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Dawn/Hikari as a companion

May 21, 2010
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Hikari is my personal favorite of all of the girls that have traveled with Satoshi over the years. I felt that their personalities brought the best out in each other, and that they pushed one another to do better in their goals. I enjoyed watching her development as a coordinator and with her Pokemon, such as releasing Pachirisu and then catching it again, and when Mamoo wouldn't listen to her and earning his trust. At first I felt that she was only doing the Contest thing to please her mom, but after a while I think she very much enjoyed it in her own right and found her own way in doing so.

How did you feel about Dawn/Hikari was a traveling companion for Satoshi/Ash? Do you feel that she did a good job working toward her goal? Do you wish things had been done differently with her? Do you think she had a good send off at the end of DP? Did you enjoy seeing her again in BW?
Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2012
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I thought they did well with Dawn's contest arc, but I wasn't too interested in her as a companion.

Unlike May, Dawn wanted to be a co-ordinator from the start, had a role model in the form of her mother and knew what she was doing. In this sense, she had much less to learn and only needed more experience to improve, which is why I thought her not making it past the appeal stage of a contest twice and having a crisis of confidence was a great direction to take her character. As an inexperienced co-ordinator, she found something that worked, abused it and got too absorbed in one thing, subsequently losing sight of another - sort of how, in team sports, someone will try and do everything on his/her own and forget that he/she has team mates. It was something new and interesting, as no other character on the main cast had gone through this sort of thing for any extended period of time.

I think that's where the arc peaked, though. Once she got over her problems, she never looked back and seemed to always succeed. She got her five ribbons with time to spare, was literally handed a powerful Pokemon like Togekiss and got to the final of her first Grand Festival. For me, it seemed like everything progressed too quickly, almost as if the writers felt that, as a co-star to Ash, her rate of development needed to be same as Ash's. I wouldn't go as far as calling it unrealistic, but I found it harder to support her than I did with Ash and May. Even though she clearly worked hard to perfect all her appeals and attacks, it just felt a bit too easy for her.

As a companion, she was unique in that she was a co-star and not a sidekick or secondary character. Her and Ash had the whole "I support you, you support me" thing going on, and it was so prominent that they even had a song devoted to it. It was all nice and fluffy and, in my view, a bit shallow. I can't quite explain why, but a lot of this stuff seemed artificial. It seemed to me that they were friends because they supported each other, and that if you took that aspect of their dynamic out they wouldn't have much of a connection at all. Or maybe I'm just overly cynical and grumpy.
New Member
Oct 10, 2006
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Her and Ash had the whole "I support you, you support me" thing going on, and it was so prominent that they even had a song devoted to it. It was all nice and fluffy and, in my view, a bit shallow. I can't quite explain why, but a lot of this stuff seemed artificial. It seemed to me that they were friends because they supported each other, and that if you took that aspect of their dynamic out they wouldn't have much of a connection at all. Or maybe I'm just overly cynical and grumpy.
I have to agree with this. Dawn is one of my favorite characters of all time, and I enjoyed her relationship with Ash, because I felt, on many levels, they treated each other as equals; but, they pushed their friendship pretty hard, to the point where I really questioned just how well it was actually being written. And... to be honest, I don't necessarily feel it was written that well. Most of her relationships with other characters had poor progression, and I felt her "rivals" in D&P were far too many. I also, to this day, feel as though they shouldn't have pushed for Jessie to continue her fascination with contests and, instead, should've swapped Jessie out and put James in as a coordinator. A Dawn/James rivalry would've been so much more refreshing, in the same way that the Jessie/May one was...

I really love Dawn, and I think my problems with her are more so related to the way D&P was handled as a series. But, as a traveling companion, Dawn truly was one of my favorites.
New Member
Jan 26, 2009
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I felt the Ash and Dawn friendship was very well-written, to the point where it’s my favorite single dynamic between two characters on this show. They were traveling companions; their personalities were similar; they both liked to battle; they were both on a quest to enter a League/Grand Festival; they trained together frequently; they both interacted with each others rivals; they learned from each other; they traded Pokemon. It made perfect sense that they would bond over the course of the show (in fact, I'd go as far as to say it's one of the most organic relationships in the series), and I love how much Diamond & Pearl drags out of the pair to the point where there are plenty of moments of genuine friendship between the two (e.g. Dawn and her Pokemon putting together a circus for Ash and his Pokemon after the events of DP131-132). I also love how Ash and Dawn actually had a tangible effect on one another, to the point where you get the idea that their journeys would not be the same had they not traveled together. If Dawn and Brock had half that effort put into their friendship, the DP trio would likely be the best traveling group in the entire series, IMO.

