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So May is probably going to be the only female companion not to appear this series, and she hasn't appeared for 14 years since 2008

FelipePR

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I also feel either way the door has closed. Koharu's arc has come to some form of conclusion at least for now till she decides what she wants to do, we already had a Glaceon episode, and Koharu doesn't need to be inspired by 3 coordinators.

I think I mentioned this somewhere before, but Dawn and Serena already did any possible role May would have, so there's nothing she can do that they already haven't done better. Sure she can get a cameo unrelated to Koharu or contests but that was always unlikely.

I believe we all here have a pretty good idea that, at least for now, May is not likely to show up.

So, unless you're part of the production of the anime, could I be spared an unnecessary plethora of justifications as to why the character is unlikely to appear?

Thank you for your consideration, and please forgive me for any harsh words and any offense.
 

kantoskies

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I feel like the most likely scenario for seeing her is if all of Satoshi's companions come together at the end of this saga. I know that's one of those fanfiction-esque episode ideas that will probably never happen, but at this point since at least half of his friends have had speaking roles in this series, it doesn't seem as unlikely.

If they do an episode like that, I could see Haruka in the background with a non-speaking role. Or maybe her voice actress would be well enough to give one or two lines? I'm not sure how severe her condition is currently, but even if she is unable to perform at all I could see a silent cameo happening.
 

Sai

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I feel like the most likely scenario for seeing her is if all of Satoshi's companions come together at the end of this saga. I know that's one of those fanfiction-esque episode ideas that will probably never happen, but at this point since at least half of his friends have had speaking roles in this series, it doesn't seem as unlikely.

If they do an episode like that, I could see Haruka in the background with a non-speaking role. Or maybe her voice actress would be well enough to give one or two lines? I'm not sure how severe her condition is currently, but even if she is unable to perform at all I could see a silent cameo happening.
The logistics of having all the VA's (and we're talking nearly 15 characters now) all in one episode even in background roles is very unlikely.

Even so, May getting silent cameos feels kinda a poor tradeoff? I mean I'd rather her not appear at all then if she's just going to be "mute" and it'll be awkward to show her even if she says a few lines. I mean we're also not talking about Tracey here, May is still to this day (even 20 years later) one of the longest lasting female leads of the show with nearly 200 episodes in the anime. Treating her the way the writers treat Tracey would feel off for a character like her. Appearing in flashbacks is fine but if you're going to show her in the present, especially after a 14 year absence in the series, it's a poor tradeoff.

Arguably most of the current fan base was too young now to have ever seen AG, which is probably why the writers can get away with just not acknowledging her. Even if they see some eps, they probably know May more from the games than the anime at this point. In a way May has gone the way of Max and Tracey, where it now feels like she's a very minor character the writers don't have to bring up anymore. We know that's not true but it seems likely she'll be ignored going forward.
 

FelipePR

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Arguably most of the current fan base was too young now to have ever seen AG, which is probably why the writers can get away with just not acknowledging her. Even if they see some eps, they probably know May more from the games than the anime at this point. In a way May has gone the way of Max and Tracey, where it now feels like she's a very minor character the writers don't have to bring up anymore. We know that's not true but it seems likely she'll be ignored going forward.

May recently ranks fourth in the annual survey of Favorite Pokégirls in Japan, ahead of Misty inclusive. Then, it's crystal clear that she's not a character overlooked by the community, and that she has a much larger fanbase than Tracey and a lot of other characters, despite how long she hasn't appeared.

On the other hand, you have that Serena, by far the female protagonist with the biggest fan base in Japan, went 6 years without appearing in the anime and received, for a long time, an inferior treatment to most of the other protagonists.

In other words, May is not an irrelevant and minor character, and the anime's producers are aware of that. As well, if the producers want, they can't bring up any character at all, as they've shown by disowning the majority's favorite Pokégirl for several years.

So, please, stop looking for impertinent justifications to delegitimize the character.
 
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Silktree

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They can't do anything interesting with her unless Max comes back as well (does anyone remember Chloe's brother?). Unfortunately for May, two other girls similar roles to hers because the writers were out of ideas.

Anyway, recasting a previous main character is no small feat when the point is nostalgia. Giovanni and Prof. Oak are supporting characters that need to appear at least once per series.
 
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Sai

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Yeah with both Dawn and Serena being coordinators now, and both bonding with Koharu on top of that, it really does make any role May could have redundant. They even already did a Glaceon episode too.

I think that's the problem with giving so many characters the same goal, we have 3 coordinators now and Dawn and Serena are just more recent and have more story potential. May really can't do anything that hasn't already been done with other characters. And since we'll probably never get a full Contest tournament in the anime again either, that rules that out.

Misty, Iris and the SM girls also have story niches they can be used for. Iris is in the PWC, the Alola girls get visited when Alola is, and Misty could just always get another Kanto nostalgia ep with Brock. Any role May could have has already been used up by another character.
 

CharizardFan7

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I still have hope she could return. And hey, if nothing else, at least she got to reappear in the flashback in the Serena episode. That's something, right? (At least the writers acknowledge her existence.)
 

