Oshi no Ko: Is Akane the Reincarnation of Ai?

Oshi no Ko: Is Akane the Reincarnation of Ai?
Credit: Doga Kobo

Oshi no Ko: Is Akane the Reincarnation of Ai?
Credit: Doga Kobo

Oshi no Ko's Reality Show arc shocked viewers with Akane Kurokawa's uncanny imitation of Ai Hoshino. But could Akane be Ai's reincarnation?

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Is Akane Ai's Reincarnation?

Is Akane Ai's Reincarnation?
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The Oshi no Ko manga and anime don't confirm whether Akane is Ai's reincarnation.

A logical explanation is possible, but some paranormal and uncanny subtext remains.

Akane's Acting and Profiling Skills

Is Akane Ai's Reincarnation Akane's Acting Skills
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The most conventional explanation for Akane's imitation is that she's a talented actress who studied Ai closely through old videos.

During the dating show, Akane struggles to appear charismatic as herself. This isn't to say that she doesn't have acting skills.

After the reality show proves detrimental to her mental health, Akane takes her friends' advice to protect herself by creating a persona.

Upon hearing what Aqua's ideal girl looks like, she spends her break studying Ai's mannerisms.

In doing so, she comes up with a persona that looks just like Ai.

Lalalie Theater Group

Is Akane Ai's Reincarnation Theatre Group
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After the success of the dating reality show, Aqua meets Kaburagi to learn more about Ai.

It turns out that Ai was a member of the Lalalie Theater Group that Akane is now part of. This suggests their acting styles are similar.

The revelation implies that Ai, who was a master of deception, and Akane, a skilled actress, received similar theater training.

This possibly made it easier for Akane to imitate Ai, as they had a similar education.

Akane's Age

Is Akane Ai's Reincarnation Akane's Age
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At 17 years old, Akane is a bit older than Aqua and Ruby. As such, she was already born when Ai got murdered.

This should put any reincarnation theories to rest, but a supernatural explanation remains.

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A Supernatural Case for Ai's Reincarnation

Is Akane Ai's Reincarnation Supernatural Theory
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While the reincarnation theory isn't very likely, some manga panels do suggest a possible supernatural occurrence beyond simple acting on Akane's part.

Paranormal Inklings

Is Akane Ai's Reincarnation Theory Explained
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When Akane's Ai-like persona is introduced, a manga panel mentions that it looks as if something "possessed" Akane.

Her performance makes the normally stoic Aqua feel at a loss momentarily.

Even Ruby, who isn't a part of the reality show, recognizes her mom in Akane's acting.

At a later point in the manga, Akane mentions that she feels Ai's emotions "reviving in her."

Moreover, she nailed her profiling of Ai's secret inner world so perfectly that she even invents a secret pregnancy backstory for her persona.

For some fans, this is too much of a coincidence.

Akane's Starry Eyes

Is Akane Ai's Reincarnation Starry Eyes
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Another element that fuels theories is Akane's starry eyes when imitating Ai.

The starry eyes in Oshi no Ko have been the subject of much discussion.

Until Akane's act, there was no indication that the stars were anything more than an artistic quirk reserved for the Hoshino family.

But viewers have linked starry eyes with deception and ambition. This adds up, given that Ai, Aqua, and Ruby all lie about who they really are, and they're all ambitious individuals.

If the stars are simply symbolic, it's no surprise that Akane shares them when imitating Ai. After all, she's also deceiving viewers to salvage her acting career.

If, however, the stars are indeed reserved for the Hoshino family, this could fuel a possession/reincarnation theory.

Unconventional Reincarnations in Isekai Anime

Is Akane Ai's Reincarnation Isekai Anime
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Akane's age makes the reincarnation theory improbable but not impossible due to the strange isekai anime conventions.

Most anime, Oshi no Ko included, have characters reincarnate as babies, but this isn't the only possibility.

In Ascendance of a Bookworm, the main character gets reincarnated into the body of an existing four-year-old girl, which leaves what happened to the real Myne unclear.

Oshi no Ko looks nothing like a conventional isekai. In fact, its supernatural elements seem to stop after Goro and Sarina's reincarnations as Aqua and Ruby.

But the idea of people reincarnating feels alien in itself in an anime like Oshi no Ko.

Because of this, some readers and viewers feel that it should come up again and that Ai will come back.

That being said, it's probably best not to think of the theory as true. Aqua's relationship with Ai's memory is messed up enough as it is.

Do you believe these supernatural theories, or is it possible to explain Akane's imitation logically? Let us know what you think on Twitter!

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