There are many points in the anime that seem to support
AdvanceShipping. Below is a list of some of the more famous examples
during the two sagas in which Ash and May appear.
Hoenn League saga
- After Ash destroys May's bicycle accidentally, she angrily goes
to tell him off while he is resting in the Pokémon Center. As she
quietly opens the door, she watches Ash and Pikachu
resting contently together, and she forgives him without telling him.
Later on, May figuratively talks Ash into letting her travel with him.
Once he says she could come along, May strikes a pose by the camera and
yells "YES!" to show her enthusiasm to the audience. This coupled with
the previous scene where she secretly spies on him and forgives him for
his kindness with Pikachu, shows that May perhaps be taking a liking
- Ash decides to become May's mentor for the very first time,
teaching her how to capture and battle with Pokémon. The two have
dinner together in a Pokémon Center, and when Ash wants to find out about the Petalburg
Gym leader, May frantically pulls him by the arm to prevent him from
finding out. It would appear that she was far more content with
traveling with Ash alone before revisiting her family.
- When Ash and May discover that a Team Aqua intruder is in the building and Max
could be in potential danger, she clasps her hands and asks Ash for
reassurance and support. Once Ash comforts her, she is relieved. This
is the first of many scenes where May continually looks toward Ash for
support and reassurance, further expanding on the mentor/student
- On Dewford Island,
May decides to strip into a bikini right on the beach. However, instead
of just running down to the shore to take a swim, she purposely poses
in her bikini in front of Ash and her brother and asks what they think.
Ash appears to be embarrassed by the situation.
- After witnessing May lose her first Pokémon Contest,
Ash takes the blame for her loss. He says, "It’s my fault. I wish I’d
spent more time with May, teaching her." Later, May is crying backstage
as Ash tries unsuccessfully to cheer her up.
- When Brock asks Misty and Ash to go save Togepi, May says she
will go too. This may have been because she did not like the idea of
Misty being alone with Ash, even though Princess Sara went with them.
- While May is clutching Torchic in her arms, the ground
underneath her collapses and she falls into a chasm. Luckily, she grabs
ahold of a branch that was sticking out of the wall. When May
frantically calls for help, Ash steps up to rescue her. He tied a rope
around his body as Max and Brock
lower him down, where he grabs ahold of May's arm and reassures her
that everything will be alright. Further expanding on the heroism,
where May thanks Ash dearly for saving her life.
- When confronted by Max whether she wants Ash to win over her Dad, Norman of the Petalburg Gym,
May gives flustered responses. While Max is quick to make up his mind
and cheer for his father, May on the other hand sides with Ash. Max
yells, "What, how can you want Ash to win over our Dad?" to which May
blushes nervously and says, "Well I want Dad to win... but I don't want
Ash to lose!"
- May's choice was made up from the beginning to cheer for Ash
over her father, and each time Max confronts her about it, she blushes
nervously and doesn't want to give him a clear answer.
- Considered to be the first episode where AdvanceShipping was
made completely blatant to the audience, Ash and May are confronted by Oscar and Andi, a young couple who are obsessed with the idea of love and romance.
- When Oscar and Andi call Ash and May a "happy couple," the two
of them quickly deny it and turn their backs to one another, crossing
their arms. Ash says sarcastically, "That's a laugh!" and May adds,
"Hardy har har!" Oscar and Andi do not stop there, and continue to call
them a couple. Ash and May scream, "We're not a couple!" in unison,
with the same body language, followed by, "And we're not happy either!" in the same tone.
- As the episode pours on, Ash and May continue to argue and
bicker back and forth, presumably to get their minds off the idea of
being called a couple by Oscar and Andi. After a team up battle against
Jessie and James
at the end, Ash and May sincerely forgive each other for their
argument, and deeply apologize as they stare at each other while the
sunset closes behind them.