Overall, I enjoyed Dawn as a character. I loved how much she struggled, which made it a lot easier to accept in the end that she managed to make it to the finals of her Grand Festival on her first try. But her storyline as a whole was, IMO, DP’s biggest weakness. I almost feel as if you could cut Dawn’s arc in two: everything up to, and including, the Wallace Cup, is great; almost everything up to the Grand Festival (which I liked, but not as much as either of AG’s Grand Festivals) is pretty dull.

Before the Wallace Cup is when I found Dawn at her most compelling. Here was a girl who should have come into the Contest scene with an advantage, given that her mother was a Top Coordinator herself, and unlike May, Dawn already knew what she wanted to be before she ever set out on her journey. And she fails. She loses her first Contest, and after winning her second she goes on a losing streak in which she doesn’t even get past the Appeal Round, which severely shakes her confidence. That storyline goes a long way towards making the Wallace Cup arc some of the finest episodes DP had put out to that point. Afterwards, though, things just seem to stagnate with her. Her Pokemon - sans Mamoswine, who ended up being the most interesting thing to come out of Dawn’s post-Wallace Cup arc - got more dull, as did her rivalry with Zoey (I always found Kenny to be a pretty boring character, but Zoey did have something interesting at first). Ursula was fine, but most of her appearances came around towards the end of DP, anyway. I liked the novelty of Jessie being one of the rivals, though, and loved that we got to see a her pose an actual challenge and actually win Ribbons.

I don’t think Dawn is the best written female co-star/sidekick in any objective sense (that honor goes to May), but she’s probably my favorite out of the main girls anyway.
Cute bunny baby
Mar 20, 2013
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I hate Dawn. She used to be my least favorite of all of Ash's female companions before Iris came along. I could explain every little detail as to why, but I'll just stick to the main reasons.

She was so damn annoying to me. I wasn't fond of her overconfidence at the beginning of the series since she'd often end up failing, which really just left a terrible impression on me in the very beginning of her time on the show and it only got worse as the series progressed. I found Dawn horribly bland and boring at the end of DP doing pretty much nothing of interest. Actually, I never really found that she had much interesting to say if there wasn't anything contest related going on.

In general, I definitely didn't care much for her contest arc as much as May's. I found her battles to be okay in the beginning, but as time went on I thought they were just way too long and annoying, though part of that could be due to the fact that colorful explosions were really frequent in DP contests in general, but found that Dawn just went over the top with blinding flashing lights. I also hated her DEM wins against Ursuala in both of her battles. In fact, there were several battles that I felt Dawn didn't really deserved winning and only happened for the sake of plot.

Also Piplup, another reason I hated Dawn. He was just as annoying as she was. I hated how he became a walking Pokémon and was shoved down my throat for most of the later half of the series. I never even found him funny. His bratty personality just got on my nerves most of the time. I don't even think that he ended up getting decent development over his time on the show.

Lastly, I feel that her interactions with Ash and Brock were pretty weak in comparison to the previous girls. They were fine on her own, but I just feel like the other groups were closer. So yeah, overall, I really dislike Dawn and am glad that she's gone.
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Borderland Sword
Mar 19, 2013
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Dawn was good when she was first introduced. I found her interesting and she quickly became a favorite of mine for her unique character. Unlike May, she knew what she wanted to do right away and she seemed much more confident in herself in the early episodes. She was able to tame the proud Piplup and she seemed to be a fast learner when she joined up with Ash. Speaking of, I liked her determination as a trainer. She was going to get Piplup, Pachirisu, Buizel, and Mamoswine to listen to her, no matter what it took. That is the sign of a good trainer. And while she ended up trading Buizel, it was mostly to do his own interests, so I don't feel it hurt that point.

