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  • Choujin Sensen have two characters based on real life political figures: Kabe Seizou (Abe Shinzo) and Hillary Easton (Hillary Clinton).
  • Fist of the North Star
    • Kenshiro has traits drawn from Mel Gibson, Bruce Lee, and Sylvester Stallone.
    • For the first half of the series, only a few characters had explicit celebrity resemblance (The Toki-impostor, Amiba, was very clearly Christopher Lambert, while Toki himself was equally obviously Jesus except with face-melting martial arts skills), though there were more than a handful of characters who were spiritual composites of several famous figures, similar to Ken.
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    • In the second series, quite a few characters were overtly modeled after well-known pop-icons at the time, with characters resembling Dolph Lundgren (Falco), Freddie Mercury (Han), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Solia), Road Warriors Hawk and Animal (the Harn Brothers), and many more.
  • Mercenary Tao in Dragon Ball is a dead ringer for Sean Connery in Zardoz... sans the red panties.
  • In Honey and Clover, the side character "Peter Lucas", who directs the film on which Morita and helps him steal back his father's company, is an obvious parody of director George Lucas.
  • Berserk:
    • Guts' face was initially based on the likeness of Rutger Hauer.
    • Emperor Ganishka of the Kushan Empire is based on... Emperor Kanishka of the Kushan Empire!
    • Emperor Gaiseric, the legendary founder of The Kingdom of Midland is based of Charlemange and the Gothic king Geiseric.
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  • Black Cat features a villainous Bruce Willis lookalike (with a scar and stubble) in chapter 45 of the manga.
  • One Piece has several examples. Jango from the Captain Kuro arc is obviously the late Michael Jackson. The Admirals Aokiji, Kizaru, and Akainu were based on Japanese actors (Yusaku Matsuda, Kunie Tanaka, and Bunta Sugawara respectively). Franky is Ace Ventura with Popeye's arms and addiction to Coke (or whatever Coca-Cola equivalent they have in the OP world). Brook (when he was alive) looks suspiciously like Slash. And many more.
    • Psycho Electro Eneru is allegedly based on Eminem, of whom Oda is a fan.
    • Not to mention Spandam, who bears a remarkable similarity to Mick Foley during his "Mankind" days in the WWE.
    • There's also Ivankov, who's basically Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
    • Jango is actually two celebrities in one—his mannerisms are clearly based on Michael Jackson, but if one looks closely, his face actually better resembles Steven Tyler than it does Jackson (minus, of course, the heart-shaped eyes, as revealed in a manga omake).
    • It goes on. Word of God says that Franky is based off Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura. Each of the Three Admirals is based off a famous Japanese actor known for playing gangsters. Trafalgar Law looks like The Pickup Artist of all people. It's practically a Running Gag at this point.
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    • Vice-Admiral Garp's right hand man is based off Humphrey Bogart. He's even called Bogart.
    • Sanji's appearance is based off of Steve Buscemi as he appears in Reservoir Dogs, according to Word of God.
  • Unlike the Japanese original, the dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX mines celebrity impersonations for all they're worth, especially for Duel Spirits. Neo-Spacian Ground Mole is Art Carney; the Ojama Trio (Green, Yellow and Black) are an approximation of the Three Stooges, Crystal Beast Emerald Turtle is essentially a really poor Woody Allen, and Crystal Beast Amber Mammoth is possibly the worst Arnold Schwarzenegger the world has ever heard.
    • On the subject of Crystal Beasts, does anyone else think that the Topaz Tiger is a feeble Sean Connery?
      • Pretty much all of the Crystal Beasts were based on famous movie celebrities (Sapphire Pegasus seems to be channelling Mister Ed, Cobalt Eagle says at one point "Missed it by that much" and Amethyst Cat is Julie Newmar).
    • It's present in the original series, too. Pegasus' love of Toon monsters is easily explained when you consider that his favorite movie (in this case, "dub" or not) appears to be Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (Check out his email avatar sometime!)
      • It was a fictional cartoon called "Funny Bunny" (in the "dub") where the main character was supposed to be an Expy of Bugs Bunny, but same idea. Indeed, the name given to "Funny Bunny"'s rival is referred to (again, by 4Kids) as "Ruff Gruff McDog", a name clearly based on McGruff the Crime Dog.
    • Doctor "Stein", the incredibly boring teacher/villain in one episode of the series. "Jaden?note  Mueller? Mueller? Mueller?"
    • Duel Scientist Eisenstein, who even gets Einstein's classic tongue sticking out poster. Yes, Einstein has apparently devoted himself to card games in this universe. The funny part is that there was a famous mathematician named Eisenstein in real life.
  • If you wanna see impressions mined for all they're worth, check out the English dubs of all the Digimon series. Many of the various non-main Digimon are meant to sound like celebrities from the heyday of the voice actors' childhoods. Just two examples: Digitamamon is Peter Lorre (yes, Lorre again). Etemon is Elvis. There're more.
    • Two other noteworthy examples are Impmon, who sounds exactly like Joe Pesci, and Piedmon, who is made to sound like a higher-pitched Tim Curry. Incidentally, both are voiced by Derek Stephen Prince.
