Do may like Ash?

May and Ash are two of the main characters in the Pokemon anime series. Their relationship has evolved over the course of the show, leading many fans to wonder – does May actually like Ash romantically?

May’s Initial Impressions of Ash

When May first meets Ash in the episode “Get the Show on the Road,” she doesn’t seem particularly impressed with him. After accidentally destroying May’s bike, Ash comes across as reckless and inexperienced. May even calls him a “twerp” and wants nothing to do with him at first.

However, after seeing Ash battle with Pikachu, May starts to recognize his skill as a Pokemon trainer. She is inspired by his compassion for Pokemon and willingness to go the extra mile for Pikachu. Though she tries to hide it, May develops a newfound respect for Ash.

Signs of May’s Growing Fondness

As May travels with Ash through the Hoenn region, she begins to see more of his admirable qualities firsthand. His determination and commitment to befriending and training Pokemon particularly impresses May. She envies his natural battle instincts and ability to think on his feet.

May also admires Ash’s positive attitude and ability to cheer her on during Pokemon contests. When she loses in the Fallarbor contest, Ash encourages May and inspires her to keep training. His faith in her abilities gives May confidence.

Hints of May’s burgeoning crush also emerge. She blushes when Ash compliments her and becomes jealous when he pays more attention to other girls. May also strives to impress Ash with her contest skills and Pokemon caretaking abilities.

Moments that Suggest May Likes Ash

As the seasons progress, there are a few key moments that strongly suggest May has developed stronger feelings for Ash:

  • May is crushed when she thinks she may have to stop traveling with Ash after losing in the Kanto Grand Festival. She hides her tears from him, not wanting him to see how much she has enjoyed their time together.
  • May gets jealous when Ash and Dawn share a high-five. She appears irritated seeing Ash paying attention to another girl after all their time traveling together.
  • May blushes deeply when Ash compliments her Princess Festival costume, suggesting she values his opinion of her appearance.
  • When May leaves to continue pursuing contests in Johto, she cries as she says goodbye to Ash, hinting at her emotional attachment to him.

These moments indicate that while May may have viewed Ash as just a friend for much of their journey, by the end she has likely developed stronger romantic feelings for him.

Why May Tends to Hide Her Feelings

Although May seems to genuinely like Ash, she also seems to purposely hide and suppress her feelings for him. There are a few possible explanations for this:

  • May is shy and insecure when it comes to romance. She likely has little experience with crushes.
  • Ash is dense when it comes to romance and shows little outward interest in pursuing a relationship with May or any girl.
  • May doesn’t want to jeopardize the strong friendship she and Ash have built by introducing romantic complications.
  • May knows she and Ash are pursuing different paths as trainer and coordinator and worries a relationship could distract them from their goals.

Rather than risk potential awkwardness or rejection, May keeps her feelings private and tries not to act on them.

Does Ash Reciprocate May’s Feelings?

Given Ash’s obliviousness when it comes to romance, it is difficult to say conclusively whether he reciprocates May’s feelings. There are a few subtle hints he might:

  • Ash frequently compliments May’s coordinating skills and Pokemon caretaking abilities.
  • He admires her determination and courage during tough contest battles.
  • Ash celebrates May’s contest victories enthusiastically and comforts her sincerely when she loses.
  • He makes an effort to attend each of May’s contests when possible to cheer her on.

However, Ash never overtly indicates romantic interest in May. His praise and support for May often aligns with the encouragement he gives his other female traveling companions. While he clearly cares deeply for May, Ash seems to view her as a close friend rather than a love interest.

Do They Ever Become a Couple?

No, Ash and May never officially become a romantic couple within the context of the Pokemon anime. They maintain a close friendship but there are a few reasons a romantic relationship doesn’t materialize:

  • Ash is dense when it comes to romance and remains focused on Pokemon training.
  • May’s feelings for Ash appear relatively subtle/unspoken.
  • Both pursue different paths as they continue their Pokemon journeys in different regions.

There are no overt displays of mutual romantic affection. Their relationship remains wholesome, not crossing into canonical romantic territory.

Do They Have Any Moments Together Post-Hoenn?

Ash and May cross paths a few times during later seasons and special episodes, showing they still share a close bond:

  • They meet again briefly during the Kanto Battle Frontier saga.
  • May joins Ash in the Wallace Cup during Diamond and Pearl. She helps motivate Ash during the contest.
  • Ash, May, and the others hold a reunion during the Best Wishes series.

These encounters are friendly but limited in duration. May and Ash don’t spend extensive one-on-one time rekindling their connection. Their meetings focus on their shared history rather than resurfacing old feelings.


Based on her actions, reactions, and words during their Hoenn journey, May seems to develop strong romantic feelings for Ash over time. However, she shies away from directly expressing them due to Ash’s obliviousness and her own insecurities. Ash, in turn, shows some signs he may reciprocate May’s feelings, but his density around romance makes it unclear.

While no overt romance blooms between the two, they share an undeniably close bond built on friendship, admiration, and trust. This serves as the foundation for their relationship whether as close friends or as potential love interests. Though they don’t end up an official couple, May and Ash still share a meaningful connection, resonating with viewers.

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