Rob McElhenney in Wrexham, Wales, in March 2024

Rob McElhenney Wants To Find His ‘Shōgun’ Doppelgänger

Countless viewers have been drawn to the hit Hulu miniseries Shōgun for its scale, Game of Thrones comparisons, and captivating historical elements. However, recently, many were drawn to the series over the claims Rob McElhenney’s doppelgänger makes an appearance.

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McElhenney is an actor and producer best known for starring in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which he co-created with Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton. He can also often be found in Wrexham, Wales, with Ryan Reynolds, with whom he co-owns the soccer club Wrexham A.F.C. However, Shōgun was certainly not on his slate of current or upcoming releases, which is why some viewers did a double-take when a character with a striking resemblance to McElhenney showed up in episode 8, “The Abyss of Life.” Viewers quickly received confirmation that McElhenney was not in the show, as he himself was surprised by the appearance of his alleged doppelgänger.

Who is Rob McElhenney’s doppelgänger?

On April 10, McElhenney took to X to share his reaction to his Shōgun doppelgänger. While watching the latest episode, he paused it at 45:41 to snap a photo of one character, Tomono.

Tomono made his debut in episode 8, where it is established he is a samurai general from Edo, as well as a vassal of Lord Yoshii Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada). In the closeup image, viewers can’t help but notice that the character does resemble McElhenney, particularly in the eyes and nose. The actor acknowledged the similarities, asking for help finding Tomono’s actor and joking he had “some questions” for him.

It’s not too hard to find the actor, though, as the episode’s credits and IMDb confirm the character is portrayed by Hitoshi Masaki. In addition to Shōgun, the actor has appeared in works such as In Full Bloom and Get the Girl. So far, he has not responded to the discourse over his uncanny resemblance to McElhenney. Of course, now that McElhenney has acknowledged the similarities, viewers feel like it’s a canon event that the pair must meet.

Although myths and legends have long suggested that there’s something supernatural or sinister about doppelgängers, it’s actually not as rare or impossible a phenomenon as one may think. While 100% identical doppelgängers are extremely rare, having someone who merely bears a close resemblance is quite common. Some scientists even suggest that most people have up to six doppelgänger somewhere in the world. Given that there are nearly 8 billion people, though, the chances of randomly running into one’s doppelgänger are quite low. It’s not every day that someone is watching the latest hit TV show only to find someone with their face looking at them from the screen.

It remains to be seen if McElhenney and Masaki will try to meet in real life. However, fans are already suggesting Masaki would be a strong candidate for an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia cameo.

(featured image: Chris Jackson / Getty)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.