It’s almost the Fourth of July, the most American holiday aside from Memorial Day, Labor Day, and
Veteran’s Day that one no one remembers because they don’t get the day off. Now, because America is the most important country in the world, it is important that we look at how it is represented around the world on the day of its independence so we can add Japan to our list of countries that minimally insulted us.
But, no, really. Even if Americans and other western countries are a rarity in anime, they are even more rooted in racial stereotypes than characters in western media. So much so that they seem like a parody of stereotypes, but they aren’t. Regardless, if you take a look at Americans in anime, it is pretty awesomely hilarious.
Here are some stereotypes to look out for in the list. According to anime, Americans are:
- Buxom if they are ladies
- Arrogant if they are men
- Learn all their Japanese from anime
Keith Howard / Bandit Keith from Yugioh
You know you’re seriously American when you wear the flag as your bandana.
In Yugioh, Bandit Keith was the U.S. Duel Monsters champion until he was utterly embarrassed by Pegasus in a New York duel tournament. From that day, he swears revenge and travels to Japan to do some more dueling. In the Japanese manga, Bandit Keith actually wasn’t as obnoxious as his English form is. He was dubbed to be rude and curse a lot in the manga to show his lack of respect for others like a real ‘murican. However, in both versions he is a loathsome cheat.
The U.S. President in Gate
Not only does the U.S. president in Gate fit all American stereotypes about our government and looks (blonde, blue eyes, vaguely evil), but with his hair and all, doesn’t he look a little bit like Trump? I mean, the anime did premiere one month after Trump threw his hat into the ring for presidential candidate.
Coincidence? I think not!
This anime is clearly predicting a future where the sole ray of hope is that a gate to a world of dragons and magic opens in Japan.
Revy from Black Lagoon
Born Rebecca and raised on the mean streets of New York City, Revy is likely the coolest American character you will ever seen in anime. Not only does she bust out of most stereotypes, but she looks good doing it. Although, she has still kept America’s profane mouth and our love of duel wielding guns, so she is not all sterotype breakers.
Patricia Martin from Lucky Star
Likely one of the most memorable American characters if only because, like it or hate it, everyone has heard of Lucky Star, Patricia Martin, or Patty, attends school and works at a cosplay café with Konata in the show. She learned all her Japanese from watching anime and reading manga which, since she is a yaoi fan, causes her to occasionally say inappropriate things. At the cosplay café, Patty portrays Mikuru Asahina from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya.
Oh, and you know that Motteke! Sailor Fuku dance? The ode to the Japanese girls school uniform (if you are not familiar with the lyrics)? That was all her idea.
Japan has a surprising obsession with President Obama. I mean, you don’t see any previous American presidents popping up in anime or manga, but Obama shows up a fair bit. His most well known cameo is actually in the Air Gear manga as John Omaha, but he has also been referenced in Gintama (where he may or may not have been half Obama, half Will Smith), and most recently Osomatsu-san where he, for whatever reason, has a mustache. As well as the episode of Youkai Watch where someone tries to assassinate Obama via bomb in an ice cream cone, pictured above.
Susanna Hopkins from Genshiken
Susanna Hopkins is essentially Patricia Martin from Lucky Star, but less moe. Sporting her blonde hair and blue eyes, when first introduced, Susanna had very poor Japanese language skills, having learn most of it from watching (yaoi) anime. As such, she only really speaks using wildly inappropriate anime quotes. However, later in the series, she appears again with better language skills and transferring to the same high school as the Genshiken members. However, even though her language has improved, she still occasionally uses anime quotes if, for nothing else, comedic effect.
Roy Focker in Macross
Like your typical ‘murican man, Roy Focker is a hard-fightin’, chain-smokin’, reckless ladies’ man that earns all his accolades by defying death as a fighter pilot like he used to as a stunt pilot. Of course, being the blonde-hair, chiseled chin manly man that he is, he is also an inspiration for the main character, Hikaru Ichijyo.
Tina Foster from Ai Yori Aoshi
Tina Foster is kind of a mutt among both Japanese and American culture. Although she was born to American parents, she was raised in Japan. Upon going back to America, she experienced intense culture shock and went back to Japan. However, because of her (stereotypical) American looks, she is also a bit ostracized by her peers in Japan as well.
If nothing else, she does keep with the traditional American greeting of grabbing someone’s breasts upon meeting. It is a tradition we must never forget.
Jack King from Shin Getter Robo vs. Neo Getter Robo
Jack King is Texas come to the East. However, while his ten gallon hat, holster at the hip, and decidedly cleft chin could have told you that much, Getter Robo hammers the point home with his mech being named the Texas Mack. Typical of us gaijins abroad, Jack King speaks in a weird hybrid of English and poorly pronounced Japanese to hint that he is bad at the language. However, he speaks it fine to his sister later.
Consistency: it is important.
America from Hetalia – Axis Powers
“I am the hero!” – America
You didn’t think we would forget, did you? The most famous American in anime ever is none other than America! America is blonde, he’s brash, he ignores his wise council to go in all cowboy style, he’s completely self-involved, and only thinks of ridiculous schemes to solve any problem. However, the most important American tradition of all is that he eats a lot of cheeseburgers.
But he also cares for his friends, in a really overbearing sort of way. So there’s that.
He may be a walking stereotype, but what does it say that it is also a pretty accurate personification of America? It says cheeseburgers are awesome, guys.