View Full Version : Fan theories that I had "sat on"

11th Jun 2015, 10:22 PM
In almost every form of entertainment with rich complexities, anime is rife with them.

The two I'm presenting are ones where cultural anomalies are common or were in play.

I. Ash's (Satoshi's) Father, Pokémon

Background: I lived in America and I grew up watching Rugrats, which showed two single parents caring for one child before remarrying to each other. They became single in the first place because of a death or divorce. I didn't put it past Japan to have single parents. Many theorized, however that Ash's father was Giovanni (Sakaki) from Team Rocket. This was debunked in the games, in HeartGold and SoulSilver in an event that reveals the evil rival (Silver) was in fact, Giovanni's son.

My Take: It was a few years later in my junior high studies in the school library, that fathers in Japan are workaholic men, second only to American breadwinners. I also found out that in Japan, naptime for office employees is encouraged, capsule hotels are for those who miss the last train at 1AM and adjustable schedules to avoid the morning rush by train to come in later...My conclusion is that Ash's father is so much of a workaholic he puts American employees to shame or he died at work and no notice was given to his next of kin.

(PS I am aware of the fact the name of the country is not specified, but the cartoon was first made for Japanese children, who have mainly absentee father issues stemming from workdays running up to 20 hours and the theory arose in America in the late 1990s, when the first generation storyline was airing.)

II. Characters' Ages and Brock's (Takeshi's) Mother, Pokémon

Background: 4kids (now defunct) was once in charge of dubbing the Pokémon anime. To better make a story flow, some concepts were cut from the Japanese version and were presented in an altered final version.

How So: One Japanese concept was that Brock was over 18 and would hit on girls and women, making age-of-consent jokes, so "If only she were 7 years older" for an 11 year old he thought was cute. Brock's age was lowered to seem less disturbing to Americans. Misty's (Kasumi's) age was RAISED to denote her position as a Gym Leader. The most ambiguous, was the age of the Team Rocket members Jessie and James (Musashi and Kojiro) listed three ages of them being both 12, 18 or 21 as a pair. But many Americans who grew up watching the first 78 episodes under the Indigo League were told Brock's dad was a deadbeat and his mother died. Years later, in the Ruby\Sapphire arc, his mother returns, causing confusion to longtime viewers.

My Take: It was assumed at first by many parents, like my dad and satirists Matt Stone and Trey Parker that the trend wouldn't last. But because it was a success worldwide, it continued and the writers in Japan brought back Takeshi's mom. Sadly, the change made to the Pewter Gym episode that rendered his mom non-existent would be a glaring error that would bite them in the ass.

(PS Either they were competing with Rugrats in the absent parent department or they suck at sticking to the story. In any case, 4kids went bankrupt in 2011, which by then in 2007, the license to translate was handed over to The Pokémon Company, established in 2001 to control the Pokémon IP.)