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But Not Too Foreign

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Foreign characters may pop up in fiction, but often regular characters who are not native (to the country the work is set in) tend to have native ethnicity somewhere in their family. Or possibly were born in the native country, but raised in another country, and have recently come back. This trope, while featured in media across the world, is particularly prominent in Anime and Manga in Japan.

There are multiple variations of this trope:

  1. Half native to the author's ancestry, half foreign ancestry (the most common version).
  2. Mixed Ancestry of different races that may not be related to the author.
  3. Born in one country, raised in another.
  4. Ethnically one nationality, culturally a different one.

Part of this probably stems from the actual ethnic homogeneity of a country, especially in Japan where foreigners really do make up only about two percent of the population. Their name will also have an obvious foreign sound to it even if it doesn't sound real. Assuming this character was raised overseas, it's notable the character who is Not Too Foreign will rarely speak another language on-screen even if they are supposed to be fluent. This is often an artifact of a manga-to-anime transition: a text translation can be passable, while voice actors end up totally mangling it. How much an actor is allowed to speak tends to reflect more on their personal fluency. This in itself does often lead to Mukokuseki within anime and manga works and Ambiguously Brown at the opposite end of this trope.


Frequently, this trope is used as an excuse to give a character an unusual phenotype, especially in anime/manga which try to avoid the use of Anime Hair. In reality, however, it is extremely unlikely for a person who is, say, half-German, half-Japanese to have blue/green eyes or blond/red hair, given that the alleles for those traits are recessive.

In anime/manga, the non-Japanese ethnicity is often either German, "American" (usually white. If, and that's a very rare if, they're black, they will probably come from the US), British, or French (relying on people to think "He's British? Must be sophisticated and smart." or "He's French? How romantic!") The occasional Russian, either ex-military, mafia, or often both, will also pop up.

But Not Too Foreign often pops up as the result of creative types trying to appeal to the people of their homeland with the sense that he or she possesses a connection to their culture despite being partly foreign, and thus perfectly okay to empathize with. See also Non-Specifically Foreign.


