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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

Hidden Mew

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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.
It's not just about Dawn not having any new Pokemon. That's a big issue, but if she had been able to make more off-screen accomplishments besides getting more ribbons and losing in more Grand Festivals, people probably would have been okay with that. Or at least it wouldn't have been a major problem. Being involved with those plots doesn't really change how her character feels stagnant. It's still cool to see Dawn interact with Ash again and I don't think Dawn herself is poorly written in these appearances, but being involved in multiple plots, while pretty cool on a surface level, doesn't negate the intentional or unintentional lack of progression for her character.

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.
I have my doubts about Mallow and Lana getting anything noteworthy, especially when Mallow herself feels like the most bland female lead in the anime. It's still possible, but since neither of them were particularly goal driven or had interesting goals, I'm not sure what they could do with them.

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.
Again, Dawn did not get a massive glow up, development or closure. She got multiple comebacks, but there was no real sense of progress for her character. Only Serena, Iris and soon Lillie got any noticeable off-screen development or closure in Journeys thus far. I know that May feels like the odd one out when she doesn't have any appearance, but I would not consider Dawn's returns as signs of her character development or closure. I would still say that May has a chance of coming back. It's not particularly likely, but if the series has until November, there would still be time for May to potentially show up.
 

FelipePR

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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.

- I thought it was obvious too, but it seems that Ash doesn't, seeing as he had to be reminded by Dawn that would be nice if they held a commemorative High Five.

- It's clear that, in the special, they try to put a greater focus on the interaction between Dawn and Ash, which has been rather dwarfed in the regular episodes. The problem is that, similarly, they seek to demonstrate that the synergy between Goh and Ash is not far behind, quite the opposite, which makes the interactions between the DP protagonists seem secondary in relevance.
 
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Sai

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Given Koharu's arc is over and we're heading to Master Class I'm pretty sure the characters who didn't show up by now like May, Max and Tracey aren't going to appear. Misty might but that's maybe it. May might get a silent cameo watching one of Ash's matches though.
 

RexMissingno

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I don't follow the anime that closely and have been rewatching the older series recently, but rewatching Advanced it's weird to me that they haven't brought May or Max back. It feels like a missed oppurtinity - especially given how they set up how Max could be as a trainer with a starter as a Ralts. I don't have a lot of hope given how its been years and I don't think Advanced is too popular anyway but it really wouldn't be too hard to write a reuinion episode.
 

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The main reason is Kaori her voice actress has retired from acting years ago due to her throat issues and they don't want to recast her, it's the same reason May wasn't brought back when ORAS came out in 2014. Misty came back every time Kanto was remade and Dawn for DP remakes, so May probably would have been treated the same way back then. And that's why even now in a reunion saga every old female companion seems to be getting 1 return besides May.

There's a lot of nostalgia eps for DP, BW, XY and SM in Journey's but nothing for AG in terms of main characters.
 

Hidden Mew

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Given Koharu's arc is over and we're heading to Master Class I'm pretty sure the characters who didn't show up by now like May, Max and Tracey aren't going to appear. Misty might but that's maybe it. May might get a silent cameo watching one of Ash's matches though.
We still have a few months left, so while not a guarantee by any means, it's still plausible for May to show up between now and November. Many people were certain that Serena wouldn't show up either. Obviously, this is a different situation due to May's voice actress, but people were arguing for months, claiming that Serena couldn't appear because of the kiss and then her episode happened.

The main reason is Kaori her voice actress has retired from acting years ago due to her throat issues and they don't want to recast her, it's the same reason May wasn't brought back when ORAS came out in 2014. Misty came back every time Kanto was remade and Dawn for DP remakes, so May probably would have been treated the same way back then. And that's why even now in a reunion saga every old female companion seems to be getting 1 return besides May.

There's a lot of nostalgia eps for DP, BW, XY and SM in Journey's but nothing for AG in terms of main characters.
I'm pretty sure that Misty's appearances weren't really done to tie in with Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee. There was some timing with that game for her second SM two parter, but she didn't wear her outfit from that game or feature only the Pokemon from her in-game team, so it's hard for me to really think she was brought back just for that remake. I think that it was more about celebrating the anime's 20th anniversary more so than anything else. Dawn definitely came back multiple times for D/P remakes though.
 
