Dawn's History: Dawn-known as Hikari in the Japanese series Pocket Monsters: Diamond & Pearl-began her Pokémon journey the day after her 10th birthday, unlike Ash Ketchum, who started his on his 10th birthday; she knew from the beginning that she wanted to be a Pokémon Coordinator, having looked up to her mom Johanna since her early days as a Coordinator. Though, her journey didn’t get off to quite the explosive start that Ash’s did, it was equally exciting as his was! While riding to Sandgem Town on her bike from her hometown of Twinleaf, Dawn was at a loss when it came to reading the directions on the postcard that would lead her to Professor Rowan’s laboratory, and she traveled all around in a nearly fruitless attempt until she accidentally bumped into the person she was looking for! Dawn didn’t get to pick her starter Pokémon right away, since a…small disturbance between a Chimchar and Piplup caused the two Pokémon, as well as a Starly and Staraptor, to momentarily escape the lab! Dawn bravely volunteered to go out and bring back the missing Pokémon, knowing that one of the two beginning Pokémon would become her future partner.
Dawn’s experience while searching for the missing Pokémon was unique in that, once she found Piplup, the Water Pokémon didn’t listen to a word she said! At least, not at first. It took an encounter with Ariados, as well as an entire flock of Ariados, for both Dawn and Piplup to trust each other and develop a bond. En route back to the laboratory, Dawn and Piplup ended up near Lake Verity and it was there that Dawn was able to witness the appearance of a Legendary Pokémon later revealed to be Mesprit; Dawn seeing said Legendary Pokémon on the first day of her adventure mimicked Ash’s first day as he was able to see Ho-oh shortly after he and Pikachu had befriended each other following their own shocking first day. Once they’d returned to the laboratory, Dawn immediately chose Piplup to be her starter Pokémon, taking note that the two of them were already a pretty good team! When it came to actually catching Pokémon, Dawn would soon learn that it took more than just weakening the Pokémon to the point of capturing it as she’d been taught. Her first attempts at capturing Buneary and a Burmy didn’t go so well, but she was confident that they’d get the hang of it.
Soon after, Dawn would meet with Ash’s Pikachu, who had been separated from Ash thanks to the usual shenanigans from Team Rocket; she attempted to catch Pikachu shortly after an Electrical attack turned her bike ‘extra-crispy!’ but wasn’t successful in a different way than with Buneary and Burmy-Pikachu was already Ash’s Pokémon. Though it didn’t take long for Team Rocket to appear on the scene, Dawn met them for the first time and was able to beat them-with help from Piplup & Pikachu. She then made sure Pikachu received medical attention at a Pokémon Center, then informed her mom and Professor Rowan about recent events. Not too long after Pikachu received a clean bill of health, Dawn made tracks in the hopes that she would be able to find Pikachu’s trainer, and once she got a hold of Professor Rowan again he told her that Ash had been by before leaving to try and find her. Thanks to Team Rocket showing up again, Dawn finally met Ash and Brock later on in the forest; Dawn was surprised at the lengths Ash would go to protect Pikachu, which Dawn herself imitated much later on during another Team Rocket battle that involved Piplup’s safety.
They made their way to Professor Rowan’s laboratory and Dawn invited herself to go along with them, telling them that her dream was to become a top Coordinator like her mom. Ash and Brock both agreed, and Dawn was excited to be able to learn from two amazing Pokémon trainers in her newest friends. It wasn’t always a picnic, as occasionally Ash and Dawn would argue with each other in a manner similar to how Ash and Misty, and May when she appeared not too long after Misty had gone back to Cerulean City, had argued. Though they would usually apologize shortly afterward, both trainers realizing their mistakes and owning up to them. Dawn was finally able to capture a Buneary shortly before her very first Contest that allowed Dawn to meet up with Zoey, a Coordinator who had already won at least one Ribbon. Dawn lost to Zoey in the second round, but gained experience nonetheless. Eventually, Dawn and the others would meet up with one of Dawn’s childhood friends, Kenny as they would face off in Floarama Town for Dawn’s third Pokemon Contest. (Dawn’s second contest was an unofficial one, where she ended up the runner-up to Jessie from Team Rocket; prior to said unofficial contest, Dawn was able to capture, release and recapture a Pachirisu after Dawn’s day had gone from bad to worse before things finally brightened up for her.) There, Dawn’s Piplup would beat Kenny’s evolved Prinplup and Dawn would win her first Ribbon!
Dawn gained experience when it came to her journey in not only double battles, where she teamed up with Ash to take on two brothers who had called themselves the Champ Twins, but in double performances since that was what the starting rounds would contest of in Hearthome City as Zoey told Dawn during one of the next times they’d meet up; shortly after their first reunion Dawn would catch a wild, but determined fighter in Buizel. Once Dawn had finally arrived in Hearthome City and participated in said contest, she was knocked out of the running in the Appeal Rounds which devastated her. It took a comforting talk from Zoey to snap her out of her depression and regain her fighting spirit. Soon afterward, Dawn took part in the Hearthome City Tag Battle competition, where she was partnered up with Conway. Dawn and Conway made it to the Finals, where after a lengthy battle, they were defeated by the team of Ash and Paul! Dawn eventually learned that the next Contest was taking place in Solaceon Town, and it was during that same day that Dawn and Ash, after doing quite a bit of soul-searching and taking their friend Zoey’s advice to heart, traded Buizel and Aipom.
