Dawn (ヒカリ Hikari) is a young Pokémon Coordinator that used to travel through the Sinnoh region along with Ash and Brock. Dawn started her journey at the age of 10, honing her skills as a Pokémon Trainer and focusing on becoming a Top Coordinator like her mother, Johanna. Her current team is consisted out of Piplup, Buneary, Pachirisu, Mamoswine,Quilava and Togekiss.
She's notable for her confidence, even when things are not going well. She has learned a lot throughout her travels and battles and can get very emotional when it comes to winning or losing in a contest. Throughout her Sinnoh travels she has developed rivalries with many coordinators such as Zoey, Nando, Jessie, Kenny and even a fierce one with Ursula, her rival.
Dawn is notable for her confidence, since she is always looking towards the future rather than dwelling on her mistakes, although she has learned that this is not always enough. In the Japanese version, her catchphrase is, "" Although not consistently translated in the English dub at first, she began to regularly use "No need to worry!" In stark contrast to May's inexperience and self-doubt at the start of the Advanced Generation series, Dawn was overly confident and assured in her own strength in the beginning.
Over the course of her journey in Sinnoh, Dawn was able to come up with various combinations to show up her Pokémon's looks and strength. This began with something as simple as making her Piplup's beak grow longer, when using Peck, a combination she used even until the end of the Grand Festival. She later followed with simple spinning, a technique her Piplup and Buneary practiced for a while in Oreburgh City. The way it was used was adapted by Ash in his first Gym battle in Sinnoh.
Later on, Dawn began with more complex combinations, such as Flame Ice and Ice Chandelier, moves that were both powerful and beautiful. After a lot of practice, Dawn's Pokémon were able to master these combinations in battle. Coincidentally, both of these were used to defeat Ursula.
Dawn is much more different than any of Ash's other friends. Dawn has more concern about her appearance, as she will not show herself to Ash or Brock until she feels that her appearance is perfect. That may be a reason why she decides to sleep inside a tent while the others sleep outside. However, she has recently been seen sleeping outside with the others, such as in Tears for Fears!. Every time she's going to be on camera, she needs to take a moment to brush her hair before going on, such as in Last Call, First Round!.
In The Bells Are Singing!, Dawn revealed that she was the one to design Buneary's vest (but also admitted that her mother was the one to sew it). In Arriving in Style!, she demonstrated her talent for designing again, sketching many different dresses for the Hearthome Collection, though she rejected all of them.
Because of her lack of experience, she may have some rough spots on how to deal with her Pokémon properly, as seen when she bickers with Piplup sometimes. This lack of experience also reflects with her Pachirisu and Mamoswine. Pachirisu occasionally hits unwanted targets with its Discharge while Mamoswine may easily be angered and disobey Dawn in the process. Despite all these issues she faces some times, Dawn still deeply cares for all her Pokémon, especially her starter, Piplup.Since obtaining her first Pokémon, the Pokémon that Dawn acquire tend to be cute and small like her starter, Piplup.
As a Coordinator who is willing to win the Grand Festival, Dawn has trained her Pokémon in the art of Appeals, as well as battles. She is able to fully utilize her Pokémon capabilities. A commonly-seen example would be her Buneary's capability to use Ice Beam, which was used in various ways in the Contests Dawn participated in. She was also able to use her Togekiss in the finals of the Grand Festival to help her almost defeat Zoey, despite the lack of experience with it when compared to her other Pokémon, most especially Piplup, who was also used in the finals.
- Both Hikari and Dawn mean some type of light.
- Dawn's Pachirisu is somewhat like May's Skitty; both are playful and chase their own tails.
- Dawn is the first of Ash's companions to have caught an Electric-type Pokémon, Pachirisu.
- Dawn's personality reflects the one of the emotion Pokémon, Mesprit.
- Dawn is the first female protagonist who has traded Pokémon with Ash.
- Dawn is Ash's only companion who did not have a particular reason for traveling with Ash and Brock through a region.
- Dawn is the second character besides May to travel to another region Ash has already been through. In Dawn's case, she traveled to Hoenn where Ash previously traveled, and May traveled to Johto where Ash was traveling before meeting her.
- Dawn became famous for winning the Wallace Cup.
- She is one of two of Ash's companions not to be or related to a Gym Leader, the other being Tracey.
- Dawn is set to reappear alongside Cynthia at a later point in the anime.
- On the Pokémon Learning League website, her clothing has been altered so that her white undershirt has sleeves and she is wearing black stockings or tights.
- Dawn's Japanese name is Hikari, and her rival's is Nozomi. The Hikari and the Nozomi are two Shinkansen "bullet train" lines. The Nozomi is faster than the Hikari, possibly symbolizing that Zoey is farther along in her coordinating skills than Dawn. It should also be noted that they go in opposite directions.
- All of Dawn's Normal-type Pokémon are female