Some examples can be non-native, due to the thousands of races in the world, and we don't just marry people of the same race anymore, making this trope Truth in Television for most part. Characters like these can sometimes have a Multiethnic Name. Compare But Not Too Black and Mixed Ancestry. May also overlap into Twofer Token Minority. Overlaps with Plays Great Ethnics in Real Life.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Blood+ has a non-human example. Saya was born in France, but can easily pass for Japanese.
  • One of the three title characters in Adolf is half Japanese half German, another is the Japanese-born son of Jewish German parents who considers himself Japanese. The third is, well you know...
  • Great Mazinger: Jun Honoo is one of the first examples (she is half-black. Her father was American and her mother Japanese), and also notable in being the hero's love interest in the series, something very unusual for these years.
  • Rally Vincent of Gunsmith Cats is an unusual case in that she's half English and half East Indian, though whether her father was from Pakistan or India itself was never made clear. This actually makes her a Token Twofer in Japan But Not Too Foreign in Chicago where the series is actually set. AND they significantly lightened her skin tone for the anime, making her Not Too Black as well.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • All the JoJos introduced from Part 3 to Part 6 are at least part-Japanese and part-British. Interesting example, in that the author acknowledged and consciously invoked this trope, believing that the previous two parts suffered backlash for starring non-Japanese protagonists due to falling under Japan's Minority Show Ghetto back in the day. To wit:
    • Jotaro (Part 3) is one quarter British-American (from his grandfather Joseph, the JoJo from part 2), one quarter Italian (from his grandmother Suzi Q) and half-Japanese.
    • Josuke (Part 4) is half British-American (from Joseph, not that it's impossible...) and half-Japanese (he spent most of his life prior to Part 4 unaware of his Joestar heritage, however).
    • Giorno (Part 5) is half-British (From Jonathan's body with Dio's head on top), half-Japanese, and culturally Italian (having been raised in Italy and having an Italian stepfather).
    • Jolyne (Part 6) is an American who is Jotaro's and an Italian-American woman's daughter.
    • Josuke (Part 8) is a mess simply because he's a Fusion Dance between this reality's Yoshikage Kira—who is... 7/16th some-kind-of-American and 9/16th Japanese due to Johnny's marriage to Rina Higashikata and then the same iteration of George II, Joseph, and then Holly who marries a fully Japanese man—-and Josefumi Kujo who is most likely fully Japanese... except he also has the Joestar birthmark which would make him also a Joestar which is just even more confusing now.
  • Asuka Langley Soryu in Neon Genesis Evangelion is occasionally drawn in promotional materials as a blonde instead of a redhead. The North American and Mexican dubs pad this out with dialogue that occasionally includes German expletives and exclamations. A handy conceit of the show is that Asuka is "part-Japanese", explaining her given name and family name being Japanese, but she's really only quarter Japanese because her mother was half Japanese and half German. Asuka was born and raised in Germany, speaks German as her native language, so she considers herself German and everyone else does too. Her actual ethnic makeup is 25% Japanese, 25% German, 50% "American"note . Her mother's name was Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu, while Langley is her father's last name.
    • Rebuild also introduces Mari Illustrious Makinami, part-British and part-Japanese.
  • Ana Coppola from Strawberry Marshmallow is British — specifically, from Cornwall — but hides the fact she is culturally Japanese. That her name sounds Italian is probably lost on the author, since it's just an excuse for a Running Gag pun.
  • Momiji Sohma from Fruits Basket is half-German and fluent, though this detail is left out of the 2001 anime. His blond hair is not due to him being biracial, but due to him being the rabbit in the zodiac.
  • In Sister Princess, Haruka is half German, Yotsuba is half British, and Aria probably is French.
  • Played straight in K with Andy Doumyouji (half-French according to Word of God), but averted with Adolf K. Weismann, when he returns to his 100% German body after a long time in the body of a cute Japanese teenager, the only form his friends know him in.
    • Eric Surt is also an aversion.
  • Lion Christian Yuzuriha in High School Star Musical is the flipside of variation 4 - he lived in France until he moved to Japan to start high school. Even though he is ethnically Japanese, he didn't speak the language at all, and he's culturally an outsider. It is possible that he put on his over-the-top French affect to avoid that expectation.
  • Freesia Yagyu from Jubei-chan 2 is half-Russian and fluent, though her voice actor does a passable job.
  • Cyndi Manabe in Best Student Council is a redhead, glib Huge Schoolgirl who spoke mainly in fragmented English, when she spoke at all. She was apparently discouraged by her American mother who does speak Japanese but, to continue the gag, has extremely bizarre sentence construction.
  • Ritsuko Kettenkrad (Student Council President) from Kujibiki Unbalance is half-German and wears a World War II German-style helmet wherever she goes, although originally this depicted as an heirloom amongst successive class presidents.
  • Lieutenant Kanuka Clancy from Patlabor is a biracial Japanese American who, ironically, is drawn with a more traditionally "Asian" appearance than anyone else in the cast.
  • Tamaki Suoh of Ouran High School Host Club is half-French, using the romantic nature of the French to charm clients at his host club.
  • Rebecca Miyamoto in Pani Poni Dash has a Japanese mother and an American father.
    • In the manga, it was the other way around, which makes a great deal more sense, given her name.
  • Full Metal Panic!'s original light novels mention several examples of this: Kurz and Tessa are both foreigners raised in Japan, and Sousuke is ethnic Japanese raised in Russia and later Afghanistan.
    • Probably justified in that Mithrill likely picked the three of them for those characteristics.
    • Kaname is another example. She spent much of her childhood in New York and is basically America the obnoxious.
  • Lupin III, in the series of the same name; his father, Arsene Lupin, Jr., was the son of the original Arsène Lupin, main character of a famous French pulp adventure series of the late 19th and early 20th century. His mother, on the other hand, is Japanese. He encounters the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of other famous fictional (and in some cases historical) figures, and in most cases, they would have a Japanese mother or grandmother.
  • Mamori from Eyeshield 21 is quarter-American (on her mother's side). Although she is the quickest to pick up the rules and nuances of Football (faster than the rookie players), according to the manga writer, her ancestry wasn't planned to explain this. Instead, he came up with it as way to explain why such an upright/uptight character (and member of the school's disciplinary committee) had brown hair in the color art. (The blond and brown-haired boys in the cast are assumed to have dye-jobs.)
  • Death Note:
    • L is part-Japanese, although he grew up in Britain. Word of God states that he is one quarter Japanese, one quarter English, one quarter Russian, and one quarter of either French or Italian.
    • Raye Penber is also a case of this trope: mixed Japanese and American. Justified in that the CIA wanted to send someone to Japan who wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb. The artist admits to playing up the character's "foreignness" when drawing him.
  • In each of the Digimon anime, there is a token case of But Not Too Foreign.
    • Yamato and Takeru (Matt and T.K. in the dub) from Adventure and 02 are at least a quarter French. This is known because one episode in the World Tour arc features their French grandfather, Michel. Since the Digimon movie shows Yamato and Takeru visiting their grandmother in Shimane, fans have decided that it is their paternal grandmother who lives in Shimane, and their maternal grandfather in France.
      • Recent material confirms the fandom's suspicion that Michel is the boys' maternal grandfather; in a recent CD drama, Yamato and Takeru are accompanied by their father on another trip to Shimane.
    • In Tamers, Lee Jianliang and Xiaochang (Henry and Suzie Wong) and their two older siblings are half-Chinese. Jianliang's Digimon partner, Terriermon, even speaks Cantonese.
      • In the German dub, they changed that to half-Taiwanese.
    • Orimoto Izumi (Zoe), The Chick of Frontier, was born in Japan, but spent most of her formative years in Italy and often uses Italian expressions in her speech. This actually plays into her character development, however, as it has resulted in her being much more individualistic and independent than her peers.
      • In the Italian dub, they changed it so Izumi lived in the United States instead, leading her to use a lot of Gratuitous English.
    • Tohma (Thomas) H. Norstein from Savers/Data Squad is the son of a Japanese woman and an Austrian aristocrat. Implied to have been born out of wedlock, he was outright rejected by his paternal grandmother after his mother's death, and his father couldn't bring himself to oppose her. This lead to a serious rift between them.
    • Xros Wars is the first not to have a part-foreigner in the main cast, though a couple of the aforementioned ones show up at the end, notably Matt.
  • Eri Sawachika of School Rumble is referred to as a "halfie" (her father is British), which she demonstrates with her long blonde hair and occasional mangled English ("Never dream of it").
  • Yomiko Readman of Read or Die is half-British, half-Japanese.
  • In Get Backers, Midou Ban is one-quarter German; of course the German grandparent is the only one we ever meet.
  • Of the 14 people who are to decide the fate of the planet in X1999, 12 are Japanese, one is an artificial construct with the brain of a Japanese girl, and one is half-Japanese, half-generic-white. It's nice to see the rest of the Earth get a little representation.
  • The characters of Saint Seiya come all over the globe, but the main characters are all Japanese... except for Hyouga, who is half-Russian. He's blonde and blue-eyed (like his Missing Mom), has cold-based attacks some of which have Russian names, and he gets most of the (W)angst. Justified in the manga, though, where the man that put them through the Training from Hell, Mitsumasa Kido, was actually their absurdly promiscuous father, and since he was Japanese...
  • Nishikiori Michiru from Kamichama Karin is half-English, half-Japanese.
  • Michael Okita from Slam Dunk is mentioned to be half-Japanese (per father's side) and half-American. He also has blue eyes and blond hair, is bilingual and was supposed to be under the watch of the NBA. Not to mention he's quite the Genki Guy when off-duty.
  • In Cyborg 009, Joe Shimamura aka 009 is also half-Japanese (mother), half-American (father), and in the manga he was bullied because of that. So are three friends of his (Mary, Shinichi and Masaru) who are turned into killing machines against their wills by Black Ghost, so he has to fight them and kill them.).
  • Kaede Kimura from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is a blonde-haired blue-eyed otherwise-white-looking Japanese native (it's never specified whether she is of mixed ancestry or is simply descended from naturalized white migrants to Japan yes, they do exist) who has recently returned from studying abroad, and has developed a split personality based on her two nations' stereotypes. Her Japanese side is extremely polite and gentle (and in love with Itoshiki-sensei), while her foreign half is loud, obnoxious, and ready to sue her classmates at the drop of a hat.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!
    • Rich, white looking, girl Ayaka Yukihiro is also said by Fuuka Narutaki to be 'half breed', although Ayaka herself protested at being called that.
    • Negi himself might also count. His full name is Negi Springfield and he comes from Wales. His cousin Nekane has the same family name and is blonde and also his father and mother both have Japanese first names. It could be speculated that Nagi's parents were English and Japanese, which resulted in each member of the family having a Japanese first name but an English last name. But as said earlier, might is the key word here as the series has yet to end and we know nothing about the Springfield family tree.
      • And then we learn that Negi is half-Wallisian, half-MARTIAN. He's also a prince.
    • Mana is half Puerto Rican, half Japanese, and half Demon. Yes, that's three halves, although technically the last label could have come from the same parent as one of the former two.
  • Gundam:
    • Amuro Ray from Mobile Suit Gundam is arguably one of the most famous examples of this trope in all of anime, although his background rarely comes up in conversation. Mostly because his birth in Japan was only background material, likely enforced to avoid having a complete foreigner as The Hero. The further unmentioned location of his childhood home on Earth still shifts to Prince Rupert, Canada, in the movie compilation. Then shifted again to Rosarito, Mexico and specifically mentioned in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin.
    • Only Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, and the two Gundam Build Fighters series have had fully Japanese protagonists. A few of the side stories have characters with Japanese names as well, but Gundam tends to focus more on whether a character is from Earth or a Space Colony, with the specific country being irrelevant if from Earth.
    • Kira Yamato from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED has an extremely Japanese name, but his homeland is the Orb Union (a fictional South Pacific island nation). It's possible he has Japanese ancestry (his biological father's surname was "Hibiki") but it's never explored.
    • Setsuna F. Seiei from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is a subversion: that name is a codename. His real name is Soran Ibrahim, and he's Middle Eastern (suggested to be Kurdish).
  • Lemmy from To Heart is another prime example. She's half Japanese and half American. this is expressed by her having blond hair, blue eyes, being a Huge Schoolgirl, having a fairly good sized bust, her use of English (Which is not so bad she usually sticks to one word phrases or simple phrases "Good Morning" or "Fantastic".
  • Detective Conan
    • Ai Haibara a.k.a. Sherry is half-English. However, she was visibly white, and did mentioned that people with visual foreign traits like her are subjected to prejudice. Her sister, Akemi, looked more Japanese and there has been no mention of her having dealt with anything like that herself.
    • Saguru Hakuba of Magic Kaito is also half-English. He's lived in London, is one of the most famous detectives in Europe, was even introduced with the Union Flag behind him, yet is actually the son of Tokyo Metropolitan's Superintendent General.
    • The Akai siblings are British-born with a British mother, Mary. Their father's identity is unknown, but it is known that he was Japanese. Shuichi Akai is also a naturalized American citizen who joined the FBI. Their heritage isn't immediately apparent, since they all use Japanese names and two out of three are Ambiguously Brown.
  • Karen Kouzuki/Kallen Stadtfeld from Code Geass is half Japanese (mother), half Britannian (father, stepfamily). So is Rai, the main character from Lost Colors: his father was a Britannian noble and his mother was from the Sumeragi clan.
  • Ah! My Goddess:
    • Urd has no Japanese blood, but shares the insecurities/issues of many other cases of this trope because of her own mixed heritage... her mother is a demon ( the Queen of Hell to be exact).
    • Additionally, the goddesses are very culturally Japanese, particularly Yamato Nadeshiko Belldandy, and Skuld looks rather Japanese... despite their being Norse deities.
  • The rival band from NANA, TRAPNEST, often features fluently English lyrics; likely a product of half-American vocalist Layla 'Reira' Serizawa. In being signed to a label, their record company ultimately decides to hide her heritage by making her image and name more unambiguously Asian— reason being that the Japanese (and implied xenophobic) public would be more impressed with her English if she were a native.
  • Syaoran from Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- has a Chinese dad and a Japanese mom.
    • The magician Clow Reed is half English and half Chinese. It was noted that his heritage is what inspired him to combine western and eastern magic.
      • On the other hand, Clow's reincarnation Eriol Hiiragizawa is presumably half English, half Japanese.
    • Watanuki is probably also at least half Chinese, considering that he's kinda sorta bizarrely the twin brother/clone/son/something of Syaoran...look, it's complicated, okay? The fact that he bears a striking resemblance to Clow Reed supports this.
  • Sakura Yamazaki from Blue Seed may be a full-blooded Japanese miko but she was raised in America (by the CIA no less) so she's stereotypically brash and prone to spouting off exclamations in Gratuitous English.
  • Urara Kasugano of Yes! Pretty Cure 5 is half French, half Japanese. This would appear to be a Hand Wave to explain her blond hair, except that You Gotta Have Blue Hair is in effect. Amusingly, this makes her the character who matches the setting the best.
  • In the manga FAKE (set in NYC), we have Randy "Ryo" McLean, who is half-Japanese.
  • Firo Prochainezo from Baccano! (set in early 20th century America) is half-Italian (the other half being British-descended American), and identifies himself as a second-generation Italian immigrant. With the exception of Japanese-American Yalgumo, most other characters don't have their ethnicity particularly focused upon — although many of the supporting characters are decidedly not American-born simply on the basis that they're a good sixty years older than the country itself.
  • Tina Foster from Ai Yori Aoshi is an excellent example. She's an American raised in Hakata until middle school. She was unable to make friends in elementary and middle school in Japan due to her being "too American" and also in high school in America due to being "too Japanese." She covers up her feelings of being culturally lost by constantly trying to show how "Japanese" she is at heart (one of the other characters comments "You're almost more Japanese than we are!"). She desperately wants to be Japanese (and probably practically is after being raised in Japan during her formative years) and is a very tragic and lonely figure despite being a Hard-Drinking Party Girl (to the point of overt alcoholism) and overall Genki Girl and semi-lunatic. One of the most sympathetically played "Not Too Foreign" characters in anime and manga.
  • Jun, from Science Ninja Team Gatchaman is half American, half Japanese.
  • Unbalance X Unbalance, a manhwa features a British-Korean character who is a younger half sister to one of the main characters.
  • Fumio Kirisaki of the Saitama Chainsaw Shoujo is three-quarters Japanese, since her grandfather immigrated from the US. She laments the fact that she didn't seem to pick up the standard physical traits from her western heritage.
  • Gokudera Hayato from Katekyō Hitman Reborn! has a Japanese mother and an Italian father.
  • Thobari Kumohira Durandal of Nabari no Ou is, apparently, partially of Japanese heritage, but was born and raised in Ireland.
  • Remy Shimada from Go Shogun is part-French, part-Japanese.
  • Yakitate!! Japan
    • (Meister) Sylvan Kirisaki and his sister Sophie are half-French. While Meister is now the manager of the Pantasia Main Branch and a bread judge in Japan, Sophie remained in France as a baker.
    • Spencer Henry Hokou aka "Sachihoko" is an odd case. He is 100% Italian-American, but has a mentality of a dude from Nagoya. He starts to lose his Nagoya-ness once he returned to America though.
  • Suoh and Shion of Darker Than Black 2 are half-Japanese half-Russian.
  • In Soul Eater, Black Star mentions that Maka, like him, is Japanese. This would be half-Japanese in her case, as her father is Spirit Albarn. There are other Japanese characters - Tsubaki and Yumi for e.g - but much of the cast are at least suggested (mostly through names, or area they work in) to be from all over the place.
  • Momoko Asuka from Ojamajo Doremi was born in Japan, but grew up in America, causing her to speak (perfect) English when she's nervous, which renders her unintelligible to the other girls. It's also reflected in her character design, which makes her look somewhat more edgy than the other girls and her Leitmotif sounding completely different from every other song used in the series.
  • Ai Kora: Sakurako's mother is English in order to justify her having the blue eyes which Maeda so covets.
  • Though never brought up in the Durarara!! anime, Walker Yumasaki is regularly noted in the Light Novels to be biracial (half-what has yet to be elaborated upon, but it's implied to be white)
    • Idol Singer Ruri Hijiribe is also implied to have some European ancestry, probably because vampires aren't native to Japan in this 'verse.
  • Sei from Maria-sama ga Miteru apparently has some non-Japanese ancestry, but we're informed she still has "attractive Japanese features" regardless.
  • Touma from Ame Nochi Hare is a half-Japanese who speaks perfect Japanese and even claims that his proficiency in English is barely passable.
    • Makes sense, as it is revealed that he's half-French rather than from an English-speaking country.
  • In ...Virgin Love, Daigo is mixed race, with his mother being Japanese and his father American (ethnicity unspecified). In a kind of subversion the reason Kaoru takes an interest in him at all is precisely because he looks foreign (Kaoru doesn't like Japanese men at all).
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula
    • Bleed Kaga is half-Japanese and half-Spanish, and he spends time living in the United States as a field racer.
    • Aya Stanford from SIN is also one, as her father is American and her mother is Japanese. Double points for being a Military Brat, being her father is an Army serviceman.
  • Helen ESPs title character, Helen Takahara La Guido, is half-Japanese half-French.
  • Mad Bull 34 is set in 1980s New York City; viewpoint character Daizaburo "Eddie" Ban is Japanese-American, and the only thing about the series that has anything to do with Japan; That said, he's also a cowardly, ineffectual virgin.
  • Terry the Kid from Ultimate Muscle is half-American, half-Japanese, but this rarely comes up because this wasn't so that the audience could relate to him — it's just a natural extension of the fact that the American Terryman married the Japanese Natsuko after the original Kinnikuman series. Kinnikuman is actually one of the series that most proudly averts this, with main characters who are 100% British (Robin Mask), German (Brocken, Jr.), American (Terryman), Native American (Geronimo), Chinese (Ramenman), Russian (Warsman), and Spanish (Buffaloman).
  • Monster's protagonist Dr. Tenma is a German citizen, but is originally from Japan.
  • Kodaka Hasegawa in Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai can be said as a deconstruction—the prevalent racial prejudice in Japan means his half-British background, with dirty blonde hair and Asian facial features giving him a Face of a Thug, combined with a very bad first-day-at-school impression, means he's taken to be a delinquent. His doll-like and much more natural-looking younger sister Kobato has none of the issues.
  • Takane in THE iDOLM@STER is implied to be this. There are even implications that she might be from the moon.
  • Tsuritama:
    • Yuki Sanada, who has red hair through his French grandmother Kate, who he lives with. This makes him Japanese enough to mostly fit in with the crowd in-story, but still gives him a unique appearance to signify his status as a main character.
    • Akira Agarkar Yamada is also presumably part Japanese considering his name and fluency in the language.
  • Lynn Russell/Rin Midorikawa from Lady is the daughter of a Japanese woman and an English noble (a Lord, to be exact), but she spent a good portion of her first 5 years in Japan.
  • Yasutora "Chad" Sado, the only confirmed not-completely-Japanese character in Bleach, is half Japanese, half Latino. This is a little bit of Author Appeal: Tite Kubo has mentioned that he thinks Spanish stuff is cool.
  • Kiniro Mosaic: Played with: Karen Kujou is half-English, half-Japanese. However, she has almost no visibly Japanese traits (white skin, extremely blonde hair, etc.), speaks Japanese rather poorly, and her first name, Karen, happens to be a rare case of being a common female name in both the West and in Japan.
  • The main characters of Galilei Donna are, unsurprisingly, descendants of Galileo Galilei and Italian. They're also Japanese on their father's side and have Japanese given names.
  • The sisters Ayase Eli and Arisa from Love Live! are a quarter Russian.
    • Ohara Mari from Love Live! Sunshine!! . Her mother is Japanese, while her father is Italian-American. Due to her upbringing, Mari speaks with an accent and often inserts English words into her speech every few lines.
  • Vladimir from Shounen Note is a blond, blue eyed prodigious boy soprano who speaks fluent Japanese despite being Russian. How? His grandmother was Japanese.
  • Meiko "Menma" Honma from Ano Hana The Flower We Saw That Day has a Russian mother and a Japanese father. The movie reveals that Menma had no friends before meeting the rest of the Super Peace Busters, and she believed that it was because other people didn't think of her as a Japanese.
  • Lev Haiba from Haikyuu!! is half-Japanese, half-Russian, explaining his exceptional height (nearly 195cm tall at age 16).
  • Seiji Hama in Dance in the Vampire Bund is something of an inversion. He's half-Navajo on his father's side and is a retired Green Beret, but he's initially introduced as a Japanese police inspector with no indication of being anything else ethnically.
  • Kanae Von Rosewald, from Tokyo Ghoul:Re. He's German with a Japanese grandfather, though it isn't clarified whether he's half or a quarter Japanese.
  • Cinque Izumi and possibly his cousin Nanami from Dog Days are half-British (from Cornwall, to be specific), half-Japanese. Couvert is descended from Adelaide (who is implied to be French).
  • Vivienne Otori from size-shifting-magical-girl series Ultimate Girls has a Japanese father and White (possibly Russian) mother.
  • The title character of Silver Nina is the child of a Japanese mother and Finnish father. The story centers on her living in Japan with her uncle and grandparents while her mother travels for work. The "silver" in the title refers to Nina's hair.
  • Rui, Hitomi and Ai Kisugi, the three main female characters in Cat's Eye, have a German father and a Japanese mother. Only Hitomi, the middle daughter, is said to look the most European of the sisters due to her being virtually identical to their paternal grandmother. Later in the series she has to dye her hair due to the return of blonde strands in her hair.
  • In City Hunter, more than once, white girls that come to Japan for Ryo's protection are revealed to be half Japanese.
  • Hayasaka from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is a quarter Irish, though this only comes up in supplementary material (and a single line of dialogue by a background character during a mixer).
  • Kohaku and her sister Ruri clearly have foreign blood, despite the fact that they've lived in what is essentially Stone Age-Japan. Turns out this is due to them being descendants of astronauts who returned from the International Space Station.
  • Sakuya Ookouchi in Sensual Phrase is half-American and half-Japanese, having been conceived when his mother was raped by an American. His and Aine's son Shion consequently is quarter-American. The only visible signs of Sakuya's American ancestry are his blue eyes (which his girlfriend Aine initially mistakes for contact lenses when they first meet) and large, tall frame.
  • Chitoge Kirisaki, the female protagonist in Nisekoi, has a white American father and Japanese mother. Consequently, she has blonde hair and blue eyes from her father's side of the family. Raku and Chitoge's quarter-American son Haku likewise has blonde hair and blue eyes, inherited from his mother.
  • Miki Makimura and her little brother Taro (Tare in the original Devilman) are half-white and half-Japanese in DEVILMAN crybaby on account of their father Noel, who is possibly Irish on account of the Celtic artwork in their house. Miki has green eyes (inherited from her father) and brown hair, while her brother looks more Japanese. Interestingly, their's is a case of race lift, as they were fully Japanese in the original Devilman manga and anime adaptations on account of both their parents being Japanese. Having Miki and Taro be biracial siblings with a white father makes it easier for the Japanese audience to understand why the Makimuras are fairly devout Christians in a country where only one or two percent of the population is Christian.
  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear: Yukine Chris whose name is half-Japanese and half-Anglophone is half-Japanese and half-American with her father being Japanese and mother the foreign one, which is confirmed in the manga notes. She mixes some English words in her character song and even a Spanish word partly due to spending a part of her childhood in a South American county.
  • Emily and Claire of Harukana Receive both sport blonde hair, leading Haruka to assume they're English speakers. When she converses with them, however, she's surprised that they can speak Japanese.
  • Up until the release of ViVid Strike!, the protagonist for every season Lyrical Nanoha was at least tangentially Japanese despite the fact that the fact that Earth stopped being relevant after A's. Nanoha herself is 100% Japanese, and while Subaru, Vivio, and Thoma are all Human Aliens, they were all adopted (or set to be adopted in Thoma's case) into families with Japanese ancestry.
  • Roberto Hongo in Captain Tsubasa was born and raised in Brazil, but has Japanese ancestry.
  • Sakai Jefferson Kouji in Hungry Heart: Wild Striker is the son of a Japanese father and a Sweden mother. By the time the story begins, he's spent most of his life living in Europe.
  • Shokugeki no Soma:
    • Twin brothers Takumi and Isami Aldini are half-Japanese, half-Italian. They grew up in Italy working at their uncle's restaurant.
    • Alice Nakiri is half-Danish through her mother's side, and she spent quite a bit of her childhood abroad.

