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May, as seen in the Pokémon anime
|First appearance||Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire|
|Voiced by (English)||Veronica Taylor (Seasons 6-8),
Michele Knotz (Season 9, 11)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||KAORI (Midori Kawana)|
In the Pokémon anime, she is the daughter of the Petalburg City Gym Leader, Norman, and sister of Max. She also appears in the manga series Ash & Pikachu, and should not be confused with May Oak (or Daisy Oak), Gary's sister in the Pokémon manga series The Electrical Adventures of Pikachu.
In the anime
The Pokémon anime series and films are a meta-series of adventures separate from the canon that most of the Pokémon video games follow (with the exception of Pokémon Yellow, a game based on the anime storyline). The anime follows the quest of the main character, Ash Ketchum—an in-training Pokémon Master—as he and several companions travel around the fictitious world of Pokémon along with their Pokémon partners.
At the age of 10, May went to see Professor Birch, the authority on Pokémon in the Hoenn region in order to receive a Starter Pokémon, so that she could become a Pokémon Trainer. However, when she arrived, she found that the Hoenn Pokémon Professor had gone after an ill Pikachu belonging to Ash Ketchum. May went to look for the Professor, only to find him under an attack from a group of angry Poochyena. His only hope was for May to get a Pokémon out of his bag and use it to fend off the Pokémon. However, the Mudkip May brought out failed to obey her, so Professor Birch commanded it instead, and scared off the Poochyena.
After they found Ash and dealt with an attack from Team Rocket, May decided to accompany Ash with her Torchic so that she could have an experienced trainer to show her the ropes. When the group reached Rustboro City, May decided that instead of collecting Gym Badges, she would dedicate her efforts completely to Pokémon Contests. Since then, she has won several ribbons in most of the Contest halls she has traveled to. May has a rivalry with a Pokémon coordinator named Drew, who appears at every contest that May participates in, which is often compared to the rivalry that Ash had shared with Gary Oak. She also has a rivalry with a Cacturne obsessive named Harley. When Ash and Brock go to Sinnoh, May chooses to follow her rivals to Johto instead. However, she meets up with Ash, Brock and Dawn in Sinnoh sometime later to participate in the Wallace Cup.
In the movies
May has appeared in four Pokémon movies, the first being Pokémon: Jirachi Wishmaker, in which she assists in getting to Jirachi's homeland and tries to assist in stopping a mutant Groudon. In Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, Manaphy first saw May after it hatched, and thought that May was its mother, thus leading the two to have a very close mother-child relationship.
In video games
May is the female protagonist of Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald, and their remakes Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, and as such, is a playable character. However, if the player chooses to play the male character, Brendan, then May will be his or her rival. In this case, she will be Professor Birch's daughter, and will turn up in various areas of the Hoenn region, either to challenge the player to a battle, or to give them a present.
May's outfit may differ depending on game versions. In Ruby and Sapphire, she wears an outfit similar to the attire usually worn by May in the Pokémon: Advanced Generation arc of the anime. However, in Emerald, she wears an outfit similar to the attire worn by May in the Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl arc of the anime. Her outfit was also revamped in the 3DS remakes.