I’m Canadian. You know this because I tell you every chance I get. And as a Canadian, I feel compelled to point out every other Canadian out there. I don’t know if it’s something every nation has but we definitely do, big time. It’s not a genetic thing, if you move here you’ll see. Like two weeks later you’ll catch yourself saying Actually, he’s Canadian, you know? I think they put something in the water. All of it. Canada has a lot of water.
Anyways, the point I was trying to make with this little speech is that there aren’t enough Canadian anime characters. That was clear, right? In fact, it took me forever just t come up with 5. I didn’t pick Canada from Hetalia because that’s cheating… But I ended up cheating anyways. You’ll see what I mean. These are in no real order by the way.
5. Ryoko Asakura – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Ryouko isn’t the main character and for a while, you don’t notice her that much. She’s the class president and we see her hanging around in a few episodes. But she becomes more important later on when it’s revealed that she’s Nagato’s backup unit. So basically, she isn’t like other girls! Arguably, she isn’t actually a girl at all.
Like Yuki, she’s one of those super-intelligent human android thingies. So she’s an alien or an organic robot or something. And she can be a bit…special. I guess all of this makes her story about transferring to the school from Canada a bit suspicious, but I’ll take it!
4. Toriko – Otherside Picnic
She’s the one that made me think of putting this list together. The moment she mentioned she’s at least part Canadian I was like – oh…Canadian anime characters? On it! The thing is, something seems a bit off. First, she mentioned getting Marine training. And Canada does not have a Marine Crop so that’s a bit weird. I guess she could have gotten it in Japan as they do have amphibious units but they aren’t called Marines as far as I know.
Besides, I watched that entire series and not once did Toriko apologize to any of the Otherside ghoulies she shot. Not even under her breath or anything. I dunno you guys. Doesn’t seem like a Canadian to me. Sure she enjoys a good beer and has a healthy sense of not getting too hung up on things but there’s still something that’s not quite right here.
3. Andrew Graham – Mobile Fighter G Gundam
The Gundam franchise is actually very Canadian inclusive. They have a few characters from the great white north. But I had to go with Andrew because, I mean, look at him. He’s like a caricature of everything that people think of when they think: Canada. You know, a lumberjack with a tuque. For the record, it’s a stereotype ad it’s not true but I still really like it!
The name Andrew Graham is also super Canadian sounding. I’m pretty sure I know a couple. And he’s the representative for Neo Canada. Look, it’s the closest Canadian anime character I could get to actual Canada from Hetalia without picking him. So there you have it!
2. Polar Bear – Polar Bear Café
He’s a Polar Bear. I really would have preferred not picking a polar bear but it was either him or Santa Clause at this time. Don’t get me wrong, Polar Bear is a very good pick for this list. He is Canadian, for sure and he’s patient and polite and didn’t even murder Panda once. Now that’s very Canadian.
He’s also full of dad jokes. And for some reason that works as well. Not too stuffy or hung up on ceremony and not to type to have to be the smartest in the room. Polar Bear is just happy to be there and wants to make everyone else happy. Sounds legit. Except, he’s a polar bear, you guys. That’s cheating…
1. JJ: Jean-Jacques Leroy – Yuri on Ice
So JJ isn’t only a Canadian anime character, he’s French Canadian. Like me! So he gets no 1 even if the picks aren’t in order. That’s how it works. The French Canadian accent is something to behold. It can make every language sound kind of crass. I’m sorry guys. I really love Quebec and wouldn’t move for the world. The people are wonderful. But man, I never managed to get used to that accent and I have it! I was a bit sad the Japanese voice actor didn’t try to ham it up.
I’ve been kidding around with Canadian stereotypes a lot in this list but JJ actually feels like a very authentic French Canadian character. We meet his parents, Nathalie and Alain (all the names here are really on point although I would have dropped the “Le” as just Roy is much more common, but it’s not like Leroy doesn’t exist). The family dynamic was great. Relaxed but tight-knit.
The insistence on Christianity is also very representative. Particularly in Quebec, the Church had a huge influence up until a generation or two ago and more French Canadians I know are relaxed but devout believers. I mean they won’t go out of their way to dislike anything because of religion, we have a huge well established and very accepted gay population for instance, but religion is important. It was a bit weird that JJ only has 2 siblings instead of 13 but he is pretty young. My friends use to tell me how the local priests would go knock on people’s doors if a wife hadn’t been pregnant in over 2 years and ask if something was up. That was like 30 years ago so in the ’90s…
OK, enough Quebec history. There you go, 5 Canadian characters or like 2 Canadian characters, one polar bear and 2 that are probably not really Canadian. This is a bad list. I’m sorry! I’ll have to revisit it at some point.
ED: Ok, like a month and a half after I wrote this I watched SK8 and Langa is now new no 2… First, he’s not too hard on the eyes, second, he has all the best stereotypes. He’s polite, calm, friendly not very emotional and a bit of a himbo.