It’s the fourth of July in America and so that means it’s the perfect time to look at some of the best American influences, characters, and references in anime. So get your stars and stripes outfits on, grab a hamburger, and get ready to go over some of my favorite American things in anime.
America – Hetalia
The ultimate American character in all of anime. Alfred is truly (and literally) America embodied. From his love of burgers and supersized fast food, to his best friend who is an Alien, to his complicated relationship with Britain. Everything about America, is, well American, and not an ounce of it is a lie. I can say that because I am American. Alfred is legit the king all the characters on this list, he practically screams freedom (actually I’m fairly certain he legit screams freedom)
All Might – My Hero Academia
Four words: United States of Smash. All Might is a superhero who not only looks like he’s drawn in a style similar to American superhero comics, but he is legit the poster boy for America within his own manga. If you couldn’t tell from his red, white, and blue signature outfits, then you’ll definitely tell with his American-city themed attacks, All Might is all about representing the U.S.A. in his own glorious way.
Patricia Martin – Lucky Star
The actual representation of the cringest form of American Otaku. She had to be included on this list. From her generalizations of Japanese culture, to her learning Japanese solely from watching anime—she is everything that an American otaku strives to avoid being. But we love her all the same and she is endearing, if not slightly annoying.
John Omaha – Air Gear
Omaha…Omaha. Does that sound familiar to you? John Omaha is the President of America in Air Gear and says things such as “yes we can” and “Change”. He’s also a complete badass and he, oh right and he is 100% based on Obama. Which y’know? Is the PERFECT American to base a character off of 10/10 best character on this list.
Bandit Keith Yu-Gi-Oh!
In America. Bandit Keith…isn’t actually that great of a character, but y’know, he is the only character on this list who loves America so much that he wears the flag on his head. I think in many ways, Bandit Keith was supposed to look like a stereotypical American bad guy, and he just had to be included.
Lastly, I have some anime’s that have American references in them, that are quite impressive. So here we have them, in order of smallest reference to biggest.
The Devil is a Part-Timer — MgRonald’s from The Devil is a Part Timer is a reference to American started food-chain, you guessed it—McDonald’s. The references to the food chain in The Devil is a Part-Timer are all based on American foodchains…which is fair. America has some of the biggest food chains out there. MgRonald’s is just a super fun and accurate spoof of one.
Gangsta is a show that Star absolutely loves and can give a real in depth analysis of. The premise seems to be greatly influenced by the American drug and gang scene (not that we’re experts or anything, but as far as we know). It definitely is worth a watch.
Banana Fish is an anime with lots of American influences on it. Not only does it take place in New York’s gang scene, but the mangaka has come out and straight up said that there are a few American influences that inspired the story and art. The first is the writing of J.D. Salinger, whose story A Perfect Day for Banana Fish is where the manga got its name from. The second is actually the American actor River Phoenix, who became an inspiration for Ash Lynx (and whose similarities are actually pretty easy to see). Banana Fish is a great anime, and it’s so fun to see it take place in New York.
91 Days — A stellar historical anime, this takes place during the American prohibition era. It is stunning in terms of story and pretty good in terms of art. While it isn’t as heavily American themed as Banana Fish, it’s still great. Just being in that period of history gives it a great flair, and it is 100% the anime you should watch on this list to celebrate the fourth. It’s a work of art.
Til next time!
Catch Part 2 here!