Pokemon Shippings Wikia
Pokemon Shippings Wikia
Character(s) Ash & May
Status fanon

AdvanceShipping (known in Japan as SatoHaru) is the truth that Ash (Satoshi) and May (Haruka) belong together as a couple. It is a popular anime shipping and is stronger than ContestShipping. The name comes from the fact that they appeared in the Advanced Generations series. The ship is considered to be similar to ApprenticeShipping with Ash as Professor Oak (tutor) and May as Tracey (student).but contest shipping may not be true as they both didn't know about each other's so well as satoshi and haruka did


Hoenn League saga[]

Get the Show on the Road![]

After Ash destroys May's bicycle accidentally, she angrily goes to tell him off while he is resting in Professor Birch's laboratory. As she quietly opens the door, she sees Ash and Pikachu resting contently together, and she forgives him without telling him. Later on, May guilts Ash into letting her travel with him. Once he says that she could come along, May strikes a triumphant 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 toward Pikachu, shows that May might be taking a liking toward him.

A Ruin with a View[]

During the middle of the episode, Ash is eager to ask a few other Trainers about the Petalburg Gym Leader. Hearing this, May desperately grabs and asks him if they could go eat instead, and if he could show her around the Pokémon Center so Ash wouldn't find out her dad is the Gym Leader; some say this is so Ash would not treat her any differently. Despite his earlier enthusiasm, Ash agrees and they eat. During their meal, Ash and May talk, and Ash becomes May's mentor for the very first time, teaching her how to capture and battle with Pokémon. When Ash goes off to spy on Team Magma, May refuses to be left alone and goes along with him.

There's no Place Like Hoenn[]

When Team Rocket steals May's Torchic, she falls to her knees in despair. Seeing this, Ash crouches down next to her and tells her not to worry, promising that he will get her Torchic back for her. Additionally, at the end of the episode, when Max voices his desire to travel with Ash and May, they both show a shocked expression on their faces, possibly implying that they wanted to travel together, alone.

You Never Can Taillow[]

Though this may have just been stubbornness, she grabs Ash's arm and asks him if they can eat. Though Max also grabbed onto Ash, May did it first. Later, she asked Ash where their food was first, instead of asking Max. She took particular offense to Ash's mentioning of Brock, sarcastically apologizing for being useless compared to him. When the Taillow were about to attack Ash and friends, you can see Ash get in front of May in a protective way.

A Bite to Remember[]

When a group of Mightyena shows hostility towards the group, May hides behind Ash for protection, even though Brock could provide protection just as easily. However, Ash was also the closer of the two, so whether it is because of reliance or self-preservation is debatable.

Stairway to Devon[]

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 dynamic.

On a Wingull and a Prayer![]

Ash, May, Brock and Max end up in a deserted place where there are no boats or ferries for them to reach Dewford Island, where Ash's next gym battle will take place. They manage to find a beach port which is deserted and May happily says that at least they found a beach, to which Ash irritably replies that, "A lot of good that does if we're going to miss the boat anyway, May!". May then becomes quiet and after hearing Ash say that he was really eager to go to Dewford Island for his next gym battle, she determinedly says that she will find a boat on her own while the others can relax. Later, while searching for a boat, May looks out to the sea and thinks about Ash yelling at her earlier on, which makes her slightly blush.

Brave the Wave[]

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, but so is Max (who could arguably seem even more embarrassed) for understandable reasons.

Abandon Ship[]

When Ash and May are standing together on the ship, Ash continuously stares at May while saying nothing.

Now That's Flower Power![]

When Drew was criticizing May's ability as a Coordinator, Ash stands up, the camera moving to show his face only, and he quickly went in May’s defense, clearly upset.

Win, Lose or Drew![]

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 cries backstage as everyone tries unsuccessfully to cheer her up. Although everyone tries to cheer May up backstage, the camera zooms in on Ash when he says something to May. When Max and Brock consoled May, the camera was focused on all of them.

All Torkoal, No Play[]

When May falls off of a cliff in the Valley of Steel and just barely manages to grab onto a branch to save herself, a close-up of Ash shows him visibly worried about her and promising to rescue her. With everyone else holding on to the rope, Ash lowers himself into the chasm, grabs her hand, and they are both lifted back to safety.

