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Character Examination: Misty

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by , 16th September 2012 at 05:19 PM (3835 Views)
As we reach the end of the examinations, let's focus on the girl who was there from the start. Is this fluid girl a refreshing oasis, or will she be drowned by the competition?


This is what Misty looked like!


Character Overview
Before I begin, let me just say that I'm going to try and be really hard on her. She's my favorite girl, but I can't let bias get to be. But I will try and cut her some slack because she didn't have the same resources as the other girls. She had a lot more time (which she squandered), but not as much story.

Everyone knows Misty, so I don't think I have to get into her personality or characteristics. She was part of the original show everybody watched, so we all know her. But as I'll say later on, being part of the original series isn't what it's cracked up to be. She was a tsundere, but she wasn't just some generic love interest. She did care about romance (appreciating the romance of France, trying to force two Nidoran owners to like each other so their Nidoran could date, etc.) and helping others, and she didn't just rage on people for the fun of it. She had a temper, but you would snap, too if you were travelling with the bumbling idiot that was Original!Ash.

One thing I noticed is that people call her a stereotypical tomboy. Yes, her game self is called so in-game, but I never saw Misty as a tomboy. Sure, she's less girly than May or Dawn, but she's not trying to be boyish. She's in a zone between a tomboy and a girly-girl. She's a female character who doesn't act very feminine most of the time. She'll enjoy activities such as swimming and water sports (Like the Tour de Alto Mare) just as much as she enjoys being a princess. She's certainly less feminine than her sisters, but she doesn't try to not be feminine.

Misty eventually developed a goal, to become a Water Pokemon Master. Comparing her to Iris, she actually tries her hardest to work with her specialty type. She spent time hunting down a Corsola, she's a Water-type Gym Leader and almost always battles with Water-types. Iris, however, probably does a better job at trying to be a Master of her Type; her Axew's growth is directly tied in with her goal, Iris has more of a presence in terms of battling, and her Pokemon generally have more focus.

Character Interaction

Ash


Brock


The Sisty's


Character Development

Yeesh, do I have to? I already covered a lot of things everywhere else. But I guess I can cover some broad aspects.

She did the Whirl Cup (some stupid water tournament) and was in the top 16. She battled with an unofficial Water-type Gym Leader. She entered this Seaking Competition and won. Come to think of it, she won quite a few things. Blah blah blah, Togepi fishing ginger blah blah, the end and then they all died.

One thing I'd like to point out is how strong she became after leaving Ash. It's like he was holding her back. Or because being the Gym Leader of the Cerulean Gym meant she had access to a lot of Water-type Pokemon, and Trainers who wanted to battle.

Have Their Character Changes Been Good?

Because a character is comedic, does it means they're not as good as characters with story? Of course not. But characters do need to be more than a joke if they don't want to get stale. Whether or not Misty worked towards her goal, the fact that she even got a goal (which appears to be more feasible than Ash's, since she's mentioned to specifically master Water-types.) was a step in the right direction. It gave her a reason to try and get stronger, to be the best she can be, to push herself and make her work hard. So this aspect of her character was definitely good.

There was a very notable shift of character in Misty, but that will be covered in the next section, since this change is heavily linked to her Togepi.

Team


For the most part, Misty's team sort of sucked. She had more Pokemon to work with than Brock, Iris, Cilan, and others, but she didn't do much with them. Goldeen was an interesting Pokemon, but it couldn't battle on land. Misty did care for her Staryu and Starmie (and claimed to be able to understand them), but without faces, it was rather hard for the two to show thoughts or emotions. Psyduck and Horsea already have articles. So I'll just blather on about a few Pokemon I feel are notable enough to be covered. I was also going to cover Politoed, but there's not much to say about it, even if it was a really good Pokemon.

Togepi brought out a new, more motherly side to Misty. Misty was less likely to lash out, she became more soft-spoken, and she was kinder. Many people will fight for this, saying that this was a necessary change. It showed a softer side to Misty that would have otherwise been ignored, and it showed that she was more than just a tsundere. If you didn't like her abrasive attitude, getting Togepi remedied that problem. That being said, however, I don't like the change. It was handled very poorly, since it did away with many of Misty's tsundere tendencies. She became too content to sit in the background, though, she did get some action from time to time. The change in Misty would have been good if it wasn't so big.

