14 Popular Theories About Shonen Anime Protagonists

Once you get invested in an anime, it’s hard to avoid speculating about all the unanswered questions that crop up. This is especially true of shonen anime, which tend to be long, complex stories with a lot going on - so much going on that they don’t even always answer all the questions about the heroes! 

That’s where fan theories come in. For this list, we’ll be paying homage to some of the creative theories that fans all over the Internet have come up with about shonen heroes. Some involve their parents or family of origin, some focus on character development or future powers, and others are more plot-oriented.

Vote up the anime protagonist fan theories that you think are the most plausible - or at least, the most interesting. 


  • 1
    739 VOTES

    Light Yagami Became A Shinigami

    Light Yagami Became A Shinigami
    Photo: Madhouse

    What happens to Light after he passes away? Although Ryuk claims that nothing awaits humans at the end of their life, it’s possible that there are exceptions. Some fans think that Light may have actually been reincarnated as a Shinigami

    Specifically, the unnamed Shinigami who appears in Death Note: Relight. Not only is this Shinigami wearing a blood-stained coat that looks remarkably similar to the one Light is wearing during his final moments, he also knows about Ryuk’s passion for apples. 

  • 2
    333 VOTES

    Gintoki Sakata Has PTSD

    Gintoki Sakata Has PTSD
    Photo: Sunrise

    Most of the time, Gintoki Sakata seems cheerful and upbeat - and when he isn’t, he seems more irritated than, say, traumatized. But according to this fan theory, Gintoki actually is traumatized - and he’s currently experiencing PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder..

    Gintoki is a veteran of the Jouei War, which he fought in as a teenager. During that war, he was forced to choose between the life of his teacher and those of his classmates. That alone would be more than enough to traumatize anyone. Add the fact that he spent his early childhood so hungry that he had to pick through the pockets of corpses to survive, and you have a recipe for a very poor mental health situation. 

    Not everyone would develop PTSD from these experiences, but Gintoki’s substance abuse, nightmares, and other symptoms make it pretty clear that he did. 

  • 3
    414 VOTES

    Yuji Itadori Is A Cursed Womb

    Yuji Itadori Is A Cursed Womb
    Photo: MAPPA

    Very little is known about Yuji Itadori’s family background. We know that he was raised by his grandfather Wasuke, and we know that his father’s name is Jin and that he’s involved with a mysterious woman who Wasuke warns will be the end of him.

    Some fans think that Yuji could actually be the product of a Cursed Womb: Death Painting. When a young woman sought refuge at a jujutsu sorcerer’s temple, she was unlucky enough to encounter Noritoshi Kamo, who forcibly impregnated and then aborted her nine times. The resulting unborn fetuses were turned into special grade cursed objects, and in at least three cases they were implanted in human vessels, giving them extraordinary powers. Six are unaccounted for. 

    Itadori’s mysterious background, combined with his uncanny ability to endure Sukuna’s presence in his body may be because he’s actually one of those six. 

  • 4
    433 VOTES

    Goku & Frieza’s Fight Was In Slow Motion

    Goku and Frieza take twenty episodes or 4 hours and 13 minutes to resolve their epic battle. This seems kind of ridiculous since much of the fight takes place during a five-minute countdown to the destruction of the planet. 

    One theory states that the fight really did take five minutes, but it was slowed down so that viewers could understand what was going on. Both Goku and Frieza are so powerful that ordinary mortals wouldn’t be able to track their movements otherwise!