    Comic Books 
  • The man who became Bill Ward's World War II-era, black-clad hero Blackhawk was supposedly a Polish resistance fighter who swore revenge on the Nazis after one of them bombed his farmhouse, killing his brother and sister. But the names of those siblings were "Jack" and "Connie," respectively, which look suspiciously un-Polish. And Blackhawk himself speaks in informal American English, which you wouldn't expect a person living - and presumably born - in Poland to do. All of this could be chalked up to Translation Convention, but it's still quite odd.
  • Suki Leiber of the American manga Goofyfoot Gurl is half Japanese and half Jewish.
  • The Mandarin, one of Iron Man's most implacable foes, is half-Chinese, half-white. So is Shang Chi, Marvel's expy of Bruce Lee, whose parents are actually Fu Manchu and an American fangirl of his.
  • Daken of the Dark Avengers is half-White (Canadian, thanks to his dad being Wolverine), half-Japanese. Also Coleen Wing, the on-again-off-again partner of Misty Knight, whose father is American.
    • Wolverine is part-Blackfoot though, and Lee Wing, Colleen's father, is of mixed, partly Chinese ancestry despite his mostly white appearance.
  • Thugboy in Empowered is half-Japanese.
  • Mi-Tse Meyer, recurring half-Chinese female villain from German comic Nick Knatterton.
  • Grace Choi, a DC superheroine, is of ambiguously Asian descent on her father's name, her mother being an Bana (offshoots of the Amazons and thus presumably vaguely Grecian). Her surname suggests that her father is either of Korean or Cantonese extraction.
  • Storm, of the X-Men. The "all-new, all-different" relaunched X-Men were international, patching whatever foreign character had already appeared with some newly introduced characters, and Storm was the token African (Kenyan) with decidedly non-Kenyan features such as white hair and blue eyes. After some issues a retcon established that her mother was an east African princess (whose ancestors were white-haired, blue-eyed witches) but her father was African-American, and Storm herself was born in the US. The family moved to Egypt when she was a little girl, and promptly died when a plane hit their house and nearly crushed Storm in rubble, giving her a degree of amnesia and her famous claustrophobia. Interestingly enough, her creator said that he never really designed Storm to be a true representation of "African," but rather designed her to be more of an international woman in keeping with her status as a vaguely defined goddess of the Earth. The trend for years has been to depict her with African lips and cheekbones, European nose, and East Asian eye shape.
  • Kei Kawade, the protagonist of Monsters Unleashed, is Caucasian on his mother Deanna's side and Japanese-American on his father's side.
  • Pod/Enigma/Aikku Jokinen of The Avengers is a Norwegian national born to Finnish parents. For an added bonus, she's lesbian.
  • Miguel O'Hara, the Spider-Man of Tomorrow, is Irish-Mexican-American.
  • William Tucci's '90s bad girl Shi, is the daughter of a Japanese warrior and a female American missionary.
  • Europe Comics has the titular Isabellae. Isabellae is the daughter of a samurai and an Irish sorceress, and she journeys through Japan, cutting a bloody swathe through the country.
  • Cassandra Cain, the second Batgirl, is half white on her father's side and half Asian on her mother's side.
  • Tokyo Shinobi Squad:
    • En is from Thailand, but he was raised by his father, a shinobi, and speaks fluent Japanese (albeit with some occasional hiccups).
    • Shuriken is Half-Japanese and Half-Norwegian and is based in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

