...since when have characters drawn in an anime style or whatever you call it been recognized solely from facial features?
the face is usually pretty damn featureless except for the shape of the eyes and eyebrows. and im fairly sure pokemon was not an exception. and how exactly do you compare height? but yeah, hair: different, clothes: drastically different. thats a redesign that i cant say has ever happened in pokemon.
also two things to note: the BW 2
designs are in a different art style than the original game designs, so the eyes arent actually the same, and if you put the two designs next to each other it becomes increasingly obvious that the new pc had like, twice the bust size of hilda.
so im pretty sure even without the kanji thing, it was fairly clear that too much has changed for them to actually be the same characters. as for them looking younger than the previous pc's...im gonna put that one down to the art style shift and that the male designs look very reminiscent of a kids show i cant quite put my finger on...
Pro Tip: Spiders are not technically insects, but actually skeletons made of congealed hate.