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May (Japanese: ハルカ Haruka) is a ten-year-old Pokémon Coordinator from the anime and a former traveling companion of Ash. She is the daughter of Norman and Caroline, and her starter Pokémon was a Torchic given to her by Professor Birch.
Initially on a journey to meet new places, May found her true calling in Pokémon Contests and made it her goal to become a Top Coordinator. She traveled through Hoenn and Kanto with Ash, Brock, and her little brother Max.
When May debuted in the anime, she did not like Pokémon at all and was only interested in becoming a Pokémon Trainer so she could travel. Everyone expected her to follow in her father Norman's footsteps. However, after seeing a Pokémon Contest in All Things Bright and Beautifly!, she decided to become a Pokémon Coordinator. Since May initially knew almost nothing about Pokémon or attacks, Ash assumed the role of her mentor. She gradually gained experience through her journey and practice with Ash.
As a Coordinator, May was able to learn more about Pokémon and form stronger bonds with them. In Come What May!, after winning the Fallarbor Contest, May told her Beautifly that she loved it. This is an example of her growth — from someone who initially disliked Pokémon to someone who cared deeply for them.
With her Pokémon, May was able to come up with different attack combinations to use during her Contest Battles. For instance, she would use her Combusken's Fire Spin and her Squirtle's Bubble to create a combination of fire and water, dubbed "Fire and Water Whirlwind" by Lilian, after witnessing Tucker use it against Ash with a combination of Water Pulse and Fire Blast. This even made a rival of hers angry, thinking she thought he was not worthy of the move as May did not use it against him.
She also developed a love for making her own Pokéblocks with recipes that she thought up, including ones called "May's Purple Surprise" and "May's Pink Surprise" (Japanese: Haruka's Delicious and Haruka's Delicious 2). Unfortunately, the only ones who liked her "Purple Surprise" were her Munchlax and Jessie. Her "Pink Surprise" came from the recipe Professor Oak uses to make Ash's Snorlax's food. Thus, after May first fed it to her Munchlax, it was automatically made full. This Pokéblock was regularly used to feed Munchlax in order to prevent it from eating the food of others.
During her journey, she found a rival in Drew, a skilled and sometimes arrogant Coordinator. Drew became one of her main inspirations to try harder to sharpen her skills as a Coordinator. At first, Drew had claimed that May had "no style" as a Coordinator, but by the end of May's second Contest campaign, when she defeated him in the Kanto Grand Festival, he recognized her growth and skill. Another rival of hers, Harley, is a flamboyant man who goes to extremes to beat May and has no qualms about cheating or using unfair tactics. And example of Harley's depravity was seen in A Cacturne for the Worse, when he recorded Max telling him a story from May's childhood. May had been wearing a blue swimming cap in the ocean, and her mother had mistaken her for a Tentacool from afar and attempted to catch May with one of her Poké Balls. Harley played the recording of this story during the Izabe Island Pokémon Contest to embarrass May into losing. May was able to beat Harley in the end, but she claimed that she had never been more humiliated. Another example is when Harley joined forces with Team Rocket in an attempt to sabotage May's performance with Combusken, which ended up contributing to a more dazzling appeal.
At the Kanto Grand Festival, May also competed against Solidad, an experienced Coordinator to whom she lost in the semifinals. At the end of the Advanced Generation series, she left to compete with Drew, Harley, and Solidad in the Johto region, aiming to find her own battling style. The decision to stop traveling with Ash was an important one for May's character. Because Ash played the role of a mentor to her through most of the series, she was largely influenced by his offensive battle style. By the end of their journey through Kanto, May had realized that an offensive style was not necessarily the best for her and for Contests. Her constant use of dazzling attacks ultimately proved to be her downfall at the Kanto Grand Festival, when Solidad was able to recognize and counter these moves by leading May to attack and then successfully dodging. Her goal to find her own style was therefore also a goal to improve her Contest Battle skills and ultimately become a Top Coordinator.
May has Contest Passes to compete in Hoenn, Kanto and Johto. She also has a personal theme song, I Won't Lose! ~Haruka's Theme~, performed by KAORI. It was first used as background music in Curbing the Crimson Tide and was used multiple times after that during May's Contest performances and battles. The song became the ending theme of the show between Pokémon Ranger - Deoxys' Crisis! (Part 2) and Home is Where the Start Is!.
May reappeared from Our Cup Runneth Over! to Strategy With a Smile! to participate in the Wallace Cup. During this period, she wore her game counterpart's outfit from Pokémon Emerald. She shared that many of her Pokémon had evolved and that she had already won three Johto Ribbons. Dawn recognized May upon meeting her and said that some people in the Sinnoh region called her the "Princess of Hoenn", causing May to blush. During the Wallace Cup, May showed the new style that she had come up after leaving Ash, battling against Dawn's rival Zoey and winning using her Beautifly. She made it all the way to the finals but narrowly lost to Dawn in the end.
May reappeared in a picture on Brock's memory wall in the side story episode SS025.
May reappeared in a fantasy in The Dream Continues!.
May made a cameo appearance in the ending credits of I Choose You! alongside Max.
May is generally a very sweet and optimistic girl. She enjoys feminine and cute things as well as shopping. In fact, she and Brock occasionally went on shopping trips together throughout the Advanced Generation series. May cares about her appearance, sometimes spending so much time in front of this mirror that it caused her traveling companions to become frustrated with her, such as in The Bicker the Better. May also is interested in helping other people with their romantic problems.