Dawn took place in the Solaceon Contest with her now evolved Ambipom in the Appeal Rounds, and managed to wow the crowd by repeatedly doing one Swift attack after another. Sadly, Dawn ended up losing for the 2nd time in a row and was knocked out of the Appeal Rounds! Staring at the Ribbon later on that night that her mom had given her before she’d left on her journey, saying that it just might bring her daughter luck, Dawn cried herself to sleep. Surprisingly enough, Zoey made an appearance the next day and challenged Dawn to a battle! During said battle, Zoey explained where Dawn had gone wrong in the appeal rounds of the Solaceon Contest-the Swift attack was very pretty, but it completely blocked Ambipom from view, and the whole point of Contests was to show off your Pokémon. Dawn thanked Zoey for helping her out once again. However, it was when Ash and crew had made it to Veilstone City that Dawn regained her fighting spirit by challenging the leader of the Gym known as Maylene to a battle; at the same time, she’d helped Maylene regain her fighting spirit after she’d suffered a devastating loss to Ash’s rival Paul.
Dawn didn’t win her match, but both girls had regained their fighting spirit which meant that Ash could soon challenge for the badge and once he did, he was able to win it. Dawn practiced earnestly since then and, after hearing about the Wallace Cup from the former Gym Leader of Sootopolis City-as well as the current Hoenn Champion-Coordinator Wallace, Dawn decided to participate in it since the prize was the Aqua Ribbon, which counted toward any region’s Grand Festival and not just the region it was won in. It had been announced on Sinnoh Now, and Dawn was eager to compete in it; Ash himself entered said event, and May traveled all the way from Johto to compete in the event herself-naturally, she was reunited with her old friends and met Dawn at the same time. Dawn was excited to meet the 'Princess of Hoenn,' which is the name that May had earned since battling in the Hoenn and Kanto Grand Festivals. Zoey even entered in the event, and the competitors did their best from beginning to end: Ash placing in the Top 8, Zoey placing in the Top 4, and May and Dawn faced off against each other in the Finals. After a well-fought battle between both Coordinators, a .5 second gap between points gave Dawn the win over May and broke her losing streak!
Dawn's Personality: Dawn is confident in herself regardless of whatever the outcome of a situation, since she’s always been known to look toward the future instead of dwelling on her mistakes. She’s learned that this isn’t always enough, and ever since her journey began she has dwelled on the mistakes she made that cost her the chance to advance in the Appeal Rounds of the Hearthome and Solaceon Contests; she stopped dwelling on them once she regained her fighting spirit, however. In Pocket Monsters: Diamond & Pearl, Dawn often says, “Daijōbu!” In Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl, Dawn’s been known to say “No need to worry!” (Both Ash and Dawn’s mom have stated that whenever Dawn says “No need to worry!”, that’s when they worry the most!) Considering how May had originally felt during the beginning of the Pokémon: Advanced Generation series, being inexperienced and having self-doubt in herself, Dawn is overly confident and has assured herself of her own strength in the beginning of the Diamond & Pearl series.
However when she'd lost two straight Contests in a row, the aforementioned Hearthome and Solaceon Contests, this took a heavy toll on Dawn’s self-esteem. She wasn’t sure if she was cut out to be a Coordinator like her mom was, wasn’t sure about what she should do when it comes to training and was still very upset until the group had arrived in Veilstone City. (When Ash had found Dawn crying, he was very concerned and asked if she had something in her eye; Dawn agreed with him without revealing what her real problem had been.) It was there that, after meeting, challenging and battling the Veilstone City Gym Leader Maylene, Dawn was able to regain her confidence and was more focused when it came to figuring out her own battle style. Since her battle for the Wallace Cup, Dawn has maintained her humility and newfound focus for the rest of the series - though she’s still confident/optimistic in her abilities as a Coordinator regardless. Dawn has more concern about her appearance than either Misty or May; she won’t show herself in front of either Ash or Brock until she feels that her appearance is perfect. When she woke up with a bad hair day, Dawn had Piplup use Bubblebeam to make her hair sparkle and look as good as it could be! If she has to appear on camera, Dawn normally takes a moment to brush her hair before going onscreen; Ash doesn’t get why she does as such since it still looks the same and Dawn has snapped at him for said response.
Dawn's Abilities: Dawn’s abilities are probably the same as Ash’s, with the main exception being that Ash is the Chosen One. Though her heart is equally as strong and dedicated to her Pokémon just like Ash, she has learned from watching Ash that when it comes to her Pokémon, she’s got to go above and beyond the limits of what Trainers and Coordinators would do to ensure their safety; she’s had quite the practice in this thanks to Team Rocket’s repeated attempts to grab Pikachu. Dawn’s also quite good at designing since she admits that she designed the vest that Buneary wears-but added that her mom was the one who sewed it. She even showcased her talent for designing once more, sketching lots of different designs for the Hearthome Collection that she eventually wins.