From anime and manga to video games and cute merchandise, Japan has a ton of hugely popular characters that people all over the world associate with the country! In fact, even prefectural and business mascots are becoming more well known overseas.
Out of this huge pool of characters, which ones really stand out as being representative of Japan? Let’s find out!
10. Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon
9. Godzilla, Godzilla
8. Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam
7. Totoro, My Neighbor Totoro
6. Son Goku, Dragon Ball
5. Hello Kitty, Sanrio
4. Anpanman, Sore Ike! Anpanman
Those are some huge names, and there’s no denying that they’re recognized all over, but now it’s time to move on to the top 3!
3. Mario, Super Mario Brothers
The Super Mario Bros. franchise is one of the best-recognized titles in the video game industry, giving fans countless adventures with its hero Mario. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe even appeared as the plucky plumber at the Rio Olympics, so it’s only right that he makes an appearance on this list!
Coming in at 2nd place is a name everyone had to have expected: Pikachu! This beloved Pokémon is unrivalled as the franchise’s mascot, adored by anime, card game, and video game fans all over the world.
Finally, taking the crown is none other than the titular hero of the Doraemon franchise! This iconic time-traveling robot cat is loved by people of all ages, and it looks like that won’t be changing any time soon with the franchise’s upcoming 50th anniversary in 2019! He’ll probably still be just as famous in his birth year of 2112, so this win is a well-deserved one.
Human or otherwise, do you think there are any other Japanese characters that deserve a spot on the list?