Top 10 Foreigners in Anime

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Anime tend to be based in Japan, the country of their origin and as such, the majority of shows within this medium are from a Japanese point of view. Japan is a country rich in history and culture and because of this, Japan enjoys quite of lot of tourists from year to year. Which brings us to our topic today – our favourite foreigners in anime; because many wacky, hilarious and downright outrageous moments in our favourite shows have come from a situation involving foreign characters! So let’s get to it, Top 10 Foreigners in Anime!

10. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald – Bungou Stray Dogs

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2016 – June 2016

After being kicked out of the orphanage where he lived, Nakajima Atsushi’s already dismal life took yet another turn for the worse. He already has enough to worry about, but rumours of a dangerous tiger lurking the streets of Yokohama where he lives has him very worried. While starving on a riverbank, Atsushi saves the eccentric Dazai Osamu from drowning, and later hears from Dazai about certain individuals called “the Gifted”, who bear extraordinary supernatural powers. Dazai and his partner Kunikida have been investigating the same tiger Atsushi had been fearing and after an interesting series of events, Atsushi finds himself working at the same detective agency whichDazai and Kunikida are affiliated with, helping them solve other supernatural cases.

As one would have it, there are individuals who use their powers for their own benefit, regardless of the impact it would have on other individuals and society as a whole. One such character is the charismatic Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, leader of the American secret society known as “The Guild”, an entity with scary levels of diplomatic authority and rights. Fitzgerald is a wealthy American gentleman whose power, The Great Fitzgerald, enables him to gain more physical strength and power according to the amount of money he spends. His main objective is to use the power of a legendary item known as “The Book” in order to resurrect his dead daughter. He also owns three conglomerates, five hotels, an airline and a railway company. Baller!


9. Sister – Arakawa Under the Bridge

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: April 2010 – June 2010

The Kou family mantra is to never be indebted to anyone. Born and raised a son of the wealthy family, Ichinomiya Kou has always been a strong believer in his family mantra. However, when he falls into the Arakawa River and is saved by one of the eccentric characters who lives there, Kou finds himself owing his very life to the stranger. Insisting on paying her back, his saviour, a stoic blonde-haired girl named Nino, has but one wish: to fall in love. Kou is forced to live alongside her under Arakawa Bridge as her lover, but she is but one of many quirky individuals who lives under the bridge. Now Kou has to adapt to a new way of life away from the lavish lifestyle which was once all he knew.

Sister, a tall, 29-year-old gun-toting man, aptly named by the village chief due to his choice of apparel, is a former mercenary who used to serve in the army. His personality is seemingly normal but his eccentricities lie in his highly militaristic approach to nearly everything and his hilarious self-punishing way of doing some of the simplest tasks. He seems to be in love with the sharp-tongued Maria, possibly due to his masochistic tendencies.


8. Kaolla Su – Love Hina!

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: April 2000 – September 2000

Urashima Keitarou has held fast onto a childhood memory, where he and a friend promised to meet again as students of the University of Tokyo as adults. However, currently, Keitarou is ranked 27th from the bottom in the national exams and ineligible to enrol at the University of Tokyo. In order to remain in the city and continue his studies, Keitarou takes up the position of manager at the inn his grandmother owns; however, he had no idea it had been turned into a girls’ dorm since the last time he’d visited. Now as manager, Keitarou has to manage the dorm, his studies and of course, his interactions with the five girls who now call that inn home.

Find the word “wacky” in a dictionary and you’ll probably see Kaolla Su’s face next to the word – it describes her personally. Hailing from a group of islands in the pacific, Kaolla is the happy-go-lucky foreign exchange student boarding at the Hinata House. She is extremely hyperactive and spends most of her time hugging someone, eating something or inventing a device. Secretly, she is a princess of the Kingdom of Molmol and has ambitions of one day opening a computing school in her homeland to plant the seeds of technological advancement that she hopes will one day rival that of Japan.


