My Testimony: PlatinumSun
I don’t have the clearest memory back when Diamond and Pearl came out. I was only 10 and ten year old boys don’t think about romance seriously (why do you think Ash is so dense romantically?). However, I do remember that I loved the show and both Ash and Dawn along with their relationship. I think I actually thought they loved each other back then. I remember reading the title for episode 122: Stopped in the Name of Love! Initially, I thought one of them would confess to each other when I saw the word “love” only to be disappointed after seeing the plot. From this memory alone, I suppose I was a Pearlshipper back then, albeit I wasn’t even aware of the name.
Back then, I only liked the anime. I played the games, but I would get bored if I had train my Pokémon for a long time and that happened to me more often than it should have been. When Best Wishes came out, I lost my interest of Pokémon as a whole.
EndlessSummer/Mittens/Rainfall, thank you for making fanarts like this. I had limited knowledge of shipping back then, but this one particular fanart was imprinted in my head. Last year (a week or two after Valentine’s Day), I was bored and I decided to google image ash and misty, ash and may, ash and dawn, and ash and serena on my school iPad to look for this along with a few others. I didn’t even bother looking up ash and iris; was not a fan (no offense to Negaishippers). After thoroughly looking at it all, I found that the Pearlshipping fanart seemed to be the cutest of them all, so I guess I was a Pearlshipper there and then.
For example, the fanart above (by EndlessSummer/Mittens/Rainfall) not only looks adorable, but it also gives a sense of a heartwarming moment. You can see in their facial expressions that they are calm and content, that they are glad to be there together within their presence.
My eyes journeyed next to both Ash and Dawn’s profile page on Bulbapedia. My research for Dawn led me to take interest into the Sinnoh region and later its games. That summer, I ended up finishing LeafGreen and Emerald, started over and finished Platinum and SoulSilver. During the school year after that, I had beaten White and Black 2. It was Pearlshipping that rekindled my love for Pokémon.
Back to my pre-summer stage, I went to fanfiction.net as I looked up fanfics between the two of them. The first one I read was Ash and Dawn: The Unova Chapter. It’s one of my favorites today. As I looked more and more into these fanfics, I saw the term “Pearlshipping”. I didn’t know what it was until I looked it up and stumbled upon Bulbapedia’s page for this.
My interest continued on into Youtube videos, and I found Even Paul sees Pearlshipping by Pearlshipping TV, Project Pearlshipping’s newest branch back then. I watched their analyses of everything they had and then they posted their introduction video which introduced DataCore and Vault to me. I looked at everything on DataCore and constantly went back on it to see any updates on it. I loved it. Vault was different story though. I didn’t see any reason to chitchat with anyone there so I never made an account at first. During the first half of the school year, I looked at Vault more and I didn’t mind reading some posts but I still refused to talk to anyone there. I finally made an account on Jan 30 and made my introduction on the first of Feb.
As a kid, I thought shipping in general was dumb and I didn’t see the point in fanfics and fanart along with websites that talked about shipping. Even when I shipped NaruSaku and later NaruHina, I still didn’t care about pairings. Pearlshipping changed that. It was the first OTP I ever experienced and I never expected to care so much about a pairing. After looking at those heartwarming pictures and saw the bond between Ash and Dawn, I actually felt empty inside and wanted a girlfriend in hopes of establishing a relationship that was similar to what they had and I have not done that… yet.
The reason I was a pearlshipper at first was because of how cute they looked together. It became more than that however as time passed by. I saw the bond that they had. I see it as the ideal realistic relationship. My definition of true love rooted from Pearlshipping: an inseparable bond between two people; kind of like a friend but you do special things with your true love with your close friends; you do different things with your friends than with acquaintances and with family (I think that’s why girlfriend and boyfriend are called what they are).
Based on the memory I mentioned in the beginning, I was a Pearlshipper since the beginning of Diamond and Pearl (approximately), however, I only considered myself as a true Pearlshipper until a year ago.
Because of Pearlshipping, I created 3 poems based from the shipping; the first inspired by the last Japanese ending for the Diamond and Pearl series, Kimi no Mune ni LaLaLa. If it wasn’t for Vault, I wouldn’t have even considered creating a DeviantArt and fanfiction.net profile and post poems and fanfics respectively. I haven’t been updating them for a while. No need to worry! I’ll update them.
If I don’t like a certain shipping, I will still respect their shippers’ opinion based on two things: the fact they will stand up for their shipping and their reason to ship in the first place. People will stand up for what they believe in and that’s fine. You should stand up for what you believe in. No one else will do it for you because they are too busy fighting for their own beliefs. Before doing that though, find reasoning behind your actions because reasons behind an action have equal, if not more, value than the action itself. If you like a shipping “because I think they look cute together”, I will respect your opinion whether or not I agree or not. However, if the reason is “because it’s better than the others”, I will see that as an arrogant statement and I will not respect your statement. An example for shipping is if a Pokeshipper says “Pokeshipper is better than Pearlshipping because Misty knew Ash before Dawn.” That wouldn’t be true because the age of a relationship does not correlate with the closeness within the relationship. Misty is not closer to Ash than Dawn is by being his friend first.
For you Pearlshippers out there don’t give up. When you think about it, the Pearlshipping community has endured through the most difficult object: time. There are still a large amount of Pearlshippers out there compared to Pokeshippers and Advanceshippers, both diminished by time. The only reason Amourshipping is so popular is that it’s the “new and current” and Serena is Ash’s latest female companion who is still journeying with him. Just because it is the newest trend and that everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean you should join them. If someone says that they like something “because everyone else is doing it”, I would reply, “Okay, what does that have to do with you?” By joining something because everyone else are doing the same, it’s no different than letting someone else define you. You don’t do either. You need to define yourself and perform your own actions with your own reasons.
Twice I was tempted to become an Amourshipper, both times prior to becoming a member of Vault. The first time was in fear of it becoming canon and the second was because everyone else seemed to be doing it. Both times, I resisted it with the help of Project Pearlshipping. They helped me realized that I’m not the only Pearlshipper out there who still believes. I also realized how much canonicity doesn’t really matter. Every shipper chooses to ship what they want. The creators are no different; they have their favorites and characters they dislike the most, no different than the fans out there. The main difference is that they made Pokémon and they have the right to say which person belongs to whom and make the anime go as they desire (assuming this actually happens). They have their own choices and we, as fans, have our own choices to make.
One thing I noticed about Vault during my time as a member is that, for the most part, they give off a good representation of what their ship is all about: loyalty, support, humor, love, and having a good time. They see each other as a family and seek valued ones over mere numbers. If you’re a loyal Pearlshipper out there and see Project Pearlshipping as what it is, I hope you come by to Vault, even it’s to just talk with us. Initially, I saw Project Pearlshipping in the beginning but I never verbally supported. The minimum support I did was become the 15th subscriber to Pearlshipping TV. In retrospect, I wish I joined earlier. I met so many good people; people who I like more than some people in my own school. I remember the reason I joined in the first place: I barely saw activity in January and I was afraid of it dying. I joined in hopes of bringing back some activity. Now I realize that most people here have their personal lives to live and they end up not having the time get on. I’m still glad I joined.
Joining Vault’s family is a good experience overall. I hope to meet you there!
Value is not created; it is given
Platinum: refers to Platinum Berlitz, Dawn’s manga counterpart and Pokémon Platinum, my first and only game from gen IV
Sun: something I thought from Hikari and Dawn meaning “light” and refers to the sunrise respectively
I also consider to be the initial for earlhipping
*fun fact: this testimony is longer than the first chapter of my first fanfic*