Pokemon fans defend Raihan as “first influencer” following Iono’s debut

Pokemon Scarlet Violet Sword Shield Iono Raihan Influencer StreamerThe Pokemon Company

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet have debuted the Electric-type Gym Leader for the Paldea region, but not all fans are excited to meet the “influencer” Iono. Many are instead vocalizing a reminder that the first social media-savvy Pokemon NPC was Sword & Shield’s Raihan.

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet are just over a month away from release, and trailers are dropping more frequently for players to view. While many have included breakdowns on game mechanics and new Pokemon species, there have also been a few NPC introductions – including the divisive arrival of Electric-type Gym Leader Iono.

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The new Pokemon Scarlet & Violet Gym Leader was introduced to fans in what appears to be a livestreamed video. She is described as an “influencer” and “streamer”, with an appearance similar to a modern VTuber. While it isn’t clear if she is simply a digital persona of a different person, or the actual Gym Leader, she does seem to have a following in Paldea.

However, several fans are unimpressed with the Iono’s streamer persona, reminding others that she is not the first social media-using Gym Leader to appear in the franchise. In fact, Galar Dragon-type Gym Leader Raihan also snaps selfies and grabs videos for fans online – and with a much less grating personality.

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Pokemon Fans already miss Raihan

In a Twitter post shared by Heart_tailed, the Pokemon fans calls out others stating Iono is the first true social media user in the series, saying “Iono is NOT the first Pokemon influencer is he nothing to you” followed by an image of Raihan posing for an upload.

Other Pokemon Scarlet & Violet fans jump in, adding to the debate. Infinitely_mako says, “He is everything to me I want him to return” while button_ie adds, “history is so quickly forgotten”.

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Other Pokemon players throw out hypothetical situations where the two Collab, with many agreeing the combination would be humorous.

While not everyone is on board with Iono’s design, it will be interesting to see what her bigger role in the Paldea region is, and what her skill as a Gym Leader might be. The hint at modern-day internet culture may be a bit jarring for those wanting to escape reality, but it definitely is an interesting change for the series.

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