgia questions her jealousy towards him and implies that she may have deeper feelings, which causes Burgundy to get flustered.

Dawn is impressed and Conway blushes

Dawn x Conway

Commonly known as HeatTagShipping (Japanese: コウヒカ KouHika). The name comes from its original coiner always missing the 'r' in Hearthome, coming out with the word 'Heat'. 'Tag' is short for tag team.

Dawn first met Conway in Hearthome City in Tag, We're It!. Both joined the Hearthome City Tag Battle Competition and were partnered where Dawn was impressed with Conway's battling ability. The two met again in Camping It Up! when both enrolled as students in Professor Rowan's Pokémon Summer Academy where Conway promises to protect Dawn.

May and Drew

May x Drew

Commonly known as ContestShipping (Japanese: シュウハル ShuuHaru), as both May and Drew compete in Pokémon Contests.

The relationship between May and Drew is very similar to that of Ash and Gary in the way they acted towards each other. With Drew being critical and arrogant towards May, and May being irked by his actions, constantly striving to better him. Early on, Drew made a habit of gifting May roses with the excuse they were for her Pokémon, this is even played for comedy later when May receives a rose from an unknown person and she assumes it's from Drew. Multiple characters over the course of the series tease the pair about their potential interest in each other including Harley, Brock, Caroline, Brianna, Jessie, Max and Solidad.

One-sided canon ships

Ash and Angie with the Summit Medal

Ash x Angie

Commonly known as MorpheusShipping (Japanese: サトアオ SatoAo), which originates from Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams, to represent their mutual feelings for their lessons (by sleeping through them).

It is confirmed on Angie's side that she developed feelings for Ash over the course of the Pokémon Summer Academy arc after Ash saves her from falling down a cliff and protects her from the ghost girl. During If the Scarf Fits, Wear It! Ash defends Angie's actions to her parents, and after the conclusion of the episode, her parents joke about the two of them getting married.

DVD cover featuring Ash, Dawn, Khoury and Lyra

Ash x Lyra

Commonly known as PokéSilverShipping (Japanese: サトコト SatoKoto), and is likely to be derived from the fact that Lyra's game counterpart is the female playable character of HeartGold and SoulSilver. It was formerly a one-sided canon ship on Lyra's side until she developed feelings for Khoury.

It is implied in Gone With the Windworks! that Lyra has an interest in Ash when she considers him a potential marriage candidate. She admires his bravery and wishes Khoury acted more like him. Lyra has even asked Dawn if she and Ash are a couple, though Dawn informed her that they are just friends. In A Rivalry to Gible On!, Lyra attempted to pair Khoury and Dawn together as a couple, despite Dawn's refusal, before eventually realizing she had feelings for Khoury.

Ash x Miette

Commonly known as PoffleShipping (Japanese: サトミル SatoMiru) and is likely to be derived from the fact that in Miette's debut episode she was featured in a Poké Puff Contest. It is a one-sided canon ship on Miette's side when she announced her feelings to Serena indicating they were rivals not just in competition, but also for Ash's affection.

During A Battle by Any Other Name! Miette admires Ash's bravery against Team Rocket, and in the end tells Serena about her feelings for Ash. Later in Performing with Fiery Charm!, Miette reminds Serena she hasn't forgotten about their "other" competition, referring to Ash. She asks to dance with him as well during Party Dancecapades!.

Holly admiring Brock

Brock x Holly

Commonly known as TeenCareShipping.

Brock first met Holly during the Hearthome City Tag Battle Competition, where they were Tag Battle partners in the tournament. Despite her initial disinterest she quickly began admiring him as the tournament progressed, and even getting jealous when Brock expressed interest in Nurse Joy. After their loss in Smells Like Team Spirit! Brock comforts her and afterward, she leaves so that she can become a better partner for him. Brock is saddened to find she left without saying goodbye and that he may have lost his chance at love.

Ivy and Brock

Brock x Ivy

Commonly known as TraumaShipping, which originated from how Brock develops a depressive fright just at the mention of Professor Ivy's name.

It was formerly a one-sided canon relationship on Brock's side, going above and beyond in helping her with her research, however, he is no longer interested in her.

Suzie and the Vulpix that she gave to Brock

Brock x Suzie

Commonly known as BreederShipping, as Suzie is a Pokémon Breeder by profession and Brock's original goal was to become a Pokémon Breeder before he focused on becoming a Pokémon Doctor.

In Pokémon Fashion Flash Brock initially wanted to be one of Suzie's students, but she said she was too busy to take on pupils, greatly admiring her skills and wanting to learn more himself. He takes to heart her philosophy of close personal relationships with Pokémon was the most important thing in raising them. At the culmination of the episode, she leaves her Vulpix in her care and leaves to begin her own journey. They're reunited in Beauty and the Breeder when she requests to meet up with Brock and Vulpix again. After seeing Suzie and Zane work together, Brock realizes that he and Suzie would never be anything more than good friends and he decides to leave Vulpix back with Suzie saying he was just looking after it for some time.

