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370Luvdisc.png This article is about shipping.
As hints and evidence for ships are mostly speculation, this page may contain personal points of view.

Iris and Ash

NegaiShipping (Japanese: サトアイ SatoAi) is the belief that Ash Ketchum and Iris belong in a romantic relationship. Currently, it is the main pairing of the Best Wishes series, along with WishfulShipping.


Iris's hints

Iris blushes slightly upon meeting Ash, and throughout most of the episode. Later on, after Pikachu and Axew are stolen by Team Rocket, Ash jumps off a tree and falls down to the ground. Iris immediately jumps down from the tree, asking if Ash is all right, rather than trying to save the Pokémon. Iris also later thanks Ash for saving Axew, even though it was Oshawott who saved him. Iris then tells Ash that because of his actions she has started to change her view of him and she starts traveling with him.
Iris saving Ash
Iris and Ash spend the majority of the episode arguing. During a rescue of some Pokémon, however, Ash loses his grip on a bridge made of Sandile, but Iris is there to grab his wrist, keeping hold of him as the Sandile righten themselves to safety. Afterward, the two look to each other and smile, having silently reconciled their differences. It is to be noted, however, they shared this look a moment later with the main Sandile; ultimately, it means, "A job well done."
Iris shows concern for Ash when he tries to get close to an abandoned Tepig and tells him to be careful. After Ash succeeds in calming the Pokémon down, Iris watches Ash as he unties the rope around Tepig's snout and feeds it. She seems surprised by Ash's treatment of the Pokémon and smiles warmly.
Iris watching Ash's gym battle
During Ash's gym battle with Cilan, Chili, and Cress, fans of the brothers stayed on one side of the arena to cheer on the Gym Leaders, while Iris stays on the opposing side and quite blatantly gazes at Ash with a look that could easily be interpreted as attraction or cool admiration (among others, both positive and negative, given she's been calling him a "kid" up until now, and not kindly).
After Ash beats Cilan, Iris is impressed with Ash's performance and whispers his name while watching him celebrate. After Ash receives his badge from Cilan, he shows off to Iris who quickly criticizes him. After this, Cilan asks Ash if he and Iris are traveling together. Iris yells that they aren't and runs off. Later, once Cilan has formally joined Ash's travel party, Ash and Cilan are on their way to leave Striaton City. As Ash wonders where Iris is, she appears from a tree, surprising him. After being asked by Ash to join him and Cilan on their journey, she is overjoyed and excitedly accepts his invitation.
During the battle between Iris and Cilan, Iris seems to pay just as much attention to Ash as the battle at hand. Most of the time she and Ash argue over battle strategies and why she doesn't want to battle him. During this time, Iris is too busy arguing to tell Axew how to counterattack, and it ended up taking a SolarBeam at close range. Throughout the episode Iris is surprised that Ash wants to battle her so much.
When Trip was leaving after he "canceled" the request to battle, she took up for Ash and helped convince Trip to change his mind. Iris blatantly gazes at Ash with a look that could easily be interpreted as attraction or cool admiration for the second time, during his battle with Trip.
Iris grabs Ash's shoulder in an affectionate way when asking Lenora what type of Trainer he is. She is also very concerned about Ash's depressed attitude after he loses the gym battle.
When Ash and Pikachu fall into a hole and get separated from the group, Iris is willing to use her Excadrill to try and find them. Even though Excadrill doesn't listen to her, Iris doesn't hesitate to ask it for help, unlike in The Bloom is on Axew! when Ash is the one to finally convince her to use it to rescue Axew. Later, Iris again shows a look of concern when Ash battles Sandile, knowing that Pikachu was at a disadvantage.
When Ash tries to help an injured Venipede, Iris constantly worries for him, because of the Venipede's Poison Point. She is concerned for him when he becomes poisoned due to contact with the Pokémon. Later, when Ash jumps in the path of Lampent's Shadow Ball to protect the boss Venipede and is hit, she rushes to his side and holds onto his arm.
Iris and Ash
When Iris, Axew and Emolga are cornered by a group of wild Swoobat, Ash and the others come to their aid. Iris looks relieved and only acknowledges Ash and Pikachu, despite Cilan and Bianca being there as well.
When Ash and Oshawott are ambushed underwater by a school of wild Tympole, Iris seemingly senses the danger and looks toward the lake while wondering if they are all right.
On several different occasions when Ash was in mortal danger, Iris screamed his name with obvious strain in her voice. Meanwhile, Cilan and Tuttle didn't say a thing.
Right before Ash's battle with Burgundy, Iris shows concern for Ash and wonders who he'll use to fight with. Ash says he's using this chance to test someone. After this, Ash moves on to the battlefield while Iris stands up and follows him to the edge of the area designated for spectators.

