If I remember correctly, on the episode 3 of Tokyo ESP, the Ghostbusters appeared trying to capture the flying penguin. Also, Murasaki's dad is clearly King Leonidas from the movie 300, and when Murasaki uses her powers on her dad's nunchaku, she was imitating Bruce Lee.

I found these references very funny, but I was wondering: why they added American movie characters on the anime? Did it also happened on the manga?

  • 1
    There's quite a bit more in the manga; they had to cut some out. I don't remember any reason for it though except that the author felt like putting some references in. – Logan M Sep 28 '14 at 23:29

I don't know about the specific case of Tokyo ESP, but it's far from uncommon for anime to have references to American popular culture. For example, there was Nerima Daikon Brothers, which was vaguely influenced by The Blues Brothers and contained the weird Michael Jackson parody Yukel Hakushon. Excel Saga and Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi were also full of them. The Cowboy Bebop episode "Toys in the Attic" was a parody of the Alien movies. The Yuru Yuri manga included a weird scene where Kyouko imagines a Hollywood movie of Yuru Yuri where everyone carries a gun. Hellsing included its bizarre "Willis" dream that references Bruce Willis.

Japan receives a good portion of our pop culture. If you look at this list of highest-grossing films in Japan, you'll notice that it's about an even split between Japanese and US productions, and that Titanic, Frozen, Harry Potter, and Avatar are all in the top ten. Japanese voice actors often do both anime and dubs of American films; check out this list of dub roles by Akio Otsuka, who plays Rider in Fate/Zero. Even movies that many of us Americans would rather no one ever saw, like Con Air and the entire filmography of Steven Seagal, are in that list.

So the author of Tokyo ESP was just making reference to well-known movies, for the same reasons any author might.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.