I first thought I might try to find five anime set in Canada but I gave up pretty quickly. Even though it would make a great anime setting. We got some really pretty autumns, you can colour the trees any colour you want. There are also kickass snowy mountains, it’s like putting a dozen Mt. Fujis in your background. Imagine how lucky your production will be! (I just read that dreaming about Mt. Fuji is good luck and I wanted to use that knowledge).

Somehow, I have a sinking feeling that my personal campaign on this blog is not going to be the shattering success it should be and we won’t get half a dozen anime set in the true North next season. Oh well…in the meantime, I guess I can share with you this list of anime set in America. In no particular order but still numbered. How quirky.

6. Baccano!

I did not watch Baccano! although I desperately want to. I just never found it. I did however buy the manga. That’s how I know that it’s set in America. 1930s America to be precise. And it does relish in the setting which is probably why so many people think of Baccano! when they think of anime set in the US.

I still really hope I find it someday.

5. Blood Blockade – New York, New York

I’m not sure if this one counts. Blood Blockade Battlefront is set in New York and the backgrounds are a luxurious depiction of the big city. Some of my favourite backgrounds in anime. But it’s a New York that has been warped by the supernatural phenomena to the point where it is difficult to recognize.

Heck, half the time you don’t even know if it’s on Earth. The name’s even been changed to Hellsalem’s Lot (subtle). Nevertheless, you do see the fingerprints of old New York all over the place and it’s lovingly illustrated.

4. 91 days – “Lawless”, Illinois

91 days is a slow-burn classic criminal thriller set in the prohibition era. And that was a very particular time in US history. So not only is 91 days set in the United States, it really couldn’t have been set anywhere else.

I remember being fascinated by where the show was taking place. I tried to pinpoint the exact location based on the architecture and the materials used to make the more suburban houses we see in the few village scenes. It all screamed Americana to me and I easily got transported to the place and time of bootleg booze and barely concealed the organized crime. 91 days was a great show.

3. Banana Fish – New York, New York

This is the second anime I did not watch but once again I read the manga. In this case, however, I read the manga many years ago. At least over a decade ago. I was a huge fan of J.D. Sallinger as a kid and I just picked it up based on the title alone.

If the anime is true to the manga, it’s another crime thriller drama that takes place in the US. The 1980s US which is loads of fun. Only this time it’s not manufactured nostalgia. I would still recommend picking up the manga if you enjoyed the adaptation. AlthoughI can’t tell you how they compare, I can tell you I really liked the manga. So there!

2. Appare-Ranman! Los Angeles, California

Appare-Ranman! was such a pleasant surprise. I just didn’t expect that anime. I picked it up expecting a random,. forgettable comedy with over-the-top character designs and I got a truly enjoyable romp with a great production and lovable cast. You know what else I didn’t expect, the fact that it’s set in LA…

It starts in Japan but quickly moves on to Los Angeles for a 19th-century race across the Californian deserts. I wouldn’t call it the most authentic depiction of the setting but it’s certainly fun. And it has a sort of caricatural charm of old western movies.

1. Soul Eater – “Death City”, Nevada

Did you know Soul Eater was set in Nevada? I had forgotten. I wouldn’t say it’s a very typically American-looking city. But you know, that’s why I put it on here. Unlike all my other picks, the setting of Soul Eater is not a big part of its identity. And yet, the author still chose to set it specifically in the US. I thought that was interesting.

It could simply be a nod to Death Valley. I could see that. Still, I remember finding out Soul Eater took place in Nevada and for some reason really enjoy that bit of trivia. So now I share it with you!

Hhhmmm… Ok, So out of the 6 anime I could remember taking place in the States, 3 are specifically about organized crime, one is set in the wild west and features a large cast of bandits and a lot of guns and the two remaining ones are in supernatural versions of the US that are violent and dangerous enough to have daily fights in the streets and require children to wield weapons.

The most welcoming and safest of all these places is called Death City. It has a huge school to specifically teach children to murder people.

I’m not saying the US may have a bit of a reputation in Japan but that’s quite a coincidence. OK, so maybe there are tons of adorable Slice of Life Anime set in the states that I just haven’t seen. That’s probably it…


25 thoughts

  1. 7. Inferno Cop Special #3, where our unbending avatar of justice regales New Jersey with his flaming skull, just in time for its 2017 anime convention. This special blends hard-nosed cop drama with piercing political commentary, before ending on a high-minded patriotic note. Well, to be precise, that’s how it seems to end…

    Despite their fervor for the franchise, Inferno Cop aficionados were never blessed with an official release. In fact, the only proof this special was ever made sleeps in the dark corners of the web, in the form of a shaky camcorded vid. Sakuga lovers will bemoan the lack of a 1080p version. However, the crowd’s enthusiasm more than makes up for it!

    youtube[dot]com/watch?v=b09SuPOaCRY

  2. For some reason I never knew that 91 Days took place in Illinois. I was thinking like New York or somewhere up north. Same for Soul Eater. I thought it was just a made up universe or something.

  3. I didn’t know Soul Eater was set in Nevada, either. It’s a trend in the comments section.

  4. “Did you know Soul Eater was set in Nevada?”

    Really? I did not know that. I don’t think I ever did, so it’s not likeI forgot.

    I’d love to say that the USA’s reputation for violence is overblown. But, well, facts and all…

    1. I know, it’s pretty random… I did think Appare was pretty positive in how it presented early cowboy US as filled with as much friendly people as brigands

  5. Hmm, some anime that at least have some episodes that have Canada in it? Super Lovers, Boys over Flowers, Yuri on Ice there was a Canadian skater (King JJ) and I believe there was some scenes set in Canada, Hetalia has Canada as well (I didn’t watch the whole series so I don’t know how much that character was featured) Oh and one of the villains from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya got transferred to Canada . . . Yeah, sorry, I think I failed this challenge.

  6. I loved 91 days ! I still need to rewatch it . I remember the first time I super binged it . Also the New Jojos bizarre adventure takes place Florida . It even has a great Florida man moment lol

    1. Oh yeah! I hadn’t watched the latest Jojo when I wrote this but it was pretty awesome to see that part of the US represented in anime!

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