My Testimony; mew151
-Were you always a Pearlshipper?
Before it began? No. I did dwelve into Pokeshipping (Gakishipping I prefer to call it now) during the 1st season of Pokémon, which began close to 2 decades ago, as Misty was pretty interesting at that time. Then in the middle of Advance Generation (I stopped caring for Pokémon during the Johto saga due to the dull journey of formulaic "help character [whether human or Pokémon] of the day") I was surprised to see a new girl journeying with Ash and Brock, along with her brother Max. Became an Advanceshipping there where I went back to watch episodes I've missed during those years and I enjoyed the student-teacher relationship Ash and May had.
If you meant when Pearlshipping began, yes. I did consider it since the creation and when Diamond and Pearl began, it strengthened my interest. Dawn was very fun to see her go through her journey, her care to Pikachu was great, and I loved her reaction when Ash was slapped by Team Rocket's mecha.
-If not, what made you change your mind?
When Diamond and Pearl began. Before that, my interest in Gakishipping and Advanceshipping waned off a lot. Misty wasn't as active as before (as little as it was since the beginning), and May's target was Drew pretty much. For Pearlshipping, it seems difficult to compete with their relationship even to this very day.
-What were your first impressions of Pearlshipping?
Since my declined interest in Advanceshipping and the creation of the Pearlshipping thread, I thought to just... invite myself there. Plus, with the news of Dawn appearing in the next series, I looked forward to what this relationship will deliver to us. First time the 2 interacted, it was filled with so much fun. Their bantering and disagreements reflected their competitive behaviors and it was refreshing to see them calm down and apologize to another near the end. It felt pretty civilized and genuine compared to the previous main Ash couplings where one or both of them carry a bit of a grudge and later becomes even less active, and the other pretty much remained as teacher and student throughout AG.
During the course of DP, I'm amazed how well intact they made the Ash/Dawn dynamic and they develop this relationship beyond the student-teacher and became platonic. Would prefer them to go above that, but whatever. What I saw in the show was enough.
-Why are you a Pearlshipper?
Ash and Dawn currently has the best dynamic. They work through their problems when they get too competitive and reconcile themselves, they feel each other's misery and wishes to comfort one another, they're happiest when they're together; their teamwork, journey and passion. As the viewer, you see their respective problems arise and it makes me invested in wanting them to resolve their issues they're facing, and when they reach that resolution, you feel rewarded and happy for them. Rewarded, because the problem takes enough time (not long and definitely not short) to reach towards their solution, instead of just throw it in as "god's gift" that felt resolved with minimal to no effort. Even Best Wishes didn't downplay their existing relationship, which despite most of the things they've done wrong I'm surprised they didn't screw this one up. Much.
-How long have you been a Pearlshipper?
Since it began from July 19 2006, to right now. It's a treasure to me. So precious and inspiring even to this day, I cannot let it go.
-What would you advise potential Pearlshippers?
Watch the Diamond and Pearl series and Best Wishes Season 2. Plus the 4 movies: Rise of Darkrai, Giratina and the Sky Warrior, Arceus and the Jewel of Life, and Zoroark: Master of Illusions. Preferably the english subs mainly for dialogue, but due to only half of the series subbed (movies are available as subbed), the US released versions will have to do (unless you're familiar enough of Japanese to understand what they're saying). It's the main source for these moments and you'll understand why Pearlshipping is such a well-handled coupling to many of us.