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Human Aliens / Anime & Manga

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Human Aliens in anime and manga.

  • Bakugan Battle Brawlers: New Vestroia introduces an extra-dimensional race known as the Vestals. There's not much difference between humans and Vestals, aside from their eyes. Human eyes have distinct, black pupils, while the Vestal pupil is just a darker shade than their iris. Given this style of pupil can be the norm for humans in other shows, one might not notice the difference immediately.
  • The Altirrans in Birdy the Mighty, including the title character herself, look pretty much human and most pretty much are. That said though a few of them, again including Birdy, have super powers thanks to various Super Soldier projects, including Super Serum projects and bio-engineering super soldiers, the latter involving Birdy herself.
    • Though there are apparently enough differences that Birdy in the remake manga had to warn Tsutomu to avoid the hospital lest abnormalities be detected.
  • The Arume in Blue Drop are human in every way, although their whole race consists of females only, leading to certain kinds of behavior.
  • Cat Planet Cuties:
    • Not only do the Catians look exactly like humans except for the cat ears and tail, they even called THEIR planet "Earth" until they decided to make contact with us, then re-named it to Catia for our convenience. This seriously ticks off Beautiful Contact, a group of hardcore sci-fi fans who insist that humanity's First Contact with an alien species should be with a race that looks more dignified and unearthly.
    • There's also an antagonistic race of dog-eared humanoid Dogisians.
  • Dragon Ball: The franchise in general classifies every humanoid being as humans. Some fansubs use the word "mortal" as a substitute, but it's very clear that the humans on Earth are simply called "Earthlings" by aliens and extraterritorial gods. When Gods refer aliens as "humans", they don't mean the Earth's race per se.
    • Barring their monkey-esque tails (which can be permanently removed), Saiyans look exactly like Earthlings, and can even interbreed with them with ease. In fact, Goku didn't even know he was an alien until his brother came to Earth looking for him. Of course, the "Earth" of Dragon Ball is also inhabited by five foot tall talking foxes, dogs, cats, pigs, sea turtles... and nobody ever thinks any of it is strange.
      • There's a few other variations that aren't noticeable at first glance, such as their hair remaining the same from the day they are born to the day they die (except for beards and moo-staches), and the fact that their growth halts almost completely for several years as children, until they undergo massive growth spurts in their teens and then remain in their physical prime until at least eighty. Also some Saiyans like Borgos and Shorty have inhumanly pale skin.
      • It’s also revealed in Bio-Broly, that Saiyan hearts are twice as big as a Human hearts.
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    • Ginyu Force member Recoome, who looks almost exactly like an Earthling, unlike the rest of his team. A filler arc also had some that were fleeing from a world attacked by Freeza.
    • Some of Freeza's Mooks look like Earthlings as well.
    • Filler character Olibu looks perfectly Earthling, but it is not stated what he actually is.
  • The Coralians in Eureka Seven are born with various shapes and sizes for their forms, including human Coralians like Sakuya, Eureka and Gonzy. Justified in that they were created to look that way.
  • All human characters in Edens Zero are called humans, but they're still aliens by virtue of living on planets other than Earth. Rebecca lampshades this by saying she and Shiki are technically aliens to each other due to coming from separate planets.
  • The Greecians from Fantastic Children (compared to Earthlings they're giants though)
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  • Haruko Haruhara from FLCL... maybe. She claims to be a 19-year-old space patrol officer, but is actually a galactic criminal out to find the Pirate King Atomsk. Its kinda hard to be sure of anything Haruko tells anybody. Other than pink hair and yellow eyes, Haruko is entirely humanoid. Also she fights with a Rickenbacker guitar, uses a house cat as a walkie-talkie, and has a flying Vespa. She can change her voice and probably appearance at will, as seen in episodes 1 and 5, which puts her in the A Form You Are Comfortable With category. Which would also explain what happens to her face when she's angry.
  • Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince depicts the antagonistic alien species known as the Wulgaru (aka "the Ulgars"), and numerous instances are pointed out to the characters that, despite their notable human appearances, they are aliens. The reason for this is the fact that the species had been in decline for thousands of years, and as a means to preserve itself, spread its genetic data throughout the universe to cultivate new life, only to harvest it later. Humanity is one of these creations.
  • The Yato from Gintama appear very human, although they do have super strength and are weak to the sun. Even their coloring isn't unnatural — Kagura and Kamui's orange hair and blue eyes would be uncommon in Japan, but have been seen elsewhere. Other Yato characters are shown with even plainer coloring.
  • Yuki, Ryoko and Kimidori from Haruhi Suzumiya.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable character Mikitaka Hazekura claims to be an alien as the only features that physically set him apart from others are his pointy ears. Oh, and he has an innate Voluntary Shapeshifting ability and he starts to panic and break out in hives at the sound of a police siren. But these could just be a Stand he developed after getting hit by the magic Stand-imbuing Arrow. But the Arrow just barely grazed his neck after it actively curved away from him and he had the pointy ears already. No one knows the truth. And the author refuses to say what is the truth.
  • The Time-Space Administration Bureau in Lyrical Nanoha covers multiple worlds but are all apparently human. One character comments on how somebody in her family history was from Earth when they were discussing "Unadministrated World #97".
  • Magical Project S: The people of the magical kingdom are referred as not being human (even though besides having magic they are identical in every aspect).
  • Macross:
    • The Zentraedi, who have appeared in almost every series since the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross, are one of the clearer examples of the trope, straight down to the Hand Wave concerning their origins being linked to that of humanity. Their primary physiological distinction from humans is that they are ten meters tall in their natural state, but can through an ill-defined process be shrunk down to roughly human size (and expanded back to their original size afterwards); the two species are otherwise so similar that they're capable of easily interbreeding (provided that one partner has changed themselves to the right size first). Individual Zentraedi can also have a few other physical traits (generally either incredibly bright hair colors like green and pink, and/or somewhat pasty bluish/greenish skin tones) that don't appear in regular humans, but ever since the two species started interbreeding, these traits are now often found in their mixed-heritage descendants.
    • In fact, most alien species met so far are human-looking (besides the Zentraedi, there's the Zolans, Windermerians, Ragnans, Voldorians, and a few other unnamed races), due to their genes all being messed with millennia ago by the Protoculture, who were biologically near-identical to humans (this is not a coincidence, as they also engineered the human race deliberately). The one alien race met that was not toyed with in its infancy by the Protoculture, the Vajra of Macross Frontier, are Starfish Aliens.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has an interesting take on this, in that the Magic World is in Another Dimension, that happens to be layered on top of Mars. Meaning that anyone from the magic world is technically an alien.
  • In the Mazinger Z universe, the Fleedian race -represented in the series by The Hero Duke Fleed and his sister Maria- looked completely human. On the other hand, the aspect of The Vegans varies wildly. Big Bad Emperor Vega seemed a hairy, pointy-eared, pig-nosed monster, but his daughter Rubina mostly seemed human. Other humanoid alien races in this universe range of monster-like to human-looking but with unusual hair, skin or/and eyes colour (like secondary character Menao).
  • The aliens from Niea_7 are human for all practical purposes, save for the shape of their ears and conspicuous antennae (for most of them) on top of their heads. Chada is somewhat of an exception, since he is plain ... weird.
  • The people of Queen Earth don't consider themselves human in Nurse Angel Ririka SOS but for all appearances are near identical to humans. The main differences seem to be their unusual powers and equally unusual hair colors.
  • None of the characters in Panzer World Galient are from Earth. All of them are completely humanoid. There're not discernible differences between people of Arst – like Jordy or Chururu – or people born in other planet – like Hilmuka or Marder. Justified, since Hilmuka and other people from her homeworld migrated from Arst several millennia ago.
  • The aliens of Please Save My Earth are only the size of a human thumb, but look exactly like humans.