Ash's hints

Ash seems a little disappointed when Iris goes missing the morning after their meeting.
After his battle with Cilan, Ash happily shows his badge to Iris and asks her opinion. Iris criticizes Ash for his choices in battle and this upsets him, not expecting that answer from her. Also, Ash seems to be upset when Iris declares that he and she are not traveling together and takes off on her own.
Ash is annoyed that Iris would not battle him and that she battled Cilan instead. He continuously asks her for a battle throughout the episode.
When the group is lost in the Pinwheel Forest, Iris claims to know the way out by "listening to the forest". Cilan says that this was merely non-scientific explanations, but Ash agrees that going with your hunches is the best way to go.
When Team Rocket steals Axew and Druddigon, Iris uses her senses to try and find the two Pokémon. When Iris finds out where they are, Cilan and Emmy begin to doubt Iris and think that she is going the wrong way. However, Ash assures them that because of Iris's senses they would find Axew and Druddigon. Ash then tells them that he will believe in Iris, and follows after her. This shows that Ash has confidence in Iris's abilities and her bond with Axew.

Other hints

  • Unlike Misty, May, and Dawn, Iris starts following Ash without his permission for unknown reasons. She claims that she is doing him a favor since he is new to the Unova region and unfamiliar with the territory. Some fans believe that Iris is using this as an excuse to hide her true intentions. While Ash felt some obligation to Misty and May for Pikachu destroying their bikes, Dawn asks to join him and Brock on their journey.
  • Iris criticizes Ash on occasion by referring to him as a little kid. Iris tends to do this when Ash does something rash, impulsive, or more recently just to tease him since she knows it bothers him.
  • Ash has been seen to take on some of Iris's characteristics, like frequently climbing trees, swinging from vines, as well as her confidence.
  • Cilan has noted on several different occasions that Ash and Iris give off an interesting flavor when they are together and has also pointed out their similarities. This usually causes them to lash out at him aggressively in disagreement.
  • Ash's Oshawott has a crush on Iris's Emolga. This could be a sign that Ash may have a crush on Iris, 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. This is similar to how fans relate PearlShipping and LagomorphShipping to each other. It is to be pointed out that Oshawott developed this crush before Iris caught Emolga. 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.


  • Both Ash and Iris own Pokémon that do not reside within a Poké Ball (Ash's Pikachu and Iris's Axew).
  • Both have at times shown an impulsive nature, especially when protecting their Pokémon.
  • Both Ash and Iris have owned Pokémon that have refused to obey them at one point (Ash's Pikachu, Charizard, and Primeape, and Iris's Excadrill).
  • Ash and Iris are the only main characters in the series to own a Dragon-type Pokémon (Ash's Gible and Iris's Axew).
    • As part of their story, both Gible and Axew have trouble executing a certain Dragon-type move at first, Draco Meteor and Dragon Rage, respectively.
    • Also, Gible and Axew are both part of a three-stage evolutionary line that retain the same type throughout their evolution.
  • Both Ash and Iris own Pokémon that have revealed that their primary goal is to reach their final evolutionary stage (Ash's Butterfree and Iris's Axew).
    • Both Pokémon were raised from, and expressed this goal in, their first evolutionary stage.
  • Ash and Iris own an Electric-type rodent Pokémon (Ash's Pikachu and Iris's Emolga).
    • Both Pokémon store electricity in the sacs of their cheeks.
    • Also, both Pikachu and Emolga have a fondness for a certain item, ketchup and apples, respectively.
    • Both Pikachu and Emolga know Pokémon that have crushes on them, Dawn's Buneary and Ash's Oshawott, respectively.
    • Both Pikachu and Emolga have the Static ability.
  • Ash and Iris are the only main characters in the series to own a Pokémon that knows the move Attract (Ash's Snivy and Iris's Emolga).
    • Both Snivy and Emolga are female.

Name origin

  • Negai is from the Japanese characters 願い (negai) to mean 'wish' (in terms of 'desire,' 'prayer,' or 'request'). It is used as an alternate name over WishShipping, after the title of the Japanese series "Best Wishes."

Alternate names

  • AaIL - stands for Ash and Iris Love
  • サトアイ SatoAi - meaning Satoshi and Iris (ai being the phonetic pronunciation of the long i sound)
  • PalmtreeShipping - This was one of the first names, but was unoffcial.

External links

NegaiShipping World

Project Shipping logo.png This article is part of Project Shipping, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each couple in Pokémon.