But sorry to say, as time went on, I started to like Dawn less and less. As she began to lose contests, she became much more of a crier and spent a lot of time moping, which I really can't stand. I liked that she lost some contests to make her seem more realistic, but the way she handled those losses tended to annoy me. She also seems to have just lost her charm to me and generally just became annoying to me. She turned from confident to constantly doubting herself. She was determined to reach her goal, but in my opinion, some of her wins seemed quite forced; namely those against May and Ursula. I didn't feel that she'd improved enough to beat those two legitimately and I wish they'd made those battles more realistic.

I do feel that, unlike May, Dawn's coordinator skills helped Ash immensely. Ash may not have won some of his battles had it not been for adopting Dawn's strategies. That was something I really liked about her contributions to the group.

In the end, though, Dawn fell from one of my favorites, to one of my lesser favorites. In my book, she's still above Iris and May, but not by much, honestly. Had she stayed confident in herself, I would have liked her much more.
Jun 17, 2006
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I really liked Dawn. I remember being more annoyed with her while DP was airing, but I think that the combination of watching the series again on DVD and seeing Iris on BW made me appreciate her much more. She had a nice personality. She could get annoying at times, but not too much. She was nice, confident and caring. I also liked how she did have plenty of differences from May, despite both of them being Coordinators. She knew that she wanted to be a Coordinator from the start and even had her mother as a former Grand Festival winner to be an inspiration for her, so that already made her start out differently from May. I liked her interactions with Ash and Brock. There was a much larger emphasis on her relationship with Ash, but there was enough with her and Brock to show that they were friends. Both Ash and Dawn supported each other throughout the series and it really shines through their interactions. Having them both influence each others' battle styles and training was a great way to show their support and connection as well. She learned a bit through Brock, such as the medicine she needed to help out Mamoswine, and they came off as pretty nice friends to each generally.

Dawn's victories, for the most part, were pretty believable because she spent a lot of time training her Pokemon, which also made the victories more satisfying to watch as well. Her Pokemon had more personality than most of May's Pokemon, but not really much presence due to Piplup hogging up so much screentime. I like the relationship between her and Piplup. It felt like a genuine connection between a trainer and their first Pokemon and that worked well. I do think that giving away Ambipom was a huge mistake and handing her a Togekiss on a silver plate was even worse. I also thought that Mamoswine not listening to her really lost what impact it could have had due to Swinub barely appearing before it evolved. The way they resolved that issue with Mamoswine was fine, but lacked a connection between them before hand to make it feel more satisfying.

I really liked the decision to make her lose in the appeal rounds twice in a row. That was a terrific decision and made a lot of sense. Because of her excitement, she would get caught up in the beauty of the attacks and not focus on her Pokemon. Plus, it make her comeback arc in the Wallace Cup all the more satisfying to see. Having people support her also worked because she had lost her confidence pretty much completely and needed support in order to get through the appeal round. I wasn't too happy to see that she defeated May the first time I saw it, but considering that it was against her newly evolved Glaceon, which had the least amount of experience compared to her other Pokemon, and it was still barely a victory, it was believable and nice to see her earn her second ribbon at least.

The Wallace Cup and its buildup were basically the highlight of Dawn's journey for me as well. Afterwards, it wasn't too difficult for Dawn to win most of her other Contests. Her victories were still mostly believable, but lacked the same kind of tension as before and didn't have something as interesting to replace it with. I wouldn't say it was too easy, but I can see why people would get that impression. Getting to the finals of the Grand Festival, while not unbelievable, was completely unsatisfying. We had only seen one full Contest battle for her against Ursula and that wasn't a believable victory in my opinion. They just rushed through the rest of her battle, even with the montage of her battle against Jessie, to get to the finals sooner. If we had seen one or two more battles for her, which would basically mean giving the Grand Festival another episode or two, then I think it would have been more satisfying to see her getting to the finals. While she was a good coordinator, her battle against Zoey showed that she still wasn't quite ready to be a Top Coordinator. Zoey was still one or two steps ahead of her every time.

Speaking of Zoey, I always thought that she was a pretty weak rival. She was much more of a mentor figure for Dawn than a rival. She worked better as a mentor figure giving Dawn advice and support. I was totally fine with Zoey beating her in the Grand Festival because she had shown how strong she was and definitely earned being a Top Coordinator. Kenny was much worse though. He was so boring and despite Dawn getting her first ribbon from him, he wasn't really too memorable. Ursula was good and really should have been able to defeat Dawn once instead of Kenny. She was far more skilled than Kenny ever was. Her evolution appeal in the Grand Festival is still one of my favorite appeals ever and she had great battle skills too.

