Top 10 Anime That Take Place Outside of Japan [Best Recommendations]

Let’s face it. Watching the same setting back to back is annoying, and it doesn’t help that that setting is a Japanese high school (aka something most of us have never been to). It’s nice to feel represented, and it’s even better to have a change of scenery. Lucky for you, we’ve got some anime that take place in different regions, countries, and continents.

10. Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma (Emma: A Victorian Romance) - England

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2005 to June 2005

In Victorian London, an upperclassman would never think of falling in love with a commoner and vice versa. Emma never really thought about romance and enjoyed her life as a maid to a loving family. One day, she crosses paths with William, the eldest son of a wealthy family. The two immediately fall in love but, can they pursue this relationship?

If you’re from England, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of anime that take place in England in both past and present times. While you most likely knew about Black Butler and Hellsing Ultimate, you probably haven’t heard of Emma: A Victorian Romance. This romance anime is criminally underrated even though it has two seasons. It’s also a lot like Snow White with the Red Hair since it deals with a forbidden romance and social standing. If you enjoyed Snow White with the Red Hair, then you have to watch Emma: A Victorian Romance.

9. Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride) - Scotland

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: October 2017 to March 2018

“I wish I never had you”. Were the last words Chise’s mother said to her before committing suicide. Caring little about her own life, Chise puts herself on the black market, only to be sold to an ancient mage. The mage, Elias, is an unknown creature with a bull’s skull for a head. Elias notices Chise’s potential as a mage and takes her in as his apprentice. Now living with someone who wants her, will Chise develop a desire to live? Maybe so, because Elias wants Chise to be his bride.

Ok, technically The Ancient Magus’ Bride takes place in England, Ireland, and Scotland, but most of the series takes place in Elias’s cottage which is in Scotland. The United Kingdom takes pride in the huge success of Harry Potter, so Hogwarts fans will most likely enjoy the enchanting world of The Ancient Magus’ Bride. Like the former wizarding world, The Ancient Magus’ Bride shows how magic is hidden at every corner, whether it be a bookstore or forest. We follow Chise as she discovers and wields magic but don’t be fooled by the wonders of this world because, just like Harry Potter, The Ancient Magus’ Bride does have its dark moments.

8. Canaan - China

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: July 2009 to September 2009

Large and bustling cities always have a story to tell, and that’s why Maria and Mino traveled to Shanghai to uncover the next newsworthy event. Maria is captivated by the tasty food and fun festivals until strange events occur right in front of her. Luckily, Maria’s old friend Canaan is also investigating these events, but it looks like these incidents are tied to her past.

Canaan is a spin-off anime series from a visual novel called 428: Shibuya Scramble. If you haven’t played the game, some things may be a little confusing, such as details about Canaan’s past and how Maria and Canaan know each other. But if you’re able to look past that, then you’ve got yourself an action-packed thrill-ride of an anime. It’s very rare to see an anime take place in China since most series are banned over there. This didn’t stop P.A Works from animating the luminous streets of Shanghai and the energy of the citizens.

7. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic - Middle East

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: October 2012 to March 2013

Magi are magicians with an unlimited source of magic. Although only 3 magi exist, the world is filled with genies, magic, royalty, and swordsmanship! But within all the wondrous magic, there lies dictatorship and corruption throughout the land. Alibaba teams up with Aladdin, a magi, to explore and maybe even change the world for the better.

Talk about your refreshing settings! Magi puts a spin on the 1001 Arabian Nights tales by adding dungeon crawling and economics. The famous Aladdin and Ali Baba team up along with a slave girl named Morgiana to save the country from corruption. They later tag-a-long with King Sinbad, a kind, strong and unbeatable leader who also wants to save the country. You don’t need to read the original Arabian Nights stories to enjoy the fantasy epic.

6. Banana Fish - United States of America

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: July 2018 to December 2018

Gang wars are frequent in New York, but things start to stir more than usual once a mysterious drug called Banana Fish starts to kill people. Ash Lynx already has a horrible life thanks to some explicit movies he was forced to participate in as a child, but once Banana Fish starts affecting his family and friends, Ash sets out for revenge. But revenge is not the quick and easy task that most movies make it out to be. Along the way, Ash will have to lose some friends, make more enemies, and trust no one.

There’s a lot of anime out there that like to show you the beautiful, yet chaotic nature of New York City, but Banana Fish is nothing like those series. Instead, Banana Fish shows you the tragic life of Ash and his struggle to defeat the Don of his former gang. Banana Fish deals with heavy themes such as death, rape, and violation. Try not to get attached to the characters because no one is safe from a bullet.

5. Youjo Senki (The Saga of Tanya the Evil) - Germany

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2017 to March 2017

There was once a Japanese salaryman who was rude to his clients and even worse to his employees. One day, an angry employee pushes him off a ledge and in front of an oncoming train. Right before the salaryman dies, a divine entity claiming to be God appears before the man and offers him a second chance at life. Being the rotten person he is, the man laughs in “God”’s face and denies his existence. Outraged, “God” teleports the man to an alternate WWI era with magic… and reborn as a baby girl.

Like England, there are a fair amount of anime set in Germany like Fullmetal Alchemist or Attack On Titan, as well as having opening themes all in German. But there’s another German-themed anime and it tells the story of the tyrant Tanya. Even though Tanya is the main character, she is absolutely not a good guy. Not only is she on the villains’ side, but she’s one of their cruelest lieutenants. Tanya has no sympathy for her troops and will use unorthodox tactics without her general’s consent. But if you want to see an angry loli blow up some poor saps, then you’ll have a great time binging Youjo Senki.

4. Sora yori mo Tooi Basho (A Place Further Than the Universe) - Antarctica

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: January 2018 to March 2018

Mari wakes up one day and realizes she hasn’t checked off anything from the bucket list she made over a year ago. She decides to push herself to go out and explore but quickly gets nervous and comes up with excuses so that she can stay home. After a fated encounter with the determined Shirase, Mari now has the drive to travel alongside her all the way to Antartica.

A Place Further Than the Universe is meant for the people who feel like they’ve wasted their youth or feel unfulfilled. This anime quickly makes you care about the characters and you’ll cry during every episode when you discover the struggles of each girls’ past friendships. You’ll cheer with them, get sick with them, and even grow with them as they make the incredible journey to a place that’s further than the universe.

3. JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Ougon no Kaze (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind) - Italy

  • Episodes: 39
  • Aired: October 2018 - Ongoing

Although Naples is a beautiful city, a tourist can easily get robbed by a petty thief or jumped by mobsters. However, Giorno Giovanna believes that if a gangster has so much power for evil, he can also have the power to do good. Therefore, Giorno decides to go undercover in one of Italy’s top mob families to destroy it from the inside. His goal? To become a gang-star!
The bizarre adventure continues in the latest installment of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure franchise. Giorno is probably the most different from previous JoJos. While he’s kind to most people, Giorno will steal from innocent citizens and won’t hesitate to pull the trigger. His stand is also different from his ancestors as its main purpose isn’t to punch super fast, but to- oh, well if you want to know you have to watch the anime!

2. Princess Principal - England

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2017 to September 2017

Would you expect a couple of boarding school girls to be spies? During the 20th century in Victorian London, Ange and Dorothy go on multiple missions to protect to queen. Through their adventures, they add more people to their team like Chise the samurai and princess Charlotte. But everything is not what it seems when their own organization gets taken over by the enemy.

We make our way back to Victorian England, only this time, with spies. Princess Principal was inspired by the classic short story The Princess and the Pauper and reimagined into a steampunk action thriller. This is not an anime to watch while you’re half asleep, because the story is told out of order. Not only that but half of the episodes were unaired and will be screened as movies in the future. Before those movies come out, try to put some time aside to binge Princess Principal.

1. Michiko to Hatchin (Michiko and Hatchin) - Brazil

  • Episodes: 22
  • Aired: October 2008 to March 2009

Produced by the director of Cowboy Bebop, Shinichiro Watanabe, comes Michiko to Hatchin. Hatchin is a foster child, treated an awful lot like Cinderella. But that means a fairy Godmother is sure to appear, right? One day, she does! Except this fairy Godmother is Hatchin's biological mother, Michiko. A wanted woman who escaped from prison to find her long lost husband. Michiko whisks Hatchin away as they try to escape from the police, gangs, and some crazy citizens. This was not the fairy tale story Hatchin was expecting.

Michiko to Hatchin is an exhilarating mother-daughter adventure from start to finish. This series isn’t like your typical action adventure anime with OP characters and power ups. Michiko usually has a tough time beating up foes and Hatchin often gets separated from her, but through their hardships, the two are able to make it out in one piece. If you’re in desperate need of a fun and unique anime, then add Michiko to Hatchin to your queue. And pro-tip; watch it in the English dub for the authentic Brazilian accents.

Final Thoughts

What country are you from? and, has your country been represented in an anime? Also, what are some of your favorite anime that take place outside of Japan? Let us know in the comments and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Till next time!

Youjo-Senki-Wallpaper-700x474 Top 10 Anime That Take Place Outside of Japan [Best Recommendations]


Author: Sloan The Female Otaku

Sup everyone! I’m your female otaku. And that’s the intro I use for my Youtube videos. After being an otaku for 5 years, and a lover of film editing for 8, I decided to explore my horizons by writing articles on anime and otaku culture. I also love cosplaying and making people laugh. Please subscribe to my channel at Sloan The Female Otaku if you want to see more. Sayonara!

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