Character Examination: Misty
by, 16th September 2012 at 05:19 PM (3956 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!
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.
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.
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.
But for the record, if this ranking were to show who was my favorite, the list would look like
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
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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