Misty spent quite a few episodes looking for a Corsola. I think this was the only time a character spent more than one episode looking for a particular species of Pokemon, aside from Ash wanting a Gible in one episode, and finding another one a million years later.

On a final note, look at her Starmie's moveset. Ew. Poor thing, no wonder Misty dropped it.

Is Misty Memorable?



She was the first female and part of the original trio, of course she'll be memorable. That being said, she wouldn't be nearly as memorable if she came into the show later on. She's more feisty and outspoken than the other girls, but at the time, she didn't have the skills to match Ash like the other girls did. She lasted longer than Tracey, Max or the other girls, didn't last as long as Brock, Ash, or Team Rocket. She's good, but no that good. But this is mostly because she was the first one. The other characters learned from her mistakes.

How They Rank
Misty was actually pretty enjoyable for me. Like Brock, she was a good comedic character. Unlike Ash she eventually developed a goal and worked towards it, albeit slowly. It wasn't easily touched upon or as clear-cut as May and Dawn's goals, but was something. That being said, while she was on the cast, her development wasn't anywhere near as good as the other girls during their tenure.

1. May
2. Dawn
3. Misty
4. Tracey

But for the record, if this ranking were to show who was my favorite, the list would look like

1. Misty
2. May
13. Tracey

Dawn doesn't even make that list.

Is Misty a Good Character?
The thing you got to remember about Misty is that she was a product of her time. She was only there to be the tsundere, a token female girls can identify with, and some comic relief. The writers did actually take time and effort to try and balance her out (much like how Bianca started to become more of a respectable character) to add to her longevity. Unfortunately, Misty was mostly ignored.

So, back to the question at hand. If you were to compare her story to the other girls, she wouldn't be able to meet up with them. But if she were introduced later, when the writers improved on their characters, she could have been more. Much like how Tracey could have outdone Brock if he stayed around. She was a fun character, she was great comic relief, and whatever development she actually got wasn't handled badly. I think Misty is a good (or at least okay) character, but one who was handled poorly.

If I had to sum Misty up in one word
Meh.

Misty is a good character, but the fact that she came before all the other characters did more harm than good for her.

Next time: This rival shows that purple is in right now.

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Comments

  1. System Error's Avatar
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    ON SALE: Industrial Strength Umbrellas! Never leave home without one just in case you get caught up in a shitstorm! Only $29.95! Supplies are limited, so get them while they last!
    Karamazov and Caseydia like this.
  2. JennaJayfeather's Avatar
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    I had no idea that Misty was your fave PokeGirl. XD You do a great job with these. Keep up the good work!
  3. The Fighting Misty's Avatar
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    It's nice to have a non-bias article about Misty before obsessive fans or anti-fans ruin it.

    I swear, if you were to make this same post on any other pokemon forum, or on youtube or deviantart or whatever, a bunch of Misty fans would attack you and claim that any negative thing you said about Misty was wrong and that she was a perfect written character. I've seen it, but since Bulbagarden has a healthy range of different fans, you won't have that here.

    Overall had the Johto saga not have happened, or if Misty left the show at the end of Orange Islands, she probably would have been far more consistently enjoyable overall. Johto dragged her down like the rest of the show at the time.
  4. pokemon fan 132's Avatar
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    This character examination was sort of miss and hit.

    1.)Things im satisfied with:
    You described well her position in show at that time and handicap of being first and there when writers were just learning.

    Misty was handled poorly story wise and there wasn't done as much as it could have been, being present in show when formula of pokemon was mainly centralized around Ash and his journey of becoming pokemon master. Her purpose in original series was to be supporting character who acted like Ashmentor helping him along with Brock to grow as trainer .

    Misty didn't had luxury to have fully fleshed out storyline like May or Dawn had with writers creating pathway through which their development will go, with indicators of character making steps forward being created through benchmarks in which their skill could be measured.
    But than again Misty didn't need lot of screen time to become quickly liked. She was popular because of her multi faced personality, touching backstory, funny pokemon(like Psyduck) and unique and mysterious goals like water master with people finding her outstanding because of using one type.