Kenny and Dawn

Dawn x Kenny

Commonly known as PenguinShipping (Japanese: ケンヒカ KenHika), originating from the fact that both of them have members of the Piplup evolution family. Due to being childhood friends and now contest rivals, it has been shown that he and Dawn know each other well. As a running gag in the series, Kenny calls Dawn Dee-Dee (Japanese: ピカリ Pikari).

Over the course of the Diamond and Pearl series Kenny's frequently shown to be flustered towards Dawn, and overly concerned for her wellbeing despite their rivalry. This culminates in Brock recognizing Kenny's affections during Four Roads Diverged in a Pokémon Port! and trying to give him advice on talking to Dawn about his feelings. When Kenny tells Dawn that he wants to go on a journey with her, he says, "I know this is a bit sudden, but I had to tell you how I feel!" He then runs off, and Dawn seems to be conflicted about Kenny's offer to go back to Twinleaf Town with him or going to the Sinnoh League with Ash. When Dawn sees how upset Kenny is after agreeing to let her go with Ash, she becomes saddened. Later, she leaves a note—as well as a Piplup figurine—behind at the Vista Lighthouse, wishing Kenny luck in the future. She then waves goodbye to Kenny while she's on the boat heading to Lily of the Valley Island as he stands at the lighthouse.

Jimmy and Marina

Jimmy x Marina

Commonly known as QuestShipping (Japanese: ケンマリ KenMari).

Appearing during The Legend of Thunder! specials, it is heavily implied that there is mutual unspoken interest between Jimmy and Marina, despite other characters, such as Vincent and Jimmy's Typhlosion noticing and taunting Jimmy about it. During the third part when Marina is rescued, Jimmy and Marina share a knowing look, and when they part ways, Marina calls Vincent on her Pokégear to make sure he has her number. Also Jimmy and Marina is based on Ethan and Kris from Pokémon Crystal.

Other one-sided canon ships

Ship Name Characters involved Key Episodes
AbilityShipping Ash x Anabel AG169-AG170
Admiration Shipping Drew x Brianna AG162
AkebiShipping Dawn's Buneary x Phione DP113
AmorousShipping Brock x Temacu EP198
ApplesFantasiaShipping Iris's Axew x Iris's Emolga BW024
BackShipping Marina x Vincent The Legend of Thunder!
DanceShipping Misty x Rudy EP103
DedicateShipping May x Sid M07
FireShipping Ash x Macy EP267-EP268
KitchenMaidShipping Brock x Autumn DP062
LuckShipping Brock x Lucy AG158
SitrusShipping Brock x Natalie AG012
SomeoneElseShipping Georgio x Misty HS11

Pokémon Ships

Charla standing with Ash's Charizard affectionately

Ash's Charizard x Charla

Commonly known as ValleyShipping, named for the Charicific Valley, where both Charizard live for a length of time.

When Charizard, Liza and Charla return in Great Bowls of Fire!, Clair points out how close the two Charaizard are, with Misty even calling them lovebirds after Charla cuddles up to Charizard.

Buneary and Pikachu

Buneary x Pikachu

Commonly known as LagomorphShipping, which originates from Lagomorpha, the order that rabbits and pikas belong to, connecting to Buneary being based on real-world rabbits, and "pika" being in Pikachu's name.

This is one-sided canon on Buneary's side, whose crush on Pikachu was a running feature in the Diamond and Pearl series, frequently fawning over him and appearing with hearts in her eyes and blushing during their interactions. The crush was noted by Ash, Brock and Dawn in Buneary's debut in Setting the World on Its Buneary! and is also noticed by May in A Full Course Tag Battle!

Meowth x Meowzie

Commonly known as NekoShipping, in reference to the Japanese word for a cat, neko.

This pairing is one-sided canon on Meowth's side and is brought up multiple times throughout the series. It is explored primarily in Go West Young Meowth. Meowth fell in love with Meowzie but had nothing to offer her that her owner couldn't provide, so to impress her he learned to speak and walk on two legs. Upon doing so, however, she considered him a freak regardless of his motivations.

Meowth and Pikachu dancing, in the Polka O Dolka ending theme

Pikachu x Meowth

Commonly known as KrazyShipping (Japanese: ニャピカ NyaPika), which references Krazy Kat, a comic strip from the early 20th century about a cat who was in love with a mouse, while the mouse hated the cat.

Despite the differences between Meowth and Pikachu fans of this pairing think that there is some basis for a relationship and have been shown to work well together when they have to, such as in Island of the Giant Pokémon and Bound for Trouble. In A Scare to Remember, Pikachu gets amnesia and is actually caught by the Rocket trio. Although Meowth does trick Pikachu into thinking it was raised by Team Rocket, throughout the episode, Meowth admits he feels guilty about tricking Pikachu. Finally, in the Polka O Dolka ending, Meowth and Pikachu are seen dancing together.

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