Having characters be related to other characters is a concept that has existed in stories since storytelling, itself, has existed. Family has been used as a storytelling tool to create strong bonds between characters that we can relate to. After all, there aren’t many people in the world that don’t have any family members that they’re close to.
Another trope that is common throughout fiction is for two characters to be revealed to unexpectedly be related. Perhaps the most iconic example of this is Darth Vader being Luke Skywalker’s father, but there are countless other examples of it in fiction. This list will be detailing several examples of times throughout anime where characters are related that you probably didn’t know about.
10 Zetsu And Hagoromo
These are two characters from Naruto who look very different and have very different introductions. Hagoromo Otsutsuki is the Sage of the Six Paths, essentially the God of Shinobi who invented Jutsu. Zetsu is a weird member of the Akatsuki who is sometimes white, sometimes black, sometimes both, but he always eats people.
Kaguya is well-known to be the mother of Hagoromo, having been the mother of all of the chakra in the world. Hagoromo and Hamura inherited much of her chakra and opposed her plan to create an army to take out other-dimensional threats, so they waged war for months. Kaguya had a third son as a contingency to revive her if she had lost the battle, and Zetsu was that child.
9 Goku And Frieza
This one is surely more surprising to most than the last, but after an explanation, it’ll make sense. Considering the conflicting races and ideals between these two powerful warriors, it’s understandable that Goku and Frieza would sometimes be theorized to be related.
When Cell was introduced in the next arc, it was explained that he was made from the DNA of most of the Z-Warriors, as well as Vegeta and Frieza. This means that Cell’s creation retroactively created a link between Goku and Frieza. It technically makes Goku related to Vegeta and Krillin and Piccolo, too, but Frieza is surely the most surprising.
8 Verity And Cynthia
These two are an entry from Pokémon. Everybody knows Cynthia. She’s one of the most popular Pokémon League Champions, and she has made several appearances in generations since her debut in Diamond and Pearl. Verity is a character that was basically a replacement for Misty that was introduced in Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You.
Verity is known to be a skilled, yet upcoming trainer from the Sinnoh region who traveled to the Kanto. She started traveling with Ash due to their shared goal of battling and capturing powerful Pokémon as well as their shared experiences. While it is subtle, the subject of Verity’s mother is touched on, and we see a short glimpse of it being Cynthia for a split second on her phone. She says that nothing she does is ever enough for her, so she has “mother problems.”
7 Shikadai And Rasa
This is another pair from Naruto, though this one uses more obscure examples. Shikadai is a character introduced in Boruto who is, like his father, known to be very strategic and overall intelligent. Rasa was the Fourth Kazekage. Their connection is slightly complicated to keep up with.
Shikadai is a child of Shikamaru and Temari. Temari is a sister of both Kankuro and is considered to be an adoptive sibling to Gaara. Gaara’s father was indeed Rasa, which means that Shikadai is the adoptive grandson of Rasa. Shikadai is from the Leaf Village and holds no traits of the Golden Sand Village, so the cultural differences between the two over just two generations is astounding.
6 Natsu And Zeref
This one is a bit more well-known than the other pairs on the list, but considering most people just aren’t far enough into the manga to know this, it’ll moreover retain its shock factor due to being a spoiler for those who have only watched the early parts of the anime.
A long time ago, Natsu’s family was still alive, but they were all attacked and killed, except Zeref, surviving as Natsu’s only living brother. Even Natsu died. Zeref resurrected his brother and left him to the Dragon King, Igneel, so that he would be raised by a friend that he trusts.
5 Kinzo And Beatrice
This pair is from an anime that was originally a visual novel called Umineko When They Cry. Beatrice is a witch that only seems to exist whenever people believe in the theory of her existing from having no other explanations for things. She is a witch existing on an island called Rokkenjima, where Ushiromiya Kinzo is the headmaster.
Beatrice is sometimes shown to have been Kinzo’s mistress in iterations of the story, but one time Kinzo was able to successfully kill Beatrice and seal her soul into the body of his child so that he could raise her into a human that was no longer a witch. It is really creepy. What’s creepier is that she had written the story, so she was the one who caused that to happen.
4 Ren And Reinhard
Ren Fuji and Reinhard Heydrich are another example from an anime that originally a visual novel. Ren Fuji is a boy from modern-day Japan that wants life to remain simple and eternally unchanging, while Reinhard was the leader of the Nazis during Nazi Germany, having become an immortal wish-granting incarnation of love and destruction.
Reinhard had become so powerful due to being chosen by a god-like and all-knowing man named Karl Krafft due to being the most charismatic and powerful man in the world to help him achieve his goal. It was eventually revealed that Reinhard was actually his son, and another time it was shown that Ren is actually an experiment that shares the blood of Krafft, being considered his “bastard son”, making the two brothers.
3 Softon And Beauty
This is an entry from Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. Softon is a man who wears a mask shaped like a scoop of ice cream who wields the power of the Goddess Babylon through the True Fist of Babylon. Beauty is the main heroine whose sole existence in the story is to point out how weird the other characters are.
During the Hair Kingdom Arc, the Rebels went against another character from Babylon City who had greater mastery over the True Fist of Babylon than Softon. Since only one user of the True Fist can exist at a time, Softon’s mask disappeared, and he was revealed to have long pink hair, and then confessed that he was actually Beauty’s brother.
2 Goku And Mister Satan
Another pair from Dragon Ball, also involving Goku. Hercule Satan (though his actual name is Mark) is thought by most Earthlings to be the savior of the world, having taken credit for most major victories against villains performed by the Z-Warriors. While he is actually one of the strongest regular humans in the world, he is a coward when a real threat comes to Earth.
Gohan is commonly known to be the son of Goku, and Gohan eventually went on to marry Hercule’s daughter, Videl. Most people don’t realize that this means that this makes the two brothers-in-law. It’s surprising that Goku has yet to teach him to defend himself.
1 Ash And Giovanni
This isn’t going to be another theory about Ash’s dad presented without evidence. Ash, the protagonist of the Pokémon anime is indeed the son of Giovanni, the leader of the Team Rocket crime syndicate that has been trying to capture Ash’s Pikachu for many years at this point.
In the live-action musical, Pokémon Live!, it was revealed near the end of the musical that Giovanni was actually Ash’s father. This was right around the time that Giovanni revealed his new ultimate weapon as being MechaMew2, a robotic copy of Mewtwo that was more powerful than the original. It was pretty out-there.
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