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I truly believe Misty will return to the anime. If not in Unova, then for sure in the Pokemon finale (whenever that will be, which will be a very sad day)
I certainly agree that many characters like Misty, Gary and Jessie need proper backstories. I'd like to see who their parents were and how they grew up as young children. I'd also like to see further character development and see them reach their goals...because I know Misty truthfully doesn't want to be gym leader, I know Jessie doesn't want to be in Team Rocket, not wholeheartedly anyway, and I am really wondering if Gary wants to even be a researcher or if it was just an excuse to get away from Ash (take that however you want to)..
So the question remains...will we see important main characters like Misty, Gary, Brock, etc. return? My answer is yes. Pokemon is eventually going to run out of original ideas and characters.....so I see the original cast teaming up again on some new adventure just like the old times. This would bring the old fans back, introduce them to newer fans and boost ratings like never before. Once this happens, then we can see further development between the characters. I would like to see Ash grow even closer to Misty and Gary as those truly are his closest and best friends and not because he knew them the longest but because of everything they've went through....and I'm really trying to keep shippings out of this but it would be nice if they somehow created a separate anime to show Ash, Misty, Gary, Brock, etc. grown up, and the birth of possible relationships being formed. Because in reality, best friends almost always fall for eachother, I don't care who tries to deny it.
Finally, the anime has not fully followed the games, since the Orange Islands, they have taken their own route with the development of the plots and characters...so just because Misty appears or doesn't appear in the games doesn't mean that she won't return to the anime...I truly believe that. So yes, I think Misty will return...I'm not sure exactly when but I feel a strong comeback for her headed our way, as well as for some of the older main characters as well. Pokemon is one giant continiuing story and as long as there are older, untouched characters then there will always be room for growth.
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