Nicolas721

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I think there's no science or strict rules about which or when characters can or can not reappear, the writers just can do whatever they feel like doing with them. Chuck or Erika could have been replaced by similar substitutes and very little would change, and Iris could have returned as a Village of Dragons protector without any progress in her battle goal. Sometimes the returns are written around the story, but sometimes it's the other way around, did anyone seriously expected the Galactic Admins to come back eventually? Also, it's obvious that Dawn's role was to promote BDSP first and bonding with Chloe second, otherwise we'd have gotten her contest waaaay earlier.

A difficult issue to handle (other than Kaori's health problems) is that after Iris and Serena's returns people would certainly expect May and Max to be bigger than those since they are from even older series, so naturally both would have to be closer to their goals of being Top Coordinator and Trainer (or more specifically, being slightly older), but as said above they could circumvent it by focusing on something else, it's a matter of creativity. Back in AG, Misty didn't have any impact on May's career, neither Dawn in Iris' career in BW, why suddenly there's only ONE way female companions' returns have to go? I would focus May's hypotetical return on how similar she's to Ash in regards to their effort and determination.

Coming back to Kaori's problems, I think the best way to go is to...let her and the people who take those decisions on their own. They know better than us how the industry works, and taking a side could lead to her feeling forced to reprise or leave the role.

Guys, all we got were returns from the XY cast. We're closer to all main characters having voiced appearances this series, but we're still far from it, and only the writers know that the future holds, so please don't spread fatalistic comments like "May, Max and Cilan are gone forever because X!" without evidence. And specifically in May's case, I think the Wallace Cup flashback proves they care about her.
 
D

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Oh man, May is like, my favourite Pokegirl ever! I miss her so much! This is just so sad and unfortunate, besides they don't change voice-actors in Japan unless there's some very grave reason.
But anyways, I had some uh, silly ideas for her. I am not sure how good they are though.
- They can show Ash and Goh visiting Petalburg City in Hoenn during their adventures. May would be out for some contest, but her family would be home. Max, Norman and Caroline can tell them about May's recent acheivments and show them the new Pokemon she has caught and left at home. We'll learn what Max has been up to lately too.

- They can have Ash seeing May winning a contest on television. And he could tell a curious Goh about her. They can add some flashbacks in this case too.

- If they do manage to somehow bring her back, then yeah contests would have been the best way to reintroduce her. And while 3-4 coordinators is too much, it can still be done. They can always introduce her as the Robert or Solidad type of coordinator. Someone really strong who Koharu only meets for the first time in the Grand Festival.

- If they run out of ideas, they can always have Drew and Harley accompany her. Those three always had a great chemistry together.

In all seriousness though, I miss her. I am not even able to enjoy cameos of my other favs because I am constantly sad about her. It would be great to somehow see her return!
 

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With Lillie getting a full return now it does seem like May is the odd one out. Granted Misty hasn't appeared yet either but she'll probably appear eventually and she got 4 eps in SM on top of that.

Dawn got 8 episodes, Iris will be in a lot of episodes if she sticks around all of Master Class, Serena got her return, the Alola cast and Lillie got numerous returns. And of course Misty does still have the 4 SM eps which are recent for the time being.

May is still stuck in 2008 outside of flashbacks in the DP era. I guess out of all the past female leads she got the most screwed over and neglected.
 

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I wonder if she still battles in her contests. For some reason it would feel even weirder if May stopped battling since AG contests were less stereotypical. May and the others didn't even dress up. Reminds me of that old interview when they called Dawn and the other girls "eye candy". But judging by the ORAS costume that Koharu borrowed from May I guess there are no battles.

Although it's interesting that the outfit used to belong to May. Implying that she doesn't wear it anymore? Could this mean she got tired of contests and found a new goal? Why else would she leave behind an outfit that probably has sentimental value?
 

FelipePR

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Although it's interesting that the outfit used to belong to May. Implying that she doesn't wear it anymore? Could this mean she got tired of contests and found a new goal? Why else would she leave behind an outfit that probably has sentimental value?

- I just hope that one day we can find out.

- May's development has always been intrinsically related to that of her Pokémon, the confidence and maturity that she progressively showed alongside them in presentations and, especially, in battles, so that, like herself, she was able to evolve them. I think this is one of the reasons her appearance in DP, in which she loses to a less experienced trainer, still left a positive impression on the character. The character's enthusiasm and vivacity, together with personal growth alongside her Pokémon, made her transcend..... I don't know if the new contest system would be able to show such interaction.
 
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Sai

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I'm pretty sure we still have battle oriented Contests. I don't see May just being one to want to perform. Also Dawn never said she didn't battle in contests either during her cameos.

Kinda sad in a saga where the writers are giving most of the female companions development or closure on their stories and May doesn't get to be included. Every main girl is getting the comeback of a lifetime if you include Misty's SM cameos and are now all powerhouses and have new development.
 

Hidden Mew

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I'm pretty sure we still have battle oriented Contests. I don't see May just being one to want to perform. Also Dawn never said she didn't battle in contests either during her cameos.

