It’s possible to spoil the plot of Pokémon Sun and Moon, as the pair are more story-focused than the cut-and-dry role-playing games that predate them. Although the anime adaptation doesn’t closely follow that story, its latest episode appears to have already given away the Nintendo 3DS games’ big reveal.
(In case you haven’t played Sun and Moon and are concerned about spoilers — yes, really, for a Pokémon game! — here’s your spoiler warning.)
In the 3DS games, Lillie is Professor Kukui’s mysterious assistant who bears a strong resemblance to Lusamine, the head of the similarly strange Aether Foundation research facility. Turns out that the blondes are related, as players discover just before venturing to the Alola region’s fourth and final island.
Also part of the family is Gladion, who’s the player’s rival (and also blond). The game keeps his connection to his sister Lillie and mom Lusamine a secret until a while after he’s introduced, making the family tree Sun and Moon’s biggest twist.
In this week’s episode of the anime, however, this twist is given away pretty quickly. Lillie hangs out with Ash Ketchum as he trains around Alola, which already is a deviation from the games’ plot. A cutaway to a family portrait shows that the anime has no patience for late-game reveals, however. Take a look:
Woah! Gladion and Lillie are so cute! pic.twitter.com/fTbZVp4ahX— Hau™ (@LocalBestFriend) December 22, 2016
Gladion and Lusamine haven’t made appearances in the anime yet beyond this old photo, but seeing the group together is enough to confirm for fans who haven’t finished the games yet that these characters don’t just look similar — they’re related.
The story takes a much darker turn than the picture suggests, as Lusamine ends up being Sun and Moon’s truest, scariest villain. Her relationship with her son and daughter is surprisingly heartfelt for a Pokémon game, as the series is known more for its gameplay than its narrative.
Most are overjoyed to see the happy family, although Sun and Moon players acknowledge that the major deviation from the games:
APPARENTLY THERE'S A PART IN THE ANIPOKE THAT SHOWS YOUNG LILLIE & GLADION WITH LUSAMINE— ❄️Mitofreezedrya❄️ (@monadozygarde52) December 22, 2016
WELL THAT WAS A QUICKER REVEAL THAN IN-GAME
As for when we’ll get to see more of Gladion and Lusamine, that’s anyone’s guess. The show airs weekly in Japan only for now, with a special episode airing on Dec. 27.
The anime has won over fans with its combo of goofy comedy and a tropical change of pace for Ash, the perennial Pokémon champion-in-training. The English-language version will debut in 2017 on Disney XD, the new home of the Pokémon cartoons.