    Fan Works 
  • The Child of Love: Asuka and her daughter Teri are part German, part Japanese.
  • Evangelion 303: In this doujin set in America, Asuka is half-German half-Japanese and Mari is half-British half-Japanese. Shinji is full-blooded Japanese but he has lived in USA as long as he can remember and it feels like his home to him.
  • In Ghosts of Evangelion, Asuka's mixed ancestry is brought up when Misato and Asuka discuss why she doesn’t want to go back to Germany. Misato assures her that they cannot force her to return since she is half-American.
  • HERZ: Asuka is part American, part German and part Japanese. Ergo, her daughter Akiko is 5/8 Japanese, 1/8 German and 2/8 American as is her second daughter Sakiko.
  • How I Became Yours manages to do this with the canon characters, though it doesn't change their ethnicity. Instead, it changes cultural trappings, giving all heroic females very European-style gowns and using backgrounds that appear to come from France or Italy.
  • Alex Kane from the Dead or Alive fanfic Kunoichis Like Us is culturally Japanese, but ethnically half-French/half-American.
  • Tish Williams from Deborah Goldsmith's Ranma ½ fanfic Notes from Julliard is a tall African-American girl who spent her formative years in Japan and as a result doesn't fit in anywhere. She calls herself a "Tuna Roll" — i.e. Black on the outside, Japanese on the inside. It doesn't help that both forms of her name ("Tish" is short for "Leticia") are barely pronounceable tongue twisters for her Japanese friends.
  • There are four examples in Bill K's Sailor Moon saga to explain their hair color. First being that Usagi's and Minako's maternal grandfathers were American marines (twins at that). Haruka is Swedish from her father's side and Michiru's mother is American.
  • In A Different Kind of Truth, Johnny Joestar is a blonde-haired and blue-eyed American, as he was in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 7: Steel Ball Run. But in the story he is half-Japanese on his mother's side so that he could be Dojima's nephew.
  • The Cardcaptor Sakura fic Shadow of the Dragon has two examples:
    • Sakura and Tomoyo are revealed to be of at least 1/8th British descent, their great-grandfather Masaki Amamiya being a British immigrant to Japan.
    • In chapter 13, Rika is established as 1/4th American through her father Jyou.
  • Naomi of Despair's Last Resort is established as half-British on her fathers side in her introduction. She lived in the U.K. for most of her life, but moved with her mother to Japan three years before getting accepted into Hope's Peak.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: Asuka is half-American, a quarter German and a quarter Japanese. Her American citizenship came into play when Misato uses Asuka's USA passport to request the protection of the American army and refugee status.
  • Kilik Rung in the Soul Eater fanfic Soul Eater: Troubled Souls is half-Dominican and half-African. However, he moved to American early in life, so he's probably culturally African-American.

