To a casual viewer, a character in animation is only fiction, but true anime fans connect with their favorite original series on a much deeper level and comb through every detail looking for more.
Anime theories allow people to connect with other anime fans while flexing their creative muscles and showing off their knowledge of manga and anime. Fan theories run the gambit from secret relationships to mind-blowing plot twists.
Where one fan theory may make you laugh, others can totally alter your perception of an episode or the show. Here are four fan theories too good not to share.
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched Pokemon, My Hero Academia, Naruto, or Demon Slayer yet, read with caution. These fan theories may spoil the plot if you aren’t caught up fully.
#1 Pokemon: Ash’s Dad is Mr. Mime
Pokemon world has amassed a giant following over 25 years. For nearly as long, fans have wondered about the identity of Ash's dad. While Ash’s mother maintains a strong presence throughout the Pokemon world, we only get a sense of Ash’s dad from an early episode. Details like these may not matter much to the overall story, but they leave plenty of room for fans to get creative.
Professor Oak has been a top suspect for years. Team Rocket leader Giovanni is also a popular contender, but the Star Wars-esque villain-as-the-father trope is a little too vanilla for our tastes. The most unsettling conspiracy theory (which may violate a few laws of nature) suggests Ash's father is none other than Mr. Mime.
Yes, the creepy clown Pokemon that has an oddly close relationship with Delia could be Ash's father, and it would explain a few things. Ash, one of the best anime characters, never ages, has an inexplicable ability to communicate with Pikachu and other Pokemon, and seems to get a far different reaction to them than other humans.
Of course, Mr. Mime isn’t a Pokemon trainer. But it wouldn’t be the first plot hole that raised eyebrows.
With the US release of Pokemon: Secrets of the Jungle, fans are given a new clue. Ash shares a story with Koko, another young trainer, about a piece of advice his father gave him. We’ll keep the spoilers light, but the implication that Ash has always known his father has put another wrinkle in these popular animation theories.
Unless….Mr. Mime/Ash’s Dad is so good at pantomime that he altered reality itself.
#2 My Hero Academia: The Quirk Singularity Doomsday
This Japanese phenomenon consists of dozens of manga, movies, and a TV series more popular than superhero rivals from DC and Marvel in 2020.
My Hero Academia fans have proposed countless fan theories. Some of them, like how every character has a quirk, are simply fun to think about. Others argue back and forth over the identity of the traitor.
The most disturbing conspiracy theory has world-ending consequences if it turns out to be true. The Quirk Doomsday theory suggests that continual improvement of quirks through marriages and natural evolution will one day be too much for the human body to contain, leading to widespread death and destruction. This could destroy governments and tear apart societies, and eventually wipe out the universe.
While the concept, originally suggested by Dr. Kyudai Garak, has been explored by the show, fans have continued to find evidence to support this grim ending and possible ways to avoid it.
#3 Naruto: Shippuden: It’s all an Illusion
While the original series and sequel have both officially concluded, with his son Boruto taking the torch, for now, fans have still found plenty of material to construct theories with. One fan-favorite theory proposed that Orochimaru was working to protect the Leaf all along.
Even more mind-blowing is the possibility that Madura successfully put all of humanity into a trance with the Infinite Tsukuyomi Technique, and everything that takes place in the Naruto universe afterward, including the events of the Boruto series, is an illusion.
This theory runs thick with Matrix vibes, down to the detail that Madura is enslaving humanity to draw from their chakras and become more powerful.
#4 Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: The Divine Connection
Tanjiro Kamado’s journey to becoming a demon slayer starts when the Demon King slaughters the Kamoda family and transforms his sister Nezuko into a monster. As fans dive into the second season, many of them are looking for more evidence to support this wild fan theory: what if Tanjiro and Nezuko were blessed by the gods with their special abilities?
Nezuko is able to retain her human memories as a demon and sustain herself without human blood. Even more impressive, she isn’t affected by sunlight, an ability coveted by Mazan.
Tanjiro has skill and power beyond the typical human, able to use his sense of smell to evade traps and predict his enemies’ movements. He is even able to help demons transition into the afterlife with his kind spirit.
These abilities, and the Kamodo family’s strong connection to their ancestors and the family’s dedication to the fire god, suggest that they have divine help guiding them along the way.
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