Though she is generally kind, she occasionally argues with her little brother, Max. The two had arguments since Max's debut episode, but one of their most notable was in Take This House and Shuppet. May's harsh words to Max made him declare that he hated May and he ran away for a portion of the episode. Even though she had been angry, May quickly felt guilty for hurting Max's feelings and became very worried that he would be hurt on his own. In Date Expectations, May revealed that she had promised her mother to always take care of Max on their journey. So even though the siblings had many quarrels, May deeply cares for her brother and would go to great lengths to protect him.
In You Never Can Taillow, May heard Brock used to act as a cook during Ash's journeys. As she, Max and Ash were hungry, she was the one who asked Brock if he could prepare some food for them. If a person or a Pokémon were to steal her food she would become extremely angry, which was demonstrated numerous times. Food was one of the few things May would become angry about, so it was an important tool to show a different side to her usually cheerful character. When May returned for the Diamond & Pearl series, she expressed excitement over the chance to eat at the Seven Stars Restaurant, but having her meal stolen made her enraged. She was later shown enjoying a large cookie, once again affirming her love of food and sweets.
May's rage at her loss of food
When May first left her home, she was only interested in the traveling aspect of a Pokémon journey. This sparked one of May's most memorable quirks in Hoenn, "May's Expeditions". Starting from A Mudkip Mission, May would occasionally make a camera lens with her fingers, pretending she was the host of a traveling show.
As mentioned, May also enjoys making Pokéblock. She first learned about making Pokéblock in the episode Pokéblock, Stock and Berry when she met Kelly. She learned that Kelly's mother owned a Pokéblock shop, and May was curious about it. Kelly then taught her how to use a Berry Blender. May's first attempt of making a Pokéblock was not successful, but that didn't stop her from trying. In the episode Berry, Berry Interesting, May continued to make Pokéblock, calling the result "May's Purple Surprise". However, only May's Munchlax had taken a liking to it. Later on, Professor Oak had created a Pokéblock for May, which May calls "May's Pink Surprise", that is specially made for Munchlax. May uses it to stop her Munchlax from causing too much trouble on many occasions.
May's Contest cry is "Take the stage!" (Japanese: ステージ・オン！ Stage On!). In the English dub, she also uses variations, such as "On stage!"
The Pokémon she acquired on the course of her journey appear to resemble Pokémon that Ash had obtained at some point at the beginning of his own journey. At first, she preferred cute Pokémon, and dazzling techniques, but on the course of her journey, she was able to obtain Pokémon outside that preference. She has a tendency to rely on luck, often using her Skitty's Assist or her Munchlax's Metronome to win. Most of May's Pokémon were not caught through battle. Unlike many of Ash's friends, May has never had a consistently disobedient Pokémon.
Currently in rotation
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| When Professor Birch was attacked by Poochyena, May borrowed Mudkip from his bag to fight the wild Poochyena. However, May's lack of experience in commanding Pokémon got the Pokémon attacking her while Professor Birch fends off the Poochyena himself. Later, it reappeared as one of the options of May's starter Pokémon, but the previous bad experience led her to not choose it.
It reappeared in a flashback in A Mudkip Mission, when May wanted to catch another one.
Mudkip's only known move is Water Gun.
|| Get the Show on the Road!
| Voice actors
|| Lindsey Warner
| May befriended a Swablu that was separated from its flock when the tree its flock was nesting in was struck by lightning. May helped to care for Swablu, who had injured its wing, but the Pokémon was suddenly afraid to fly. After the wing was healed, it took Ash and his friends some time to help Swablu get the courage to fly again. At the end of the episode, Swablu was reunited with its flock.
Swablu's only known move is Sing.
|| True Blue Swablu
This listing is of the Ribbons May has obtained in the Hoenn region:
This listing is of the Ribbons May has obtained in the Kanto region:
This listing is of the Ribbons May has obtained in the Johto region:
Grand Festival ranking
May has competed in the following Grand Festivals:
May has competed in the following Pokémon Contests:
May has competed in the following Pokémon competitions:
In the manga
In the Ash & Pikachu manga
May first appeared in Let's Save Pikachu!! where she became Ash's traveling companion.
In the movie adaptations
As May appeared all of the Advanced Generation series movies, she has appeared in each manga adaptations of them.
In the TCG
This listing is of cards mentioning or featuring May or her Pokémon in the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
- May owns four starter Pokémon, the most of any of Ash's traveling companions.
- May has competed in at least one Pokémon Contest in each region where they are known to be held in the anime.
- All of May's major rivals have Bug-type Pokémon: Drew has Masquerain and Butterfree, Harley has Ariados, and Solidad has Butterfree.
- May is Ash's only female companion to have both of her parents appear.
- May is the only main character, other than Ash, to wear gloves as part of her character design.
- Both of May's unevolved Pokémon are Normal type.
- May is Ash's only traveling companion to have traveled with him from the first episode of a series all the way to the last.
- May was the first character to own a Generation IV Pokémon, with Munchlax.
- Not counting temporary Pokémon, May is the first main character to catch a Pokémon that Ash has also caught.
- May is the only one of Ash's major female traveling companions who has never borrowed one of his Pokémon; Misty, Dawn, and Serena have all temporarily commanded Pikachu and others for training purposes, and Iris and Bonnie have commanded Snivy and Goomy during battles respectively.
| From 春花 haruka, spring flower
|| Could be a reference to her Japanese name, as May is a month in spring
|| Similar to fleur, flower
|| From Mai, May
|| From primavera, spring
|| From aura, a figure of speech that means "gentle breeze" and is commonly associated to spring, as in aura primaveral (spring breeze)
|| 봄이 Bom'i
|| 봄 bom, spring
| 小遙 /
| 遙 (distant) is taken from 遥か haruka
| Same as Mandarin name.
| Same as her Japanese name
|| Мэй Mey
|| Transcription of the English name
| Same as English name|
Similar to English name