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Historical Domain Character / Anime & Manga

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  • In Berserk, there are some examples:
    • Guts: Götz von Berlichingen (1480–1562), a German knight, was the leader of a band of mercenary soldiers and attained the reputation as a Robin Hood figure. In 1504, his right arm was struck by enemy cannon fire and a prosthetic iron arm was developed to replace it. Guts' iron arm, in his original character concept, is very similar to Götz's iron arm kept in the Nüremberg Museum (minus the cannon and repeater crossbow attachment). However, Miura stated in an interview that he created Guts independently and that he did not find out about von Berlichingen until after several volumes of the manga had been published, so this appears to be a coincidence.
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    • Emperor Gaiseric: The Emperor Gaiseric alluded to in volume 10 was based on the actual King Genseric who ruled the Vandals' kingdom in Europe in the 5th century. He was famed as a brilliant general who was seen as a threat even to the Roman Empire. In the manga, Gaiseric is said to have created a vast empire, similar to the Romans, that was destroyed by God's wrath. He banded together his small tribe and brought them great fame as a kingdom that exercised its authority in the Mediterranean region.
      • It is hinted that Emperor Gaiseric survived his fallen empire in the form of the Skull Knight, a recurring character who aids Guts and stands in opposition to the God Hand.
    • Emperor Ganishka: The Emperor Ganishka, working as Griffith's enemy in Berserk, was based on King Kanishka, who ruled over the actual Kushan Empire, a vast empire in India and Central Asia during the 2nd century. He was also a profound Buddhist and adorned his empire with its respective figures and promoted it vigorously. Like his real-life counterpart, Ganishka also decorates his palace with famous Buddhist and Hindu figures, but has demonized them to suit his nature.
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    • Mozgus appears to be based on Ivan the Terrible, due to his daily routine of slamming his face into the ground during prayer and his biblical methods of execution.
  • Aleister Crowley appears as a character in A Certain Magical Index. Of course, the real Aleister Crowley wasn't nearly so... pretty.
    • Aiwass also makes an appearance as an otherworldly being who is also Crowley's mentor. "Aiwass" was the name of the voice that the real Crowley claimed to have heard in dreams that dictated the Book of the Law to him.
  • Most of the cast of The Rose of Versailles.
  • Most of the cast of Le Chevalier d'Eon.
  • Most of the cast of Drifters.
  • Read or Die has several characters who are actually clones of historical ones, such as Beethoven and Mata Hari.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne has Isaac Newton as the Big Bad.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia has several brief appearances of historical characters, often as the bosses of the nations.
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  • The Gundam saga uses expies of historical characters instead: e.g. Char Aznable (AKA: "The Red Comet") is an expy of Manfred von Richthofen (AKA: the Red Baron), Andrew Waltfeld is an expy of Erwin Rommel (the original Magnificent Bastard), etc. Things get complicated when later series start featuring expies of expies of historical people...
  • Many of the characters in Vinland Saga are actually historic people, among them Canute and Sweyn, and possibly even the Jomsvikings. There was also an actual Thorkell the Tall who fought for the English and joined Canute, but it's not known if he was really a giant who could kill a hundred men with his bare hands.
  • Steins;Gate uses a rather strange example in the form of John Titor, a forum poster back in 2000 and 2001 who claimed to be a time traveler - Only this time, Okarin's discovery of time travel changed the arrival date to 2010, the claims (though slightly different this time around) are true, and her real name is Suzuha Amane.
  • While not the only anime set in the Bakumatsu period (and thus all characters are Historical-Domain Character), Gintama is one of the few that completely reinvent/exagerate character traits (e.g. Saigo Takamori is a transvestite, Hijikata Toshizo is crazed about Mayonnaise, and Kondō Isami is a stalking gorilla). Also mixed in people that are far more legendary, such as Kintaro and Hyubei, and you have a crack manga.
  • In Nobunagun the main character is a reincarnation of Oda Nobunaga. Other characters include such colorful personalities as Jack the Ripper, Galileo Galilei, and Isaac Newton.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, both Hajime Saitou, and the Shinsengumi are characters that become important to the plot.
  • In the 1970s, Toei made Ikkyuu-san, an anime based on the (possibly fictionalized) earlier Zen Buddhist monk (according to That Other Wiki) Ikkyuu.note .
    • They also made an anime based on the earlier life of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
  • Mugen no Gunkan Yamato, being a Historical Fiction manga, has many real-life admirals from both sides of the Pacific War.
  • The entire Fate franchise runs off this. The servants are based on various historical figures (Nero Caesar, Zhuge Liang, Vlad the Impaler), mythical figures (Cú Chulainn, Hercules, Shuten-Douji), or fictional characters who are in the public domain (Frankenstein's Monster, Jekyll & Hyde, and Alice).
  • Yo-Kai Watch: When Thomas Edison died, he became a youkai called T. Energison.


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