True Blue Swablu![]

When May wants to stay and help Swablu's injuries get better, Ash generously tells her, "You're going to take any time you need to help your buddy out," even though his first priority is making it to the Fortree Gym; however, some argue that Ash also cared about the Swablu. Also, when Max is saying, "Which reminds me of when she had a crush on this boy in school and she actually tried to--" she quickly cuts him off, saying, "I was such a child then!" This could suggest that she didn't want Ash to know that she had a previous crush.

Go Go Ludicolo[]

When confronted by Max about whether she wants Ash to win over her Dad—Norman of the Petalburg Gym—or not, May gives flustered responses. While Max is quick to make up his mind and cheer for his father, May cheers for Ash. Max yells, "What, how can you want Ash to win over our Dad?" May blushes and says, "Well I want Dad to win...but I don't want Ash to lose!"

Love, Petalburg Style![]

During the ending of the episode, May once again seems torn about whom should she cheer for in the upcoming gym battle.

Balance of Power[]

Expanding on the previous hints, When Pikachu is hit by a Flamethrower from Norman's Vigoroth, May tries to help Ash by telling him to switch. Brock then says that it's not a good idea, causing May to hastily shut her mouth with her hands in terror. Moreover, at multiple points during the battle, May seems worried and terrified when Ash is losing and happy when Ash is winning. This behavior highly implies that May chose Ash over her own father, at least subconsciously.

The Bicker The Better[]

Considered to be the first episode where the idea of AdvanceShipping was first introduced, 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 in which Oscar and Andi state that they 'both answered together' further causing tensions between the two. 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 Double Battle against Jessie and James at the end, Ash and May bashfully forgive each other for their argument, and apologize as they stare at each other while the sunset closes behind them.

Grass Hysteria[]

When May is lost in the forbidden land of the Grass Pokémon, Ash once again steps in to save her despite the warnings. 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 with an intense expression, 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, despite being for safety reasons.

Hokey Poké Balls[]

This episode further brings up the parallelism between Ash and May, by having their two Bulbasaur meet each other. Moreover, 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 his Bulbasaur back to Professor 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 Trainers, and that when two Pokémon fall in love, there is a good chance that their Trainers will as well. While the Bulbasaur haven't fallen in love with each other yet, it is the first step in their parallel romance. It can be noted that their respective Bulbasaur seem to reflect the current relationship of their Trainers, with Ash's Bulbasaur as a guide and mentor to May's Bulbasaur. However, the claim has also been refuted at various points during the series, so the feelings of the Pokémon are not always definitive to the feelings of the Trainers.

Cruisin' for a Losin[]

May is sulking on a bench outside the Contest Hall because she lost her match. Ash comes alone to comfort her, cheering her up while patting her Bulbasaur on the head and sitting next to her on the bench. This is followed by a sheepish smile and a "Thank you Ash," from May. Ash is known to be rash and short tempered, and is not one to apologize easily, yet, when he and May were arguing about contest/gym battles before, Ash never raised his voice at her. Afterwards, when confronting her about running from contest after losing to Savannah, his tone is both kind and compassionate; and says that he doesn’t blame her for yelling at him before. This is a side of Ash we rarely see.

The Scuffle of Legends[]

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, Ash says "Thanks, guys," but is only looking at May. May approaches Ash and says, "Don't do anything crazy Ash," in a concerned tone.

A Cacturne for the Worse[]

When May was embarrassed by Harley's playback of Max's story and lost her focus, Ash called encouragement to her that helped her pull through and win the match. After her victory, May thanked Ash for helping her to snap out of it.

Once in a Mawile[]

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 Japanese. As the episode continues, Ash says, "No sense in going out of your way just to make somebody like you," to 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 in which May teases Ash about love.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snorunt[]

May holds onto Ash's hat while he is lost with Snorunt in a blizzard, and continues to do so 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 hands Ash back his hat.

