Gia's List: Anime's 6 Craziest Western Cameosby Gia Manry,
6. Mulder and Scully (Black Heaven)
Not one of the most popular shows ever, Black Heaven is perhaps best known for its opening song "Cautionary Warning" (performed by Whitesnake's John Sykes) and for the strange appearance of two fictional characters' lookalikes: a pair of U.S. FBI agents who bear a striking appearance to Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from the American television show X-Files. The show's plot revolves around a former heavy metal rocker turned salary man, OjiTanaka, who meets a hot woman who inspires him to play the guitar again. The series takes a turn for the weird when earth becomes embroiled in an interstellar war against aliens...cue the appearance of mock-Mulder and pseudo-Scully, who investigate the appearance of an unidentified flying object.
5. Darth Vader (Daicon films)
This might be a little borderline for some of you since Daicon IV isn't an anime series per se, but rather a brief opening for the Daicon sci-fi convention in Japan. But hey, Gainax created it, and it's animated, so it's anime, right? Any number of characters from Japanese and American media pop up in the Daicon IV opening, but perhaps the most infamous is a Darth Vader-esque figure, complete with light saber. Ersatz Vader busts out said light saber in order to do battle with the protagonist, who is, of course, a sexy bunny girl. (Thanks, Gainax.) In fact, the girl appears in the openings for both Daicon III and Daicon IV, although in the former she was a little girl and the latter follows her adventures as a grown-up. She also gets to hang out with Yoda, by the way.
4. Will Smith (Gintama)
Gintama practically makes its living on off-the-cuff references, so its appearance on this list should be no surprise. Perhaps one of the best, or at least the funniest, is "Will Smith," a black samurai whose eyes are covered by a censor bar. The primary joke of this appearance features the Gintama crew noting that Will's name sounds similar to the Japanese pronunciation of the word "virus." He also parodies Barack Obama's "Yes We Can" slogan from his 2008 presidential campaign and makes a few other pop culture references (both American and Japanese), as well as chastising the show's characters for being so pathetic as to actually get sick. Among other cameos are: Jackie Chan, actress Chiaki Kuriyama (best known for her appearance in Kill Bill), and the series' original creator, Hideaki Sorachi.
3. Jason (Irresponsible Captain Tylor)
For those of you who came into anime during the Pokémon era and haven't delved into slightly older titles, Irresponsible Captain Tylor tells the story of either the luckiest or the smartest man in the galaxy. Justy Ueki Tylor fumbles his way into the galactic military, rising through the ranks with super-speed and making huge waves, even though he commands what's supposed to be the most useless ship and crew in the fleet. When he arrives, the crew is undisciplined and bickering...and Tylor still surprises friend and enemy alike with his ability to get out of tough situations. One member of his motley crew is a chainsaw-wielding, hockey-mask-wearing marine named Jason. Hard to say he looks exactly like his namesake, but the resemblance is clear!
2. Brad Pitt (Yakitate!! Japan)
Most of Yakitate!! Japan's humor comes from the ridiculous, over-the-top reactions people have to bread. On the other hand, one recurring joke is the character of "Brad Kidd," who bears a striking resemblance to American actor Brad Pitt. In the series, Kidd is a former classmate of Ryou Kuroyanagi, a bread-tasting judge who is famous for going completely, certifiably insane after tasting great breads. (And for terrible puns.) Long-time pal Brad's role in the show is primarily to bring his smiling face on the scene and then serve as a deus ex machina, pushing the plot forward when it's gone too far into a joke to find its way back. He also likes to flash back to his past careers, which include...pretty much everything: masseuse, lawyer, private investigator. Hey, he is one all-American dude!
1. Freddie (Cromartie High)
Of all the many American icons you might expect to see in an anime, Freddie Mercury might not be one of them...unless you've seen the bizarre comedy Cromartie High, which revolves around a group of delinquent-seeming students at a school full of...more delinquent-seeming students. One of the main "delinquents" is a buff, shirtless, suspenders-wearing man who never speaks, but who has an amazing singing voice. His name is even "Freddie," and he's often seen with a broken microphone stand (a reference to Mercury's microphone stand, which has no bottom). In the show he's a highly-respected delinquent in the school, and he also gets to ride a giant black stallion to work named Black Dragon...itself a cameo from Fist of the North Star.
Previous poll: Last week we were all about narrators, and unfortunately it only seemed fair to include one Norio Wakamoto narrator in the list. So we gave the man props via the poll: who is your favorite Norio Wakamoto-voiced narrator? The result was overwhelmingly Hayate the Combat Butler's snarky voice-of-god with more than half the votes. s-CRY-ed and Nichijou rounded out the top three with 17% and 13.5%, respectively. Here are the complete results:
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