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Top 10 Anime Characters Based on Real People

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Alex Crilly McKean
We knew we recognised that mug from somewhere! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime Characters Based on Real People. For this list, we’ll be looking at the anime characters that are noted to be based on actual people. Be they be figures of history or celebrities that are still kicking it today, get ready to see some of your favourite animated stars in a whole new light.
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Top 10 Anime Characters Based on Real People

We knew we recognised that mug from somewhere! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime Characters Based on Real People.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the anime characters that are noted to be based on actual people. Be they be figures of history or celebrities that are still kicking it today, get ready to see some of your favourite animated stars in a whole new light.

#10: Kid - Brad Pitt

“Yakitate!! Japan” (2004-06)

With a name like Brad Kidd (double lettering included) there was never any doubt that this Harvard student was anything but a caricature of the famous Hollywood heartthrob. Luckily for Ryou, he’s also a swell guy, helping with all the social conventions he was sorely lacking in, including tangoing with the ladies. What’s not to love? He’s got that hair, that silver screen smile and manages to provide some serious laughs, which is kind of needed when a show is based around bread. Let’s hope he didn’t suffer a crippling divorce later in life…

#9: Rock Lee - Bruce Lee

“Naruto” series (2002-17)

That jumpsuit, that posture, that bowl cut, the ninja in training is the spiting image of the legendary martial arts movie star, albeit with much more green thrown into his attire. While we doubt that Lee will ever find himself starring in the Hidden Leaf version of Enter the Dragon, it’s easy to see that his dedication to taijutsu is also inspired by Bruce’s physical talents. The man had kicks that could send people flying, Lee can slam a sand-wielding demon to the curb with lightspeed flurries. Same thing really.

#8: Whitney Haggis Matsumoto - George Clooney

“Cowboy Bebop” (1998-99)

Jeez, no wonder that Faye almost ran off with this guy, he’s got the face of THE defacto silver fox celebrity. While this epic, space-fairing action series has more than its fair share of side characters, everyone remembers this suave attorney for three distinct reasons; he nearly got Faye freakin’ Valentine to fall for him, he turned out to be the most despicable of con-men who actually planned to saddle her with debt, and that years later he really let himself go. You might want to ease up on the cheeseburgers George, lest you find yourself looking like Whitney one day.

#7: Victor Nikiforov - Evgeni Plushenko and John Cameron Mitchell

“Yuri on Ice” (2016)

Two for the price of one. In terms of his accolades, achievements and even mannerisms in the world of figure skating, heartthrob trainer Victor best resembles Evgeni Plushenko; a four-time Olympic medallist, three-time World Champion and four-time Grand Prix Champion. While that staggering level of success can be seen mirrored in Victor’s own accomplishments, series writer Mitsuro Kubo admitted that appearance-wise, he’s based on acclaimed actor John Cameron Mitchell, the slick silver hair being a dead giveaway. We’re sure both men would be pleased to know their animated counterpart was such a triumph in his field.

#6: Terryman - Terry Funk

“Kinnikuman” (1983-86; 1991-92)

Given how this wrestling anime is a considered a classic of the genre, it only makes sense that one of its key characters would be inspired by a figure like Terry Funk; an American wrestler who practically exploded in Japan due to his crazy outfits and stage presence. Creator Yudetamago must have been a fan, since the character of Terryman isn’t only similar in terms of build, move-set and nationality, but also obviously includes Terry in the name. Good to see that the Texas Bronco’s legacy lives on.

#5: Armored Titan - Brock Lesnar

“Attack on Titan” (2013-)

Eat, sleep, break walls, repeat. They are engines of pure destruction that can destroy opponents with overwhelming ferocity; is it any surprise to discover that they were based on mixed martial arts fighters? Out of all the contenders, our vote goes to famed WWE and UFC competitor Brock Lesnar, who served as the inspiration for the beastly Armored Titan. Sure, he isn’t exactly imbued with metallic plates that allow him to soak damage like a sponge, but there’s no mistaking that body build or the little tuff of hair. Jeez, Eren got wrecked by The Beast Incarnates lookalike.

#4: Gordon Agrippa - Marylin Manson

“Black Clover” (2017)

He may not be the Angel with the Scabbed Wings nor is he the New Shit, but there’s no denying that this member of the Black Bulls is clearly riding the looks of this iconic metal singer. If the make-up and aversion to sunlight doesn’t give it away, then his creepy demeanour certainly will. While harmless in his own right and not exactly the biggest Magic Knight on the block, we’re still waiting to see Gordon interrupt one of Asta’s fights and start singing Tainted Love.

#3: Freddie - Freddie Mercury

“Cromartie High School” (2003-04)

We never hear him speak, but given the fact his name is the same as the legendary Queen vocalist and is known to have an angelic singing voice, it’s pretty clear that this butch delinquent was inspired by the King of Rock. While you might miss the comparison given the fact the show likes to distract its audience with a literal robot, Freddie still manages to pay homage to the incredible frontman by leaving whole crowds floored…only in this case it’s with his fists as opposed to musical genius.

#2: Yoshikage Kira - David Bowie

“JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable” (2016)

He may have a Stand named after a famous Queen song, but this murderer’s look is all Bowie, back when he was sporting blonde locks at least. While his obsession with a severed hand, desire to live like a plant and tendency to slaughter innocents isn’t exactly what comes to mind when thinking about the man who gave us Ziggy Stardust, there’s clearly a lot of influence from a visual perspective. One thing is for sure, Kira would beat the ever-loving crap out of the Goblin King!

#1: A Loooooot!

“One Piece” (1999-)

So many famous faces, so little time. While they may come equipped with crazy Devil Fruit powers, the occupants of Eiichiro Oda’s masterwork have some clear real-world inspirations. Bon Clay and Franky are both right out Jim Carrey performances, Capone Bege is obviously Al Capone, Diamante is Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler, and Ivankov is very much One Piece’s answer to Frank n Furter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, because everything needs more Tim Curry. And are we sure that Kizaru doesn’t have some-kind of Jeff Goldblum thing going on?
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