Discovering Saya Tsuruta's Illustration Easter Eggs

Following two recent posts showcasing some wonderful illustrations by Saya Tsuruta (Great Encounters Slowpoke posted by @ayoveer in Pok-Emotions 10: LAZY and Secret Wonders Lotad posted by @northerninfernape in Favorite Cards Showing Pokemon In Water), I yet again found myself scrolling through to investigate a possible illustrator collection candidate. As I perused Tsuruta’s work, I noticed something oddly familiar on her Steam Siege Avalugg - something I had also spotted on her Crown Zenith Galarian Gallery Magmortar;

Do you see it?

Both illustrations feature a Poké Ball hidden in the snow! What a fun little coincidence! … or maybe not a coincidence at all? Surely the two cards that started me on this journey hadn’t contained any Poké Balls?

No, it can’t be! Enhance!

More sneaky Poké Balls hidden in the environment! For a brief moment, I felt like Neo - seeing the very code of the Matrix itself. I cannot properly express how much joy it gave me to discover all this organically, to somehow yet again be surprised by a new aspect of Pokémon card illustration.

Each of Saya Tsuruta’s illustrations contains a hidden Poké Ball in the background. The only exceptions are her Shiny Vault cards (which have a completely blank white background), her Yokohama’s Pikachu promotional cards (which all have the same stock background pattern), and her part of Pikachu V-UNION (for which she did not illustrate the background).

Rather than spoiling the fun by revealing each of them in this topic, I strongly encourage that you browse Tsuruta’s work and hunt them down yourself!

 - Saya Tsuruta - Saya Tsuruta


Give :clap: her :clap: another :clap: token :clap:


Easily top thread of 2023 so far


I love this thread. Take this totally legit token as a measure of my appreciation


This is so wholesome :face_holding_back_tears:


This is super cool! Such a neat touch to add Easter Eggs like this to a series of cards.


She was waiting for the day when the chosen one would finally notice.

Great find!


First smpratte token granted!! :trophy:

This topic is S tier! I love these kind of discoveries! :smiling_face:


True collector strikes again.


Wow I am a few JP promos away from a Saya Tsuruta master set and I am extremely disappointed that I didn’t discover this on my own lol!!
Nonetheless this is a great find and gives me even more justification for how awesome Saya Tsuruta and her art is, found a new way to appreciate her cards.


absolutely incredible find!


I just went through every card and found all the pokeballs! If someone wanted to make a gallery with a few more cards with the pokeballs highlighted that would be awesome! I plan on sharing this thread on ig this week so others can see, this is so cool! :sunglasses:


When I posted that Slowpoke to the Pokemon emotion thread I had no idea that it would lead to such a cool discovery! Awesome stuff @Llyrwenne


I also spent a considerable time trying to find all of the Pokeballs. Indeed such a very cool Easter Egg. Thanks for such a cool discovery @Llyrwenne .


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This is all kinds of awesome. Thanks for sharing! I think I had spotted the Pokeball on a few of the cards before, but never considered that it could be a consistent Easter Egg on all arts. Amazing!

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Before this thread went live, Llyrwenne showed me Avalugg, Slowpoke, and Ribombee and asked if I could find the secret in all of the art. I saw the Poké Ball in Avalugg, so I looked hard at the other two to see if there was a Poké Ball in those ones too. But I didn’t see anything, so I figured that must not be the secret, and I gave up and asked what the answer was.

Even when I had a suspicion and was looking explicitly for the Poké Ball, I didn’t see it in two of the three cards. So this goes to show you how perceptive one must be to pick up on stuff like this independently. It’s really not a negligible talent.


@Llyrwenne . You’re astute attention to the details blows me away! Thank you for sharing your gift with us!

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Thank you all for the incredibly kind words, and thank you @pfm, @smpratte, and especially @Will for your generously gifted tokens!


I see pfm even took the time to edit the complete gallery of Saya Tsuruta’s cards into the first post! Unfortunately, some of the available images aren’t of the best quality, so I’m planning to replace them with my own high-resolution scans as I collect the cards themselves.

Whenever there’s a new Tsuruta card, let’s all hunt for the easter egg together!


Such an awesome find, great spot!

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Very nicely spotted! You really look at the very small details of every card. I love it!

Although I must admit I was already aware of this particular discovery. IG user nanp90 posts cards from Saya Tsuruta every now and then (with tag #nanp90sayatsurutapokeballs), highlighting the Pokéball. :slight_smile: