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Anime physics is a fanon term used to describe all the unusual, impossible, and sometimes absurd moments in the anime where real-world physics do not seem to apply. At times, the term can also be used to describe when an attack works differently in the anime than it would in the games. Some common examples are unusual feats of strength and agility, surviving lethal attacks, and the magic satchel theory (the ability to hold innumerable items in one bag).
Anime physics are often caused by several factors. The anime is generally more focused on telling a story in one or more episodes than focusing on details. The writers will often twist or bend physics so that the plot can unfold the way they want it to. Sometimes these events are a case of oversight; anime physics do not seem unusual unless someone stops to think about how a situation would work in the real world.
Some phenomena that appear in the anime (as well as the entire Pokémon canon) are impossible in real-world physics.
- Poké Balls change in size and convert Pokémon to and from a plasma-like substance (the Pokémon retains its consciousness in this state).
- Moves like Water Gun are depicted as spitting water, but usually the Pokémon spits much more water than its body could hold.
- In Mass Hip-Po-Sis!, Hippopotas initially doesn't weigh down Team Rocket's balloon, but it does after using Sand Tomb. This means the move creates the sand out of nothing.
- Nearly everything explodes in the anime. Most attacks explode when they connect with an opposing attack, even if the attacks would not normally do so (even, and some would say especially, inert, non-volatile substances such as leaves or water).
- In contests, almost every move will explode and send a shower of sparkles down into the crowd.
- Some moves explode when they clearly cannot, such as a Bite attack.
- Sometimes moves are amplified in power and even made to explode just to enable them to blast off Team Rocket.
- During some of the battles in the anime, the Pokémon stay in the air longer than usual despite their weight, either when using attacks or receiving attacks (not including Pokémon that fly naturally). This is evident in Dealing With Defensive Types! when Ash's Chimchar battles against Byron's Bronzor and actually can be seen floating.
- On a similar note, many attacks do not move at the speed they normally would (or should), sometimes even leaving enough time for characters to have a three or four sentence conversation. And example is in Jumping Rocket Ship!. Barry has his Empoleon use Hydro Pump a few seconds before Ash's Chimchar uses Flamethrower, and they clash in the exact middle of the battlefield. This could just mean that that Flamethrower accelerates much quicker, but before the attacks even collide, Jessie gets in several lines of dialogue.
- In almost every episode, Jessie, James, and Meowth manage to get launched hundreds of feet into the air, sometimes crashing through the roof of a building or a cave wall, by various means (usually a Pokémon attack). However, others standing near them will not be moved or even affected, and Team Rocket never get too hurt from the flight, which would surely kill a normal person. They also are in a stationary position during the first part of their flight, and then start suddenly spinning, normally after making a humorous comment.
- In Training Daze, Team Rocket is already flying when the episode starts and they don't land during the episode.
- Pokémon often disobey Newton's Third Law: Attacks, such as Hyper Beam, that blast the target backwards do nothing of the sort to the user. This is especially notable with flying or levitating Pokémon; they can't even brace themselves against the ground.
- In An Elite Coverup!, Team Rocket's Mime Jr. can be seen running on top of Wobbuffet while staying in place. This would be impossible because then Mime Jr. would run in Wobbuffet's inertial reference frame and increase speed in respect to Wobbuffet.
- Whenever Team Rocket has prop decoys such as a fake building to hide away from pursuers, the building always decreases in height after it falls so that the pursuers are not crushed.
- Ash and his friends seem to have an unlimited amount of space in their bags or pockets, especially Brock, from a sleeping bag to the things he uses to cook.
- In A Tent Situation, Tracey brings out around 40–50 sketch books to show Professor Oak and then puts them back in the same bag that they should not have fit into in the first place.
Move and type effectiveness errors
- Many times when Ash's Pikachu fights a Template:Type2 Pokémon, it uses an Template:Type2 move and it will cause damage.
- May's Squirtle attacked and damaged Harley's Banette with Tackle in New Plot, Odd Lot, despite the Template:Type2's immunity to Template:Type2 attacks.
- In multiple instances, Shadow Ball is able to hit Template:Type2 Pokémon, despite being a Template:Type2 attack.
- Pokémon surviving one-hit KO attacks, like Horn Drill, without fainting.
- Some non-damaging attacks cause damage to the Pokémon being attacked, such as Lt. Surge's Raichu using Tail Whip, and Brandon's Dusclops using Will-O-Wisp.
- Safeguard has been able to protect against attacks instead of status problems.
- Light Screen has been able to block physical attacks, even though it usually only affects special attacks.
Other conflicts with the games
- The weight of some Pokémon is sometimes ignored in the anime:
- Ash was able to pick up Larvitar despite it weighing more than 150 lbs (70 kg), according to game data. Hippopotas is also similar, due to the fact that there are 109 lbs (49 kg) of weight is bearing down on Ash's head and neck. Someone of similar stature in the real world would be prone to serious (if not irreparable) head, back, and/or neck injuries. Similarly, May's Beautifly has often landed on people's heads with no adverse effects despite the species weighing 62 lbs (24 kg).
- In Sweet Baby James, Jessie picks up May's Munchlax and puts it in a bag, despite it weighing over 220 lbs (100kg). On another note of this, in Off the Unbeaten Path, Max was able to carry it on his back despite Munchlax weighing around four times as much as Max.
- The anime often makes Pokémon bigger than the games say they are, like Groudon and Kyogre.
- In the anime, certain Template:Type2 Pokémon like Carvanha and Sharpedo can't be used by Trainers without being in water when battling, unlike how they seem to "float" over the ground in the games, specifically the 3D games.