  • The trope codifier may be Rudolph Valentino's character in The Sheik (based on a novel, but far better known as a film). The exotic Bedouin turns out to be—whew!—100% European by blood.
  • Played for laughs in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; the eponymous hero is the inexplicably blue-eyed son of Japanese physicist, Masado Banzai, and Texan-of-Scottish ancestry, Sandra Willoughby.
  • In Kill Bill Volume 1 O-Ren Ishii is half Japanese and half Chinese-American. When she becomes head of the Yakuza, she encounters resistance from some members due to her mixed heritage.
  • Elvis Presley (who actually had some distant Cherokee ancestry) played a half-breed Indian in 1960's Flaming Star.
  • Welshman Anthony Hopkins plays a mixed-raced man who passes as white in The Human Stain. By contrast, Wentworth Miller, who played the younger version of the same character, actually is of mixed race descent.
  • Nulla in Australia is a half-Aboriginal boy, who has to deal with the Real Life issues that half-Aboriginal children had to deal with... that is, becoming part of the Stolen Generation.
  • Frank Hopkins as portrayed in Hidalgo is half-white and half Native American. It's uncertain if the real Frank Hopkins, who claimed that his mother was a Lakota, actually was, since he was known to be a pathological liar, including with the story that inspired the film.
  • Martin Pawley from The Searchers is 1/8th Cherokee (though this doesn't restrain him from fighting Comanches). His racist uncle Ethan gives him a hard time for this, but ultimately comes to respect him, in a way. Martin was fully white in the novella on which The Searchers was based, and his ancestry was tweaked in The Movie to give Ethan some Character Development.
  • Balraj in Bride and Prejudice is Indian but raised in England.
  • The titular Avatars from Avatar appear Na'Vi for the most part, but closer inspection reveals that they have smaller noses, closer-set eyes, sloping foreheads, and five fingers and toes on each limb, traits that native Na'Vi do not have.
  • The comedy film 21 And Over stars Justin Chon of Twilight fame as Jeff Chang, an Asian-American student celebrating his 21st birthday. The version shown in China turns Jeff into a Chinese student who briefly travels to America and gets "corrupted" by its decadent culture before returning to China a better person.
  • Discussed in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. On the set of The Green Hornet, a network executive is shown commenting about Bruce Lee, "He's awfully Oriental...", but producer Bill Krieger assures him nothing is wrong with Bruce, because he's merely "playing Oriental" as Kato. Regardless, the executive asks him if he can stay masked at all times, and it also prevents Bruce from starring in Kung Fu, despite helping develop it with Krieger.
  • When The Small Woman was adapted to film in 1958, the title wasn't the only thing to change. (With Ingrid Bergman playing the lead, "small woman" clearly would not work.) The lead character's real-life Chinese love interest was made half European, presumably so he could be played by a white actor to avoid offending Hollywood sensibilities.
  • Eric Sacks from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) is an American who was born in Japan.

  • Hiro Protagonist from Snow Crash gives his racial heritage as Japanese by way of Korea and Africa by way of Texas. His ethnicity, however, is stated to be "Army." Played for dark humor when he is cornered by members of "New South Africa" who debate whether to attack him because he is Asian or because he is black.
  • H. Beam Piper did this a lot in his Future History. Uller Uprising has a character named Hideyoshi O'Leary. In Four-Day Planet, the narrator remarks that:
    The amount of intermarriage that's gone on since the First Century [Atomic Era], any resemblance between people's names and their appearances is purely coincidental. Oscar Fujisawa, who looks as though his name ought to be Lief Ericsson, for example.
  • The Stars My Destination has the Secret Police agent and Master of Disguise Peter Yang-Yeovil, who can trace his ancestry back to an ancient dynasty, but looks white enough to disguise himself as an Italian at one point. Justified by the fact that since humanity learned how to teleport, race has become so blended that only one's name can indicate one's nationality.
  • Honor Harrington is Chinese-white, but she's unusual in that most people are more ethnically blended than she is. She takes more flak from having genetic engineering in her ancestry.
  • Not only is Maya Witherspoon, the Snow White analog in The Serpent's Shadow, a (female) doctor and open suffragette in Edwardian London, but her mother was a "Native" her wellborn army physician father openly married when stationed in India. Of course her late mother's Evil Twin (and to a less homicidal degree Indian society in general) was rather ticked over a pure-blooded Brahmin giving birth to a polluted half-English child.
    • Miscegenation was somewhat less inflammatory in India that it was in Britain itself, especially because "half-caste" children tended to see themselves as white anyway.
  • Kostanshoglo from Dead Souls is described being not a pure Russian, although he thinks of himself as Russian and doesn't speak foreign languages. Speculation: He may have a Turkish ancestor, since many Turkish names end in -oglu.
  • Every main character who isn't pure Chinese in Breaking The Walls can be considered this. For example Pearl Bright, leader of the current generation, is half-Chinese half-Hungarian Jew.
  • In Thieves Like Us, Ty is the daughter of a Haitian man and an American woman. While she looks Haitian and was raised in Haiti, she speaks English fluently and with a perfect American accent. This is because her father loved the sound of her mother speaking English, and, after the mother left, he forced his daughter to learn to speak the same way so he could continue to hear it.
  • The Shadowhunter Chronicles:
    • Every character of a different ethnicity who appears in The Mortal Instruments always turns out to be biracial, (usually half white). Magnus is half Dutch/half Indonesian, Aline is half Chinese/half white, Maia is half black/half white. See a trend here?
    • Both Will and Jem from The Infernal Devices. They're both half English and half Welsh and Chinesenote respectively. Will's actual name is Gwilym and Jem's actual name is Jian but their real names are only brought up once or twice in passing and for some reason both seem to prefer to be called by their "British" names.
  • Hiromi Callahan's sister, Satsuki Callahan, from Zetsubou Robo. Hiromi and her mother are of Japanese descent, while Satsuki is mixed race, since their father, Arthur Callahan, is clearly of European descent. The book implies that this kind of thing is rather common out in the colonies, where various cultures mix and intermingle, and cultural traditions from Earth are not seen as being incredibly important.
  • Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM)'s fencing teacher was one Miyamoto de Bergerac, though it's more of a Shout-Out gag rather than an insight into Imperial naming practices.
  • In Seekers of the Sky, main characters are not Russians, as opposed to many other novels by Sergey Lukyanenko, but Russian spies appear later.
  • In T.C. Rypel's Gonji series from the '80s (since been reprinted in 2012), the titular character is a samurai who's father was a Japanese oyabun while his mother was a stranded Viking. Gonji's adventures take place entirely in Europe.
  • Tazuku of Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note series is one-quarter French who hails from Arras. This is somehow unsurprising, as the part-author Hitomi Fujimoto is on record a big France Nut.
  • The Southern Reach Trilogy: The psychologist is half-Native American, Control is half Latino, and the biologist is about quarter Asian.