Dawn's departure wasn't handled as well as I think it could have been, but the sadness in splitting up from two people she had become quite close with was effective and I did like how she kind of wondered what she would do after participating in the Grand Festival. Her return in BW was seriously underwhelming though. Becoming instant BFFs with Iris felt so force and she was acting out of character most of the time. Not making any progress with her team or in her journey was disappointing and going to the Wallace Cup in Johto seemed odd. It would still be nice to know where she is now, but in terms of return arcs, Dawn easily has the worst one thus far for me.

While May had more personality, Dawn benefited from being the second Coordinator because the writers took what they learned from AG and applied it to DP, which gave her better writing and in my opinion. She was handled the best in terms of writing out of all of the female companions. She had a nice personality and her Contest arc was engaging, even if it did peak at the Wallace Cup. Her Pokemon team was good, although keeping Ambipom instead of giving her Togekiss would have made it much better. She's my second favorite female lead. I'd easily take her over Misty and Iris any day. I haven't seen enough of XY to form an opinion on Serena yet. Dawn was a likable character and I did enjoy her presence on the show for the most part.
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Unregistered User
Aug 25, 2013
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Dawn's the best travelling companion so far. Female anyway. AS said, her friendship with Ash was very good and being th best looking of the girl helps too ;o
Call me Robert guys
Oct 26, 2010
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See Dawn could of been handled very well had the writers not doomed her by trying to make her Ash v2. They basically stopped spamming Pikachu less and filled the void by spamming Piplup more and making him a out of ball pokemon for the most part.

The problem I had with her is that aside from Mamoswine(who is awesome), her pokemon where mostly forgotten and hardly received the light of day. While I also liked Togekiss, she just came too far into the region. Had she gotten a Togepi or Togetic earlier on. I probably would of loved her as much as Mamoswine.

Her pokemon just didn't develop outside of Mamoswine. This is a fact. Buneary literally didn't change the whole region, Pachirisu literally got one lousy move, and Quilava became a Ash's clone(I mean did they really need to give them the same move upon evolving lol??).

Outside of Piplup and Mamoswine, she literally never did anything with her other pokemon. I'm not even gonna get into the Ambipom mess.

Also her contest moves were all boring. They all revolved around fire and ice, or electric and ice, or water and ice. I mean she showed very little variety in her appeals.

She could of been great but they doomed her from the start, I'm sorry.
Hang up and try again
Sep 17, 2010
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I really liked Dawn, and I honestly think she was one of the more well developed traveling companions we've seen.

The way Dawn was written to be over-confident with a strong coordinating background thanks to her mother in the beginning and then watching her be knocked off of her high horse later was really brilliant. The fact that she lost her confidence and became insecure made her seem really human and gave her a sense of reliability that was absent from other traveling companions such as Brock and Misty.

They really took the idea of making her more than a sidekick and ran with it. Most of the time, Ash is being supported and given advice by his companions, but being able to see Ash being supporting and working closely with Dawn (more than just "You can do it ___!") was really satisfying and it built a bond between the two that felt really genuine. The writers made their relationship more than "those kids who happen to walking together this region." Ash and Dawn have been through conflicts and situations that weren't resolved in an episode or two, and seeing them consistently work together to get through it was really nice. Like it was stated earlier, if the writers took a little more time to develop Brock and Dawn's relationship instead of making him a third wheel, their trio would have had the potential to be one of the strongest (relationship-wise) traveling the show has seen.

One of the biggest weaknesses I see with Dawn's character is that she became a bit stagnant after the Wallace Cup. While it was nice to see all of Dawn's hard work paying off and seeing her winning was nice, it seemed like her story became a downward towards the end of the show, almost like they ended her main conflict too quickly. I'm not dissatisfied with her placement in the grand festival because with all the work and time spent on developing her team she earned her spot. (I really enjoyed the development with her Pokemon as well, she held a bond with each of them unlike the somewhat unpersonal relationships that Misty and Cilan held with their Pokemon for example). While it's understandable the writers only have a limited amount of time before they have move on to a new region, (plus they had around 8 contests if one counts the Wallace cup), if they had done a little more in end, Dawn could have been an even stronger character.