  • Mizuho Kazami and her family from Please Teacher! look like humans with weird Hair Colors. She is herself a Half-Human Hybrid, but her mother isn't.
  • The Mu from RahXephon are entirely indistinguishable from humans save for their blue blood. Then there are the Half-Human Hybrids such as Ayato and Hiroko whose Mu-phase has yet to be activated, making them appear human in every way even to themselves.
    • Background material indicates that the Mu evolved on Earth alongside humanity, so it's possible that they aren't a different species at all, but merely another race of humanity... which would turn this example into a Subversion.
  • Rinneno Lagrange has really human like aliens that are at war near earth. Justified, as the aliens in question are descendants of an earlier human generation that fled an apocalyptic Earth.
  • Though the Zentraedi of Robotech are basically identical to the ones in Macross, the novelizations claim that despite their striking physical and genetic similarity, humans and Zentraedi are not the same species, they just look like it by random chance. There are only two hybrid children; Dana Sterling (who was explicitly stated to result from the Workings of the Protoculture) and Hirano (created through genetic manipulation and in-vitro fertilization).
  • Sailor Moon:
    • The S and Stars seasons of Sailor Moon brought so many Human Aliens (or at least aliens that were originally human in appearance) from across the galaxy to Tokyo that one could wonder if non-humanoid intelligent lifeforms really existed at all! Even the talking cats Luna and Artemis, who were aliens from the planet Mau in the manga, could assume human forms. (Rei's crows Phobos and Deimos were also revealed to be aliens who could take human form in the manga.) The Filler Villains Eiru and An from the start of the second season were also aliens who could assume human form, though the villains from the first season and the rest of the second season were originally from Earth.
    • The Moon Kingdom inhabitants and the Senshi of the past also count, since they're technically not from Earth. This also means Queen Nehelenia/Zirconia, the Big Bad from SuperS, would count, even though the rest of her minions are either from Earth originally (animals given human form, some girls from the rainforest given powers) or are dream-monsters (the Lemures).
  • Sekirei has the 108 beings that give the series its name, who are essentially a cross between a humanoid Mon and a Magical Girlfriend. The vast majority are beautiful women and cute girls, with a handful of extremely rare Bishōnen on the side. They physically resemble humans, but possess various super-powers and require a human partner (an Ashikabi) to unlock their full power. A major source of their power is The Power of Love, so the partnership with an Ashikabi is almost always Interspecies Romance.
  • The aliens who inhabit the world of Simoun all appear to be human females, but are actually quite different. For one thing, they are neuter until age 17, when they become either male or female.
  • In Soul Hunter, Taikoubou (later known as Fukki) is later revealed to be one of the "First Humans", which are actually an ancient race of aliens, although he looks exactly like a human. Somewhat justified, in that the "First Humans" actually merged with the planet and indirectly influenced the course of nature and evolution. So technically, humans look like THEM.
  • The Nazi-inspired Gamilans (Gamilons) from Space Battleship Yamato / Star Blazers began as looking identical to humans in every sense of the word. However, the creators of the show retconned their design a few episodes into the show and gave them blue skin, blonde hair and black eyes. Why? Probably to distinguish them easily from the human cast. This is further developed when it's discovered that the Gamilons need radiation to survive, like how a human needs oxygen to breathe - which was why the Earth's bombardment was Hostile Terraforming.
    • When the crew captures its first Gamilon prisoner and sees what their opponents look like, this is a huge shock for them, as they'd pictured the Gamilons as monsters. It plays into the theme of the episode, as well, as Kodai (Wildstar) must put aside his overwhelming hatred of the aliens who killed his family to see this prisoner as a person who should be treated decently.
      • This scene is virtually repeated in the second season, when the capture of a Comet Empire POW proves that they are human aliens as well. This time, Wildstar is the level-headed one, and it's Sgt. Knox who has to learn restraint.