    That said if she came later or stayed past Johto, her story would probably end up treated better and more expanded upon.

    2.) On negative part there are things i don't agree with in this blog at all, because whole examination describes character on large part as "experiment which went wrong" being basically mistake.

    First Misty is portrayed as character which only had one purpose , being obligatory token female which provided humor. But she had more of role than just that serving along with Brock as Ash coach and mentor(especially in earlier seasons)helping him to grow from greenhorn to somewhat competent trainer, she was there to provide moral support to cast often helping others about issues providing them encouragement.

    I don't agree how Misty and Brock didn't had any memorable interactions either, because out of ll main girls Brock traveled with he had best chemistry with Misty. They were often commenting about Ash with each other, there were times they got into clash arguing which ended up with hitting each other(mainly in Kanto) going as far to dance together.
    Misty often talked with Brock about romance helping him with love issues, showed great deal of concern for him when he was suck or deceived with others like Ninetales. There were times Brock kept her in check when her obsession over something crossed the line trying to shut her up, or drag by ear for change and you could tell they were close as friends(closer than Brock and Dawn ever were).

    I don't really agree how Misty change in character happened too quick making her "worse either". She mainly became more nurture and less violent, but i hardly view that as something new when softer aspect of character was established to exist with Horsea.
    She still had lot of fire in herself too, showing lot of spunk in Johto, chronicles and AG appearances.

    When she got Togepi she was still quirky, feisty, romantic and had that adventurous spirit coming up with sarcastic remarks, being annoyed at Ash, Brock or others which do silly mistakes etc. Over time in original series she became less impulsive, more confident and mature growing to appreciate friendship with Ash and Brock more not nagging about bike anymore, improved as trainer learning how to apply new strategy and develop skills being a lot better compared to early days and got over complex of feeling less worthy compared to older siblings .
    Change through she went in Johto and during chronicles in Hoenn made her more playful,outgoing and independent during time she spent at gym while still being adventurous and spunky.Oh yea, and she got over Gyarados fear too. Imo she changed for better because thanks to this her other traits which were overshadowed by temper came on surface like sarcasm,kindness,deep love for water types,determination etc showing character had more to her than just violent tantrums.

    And it wasn't only Togepi which made her mature, but her friends, having to grow up fast due to gym obligations later etc.


    Im also slightly disappointed that Misty sisters weren't incorporated more in Misty character development too, because they played major part in her life defining her attitude.Because of sisters downplaying her being viewed as "useless runt" this caused Misty to become rebel wanting to prove that she is better than them being tired of living in their shadow. Which set up ground for deciding to become water master in first place. Because of this character toughen up feeling inferior to them with confidence being staggered with Misty gradually softening up to Ash and Brock revealing more about her past and why its important to her to prove being better than Daisy and co were which was revealed first time when winning doll set in Princess festival. Later on started to gain more confidence in her own abilities realizing that she isn't in any way inferior than Daisy,Lily and Violet are helping others with same issues like Sakura and when she took over gym at end of Johto getting it back on right track character gained sisters respect , becoming more confident and independent restoring bad relationship she used to have with them in past.

    p.s. In end you done great job in some areas when describing Misty, but there were also left out some important things out of it feeling incomplete so in my opinion while it was good overall. It could have been better.

    EDIT:
    It has some incorrect info too, because Misty was top 8 in Whirl Cup, not top 16.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fighting Misty

    Overall had the Johto saga not have happened, or if Misty left the show at the end of Orange Islands, she probably would have been far more consistently enjoyable overall. Johto dragged her down like the rest of the show at the time.
    You forgot third option, including her stay in show.
    Besides why Johto my have dragged her down, you can tell writers got her back largely on right track in Master Quest and in Hoenn being still enjoyable imo.
    Updated 17th September 2012 at 11:26 AM by pokemon fan 132
  5. Bubble Frog's Avatar
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    I'm kinda surprised you didn't mention Misty's interactions with Pikachu, that seems like something to consider since Pikachu seemed to like Misty more than any other Pokegirl. They would hang out together sometimes and they would have their moments together, that's definitely something that was unforgettable about Misty's interactions for me. For ex:

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