Japanese rank the 10 most iconic characters from their country

Japan is well-known for producing a variety of anime characters and mascots. As to which character is the most representative of Japan, it differs from one person to another. Is it the cute electric mouse Pokemon Pikachu? Or perhaps the well-loved Sanrio character Hello Kitty?

Well, Japanese site Goo Ranking recently asked netizens what they thought were Japan’s most iconic characters, and below are the top 10 on that list.

10. Sailor Moon

“In the name of the Moon, I will punish you!” Who could forget the memorable line of the first shoujo heroine to hit worldwide recognition? Not only does Sailor Moon make it into the top 10, she even has a 4D attraction at Universal Studios Japan!

9. Godzilla

A gazillion Godzilla movies and a couple of Hollywood remakes just go to show how well-received this king of monsters is, which first made it to the silver screen in 1954.

8. Gundam

With almost 40 years of history beginning with “Mobile Suit Gundam”, the pioneer of the mecha genre also has many fans hungry for its model kits. A life-size Gundam replica — recently changed to Unicorn Gundam from Gundam RX-78-2 — can be found in Japan’s shopping district Odaiba.

7. Totoro

One of the most eye-catching characters of Studio Ghibli, Totoro is a favourite Japanese character for many. Tickets to the Studio Ghibli Museum are also known to sell out weeks in advance.

6. Son Goku

Ka~me~ha~me~ha! The main character of the popular Dragon Ball series, this mighty Saiyan has a great influence around the globe. Making his first appearance in the manga in 1984 and still appearing in the anime now, it is not surprising Goku makes it to the list.

5. Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty has proven that simply being cute is enough to fuel a large fanbase, ranging from children to adults. Since making her debut in 1974, the kawaii cat has evolved into a multibillion-dollar industry.

4. Anpanman

Possibly the least well-known internationally of the 10, Anpanman is the superhero whose head is a bread filled with red bean paste. His bread-head can be replaced to restore his energy. This uncanny character, however, is very popular among Japanese kids.

3. Super Mario

As the main character of the best-selling video game series in the world, Super Mario deserves this spot on the list. Nintendo has also announced that its next mobile app release will be Mario Kart Tour!

2. Pikachu

Ash Ketchum’s best buddy! The adorable, yellow creature is widely recognised by people of all ages. Despite the Pokemon series having more than 800 original creatures, Pikachu has been the most popular for more than 20 years.

1. Doraemon

An~ An~ An~ This blue robotic cat who came from the future to help Nobita has struck a chord with many. With a pocket that can produce almost any imaginable gadget, wouldn’t you wish you have some of Doraemon’s goodies sometimes? It is no wonder Doraemon is at the top of the list!

After looking through the 10 iconic characters of Japan, did your favourite character make it to the list? Or did you expect some to rank a little higher? Let us know in the comments below!

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