    Live Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Compared to the rest of Westeros, Dorne's people at large have some mix of Andal and Rhoynar blood.
  • The plot of the Kung Fu television series centered on a Shaolin Monk wandering the old west. Logically, this would require the lead to be Chinese (and there were many Chinese immigrants in America at the time the show is set). Instead, the writers specified that Caine was only Half-Chinese, and cast a white actor to play him. Reportedly, this was changed only because the network didn't feel that America was ready for an Asian lead, which was actually the producers' original intentions. Bruce Lee was supposed to be Caine.
  • Super Sentai has numerous instances of Rangers who were raised elsewhere, but the writers find a way of sneaking in that they were truly born in Japan. Sometimes, homogeny is apparently the culprit, but sometimes it seems that Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe and it won't do for a member of the Five-Man Band to be from elsewhere. Egregious examples include:
    • This goes back to the very first Super Sentai series, Himitsu Sentai Goranger with the half-Swiss/half-Japanese Peggy Matsuyama, played by half-Japanese actress Lisa Komaki. Interestingly, the female members of all 1970s Super Sentai series were all half-Japanese (J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai's Karen Mizuki and the below example); they didn't start casting full-Japanese actresses until 1980.
    • Battle Fever J was as close as Sentai gets to an international team: each Ranger had learned his or her particular fighting style in the country his or her Ranger identity was named for, but with the exception of Miss America, all were born in Japan, and even Miss America was half-Japanese (both Miss Americas, actually).
    • Choushinsei Flashman starred a team visiting from the Flash solar system, and the environment was only compatible enough for them to stay for about the length of your average sentai series... except it turns out they were kidnapped from Earth long ago.
    • The best is probably Ninja Sentai Kakuranger's Jiraiya who despite having a Japanese name was raised in the US and had only come to Japan recently as the series began. He was played by an actual Japanese-American actor, spoke perfect English (to the point where his voice notably stood out in the Roll Calls and posing) and had an American accent to his Japanese and had notably different mannerisms and personality than the Japanese characters.
    • Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger's Tetsu is a Human Alien with No Social Skills... no, wait, he's just lived offworld since a villain accidentally killed his parents. Deka also has Ban, whose only sign of an Earthen origin is a flashback to his samurai ancestor (though this time, Tokyo isn't the center of the universe: This episode, present and flashbacks, took place in Kyoto.)
    • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger: Kyoryu Black is named Ian Yorkland and is ambiguously Western, Kyoryu Pink is named Amy Yuzuki and is Japanese-American, and one episode had one of Ian's old girlfriends, Erica Stonesfield, visiting from abroad; all three are, of course, played by Japanese actors. However, Kyoryuger is also noteworthy for having the first non-Japanese Sentai Ranger: Sixth Ranger Ramirez, played by Robert Baldwin (who's ethnically Canadian but was born and raised in Japan and speaks fluent Japanese). His fellow Spirit Ranger Tessai is an odd example, being ethnically Chinese but played by a Japanese actor.
    • Shuriken Sentai Ninninger's Sixth Ranger is not just from America, but he's an extreme American stereotype; yet he still comes from a Japanese family (his name is Kinji Takigawa) and isn't fluent in English at all.
  • Power Rangers has Tommy, who is "a bit Native American"... maybe. After all his brother was simply adopted and may not himself be Native American.
    • Operation Overdrive's pink ranger Rose was shown to be living in London (working as a university lecturer) before she was recruited to the team. Her actress is British (albeit of Filipino descent), so it's probably safe to assume that the character actually is British.
  • The eponymous Kamen Rider Amazon was born in the Amazon jungle. However, it turns out that he's a Japanese who was simply abandoned in the Amazon, Tarzan-style. His Suspiciously Similar Substitute in Kamen Rider Decade is played by an actual South American, though he's still half-Japanese (specifically, Japanese-Peruvian, and he has the mixed name of Enrique Sakamoto).
  • In the Jdrama version of Hana-Kimi, Julia is meant to be an all-American blonde. Instead, she is played by the half-Japanese half-French Minami who speaks accented English.
  • In Irish television show Raw Tanya, the restaurant manageress is English. As she is married to the Irish head chef there is already a perfectly understandable reason for her to be in Ireland but the show decided to reveal she was part Irish anyway. The actress, Shelley Conn, is of Sri Lankan and British ancestry.
  • Star Trek has had plenty of principal characters who are at least partially non-human, but with some human ancestry or influence: Spock (half-vulcan, half-human), Troi (half-human, half-betazed), Worf (fully Klingon, raised by humans), Data (android designed to mimic humans), B'Elanna Torres (half-Klingon, half-human), and Seven of Nine (Borg with most of her humanity restored).
  • Almost no Vietnamese character in China Beach is played by a Vietnamese actor. The bar didn't extend to the rest of Southeast Asia: in one episode, Cambodian Haing Ngor plays a character who is explicitly written as Cambodian. The recurring character Mai is plays by Hawaiian actress Elizabeth Lindsey. In the season four episode "The Quest", Colleen McMurphy goes to visit her old Vietnam buddy Dodger and his half-Vietnamese son. The son is played by a young, obviously all-white Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In the son's next appearance, he's older and being played by an actual Asian actor. In all cases, Vietnamese characters speak strongly accented, but otherwise fluent and idiomatic, English.
  • In 24, the suicide bomber in Day 8 is half-Middle Eastern (in this case, his father is from Kamistan who married an American woman).
  • Abed and Annie in Community, who originally identified themselves as, respectively, Muslim and Jewish, were each revealed to have one Christian parent, making them both just Christian enough to participate in the annual Christmas episode without creating any inconvenient complications (though it's not unheard of for a non-Christian to celebrate the holiday socially).
  • Invoked by Mr. Gus from True Blood. He's Japanese and runs the North American branch of the Yokonomo Corporation (the company that makes TruBlood). The headquarters are in Dallas, and he dresses and talks like a billionaire cowboy to make himself more "approachable" to the Texans he does business with, almost to a patronizing degree. However, the actor playing him is American in real life.
  • With the possible exception of Pete Evans, none of the judges in My Kitchen Rules are Australian locals, although they presumably have citizenship. Manu Feildel hails from France, Colin Fassnidge from Ireland, while Guy Grossi, Liz Egan and Karen Martini are part-Italians. A lot of the contestants come from varying nationalities and ethnic backgrounds as well.
  • Quantico protagonist Alex Parrish is half-Indian, half-white (though she's played by a fully Indian actress formerly of Bollywood, Priyanka Chopra).
  • In Tyrant, protagonist Bassam Al-Fayeed, supposedly a native of the fictional country of Abbudin, is played by white British actor Adam Rayner. His obvious white features are explained as a result of his mother being a British woman.
  • Banshee: Fat Au, despite having an Asian sounding name and being backed by the Triads, is a large African-American man.

     Professional Wrestling 
  • Pro wrestling tends to subvert this as most wrestlers are announced as being from their actual current home towns unless it is part of their gimmick in which case they are usually North Americans using a Fake Nationality (for example Roddy Piper was announced as being from Glasgow, Scotland despite the fact he was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada but with Scottish ancestry). Granted, this can cause confutation and accusations of this if one of them decides to use their actual home town instead of a fake one.
  • The Legendary 80’s French Canadian tag team The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers played this trope for Heel Heat, while they were announced as being from their current home town of Memphis, Tennessee, start USA chants, and carried American flags. However they would often speak Québecois French and would say backhanded compliments about their new home country. Their theme song, All American Boys, proclaimed they loved being white bread preppy Barry Manilow fans. However, there was also a French portion of their song where they admitted that they were not being sincere and only acted that way because they knew it made the fans angry
  • Inverted with Santino Marella. In Real Life, his name is Anthony Carelli, and he's a Canadian with Sicilian heritage. However, he made his debut during a European tour in Milan, implying he was a native Italian and winning the Intercontinental Championship as a plant in the crowd, and was called "The Milan Miracle" for a while after that. This is one interesting case where WWE went out of their way to make him more foreign than he already was.
  • WWE caught some flak a couple of years changing some of the "Face" Canadian wrestlers hometowns. When they are announced to the ring, they're usually stated hailing to where they reside now in the U.S. as opposed to Canada.
  • Released wrestler James Yun (A.K.A. Jimmy Wang Yang) is half-Korean and half white American. His first gimmick in the WWE was a Japanese bodyguard with mafia ties and he was a heel. His Heel–Face Turn came when he downplayed his Korean side and embraced his "redneck" ties (albeit Chinese-American redneck ties!). His attire changed from simple black pants to a wifebeater, cowboy hat, blue jeans and Confederate Flag emblems. (Interestingly, the Real Life persona of Yun is very close to that of Wang Yang, as it combines a fondness for "traditional" American culture with The Theme Park Version of the Far East.)
  • Inverted with Gail Kim during her run in WWE around 2004-ish where she was billed as being from Korea when she was born and raised in Toronto (but with Korean ancestry).
  • Trish Stratus is Canadian of Greco-Polish descent. WWE just said that she was Canadian, although some fans have referred to her as a "Greek goddess."

  • In New Dynamic English's Functioning in Business, Gary Engleton is half-American half-Korean, being able to speak Korean fluently, much to Elizabeth's surprise.