7. Cindy Campbell – Shinryaku! Ika Musume (Squid Girl)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2010 – December 2010

Lurking deep in the ocean is a threat to humanity so great, so utterly terrifying, so powerful that it could enslave the entire human race. Unfortunately for humanity though, that is the type of treatment the entity believes we deserve – out splashes Ika Musume, a tentacled resident of the sea unhappy with the pollution that mar her home. On a quest to punish humanity for the pollution, Ika Musume is a dangerously… adorable little girl who finds herself having to help out at the Aizawa family seafood restaurant on the seashore. However, Ika Musume believes this to be a minor setback and decides to use this as an opportunity to learn more about the humans over whom she will soon enjoy dominion.

Cindy Campbell, an extraterrestrial researcher from the United States hops into the mix when she mistakes Ika Musume for an alien. Excited, Cindy hopes to take Ika Musume to America with her in order to conduct research, but not only is she totally mistaken about Ika Musume’s origins, but she is also completely committed to using her “alien discovery” to catapult her into the history books. She also taught Ika Musume English one time, which made for an incredible display of Ika Musume’s learning ability.


6. Chris Hawken – Earth Girl Arjuna

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: January 2001 – March 2001

One hot summer day, 16-year-old Juna Ariyoshi died. She had gone on a joyride to the sea with her boyfriend, Tokio, when suddenly they were involved in a motorcycle accident. When she died, Juna saw vivid visions of the bleak future of Earth, battered by the onslaught of creatures known as the Raaja. She is then approached by a strange boy named Chris, who then offers her a second chance at life, as the Avatar of Time. Keen to get back to the living, Juna accepts, severely underestimating the role she now plays in the survival and restoration of the planet Earth.

Chris Hawken is an American boy who is a powerful entity, presumably assuming the role of the Avatar of Time before he found Juna. He acts as Juna’s guide throughout the series and is a kind, caring individual who puts the needs of other people before his own. Working alongside the international organisation known as SEED, Chris supports Juna, and leads her on her beautiful journey of spiritual awakening.


5. Simon Brezhnev – Durarara!

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: January 2010 - June 2010

Having lived most of his life away from the city, Ryuugamine Mikado can barely contain his excitement when his friend, Kida Masaomi, convinces him to move to Tokyo. In the city’s downtown district of Ikebukuro, strange things have been happening, including several sightings of a headless rider driving a jet black motorbike, anonymous gangs and other urban legends. Seeing the Black Rider for himself on his first day in Tokyo, Mikado’s preconception of the exciting city life is made real, but with more and more supernatural occurrences becoming the norm, is the city life all that it’s cracked up to be?

In the hustle and bustle of Ikebukuro, amidst a dynamic lifestyle and constant movement, one thing remains constant: the tall silhouette of Russian-born Simon Brezhnev standing out. Simon works at the popular restaurant, Russia Sushi, usually being seen outside the establishment passing out flyers, having conversations with potential customers and of course, cracking a great big smile before uttering his catchphrase: “Russia Sushi – it’s delicious!”


4. Takumi Aldini – Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars!)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: April 2015 – July 2015

Yukihira Souma has always had his heart set on one day surpassing his father and taking over at the family diner, Yukihira. However, his father abruptly shut down the restaurant, left to test his own cooking skills abroad, and enrolled Souma in Totsuki Academy, the most brutal, elite culinary school in all of Japan. Totsuki’s famous for its Shokugeki – high-stakes head-to-head cooking showdowns through which students show off their skills. Now faced with the seemingly insurmountable challenge of graduating from Totsuki, does Souma have what it takes to achieve his goal of succeeding his father as head chef and owner of Yukihira?

One of the most interesting characters in Shokugeki no Souma is Italian-born Takumi Aldini, one of the Aldini twins who, much like Souma, had spent the majority of their childhoods in the kitchen, learning the art of cooking. As such, Takumi regards himself as Souma’s rival and his cooking abilities definitely reflect that, being one of the best in Souma’s grade. Despite his initial brimming overconfidence and almost annoying insistence on facing off against Souma, Takumi is one of Souma’s close friends and respects him a great deal. Grazie!


