Pokemon Go's Loading Screen Has a Surprising Anime Reference

Pokemon Go's new loading screen contains an easter egg from the Pokemon anime's first season. Last night, Pokemon Go unveiled a new loading screen that teased a bigger Team Rocket storyline in the weeks ahead. In addition to showing off several new Team Rocket admins, the screen artwork also showed the Team Rocket leader Giovanni standing in front of a large building. But that building isn't just a generic Team Rocket headquarters - it's actually the Viridian City Gym, as depicted in the Pokemon anime series.

Here's a look at the Viridian City gym from the anime:

viridian gym
(Photo: Pokemon)

And here's the Viridian City gym from Pokemon Go:

viridian gym 2
(Photo: Pokemon Go)

Pokemon Go's version of the gym even includes the columns and the distinctive intersecting curved ceiling from the anime. There are a few minor changes - the staircase is different, and the gym has lost its windows, but it's definitely the same gym as seen in the anime.

In addition to his Team Rocket activities, Giovanni also served as the gym leader for the Viridian City gym, although he only opened the gym after a series of defeats at the hands of the player character in Pokemon Red and Blue. After Giovanni's disappearance, Blue (the rival character that served as the inspiration for Gary Oak) took over the gym and ran it as a final test for trainers seeking to beat the Elite Four.


This is likely just a tease about what's coming up in Pokemon Go, but it does raise some interesting questions. Outside of a few small events to promote various movies, we haven't seen a crossover between Pokemon Go and the anime series. But with the anime set to introduce a character named "Go," this could be another sign that some bigger crossovers are on the horizon.

You can check out the new loading screen by downloading the new Pokemon Go update, which is available for Android devices. The iOS version will be released later this week.