Date Expectations[]

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 firmly on her shoulders and stares intensely into her eyes, giving her the courage to go on while he takes care of her little brother. Moved, May rejects Ash's offer of moving on without them, and tells him about the promise she made with her mother. As she talks, she gradually perks up and suggests that they go to look for Max and Brock. Touched, Ash agrees.

Rhapsody In Drew![]

As soon as May finishes talking to Drew, Ash holds up an ice cream to her face and said he thought she may have wanted dessert. This shows the thoughtfulness Ash has for May.

Battle Frontier saga[]

The Right Place and the Right Mime[]

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. When May shows up at Ash's house, Delia recognizes her on sight, even though she has never seen her before. This could suggest that Ash has told her a lot about May. When May sees Max, she seems surprised, then angry at him for coming. This could suggest that she wanted to travel with Ash alone. 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, thinking, Ash has such good friends. This could possibly be due to how close she thinks the two are. During the battle with Team Rocket, May can be seen glancing towards Ash's direction after her Bulbasaur used Petal Dance. Soon after, Ash used his Bulbasaur, to use Solar Beam, and blast away Jessie and James's Pokémon. It could suggest that either May wanted Ash to battle alongside her or if she just wanted to steal glances at Ash.

A Hurdle for Squirtle[]

When May steps on the Contest Stage, Ash is the only one (of the three) that cheers, saying, "Let's go May! All right!" This is also reflected in all of May's other Contests, in which Ash always seems to be emotionally involved and always helping May when she is in a dilemma by shouting helpful advice to her, though being enthusiastic and supportive seems to be part of Ash's personality, as he has done that for pretty much everyone he has wanted to win a battle or contest.

Fear Factor Phony![]

When May hears sounds made by 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 to Brock, who could have come to her aid just as easily. This is another example of May choosing Ash over anyone else when she is in fear or doubt.

Off the Unbeaten Path[]

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). In the English dub Ash calls out only May's name but Max was there as well. This could be taken that May relies more on Ash than the others to help her, but is not necessarily a romantic hint.

Harley Rides Again[]

James says to Ash that they were helping his girl (May) in the Contest.

All That Glitters is Not Golden![]

After setting up camp, May says that she'll go get them some water. Ash, instead of finding something else to do, or helping Max with the firewood, because that is arguably harder than getting water, offers to help May, saying, "I'll help with that." in a kind tone that he rarely uses.

New Plot-Odd Lot[]

While May worries about the contest, Ash volunteers right away that he “would be happy to help her train.” May looks at him gratefully and thanked him. Later, after being infuriated by Harley, May quickly says, “Ash! Want to train?” Ash quickly finishes his food and stands up, then replies, “Right behind you!” in a determined fashion. Later, after May barely makes it through the first round of the contest, Ash is seen staring at her with the brown in his eyes showing (which usually only happens when he gets very emotionally passionate about something), while saying, "You deserve it. You really turned it around, May."

Battling the Enemy Within![]

After Ash's battle with Brandon and Ash returning to normal, he says to May, Brock, and Max, "You guys are the best." May replies, "Ash, if you keep talking like that, I'm going to blush."

Home is Where the Start Is[]

Ash and May end the Terracotta Contest in a tie; there is only one ribbon, and they can't decide whom to give the ribbon to. May looks at Ash, Ash looks at May, and they nod at each other, and then Ash tells Sceptile to Leaf Blade the ribbon in half. This demonstrates that, occasionally, neither Ash nor May need to speak to know what the other is thinking because they share such a close bond, though some argue that this could also just be strong friendship. In Mean With Envy!, Erica and Joshua were seen in a fantasy holding a split ribbon while Vivian was referring to a couple winning a Contest. Ash and May's victory and split ribbon parallel this. In the Japanese version, when Haruka announces that she wants to go to Johto, Masato runs off. When Satoshi goes to comfort him, Masato asks, "Why is Onee-chan so happy? It's really fun when Satoshi and Onee-chan are together...." This could suggest that Masato wants Haruka and Satoshi to be together.

Diamond and Pearl saga[]

A Full Course Tag Battle![]

May joins up with Ash, Brock, and Dawn in Sinnoh. Later that day, in the evening, 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. Also, Ash pulls the ribbon straight out of his pocket, which means that ash always keeps the half ribbon with him.

