Anime physics

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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 hammerspace.

Anime physics are often caused by several factors. The anime is generally more focused on telling a story in one or several episodes than getting the details right, so sometimes the writers will twist or bend physics so the episode can unfold the way they want it so. Sometimes it is 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.


  • 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, non-flammable 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.
  • 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 put them back in the same bag that they should not have fit into in the first place.
  • Very often, Pokémon will be affected by moves they would be immune to, due to their type, according to the games. This is shown many times when Ash's Pikachu fights a Template:Type2 Pokémon, it uses an Template:Type2 move and it works well.
  • Another example is when May's Squirtle attacked 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.
  • Many Pokémon know moves they cannot learn in the games.
  • 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).
  • Pokémon surviving one-hit KO attacks, like Horn Drill, without fainting.
  • In Sweet Baby James, when 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 four times as much as Max.
  • Many Pokémon are able to dodge moves that are sure to hit, such as when Ash's Squirtle was able to dodge an Aerial Ace from Brandon's Ninjask. In the games, Aerial Ace never misses as long as the Pokémon is on the screen. Another example is in Duels of the Jungle when a Weavile dodges Ash's Aipom's Swift.
  • Ash's Turtwig was hurt by Gardenia's Turtwig's Leech Seed. However, in the games, Template:Type2s are immune to this move.
  • Water does not seem to conduct electricity in some cases. The combined attacks of both Dawn's Pachirisu and Ash's Pikachu were unable to harm the Rotom (in its Wash form) that was using Hydro Pump.
  • Pikachu appears to receive a power-down at the beginning of every saga, meaning it appears to have just as much skill as the new beginners on Ash's team despite being shown to be very powerful in some of the matches towards the end of each saga.
  • 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.
  • Some moves that Pokémon in the anime learn, are actually improvised from weaker moves. For example Dawn's Aipom learned Double Hit by using Focus Punch so quick that they made Aipom's tail look like it was split in two. Also, Ash's Pikachu learned Volt Tackle by adding electricity to a Quick Attack even though this isn't how Volt Tackle is learned by Pokémon in the games.
  • In To Thine Own Pokémon Be True, there were a couple of times when a normal ping-pong ball did things a normal ping-pong ball couldn't do, such as breaking a paddle.
  • It is also seen frequently that protective moves, such as Barrier and Light Screen give the same protection that Protect and Detect would, these moves stop all effectiveness and the former moves protect against certain moves and stat changes, but in the anime these are shown to be able to stop any attack.

Other examples

An additional use of anime physics is for humorous purposes; it is common in animated media to have characters do things that would cause harm to or be impossible for a live actor for the sake of entertainment.

  • Pikachu often shocks people (mostly Ash himself and members of Team Rocket) to the point where they appear scorched or blackened by the electrocution, yet soon afterward (often as soon as the next scene), they appear perfectly normal, without any lasting damage. Similarly, Meowth often scratches Jessie, James, and sometimes Ash, and soon afterward the scratch marks disappear.
  • In almost every episode, Jessie, James, and Meowth manage to get launched hundreds of feet into the air by various means (usually a Pokémon attack). However, others standing near them will not be moved or even affected, and Team Rocket never gets seriously 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.
  • Whenever Muk smothers somebody in the anime, they don't have any side effects, despite what Muk's Pokédex entries say about it's highly toxic body.
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