Pokemon Anime
Image: Pokémon

We don't care what anyone says, Pokémon's anime will never again match the lofty heights of its first ever season. Is that the nostalgia talking? Maybe. But episodes like Pikachu's Goodbye and Bye Bye Butterfree still bring tears to our fully grown adult eyes to this day, so explain that...

Ahem. Anyway, the reason behind that unnecessary rant that you didn't ask for is to set up a quick chat about the first season's final episode, Friends to the End. Nintendo Life reader @PsimplePsych got in touch with us to share an interesting discovery from one of its scenes, where three characters only seen in silhouette appear on-screen.

The three characters are the top three finalists of the Indigo League (sorry for the spoilers if you haven't seen this 20-year-old episode yet, but Ash doesn't go on to win). As @PsimplePsych notes, the one on the left, who supposedly came in third place, looks suspiciously similar to Gon, the star of Japanese manga and TV series, Hunter x Hunter.

Here's how the character appears in the episode:

Pokemon Anime
Gon, is that you? (Left) — Image: Pokémon

And here's a comparison to Gon (note the spiky hair, and almost identical jacket and shorts shape):


Now, plenty of Japanese anime characters have shorts and spiky hair, so we've no doubt that this is just a coincidence. However, Hunter x Hunter first started appearing in Japan's Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1998, meaning that both it and the Pokémon episode in question would have been in development at around the same time.

Is there a slight chance that someone on the team took inspiration from Gon's appearance? We'll let you decide.