In conclusion, while Dawn did have her flaws, what she brought to the table and how she interacted made her one of the most enjoyable traveling companions/characters for me to watch on the show for me.
ɪ ᴍᴀᴅᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ᴀ ꜱᴡᴇᴀᴛᴇʀ...ᴏᴜᴛ ᴏꜰ ᴍʏ ᴛᴇᴀʀꜱ
Jan 22, 2014
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Ok, warning this is a long post:

Dawn. Well, ultimately I think Dawn is inferior to Ash’s previous companions of Misty and May. At first, she was really promising in beginning- a brand new female companion with an actual goal (that doesn’t include training and mastering a specific type of Pokemon), a spunky partner Pokemon in the form of Piplup, a personality that deviated from both Misty and May, and just a sense that her character had a lot going for it. However, I must agree with Pokemaster97. She did become stagnant after her moment at the Wallace Cup. But before I get into her faults, I’ll start with positives.

As mentioned before, she clearly had a goal when she began her journey. This was incredible as it was a goal the writers could work with and the audience could appreciate. Misty’s goal as a water pokemon master could only take her so far episode wise, hence the few episodes that focused on her said dream. Meanwhile, May’s was a spur of the moment because she so happened to see an actual contest and it served as an alibi for her to travel while avoiding the gym battles her family expected of her. So with Dawn beaming to be a Top Coordinator from the start, it was really nice and allowed a lot to be done with her-episode, pokemon, contest, character development wise.

Additionally, so far she is the only one of Ash’s companions to have a full party of six Pokemon each with personalities of their own-not simple I-choose-you-for-battle fodder like half of Misty’s Pokemon (May and Iris never owned 6 at one time, and Serena currently only has one). With that said, her Pokemon were all unique and her own and contrasted Ash’s mostly fully evolved party pretty well. Also, at least I feel, certain Pokemon became much more appreciated due to her ownership of them, such as Ambipom and Mamoswine. I know I certainly began to use them in my in-game teams.

Also her appeals. Unlike May’s mostly simple techniques, Dawn actually emphasized flashy appeals with her Pokemon and truly showcased what Contests were all about. Additionally, she had more rivals in her contests than May as well more appreciated wins. She also lost 4 times, with the first two being consecutive. These losses truly benefitted her character development as she went into a literal depression because of them. And even after figuring out what she did wrong and improving, she still lost contests in the future! Unlike May who won everything or lost rarely and clearly wasn’t bothered (except at grand festivals). Furthermore, Dawn’s wins for the most part were believable/substantial. I especially liked her victory over Ursula during their first encounter; due to being unable to damage Gabite directly, she ended up winning points by countering said Gabite’s moves instead, causing her to win thanks to time instead of forced knock out like May 9/10 times would do.

Dawn as a character was also really sweet and girly. Unlike the headstrong and tomboyish Misty and May, Dawn was more reserved and innocent. She certainly didn’t fight with Ash as much as as the previous two girls did. In fact, it was the opposite. Most fans acknowledge that Dawn had an extremely positive relationship with Ash that was more akin to sister and brother. This can be seen with their constant support of each other, and the many times they trained together. Oh and training. Dawn visibly trained her Pokemon to overcome obstacles and perform moves May and Misty clearly didn’t.

She also got to meet two of Ash’s female companions in addition to Cilan, which is pretty rare for a companion character.

And that about does it for her main good points. Oh yeah, and all the themes she got was pretty cool too. I think it’s most so far. Anyway, her negatives outshine her positives though, in my opinion.

First of all, the stagnant-ness. After the Wallace Cup, Dawn pretty much de-evolved to the generic side companion that only received focus upon anything Contest related. If she wasn’t participating in a contest, dealing with her Pokemon’s troubles, or the occasional training, it was just her position of clenching Piplup in her arms, following Ash wherever he went. And was that it pretty much. At this point, the entire cast was a bunch of softies. And her role as the biggest softie was pretty boring and bland. She also became a bit snarkier to TR as well as the series progressed (at least in the Dub), losing some of that natural sweetness and naivety. I mean I know TR can be a pain most times, but constantly calling them losers, or weird and just being downright condescending towards them makes you look like more of the jerk than they do; and DP was when they were at their most “nicest” too!