    • One fan actually compiled a LIST of all of them. About 24 total.
  • Another dub (specifically, 4Kids) example: an episode of Pokémon featured Dr. Quackenpoker, who was such a blatant Groucho Marx parody that the original animators were in on the joke too, because he even looked the part. Not to mention an early recurring character named Speilbunk, a very self-congratulatory film director.
  • In Blood+, two American political leaders are based on Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleeza Rice.
  • Kaito and Gackto of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch are both drawn from famous male J-artists, their names being the biggest clue.
  • Cromartie High School has Freddie, who may or may not be the same Mr. Mercury who sang in Queen (at least, if his mannerisms are any indication).
  • One minor character in Monster is a serial killer named Peter Jürgens with a severe Freudian Excuse, whom Johan manipulated into killing one set of his foster parents. Jürgens is a dead ringer for real-life serial killer Edmund Kemper, who also had rather grievous parental issues (his mother was one of his last victims).
  • Japan periodically has scheduled blackouts to conserve electricity. One chapter of Sgt. Frog has this, but has the Tokyo Electric Company portrayed as The Bridge, complete with Bridge Bunnies and the director dressed up as The Captain, spouting stock lines from military anime. The disclaimer at the bottom reads:
    "This story is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons or organizations is purely coincidental. And I doubt the Chief of Electricity has such a fancy costume in reality."
    • Another manga chapter involves Keroro and Tamama spying on manga writers, and features a cameo by what can be assumed to be the spirit of the late, great Osamu Tezuka (we don't see his face, but one can make out his trademark pipe and beret, and he kicks over a Gourd-Patch pig as he departs).
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
    • In a flashback, Will Zeppeli looked more than a bit like Sylvester Stallone.
    • And in Steel Ball Run, Johnny bears an uncanny physical resemblance to Axl Rose, as seen here.
    • Yoshikage Kira looks and dresses like David Bowie. His first appearance particularly brings to mind Bowie's "Serious Moonlight" look.
  • Several of the villains in Nerima Daikon Brothers are based on celebrities, including an alien based on a popular Japanese psychic, a thinly veiled parody of Michael Jackson (including a nose that's always falling off, an outfit based on Peter Pan, and a group of mummy villains that do a dance similar to the famous Thriller video), and Japan's prime minister at the time.
  • The manga Eagle: The Making of an Asian-American President, set in a fictionalized version of the 2000 U.S. Presidential race, prominently features incumbent Vice President Al Noah, along with the ambitious First Lady "Ellery", along with her unnamed-yet-familiar-looking husband.
  • Air Gear had U.S. Presidential candidate "John Omaha", an ersatz Barack Obama, appear in one story. Omaha has reappeared in a storyline as President-Elect, where he somehow ended up switching minds with Emily. Did we mention that he's an expert skater?
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya! gives King Dedede (a fat blue penguin) a slightly off voice and mannerisms that obviously intends to evoke Foghorn Leghorn, with occasional lines made to sound like things George W. Bush might say. His minion Escargoon is basically Paul Lynde, which is even funnier when you realize that Escargoon is in fact gay.
    • Non-dub example, one episode spoofed the Harry Potter craze and an ersatz of J. K. Rowling appeared in Cappy Town due to it.
  • In episode 2 of the Pretty Sammy OAV, Standardsoft chairman Bif Standard is a parody of Microsoft chairman Bill Gates.
  • The author of Space Adventure Cobra admitted that Cobra's character design was largely based on French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, who specialized during the 70's in tough, charming and witty roles.
  • In Street Fighter II V, Nash's appearance doesn't look like the games (the show was made before Street Fighter Alpha); instead, he holds a likeness with the French actor Jean Reno.
  • The U.S. President in the Read or Die OVA was "Dubya" flanderized to the point of insanity and pants-wetting.
  • One of Sakuragi's friends - the one with the mustache - has the voice, Catch Phrases and the look of deposed (and as of May 2010 running again for) President Joseph Estrada in the Slam Dunk! Filipino dub.
  • In Shaman King, Anna is shown to be a fan of a female rocker named "Awaya Ringo."
  • In the classic seventies shoujo manga From Eroica with Love, main character Dorian Red Gloria and three of his henchmen are physically modeled after the members of Led Zeppelin. (In fact, the henchmen are all named after band members: James (Jimmy Page), Bonham (John Bonham) and John Paul (John Paul Jones.) Leaving, of course, Robert Plant as Dorian.)
  • This happens all throughout Cowboy Bebop:
  • Ergo Proxy: The Great Amy Lee Debacle. The secondary main-character of Ergo Proxy, Re-l Mayer, is the spitting image of Evanescence's vocalist, Amy Lee. It is unclear if it was actually intended or not, but many fans agree the startling similarity is just too much to be coincidental.
  • Many of the characters in BECK are based on actual musicians. Chiba, the punk/rap vocalist for BECK, is based in attitude, style, and appearance on Zack de la Rocha. While Taira, the bassist, possesses much of the style and mannerisms of Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers (who just happen to be the creator's favorite band.)
