Japanese Netizens Rank the 10 Most Iconic Characters that Represent Japan

Many netizens have given their opinion on who are the top 10 iconic characters from all sorts of media that best represent Japan.

Here are who the people voted as listed on Goo Ranking as translated by SoraNews24:

10. Sailor Moon

First up on the list is the very first “shojo” series – manga that is aimed at the female target demographic – that became successful in the west, mainly due of its tone of “warrior of love and justice” as well as its iconic sailor uniforms that the characters wear.

sailor moon
via Flickr / BagoGames (CC BY 2.0)

9. Godzilla

Next on the list is the ever-popular, humongous lizard Godzilla. The unfriendly dinosaur has become a big part of Japan’s popular culture ever since its film debut in 1954.

godzilla
via Wikimedia Commons / Bandai Namco Entertainment America (CC BY 3.0)

8. Gundam

Japaneze netizens voted Gundam as the #8 iconic character in Japan. It has become one of the most popular robot – or in this case, mecha – in Japan with several dozen series published in manga form, anime and movies. Fans all over the world also follow and collect the model kits to assemble their very own mecha.

Gundam

7. Totoro

While Studio Ghibli’s “My Neighbor Totoro” is not the company’s first ever movie, it’s one of the most beloved, earning a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Its title character, Totoro, a mysterious and rather eccentric forest creature, is just too adorable and cuddly to miss with its large pear-shaped body.

via Flickr / Amal FM (CC BY 2.0)

6. Goku

It’s about time Goku, the most powerful Saiyan in the whole universe – who is now on God-level – shows up on this list. However, it’s surprising that he didn’t rank higher considering that “Dragon Ball” has been on and off TV since its first airing in 1986.

goku
via Flickr / Marcelo Silk Screen

5. Hello Kitty

The adorable cat, Hello Kitty, is one of the most popular brands in the world. Hello Kitty, or Kitty-chan as what they call her in Japan, is an anthropomorphic white Japanese bobtail cat dressed in different outfits – depending on the occasion – with a red ribbon on top of her head. She’s so popular that in 2008, Hello Kitty became a tourism ambassador in China and Hong Kong.

hello kitty
via Flickr / Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

4. Anpanman

Anpanman, the main lead of the popular Japanese picture book of the same title, is incredibly popular among children in Japan. It was first released in 1973 and continued to be published in both book and anime form for 40 years until its author and creator, Takashi Yanase, died in 2013.

anpanman
via Flickr / Eric (CC BY 2.0)

3. Super Mario

Who could forget the most famous former plumber in the world, right? Mario takes the third spot as the iconic characters from the country that best represent Japan. He’s headed many memorable video game titles across countless consoles and has dominated the popular culture for more than 30 years.

mario

2. Pikachu

The list of iconic Japanese pop culture characters wouldn’t exactly be complete without the extremely popular Pikachu of “Pokemon”. It’s surprising to see Pikachu in second place, considering that he’s actually quite popular internationally.

pikachu
via Flickr / Yoshikazu TAKADA (CC BY 2.0)

1. Doraemon

Doraemon is not just huge in Japan, but the robotic cat from the future is also widely popular in whole of Asia. He was dubbed by Japan’s Foreign Ministry as “anime ambassador,” SoraNews24 reported.

doraemon
via Flickr / Wacko Photographer (CC BY-SA 2.0)

What do you think of the list? Share your thoughts and comments below.

Featured image via YouTube / (Left): Madman | (Right): YlvisSister

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