- When May is lost in the forbidden land of the Grass Pokémon,
Ash once again steps in to save her. After his Tarzan-esque entrance to
save May from the fierce and threatening Grass Pokémon that were about
to attack her, he grabs her by the hand and runs with her to clear a
path to safety. Ash and May continue to hold hands as they are running
away from the menacing Pokémon, a rare sight between them.
- This episode further brings up the parallelism between Ash and May, by having their two Bulbasaur meet each other. However, the two Bulbasaur show signs of liking one another, a ship that is called VineShipping.
Throughout the episode, May makes several comments about how their
Bulbasaur are such a great team, and how they are, "Two peas in a
Poképod." Before Ash sends Bulbasaur back to Oak, it pats May's Bulbasaur on the head sweetly with its vine, saying goodbye. May's Bulbasaur is impressed as Ash's Bulbasaur is sent back. Vineshipping is one of the parallels that is used to push Advanceshipping, as canon characters such as Professor Oak and Brock have said in the past that Pokémon represent the feelings of their masters,
and when two Pokémon fall in love, there is a good chance the trainers
will too. While the Bulbasaur haven't fallen in love with each other
yet, it is the first step in their parallel romance.
- May is sulking on a bench outside the Contest hall because she
lost her match. Ash comes alone to comfort her, cheering her up
compassionately while patting her Bulbasaur on the head and sitting
next to her on the bench. This is followed by a, "Thank you Ash," from May.
- Pikachu developed amnesia and joined Team Rocket. He ended up shocking Ash. The second time it happened, May covered her face in possible concern for Ash.
- When Ash is about to hop on top of Dragonite and go with Lance to save Pikachu from its bonding with the blue orb and Groudon, May approaches Ash and says, "Don't do anything crazy Ash," in a sweet and very concerned tone.
- In another love-themed episode, Ash is confused about the
concept of love. May teases him and says, "Spoken like a maaaaaan," in
the dub while she says, "And he doesn't get it," in the original raw.
As the episode continues, Ash says, "No sense in going out of your way
just to make somebody like you," in which May responds, "And he still
acts like a man," in the dub while in the raw, "And he reeeaaaally
doesn't get it." This is the second episode where May teases Ash about
- May holds onto Ash's hat while he is lost with Snorunt
in a blizzard. May holds onto his hat during the entire search,
frantically hoping to find him again, which is seen as a romantic
gesture. Once they meet up again, she says, "I believe this is yours!"
and kindly hands Ash back his hat.
- As May is about to be crushed by a Donphan using Rollout
attack, Ash launches his body toward May and brings her to safety. The
two fall down to the ground with his arm around her torso. This is the
third time Ash has saved May from danger. In the middle of the episode,
Ash and May are separated from the group. May does her expedition
routine and thinks about the concept of being lost with Ash in the
woods forever. This idea causes her to have little red blushes on her
cheeks. During the last act of the episode, May misses her chance to
catch the ferry to her final Contest. In despair, she starts to cry.
Sensing her pain, Ash puts his hands on her shoulders and stares at her
deeply in the eyes, giving her the courage to go on while he takes care
of her little brother. This is the first time in the series that Ash
had ever put his hands on a girl in such a serious and compassionate
Battle Frontier saga
- May decides that she wants to continue traveling with Ash after Hoenn ends, which compels her to travel from the Hoenn region on her own to meet up with Ash in Pallet Town. This was before she found out there were Contests in Kanto,
so she decided that she wanted to be by Ash's side even if it meant not
continuing her coordinator dream for the time being. Ash and May share
a scene on the couch together, where Ash asks her if she wants to come
along with him through Kanto. May of course agrees, while Delia is watching them converse, and blushes due to how close the two are.
- Meanwhile, May decides to leave her Bulbasaur with Ash's
Bulbasaur at the lab, further following up with the concept of
Vineshipping over 50 episodes ago. The two Bulbasaur again show signs
of liking one another, which could be used to push Advanceshipping in
- When May hears sounds of scary Ghost Pokémon, she frantically
goes to Ash and tries to wake him up in his sleeping bag. She presses
her hands desperately against his chest to wake him up, yet she didn't
do the same for Brock, who could have come to her aid just as easily. A
further example of May choosing Ash over anyone else when she is in
fear or doubt.