Strategy with a Smile![]

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 puts her hand to her heart. Further indication is that when both May and Ash say their goodbyes, each of their eyes glimmer. In the anime, when a character's eyes glimmer it represents a type of passion.

Black & White[]

In The Shadow of Zekrom![]

In Ash's room, along with other objects, is the wooden Teddiursa doll that Ash recieved from May as a present in the Sinnoh region. It can be noted that, aside from trophies and various other awards, the doll is the only gift from one of his traveling companions that is visible (meaning that other gifts, such as Misty's special lure, are not visible). This could possibly suggest that May's gift was important to him, seeing as it was the only gift that he put next to his trophies and awards.


Jirachi: Wish Maker[]

On one of the nights when May folds a tab on the wishing star, she afterward looks toward Ash who is skipping rocks across a river. The camera then goes back to May, showing the very anxious look on her face. Because of this scene, many AdvanceShippers believe that May's wish involves Ash, although the nature of the wish is never confirmed. In this example, however, one must account for the fact that Max and Jirachi are skipping rocks with Ash, as well as the fact that nothing else is going on at the time. When she looks "anxious" after viewing the scene, it could be partially due to sadness, since she knows that her little brother and Jirachi have very few days left together and will never see each other again afterward. As she looks away from the scene, she glances back at her wishing star and views the final two leaflets, which remind her that the week is coming to an end. It could be noted that May made the wish before Jirachi hatched, so it would be impossible have made the wish about Max and how he would miss Jirachi. Arguably, there is the possibility of the wish being a Top Coordinator, yet having her stare at Ash, and have her smile fall brings doubt on the theory.

Destiny Deoxys[]

Ash tries to pick a fight with Tory Lund. In order to stop him, May throws her body on top of Ash and pleads for him to stop. She places her hands on his shoulders and desperately tries to convince him to calm down. Ash is surprised by her action, and maintains a shocked expression as he quickly agrees, and calms down.

Lucario and the Mystery of Mew[]

During the dance in the ballroom, Ash is forced to sit in a throne, and quickly gets bored. As May was seen happily dancing with another man slightly earlier, Ash probably is jealous that she is dancing with him. Also, the man is much older and taller than May, possibly meaning that Ash wanted to protect her from him. It is to be noted, though, that Ash directly mentions wanting the food. When the group plans to go rescue their Pokemon from Mew, Ash is seen standing at the balcony. After the rest of the group leaves, May goes up to him and tries to reassure him that Pikachu is probably already making friends. When Ash still seems worried, May looks at him blankly, as if she is surprised that she had no effect on him. Ash once again loses his cool and is mad at Lucario. May quickly rushes down into the lake where Ash is standing and clutches 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.

Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea[]

As Ash and May go swimming with Manaphy, they find a school of Luvdisc, the Pokémon thought to symbolize love, and begin swimming among them. It can be noted that, even though Dawn has seen Luvdisc with Ash as well, Ash and May were the only ones that swam with them, possibly meeting the description of Pokémon Sapphire's Pokédex entry—"It is said that any couple meeting this Pokémon is promised a loving relationship that never ends."—as "any couple" could also mean "friends", and the relationship in question may not necessarily be romantic. When Manaphy goes missing, May begins sobbing, heartbroken. Ash gazes at her with a pained expression and glistening eyes. While Samiya is being flooded with water, Ash puts May, Pikachu, and Manaphy in a capsule left behind by The Phantom, allowing them to survive in the event that his plan to replace the crystal fails. Distressed, May calls out to Ash with tearful eyes, but Ash only asks her to remain safe in there, and leaves with the brown in his eyes seen; this usually happens only when Ash is very upset or very emotional. May continues to pray for Ash's safety and is nearly driven to tears by the thought that he may not return. Manaphy sends May's prayers to Ash using Heart Swap, and with these thoughts spurring him on, Ash recovers from his near-drowned state and replaces the crystal, saving Samiya. After Samiya is raised, May leaves the capsule, initially thrilled that the temple has been saved. (In the Japanese language version of the movie, 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 and the fear that Ash will not return. "It can't be..." she says while she puts her hand over her heart. "No way..." Her joy returns as soon as Ash flies up out of the water, chases down Captain Phantom, and saves the abducted Manaphy. In the manga adaption of the movie, when May and Pikachu are unsure of whether or not Ash survived trying to save the Sea Temple, she clutches Pikachu and is tearing up, but still retains hope in Ash by saying, "Ash wouldn't leave us like this..." Additionally, at multiple points during the movie, Manaphy seems very happy around Ash, best exemplified by the fact that it seemed content and happy in Ash's arms, when it's seen to only to accept May's company, even using Heart Swap to switch between Ash and Jack Walker when the latter held it, immediately regaining its happiness after doing so. Many AdvanceShippers suggest that Manaphy has chosen Ash to be his 'father'. When Ranger Jack moves to return into the Temple, Ash calls and warns him that it is too dangerous. Although, he submits when Jack tells him he will be fine. However, when May runs back into the Temple to follow Manaphy, Ash instinctively runs after her, presumably because, of everyone, he doesn't want to put her in danger. It can also be noted that Jackie Walker recognized that Ash, not Max, was the closest to May and specifically asked him to separate May and Manaphy.


