Dawn's Cameo: Piplup, Pansage and a Meeting of The Times
This is Part 1 of the analysis of Dawn's cameo. So some people say that Dawn's cameo was a complete and utter fail for Pearlshipping. I say no. If you look closely enough, the episodes are chockfull of hints. And it's definitely a victory for Pearlshipping. Not only did the episodes contain many hints, but the cameo itself ran for nine episodes, four episodes longer than Misty and May's.
The first episode is completely centred on Dawn and Ash's reunion at Cynthia's Undella Villa. Some of the more obvious hints are covered in other articles on DataCore. This analysis will look into "hidden hints" and things that require just that little more depth.
Firstly, after Dawn plays that trick on Ash, they both instantly high five. It's like they know that it's the symbol of their relationship. It's something they instinctively do, when they're both happy, and it shows that Ash has certainly remembered the moments he has shared with Dawn.
The next thing proves this further. Iris says “So you’re the Dawn that travelled all over Sinnoh with Ash.” It shows that Ash has mentioned Dawn to Iris and Cilan, but not only that, Iris says “the Dawn”. It undoubtedly shows that not only has Ash mentioned Dawn to Iris and Cilan, he has spoken of her highly, since Iris uses the definitive “the”, instead of just “Dawn”. Cilan also knew already that Dawn was a Pokémon Co-ordinator.
When Dawn gets worried about Meloetta not showing up, Ash instantly calls out that “Dawn’s a friend of mine”, and when Meloetta still doesn’t make an appearance, he tries to distract Dawn from her worries by suggesting he show her his new Pokémon. This is significant since Ash is showing a level of maturity by having Dawn’s interests at heart, and the fact he is eager to show her his Pokémon is also important. We all know how much Ash Pokémon mean to him. This could also be interpreted in that he wants to impress Dawn.
There are more hints during the reunion scenes. The part with Buneary and Pikachu is especially significant. Unlike Advanceshipping’s supposed Pokémon pairing hint “Vineshipping” (Which wasn’t really romantic anyway, and May’s Bulbasaur evolving into Venusaur didn’t help), Pearlshipping’s Lagomorphshipping (Pikachu x Buneary) still stayed strong. And the part where Oshawott briefly gets infatuated with Buneary is also significant. At this point, both Buneary and Oshawott are caught Pokémon, and the statement on how “When their Pokémon fall in love, trainers will follow” is actually viable here. But of course, Pikachu x Buneary is already a mainstay pairing of the Pokémon world, and the fact that Pikachu is Ash’s main Pokémon, and Buneary Dawn’s second Pokémon, is important. The image of Ash and Dawn standing either side of Pikachu and Buneary is also symbolic.
After the reunion, Ash quickly asks Dawn for a battle, saying “it’s been too long”. Well, what can I say? It obviously implies that he misses her. He was not as eager to battle May in her cameo. He didn’t even ask her for a battle, in fact. Anyway, Ash and Dawn do not end up battling in this episode, and Ash is clearly disappointed when Cilan steps in to battle Dawn first.
Even the battle between Dawn and Cilan holds hints. When Dawn uses the “Countershield” again, a move that Ash and Dawn formulated together, Ash actually fangirls, holding his hands in the fangirl position and staring at Dawn with shining eyes, though not as shiny as the ones in the Onix episode, but we’ll come to that later.
Even this episode alone shows that Ash and Dawn’s relationship passes the test of time. And nothing can change that.
Join us next time: For Dawn’s Cameo analysis: Part 2!