Her Pokemon appeals as well. Oh my word, Ice Everything. I swear, she should have just dubbed herself the Ice Performer as nearly all of her performances had to do with ice. If it wasn’t Buneary’s Ice Beam, it was Mamoswine’s Ice Shard. Also, her big appeals- Ice Chandelier, Flame Ice. And how many Ice slides. Gosh, what a bore. While simple, at least May was different-the occasional bandana throw here or pokeblock toss there. I think that really devalued her character as a coordinator. Also, her dependence on Zoey for said appeals. How many times would she basically whine “Zoeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, helpppppp meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I need YOU to guide me on being a coordinator!” You would think that being the daughter of a Top Coordinator would give her enough experience and wisdom to do well in contests. But no. Hence her mother never really complimenting her during the series. May never had that problem, nor did she rely on rivals to get her contest performances straight. She also didn’t have a Top Coordinator relative she could easily contact! So with that said, it makes it very disappointing witnessing her reliance on other characters for things she should be able to do herself.

Diamond Dandruff? Really? You are/were afraid of Plusle and Minun due to them making your hair sparkle blue and gold? Right.

Very little interaction with Brock compared to the previous two girls. And no, the times Brock instructed her on how to heal Pokemon (a la Pachirisu and Mamoswine) do not count. That isn’t bonding. In fact, she pretty much only had a relationship with Ash, Zoey and her Pokemon outside her mother.

Also, her too sweet personality. She was really friendly with her rivals, too friendly. I mean they are your rivals, strive to beat them! Do not greet them with a smile or bland look! I mean, she could have frowned at Ursula considering the bitch that she was, but no. Her passive attitude really irked me during the Grand Festival. At the very end, she is in the freaking finals for goodness sake. The finals! She has a chance of winning Sinnoh’s Grand Festival and becoming a Top Coordinator. So the battle starts and she issues a combination. Then what does Dawn do? Completely stare at Zoey’s Pokemon, one by one I might add, tear apart said combination. This is where her GF blunder begins. She could have taken the chance to attack Zoey’s Gallade, seeing as how both Piplup and Togekiss were on the ground awaiting a command. And that right there folks is what I’m talking about. She lacked the determination and drive that Misty, May and Iris all have/had for their respective challenges. When it came to their rivals, each girl strove to win. A notable example of this is May’s battle with Drew at the Kanto Grand Festival; while she did admire and acknowledge his skills, she still put her goal of besting him on top (“But I’m not here to praise him, I’M HERE TO BEAT HIM!”) And this is what Dawn lacked. Instead of being sure of her Pokemon’s skills like Zoey, she would mostly be surprised or relieved if they managed to pull something off. This really hurt her character and made her all the more painful to watch. Hell, even her own mother realized this and the fact Dawn would lose the GF, all while praising Zoey and her skill. So all in all, her heart wasn't full in the goal that she so openly strove for in the beginning.

Also, her return wasn’t anything too special either. She comes back to visit Ash and co in Unova, but does nothing regarding her status as a Coordinator. We get no appeals, no new pokemon, etc etc. Evident in her battles with Cilan and Iris; Piplup simply repelled all of Pansage attacks (that just happened to cause pretty explosions) while Mamoswine acted as if it had freshly evolved with no contest experience whatsoever. I mean, where the hell was the swallowing the Ice Shard trick? Any move combinations whatsoever? Why didn't she battle as a Coordinator? And her own specific personality clearly was lost among the BW cast because she was no more than an Iris clone who decided mock Ash continuously all the while she was there. What happened to support-Ash-24/7? Both Misty and May kept their respective traits and personality in their cameo visits.

So that pretty much does it. Well at least my opinion anyway. She could have been the greatest female companion yet, but drastically fell short.
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I'm just Saiyan...
Sep 16, 2013
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Piplup and hyperminiskirt. Pretty much sums up the point of watching DP. lol
pokemon fan 132
Dec 28, 2008
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Dawn was alright character, not my cup of tea or someone i could be able to relate myself too reminding me in some ways of my younger, more carefree days.

But she was still interesting character and had her splendend moments. I liked background in being daughter of famous coordinator from Sinnoh with society, friends and rivals but most of all her own mother having huge expectations from her. Thus bringing big pressure on Dawn and fear of not being able to live up to such standard. For much of DP series Dawn was constantly overshadowed by Johanna being underestimated, having to constantly maintain her pace and forge own talent and skills to emerge on surface in her own right and prove how she has what it takes to become top coordinator and acknowledged for her abilities just like her mother is.

