Pokemon fans think gym leader Iono could be Scarlet and Violet wallflower Penny in disguise

(Image credit: Nintendo)

A Pokemon Scarlet and Violet fan theory suggests that your soft-spoken companion Penny could be the voice beyond the game's larger-than-life electric-type gym leader.

Earlier this week, Nintendo revealed Iono, a Paldean gym leader who moonlights as a live streamer. Their energetic stream, as well as their impressive get-up - complete with what appear to be fangs, and some unlikely hairpieces - have led some players to assume that they might be a Vtuber.

If you're not familiar with that term, a Vtuber is an animated layover that some streamers use. The designs - often in an anime style - can lend unlikely features, like fangs or horns, to an avatar, or simply be used to hide a streamer's face while maintaining the personality of a face-to-face stream. Iono's ever-so-slightly monstrous appearance could certainly match up to that idea, but that then begs the question - who's behind the mask?

The spotlight has turned to an unlikely option. First introduced in a trailer released over the summer, Penny is a shy, quiet classmate the player will meet early in the game. She seems like the last person to be attracting a crowd in the way Iono strives to, but players have latched onto a few aspects of her design.

As the tweet above mentions, Penny's leggings seem to evoke Plusle and Minun, Gen 3's electric-type Pikachu clones that have a red and blue colour scheme matched by Penny's hair. Nintendo also notes that Penny doesn't go anywhere without her Eevee backpack; among Eevee's many evolutions, of course, is Jolteon, another electric Pokemon that looks a little bit like Iono's jacket.

It's an outlandish theory, for sure, but one that plenty of fans have already latched onto. Citing details as obscure as the roots of Iono's name in various languages to the fact that Penny doesn't come to school very often, some people are already convinced.

We might well learn more tomorrow, as Pokemon will be returning to our screens to reveal Iono's partner pokemon. Right now, players are fairly sure it'll be some type of frog, but exactly how it'll shape up remains to be seen.

Looks like we'll be getting an addition to the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Pokedex pretty soon.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.