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Sai

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It's not looking good, May bros. :(

Hoenn gets featured in random eps like today's ep regularly, we had Serena in Lilycove's contests with Lisia and the ORAS dress used for Koharu. Every female character is getting a major return like Lillie, Serena, Iris twice, Dawn 3 times, and I'm sure we'll see Misty at least once before this saga ends and she just got 4 SM eps.

Not counting stuff like flashbacks, May really is going to be the only girl out of the 9 female companions not going to get to come back. The limited number of eps till Master Class doesn't help either.
 

Nichole the Otter

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Given the Master Class WCS tournament is starting soon, I have officially given up hope for May making any sort of physical appearance again. The only way I can ever see her getting another speaking role is if KAORI grants approval to allow her role to be replaced, as the only other possibility to get May recast is if KAORI were to pass away. May was voiced by Chloe’s VA in the Japanese version of the OR/AS animated trailer, but that’s more of a game-related production than an anime production.

It’s sad that because of Japan’s strict guidelines regarding voice actors, May will end up as the most forgotten female lead in the entire anime. And that’s a big shame because she was one of the most loved elements of AG.
 

Konja7

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Given the Master Class WCS tournament is starting soon, I have officially given up hope for May making any sort of physical appearance again. The only way I can ever see her getting another speaking role is if KAORI grants approval to allow her role to be replaced, as the only other possibility to get May recast is if KAORI were to pass away. May was voiced by Chloe’s VA in the Japanese version of the OR/AS animated trailer, but that’s more of a game-related production than an anime production.

It’s sad that because of Japan’s strict guidelines regarding voice actors, May will end up as the most forgotten female lead in the entire anime. And that’s a big shame because she was one of the most loved elements of AG.

Japan isn't really so strict about recasting voice actors. It's true that VAs are pretty popular in Japan and they often try to bring them back, but this concept has been exagerated by Western fandoms.

Voice actors in anime have been replaced for many different reasons (even a reason as simple as not feeling that the voice fits the character anymore). They definitely don't need the previous VA's approval for this.

The reason why they don't recast May is because the character isn't really necessary for the story. So, they're not going to bother to cast a new VA for a cameo in an episode.
 

Nichole the Otter

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Japan isn't really so strict about recasting voice actors. It's true that VAs are pretty popular in Japan and they often try to bring them back, but this concept has been exagerated by Western fandoms.

Voice actors in anime have been replaced for many different reasons (even a reason as simple as not feeling that the voice fits the character anymore). They definitely don't need the previous VA's approval for this.

The reason why they don't recast May is because the character isn't really necessary for the story. So, they're not going to bother to cast a new VA for a cameo in an episode.
That could be possible, but I feel it’s more likely down to the fact Japan only really replaces VAs if the VA passes away, retires or formally asks to be replaced. It’s sad that May became such a victim of this practice, but then again like you said, she’s really no longer relevant to the series to begin with and therefore giving the writers a valid excuse to not bring her back. The reason why her absence is this jarring though is because Journeys is the “25th anniversary celebration” series of the anime, and most of the other previous companions still had speaking roles.
 

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It’s sad that because of Japan’s strict guidelines regarding voice actors, May will end up as the most forgotten female lead in the entire anime. And that’s a big shame because she was one of the most loved elements of AG.
She got more out of her single return than Dawn did in three returns and two specials. I get wanting to see her again, but "big shame" is an exaggeration.

I'm a Misty fan, but I only want her to return if the episode doesn't feel like a retread of her SM episodes, even though the first two were good.
 

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The idea of either recasting, retiring, or even killing off a character from a movie or TV show if their actor either leaves of dies is usually more of a Western tradition, and Japan's treatment of real life voice acting situations is essentially the complete opposite of how it is treated in the West.
 