Her development was kinda shaky and dragged out, but turning point of losing herself in where she belongs after starting failing in appeals losing one contest after another was pretty realistic and enough different from her predecessor May to gain respect and admiration as character showcasing new angle in storyline and unique characteristics inherent solely to her.

And even though depression arc which made her feel more realistic some could say wasn't something we didn't see with other girls for example having their moments of struggles, breakdowns, insecurities and close bonding. It added to character substance being special in aspect of not being treated as issue which occasionally came on surface only when character problems were brought up by others or events which reminded them of their bad experiences from past. But as constant, spreaded over several episodes constantly preventing charaxter from moving forward until Wallace Cup came and intervention of others, especially experienced and builded as person May helped Dawn to regain her lost sense of security and selfesteem collecting required strength and new motivation to step forward in future. Being refreshing and nice change of pace.

This was her turning point in becoming more determined and down to earth character realizing how good name and reputation your parent holds wont mean much if you dont build your own image and reason to be honored and noticed by others. Along with learning how overconfidence and carefree attitiude can be very dangerous characteristics leading to mistakes and overestimation of your own abilities regressing instead of going forward.

This can be noticed in putting a lot more time and effort in training her own pokemon developing various new, unique combinations like aura sphere, rocket formation, flame ice, ice chandelier and numerous others technicques. Became more wiling to listen to others advices with Zoey playing huge role in mentoring her, learning how to cope with pressure and high expectations and to take responsibillity behind her own pokemon and actions as evidenced when deciding to utilize previous knowledge passed from Brock to her in healing and stabilizing Mamoswine. That was one thing which i liked about rivals Dawn had, because no matter how appealing or enjoyable they may have been you cant really deny that Zoey, Kenny and to lesser extent Ursula influenced Dawn character bringing tension, serving as push which is supposed to advance character forward in attempt of catching up with them.

Paying of big time in growing out of Johanna shadow, proving her worth to others and making name for herself in coordinator world, along with almost winning Grand Festival on first try. All of this showed how hard work, lot of disclaimer and persistence can bring you far as long as you keep trying.

In aspect of advancement toward your career and growth as coordinator Dawn had best treatment out of any other main female so far in show putting batton very high to reach. However i often felt that she didn't changed as person enough to match her struggles, effort and improvement as coordinator which would mold and leave bigger impact on her characterization taking away some points in her performance for me.

With May we witnessed big change in character sense evolving in mature, sure in herself and assertive character realizing what she wants to become and how to get there. Learned how to love and cherish pokemon and realized that Ash holded her back. Misty also significantly changed in emotional aspect becoming more compassionate and independent balancing out hotheaded, tomboyish and more serene side overcoming complex of feeling worthless compared to older siblings or Gyarado trauma.

But Dawn changed much less in personality aspect being by end of journey just as girly, optimistic and interested in fashion or appearance like she was at start of journey. Not saying she was exactly same because she went from overconfident to confident and became abit more humble but compared to other girls when comparing each of them from start to end of region/cameos Dawn changed the least giving out impression how she stagnated in that sense. At least in my opinion it seemed that way.,

Even though she got most development as trainer, coordinator compared to everyone else it was abit underwhelming to me how her character itself didn't followed same amount of development as well with there existing discrepancy between this two aspects.

Moving on i still liked Dawn personality. Her eager and optimistic side brought certain calamity and brightness in cast mixed with girliness and high interest in fashion, shopping leading to many comic situations. All wrapped up with abit of moody, temperament side when others annoyed her with their behavior like Ash, when someone ignored or forgott her name, freaked her out or underestimed her abilities producing several memorable interactions with various people like Barry, Ursula, Paul or good old Conway. Showing certain amount of playful irreverence and headstrong nature not hesitating to go in conflict with others or joke around when needed.

Building strong and long lasting friendship with several characters, but most of all Ash becoming supportive and influencing to each other a lot over course of Sinnoh journey. Cheering themselves up when feeling let down or losing important match like Ash did from Paul, emulating each other battle style incorporating them in their own battles and encouraging themselves to succeed.

