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AmourShipping (Japanese: サトセレ SatoSere) is one of the most common pairings within the Pokémon fandom, alongside PokéShipping and RocketShipping. It is also one of the few pairings that has been officially recognized by The Pokémon Company, with evidence found across multiple adaptations.
Though Serena had debuted in Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin!, long after Ash originally debuted in the anime series, the pairing is unique in that Ash and Serena had canonically first met each other prior to the beginning of the series. Serena had gotten lost in the forest during Professor Oak's Summer Camp and was scared by a Poliwag that caused her to trip and injure her leg. Ash eventually found her by chance and bandaged her leg with a handkerchief he had on hand. He then helped her stand up, but not before leaving her with encouraging words to never give up, which left a lasting impression on Serena. Years later, during Lumiose City Pursuit!, she would learn of Ash being in Kalos after he became the center of attention in a news report from Lumiose City that involved him stopping a Garchomp's rampage, after which she would recognize him. Eager to see him again and thank him for their first encounter, Serena started her journey in hopes of meeting him once more. She reunites with him and is eventually invited by Ash to travel with him. The two travelled together throughout the Kalos region and built a strong bond with each other. Their bond has most recently been made evident in Serena's first reappearance in Pokémon Journeys: The Series, well after the two first parted ways.
In Giving Chase at the Rhyhorn Race!, the story of Ash and Serena's first meeting is revealed. Both had enrolled in Professor Oak's Summer Camp when they were younger, the latter against her will as it was her mother's decision to enroll her there. Serena got lost in a forest, losing track of the other participants, and was scared by a Poliwag. She subsequently fell and injured her leg. By chance, Ash encountered her while searching for Poliwag, and while helping her, told her to never give up until the end. These words left a lasting impression on Serena, and she would cherish her memory of her first encounter with Ash for years to come.
Serena would eventually reunite with Ash in A Blustery Santalune Gym Battle!, which would carry over into Battling on Thin Ice!. Much to her disappointment, Ash did not recognize her at all, however, while Ash was in a slump over his defeat at the hands of Viola, Serena reminded Ash of the encouraging words he told her when they first met, which gave Ash the push and motivation to persevere in his training to eventually defeat Viola. Alexa took note of this, and told Serena the next day that she knew Ash needed inspiration, but did not expect it to come from Serena. During the Gym Battle, Ash proclaimed he wouldn't give up until the very end, and later, Serena would also further encourage Ash during the Gym Battle. Ash was evidently grateful for Serena's support, so much so that in a first for Ash's companions, he invites Serena to travel with him.
Throughout the series, Ash and Serena often motivate and inspire each other, especially in the latter's case as she finds her own dreams and works towards them.
At the beginning of Kindergarten Chaos!, a woman named Penelope challenges Ash to a battle on the condition that if he loses, he'll be coming with her. Serena panics at this, fearing that Ash will be taken away from her, but is later on relieved that it is a non-romantic situation.
Serena notably has a canonical romantic attraction to Ash, which other characters often pick up on and notice. In A Battle by Any Other Name!, Miette teases Serena, telling her to confess her feelings to Ash before Miette tells him herself, flustering her. In A Cave of Trials, Serena notably tries to stand closer to Ash during the group's photo, and stares at the photo with a blush afterwards.
During The Cave of Mirrors!, Ash disappears into the Mirror World in the Reflection Cave. Serena eventually becomes despondent and fears that she may never see Ash again. Later, when the portal between the two worlds reopens, Ash and Serena reach out for each others' hands and to try to get Ash back to the real world. Afterwards, Serena asks Ash if they'll always be together from now on, to which Ash affirms that he wouldn't have it any other way.
In Under the Pledging Tree!, Ash and Serena notably go shopping together by themselves for the Coumarine City Festival. At the end of the episode, Ash gifts Serena with a ribbon as thanks for helping him choose gifts for his Pokémon. At the end of the following episode, A Showcase Debut, Serena changes her outfit and appearance, and also wears the ribbon Ash gifted her, which Ash takes note of. Ash complements her new appearance and says that she looks good in her new attire.
Miette would return multiple times starting with Performing with Fiery Charm! as a rival to Serena. Whenever the two encountered each other, Miette would continue to tease Serena about her feelings for Ash, getting a blush from her every time. In Tag Team Battle Inspiration!, Shauna notes that Ash is upbeat, and asks Serena if that's why she likes him. Serena blushes in reaction to this, claiming she admires his positive attitude and that her liking of him is purely platonic. Miette would also tease Serena in Party Dancecapades, in which she asked Ash to be her "partner" for the upcoming Dance Party for Pokémon Performers, inciting an extreme reaction from Serena. During the dance, Serena narrowly misses the chance to dance with Ash as the timer for the dance portion ends just before the two are about to have their turn, much to Serena's extreme dismay.
The episode Battling at Full Volume! is notable in that Serena is forced to take care of a sick Ash. When a Trainer arrives to challenge Ash to a battle, Serena decides to disguise herself as Ash and battle said Trainer in his place alongside Pikachu.
During Serena's Master Class Showcase and later Ash's participation in the Kalos League, the two are shown unwaveringly believing in each other and supporting each other.
In the episode The First Day of the Rest of Your Life!, Ash invites Serena to go on a mini-tour around Lumiose City with him after the city has returned to its peaceful self. Ash notices something is bothering Serena, and challenges her to a battle. The two battle each other, after which Serena finds her resolve on what she will do moving forward. Ash tells her he will be rooting for her no matter what. After Serena decides to leave on her own to compete in Contest Spectaculars in Hoenn, in hopes of becoming a role model for others and a more self-sufficient person, in Till we Compete Again!, Serena in a unique turn of events kisses Ash before leaving, much to the shock of the latter as well as Clemont and Bonnie. Though the scene was kept unclear, it is implied that she kissed Ash on the lips.
Serena first reappeared in Reuniting for the First Time!. Though Ash and Serena did not see each other until the end of the episode, the two were excited to see each other, but also disappointed that they had little time to talk as the ship Ash, Goh, and Chloe were boarding was leaving soon. Before the two would part ways once more, Ash and Serena affirmed their goals to each other, aiming to become the top battler and Performer, respectively, and that they would be rooting for each other no matter what.
- In Shoko Nakagawa's 2015 album DoriDori, which includes Serena's theme song, DoriDori, a song titled "Candy Girl" embodies Serena's feelings towards Ash and her wish to stand alongside him as an equal, in hopes that the two would be able to push each other to great heights together.
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