The Pokémon anime is supposed to be based on the core series games, so it focuses on telling the stories of those games. Unfortunately, that means the spin-off games are generally underrepresented in animation; the most they’ll get will be some special episodes and animated trailers. That means when spin-off game content does appear in the anime, it’s immensely satisfying for the fans of those games. This even holds true for phone games like Pokémon Masters EX.
They’re rare, but there are references to Masters within Pokémon Journeys. Unfortunately, there are no direct references to things like Pasio or Team Break or any of the game’s original characters. Regardless, seeing these tiny references gives players the satisfying feeling that these games matter. With that in mind, here’s a look at a few of the apparent and potential references to the popular phone game.
The first reference to come up in Journeys is through Cynthia. In Episode 89, “The Gates of Warp!,” she was revealed to own a Kommo-o. In Masters, she formed a sync pair with the Scaly Pokémon while donning a Sygna Suit, an outfit designed to resemble a trainer’s partner Pokémon. In the first episode of “Arceus, the One Called God,” she’s also featured with her hair tied back just like it is when she’s wearing this Sygna suit. While the former reference could be interpreted as a coincidence, the latter is undeniable.
Another possible reference came up in Journeys Episode 94, “Suffering the Flings and Arrows!” Erika was shown to have caught a Leafeon since her last appearance. As with Cynthia, Sygna Suit Erika formed a sync pair with the Verdant Pokémon in Masters. Her outfit in this episode was from Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, but the Leafeon is likely based on the one from the phone game.
One more reference that’s coming up in Journeys will be in Episode 111, “Mohn and Lilie, Snowfield Reunion.” This time, it comes in the form of Lusamine’s hairstyle. She ties it back just like she does when she wears a Sygna Suit and forms a sync pair with Dusk Mane Necrozma. She’ll probably never ow Necrozma in the anime or Solgaleo for that matter, but it’s at least nice to see this subtle nod to the phone game.
These references, while small, can really make a Masters player’s day. All it takes is a change in appearance or confirmation that a certain trainer has a certain Pokémon to acknowledge the game’s existence. If the day comes when Pasio itself is referenced in the anime, that will be all the better.