Although constant happy go lucky friendship between them came of as abit unnatural at times for my taste due to lack of tension, clash and sometime arrogance, irritation being present. To bring extra dimension to whole interacting. But it was still enjoyable to follow and meaningful creating one of strongest friendships between Ash and his companion.

Her pokemon were ok too enjoying most in Mamoswine who put to test Dawn resourcefulness and patience with his temper tantrums, stubborness and inept nature to work that well in contest or in team with others. Making him fun oddball who required lot of work, attention and effort to properly canalize its strength and qualities on surface. Paying of greatly in contest performance against Ursula when collaborating with Cyndaquil gaining powerful ally on her side.

Generally Dawn was for me decent character. Not great or particularly unique, but nether bad or terrible. She was somewhere in middle having her moments and good qualities, but simply not living up to my expectations or leaving same impact, impression on me like some other companions did.

As mentioned before, she clearly had a goal when she began her journey. This was incredible as it was a goal the writers could work with and the audience could appreciate. Misty’s goal as a water pokemon master could only take her so far episode wise, hence the few episodes that focused on her said dream. Meanwhile, May’s was a spur of the moment because she so happened to see an actual contest and it served as an alibi for her to travel while avoiding the gym battles her family expected of her. So with Dawn beaming to be a Top Coordinator from the start, it was really nice and allowed a lot to be done with her-episode, pokemon, contest, character development wise.
I definitely agree. It seemed to me like that was one of Dawn advantages and blessing in some way receiving more focus on her own career and ambitions compared to pretty much any companion. I suppose reasoning behind so much spotligh is combination of writers trying to make her as first equal in focus female to driving force of pokemon series Ash and learning on past mistakes. With Misty it was writers first try not having much experience back in day, and being unsure in what direction to take anime(even though cognition of E4 Lorelei being her idol or events like Whirl Cup in case of expansion offered potential to do more). While May was writers first attempt of having female protagonist do contests being stuck in completely unknown territory and with no past examples or guidelines of how to write whole thing.

With Dawn they had years of experience and learning on mistakes since than thus allowing to properly portray her growth as coordinator and give better emphasis on it.
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Get in the bag Nebby
Dec 15, 2011
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She was the best female companion imo. She was handled really well with her character development. It probably would have been better if she was the main character in her own series though instead of sharing a co-star status with Ash.
Jul 19, 2014
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I'm going to throw this out here.....I really REALLY don't like Dawn. Maybe I would have liked her more if she wasn't given the basic premise of being a cross between Ash and May.

You all remember how Ash was like in the first few episodes of the series? About how arrogant and overconfident he was, and then how big of a crybaby he got when he got his backside handed to him? Of course you don't, you probably blocked it out of your mind, and frankly I don't blame you. And Dawn was...well, kinda like that. And when she did start to mature, she then just came across as...well, more or less like May.

Maybe it's because I'm not too hot on the whole Pokemon Co-ordinator thing in the first place, maybe it's just the fact I would have liked something different, but I could never get into Dawn at all. She probably stands as my least favourite female protagonist right now.

But, if you like her, that's fine. I can't judge, it's your opinion.
New Member
Aug 1, 2014
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Dawn is, was, and always will be, my absolute favorite of the girls. I haven't watched all the episodes of any of them, because I have a very limited amount of T.V. time, so I don't completely know any of their story arcs, but as a person, she helped Ash the most with her training style. She also had the friendliest personality of the three girls, always with a good word to say.
Also, I liked the way she didn't always win, although she could have handled it better.
I will admit though, I'm kind of biased, because Dawn is in Giratina and The Sky Warrior (Shaymin), and Shaymin is my favorite Pokemon of all time.
Dec 9, 2014
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I seem to think that Dawn and may are favorite companions of the series. For many of the same reason. mainly her dole as Deuterogonist.

However unlike May, Dawn seemed to be struggling more with the contests but then seem to be blitzing past them as if Smogon's in-universe equivalent had a made a metagame for contests.

She and ash also seem to made a great impact on each other at time.

Though I missed most f that arc. I still find her return to best Wishes during (maybe before? i forgot) the Meloetta arc on the highlight of what I have seen (along with Ash vs. Giovanni).

If there were any points against her it would be that damn penguin and that the pacing was a bit wonky after she got over her losing streak.