Many foreigners love Japanese anime! Today, we talk to those who live in or have visited Japan about the things they wanted to do or see after watching anime. What exciting places, foods, or parts of Japanese culture did they catch a glimpse of from anime?
(The following commentary reflects the personal opinions of the respondents to our survey.)
Confessions and School Life as Depicted in Anime
The most common desire was to experience Japanese school life. We asked what interested them the most about it!
"I want to go to a Japanese junior high or high school! You always see schools in anime. I wonder if the classrooms and gymnasiums are really the same?" (Taiwan/30s/female)
"I want to walk home and go on dates with my girlfriend on the way home from school. My country, Malaysia, gets really hot, even in the evenings, so we get around by bus or train. I would love to chat while walking home." (Malaysia/20s/male)
"I want to be able to see the sea on my way to school, like in the SLAM DUNK anime, at least once!" (China/30s/female)
"I want to give someone a love letter after school. It's rare to confess your feelings to someone with the secret support of a friend in South America. I think the student confession scenes in anime are adorable." (Colombia/30s/male)
It seems that many people were more interested in how students commute to school and how they spend time after class rather than Japanese school itself. Could it be because the classes themselves are not much different than those in their own countries?
Student love stories, confessions, and after-school dates were also points of admiration.
Super-Popular Cosplays: Cute Japanese School Uniforms!
Continuing with school life, there were also many comments in admiration of Japanese school uniforms.
"Sailor Moon is really popular in Europe. There isn't a single girl who didn't long for a sailor uniform!" (Germany/30s/female)
"I really wanted to wear the sailor uniform that Tohru Honda, the main character of Fruits Basket, wore. That was my first experience with anime. Fruits Basket is really popular, even at American cosplay events." (United States/20s/female)
"I really like the lady-like uniforms from the anime, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War. We have uniforms in England, but the designs are different from Japan. Why do all the anime characters get to wear cute uniforms?" (UK/20s/female)
Sailor Moon, Fruits Basket, and Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, have a lot of overseas fans, and they all seem to have one thing in common: they love the characters' cute school uniforms!
As you can tell by the comments, though the United States and the UK may have their own uniforms, they're nothing like those in Japan. No wonder they're so popular in cosplay!
"Tokyo Revengers" Takes Over! Is Shibuya the New Anime Hot-Spot?
Since it started airing in 2021, Tokyo Revengers has quickly gained popularity all over the world. Many opinions also expressed admiration for this work.
"I want to wear the Special Attack Clothing. We do have Tokyo Revengers-themed clothes, but I think you can only find Special Attack Clothing in Japan." (United States/20s/male)
"The fight scenes where they yell 'Ora ora!' are exciting. Japan's bad guys are cool!" (France/20s/male)
"I want to go to Shibuya because that's the home of Tokyo Manji Kai (the group from the anime)." (Brazil/teens/male)
"Some anime fans already know Shibuya as the city of the Tokyo Revengers. When I go back to Japan, Shibuya will be full of foreign otaku (laughs)." (Venezuela/20s/female)
Tokyo Revengers, an anime about bad boys fighting for justice, seems to be super popular not only for its fight scenes, but also for the Special Attack Clothing the characters wear.
In the anime, you can even see many real places, including the Shibuya scramble intersection, which is the characters' home base. Shibuya is already a popular tourist destination and will likely grow even more as a popular anime hotspot!
I've Always Wanted to Try This! Japanese Food in Anime
Another thing in anime that caught the attention of foreigners was the Japanese food.
"Onigiri is one of those Japanese foods that appear in anime all the time, so I've always wanted to try it, even before I came to Japan. What did I think after trying the real thing? I thought it was the best!" (Australia/20s/male)
"I want to eat NARUTO's Ichiraku Ramen. Of course, there are ramen shops in Europe, but I've never seen the kind of ramen that Naruto's hooked on." (Germany/30s/male)
"I think Japanese school lunches look delicious. They have a main dish, soups and salads, and bread. It's so nutritionally balanced! I envy them, compared to elementary school lunches in the United States." (United States/30s/female)
"Old Japanese coffee shops are often used for important scenes in anime, so they seem like special places. The coffee and juice looks delicious." (Canada/30s/male)
Onigiri, ramen, and Japanese dishes seem to have attracted lots of attention, even from anime. Anime fans from overseas also seem aware of things that are a part of Japanese food culture, such as school lunches and old coffee shops. Everyday Japanese foods and shops seemed more popular than special dishes.
That's What Left an Impression!? Unique Anime Memories
Lastly, we'd like to introduce some of the more unique opinions.
"Japanese cicadas. You always hear them in summer scenes. We don't have cicadas in Chile, so when I started living in Japan and heard cicadas in the summer, I was impressed! I felt like I was really in an anime!" (Chile/30s/male)
"I'd like to see HUNTER x HUNTER and use Gon's (the main character) greeting in Japan - 'Ossu!'" (Morocco/teens/male)
"Sometimes there are scenes in anime where they're enjoying the onsen hot springs with all their friends. In Hong Kong, you wouldn't think of taking a bath with your friends, but it's something I'd like to experience once." (Hong Kong/20s/female)
Cicadas, martial arts greetings, communal baths, and Japan's unique culture and scenery are brand-new to many foreigners. Even scenes that are not necessarily anime-specific can be memorable, especially if they are scenes not usually seen in one's own country.
As we can see, there's a wide range of scenes and places that attract the attention of anime fans, from school life and fashion, to food and culture.
People seemed especially impressed with how Japan's charm was conveyed through simple, everyday sights and foods, such as girls' school uniforms, rice balls, and ramen.
Even during Covid, Japanese anime like Tokyo Revengers has continued to travel all over the world.
And once tourists can travel again, many foreigners will surely come in search of these scenes from their favorite anime!
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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