May, known as Haruka in Japan, is a character in the Pokémon franchise, a collection of video games, anime, manga, books, toys and other media created by Satoshi Tajiri.
In the anime, May is usually seen wearing a red bandanna with a white Poké ball logo, a red-and-blue shirt, a pair of white, blue-tipped gloves, a pair of red-themed shoes with a pair of matching black socks and a navy-blue pair of cycling shorts partially covered by a white miniskirt. She also wears a yellow pouch around her waist.
At the age of 10, May traveled from her hometown of Petalburg City to Littleroot Town to see Professor Birch, the authority on Pokémon in the Hoenn region. As a friend of her father’s, he had agreed to give her one of three Pokémon; a Treecko, a Torchic, or a Mudkip, 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. She went to look for the Professor, only to find him stuck in a tree and about to be attacked by a group of angry Poochyena, mirroring the beginning of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. His only hope was for May to get a Pokémon out of his bag and use it to fend off the Poochyena. However, May, who was inexperienced at commanding Pokémon, only got water sprayed in her face by the Mudkip she pulled out. Professor Birch then commanded the Mudkip and scared off the Poochyena. The experience was less than pleasant for May.
After they found Ash, the group was attacked by Team Rocket. In an attempt to get rid of the criminals, Pikachu accidentally fried May’s bicycle to a crisp, reminiscent of the first episode of the series in which Pikachu fried Misty’s bike, giving Misty a reason to follow Ash around for the rest of the series. The audience was led to believe that May would decide to follow Ash for the very same reason. However, the next morning, after choosing Torchic as her starter Pokémon, May stared at the charred remains of her bike in a remorseful fashion, only to shrug it off and say, “Eh, who cares?” She decided to accompany Ash so that she could have a traveling companion to show her the ropes.
When the group reaches 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 (or Shū in Japanese), 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. While Ash and Brock went to Sinnoh, May chose to follow her rivals to Johto instead.