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The Dan Cave


Shared universes are all the rage these days. From the Marvel Cinematic Universe to Freddy Krueger throwing down with Jason Voorhees to whatever Reagan-era nightmare Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue was, everyone loves a good crossover. That goes double when these crossovers are unofficial in nature. Now, two more iconic TV shows are joining the ranks of these shared universe superstars: My Hero Academia and One-Punch Man. The superhero high school saga My Hero Academia and the satirical superhero series One-Punch Man aren’t just two of the biggest anime on the planet, they might also be directly connected in a way that could explain an awful lot. And we’re going to dive into it headfirst on today’s episode of The Dan Cave.

Perhaps the wait for season 4 of My Hero Academia has addled our brains, but this new fan theory from redditor Yetiinatux has some real promise. Let’s look at the evidence, shall we? My Hero Academia is set in a world where approximately 80% of the population possesses superhuman abilities known as Quirks. Some of them are incredibly useful like superspeed or super strength, while others are less desirable like the power to rip off your own spherical hair and throw it like weird sticky balls.

In One-Punch Man, which takes place in a seemingly near-apocalyptic world on a strange supercontinent, people have also developed superhuman powers. The sudden uptick in monsters and villains murdering everyone in sight has led to the formation of the Hero Association and the rise of a new class of superheroes, including Saitama, the titular One-Punch Man, who as his name suggests can fell enemies with only a single punch.

According to the theory, One-Punch Man and My Hero Academia share the same world, but One-Punch Man is much further in the future. It argues that years and years of people having Quirks and wreaking havoc on the world has left the planet twisted and scarred, setting the stage for the dysfunctional planet of One-Punch Man. The global government body of One-Punch Man is the result of the world’s nations banding together in an effort to combat the superpowered threat of destruction constantly looming over their heads. Cities being renamed after simple letters and numbers because getting too attached to your hometown is going to leave you sad and homeless given the alarming frequency with which they are destroyed.

The theory continues by invoking one of My Hero Academia’s most powerful quirks, One For All, which can be passed from one user to another, allowing the bearer to access power that has been stockpiled from user to user. In the show, All Might, the show’s smiling, barrel-chested Superman analogue passes it along to the protagonist, Izuku Midoriya, a young man with heroic instincts but no quirk of his own. This theory posits that Midoriya wasn’t the last person to possess the One For All quirk, and it kept moving down the line until whomever held it last, perhaps in a moment of desperation, passed it to Saitama after witnessing him saving a child with an unfortunate chin from the nightmarish, underwear-clad crustacean villain Crablante.

Inspired by Saitama’s heroism in that moment, that One For All holder passed it along to Saitama, which explains how he was able to gain such incredible power simply by doing his workout of 100 push ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and 10 kilometer run every day. As for Saitama’s hair loss, that too is explained as the physical manifestation of the One For All Quirk. All Might was able to turn into a much more muscular version of himself and Midoriya was able to glow with greenish energy, but Saitama? Well he just turned bald. Look, you can’t win ‘em all, okay?

Now, there are plenty of holes one could poke in this theory. Case in point, one commenter pointed out that the way cities are named in One-Punch Man is meant to be a direct parody of another shonen classics like Dragon Ball who gave cities throwaway names because you weren’t meant to care about those locations. Another issue with this theory is the timeline doesn’t exactly add up. There are no superhero leagues in One-Punch Man. The Hero Association is formed because Saitama saved the founder’s grandson from Crablante, so without it there would be no superhero group like in My Hero Academia.

The theory could still work though. What seems more plausible is that rather than coming after My Hero Academia, One-Punch Man actually takes place before My Hero Academia. Saitama is one of the earliest people to develop a Quirk and use it for good rather than for selfish, personal gain. He could still be an inheritor of One For All, which eventually passes the way down the chain to All Might, and could also explain the immense amount of power that has been stockpiled by One For All over the years. As for the futuristic technology of One-Punch Man, well maybe it all got destroyed somehow before My Hero Academia. But then again, the tech on display in MHA is nothing to sneeze at either. Still, it’s a fun theory to think about and and interesting way to connect two of the most popular superhero anime out there.

via KnowYourMeme

But what do you think of this theory? Do you buy it? What’s your favorite One-Punch Man or My Hero Academia fan theory? Let me know in the comments below.

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Images: Viz Media, Funimation

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