     Religion and Mythology 
  • Classical Mythology has quite a few, not surprising considering that ancient Greeks were great explorers and frequently got in contact with other civilizations, especially those located in the Near East. This only lists those who were explicitly stated as coming from outside the Hellenistic world; Thrace and Troy don't count.
    • Perseus (Greek) and Andromeda (Ethiopian) married and had several children who carried on a long, long lineage of royalty and heroes who had Ethiopian blood somewhere in their ancestry, including: Hercules/Herakles, his nephew and companion Iolaus, their enemy Eurystheus, Odysseus' wife Penelope...
    • King Minos of Crete was a son of the Greek god Zeus and the Phoenician princess Europa. All of his descendants were thus also part-Phoenician.
    • Europa's brother, Cadmus, too, who became the first King of Thebes and later married the Greek goddess Harmonia and produced a long lineage of Theban kings. His children also included Semele, the mortal mother of the Olympian god Dionysus, which meant that a freaking Olympian god had a foreigner as a grandfather.
    • Jason's Ax-Crazy girlfriend, Medea, and her brothers, were half-Greek from their father Aeëtes and half-Georgian from Aeëtes' divine Georgian consorts (Georgia as in the country in the Caucasus, not the US state. Also it wasn't called Georgia back in the day, but Colchis).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Vampire: The Requiem uses this trope as a plot point. The character Emily Eupraxus Washington was inducted into the ancient Roman Eupraxus bloodline, who are treated as the figureheads of the Invictus Covenant. Emily's half-Japanese, and is portrayed as an ineffectual ruler and moe blob. The plot is that the elder Invictus are largely racist feudal Europeans, but they dare not act against their crown jewel. The younger Invictus, on the other hand, love Emily because her combined lineage and bloodline show that the Invictus is capable of adapting to the modern world. Allegedly, the Japanese ancestry also pleases a large part of the fan base.

    Video Games 
  • Aya Brea of Parasite Eve fame is half-Japanese, half-European, and has both in her appearance: she has Asian facial features as well as blonde hair and blue eyes.
  • Resident Evil has a few examples:
    • Jill Valentine is half-French, half-Japanese, her mother being of Japanese descent.
    • Jake Muller of Resident Evil 6 is half-American, half-Eastern European.
  • Sly Cooper is American, and has roots in England, Japan, Egypt, Arabia, Scotland, Germany, and quite possibly more.
  • Ken Masters, the second half of the Street Fighter series' leading duo, is a martial arts master who is 3/4 Japanese and 1/4 American (he was purely Japanese in SF I, but was retconned in SF II).
    • Ken's student, Sean from Street Fighter III and his elder sister Laura from Street Fighter V, is half-Japanese, half-Brazilian.
    • Ken's name is also a case, being a legitimate name in both English and Japanese.
    • Ken's wife Eliza is fully American. As a result, their son Mel is 5/8 American and 3/8 Japanese.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time has protagonist Fayt Leingod and his childhood friend Sophia Esteed as half Japanese. Their mothers Ryoko and Kyoko (respectively) were also close friends before they were born. Since the developer is Japanese, which half is considered foreign depends on which side of the Pacific the player is on.
  • Yuri Volte Hyuga, the hero of the first two Shadow Hearts games, is the son of a Japanese army officer and a Russian émigré (Okay, actually German, but that's a long story). In the English translation, he he has a Russian name (in the original, he's "Urmnaf Bort Hyuga," which is just Foreign-Sounding Gibberish). Note that "Yuri" is not a multiracial name for a man, as it's only used as a female name in Japan.
  • Shu Shirakawa in Super Robot Wars is half Japanese, half La Gias... okay, the latter may not be so much a nation but another world, but most of them are so identical with humans it's like 'just another nation'.
    • Several other characters are like this. The Braunstein brothers are both 1/4 Japanese. We never hear much about Yuuki Jagger's background, but just from his name you can tell it's probably the case. Sanger Somvold is not ethnically Japanese at all, but seems to be intended to embody the concept of Yamato Damacy anyway (unlike aspiring Kid Samurai Bullet).
  • Masami von Weisegger, main protagonist of Ring Of Red was a... you guessed it, half-Japanese, half-German ace AFW pilot.
  • Hitomi of the Dead or Alive fighting game series fits this trope well, complete with Japanese and German parentage. Interestingly, though, her features are more western in comparison to her very Japanese name.
    • As does Kokoro, one of Fame Douglas's illegitimate daughters, with Japanese and American ancestry for your brawling pleasure. Helena is also half-French, half-American.
  • Tekken:
    • Lee Chaolan was born in China and is ethnically Chinese, but was raised and officially identifies as Japanese.
    • Michelle Chang is half-Chinese, half-Native American
    • Lars Alexandersson is half Japanese (from Heihachi's side), half Swedish.
  • Trauma Center is a twisty little thing, but here we go: in the Japanese version, the main (Derek) storyline is set in Japan. Blue-eyed blonde Angie, from that cast, is part German, though this was just for colour/this trope until Trauma Center 2 made a retcon, specifically that the "sinners" (people who are attuned enough to GUILT to help breed it, which includes Angie) were descendants of Adam, the main villain, and the main branch of Adam's family lives in Germany. Never mind the fact that another sinner in that very game is from Central or South America.
    • That (them being from South America) actually makes sense, mind you.
  • Sylvia Christel from No More Heroes is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed half-Japanese, half-Ukrainian bombshell raised in France but United States resident. This is evidenced solely by her French accent and a single random card that can only found in a New Game+ . It's pretty mundane compared to the rest of the game.
    • To add a bit of Frenchness, her name, quite fittingly for such a sexy and seductive character, is also a shout out to the French classic "Emmanuelle" whose part was played by actress...Sylvia Kristel.
  • Originally, Solid Snake from Metal Gear was an American of mixed Japanese-British heritage and later revised to a Caucasian American with some Japanese ancestry in Metal Gear Solid (despite his revised origin as a Big Boss clone in the game). In Metal Gear Solid 4, it is explained that although EVA/Big Mama was Solid Snake's surrogate/birth mother, the egg came from a Japanese woman.
    • Metal Gear Solid as a series does this constantly. Characters from different countries are almost always half-Japanese or half-American. Revolver Ocelot is half-American/half-Russian, EVA is half-American/half-Chinese, Kazuhira Miller is half-Japanese/half-American, and Naomi Hunter claims to have a Japanese grandfather (though this is revealed to be a lie). Because of his last name, it can be assumed that Johnny Sasaki is also half-Japanese/half-American. With the half-American characters, this is clearly a case of But Not Too Foreign so that the characters can be drawn with white features.
      • The case with EVA may be more ambiguous. All that's known is she was born in Idaho, she was then inducted into the Chinese branch of the Philosophers. Unlike the other cases, no mention is made of her parentage.
    • In a more subtle example, Hal "Otacon" Emmerich is an American with a German-Jewish surname, but he's obsessed with Japanese culture. However, both have British heritage from their mothers’ sides.
    • Raiden was born in Liberia (and thus technically Liberian, or African-American), but he's clearly of European descent, and he speaks with a flawless American accent.
    • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Mistral is half-Algerian/half-French, while Jetstream Sam is Brazilian with Japanese ancestry.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 2 gives us Lisa Silverman, who is ethnically white but culturally Japanese, having been raised there since birth by a pair of incredibly Japanophile parents. According to a guidebook, said parents are naturalized citizens that immigrated from the United States. Her folks do their damnest to blend in (her mother acts like a stereotypical Japanese lady and dropped her birth name for a Japanese one, while her father practices akido and is prickly about his ethnicity), and while Lisa also tries to do the same, her Shadow implies that isn't necessarily what she wants. Her parents' love of the country is so immense that her father, a minister of trade, can speak English, but has never spoken or taught it to his daughter.
    • Persona 5 deconstructs the trope: Ann Takamaki is ethnically mostly Japanese, as were her parents, but she is subjected to extreme ostracism and Slut-Shaming because of the blonde hair, blue eyes and decidedly "white" facial features she inherited from an American grandparent. Her appearance also attracts the attention of her school's predatory volleyball coach, who uses her best friend's starting position as leverage to force Ann into having sex with him, and then rapes her friend when she refuses.
  • Final Fantasy X gives us Yuna, a Fantasy example of this trope. Her father's a Spiran, but her mother's an Al Bhed.
  • Far Cry 4's Ajay Ghale spends much of his waking life living in the US and only moves back to his birthplace of Kyrat at the very start of the game. Pagan Min also qualifies to an extent, being that he hailed from Hong Kong and is supposedly half-British ancestrally.
  • Sci-Fi example. Colonel Hakha from Killzone is half-Vektan, half-Helghast.
  • Ashley Mizuki Robbins of Another Code. Her mother was Japanese, and her father is either British or American, depending on what version you're playing.
  • Many of the most popular characters in the Sakura Wars series are at least half-Japanese, although they're otherwise from all over the place. Maria is Japanese/Russian, Orihime is Japanese/Italian, Hanabi is Japanese/French (though she looks more Japanese than at least half the full Japanese characters in the series)...
    • In Hanabi's case, the reason is a little different than usual for this trope: Sakura Wars 3 takes place in France, so her mixed heritage is used to explain why a teenage Japanese girl would be living in France.
  • Half-Life 2 has Alyx Vance, half black, half indeterminate Asian. In this case, it was probably just a reference to her voice actress, whose father was a black and mother was Japanese/Korean.
  • Another fantasy example: in Dragon Age: Origins, there are only two sympathetic and badass Orlesian characters - Leliana and Riordan. Both are actually from Ferelden, but were raised in Orlais. Everyone actually from Orlais is morally dubious, cowardly, or otherwise causes problems for the player.
    • Similarly, there's Fiona and Duncan, who we find is a Fereldan in Orlais in the books. The former was a slave sold to an Orlesian noble.
    • Aveline of Dragon Age II, who's also sympathetic and badass, is actually the reverse; she's ethnically Orlesian and raised in Ferelden.
  • Assassin's Creed III has a rare western example. The main character, Connor Kenway (birth name is Ratohnhaké:ton) is half Native American (more specifically, he is part of the Mohawk tribe), half British. Achilles (who is black) tells him that with his features and complexion, he can pass off as a Mediterranean to make his dealings with the Colonial Americans easier.
    Achilles: "Better a Spaniard than a native... and far better than me."
  • In Syndicate (2012), the enemy Agent Tatsuo's surname is Hamilton.
  • Wei Shen, the protagonist of Sleeping Dogs is a Hong Kong native who spent his adolescence and young adulthood living in California, which is why he has an American accent when he returns to Hong Kong to infiltrate the triads.
  • Roberto Frois of Onimusha is half-Spanish, half-Japanese.
  • Sam Nishimura of Tomb Raider (2013) is a half-Japanese, half-Portuguese American.
  • Soul Series:
    • Setsuka is a European who as a child ended up lost in Japan without her parents. As a result, she was adopted and was raised Japanese.
    • Arthur is British of origin, but as a boy joined the crew of a merchant ship and was eventually "adopted" by a wealthy Japanese merchant who liked exotic stuff. He'd be raised in Japan the remaining of his life, and only returned to Europe in his 30's as part of his search of the cursed sword.
    • Isabella "Ivy" Valentine has Spanish heritage via her birth father Cervantes, but was born and raised English.
  • Strider Hiryu appears to be this: he's styled as being Japanese and even speaks the language in the first game (where every character speaks his/her native tongue), yet according to official sources, he was born in a village in eastern Siberia. The manga does sort of imply he was raised by the Striders' director, a Japanese man, however.
  • A fictional example in Dishonored 2. Emily Kaldwin is the rightful empress of Gristol, but her father Corvo Attano hails from the island of Serkonos. For real life reference, this would be like if the Princess of England was half-Italian.
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE has Eleonora Yumizuru, who's half-japanese and half-scandanavian.note  Although she's apparently lived her whole life in japan, she's regularly treated as an outsider. She dreams of becoming a Hollywood actress because she feels it will lead to people judging her fore something other than looking different.