  • In the dub of Naruto, Might Guy sounds only a little bit like Elvis sometimes, but it's just enough to make you wonder...
    • Gai sounds like Elvis in the dub? I want you guys to see and hear Chikara. Even Word of God says it: His appearance is similar to many Elvis impersonators. Particularly those that impersonate Elvis's Las Vegas years, when he put on a great deal of weight. In the English dub, his voice is based on Elvis Presley.
    • Killer Bee was supposedly inspired by the Wu-Tang Clan.
  • In the Samurai Pizza Cats, The Big Cheese's dub voice is obviously Paul Lynde like Escargoon in Kirby, it's made funnier by Big Cheese's more than questionable lifestyle.
  • Noritaka. Its final arc, and arguably the worst one, features a streetfighting contest, and the main character will confront Sting, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger and some more celebrities. They're called by their names, with little or no variations (e.g., Sting is a Police man...)
  • Tiger & Bunny has a number of characters who look suspiciously like known actors or other noteworthy individuals, some of whom have affiliations with superhero movies. Examples include Ben Jackson (Forest Whitaker), Karina's teacher (Steven Spielberg), Karina's manager (Robert Downey Jr.), and the Mayor (Barack Obama). Barnaby's father very intentionally looks like Batman -era Michael Keaton. Barnaby's nanny is Robin Williams from Mrs. Doubtfire. Antonio is based on his namesake Antonio Banderas and Nathan on RuPaul.
  • Yakitate!! Japan has a recurring gag character called "Kid" that bears a remarkable resemblance to none other than Brad Pitt. However, unlike Brad, Kid isn't just a movie star - he works in just about every industry under the sun including being a masseuse, thief, lawyer, and CEO to name a few.
  • The 2008-2009 Yatterman series features "cameos" from all sorts of American names, including Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, and Jack Bauer.
  • Afganisu Tan is pretty much an exact replica of "Afghan Girl" from the famous National Geographic cover.
  • D-Frag! has teacher Shawn Conecone, who's Sean Connery as Indiana Jones.
  • In Animal Land, Llama Akiko is an obvious parody of Wada Akiko, a famous Japanese singer and actress.
  • Fairy Tail: Ichiya Vandalay Kotobuki seems to resemble a deformed version of Dustin Hoffman, with his powers being a reference to Hoffman's role in The Perfume.
  • In the The Mexican Spanish dub of Captain Tsubasa Road to 2002, the announcer, at least in the later episodes, sounds a lot like the famous Mexican sports announcer Enrique "El Pelon" Bermudez, complete with his famous trademark way to describing the matches.
    • And about Captain Tsubasa, several professional players in the series shown are pretty much expies for famous real ones, only with their names slightly changed to avoid personal image copyright conflicts. For example, Rivaldo + Raul = Rivaul.
  • Kind of a special case in Hajime no Ippo, since there's no representations of famous boxers here (or at least existent ones), but there're various real techniques that are represented in the series and it even mentioned real boxers who made them.
  • In Slam Dunk, all uniforms are representations of real NBA teams, starting with Shohoku, a Shout-Out of Chicago Bulls. Also, because of this, some characters are compared to real players, like Hanamichi Sakuragi with Dennis Rodman (because of his red hair).
  • The Protagonist of Grappler Baki, Baki Hanma, is based on Japanese MMA fighter Kazushi Sakuraba.
  • Yuri!!! on Ice bases many of its characters off real-life skaters:
    • Yuri Katsuki's career history is a massive reference to Tastuki Machida. In terms of appearance, without his glasses on, he looks like Yuzuru Hanyu.
    • Victor Nikiforov is based on Evgeni Plushenko in terms of his career. However, his looks were based on actor John Cameron Mitchell, which was inspired after original character designer Mitsurou Kubo saw him in a performance of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
    • Yuri Plisetsky is a Gender Flip of Yulia Lipnitskaya, their most notable similarity being their intimidating looks.
    • The Thai Phichit Chulanont looks a lot like Michael Christian Martinez, who is Filipino.
    • Otabek Altin is a direct reference to Denis Ten. Both are from Kazakhstan.
  • In Future GPX Cyber Formula, some of the characters are based on real-life Formula One drivers, most notably Knight Shoemach, who is based on Michael Schumacher. He even wears the yellow Benetton Formula outfit in the last 2 episodes of the TV series, the team Schumacher was in a few months after his F1 debut.
  • One of the biggest problems of Geneon's dub of the second Lupin III anime series is the fact that it's a Gag Dub that makes it look as though this series, which first aired in 1977, takes place in "the present day" (in this case, the 2000s), with references to then-recent pop culture and events. This comes to a head in the dub of the first movie, where the U.S. president is turned into a George W. Bush soundalike.note .
  • The manga SD Gundam Musha Bancho Fuunroku has a minor character, news reporter Crystal Tatsugawa. She's based off of real-life Japanese television announcer and news presenter Christel Takigawa.


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