It’s unavoidable, right? You watch any TV show or movie, and then there’s a character you instantly fall in love with. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the show’s main character: it can be a minor one, or in the case of long-running series -I’m looking at you, Pokémon!- even a one-time character. The latter could be the saddest case, as you won’t be able to see them until you can watch that particular episode again. Or if you’re lucky that episode is on Netflix or a good quality Youtube upload, you just rewatch it again, and again.

Enter Sakura. No, not the Card Captor, not Naruto’s friend. It’s a girl who appears in one Pokémon episode, from when Ash and his friends were traveling through Johto. Right after Ash wins his 4th gym badge, everyone finds an ad for a traditional tea ceremony, when suddenly, a lost Eevee appears. Misty grabs it, and then Eevee’s trainer shows up. Yes, that very girl with the big pigtails and the pink blouse, is Sakura. Sorry, Misty! But hey, if that Eevee didn’t get lost, maybe we wouldn’t have met her!

While Sakura could mean very little in the Pokémon fandom, since she’s one of several hundred other trainers Ash and company meet, she made a huge impact when I first saw her. No character I met before or later in the series has that special place in my heart, not even Jasmine (!!!) or May or Iris or Elesa. And now that I watched this episode recently on Pokémon TV, it was an opportunity to revive one of my favorite Pokémon moments ever.