3. Li Shenshun (Hei) – Darker than Black

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: April 2007 – September 2007

When Heaven’s Gate appeared in South America and Hell’s Gate appeared in Japan, the night sky has been different. In these Gates, the very laws of physics are ignored and as a result of the emergence of these gates, certain individuals called “Contractors” developed special powers in exchange for their very humanity. In the Japanese city surrounding Hell’s Gate, Section 4 Chief Kirihara Misaki finds herself in hot pursuit of an infamous contractor, BK-201, codename: Hei. Known as the Black Reaper in the underground, this contractor takes up special missions in the underground world working for an organisation known as “the Syndicate”. Through these missions, Hei uncovers a dark plot which threatens the very existence of the contractors.

Li Shenshun is the alias Hei has been given in order to be able to navigate the streets of Japan under the guise of being a Chinese exchange student. As Li Shenshun, Hei is a somewhat timid but friendly young man who is capable of eating more than his thin frame would let on. As Hei; however, he is an expert killer and user of incredible electrical powers and one of the most sought-after contractors in all of Japan.


2. Negi Springfield – Mahou Sensei Negima! (Magister Negi Magi Negima!)

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: October 2006 – March 2007

Negi Springfield, a Welsh spellcaster fresh from the Academy of Magic is sent on his last training mission before he can obtain his Masters in Magic. He is to enter the all-girls’ school, Mahora Academy, and teach there for a year and ensure that his students do well in their studies. However, it won’t be easy as Negi is only ten-years-old and his students are older than he is! Teaching and exams aside, evil lurks in the shadows and it is up to Negi and the rambunctious bunch that is class 2-A to put a stop to it!

Negi Springfield, an adorable little ten-year-old with quite the reputation, being the only son of the Thousand Master, the strongest magician who ever lived. He has his work cut out for him at Mahora academy but he isn’t the kind of kid who gives up easily. Aside from being an adept sorcerer, Negi is your average little boy who gets into his fair share of trouble: be it romantically, or from the dark forces who frequent the world of magic of which he is a permanent resident.


1. Rebecca “Revy” Lee – Black Lagoon

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2006 – June 2006

Okajima Rokuro is your average Japanese businessman who has lived a dull and boring life. When his company sends him out to sea with a delivery trip to Southeast Asia, he sees it as a good change of pace; however, everything goes awry really quickly when a mercenary group holds him hostage. The group, Black Lagoon, is a mercenary group based in the crime-filled Thai city of Roanapur. They use Rokuro as a bargaining chip in negotiations but that fails as Rokuro is betrayed by his former employers. Angry, he decides to join Black Lagoon and leave that dull and boring life behind him. However, Rokuro has no idea of the crazy ride that is the city of Roanapur.

One of the most popular Black Lagoon characters is none other than the gun-toting live-wire that is Revy. Unbelievably talented with a pistol, Revy earned herself the nickname “Two-Hands”, for her skill with dual-wielding. She is the main gun-fighter of the Lagoon Company hailing from the dark alleyways of New York. Her life was one filled with violence and bloodshed and in a somewhat poetic kind of way, Black Lagoon is the one place where she truly belongs.


Conclusion

Anime being a Japanese medium, it is always cool to see various sorts of people represented in the shows that we love. How it is that they’re represented is a topic for another time; however, one cannot dismiss the way in which certain foreign characters give more life to the anime that we enjoy. Are there any foreign characters you absolutely love? Drop a comment below and tell us all about them!

Hoshi-kun

Writer

Author: Hoshi-kun

I’m South African, harbouring an obsession for anything remotely related to Japan, mostly anime, of course. I draw sometimes. Some people call me Naledi, it’s my real name, or something like that. People think I’m stoic because I don’t smile often (I do sometimes). I like languages. Hoshi-kun and Naledi are the same side of the same coin.

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