  • When both of them started their journey, they were both naive and inexperienced.
  • They have both seen the same legendary Pokémon at different times:
    • Ho-Oh (Ash in EP001 and May in AG178)
    • Celebi (Ash in Celebi: Voice of the Forest and May in AG155)
  • They both have a particular fondness for food.
  • Both are the only main characters that received a Pokémon from more than one regional professor. Ash obtained Pikachu from Professor Oak, Oshawott from Professor Juniper, and Froakie from Professor Sycamore while May received Torchic from Professor Birch and Squirtle from Professor Oak.
  • In addition, both have received a Pokémon from Professor Oak.
  • Both have competed in at least one Pokémon Contest (for Ash's first contest, see AG191-AG192).
  • Bulbasaur was the fourth Pokémon they caught.
  • Both have managed to use a Pokémon before catching them (Ash with Torkoal and May with Bulbasaur).
  • Both wear gloves.
  • Along with Max, they are the only main characters to have a lead role in a movie.
  • Both showed selflessness when it comes to Pokemon. May showed it in Grass Hysteria and Game Winning Assist!. Ash showed his selflessness in countless episodes.
  • Both took care of a baby Pokémon that hatched from an Egg, and later released the Pokémon. May with Manaphy and Ash with Larvitar, respectively.
  • Both have Pokémon who hatched from Eggs and have fully evolved, Donphan, and Glaceon, respectively.


Ash and May have caught members of several of the same evolutionary lines:

  • Both have owned a Bulbasaur and a Squirtle.
  • The relationship between their two Bulbasaur has extended to the point where a separate Shipping has been named for them: VineShipping.
  • Ash has caught a Snorlax while May owns a Munchlax.
  • Both have owned a fully evolved Bug/Flying Pokémon that evolved from the first Pokémon that they caught (Butterfree and Beautifly).
  • Both have a fully-evolved Fire-type starter Pokémon from their home region (Charizard and Blaziken).
  • Both have a fully-evolved Grass-type starter Pokémon from each other's region (Sceptile and Venusaur).
  • Both share a Pokémon with an Elite Four member and a Frontier Brain: Ash and Flint both own an Infernape, while May and Aaron own a Beautifly. Ash and Pike Queen Lucy own a Snorlax, whereas May and Palace Maven Spenser own a Venusaur.

Alternate names[]

  • AdvancedShipping - the original name that became the parent to the variant Advance.
  • AaMayL - stands for "Ash and May Love".
  • MaSh - an uncommon, if not defunct term; stands for "May and Ash".
  • AS - an in-context abbreviation; stands for "AdvanceShipping".
  • ADV - another in-context abbreviation; comes from for "ADVance".
  • SatoHaru - refers to their Japanese names: Satoshi and Haruka.

Notable AdvanceShippers[]

Oscar and Andi - AG072 - They believe that Ash and May are, in reality, a happy couple. Max - AG192 - In the original Japanese version, Max said that he liked it when Ash and his sister, May were together.