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Flow of Time in the Anime

Aqua Ninja Frog
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Has anyone considered the possibility that time moves differently in the anime compared to real life. Maybe a month is longer/shorter than in real life. Perhaps a year is longer/shorter than in real life. Why are people trying to apply real world logic into the anime? I bring this up because I have read in different places and seen that people have tried to do that.
 
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I think that is one of the more common theories about time in the anime. Ash is still ten, so many people take it as a sign that time moves differently there since realistically, none of these series should be covered within less than a year. Personally, I just see as time moving like usual, but no one ages and no one question it.
 
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Has anyone considered the possibility that time moves differently in the anime compared to real life.
Considering that the main character is an eternally-youthful 10 year old and no one in the show seems to question it, I think most viewers are already aware of how wonky the flow of time is in the anime.
Why are people trying to apply real world logic into the anime? I bring this up because I have read in different places and seen that people have tried to do that.
Because something called "suspension of disbelief" exists. Just because a story is fictional/set in a fantasy-like setting, that doesn't mean the writers can just get away with doing whatever they want and bend the laws of physics willy-nilly. I'm not saying that everything has to be 100% realistic, I'm just saying that the writers still have to try and portray things in a believable-enough manner, lest they risk breaking the viewers' suspension of disbelief.

Yes, we're talking about a world where things like fire-breathing dragons and sentient washing machines exist, but that doesn't mean all real-life logic immediately gets thrown out of the window.
 
Aqua Ninja Frog
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I think that is one of the more common theories about time in the anime. Ash is still ten, so many people take it as a sign that time moves differently there since realistically, none of these series should be covered within less than a year. Personally, I just see as time moving like usual, but no one ages and no one question it.
That makes sense.

Because something called "suspension of disbelief" exists. Just because a story is fictional/set in a fantasy-like setting, that doesn't mean the writers can just get away with doing whatever they want and bend the laws of physics willy-nilly. I'm not saying that everything has to be 100% realistic, I'm just saying that the writers still have to try and portray things in a believable-enough manner, lest they risk breaking the viewers' suspension of disbelief.

Yes, we're talking about a world where things like fire-breathing dragons and sentient washing machines exist, but that doesn't mean all real-life logic immediately gets thrown out of the window.
Very true. Of course the writers can't go crazy with physics. Same with any aspect of a story.
 
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The whole thing just runs on Comic Time where despite acknowledging that days/months pass, no one ever really ages or gets to a point where years will pass. Hell, we could hear of another Indigo League passing and no one would bat an eyelash despite the fact that the league seem to only take place once a year.
 
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I think the original series took just under a year with the orange islands taking about 4 to 6 months considering Lapras was still an infant and then in the Johto season Ash’s Lapras returned it was older so time would have had to pass
Oh wait I take that back the 3rd movie short claimed the party was for the first time Ash and Pikachu a year before but I don’t think the movies are cannon

The only reason Ash is still 10 is cause ash would be like in his 20’s at this point
I’ve seen the fanfics of ash’s ending up getting together with misty or may I don’t fancy seeing that in the anime but maybe the anime could be set around Ash’s child starting his/her own journey i don’t know
 
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I think the original series took just under a year with the orange islands taking about 4 to 6 months considering Lapras was still an infant and then in the Johto season Ash’s Lapras returned it was older so time would have had to pass
Oh wait I take that back the 3rd movie short claimed the party was for the first time Ash and Pikachu a year before but I don’t think the movies are cannon
Didn't Ash say that a whole year had passed between his first and second visits to Viridian City?
 
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Didn't Ash say that a whole year had passed between his first and second visits to Viridian City?
That seems to have been an english version only line.
 
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Oh wait I take that back the 3rd movie short claimed the party was for the first time Ash and Pikachu a year before but I don’t think the movies are cannon
There's enough evidence to prove that the majority of the movies before that awful 20th one - and by extension most Pikachu shorts - are canon. But the Pikachu & Pichu one has apparently been banned in Japan since like 2009, so the events that happened there probably don't count anymore.
 
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I've already posted my own theory in the anime headcanons thread.
Time passes and Ash ages; we as the viewers just don't get to see it for marketing reasons. These calculations assume the following:
  • April 1, 1997, the original airdate of EP001 "Pokémon - I Choose You!", was the start of Ash's journey.
  • EP005 "Showdown in Pewter City" took place exactly two weeks later, on April 15, 1997.
  • EP009 "The School of Hard Knocks" took place on June 1, 1997, the conventional definition of two months after EP001.
  • EP020 "The Ghost of Maiden's Peak" occurred on August 19, 1997, the week after it aired. Based on what little information I've been able to find, this should be when the real Japanese Bon festival took place.
  • Holiday Hi-Jynx and Snow Way Out aired as originally scheduled, after EP038 "Computer Warrior Porygon", the former taking place on Christmas Eve, 1997.
  • EP039 "Pikachu's Goodbye" did not air.
  • EP052 "Princess vs. Princess", the Hinamatsuri (March 3) episode, aired as originally scheduled, between EP047 and EP048 (according to Pocket Monsters Encore). Being after Holiday Hi-Jynx, it must take place the following year, in 1998.
  • EP053 "The Purr-fect Hero", the Children's Day (May 5) episode, aired as originally scheduled, between EP057 and EP058 (according to Pocket Monsters Encore).
  • Pikachu & Pichu, released between EP155 and EP156, took place on April 1 following EP053, meaning it must have taken place the following year, in 1999.
The movies are not currently factored in. Based on this, these among other dates can be calculated:
  • Going by Takeshi Shudō's novelizations, Ash would have been born on May 22, 1986 (exactly ten years, ten months, and ten days prior to EP001). He would then have actually turned eleven fairly early on in the series, around EP008 "The Path to the Pokémon League" or so, which coincidentally aired two days before the real-world date.
  • The one-year anniversary of his journey would probably have occurred sometime between EP050 "Who Gets to Keep Togepi?" and EP051 "Bulbasaur's Mysterious Garden" in-universe, with his twelfth birthday subsequently taking place sometime around EP062 "Clefairy Tales".
  • Based on the approximate date of EP063 "The Battle of the Badge", previously-observed travel time between Pallet Town and Viridian City, and dialogue in EP065 "Showdown at the Po-ké Corral", the Indigo League Conference probably occurred in late July or early August.
  • It should have taken about eight months in-universe, from February to October, 1998, for Charizard to start obeying Ash again following its first evolution.
  • EP127 "Once in a Blue Moon" probably occurred on Christmas Day, 1998 (almost exactly a year before it actually aired). This is backed up by the release of the Pikachu's Winter Vacation 2 shorts just before, which prominently feature both Heracross and Chikorita, the latter of whom was caught just one episode prior.
  • Ash most likely had the GS Ball in his possession for about six months in-universe (from August, 1998 to February, 1999).
Past Pikachu & Pichu, solid in-universe dates become largely unavailable for use as a frame of reference, as far as I know. Based purely on the average in-universe time between episodes up to this point, Ash should probably have turned thirteen around EP166 "Two Hits and a Miss", but this is highly speculative.
As you can see, it's imperfect and incomplete. I do intend to conduct further research down the line to fully incorporate the movies, specials, and later seasons if at all possible.
 
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Well, I feel that they have Eiichiro Oda's mentality of "a year only passes when I want to". It could have been worse *points at Peanuts's bizarre timeline* Not even floating timeline can justify that mess.
 
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