Anime is Japanese, we all know that and that is why their stories are based mostly on Japanese culture, Japanese characters, and the experience of their different social levels … or the rest of the world, okay, according to the perspective of the Japanese. And what about the other countries?
This time, in Honey’s Anime we created a list with the best Chinese characters, those who are sometimes protagonists and sometimes simply a stereotype of a culture in a constant love-hate relationship with Japan. Here are 10 must-see characters!
10. Count D from Petshop of Horrors
- Episodes: 4
- Issue: March 1999
Let’s start with a mysterious character and with a certain halo of fear, of whom little is known except for his Chinese roots. Count D is the owner and manager of a strange pet store in Chinatown, which sells animals that we would surely not find elsewhere. Is this earl a real human? The answer is no, but you don’t have to be human to be Chinese, since China has a very rich history, full of mythological beings…
9. kohran li from sakura wars
- Episodes: 25
- Broadcast: April 2000 to September 2000
Turning now to Sakura Wars, an anime based on the video game franchise of the same name, let’s talk about Korhan Li, the Chinese member of the Hanagumi team. If we know China for something, it is for its technology, and that also carries over to this girl … although it is not that in Japan they are denied in this regard, right?
Humor – and perhaps that Japanese hint that sticks like a dagger – makes Korhan’s creations often fail, but that doesn’t stop this Chinese. Korhan Li not only keeps inventing things, but he does it with the best of optimism and always with a smile on his face.
8. Madoka Fujisaki from Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer
- Episodes: 26
- Issuance: April 2001 to September 2001
We have fabulous battles between electronic dolls as part of a game called Angelic Layer, and thus begins a long adventure that transforms a rookie into the possible new great champion. But beyond the protagonist, Misaki Suzuhara, we have to talk about the participant who represents China.
Another typical element of China is kung fu, a martial art that Madoka Fujisaki uses to control her angel in battle. Unfortunately, the methods that this girl and her sister use are not correct and they are not doing very well either. In this case, pride is a theme that has a lot to do with Madoka’s appearance in the plot, both for better and for worse.
7. Ling Yao from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Episodes: 64
- Issuance: April 2009 to July 2010
Although many know the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime, only those who knew the manga could complain or at least notice the lack of a Chinese character in the adaptation. Fortunately, it was in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood that we got to see the appearance of Ling Yao, a boy of Xing origin, the equivalent of China in this universe.
I wish we could tell the whole story of Ling Yao without falling for the spoilers, but that would be quite impossible. Likewise, we have to highlight his figure as well as that of Lan Fan, his main bodyguard. Another highlight of Yao is his majestic use of dao, a Chinese sword that turns lethal in his hands.
6. Fon (Fēng) from Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
- Episodes: 203
- Issuance: October 2006 to September 2010
Once a filler character, he later became a favorite of many. We are talking about Fon, a charismatic Chinese and very good at martial arts, being a multiple champion. Precisely, his appearance in chibi mode is very similar to that of the great Bruce Lee.
This fighter, in addition to being an I-Pin coach, is one of the 7 select members of the I Prescelti Sette group and the representative of the color red in the Arcobalenos. Peaceful, funny but sooo dangerous if we make him mad, Fon is another good representative of China in the anime.
5. Hakuryuu Ren from Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
- Episodes: 25
- Issuance: October 2012 to March 2013
We know what they are thinking, and it is that in Magi there really is no China or other real countries. However, a little research makes us notice that the Kou Empire not only has certain similarities with the Chinese Empire but is directly inspired by it.
Within the Ren family, we highlight this time the fourth prince of the empire, Hakuryuu Ren. Although we have talked about characters that stand out for their personality, this time we wanted to talk about a slightly dark character, with quite reprehensible gestures and attitudes. Likewise, you have to know more about their history to understand their reasons, and it is up to each one to justify it or not.
4. Ranma’s Shampoo ½
- Episodes: 161
- Broadcast: April 1989 to September 1992
The shampoo is a very special girl who gets caught up in the adventures and misadventures of Ranma Saotome, in Ranma ½. She is a great warrior who represented her Amazon village in China, but was defeated twice by Ranma, once in her female form and once in her male form. Thus, Shampoo ends with two missions in her life: marrying the male version and killing the female … two sides of the same coin.
In China, Shampoo is an employee of the family food store, where she works with her grandmother Cologne, who trains her. For an Amazon warrior, Shampoo is a gorgeous girl, so we can’t blame Akane for turning her into a worthy rival.
3. Lau from Kuroshitsuji
- Episodes: 24
- Issuance: October 2008 to March 2009
Another important element when it comes to Chinese stereotypes is the appearance of opium, a drug that is extracted from the royal poppy, a flower that dates back to trade between Europe and China in the 16th century. This time, the opium is tied to Lau, a Chinese character who has some business with Ciel Phantomhive.
If one saw Lau without knowing anything about him, we would easily realize his Chinese roots by his clothes, gestures, and customs. What we would not notice is everything that this man hides beyond his seemingly innocent smile, and that is why it is worth highlighting. Unfortunately for you, it’s time to watch the anime or read the manga to find out more about this character, because revealing more information would be to spoil part of Kuroshitsuji.
2. Yao Wang (China) from Hetalia Axis Powers
- Episodes: 52
- Issuance: January 2009 to March 2010
Who could better represent Chinese characters in anime, than the stereotypical and anthropomorphic version of the country itself? Hetalia offers us the same for several countries related to World War II, and China obviously has its appearance, with its alias Yao Wang .
The most outstanding characteristics of this character are born from China’s relationship with its neighboring countries, the same ones with which it maintains a relationship of true brothers: sometimes protecting itself and others, the most common, being rivals. If you want to learn more about the good and the bad of China, as seen by other countries, then you must see Hetalia!
1. Syaoran Li from Cardcaptor Sakura
- Episodes: 70
- Issuance: April 1998 to March 2000
We have in the first position little Syaoran Li, a character who stood out most in Cardcaptor Sakura but has also appeared in several CLAMP works. Sakura Kinomoto’s friend and potential boyfriend is a reserved, mature, and very intelligent character, but he also knows how to be very tender when it comes to Sakura, and even when he is around his cousin Meilin.
Versed in magical powers, Syaoran comes to Japan from Hong Kong, where he lived surrounded by women in his family, with his mother and 4 older sisters. Blessed are you, Syaoran! Although he leads his life in Tomoeda, Syaoran is always aware of his origins and continues to maintain his love for dim sum, a typical Chinese food.
China is a great nation, not only because of its size or number of inhabitants but because of what it has contributed to the world. Interestingly, it is rare to see that those more than one billion inhabitants are hardly noticeable in Japan when we talk about anime. If all these characters have been good at one thing or another, we want more Chinese in anime!
What is your favorite Chinese character in anime? What do you think of the Japanese treatment of their neighbors on this list? We want your opinions! However, with that, we also have to say goodbye. Until another!