Kinda sad in a saga where the writers are giving most of the female companions development or closure on their stories and May doesn't get to be included. Every main girl is getting the comeback of a lifetime if you include Misty's SM cameos and are now all powerhouses and have new development.
I don't know about Dawn having more closure or development. There was a lot of hype for her initial return and the fact that she got to return multiple times is pretty cool, but unlike Serena and even Iris, there isn't any kind of progression for her character. She's effectively in the same place she was at the end of DP. I wouldn't really say that Dawn is a powerhouse with her current team either. Aside from Lillie, I don't know about any of the other SM girls getting any noteworthy development or huge returns either.
 

Sai

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I don't know about Dawn having more closure or development. There was a lot of hype for her initial return and the fact that she got to return multiple times is pretty cool, but unlike Serena and even Iris, there isn't any kind of progression for her character. She's effectively in the same place she was at the end of DP. I wouldn't really say that Dawn is a powerhouse with her current team either. Aside from Lillie, I don't know about any of the other SM girls getting any noteworthy development or huge returns either.
Yeah Dawn has no new pokemon but she got involved in 3 villain team/legendary plots and she might appear one more time if the opening is any indication.

Iris of course is self explanatory. Axew evolved, she got a good battle with Ash and now made it to the Masters 8. Even if she just loses the first round making it there is an honor in itself and we'll probably see at least one full battle for her before she inevitably goes down. They fulfilled her character arc.

Serena got a lot of development change from the end of XY and they fulfilled all her promises. Braixen evolved and Serena is a famous coordinator and independent. She is also fulfilling Aria/Ellie's wishes and took Ash's advice with her.

Misty hasn't appear yet but in SM she got a Mega Evolution and is now portrayed as the strong Cerulean Gym leader she wanted to become since the OS.

Lillie is getting closure to the Mohn arc and a welcome home celebration. While Mallow and Lana didn't get much maybe they will in the next 2 eps.

Basically every main girl got a massive glow up, development or closure from when we last saw them. Misty, Iris, Serena and Lillie especially while Dawn got multiple comebacks. That's why I said with May being the only one not to return this series she's the only one feeling left out and without any major development like the others.
 

FelipePR

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I don't know about Dawn having more closure or development. There was a lot of hype for her initial return and the fact that she got to return multiple times is pretty cool, but unlike Serena and even Iris, there isn't any kind of progression for her character. She's effectively in the same place she was at the end of DP.

It's weird what the writers did with Dawn. The character was constantly used to propagate the games and history of her region, as well as to reverberate nostalgia, but there was no concern with the character's development or even her role in the series.

The worst thing is that, at least for me, the nostalgic factor didn't work very well.

A hallmark of Dawn was the natural synergy she had with Ash. However, in JN, this kind of doesn't happen. In the special, the fact and the way she split the spotlight and interactions with Ash in favor of Goh, gives the feeling that there is a barrier between the two that there was not there before. After the group saves Heatran, Dawn's act of asking Ash, who was distracted interacting with Goh, a High Five, instead of the gesture occurring naturally, broke, for me, all the charm of the moment, as well as made me feel sorry for the character.

Finally, the fact that Dawn seems stagnant with the achievement of her goals did not contribute anything to the character, even because this was not even addressed, being a simple case of negligence of the writers with the story of the ex protagonist.

Yeah Dawn has no new pokemon but she got involved in 3 villain team/legendary plots and she might appear one more time if the opening is any indication.

Iris of course is self explanatory. Axew evolved, she got a good battle with Ash and now made it to the Masters 8. Even if she just loses the first round making it there is an honor in itself and we'll probably see at least one full battle for her before she inevitably goes down. They fulfilled her character arc.

Brock has participated in more than a hundred episodes in DP, yet his development in DP is considered precarious, or stagnant. My impression of Dawn in JN is the same, her participation in these plots did not demonstrate or add anything to her personal development.

As for Iris, unlike Serena, her participation didn't convince me, she doesn't seem to have gone through the supposed development required to reach the position of champion. Evolve your starter and have a battle with Ash doesn't add much by itself. I hope she is better represented in future episodes.

Honestly, May's appearance in DP is perhaps the best character reappearance, in terms of development, we've had. That is, after Serena reappearance (Although Brock's reappearances were nice too).
 
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Sai

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After the group saves Heatran, Dawn's act of asking Ash, who was distracted interacting with Goh, a High Five, instead of the gesture occurring naturally, for me, broke all the charm of the moment, as well as made me feel sorry for the character.
I thought it was obvious they saved the high five till the end of the episode after the danger was done. People loved when it happened on forums and social media. The specials were also written by Tomioka so I thought Dawn's bond with Ash was portrayed better than the regular episodes.
As for Iris, unlike Serena, her participation didn't convince me, she doesn't seem to have gone through the supposed development required to reach the position of champion. I hope she is better represented in future episodes
It's true we don't get any backstory much how she got there, but we know she beat Drayden and Claire. Iris had been off screen a long time and we got to see her portrayed on Ash's current level. I do think we might get more details on her next retrun. She basically now feels complete as a character unlike back in BW where she felt unfinished
 
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