    Visual Novels 
  • Lilly Satou and her big sister Akira from Katawa Shoujo are half-Scottish, half-Japanese. Word of God says that Lilly looks completely white.
  • Eris from Sono Hanabira Ni Kuchizuke Wo had a Japanese father and a Western mother. Her half-Japanese ancestry gives her a reason to transfer to a Japanese school from overseas and learn more about the culture.
  • Fate/stay night has Illya, who has a Japanese dad and a German mom. Well, her mom is a homunculus but is genetically German.
    • This extends to Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA, where (a much nicer and much more normal) Illya is the protagonist, as well as her clone/other side, Chloe, who is Illya's repressed memories given form and looks basicly like a Palette Swap (Illya is very pale, with blonde hair and red eyes, Chloe is Ambiguously Brown, her hair is lavender and her eyes are more orange).
  • Ciel/Elesia from Tsukihime has a French father and an Oriental mother (exact ethnicity is unknown).
  • Stella in Kara no Shoujo is a justified example because for the period that the VN is set in (mid 50s Japan) it wouldn't make much sense for a fully foreign girl to be there. It also features heavily into her character when the story reveals more about her.
  • Kudryavka from Little Busters!! is three-quarters Russian, one-quarter Japanese.
  • Sayo Yasuda, also known as Shannon, Kanon and Beatrice from Umineko: When They Cry, who is about three quarters Japanese and one quarter Italian. This is because Kinzo fell in love with an Italian woman, Beatrice Castiglioni, and they later produced a half-Japanese, half-Italian daughter, Beatrice II. Unfortunately Beatrice Castiglioni's Death by Childbirth caused Kinzo to go mad with grief and eventually rape his daughter while deluding himself into thinking she was her mother's reincarnation. Beatrice II became pregnant as a result, later giving birth to the child who would eventually be known as Yasu/Beatrice.
  • Rose Guns Days has, rather ironically, the protagonist Rose, who is half-Japanese, half-Greek. Ironic because, by Japanese standards (especially in WWII Japan), she would probably have been considered a foreigner in Real Life.
    • In the American military, Phillip Butler and Gabriel Kaburaya are both half-American and half-Japanese — the latter actually benefited from it to some extent, as the higher-ups wanted to promote an officier of Japanese descent to create a pretty success story and counter accusations of anti-Japanese racism.
  • Shin Kuroi from Morenatsu is half-Japanese, half-French, and not being "Japanese" enough is actually an important part of his characterization.
  • No, Thank You!!!: Maki, the blond who hangs out in the expat community, is a quarter Japanese on his dad's side, and was born in Japan.
  • Chiara, the Ambiguously Brown aide to JB in Grisaia no Rakuen, is apparently a weird mixture of African and Japanese descent, though she looks like neither.

    Web Comics 
  • Ash from Blood Splattered Socks is half American, which counts as foreign for the Australian setting.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Tedd is part Japanese through his mother and ostensibly part white, since his cousin Nanase's family is Japanese.
  • Played straight with Saki from Frivolesque, who is half Japanese, half Canadian. People usually call her a "Japanese girl" even though she isn't culturally Japanese because of her habit of fighting with a Katana or wearing schoolgirl uniforms. Lampshaded by Japanophile Marie-Neige who refuses to acknowledge Saki as such.
  • Soo from Long Term Roomies is 1/4 American and 3/4 Arab (though exactly where is never clarified). Her name works in both cultures because Americans assume it's spelled 'Sue' and her family know its short for Sooraya.
  • Sandra and Woo has Cloud and Yuna, who are 1/2 American and 1/2 Burmese (their mother being a former Child Soldier that emigrated to the US).

    Web Original 
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: Mackenzie Zales is half-Korean and half-White, but unlike her mother, hints of her Asian side only pop up just a few times throughout the series.

    Western Animation 
  • In American Dragon: Jake Long, Jake Long has a white dad and Chinese mom. Bonus points for the ambiguity and Bilingual Bonus of his last name since Long can be both a perfectly workable surname for both Anglo-Saxons and Chinese, and means "dragon" in the latter.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, Abigail and Cree Lincoln (mom is apparently of French ancestry) come to mind. (It's possible that her mother's nationality was French, or her family is originally from France, though.)
  • Isabella Garcia-Shapiro from Phineas and Ferb is supposed to be Mexican Jewish, but aside from in a handful of episodes, you'd barely be able to tell.
  • The Batman version of Mercy Graves is reportedly this. Perhaps it's because of the casting of a Singaporean Chinese.
  • In Hey Arnold! Phoebe has a Japanese dad and a white mom. Her father as well because while he looks ethnically Japanese, his last name, Heyerdahl, certainly isn't.
  • In an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, Babs attempts to pass as human and get cast in a 90210-clone. She gives her name as Babs Bunnawalskioversmith. The casting director comments, "Ooo, good, ethnic — but not too."
  • In Atomic Betty, The titular character's mother and grandfather is Kazakh due to the fact that her grandfather looks Kazakh.


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