    • The 2012 remake, Space Battleship Yamato 2199, decides to take this trope further. The Gamilans with human skin tones from the early episodes are retconned into an entirely different race of Human Aliens who are Slave Mooks to the real Gamilans. In the adaptation of the story where a (native) Gamilan prisoner is captured, it's stated that her DNA is identical to humanity's; the blue skin is just the equivalent of being a race or ethnicity not found on Earth. (The need for radiation wasn't included this time.)
      • The Movie, Ark of the Stars, explicitly reveals that a race of Precursors were the common ancestors of all the Human Aliens in the series.
  • The Buff Clan in Space Runaway Ideon look identical to humans, with the exception of them lacking pupils. They also possess the honor code of the samurai, call their warriors samurai (though the actual humans don't), and even call their home planet Earth. If it weren't for the fact that they were an isolated race before meeting the people of Logo Dau, you'd swear that they were human!
  • The Juraians in Tenchi Muyo! not only look human but have Japanese-sounding names. According to Ayeka's computer in the first episode of the OVA Earth is a 'colony world' seemingly suggesting that humans are actually transplanted Juraians. Unfortunately the matter is never explored beyond that one throwaway comment.
  • Similar to the Saiyans above, Lala's race from To Love-Ru are indistinguishable from humans apart from their tails. In a similar vein, there is Ren/Run, whose only difference from humans is their uncontrolled Gender Bending. There are other examples of Human Aliens, but it is shown that there also exist Rubber-Forehead Aliens and Plant Aliens, so at least the universe has some variety.
  • The Plants in Trigun look exactly like humans, all to various degrees. The ones used as power look semi-humanoid with wings and other assorted appendages, while Vash and Knives can easily pass for human. This is because plants were made by humans. In the manga however they are beings from another dimension with different laws of physics which is why they can generate power from seemingly nowhere. In their default state they also look something like a human glued to a bunch of baby corpses, tumors, and angel wings.
  • The natives of The Twelve Kingdoms seem almost indistinguishable from humans of Earth stock, but in fact have a bizarre life cycle that includes being born from large fruit that grows on special trees.
  • Lum and her Oni family in Urusei Yatsura look almost exactly like humans, only with two small horns, pointy ears, and green hair. However the series does feature other aliens in all shapes and sizes.
    • Although her father is a good twelve feet tall, in keeping with their race being the inspiration for Japanese legends of ogre-like Oni.
    • Rei is a handsome-looking humanoid, but he can transform into a giant tiger-cow thing.
  • While not aliens, the main characters of Wolf's Rain spend a lot of time looking human, mainly as a form of camouflage, as they're supposed to be extinct.
  • In The World of Narue, Narue is half-alien half-human, but her father, sister, and all other members of her species look completely human. They also come from planet Japan, which also appears to have a history very similar to the Japan we know, so go figure. The manga series gradually explores the concept further, and it turns into one of the big mysteries of the setting why all the known alien races are indistinguishable from Earth humans. Two major interstellar political bodies are ready to go to war over which answer they believe in. It's one of several soft sci-fi tropes the series tackles.

Aversions and subversions

  • Subverted in Aldnoah.Zero. Martians look human because they are humans. They're people who went to live on Mars several decades ago but no longer view themselves on par with earth-dwellers to the point of fierce Fantastic Racism.
  • Bakugan Battle Brawlers: Gundalian Invaders introduces the Neathians, who all evoke You Votta Have Blue Hair and the Gundalians, who resemble normal people with stock Anime Hair styles. The former are actually blue-skinned humanoids with no pupils and the latter are [[Reptiles Are Abhorrent reptilian, grey-skinned beings.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion, oddly enough several of the Angels are roughly humanoid, others are more... interesting. Notably, the two most powerful ones are basically cloned Half Human Hybrids.
    • But it's not surprising considering that in the Eva universe, humans were descended from the 2nd Angel, Lilith. As such, one of the aforementioned Half Human Hybrids (Kaworu) refers to humanity as "Lilim". Then in End of Evangelion Misato puts forth the theory that humanity, collectively, is the 18th Angel.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


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