Hidden Mew

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That could be possible, but I feel it’s more likely down to the fact Japan only really replaces VAs if the VA passes away, retires or formally asks to be replaced. It’s sad that May became such a victim of this practice, but then again like you said, she’s really no longer relevant to the series to begin with and therefore giving the writers a valid excuse to not bring her back. The reason why her absence is this jarring though is because Journeys is the “25th anniversary celebration” series of the anime, and most of the other previous companions still had speaking roles.
That isn't really a practice when there are other examples of voice actors being replaced without them dying or retires. Digimon Adventure Tri and the reboot series replaced all of the human voice actors. The Fruits Basket remake had a whole new cast and aside from Usagi, everyone in Sailor Moon Crystal/Eternal had new voice actors too. It may not be as common as it is within western animation, but replacing voice actors happens in anime too without people dying or retiring.

If they really wanted to have May appear, I think that they would be willing to give her a new voice actress. If her original voice actress physically can't perform, then I think people would be understanding if May had a different voice actor. The bigger problem might be that getting a new voice actress for an episode or two might be more work than they'd want to do for a cameo, but I still think it's possible that they could do something like that. It's still far from a guarantee, but I think that there is still enough time left in the series for May to potentially appear.
 

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That isn't really a practice when there are other examples of voice actors being replaced without them dying or retires. Digimon Adventure Tri and the reboot series replaced all of the human voice actors. The Fruits Basket remake had a whole new cast and aside from Usagi, everyone in Sailor Moon Crystal/Eternal had new voice actors too. It may not be as common as it is within western animation, but replacing voice actors happens in anime too without people dying or retiring.

Another example will be Saint Seiya Hades Chapter Inferno, where they replaced the VAs of the five protagonists

This is an interesting case, because the studio wanted to replace some of the VAs from the protagonists, since they feel their voices don't fit the characters anymore. However, the five opposed to these changes, so the five were replaced.

In Saint Seiya Omega, only the original VA of Seiya returned for his role. The other four were replaced.
 
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I think doing recasts for remakes and reboots is another special case. Those are mainly caused by the production team wanting a blank or almost blank slate. It's still not quite the same but the other animated adaptations of Pokémon (Origins, Generations, Twilight Wings, Evolutions, etc.) all having their own Japanese and English voice casts (at least on a character-by-character basis) would be a better comparison.

May, on the other hand, would be the exact same incarnation of the character as the one originally seen from 2002-2008. And unlike the Digimon Adventure cast, for example, she almost certainly wouldn't age significantly, which I would also call a special case that would justify a recast in many cases.

I'm not saying Kaori can't or won't ever be replaced, but I don't think the above examples change anything in this particular scenario.
 

Konja7

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I think doing recasts for remakes and reboots is another special case. Those are mainly caused by the production team wanting a blank or almost blank slate. It's still not quite the same but the other animated adaptations of Pokémon (Origins, Generations, Twilight Wings, Evolutions, etc.) all having their own Japanese and English voice casts (at least on a character-by-character basis) would be a better comparison.

May, on the other hand, would be the exact same incarnation of the character as the one originally seen from 2002-2008. And unlike the Digimon Adventure cast, for example, she almost certainly wouldn't age significantly, which I would also call a special case that would justify a recast in many cases.

I'm not saying Kaori can't or won't ever be replaced, but I don't think the above examples change anything in this particular scenario.

The Saint Seiya Hades Chapter Inferno was the same continuity than the original anime for Saint Seiya (the characters don't age either).

In fact, Saint Seiya Hades Chapter Inferno was a continuation to Saint Seiya Hades Chapter Santuary (which still have the original VAs). Literally, they changed the VAs of the protagonists in the middle of Hades arc, because they though some of the voices don't fit with the characters anymore.
 
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I'm confused, didn't she appear in a flashback in the Serena episode? That has to amount to something, right?

Anyway, I'm pretty convinced that we'll at least get brief cameo shots of most if not all companions watching the finals at home
 

PaperSplash

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The Saint Seiya Hades Chapter Inferno was the same continuity than the original anime for Saint Seiya (the characters don't age either).

In fact, Saint Seiya Hades Chapter Inferno was a continuation to Saint Seiya Hades Chapter Santuary (which still have the original VAs). Literally, they changed the VAs of the protagonists in the middle of Hades arc, because they though some of the voices don't fit with the characters anymore.
Fair enough. I suppose I was mistaken in that series' case.

Though I still feel like changing the VAs of a bunch of characters mid-arc makes more sense than changing the VA of a single one whose arc has already been effectively completed and they can simply just avoid bringing back.
 
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