- As Ash is fishing,
the line is being pulled into the water. To prevent him from going
overboard, May quickly wraps her arms around his torso and presses her
chest against his back. Ash puts on a flabbergasted expression as he
feels May's chest pressed up against his back.
- May falls off a rope bridge and clutches for her life. Once
again she cries out for Ash several times, despite the fact that Brock
is standing with Ash as well. Ash calls out May's name as he pulls her
to safety, but not once does May give any gratitude toward Brock for
saving her, only Ash (this does not occur in the English dub, however).
In the English dub Ash calls out only May's name but Max was there too.
- James says to Ash that they were helping his girl (May) in the contest.
- At the beginning, when there is only one ribbon, and they can't
decide who to give the ribbon to, May looks at Ash, and Ash looks at
May, and they nod at each other, and then Ash tells Sceptile to Leaf
Blade the ribbon in half. This proves that sometimes Ash and May do not
need to speak to each other to know what the other is thinking.
- One of the nights when May folded a tab on the wishing star,
she afterward looked down to Ash who was at that time; skipping rocks
across a river. The camera then goes back to May, which she has a very
anxious look on her face. Because of this scene, many Advanceshippers
believe that May's wish had something to do with Ash (though this was
- Ash tries to pick a fight with Tory Lund.
In order to stop him, May throws her body on top of Ash and tells him
to please stop. She places her hands on his shoulders and desperately
tries to convince him to calm down. Ash is surprised with her action,
and quickly says, "Sure."
- Ash once again loses his cool and is mad at Lucario.
May quickly rushes down into the lake where Ash is standing and
clutches to his arm, trying to prevent him from getting himself in
trouble. May holds onto him frantically until the situation is
resolved. Afterward, May follows Ash around "mothering" him, telling
him to get himself dry before he catches a cold.
- As Ash and May go swimming with Manaphy, they continuously shoot glances at each other and smile. This is accompanied by a school of Luvdisc, Pokémon thought to symbolize love.
- Later when they were in the submarine, May was crying up
against the submarines window because she thought she had driven away
Manaphy. The camera shoots a moment over to Ash who has a deeply
- When the Sea Temple was being flooded with water, Ash put May, Pikachu, and Manaphy in a capsule left behind by The Phantom,
allowing them to survive should his plan to replace the crystal fail.
May continued to pray for Ash's safety and was nearly driven to tears
when she thought he wouldn’t make it back. Manaphy sent May's prayers
to Ash, and with these thoughts spurring him on, Ash recovered from his
near-drown state and replaced the crystal, saving the Sea Temple.
- After the Sea Temple is raised, May leaves the capsule, at
the beginning thrilled that the temple is saved (In the Japanese
language version of the episode, she acknowledges that Satoshi is the
one who saved the Temple by saying "This is Satoshi's doing, isn't
it?"). Her happiness, however, is quickly replaced by sadness with the
fear that Ash hasn't returned. "It can't be..." she says. "No way..."
Her joy returns as soon as Ash flies up out of the water and chases
down Phantom and saves the abducted Manaphy.
Ash and May with the ribbon halves
Diamond and Pearl saga
- May joins up with Ash, Brock, and Dawn in Sinnoh. Under a full
moon, Ash and May both pull out their halves of the ribbon that they
tied for, and hold the pieces together. May also says how the ribbon
reminds her of Ash's encouragement, and how it has saved her numerous
times in Johto.
- Before May leaves to return to Johto, she and the rest of the
group share goodbyes. She and Ash speak last, each telling the other to
do their best in their respective paths. It is only when May is
speaking with Ash (despite the fact she was exchanging farewells with
everyone) that she holds her heart.
Ash and May have caught several of the same evolutionary lines;-